Shops and Craft Shops
You will truly find something of everything: from artisan products to haute couture, from fine wines to local foods to name but few - simply by looking around many Italian shops.
Shops are usually open from Monday to Saturday. Some are open all day from 9.00 AM to 8.00 PM, others close at lunchtime, approximately from 1.00 PM to 3.00 PM.
In historic and tourist centres, many shops are also open on Sundays, as is also the case in airports and large railway stations. Obviously, these indicative times vary from north to south or in places with a strong tourist vocation depending on the season: opening hours are longer in the high season and shorter in mid and low season.
Shopping Centres / Outlets
They are many different venues throughout Italy, often close to large towns as well important motorway junctions: these shopping centres have grown over the years and are now rooted in the social fabric and local areas. With so many shop windows, culinary proposals, spaces for children and - in some cases - even fitness centres or multi-screen cinemas, they are ideal destinations for a day of shopping. A more recent phenomenon, outlets are again large shopping centres but above all focus on top fashion and high-tech brands with very advantageous offers, since they offer out-of-catalogue products.
Shopping centres, outlets and department stores are generally open every day from 9.30 to 20.00 (in some cases until 24.00).
Receipts and Receipt Slips
For all goods/services you buy in Italy, remember to ask for (and keep) the receipt or invoice at the time of payment: it will explain possession of goods and avoid penalties in case of controls. In fact, every official business operation in Italy is obliged to issue a payment document, and every person must receive one after each purchase, in order not to break the law. But also - when purchasing products - to take advantage of guarantees or any returns.
In Italy, the prices of goods and services are usually those displayed or given in price lists/menus: it is not customary to bargain when making a purchase.
However, there are some fairs and markets where you can bargain with traders. In early July and after the Christmas holidays, Italian shops also hold the so-called "sales", offering significant discounts on products. The precise dates vary from region to region.
Be wary of proposals on the street, on the beach or in historic centres of counterfeit fashion products: true Italian design cannot be bought on pavements! Giving in to the temptation to save means you would also break the law, which forbids the sale and purchase alike of these products that have nothing to do with genuine Made in Italy.