In the last twenty years Italy has been literally invaded by shopping centers. Beside every great – but now even small – city have arisen giant architectural complexes that offer to the population a growing and competitive choice of shops in a unified experience. Covering the biggest stores both on the streets and the online newcomer Amazon.
But which are the biggest shopping centers, with the largest number of stores?
The most important are:
The shopping center I Gigli (lilies in English) is located in the town of Campi Bisenzio, near Florence, about halfway between the capital and Prato. Opened in May 1997 and visited by over 200 million people, the center I Gigli has an area of 68,000 square meters spread over two floors; it is home to a large hypermarket, several specialized surfaces and a large shopping arcade with a total of 120 stores, 14 restaurants (from traditional Tuscan cuisine to Chinese) and over 6,000 parking spaces. This department store have become over time not only a reference point for shopping and leisure of all Tuscans, but also a place characterized by numerous social and cultural activities.
One of the largest shopping centers is Italy is Campania at Marcianise, near Caserta, where to a shopping mall long one kilometer with shops on two levels are flanked by a series of external commercial buildings for a total of 200,000 square meters and about 180 shops. In addition to an area for children called Magicabula offering games, educational materials and the opportunity to organize even entire birthday parties, there is a multiplex cinema, 25 restaurants and bars and a Carrefour hypermarket; besides inside is the so-called Campania Square (generally open until midnight), a space entirely dedicated to catering and leisure that includes everything from various events and performances throughout the year. Directly accessible from the exit of Caserta South-Marcianise, has four access roads and a parking for 7,000 cars.
Porta di Roma Gallery
In the eternal city of Rome we have Porta di Roma Gallery, which opened in 2007 in the north of the capital, just before the GRA (at Bufalotta district). The mall is the largest in Europe with its extension of 150,000 square meters, 220 shops, a cinema with 13 rooms, Ikea, The Rinascente department store, an Auchan supermarket, a bowling with 16 tracks, a hotel with 5,000 square meters, 4 tennis courts, 2 for football, outdoor pool, gym and a parking on two floors for 9,000 cars for a total of 250,000 square meters.
Euroma2 is one of the largest shopping centers existing in Italy, but it stands out from all the others, especially for its architecture and for the environment, combining technology and design, luxury and practicality, materials and products quality and a perfect logistics. It also stands for the product range, consisting of 200 shops belonging to all categories of consumer and characterized by the best brands, from 30 bars and restaurants to the most accurate services (including parking for over 4,000 cars). Among the distinctive values of Euroma2 is its location, at EUR, a residential and business area of great prestige, located in the city of Rome and easily reachable from the ring road and the city center, through Via Cristoforo Colombo, a large expressway.
The Vulcano Buono, located in Nola, near Naples, is not only the second shopping center in the region, but is also one of the most distinctive and architecturally interesting in Italy: designed by Renzo Piano in the mid nineties and inaugurated in 2007, it has in fact the unique shape of a volcano, rising on the horizon like a mountain with inside a huge crater; a volcano but not much concrete and steel, because at least outside the property was covered with earth and grass, so that at a first glance it looks like a natural relief. With 147,000 square meters of exhibition and about 160 shops, the mall has a double-height gallery, a cinema, several dining options and even a hotel; also at the crater it is a place that reminds Piazza del Plebiscito in Naples, where are often hosted various kinds of events.
Rome is the capital not only of Italy but also of the large commercial centers. The Romaest is the second commercial center of the capital and the fourth of Italy, strong of 136,000 square meters of exhibition and about 220 shops, including a multiplex cinema, the Panorama hypermarket (which alone covers 24,000 square meters), many clothes shops, restaurants and more. Built starting in 2001 and opened in 2007, contains a Multipurpose Center that provides assistance to the elderly and children and a playground; there is also a parking for 7,000 cars in all and is estimated an influx of around 40 thousand people a day.
Etnapolis, located in Belpasso, near Catania, covers 105,000 square meters and has about 150 shops: the shopping center, built in 2006 by architect Massimiliano Fuksas, it is about one kilometer long and is divided into three major areas, that is the large surface area with the most popular international brands, the central gallery with the big stores and the loisir area dedicated to taste and refreshment. It is noted that unlike the other shopping centers, here you will find an outdoor playground with a picnic area for children, many games, basketball courts and beach volley for free.
Shopville Le Gru
Shopville Le Gru, located in Grugliasco, near the city of Turin, is much more than a shopping center: it is also as a container for culture, entertainment and exibitions: a true “agora” where people can meet and have fun. With its 100,000 square meters of covered area and 4,700 free parking spaces, Shopville Le Gru is designed like a village, elegant and functional, offering 180 shops with a wide choice of goods and food, with 24 among bars, restaurants, fast food, the large hypermarket Carrefour, the gas station and the Virgin Active fitness village. The complex also includes three internal squares animated all year. Shopville Le Gru transforms the shopping center into a multipurpose area, a laboratory of social and cultural initiatives. Its aim is in fact to create an authentic place and especially ideas that support and promote the area, organizing activities to amuse and entertain the audience.
Close to the international airport of Orio al Serio, it is one of Italy’s most famous shopping center. With over 200 stores, offering unbeatable fashion and a world of interesting events, Orio Center is not just a place to go shopping but a destination point that attracts families, groups of friends, wandering travelers, young and old people. Public areas, wide streets and well over 2 km of shop windows, make Orio Center a real shopping gem and a perfect place of entertainment and social gatherings, thanks to the many shows and events that are set to interest visitors.
Located near Bergamo, Orio Center is right in front of the International Airport of Milan Orio al Serio (one of three airports serving the city of Milan and fourth in Italy for passenger traffic), which is connected with a pedestrian underpass. The shopping center is home also to a hypermarket, and it has a retail area of about 65,000 square meters and 6,000 parking spaces.
The Fiordaliso mall (in English cornflower), opened in September 1992, is an important reference for shopping in Milan. Open 7 days on 7, it has 130 stores of important brands in clothing, electronics, household goods and there is also a large hypermarket. It offers a very broad offer with fast food, restaurants and cafes. In the business park, located in front of the Fiordaliso, there are 4 stores within easy reach either by car or on foot, thanks to the pedestrian covered walkway. The large car park has 6,000 parking spaces. The Fiordaliso boasts the largest vertical garden of Italy who won the Guinness World Record in September 2012, the innovative service of free charging for electric cars and many other customer services.
Located in a strategic position south of Milan, it is easily accessible through the exit 7bis of the ring road west of Milan which leads directly to the mall.
The Commercial Park Casamassima, in the province of Bari, is a space dedicated to the whole family, where relaxation, shopping and entertainment meet to give a unique experience. 110 shops with the most glamorous brand of clothing and accessories, objects for the care of the house and of the person, a rich area of restaurants where you can relax with friends while enjoying a good coffee or enjoy local culinary specialties, an area dedicated for children with games and fun and, of course, a well-stocked hypermarket for your every day grocery shopping. The mall has a parking for 5,700 cars.
The Italian Amazon is not as massive as in the United States for example but it still is big enough to be included in this list. This virtual department store on the online commerce front has become one of the biggest players in the country. And the best thing is, that even foreigners can do their shopping on the popular web store in English! Together with incredibly fast and affordable home delivery, it’s an attractive shopping for both foreigners and Italians alike. With everything you would expect from a department store and much much more. We can say that Amazon has been embraced as one of the most convenient and modern ways to do shopping.