Shopping, one of my least favorite activities but something I wanted to engage in today, I was to join my friends and visit The Mall, known the be one of the best outlet stores in Europe.
I left for the SITA bus terminal opposite Florence S.M.N. station just after breakfast at Plus Florence hostel to catch the outlet’s exclusive bus to The Mall. Even though I left late at 1010am I arrived at 1025 at the SITA terminal after a sprint, and joined one of my friends near the front of the station’s ticket office. We managed to purchase 2 tickets and board the bus just in time before it departed.
It took about 35 minutes to reach The Mall. It’s got stores like Armani Jeans, Burberry, Prada, Emporio Armani, Gucci, Moschino, Fendi, Tods, Tom Ford and Saint Laurent Paris.
I purchased some decent priced golf shirts at Prada (haha, who would have thought), and a few articles at Armani Jeans and Emporio Armani.
There is a tax refund office on site that gives you cash for your purchases (I think each receipt that you submit needs to be a minimum of 50 euros). Even though you get a cash refund you have to show the articles at the airport on departure from the EU, get a stamp from customs and post the tax refund receipts to a specified address (or else they reverse the refund from your credit card and charge a fee).
2 More friends joined us a few hours later. There is a nice self-service café / restaurant on site. I got 2 tasty slices of pizza (which tasted much better than the full pizzas at the fancy Italian restaurants).
We were planning to take the 1700 bus back to Florence but 10 minutes before departure a full queue already formed and there wasn’t any place for us on the bus. We waited for the 1730 bus and arrived in the city at 1815.
My friends returned to their hotel and myself to my hostel. I rested till 2045 and then met them on the open rooftop of their hotel at 2135.
We chilled for a while and decided to go out for supper at around 2230.
We found a nice looking restaurant on the other side of the River Argo but like the previous night the Pizza was bad. Actually, it was horrible. It had a soft base with no flavor (less salt?). I ate less than half of it. Florence pizzas are no good (unless you buy them by the slice in a café).
After supper I chilled a little more with my friends and headed back to my hostel around midnight. They would be going to Venice the next morning and I’d have another full day in Florence to visit another shopping outlet.