Nov. 29 - The historic old town of Florence, Italy, now has a replica counterpart in China featuring renaissance colonnades and luxury shopping. Tara Cleary reports.
What could be better than a stroll in an Italian piazza? Except that this not Italy, but Florentia Village in the Chinese city of Tianjin. Carved out of a corn field, the shopping plaza attracts thousands of visitors daily. And Chairman and CEO of the centre, Ivano Poma says it's a good time for consumers in China. SOUNDBITE: Chairman and CEO of Florentia Village, Ivano Poma, saying (English): "Despite the rest of the world is not in very good shape, kind of volatile, China is very stable and still going in consumption, particularly luxury goods. Our business model is very much within the context of the luxury goods." And shoppers are buying at the designer clothing stores. SOUNDBITE: Visitor Miss Liu, saying (Mandarin): "It is very comfortable, very relaxing and coming here puts me in a good mood. I like the music here because it relaxes me with its light beats." SOUNDBITE: Customer saying (Mandarin): "Whatever suites me is the best. Normally I buy Burberry, Prada and the simpler ones like Guess, Esprit, Miss Sixty, CK. I would buy them all." And once fatigued, customers can relax with a glass of Chianti and a plate of Italian food. Buon Appetito! Tara Cleary, Reuters.