Males reading this: a word of warning. This post is not about Serravalle Scrivia the comune in the Province of Alessandria. This is, in fact, a post dedicated to the Serravalle Designer Outlets. So there’ll be no talk of history or architecture… not even that many photos. This is just about shopping. Shopping in Italy. Which is so much cooler than shopping basically anywhere else. So there.
Serravalle Designer Outlets
Although this is now my second big trip to Italy, it seemed to slip, ahem, EVERYONE’S minds last year to mention that one of the biggest designer outlets in Europe was less than an hours’ drive from where we were staying. I won’t hold a grudge, however, because the important thing is that they told me eventually.
Not only that but my partner – who had zero interest in shopping there, obvs – sacrificed a day to walk in and out of shops, risking his life due to the dramatic change in temperature every time we did so. (Outside was about 2˚ celsius and inside each store felt about 35˚. Even on my shopping high I was suffering, so I can only imagine the torture he was experiencing.
Now as somewhat of a professional outlet shopper, I was ridiculously excited to visit Serravalle. I even spent a couple of hours researching the stores they house (nerd alert!) as I knew that dragging my partner around for 8 hours wasn’t an option. I wrote down my wish list (stores and items to look for), found a map, set myself a budget – after all, what’s the point in having nice things if you can’t afford rent and a hot shower? – and was ready for my shopping adventure.
The shopping – village? – didn’t disappoint. Unlike many places in Italy, it was spacious and impeccably well kept. Oh, and since it was grey, windy and freezing cold, we didn’t have to battle the crowds. I was proud of myself for doing some research because the place was huge and could have easily sucked us into a shopping vortex of no return. Instead, I made a beeline for the stores on my list and focussed on the mission at hand.
Lucky (more for my partner than anything else), I scored some bargains at Tommy Hilfiger very early on. Two blazers – black and navy – at 25% of their original prices. Score. But since they’re Tommy Hilfiger, they ate up the majority of my budget, and I promised my partner that I was happy to speed up the rest of my trip by not looking for any other purchases.
I (basically) kept my promise. I checked out about 10 other stores (a mix of Italian and International labels) and found that like most outlets, they were stocking very old and weirdly sized items. Fun to look at, but thankfully nothing that would tempt me to blow my budget. Oh well, curiosity quelled, wardrobe gaps filled. Check.
The Lindt Chocolate Shop
With the shopping complete and the sky looking dark and gloomy, we decided it was time for a cappuccino. But then we found better. See the Italians are in on something us Aussies haven’t yet figured out. And that is the art of the hot chocolate… aka “ciaccolata calda”. All this time, we thought that by taking some hot milk and adding a sugary cocoa mix, we had a hot chocolate on our hands. Au contraire. (Yes, that’s French. Sorry, I don’t know the Italian equivalent) The Italian version of a hot chocolate resembles more of steaming hot pudding. Thick, rich and creamy. Heaven in a mug.
Anyway, the Lindt Chocolate Shop (and caffè) makes their own special version of this, even more decadent than the usual. So we made a beeline for the place and ordered ourselves the classic milk chocolate versions while our friends went for the white chocolate. There are no words for how delicious these things are. Sure, they induced a carb coma soon after but IT WAS WORTH IT. I bought myself a pack of 5 to take home. No, I won’t share.
And that – apart from a last minute detour to buy some cheap underwear and slippers – was our trip to Serravalle Designer Outlets! All up, well worth the trip.
Know of any other amazing outlets or must-see shopping destinations around Europe? Spill the beans in the comments below! x