Looking for the best Rome Shopping Guide? You've come to the right place!
Living in Rome means shopping in Rome. I have shopped till I dropped. And then some! My Shopping Guide for Rome is the product of years of browsing, roaming, hunting, discovering and shopping the best that Rome has to offer.
Based on all my years helping visitors (hotel guests, friends, family) with their shopping needs and questions, and doing oh so much research on this topic, here is my list of what you should know about shopping in Rome:
Like any Rome resident, I have my favourite local shops I frequent in my neighbourhood.
But most of the time when I really want to "go shopping", I head for the Rome neighbourhoods where some of the best concentration of shops can be found.
But, they all have very different kinds of shopping:
The area around the Spanish Steps has the highest concentration of shops in the capital.
There are not only the high-end brands such as Gucci, Prada and Armani, but some even more local brands, such as Fausto Santini. There are even smaller, less expensive shops in the area. So there is really something for everyone.
And yes, this is really where Romans come to shop. They like good brands, and they like to be see and be seen (who doesn't?)
Click here to go to my page about Rome Shopping Guide to Shopping Near the Spanish Steps, where I have lots more details about what the different streets have, and good places for stopping for a break between purchases!
Piazza Navona is one of my favorite places to visit in Rome, and arguably one of the most beautiful. There are a few shops and restaurants right on the piazza itself, but the best shopping in the area is on two of the streets leading away from here.
Just behind the Brazilian Embassy on Piazza Navona is via del Governo Vecchio, one of my favourite shopping streets for fun boutiques plus great ambiance. If you walk down this street, you will find plenty of places to stop for a snack or drink, lots of little one-off boutiques, and especially, lots of vintage shops.
When you get to the very end, come back up via dei Coronari. This used to be known as the street of the antiquari, or antique dealers. Sadly, that market has died out quite a lot, and there are very few of these original dealers left. But there are lots of fun shops and eateries there too.
Meandering behind piazza Navona on both or either of these streets is a great way to spend a half or even whole day shopping in Rome.
When it comes to local, cute neighbourhood shopping in Rome, the Monti neighbourhood is the darling among Rome shopping aficionados.
There are no big chain shops here, and since the area is literally one of the oldest in Rome (going back 2000 years), it has a very old-world, charming feel about it.
You'll find little cobblestone streets, interesting café's and bistros, and plenty of fun little boutiques.
It is also, along with via dei Coronari (behind Piazza Navona), one of the original streets where all the antique dealers were in Rome (once upon a time.) There are still plenty of these dealers left, and their shops are speckled throughout, mixed alongside the newer and more modern shops.
The best streets for shopping in Monti are via del Boschetto, via dei Serpenti, via Urbana and via Panisperna.
Via Cola di Rienzo is a long, wide shopping street that runs between the Vatican and Piazza del Popolo (more or less.) You will find some bigger brand names, including Tiffany's and the Coin department store. You'll also find some smaller local shops.
But if you venture past this street into the more residential part of the Prati neighbourhood, you will come across lots of very cute and even innovate shops. This area includes streets running parallel to via Cola di Rienzo, such as via dei Gracchi and via degli Scipioni, but also the little cross streets.
Prati is a kind of upscale residential area of Rome, but also one full of accountants' and lawyers' offices, and the buildings are quite grand, so it's also pleasant to wander this neighbourhood and see a different side of Rome.
In all of Italy, sales (called Saldi in Italian) are held twice a year, and that's it: Once in winter and once in summer. The exact date depends on the region. All shops in a given region must begin and end their sales on the same day.
Traditional Italian shop hours go like this: Monday mornings, shops are closed. They open around 3-4pm, and close around 7-8pm. Tuesday-Friday, shops are open in the mornings, around 9:30 or 10, until about 1, then close for "siesta", then reopen around 3 or 4, closing again around 7-8pm. Saturday mornings shops are open from about 10-1. Then they close again until Monday afternoon.
So in general, shops are closed for "lunch", or from about 1-3/4pm, and from Saturday afternoon until Monday afternoon.
This is still pretty true for small boutiques, and shops in local neighbourhoods.
Major shopping days in other countries are not shopping days here. In Italy, a holiday is not a reason to shop. It's a reason for the shop-keepers and workers to take a holiday.
The day after Christmas is a holiday in Italy. Shops are closed. New Years Day, shops are closed. Easter Monday is another big holiday. Shops are closed. And May 1, the European "Labor Day" holiday, shops are closed.
The best concentration of shopping in general is around the Spanish Steps. This includes shoe shopping. Aside from the well-known brands of Prada, Gucci, Tods and Fratelli Rossetti, you will also find more special and local brands such as Fausto Santini (shoes made of soft leather that fit like gloves.)
Less-expensive but stylish and well-made shoes by Spanish brands Geox and Camper are also a good option. There are Geox and Camper shops all around Rome, including the main shopping sections like the Spanish Steps and Cola di Rienzo.
My favourite shoe-shopping in Rome? Here ya go:
Shopping in Rome (and in other parts of Italy) can be different than what you might be used to. Things to keep in mind so you don't stress while shopping here: