The Biggest Shopping Mall in Europe

23 Jul

Or so they say. I heard that basically through the grapevine…it’s not like anyone has come out and scientifically proven it. But I’m about as gullible as they come, so I’ll believe it.

Yesterday was my virgin voyage to EUROMA 2. Why 2? I have no idea. No one seems to know. I suppose it’s the long-awaited sequel to EUROMA 1 which probably got stuck in a ton of bureaucratic red tape and never got built.

So, here’s my first clue that the place is on the large side:

Parking. 1800 spots. Keep right.

Um, ok.

Then, just seconds later, an entire lane for parking traffic:

1,730 additional spots. That there’s a lot of parking.

So, armed with two of my best girlfriends, I venture in to the mammoth structure.

Let me just confess right off the bat that I am quite the oddball here in that I don’t like shopping. That’s right. Don’t like it. Never have. I think it goes back to some episode of me hiding in clothes racks while desperately waiting for my mom to choose towels and sheets in Sears. Or something. Anyways. Wasn’t too excited about the whole “shopping” part, but had to get my eyes on the BIGGEST SHOPPING MALL IN EUROPE! (Read: [cue monster truck voice] Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!)

Well, it be big. That’s for sure. Lots of stores. But in the end, it was a bit anti-climactic. I felt like a big, ugly American when I proclaimed to my friends, “Yep. It’s just like an American mall.” I don’t know if that was supposed to be a compliment or an insult. Mainly it was just an observation. Nothing too exciting. The only difference was that there was no Gap and no Orange Julius. But there was a cool store called Oysho in which, I am proud to announce…

DRUM ROLL PLEASE….

I managed to find a pair of really cute SIZE 41 shoes for the low, low price of just €9,95.

Yes, pigs are now gracefully flying through the air.

In addition to finding myself actually enjoying shopping (cute sleep shirt for €4, incredible pair of jeans for €50), I had my first venture to a sushi bar. The fun never ends. I love any restaurant concept that uses a conveyor belt to bring food to its patrons. That, my friends, is sheer genius!

Alas, due to my lack of desire for the raw fish variety of food, however, I took the easy way out and got myself a lovely tempura plate… I love me some fried veggies and Japanese beer, yes indeedy!

My more adventurous friends Veronica and Roberta ordered all number of things even remotely related to what is known in these parts as temaki. Such as californiamaki.

The only thumbs down is my disappointment in reporting that the universal “no toilet paper in the women’s restroom” dilemma is alive and kicking at EUROMA 2. Yes, I was compelled to provide photographic evidence:

My only defense in taking a photo of an empty toilet paper dispenser inside a bathroom stall is that perhaps I had one sake too many.

So, what can I say? All’s well that ends well. Just do not, I repeat, DO NOT, choose the wrong exit. You may end up wandering for days in search of food and water. In our quest to find the car, we passed the following:

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Mysterious sinister-looking edifices.

After 20 minutes of walking: yes, we are still in the vicinity of the mall.

The Ministry of Health? What in God’s name….??

Eventually we found the car, after about 30 minutes of traversing the property like three lost sheep. Luckily there is a hotel on the premises. I think the majority of people lodging there are still holding out hope of eventually finding their cars.

Shopping experience completed. I can now sleep at night.

EUROMA 2, Via Cristoforo Colombo angolo V.le dell’Oceano Pacifico

9 Responses to “The Biggest Shopping Mall in Europe”

  1. *Belgian July 23, 2008 at 10:34 am #

    I went to this mall aswell two weeks ago. I was actually a bit disappointed by it. It didn’t really have the shops I like. My number one fav is still Porta di Roma.

    PS : Great blog!

  2. Miss Expatria July 23, 2008 at 10:38 am #

    omg totally going for the sushi. does the 714 go out there? is that the one i mean, that goes up c. colombo?

  3. erin :: the olive notes July 23, 2008 at 12:58 pm #

    Shelley, I seriously laugh everytime you post b/c your style is so great. Thanks for the empty tp and parking lot photos…glad you had a couple sake drinks ;)

  4. nyc/caribbean ragazza July 23, 2008 at 1:00 pm #

    Is this mall on the way to Ostia? I think we passed it.

    Thank you for this report. I don’t have a car so I don’t think I will be spending time in the largest Mall in Europe.

    I do love to shop but one, I’m broke and two, something about the words Europe and mall in the same sentence doesn’t sit well with me. ha!

    What stores are in this mall? I think The Short Hills Mall in Jersey and Century City in Los Angeles have spoiled me.

  5. janavi July 23, 2008 at 1:38 pm #

    I love to shop, but malls always confuse me- Maybe because we don’t have them,thank God, in the city. And sushi in Italy sounds a bit strange to me. But finding good shoes,Priceless.

  6. Jen July 23, 2008 at 2:05 pm #

    Priceless commentary!

    For American ears, the name of that monster complex has odd overtones: “As she smelled the faint but familiar euroma wafting from the restroom, she realized the toilet paper was already long gone.”

  7. Dee July 23, 2008 at 5:22 pm #

    Funny post! Thanks for sharing!

  8. anna l'americana July 23, 2008 at 7:10 pm #

    Jen, “familiar euroma!” I couldn’t put my finger on what was wrong with that name and you nailed it!!!
    I never went to any of the new malls in my recent visits to Rome, the idea that they exist there at all is still so foreign and somehow wrong to me. But, if anyone could make me laugh about it, it is you Shelley! How truly ironic that you have perfectly described my first visit to the big California malls after I moved back to the US – except that there WAS toilet paper in the WC and I didn’t know what to make of that (or the stash that I was still used to carrying with me!).

    Boy I’m sure going to miss your voice from Trastevere!

  9. I love to shop, but confused of malls.

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