From Cookware to Couture, Check Out Rome's Best Shopping List
By Maria Pasquale
Rome Local Expert
Visitors with some retail therapy on their minds will find comfort in knowing that there is a vast selection of boutiques and stores in Rome to meet all your shopping needs. Whether you're looking for something haute couture like Dolce & Gabbana, a department store-like shopping experience like COIN or the 220+ shopping mall of Porta di Roma in north Rome, the Eternal City offers something for everyone. This carefully selected list covers everything from cookware and specialty shops to clothing, shoes and accessories.
You'll find just about everything you're after in the historical center. Via del Corso is the main shopping street featuring all your Italian and international high street fashion brands and department store La Rinascente. For high end fashion from Italian fashion houses like Armani and Prada to international Hermes or Louis Vuitton head to Via Condotti, right by the Spanish Steps and surrounding streets of Via Sistina and Via Borgognona.
The Made in Italy brand made famous the world over can still be found, but venture towards small boutiques instead of large Italian chains. For many Italian and local made items from clothing to leather and shoes, Via del Governo Vecchio and Via dei Coronari (Piazza Navona area) or Via Giubbonari (Campo de Fiori area) will satisfy.
You can find a bargain all year round but January and July are your big end of season sales months. So whatever it is you're on the hunt for, this 10Best list is your starting point. Buon shopping!
While the name of this shop, C.U.C.I.N.A., may not seem unique. However, once you spell out what the acronym actually stands for, 'come una cucina ispira nuovi appetiti' (how a kitchen can inspire new appetites), it gives the store a whole new meaning. C.U.C.I.N.A. is your one-stop-shop for cookware and interesting gizmos and gadgets for the kitchen. It's the perfect place to pick up that unique gift for someone who loves spending time in the kitchen. They have rows of cookware and utensils dedicated to baking pastries, cooking Italian dishes and there's even a special aisle for wine enthusiasts. The flagship store is just a stone's throw away from Piazza di Spagna with other locations in Fleming, Prati and Parioli. BUS: 116, 80, 52, 53. METRO: Spagna, Flaminio. (06.6791275, 06.69940819)
Big American-style department stores don't really exist in Rome. But there is one store that comes pretty close and that is La Rinascente. Located in the heart of Rome in the Galleria Alberto Sordi (on Via del Corsto and not far from Piazza di Spagna), this department store features 4 floors and sells clothing, shoes, accessories, beauty products and household items. Among many more, you'll find brands like Fay, Swarovski, Tod's, Stone Island and Lacoste. The store also sells quality top of the line children's clothing and a personal shopping service is available on request. BUS: 80, 492, 53, 52. METRO: Spagna, Barberini (06-6797691)
Open in 1926, Davide Cenci is a high-end specialty clothing store where the most affluent of Romans shop. Here one can find a wide range of Italian brand names in cashmere, silk, men's tailored suits, sophisticated women's skirts and trousers. This classy outlet caters for men, women and children and stocks brands like Giorgio Armani, Versace, Burberry, Hogan, LaCoste and Tod's. The store located in the heart of the Centro Storico also features leather boots and shoes and children's clothing. Walk in, even just to check out the stylish minimaist fit-out design. BUS: 116, 80, 492, 53, 52. METRO: Spagna. (06.6990681)
Tucked away on a discreet cobblestone street in the historical center right behind the Pantheon is one of the most sophisticated hat boutiques in all of Rome. The store, Borsalino has been around since 1857 and the stylish fedoras and Panama hats have been donned by stars such as Greta Garbo, Audrey Hepburn and even James Dean - just to name few. Not only are these unique, dashing hats made with the most intricate of detail, they are still created with techniques and machines that are over 100 years old. A piece of shopping history in a modern day Rome. BUS: 116, 80, 492, 52, 53. METRO: Spagna, Flaminio (06.6783945)
Dolce & Gabbana
When one thinks of high-end Italian fashion, the first thing that comes to mind is Dolce & Gabbana. The former couple got their start in fashion as assistants at a fashion atelier in Milan in the 80s. Soon after, their inspiration and experience drove them to open their first store in 1982. Since then, the designers have left their mark in the fashion world leading them to become of the most successful designers around the world. The Dolce & Gabbana store at Piazza di Spagna is flashy and full of colors and sequins. The exuberant Rome stores sells both men and women's clothing. BUS: 116, 80. METRO: Spagna. (06/6782990)
With the success of modern technology and email, virtually no one writes letters anymore. However, if you're looking to take a little token of your vacation home with you or write a romantic letter to that special someone about your Roman Holiday, Il Papiro near the Pantheon is the place to go. The little shop sells elegant and unique stationary materials such as letterhead, postcards, delicate watermarked paper and more. Its exquisite writing materials and hand-decorated paper make this little specialty shop a favorite for tourists and locals alike. Shop for yourself or find the perfect gift for that person in your life who has everything. (06 6795597)
Like La Rinascente, COIN is an upscale department store located in the Prati area right by the Vatican. The store is actually located on one of Rome's famous shopping streets in Rome on Via Cola di Rienzo. The store has several floors featuring homeware, bedding, men's and women's clothing, children's clothing, shoes and accessories and perfume and make-up. The store boasts a wide range of Italian and international high street designer brands. COIN has two other locations: one in the San Giovanni neighborhood and a smaller installment which is conveniently located within Rome's central train station, Termini. BUS: 492, 81. METRO: Ottaviano, Lepanto. (06.36004298)
La Perla Srl
Known all over the world, Italian brand, La Perla is a sexy but sophisticated lingerie shop for visitors to the Eternal City who are looking to pick up something romantic for their Roman Holiday. The upscale lingerie store sells top of the line bras, underwear, sleepwear and babydoll slips. In recent years they have also entered the perfume market and sell in-store only mens and womens fragrances. If you want to pamper yourself with something glamorous and flirty for the bedroom, make sure to stop at La Perla for some Dolce Vita intimate wear. BUS: 116, 80, 52, 53. METRO: Spagna. (06 6994 1934)
Famed Italian turned global chain Eataly, touched down in Rome about a year ago. The giant gourmet food store opened up its Rome location in the former air terminal at Ostiense station right along side Italy's newest and fastest (and private) railway Italo. The Italian culinary complex is the chains biggest store to date. It covers over 17,000 meters of space and is spread out over 4 floors. At the food market, one can shop from over 14,000 different 'Made in Italy' products to choose from and if you're here to eat, it features more than 23 restaurants and snack bars. There are tasting stands where one can sample some of the finest Roman and Italian delicacies while crossing off items on your shopping list. Eataly is like a foodie wonderland and certainly worth a visit during your trip. (06.90279201)
Galleria Porta di Roma
A bit of a schelp from the center of Rome is one of the largest shopping malls in the Eternal City. Galleria Porta di Roma has over 220 stores and restaurants. It also has mega multi-sala movie theater with 24 different screens.The mall which is spread out over several floors includes men's and women's clothing, children's wear, shoes and accessories, sporting good stores and Swedish furniture giant IKEA. Some of the most popular stores aside from IKEA include H&M, Bata (an Italian shoe store), COIN (a department store) Zara clothes and home store, Sandro Ferrone (a designer from Rome), Mediaworld and Sisley. The restaurants include everything from fast food such as McDonald's or a middle-eastern kebab to sit down restaurants such as Fratelli La Bufala pizzeria. BUS: 80, 38. (06 8707 0802)
About Maria Pasquale
Born to Italian parents, Maria always knew Rome was her destiny, although she was raised in Melbourne. She has a formal background in political science and policy and now runs her own event management & PR company, through which she manages marketing & social media for Eating Italy Food Tours in Rome. An unabashed romantic (Rome being her one true love!) she is the creator of popular food, travel and lifestyle blog HeartRome (www.heartrome.com). In Rome you'll find her walking the streets of Trastevere, checking out the latest bar for an aperitivo or dining with friends.
Read more about Maria Pasquale here.