Rome

In Rome, shopping is an art form. Perhaps it’s the fashionably bespectacled commuter wearing Giorgio Armani as he deftly zips through traffic on his Vespa, or all those Anita Ekberg, Audrey Hepburn, and Julia Roberts films that make us long to be Roman for a day. But with limited time and no Hollywood studio backing you, the trick is to find what you’re looking for and still not miss out on the city’s museums and monuments—and, of course, leave yourself plenty of euros to enjoy the rest of your trip.

Since you may be pressed for time, knowing how and where to put your best fashion foot forward is crucial. Luckily for shop-till-you-droppers, you can still fit your shopping sprees in between sights. A visit to the Trevi Fountain means not only reliving the movie classic Three Coins in a Fountain, but puts you within striking distance of some of the city's best shopping. Pose for a picture-perfect snapshot at Piazza di Spagna, as you keep your eye on that delicious handbag in the window at Dolce & Gabbana.

There may be no city that takes shopping quite as seriously as Rome, and no district more worthy of your time than Piazza di Spagna, with its abundance of shops and designer powerhouses like Fendi and Armani. The best of them are clumped tightly together along the city's three primary fashion arteries: Via dei Condotti, Via Borgognona, and Via Frattina. From Piazza di Spagna to Piazza Navona and on to Campo de' Fiori, shoppers will find an explosive array of shops within walking distance of one another: a shop for fine handmade Amalfi paper looks out upon the Pantheon, while slick boutiques anchor the corners of 18th-century Piazza di Spagna. Across town in the colorful hive that is Monti, a second-generation mosaic artist creates Italian masterpieces on a street named for a pope who died before America was even discovered. Even in Trastevere, one can find one of Rome's rising shoe designers creating next-century nuovo chic shoes nestled on a side street beside one of the city’s oldest churches.

This chapter will help shopaholics choose the perfect souvenir for someone back home, find a vintage poster, choose a boutique for those molto chic Versace sandals, or rustle up some truffles. When you’re done filling your bags with memories of Mamma Roma, you can be sure of two things: that you’ll be nostalgic for Caput Mundi long after you arrive back home, and that you’ve saved a few coins to throw into that fabulous, famous fountain.

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  • 1. Bartolucci

    Piazza Navona | Toys

    For more than 60 years and three generations, the Bartolucci family has been making whimsical, handmade curiosities out of pine, including cuckoo...Read More

  • 2. Castroni

    Prati | Wine/Spirits

    Opening its flagship shop near the Vatican in 1932, this gastronomic paradise has long been Rome's port-of-call for decadent delicacies from...Read More

  • 3. Antica Erboristeria Romana

    Piazza Navona | Perfume/Cosmetics

    Complete with hand-labeled wooden drawers holding more than 200 varieties of herbs, flowers, and tinctures, Antica Erboristeria Romana has maintained...Read More

  • 4. Antica Farmacia Pesci dal 1552

    Piazza di Spagna | Other Specialty Store

    In business since 1552, the Antica Farmacia–-likely Rome's oldest pharmacy–-is run by a family of pharmacists. The shop's 18th-century furnishings...Read More

  • 5. Buccone

    Piazza di Spagna | Wine/Spirits

    A landmark wineshop inside the former coach house of a noble Roman family, Buccone has 10 layers of shelves stretching impressively from floor...Read More

  • 6. Moriondo e Gariglio

    Piazza Navona | Food/Candy

    Not exactly Willy Wonka (but in the same vein), Moriondo e Gariglio is a chocolate lover's paradise, churning out some of the finest chocolate...Read More

  • 7. Savelli Arte e Tradizione

    Borgo | Crafts

    Here you'll find a fully stocked selection of religious gifts: everything from rosaries and crosses to religious artwork and Pope Francis memorabilia...Read More

  • 8. Superga

    Piazza di Spagna | Shoes/Luggage/Leather Goods

    In business for more than 100 years, Superga sells those timeless sneakers that every Italian wears at some point, in classic white or a rainbow...Read More

  • 9. Tebro

    Piazza Navona | Household Items/Furniture

    First opened in 1867 and listed with the Associazione Negozi Storici di Roma (Association of Historic Shops of Rome), Tebro is a classic Roman...Read More

  • 10. Trimani Vinai a Roma dal 1821

    Repubblica | Wine/Spirits

    In business since 1821, Trimani Vinai a Roma occupies an entire block near Termini station with one of the city's largest selection of wines...Read More

  • 11. Ai Monasteri

    Piazza Navona | Perfume/Cosmetics

    Among dark-wood paneling, choirlike alcoves, and painted angels, at Ai Monasteri you'll find traditional products made by Italy's diligent friars...Read More

  • 12. Bertè

    Piazza Navona | Toys

    One of the oldest toy shops in Rome, Bertè carries a large selection of dolls, stuffed animals, Legos, and other collectibles. Located right...Read More

  • 13. Gherardini

    Piazza di Spagna | Jewelry & Watches

    In business since 1885, Gherardini has taken over a deconsecrated church and slickly transformed it into a showplace for their label. Gherardini...Read More

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