So you have gazed in awe at the Colosseum, unearthed the secrets in Pompeii, spent a small fortune throwing coins in Fontana di Trevi, hobnobbed with tourists at St. Peter’s Basilica and the Pantheon. Think you are done? Far from it. For the best thing to do in Rome is shopping. The thriving, uber-cosmopolitan city is THE shopping destination. Choc-a-bloc with great boutiques, specialty shops and designer outlets for everything a woman could ever desire! Whether you are on a family vacation, a single traveler on a jaunt or here to spend a weekend with your gang of girls, for some reason, Rome just seems to bring out the shopaholic in all of us! Before the shopping frenzy sets in, do remember that shops in Rome are usually open 9:00am-1:00pm and 3:30pm-7:30pm and are closed on Monday mornings.
What makes Rome a city like no other is the shopping scene – Bespoke, Discerning, and Dizzying. Hunt fashion down at Piazza Spagna, the famous shopping district at the base of the Spanish Steps which hosts a major fashion show every summer. Expect innumerable options when it comes to haute couture with brands like Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Armani, Bvlgari, D&G and every label you can possibly think of. Feast your eyes on classic women’s clothing – chic knitwear, elegant suits, dainty scarves and a selection of alluring accessories – all understated but exceptional. Running parallel are Via Borgognonaand Via Frattina which house fashion behemoths such as Gai Mattiolo, Laura Biagiotti, Hermes and Ferragamoand in the past were the homes of Byblos, Tiffany’s and Versace.
Satiate your senses at the Trident(called so, because of the three streets, Via del Corso, Via del Babuino, Via Ripettaand their quaint alleys), littered with an astonishing number of outlets by Prada, Valentino, Gucci, Mui Mui and many more.Need a Gucci clutch or a Bottega coin pouch? This is where you should get it. Whet your shopping appetite at Via Condotti, the (in)famous street where shops used to charge a small fee for entry. A must-see, not just for the sweet joys of window shopping, but, also for the latest in women’s fashion, luxurious accessories and intricate jewelry. Be warned though, you might find yourself spending a small fortune in minutes. But, the intoxicating feeling that follows is worth it.
That Rome is synonymous with luxury shopping and high-end fashion is what you might assume early on, but a few hours in Rome’s back alleys and flea markets will change all of that. If you in the mood for some great bargains, head over to Porta Portese, the most famous Roman flea street market (read: Colosseum of used goods) specializing in value-for-money clothing and great deals on shoes, bags, gloves and all things leather. Find great deals at Parco Leonardo at Fuimicino, probably where the term “shop till you drop” originated. Not to be missed is the TAD Concept Store, a true shopper’s paradise selling exotic flowers, body care essentials and Oriental ceramics. Topping that up is a lush hair salon and an eclectic café.
End the evening shopping with the locals at Cola di Rienzo replete with quaint, lovely shops selling suits, bags, accessories and shoes at mid-range prices. Head over to Via dei Baullari, which houses Loco, the store with the coolest shoes in town and chase it down by strolling around Piazza Campo de’ Fiori and Via del Governo Vecchio picking up classy and original outfits by independent designers. So, Ladies, go ahead, you know what they say – When in Rome, shop like the Romans!