If you’ve been around the Italy expat scene for a while, you have likely heard tale of disheartening shopping trips, overpriced shoes, bags and bras or the never-ending search for a properly-fitting pair of jeans.
Shopping in Italy when you are on vacation=fun.
Shopping in Italy when you live here and a pair of pants costs a week’s salary=not so fun.
Tuesday, April 7 was the Grand Opening of a new centro commerciale near Catanzaro Lido. Located about seven kilometers from my house, Le Fontane Shopping Center-senza le fontane-is a sight for a shopaholic’s sore eyes.
The center’s main attraction is France’s “walmartesque” Auchan superstore,whose top exterior walls are covered in quaint Calabrian village scenes.
Inside, the store is typically Italian, but the Calabrese display offers shoppers a taste-test of some of Calabria’s finest homemade mixes.
This €30 million center features Media World electronics, shoe stores, lingerie stores, sporting stores, restaurants, bars, a travel agency, post office and is also home to Calabria’s newest H&M.
And this makes me happy.
On a quick information-gathering excursion yesterday, I uncovered a cocktail dress for €29.00, shoes for €24.00 and summer pants, sundresses and t-shirts for around €14.00 each.
Remember, this trip was purely for reconnaissance.
It was my sacrifice for you.
Next time I go, I’ll leave my husband at home. Take his checkbook. And bring along some of my favorite expat gal-pals.
Won’t you join me?
Have you ever shopped in a H&M? What did you think? If you’ve been to/lived in Italy, what is your favorite store here and why?
Le Fontane Shopping Center
Catanzaro Lido (Calabria)