McDonald’s and the Valdichiana Outlet Mall in Italy

My sisters and I LOVE Diet Coke.  So when a cold and rainy day in Umbria turned into a bust with even the churches closed, we slogged our way to a brightly lit McDonald’s and reveled in ice-cold Diet Cokes.  (Ask for lots of ghiaccio and enjoy the smirk the attendant behind the counter gives you.  You can almost hear him thinking, “Crazy Americana wants ice in her drink.”)

DSC01606 Arezzo-Valdichiana Outlet Center 2016

In the hill towns of Umbria, it’s not OK to walk with your food.  Take your time and sit with your Big Mac.  If fast food ever catches on in Italy, they are going to need much bigger chairs and tables when people get fat on french fried and burgers.  We perched on the tiny chairs and gulped down our Diet Cokes.  We didn’t even have to translate the adorable bathroom doors that led to immaculate restrooms.  You can tell McDonald’s has been designed to appeal to children but it felt like home to us on a rainy day.

Restroom door - Valdichiana Outlet Center 2016
Restroom door – Valdichiana Outlet Center 2016

Refueled, we headed to Valdichiana Outlet stores.  Outlets are huge in Italy with several malls located close to town centers throughout the country.

Valdichiana-Outlet-Center made me feel like I was home in Florida.
Valdichiana-Outlet-Center – loved this big, green sewing machine.
Valdichiana-Outlet-Center – we liked window shopping seeing the very European vibe of the men’s clothing.  I don’t think I’ll be seeing this look in my classroom in Florida.
Valdichiana-Outlet-Center offers  many treats for the sweet-tooth ranging from a big Lindt chocolate store to several specialty ice cream stores.
Valdichiana Outlet Center 2016
Valdichiana Outlet Center 2016 – Animals travel in and out of stores with owners so it was unusual to see a dog tied to a trash can.  Even the dogs are well-behaved in Italy.  This one sat patiently and waited.

It was strange to shop the Gap and Polo in Italy with a rush of Italian shoppers.  From merchandise to lay-out, the experience was the same as in Florida.  Where were the Fende, Prada, Versace, Missoni stores?  Not here, but there are true factory stores for many of the brand names.  Just Google Prada, for example, and you will discover a store called SPACE in Montevarchi.  The website advised to arrive early, get a number, and wait for admission to the factory store.

We just weren’t that serious about shopping and headed home well before the stores closed.  Luggage allowances sure cramp our style!

Author: barbgrano1

Just let me see the world! I'm currently focusing on the US and Europe and invite you to share my travels. I teach ethics and political science at St. Petersburg College part time; I retired as a college administrator in Ohio. I am a total geek about government with huge wishes for continued freedom and respect for the individual. We must each do our part.