H&M, Other Stores Now Open in Catanzaro, Calabria

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.

Until now.

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.

Le Fontane Shopping Center, Catanzaro Lido

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.

Le Fontane Shopping Center, Catanzaro Lido

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.

H&M at Le Fontane Shopping Center, Catanzaro Lido

And this makes me happy.

Very 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

SS 106

Catanzaro Lido (Calabria)

15 Responses
  1. I have shopped in H & M here in the UK…you have to have a good look round..they have lots and lots of stock, so you can easily miss something..

    Hey I will be right over..I love shopping trips with friends 🙂

    I don’t have a favourite shop in Italy, but I do love these shopping malls..so much better than ours for some reason..as for Auchan, my husband and I both love your supermarkets..I have to drag my husband away, and he hates shopping in the UK!! You are honoured.
    Come on over, Anne. P and I’ll be waiting.
    Anne’s last blog post..More Handwritten Post!!!!

  2. Oh, Cherrye, the majority of my clothes are from H&M! I’ve always been able to get away with it, buying them in the UK, them wearing them here in Italy where no one else has them…till now! Also I get a lot of kds clothes there because the Italian kids clothes are stupidly expensive.
    They are insanely expensive. I noticed that, as well. That is why we don’t have kids. 😉
    charlie’s last blog post..

  3. Oh, C, you mut be soooo happy!!! We have an H&M here. Love it!!! And one of *the* nicest bags* I ever bought was from an H&M in Paris. It’s my fav plum handbag.

    And yes, I’ll go with you 🙂
    See, THAT is why I need to go with friends. I didn’t even GET to the handbag section.
    My Melange’s last blog post..Love Thursday: Thoughts, Prayers and Help for L’Aquila

  4. Carla

    Wow, it’s finally open, huh? I remember how long it took to build!
    Lucky you, H&M! They have a lot of cute things there.
    Happy shopping! 🙂
    Wish you were here to go with me!

  5. I don’t have a favorite store in Italy as I’m too broke to go shopping. But once I do have some $$$ I plan to wait until the big sales and then go crazy. haha

    I used to shop at H&M in the States (and there’s one in Rome) but now I’m done with them, TopShop and Zara. I don’t have the body type (and probably too old) to pull it off. On my tall and/or thin friends the clothes look cute. On me, just cheap.
    See, I like Zara, too but we don’t have one in Catanzaro. Our nearest one is an hour away. But I am sure you are too hard on yourself-I bet you look great in H&M clothes.
    nyc/caribbean ragazza’s last blog post..Back On Monday

  6. carol

    Well, I’ll just have to plan an overnite at Il Cedro next time I visit the parenti…..hopefully in july…, so I’ll have plenty of time to check out all the shops.

  7. I shopped at H&M a lot when I was growing up in Switzerland – then I came to the States for college and found the Gap and Old Navy and Target and never went back to H&M, even after it opened in the U.S. I should check them out again.
    Gap, Old Navy, Target … you are hurtin’ me, girl.
    City Girl’s last blog post..Matchbox, A Favorite

  8. I was sporting my 29Euro H&M jacket just today, and feeling mighty hip, I might add!
    Woop, woop!
    South of Rome’s last blog post..Cristo alla Colonna Procession

  9. Carl Villarete

    planning a trip to italy next year. this is good news. i’m sure my wife will be delighted :-).

    Great! I’ll have it nice and tested out before you get here.

  10. We got an H & M last year and I wasn’t too impressed. Mind you I step in a mall once a year and the vast majority of my shopping is either the butcher or the local wine shop.
    Well now, nothing compares to a wine shop, Running. I meant “besides” that, of course!
    running42k’s last blog post..Long weekend

  11. Amber

    While living in Italy I tried very hard not to be tempted into shopping for clothes for myself, no matter what I needed because the results were inevitably frustrating. I haven’t ever shopped at and H&M, but at least the prices sound reasonable. I’m happy for you!
    By the way, the photo you posted of the quaint Calabrian village scenes is intriguing to me. Do you know if it was hand painted?
    I wanted something new to wear home for Christmas in Dec and looked for weeks-all over the area-and couldn’t find anything that was 1) me, 2) my size, 3) I could afford. I’m so pumped about H&M. The scene is fantastic-it is above the Auchan store, but you can easily see it from the 2nd level of the mall and it is 3-D. It looks hand painted to me. I want to go explore it more closely.
    Amber’s last blog post..For Kids: A Fun Easter Project! A Mini Tutorial

  12. j

    I liked the vacation shopping at small local stores when I was in Italy. Even here I like to shop at small local stores (one in particular) if they have cool clothes. But here you just wait for the end of season 1/2 price sales. There is an H&M nearby, but I rather look in the TJ Maxx or Marshals for the lucky find. I’ll have to check this place if I ever return to CZ.
    I was sad for the small family-owned stores we passed as we drove back through Lido. I know they’ll suffer and that makes me sad. But their prices are insanely high. If they were even comparable, I’d try to shop with them, as well to help them stay in business. And, FWIW-I *heart* Marshalls!

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