The Eternal City has so much to offer in terms of high-quality shopping experiences that it might as well be nicknamed the City of Endless Shopping Opportunities. Rome has a completely unique blend of old and new, and it's difficult to resist a seductive perpective of a stroll down its avenues, surrounded by an extraordinary combination of the finest examples of architecture from all epochs.
Art & Antiques
Rome is universally known as a Mecca for art collectors and connoiseurs. It’s also considered one of the most expensive destinations to shop for antique furniture and collectibles. While you're likely to come across many marvellous pieces, don't hope for equally astonishing bargains. Below you'll find some of the most recommendable shopping locations, which have an almost mythical reputation among connoiseurs.
As the capital of the country that has produced some of the greatest names in the history of fashion, Rome boasts an overwhelming range of shopping options in terms of clothing and accessories. Though many believe it to be much less fashion-oriented than Milan, it remains an obligatory destination for all designer-label collectors.
An ideal itinerary would include:
- Via Condotti begins at the base of the legendary Spanish Steps . As Rome's principal shopping mile, it's sometimes referred to as the Roman Madison Avenue. Its super-posh, exclusive boutiques are targeted at the world's wealthiest, but the lush window displays and fancy parade of elegant shoppers constitute a spectacle that nobody should miss.
- Via Borgognon and Via Frattina retain an equally posh atmosphere with their neo-Classical and Baroque facades, framing boutiques such as Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Bulgari and many others.
- Via del Corso is of a slightly less chic profile and holds establishments of popular brands that ordinary shoppers will find more affordable. One of the few Roman department stores, La Rinascente, can also be found here.
- Viale Marconi is situated a short bus ride away from the centre, and has been a popular spot for younger shoppers. A huge department store called Gruppo Clark offers excellent bargains during the sales season.
- Via Monti is the place for vintage and funky fashion lovers.
Italy's culinary delights can be purchased at open-air market stalls and specialty shops scattered all over the city.
Popular locations include:
- Campo de'Fiori Market, held at Piazza Campo de'Fiori during the week, is a great source for fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and fish. Open from 6.30am-1.30pm Monday-Saturday.
- Castroni is a renowned food specialty shop chain with 8 locations all over the city.
Shopping in the different areas of Rome
Piazza di Spagna - Spanish Steps - Via dei Condotti. This street is one of the richest streets in Italy and one of the best streets for shopping in Rome. The Via Dei Condotti is home to Italy's top designer stores such as Armani, Prada, Versace, Dolce and Gabbana, Gucci and other notable names. This is also the street where the shop owners used to charge you just for walking in the door! Thankfully these days all of the shops sport an 'ingresso gratuito' sign which means you can go in and have a poke around without any obligation to buy! There are several ideal guest houses and bed and breakfasts located nearby for example In Town Luxury House Roma 30 second walk from via dei Condotti, alternatively Hotel Stendhal a four star boutique hotel located just
Via del Corso - Bustling pedestrianised street that runs from Piazza del Popolo down to Piazza Venezia. Via del Corso is very popular with Romans and Tourists alike and is home to famous shops like the Ferrari flagship store and Swarowski Crystal. If it's retail therapy in Rome you are after then the Via del Corso is a must!
Trastevere - located just over the River Tiber, the Trastevere district of Rome whose name literally translates as "across the Tiber". A Bohemian spirit grips Trastevere and you can take great pleasure in getting lost in its many winding streets. See the outdoor food market in Piazza San Cosimato. This is a great chance to watch local Trasteverians buying and bargaining with vendors. The market starts about 7:00am and closes at 2:00pm.
Viale Marconi and Porta Portese - Viale Marconi is very good for shopping and is particulary popular with young trendy Romans. A bit out from the city centre, it can be reached by talking the Metro Line B to Marconi. It is about 15 minutes away from the Colosseum.
Porta Portese is the famous Roman flea market which takes place every Sunday from 8:00am until about 2:00pm.
Piazza Vittorio - food market with a mesmerizing array of fresh foods, fruits, fish and meat, run by people from all over the world.
Piazza Navona - Via del Governo Vecchio - Piazza Navona is a great place for art lovers, the surrounding streets contain lots of art galleries and antique shops. There is a great film and cinema shop in Via del Governo Vecchio which is definitely worth a browse particularly if you are a fan of Italian Cinema.
Source: Rome explorer