Saldi are the end-of-season sales in Italy and they happen twice a year: starting in January after the holidays and again in July. The start and end dates of the saldi are tightly regulated by the government (and vary from region to region). This year all Italian regions will start the summer sales on July 1st. That means today. Rejoice!
- By law, merchants are required to have the original price, discounted price and discount percentage all visible on the product’s price ticket.
- Also by law, merchants are required to clearly mark and separate their discounted saldi stock from their full price stock (e.g. new collection).
- Most shops start with small discounts (like 10-20%) at the beginning of the sales and work their way up to as much as 70% by the end of the sales. Of course, it’s a bit of a gamble waiting as the longer the sales go on the less selection to choose from (but on the flip side, if you do find something you can get an amazing deal!).
Saldi end dates vary by region, so to help you out I’ve made a list of popular travel destinations, including the name of the region they are located in, and the last day for their sales:
- Rome (and the entire Lazio region): August 12th
- Genoa, Portofino, La Spezia, Cinque Terre* (and the remainder of the Liguria region): August 15th
- Florence, Siena, Pisa, Lucca (and all of Tuscany): August 30th
- Sorrento, Capri, Amalfi, Naples (and the rest of the Campania region): August 30th
- Milan (and all of the Lombardy region): August 30th
- Venice, Verona (and the entire Veneto region): August 31st
*Two things to keep in mind:
- The Cinque Terre villages will have shops with saldi on a much, much smaller scale (so you’re probably better off hitting up the shops in nearby La Spezia if you’re a shopaholic). La Spezia has a pedestrian-only shopping district within walking distance from La Spezia Centrale train station (the TI office at the station will give you a free city map and they can highlight where you’ll need to go). You can also hit up a relatively new indoor shopping mall in La Spezia called Le Terrazze (you’ll need to take a bus or taxi to reach it from La Spezia Centrale).
- August 15th is officially the last day for the saldi in Liguria but that date is a national holiday. Expect shops in nontouristic locations (like La Spezia) to be closed that day.