European designers are the envy of the world, and although we don’t all wear head-to-toe couture on a daily basis, there’s something intoxicating about visiting a beautiful designer boutique and trying on the best clothes money can buy. So why not combine a relaxing holiday with one or two trips to the shops?
All these designer boutiques are easily reached from one or more of our villas, so you can admire your purchases in absolute comfort by the end of the day. And if you were to plan a holiday specifically because of the presence of some convenient outlets? Well, we won’t tell anyone.
Our gorgeous Tuscan villas are perfectly placed to offer you the very best of Italian food, culture and weather – and, of course, clothes. Florence was the birthplace of the Renaissance and it continues to attract and inspire artists, including some spectacular designer names. In the city itself, Via dei Tornabuoni boasts boutiques selling Ferragamo, Bulgari, Versace and Roberto Cavalli. Fancy avoiding the crowds? Just a few km south of Florence, The Mall – an unassuming strip of shops near Pontassieve – is where you’ll find Armani, Bottega Veneta and Sergio Rossi factory stores.
Sicily is so beautiful that it’s tempting just to lie on the beach, by the pool or wherever you can lay a towel and just watch the world go by. However, if you’re in the mood for shopping then simply head to Palermo, the charming capital, where a wide variety of designer brands can be found on or around Viale della Libertà. As well as international names, you’ll also find some local designers plying their trade – ideal if you’re looking for a one-off piece or something nobody else will be wearing.
Our many villas on the French Riviera are all within striking distance of Monaco, the international capital of luxury. The Carré d’Or is home to high-end designer names including Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton and Chanel, whilst many more boutiques can be found in the town centre. Plus, of course, a quick trip to the casino could double your spending money…
Croatia is full of surprises – and if you’re staying at one of our villas in the south, you can take full advantage. Split, Croatia’s second city, is well-equipped with designer boutiques, with ladies’ fashion particularly well taken care of. The marble-clad street of Marmontova, which runs from the Croatian National Theatre to the waterfront, houses Italian brands including Versace and D&G, with some restaurants mixed in for variety. Take it slowly and enjoy a whole day working your way up the street.
As you might imagine, Lisbon has a wide variety of designer shops. However, for a more intimate experience you don’t need to head all the way into the city – the small town of Estoril has a single, beautifully stocked boutique. Started by a French lawyer who couldn’t find her favourite brands when she first moved to rural Portugal, Espace Cannelle now stocks names including Missoni, Diane von Furstenberg and Alberta Ferretti. A truly elegant option and one that needn’t take you far from your villa.
Of course, these are only a few of Europe’s designer shopping hotspots – many of which are accessible from our beautifully appointed villas. You can find out more about where to stay on our destinations page, but tracking down the perfect holiday outfit is up to you.