Italy oozes fashion, design and a love for the fine and beautiful things in life. While Milan is home to many of the world's most fashion houses, Rome certainly ranks at the top, too. The world-famous Via dei Condotti is simply a designer shoppers' paradise.
Many visitors to "The Eternal City" head to this part of town just to walk down this coveted designer strip or merely to window shop. Think Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Armani, Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana. The list goes on.
Fear not, though, if you like the finer things in life but haute couture is way out of your league. If you're in the know, you might just be able to make a purchase on Via dei Condotti more than just a dream.
Look up from Via dei Condotti to see this. Not bad! — Photo courtesy of HeartRome
10Best recently sat down with a Rome secret shopper (who, for obvious reasons, can't be identified) to see what life behind this mega-luxury fashion street is really like. Here, we provide you with some tips and tricks you'll want to consider before hitting the city's designer shops:
What should visitors to Rome be aware of when shopping in this high-end area?
They should be aware that in most high-end boutiques, the staff work on commission. Therefore, they are likely to be pushy with sales. Shoppers should not feel under pressure to buy immediately.
Ask lots of questions, demand excellent customer service and expect your sales assistant to be able to explain what the benefits of their products are in detail. If they can't, go elsewhere.
Don't forget: luxury is also about five-star service, not just the quality of product.
What are some things shoppers should avoid?
Avoid shopping on the weekend. Shops in this area are much calmer and pleasurable during the week.
What's your number one Via dei Condotti shopping tip?
Don't be ashamed to ask for a discount. Even Bulgari are able to give discretionary discounts.
In your opinion, what's Rome's best-kept designer shopping secret?
Francesco Rogani: leather bags designed and made in Italy. The brand is not world famous, but the quality is excellent, the styles very elegant and their customer service is impeccable.
Alternatively, If you want something incredibly special and expensive, go upstairs in Cartier and try on a €36K ring so you can finally understand why Marilyn sung that diamonds are a girls' best friend.
With this insider information, luxury shopping in Rome can become a reality on any budget! Happy shopping!