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BE STILL YOUR SHOP-HAPPY HEART

In Piedmont, of Italy

 

 

A shopping center with more than 16,000 shops, 60 outdoor markets and more than 15 miles of arcades, mostly covered with glass domes or large connected stone archways, thanks to the uber-rich Savoy women who didn’t want to get their hair wet.  Hundreds of one-of-a-kind shops in the medieval country side.  Be still our shop-happy hearts.


Magnificent Piedmont, located in the northwest region of Italy, is made up of 9 unique provinces and Torino the largest city in the region and the 4th largest city in Italy, once the country’s capital and still a complete display of opulence.  Because of its wide, tree-lined streets and elegant homes, it is often referred to as the Italian Paris (La Parigi d'Italia) and like Paris, it is one of Europe’s most charming and exciting place to do some serious shopping. 

 

Those with an eye for haute couture and jewelry will be instantly drawn to the designer boutiques of the Via RomaGalleria San Federico and Galleria Subalpina (with its fabulous, glass-covered arcade) where the names such as Ferragamo, Cartier, Gucci, and Hermes beckon and make up the longest shopping arcades of Europe. From glamorous to trendy, boutiques display the latest in international fashion.


Precious antiques and restoration workshops, such as the Via Maria Vittoria, Via della Rocca and Via Principe Amedeo, bookshops, perfumes, and trendy designer clothes are plentiful on the Via Garibaldi, the city’s longest pedestrian street.

 

The traditional Torino-style arcades can also be found in Otto Galleria (8 Gallery), an upscale center of 90 diverse shops and boutiques located in the north wing of the Lingotto, the dramatically redeveloped former FIAT headquarters.  A convenient place to meet and experience fashion, the expansive luxury center with shops ranging from jewelry stores to herbalists also includes restaurants and snack bars, in case you need a rest stop on your power shopping spree.

 

Not all memorable purchases are worn; some are meant to consumed.


As anyone who has ever tasted a Piedmont white truffle can attest, this earthy, ethereal sensation is likely to pop up in gastronomic dreams for years to come. Fortunately for visitors to the region, truffles from Piedmont are a portable passion available in myriad forms in countless shops to take home as gifts and memories. Shoppers can pick up a tin of truffle butter, a jar of truffle oil, truffle pastes, sauces, and even truffle honey. Just a few drops can serve as a luxurious reminder of those autumn days in Alba when truffles graced every meal – as if one could ever forget

In any other part of the world, Hazelnuts may not be considered a proper souvenir. For visitors returning from this region, it's mandatory. The most divine nut imaginable, the unusually tasty and sweet Piedmontese hazelnut, the tonda gentile has a defining character and addictive flavour, grown in the Tolkien-esque hills and green valleys around Alba in the Langhe area.  So special is the Tonda Gentile, it has been awarded European Union Protected Geographical Indication status, a sort of geographical food patent that eliminates any inferior look-alikes.  

 

In confectionery stores and shops, find great treats to take home such as hazelnut variations including nougat, gianduja pastes (combined with chocolate, both smooth and crunchy).  Distinctive and exotic by themselves, Hazelnuts are an excellent source of healthy unsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants and are cholesterol free.

 

In the Northern part of Turin, a well-populated area, there are many shops that sell wholesale.  The best-known is Revedi.  Known for large and robust outdoor markets, the granddaddy is the Porta Palazzo.  It's the biggest in Europe. The Gran Balôn is held on the second Sunday of every month where dealers from surrounding towns add their wares to the pot.  You name it, they've got it: books, lace, porcelain, silver, antiques.  Born in the mid 19th century, it's been going strong since.

 

The entire Piedmont Region has many interesting outdoor markets, mostly held on weekends. And even the smallest town is guaranteed to have one that's unforgettable.
Casale Monferrato (Piazza Castello, 2nd Sunday and previous Saturday of the month)
Asti (Piazza S. Secondo, 4th Sunday of the month)
Mondově (Piazzale Ellero, 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month) 
Chivasso (Piazza D'Armi, last Sunday of the month)
Carmagnola (Piazza Martin, 2nd Sunday of the month)
Arona (Lungolago, 3rd Sunday of the month)
Nizza Monferrato (3rd Sunday of the month

Canelli (3rd Saturday of the month)

 

Whether it's done sitting at a cafe, bargaining across a table at an outdoor market, or in front of a full-length mirror while sipping champagne, shopping in the Piedmont region is a scrumptious experience.

 

Other shopping that's available in the other provinces of Piedmont

SERRAVALLE SCRIVIA (ALESSANDRIA)
Via della Moda 1, Serravalle
The first discount mall in Italy. The attractive architecture reflects the local buildings, but buyers will be more interested in the shops, all run by the manufacturers. Some 62 stores. Cacharel, Etro, Marina Yachting, Nike, Bassetti, Stefanel, Sergio Tacchini, Samsonite, Burberry, Armani, Valextra, Versace, Ralph Lauren, and Levis. Discounts run from 30 to 50% but can increase during sale times. There's a bar, restaurant, and play area for children.


BIELLA
Ermenegildo Zegna
Bolgheri, 31 Strada Trossi, Localitŕ Verrone, Tel: 015-255-8382
Artema
Strada Trossi 31, Verrone, tel: (015) 2558382, open 9 to 12:30, 14:30 to 19, closed Monday
They have a good selection of clothe by Ermenegildo Zegna in fine fabrics.
Fila
Via Cesare Battisti 28, tel: 015-3414
This well-known manufacturer of Italian sportswear has a factory outlet with a large selection as well as a regular store next door, all with good discounts. Ski wear, tennis wear, outerwear plus.
Centrovendita Elbi
Via Quintino Sella 9, (Valdengo), tel: (015) 881976
Knitters will find a large selection of yarn made by Crosa, one of the biggest names. From 50 to 66% off.
Guabello Spa

4 Via XXIV Maggio, Mongrand, Biella, tel: 015/256-5111

Factory outlet
Lanificio Fratelli Cerruti
Via Cernaia 40, tel: 015-35911
Men's and women's classic clothes with 30% discount. They have cashmere, too.
Fred Perry
Strada Antica per Benna 1, (Verrone), tel: (015) 2558319. Open 9:15 to 12:30, 15 to 19, closed Monday morning
They also carry Ungaro, sportswear and other clothes mostly for women, but some for men and children with discounts up to 80%.

NOVARA
Alessi
Via Alessi 6, Omegna Crusinallo, tel: (0323) 6511
Also open Saturday. This factory makes designer kitchenware including that famous teakettle with the little birdie in the spout. Articles with slight defects come at a 40% discount and designers include Aldo Rossi and Richard Sapper. (Guida)
Bolgheri
Via Novara 71, (Oleggio), tel: (0321) 922450
Large selection of raincoats, neckties, and other clothes from names such as Aquascutum, Church's, Dunhill, Givenchy, Karl Lagerfeld, Les Copains, and Ermenegildo Zegna. Discounts up to 50%.
Confezione MVD
Via Massimo d'Azeglio 16, Ghemme, tel: (0163) 840450
Max Mara dresses, coats, and suits for women in a good variety of sizes.
Lagostina
Via IV November 39, Omegna, tel: 0323-652255
Everything for the kitchen in stainless steel including Italy's best spaghetti pots, pressure cookers, cutlery.
Sergio Tacchini
Via Alba 6, Caltignaga (Europeo)
This Italian dresses most of the world's tennis stars, (Europeo)
Lanificio Luigi Colombo
Via Omar 1, tel: (0321) 623179
This looks like any sweater shop but it's a factory outlet for the most luxurious cashmere sweaters and fabrics as well as coats, suits, pants, scarves, shawls, and every kind of sweater. Colombo is the second largest producer of cashmere fabric in the world and imports the raw material directly from China. Among others, he furnishes Armani, Dior, Valentino, Hermes, Versace, and Ferre.
Via Italia
Via Italia 5, Domodossola, tel: (0324) 243025
Trussardi and Levi's.
Zamasport
Via Belletti 10, tel: (0321) 4261, open 15-18, closed Monday
Clothes from Gucci, Romeo Gigli, and Callaghan.