Europe’s largest mall opens near Milan

280 shops at less than an hour’s drive.

The opening ceremony last week of a 35,000 sqm extension to Bergamo’s Orio Center has created the largest shopping mall in Europe, with 280 shops, 50 bars and restaurants with 1,500 seats, a hotel and an enormous hypermarket, with 7,000 car-park slots.

Its 14-screen multiplex cinema offers 2,500 seats, including 472 “maxi-armchairs” for VIP viewing and 34 seats for the disabled. Five of the screens are equipped for 3D, and in the coming weeks a huge Imax screen, the largest in Europe, will be inaugurated.

At a stone’s throw from Italy’s third busiest airport at Orio al Serio, the mall now measures 105,000 sqm – about the size of ten Manhattan city blocks. In first opened 19 years ago.

The outlets at Orio Center include sports, high street fashion and home furnishings stores, as well as luxury brands, top-level Italian designers and foreign brands such as Japanese chain restaurant Wagamama, the first in Italy.

The expansion has brought a boost to local employment with some 600 new jobs. It is linked to the airport via a pedestrian underpass and an overhead connection is envisaged for the future.

The mall and the airport are less than 60 km from the centre of Milan along the A4 (E64) Turin-Trieste motorway.