Located just an hour’s drive from Milan, Fidenza Village is the second best reason to visit Parma, the first being the city’s delicious prosciutto. There are more than 50 international and local brands – think Loewe, Ermenegildo Zegna and Versace – selling previous seasons’ offerings at reduced prices, by as much as 70 per cent at some stores. These aren’t the goods you find at outlet shopping destinations that tend to be not quite as well-made. These are the wares that were displayed in the retail stores and then taken down to make way for new seasons.
Fidenza Village (below) is one of the 11 shopping spots within the Chic Outlet Shopping network, which is spread across Western Europe and parts of China. To be honest, I had the impression that Fidenza Village would be overrun with mainland Chinese people grabbing as many as they can carry but when I was there, all I found were dapper Italian men and gorgeous Italian women having a day out in the sun.
Some were sipping coffee and having a leisurely lunch while others were strolling through the main street and nipping into the numerous stores if something caught their eye. It was quite pleasurable and I imagine the other 10 Villages would be the same too.
I spent an entire afternoon leisurely browsing the racks and found some great deals, including a Loewe manga-inspired denim jacket from the spring/summer 2016 collection that was going at half off. If you’re in Italy for a holiday, I recommend taking a day to drop by Fidenza Village. And bring at least two credit cards. You’ll need them.