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. Braccialini

    Piazza di Spagna | Jewelry & Watches

    Founded in 1954 by Florentine stylist Carla Braccialini and her husband, Braccialini—currently managed by their sons—makes bags that are authentic...Read More

  • 2. Gucci

    Piazza di Spagna | Jewelry & Watches

    Guccio Gucci opened his first leather shop selling luggage in Florence in 1921 and as the glamorous fashion label approaches its centennial...Read More

  • 3. Saddlers Union

    Piazza di Spagna | Shoes/Luggage/Leather Goods

    Reborn on the mythical artisans' street, Via Margutta, across the street from Federico Fellini's old house, Saddlers Union first launched in...Read More

  • 4. Tod's

    Piazza di Spagna | Shoes/Luggage/Leather Goods

    First founded in the 1920s, Tod's has grown from a small family brand into a global powerhouse so wealthy that its owner, Diego Della Valle...Read More

  • 5. A. Testoni

    Piazza di Spagna | Jewelry & Watches

    Amedeo Testoni, the brand's founder and original designer, was born in 1905 in Bologna, the heart of Italy's shoe-making territory. In 1929...Read More

  • 6. Fausto Santini

    Piazza di Spagna | Shoes/Luggage/Leather Goods

    Shoe lovers with a passion for minimalist design flock to Fausto Santini to get their hands on his nerdy-chic shoes with their statement-making...Read More

  • 7. Fratelli Rossetti

    Piazza di Spagna | Shoes/Luggage/Leather Goods

    An old-world company with modern aspirations, Fratelli Rossetti is the epitome of sophisticated men's and women's leather shoes, creating tasteful...Read More

  • 8. Furla

    Piazza di Spagna | Shoes/Luggage/Leather Goods

    Furla very well might be the best deal in Italian leather, selling high-end quality handbags and purses at affordable prices. There are multiple...Read More

  • 9. Ibiz–Artigianato in Cuoio

    Campo de' Fiori | Shoes/Luggage/Leather Goods

    In business since 1970, this family team creates colorful, stylish leather handbags, belts, and sandals near Piazza Campo de' Fiori. Choose...Read More

  • 10. Il Sellaio Serafini Pelletteria

    Prati | Shoes/Luggage/Leather Goods

    For more than 70 years, artisan Ferruccio Serafini has been churning out some of the best handmade leather bags, shoes, and belts in Rome. Only...Read More

  • 11. Joseph Debach

    Trastevere | Shoes/Luggage/Leather Goods

    With his shoe boutique in Rome that is open only in the evenings (or by appointment), Joseph Debach has made eccentric creations that are more...Read More

  • 12. Salvatore Ferragamo

    Piazza di Spagna | Shoes/Luggage/Leather Goods

    A major fashion player when it comes to footwear, Hollywood's gliteratti and social butterflies trust their pretty little feet with one brand...Read More

  • 13. Sermoneta

    Piazza di Spagna | Jewelry & Watches

    Whether you're looking for some fancy gloves to wear to the opera or for a fashionable pair of warm leather gloves to get you through the winter...Read More

  • 14. 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

  • 15. Trussardi

    Piazza di Spagna | Clothing

    Known for its leather-working, this classic design house creates coveted bags with contemporary lines but old-world craftsmanship. Newer ventures...Read More

  • 16. Bruno Magli

    Piazza di Spagna | Shoes/Luggage/Leather Goods

    Bruno Magli has high-end, well-crafted, classically styled shoes for both men and women. Magli and his siblings Marino and Maria learned the...Read More

  • 17. 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

  • 18. Renard

    Piazza di Spagna | Clothing

    A leather boutique that scrupulously selects from superior quality leather hides, Renard carries leathers tanned with natural extracts, not...Read More

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