Shopping in Rome
Rome is a more appealing shopping experience than you might think, abounding with pleasant shopping streets and colourful markets, most of which are in the city centre
Many shopping areas are for pedestrians, and, perhaps best of all, the city hasn't yet been entirely overrun by department stores and shopping malls, or by the international chain stores that characterize most European city centres. One-stop shopping opportunities are rare, but you will find corners of the city that have been colonized by stores featuring the same sort of merchandise - fashion, antiques, food - making it easy for you to check out the competition's products and prices. You will also find true artisans in Rome, who take great pride in their crafts.
Shops are generally open from 9 or 9:30 to early afternoon and from 3:30 or 4 to 7 or 7:30 -- or 8 in summer. There's a tendency for shops in central districts to stay open all day, and hours are becoming more flexible throughout the city. Remember that although department stores are open Sundays, many stores are not, though this is changing, too, especially in the city center.
The most famous fashion streets in Rome are three parallel streets that all meet up with Via del Corso, starting from Piazza di Spagna or near there: Via Condotti, Via Borgognona and Via Frattina.
If you want to do more than window-shop, head to Via del Tritone , Via Nazionale , below piazza della Repubblica, or Via Cola di Rienzo , near the Vatican, for more middle-range and affordable fashion. The stores on and around Via del Corso are a mixture, selling mainstream, and fairly youth-orientated, fashions, while Via Veneto , off Piazza Barberini, caters to those who are the fashionably well-off patrons of the street's expensive leather shops and boutiques.
Area around Piazza di Spagna
The most beautiful shop windows, the major names in clothes and jewellery are all around Piazza di Spagna, between the white steps of Trinità dei Monti and Via del Corso, which is one of the European streets with the highest concentration of shops: especially casual clothes and '50s revival home furnishings.
Piazza di Spagna
Piazza di Spagna, with its wide steps leading from the church of Trinita' del Monti, to a grid of well-known streets lined with boutiques bearing chic names.
Today it is one of the most elegant streets in the world, lined with the shops of the most famous fashion labels such as Bulgari, who opened his "atelier" here in 1905, Hermés, Cartier, Ferragamo and Battistoni, a historical Roman atelier of male tailored fashion that was a favorite of the Duke of Windsor.
Some of these names are so famous it seems pointless to describe them so we'll just give the numbers: Gucci, Bulgari, Prada, Valentino, Vuitton, Brioni, Swatch, Nazareno Gabrielli, Trussardi, Fogal, Benetton, Ferragamo, Armani, La Perla, Cartier, Celine, Max & Co, Max Mara, Prada…
Via del Corso
A 1,5 km long thoroughfare that connects Venice square with Piazza del Popolo. From both sides the street is lined by stores, true paradise of the shopping at accessible prices, many stores follow the tendency of the moment and this is why in Via del Corso store brand names change frequently.
Via Fontanella Borghese
This street, a continuation of Via Condotti going away from the Spanish Steps, is going more upscale with another Fendi boutique and Sonali. Right after that you will run into the elegant bookstore Libreria Borghese with sofas which invites readers to leaf through books and finally to Bassetti Brothers Compendium which has recently been done over by its young owners to include women and mens clothes as well as small decorative objects that make great take-home presents. At the end of the street Piazza Borghese (next to the Palazzo where Prince Charles and Diana dined on their official Italian visit) there are a number of print and bookstalls open every day but Sunday until sunset where you can often find rare books also in English.
Via del Babuino
With your back to the Spanish Steps, the street on the right is Via del Babuino, which runs all the way to the enormous Piazza del Popolo. Just before arriving at Piazza del Popolo stop in for a drink in the garden of the recently reopened Hote de Russie with the tables set outside in the warm weather. Or else grab a table in front of Bar Canova in Piazza del Popolo, order something to drink, and rest your weary feet.
Campo de’ Fiori
It's a fashionable gathering place, especially among elite young people. Surrounding streets like Via dei Pettinari, Via dei Sediari,Via dei Baulari, Giubbonari are full of artisans sitting in front of their stores working when weather permits. Via dei Giubbonari just off Campo de' Fiori where the clothes are cheap but the effect is good.
Via Cola Di Rienzo
Two steps from S.Peter’s basilica. Seventh street of the world for quality and style of the stores. In Cola di Rienzo Street, one of the most exclusive and varied shopping streets in Rome, you might spend a pleasant shopping time passing from expensive boutiques to more affordable stores. It is a good alternative to the Piazza di Spagna area.
Via del Tritone
Leading up from Piazza Colonna off Via del Corso has some medium-priced, and a few expensive shops selling everything from fashion fabrics to trendy furniture.
This large thoroughfare starts from Repubblica square and continues, along wide sidewalks and numerous stores, for several meters until arriving to Venice Square. Dedicated to lovers of trendy fashion is lined with shops and boutiques of all kinds where prices and goods are competitive.
In Via Venteo you will find more high-priced boutiques, jewelleries and shoe store, as well as news kiosks selling International newspapers, magazines and books. Very expensive and exclusive shops.
Food, Markets & Flea Markets
The city's many markets offer a change of pace from Rome's busy shopping streets. Many of these are bustling local food markets, and, even in the centre, are still very much part of Roman life. The Campo de' Fiori market is probably the most central of these. If you want to take home a bottle of extra virgin olive oil or some vacuum-packed porcini mushrooms, end your day visiting the food shops and markets around Campo de' Fiori or Via Cola di Rienzo across the river.
There is a flea market on Sunday morning at Trastevere's Porta Portese. A venue for antiques, clothing, books, and indeed virtually anything else. Bargaining is the rule here as pickpockets.
A huge selection of Antique shops line Via dei Coronari and neighbouring Via dell'Orso and Via dei Soldati , just north of Piazza Navona; Via Giulia , southwest of Campo dei Fiori, and Via del Babuino and Via Margutta , between Piazza del Popolo and the Spanish Steps, are also good sources of art and antiques.
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