Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Luxury shopping in Bologna: when shopping malls get pretentious

Like every city of a certain size, Bologna has a few shopping streets dedicated to seriously expensive brands. (I could call them luxurious instead of expensive, but after reading Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster by Dana Thomas, I'm not too sure about that.) Galleria Cavour is without a doubt the most emblematic of them. If you don't pay attention to the banners, the outside appearance doesn't tell you much about the spending going on inside.

Galleria Cavour, Bologna, luxury shopping in Bologna, Galleria Bologna

When you cross the street, however, you'll see enough designer shops to make Karl Lagerfeld whisk his ponytail like there was no tomorrow.

Gucci, Galleria Cavour, Gucci Bologna

Miu Miu, Miu Miu Bologna, Galleria Cavour

Prada, Prada Bologna, Galleria Cavour

Burberry, Burberry  Bologna, Galleria Cavour

All very exclusive, but no matter how pricey, they're the same shops you'll find anywhere. The only one that caught my attention was this shoe store:

Galleria Cavour

And especially its ceiling:

Galleria Cavour

Other than that, I'll take the Saint Hubertus Galleries in Brussels over Galleria Cavour anytime. Beautiful surroundings (if not more beautiful) and much more characteristic stores. Crossing the gallery and turning some corners, I found some shops much more to my liking at the Piazza Galvani.

A crowded shoe store with a presentation that made me smile:

A profumeria with what seemed to be a great collection. I'm just thinking that because I saw Annick Goutal (of which I adore every single perfume) though, so I might be wrong.

It must look like all I do here is shopping, but I'm also having a blast eating all the different cookies I can find and drinking great wines. And afterwards we wander around to burn off the calories. Win-win!


  1. I'm glad that you have such a great time in my country and Bologna is a beautiful city with great food and a lively atmosphere. I couldn't stop laughing at the image of the Karl Lagerfeld whisking his ponytail...I don't know the city well enough to give you advice for shopping, sorry!

    I completely agre with you on the fact that, no matter how beautiful the top label boutiques are, they sell items that you can find almost everywhere. Hence my love and 'mission' to find small stores, niche labels and accessories that might be unique and different. I find that it's much more fun when you add a 'research' and 'discovery' component to the shopping.

    BTW, I really liked the picks of your previous post...didn't know Medicine Douce and I immediatly checked (nd loved) the website...

  2. Make Karl Lagerfeld whisk his ponytail. Hihi.

  3. Yes, the shoe store was unique and wonderful. Great photos too.

    Alas, it is a moment of very good websites and same ol' "fine" stores, and something is lost in that there is far less left to discover, far less to provoke and inspire.

  4. The modernity of this shopping malls is very fabulous that everyone looking for, a shopping centre like this is worth hanging out.