Other than its impressive monuments and great food, you cannot leave Italy without checking out the flagship stores of Italian designer brands. After all, they are more than just places to sell their products; these boutiques are designed to give shoppers an unforgettable experience.
Here are five of the most impressive flagship stores in Italy, found in three of its biggest cities:
Palazzo Fendi, Rome. ➡️ #Repost from #RobbReport editorial director @robbtravelbruce: “Set in front of Via Condotti and the Spanish Steps, the historic Palazzo Fendi is about to become Rome’s most fashionable address. The property, which officially reopens next month, will house the Italian brand’s flagship boutique on the ground floor, a private apartment for VIP clients on the second floor, a Zuma restaurant on the rooftop, and Fendi’s first hotel—an exclusive seven-suite retreat designed by architect Marco Costanzi—on the third floor.” #fendi #palazzo #romanholiday #fendicasa #rome
Located on Largo Carlo Goldoni, near the Spanish Steps, the Palazzo Fendi offers the full luxury experience. What you expect from a flagship store is all here—two floors of retail with clothes and accessories on display; in-house fur ateliers to help you create your signature look. However, the brand goes one step further by offering a 7-room boutique hotel, a private VIP apartment, a restaurant, and a rooftop bar. These all combine to form the largest Fendi shop in the world. Here, you not only go home with the brand’s signature pieces—you also collect memories of a superb stay. Tangentially, Fendi’s headquarters is also housed in a Roman landmark. The brand’s HQ is located inside the Palazzo della Civilita Italiana, which was originally built for the 1942 World Fair.
With an address on the fashionable Via dei Condotti, the Bulgari flagship store embodies elegance. Reopened in 2014 after an extensive restoration and upgrade, the boutique retained most of its period flair without looking dated. It begins at the entrance lobby, which features two galleries—the high jewelry collection and the bridal gallery. This sophistication continues to the Taylor Room, still with its original parquet floors; it was named after Elizabeth Taylor, who used to spend her time there. The store design also makes extensive use of marble in its flooring and details—from the staircase to the men’s watches gallery. A “secret” entrance is also available for VIPs, through a private courtyard. This entryway was allegedly used by stars such as Audrey Hepburn and Kirk Douglas.
Locals joke that only tourists shop at the Prada flagship store in Gallierie Vittorio Emmanuele II. However, to skip visiting this flagship store—the first Prada boutique—would be a disservice. With a great location at the heart of this historic shopping gallery, it offers 5,000 square meters of luxury shopping. First opened in 1913, the store was restored and reopened in 2013; it has retained its classical design, with many of the antique displays still intact. Don’t forget to visit their basement, where more bags and shoes can be found.
Today I worked very very hard (and I’m very very happy). So I decided that I deserve a prize. And my prize is called “all you can eat at #nobu @armani See you in two hours at the hospital. – 🍣🍱🍜 ❌💯= 🏨
A photo posted by Paolo 🌟 Stella (@paolostella) on
With over 8,000 square feet of retail space, the Armani Megastore offers all of Giorgio Armani’s lines, from Emporio Armani clothing to Armani Casa home furnishings. Due to its sheer size, you will need an entire day to see everything in this store; other than clothing, you’ll also find a cellar and a Sony boutique inside. And you can even take breaks in their café, a collaboration with Nobu Restaurants.
As the name suggests, this place is more a museum than a store. However, anyone with a keen interest in fashion should make a stop here. After all, the Gucci Museo illustrates the evolution of this iconic brand, from its iconic loafers to the Tom Ford era. The museum itself is housed inside an equally historic structure. It is inside the Palazzo della Mercanzia, built in 1308 and overlooking the Piazza della Signoria.
The museum also has a bookstore, a café and restaurant, and the Icon Store. The Icon Store offers unique editions of classic pieces, such as the New Jackie bag and the Flora Scarf, which are not sold elsewhere.
These 5 flagship stores are just a sampling of what Italy has to offer. Other Italian designer brands have set up shop in the country’s other cities and regions, such as Venice, Reggio Emilia, Marche, and Umbria. So for a fashion-themed trip, try to visit them all during your stay!