Italians wait year-round for the infamous saldi (end-of-season sales), which typically mean big bargains in clothing and accessories. Rome’s main sale periods run twice a year: January 7–February and late July–mid-September. Unlike in many other countries, most stores adopt a no-exchange, all-sales-final policy on applicable goods. Others might even go as far as not allowing you to try on items on the "sales" rack. At other times of year, a liquidazione sign indicates a close-out sale, but take a hard look at the goods; they're often bottom-of-the-barrel scraps you often can't exchange.
If your trip is truly a shopping holiday or if time is of the essence, consider scheduling your own personal shopping assistant through Context Rome (06/96727371 www.contexttravel.com).