Not too far 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.
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: With a makeshift ice skating rink and many specialty stores, Porta di Roma is a great Christmas shopping option.
Maria's expert tip: In the winter, the mall sets up an outdoor ice skating rink on the terrace.
This small shop between the Spanish Steps and Via del Corso is the perfect solution for anyone looking for a one-of-a-kind gift, for yourself or someone special. Inside you'll find the owners Vincio and Susan cutting and piecing together leather to create some truly unique leather goods, like purses and wallets. You can work together with them to decide just which kind of leather you would like, and what exactly you would like your purse or bag to look like. Of course, you must wait a few days for your piece to be ready, but the waiting is always worth it. Bring in a sketch or picture to help inspire your dream bag. METRO: Spagna BUS: 81, 117
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Nothing screams Made in Italy more than genuine Italian leather products.
Maria's expert tip: For custom made items give yourself a couple of days.
If you want to warm up the hands of someone this winter, why not get them a super-soft and luxurious pair of Sermoneta leather gloves? Located in Piazza di Spagna, this shop stocks both lined and unlined gloves for men and women. Sermoneta started as a small family business making handmade gloves in the 1960s. Through their range of styles and emphasis on comfort and high quality leather, Sermoneta has become one of the best-known names in gloves today. Walking into the store you'll see why as the choices will be sure to stun for their style, feel and color. Get your gloves personalized with an embossed stamp or logo. METRO: Spagna
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Perfect for men and women, leather gloves are a gift that will keep for years.
Maria's expert tip: Why not get your gloves peronalized with an embossed stamp?
If you're looking for edible gifts that shout Italy than head over to the Campagna Amica market near the Circus Maximus held every weekend morning until mid-afternoon. Here you can stock up on real Italian delights, such as olive oil, wine, jams and preserved veggies like truffles and eggplant that are delicious toppers for pasta or toasted bread. The best thing about this market is that the products are all "zero kilometer," which means they are made locally. As a bonus, heading to this market will show you what the Romans are buying because the main goods here are fresh vegetables, cheeses and dried meats. Go hungry and stock up for a picnic that you can eat either on the tables out back or the benches of the church in front. METRO: Circo Massimo BUS: 81
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: With a wide range of organic produce, this market has your complete foodie Christmas list covered.
Maria's expert tip: Cristalli di Zucchero pasticerria which serves up delectable sweets is just around the corner!
Unique international ingredients from floor to ceiling. If you want to make that interesting recipe that calls for special ingredients from an unusual place in the Mediterranean or anywhere in the world for that matter, this is the place to find it. Castroni has a wide selection of specialty and international products. Knowns as the place where many expats in Rome head to for a home feel, it is also well freqented by locals and tourists looking for unique or hard to find food items. They also feature Italian products and everything from biscuits, tea, chocolate, spices and more. BUS to Piazza del Risorgimento, METRO: Ottaviano - San Pietro
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Castroni will feed the gourmet foodie in you and great for food Christmas gifts.
Maria's expert tip: There are now Castroni stores located across the city, including a very central outpost on Via Nazionale. See the website for a full store listing.
Held every weekend in the area of Monti, this "urban" market is a good place to go shopping if you're looking for a unique gift for someone special, or even for yourself! At Mercato Monti you can find young and old handmade designers who create and sell notebooks, vintage and handmade clothes, jewelry, vintage sunglasses and much more. The artisans sell their products so shopping here gives you a chance to talk to them, making for a more personal shopping experience. Even if there's little chance to take a piece home, make sure you take time to admire the vintage furniture, often expertly restored. METRO: Cavour BUS: 75, 117
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Great for some unique and handmade Christmas gift ideas.
Maria's expert tip: Get there early - it gets quite busy later in the day!
Castel Romano is the leading designer outlet complex located a short distance from both Civitavecchia and Rome. From Civitavecchia it's about an 1.5 hour drive away and many local tour operators offer day trip tours with a coach service that meets cruise ships arriving into the port. The outlets feature premium stores for designer wear, formal, casual and sporting wear, cosmetics, accessories, leather goods, shoes, swimwear and home-ware. Just some of the leading brands include Burberry, Guess, Diesel, Swarovski, Calvin Klein, Valentino and Salvatore Ferragamo. There are also restaurants and bars on site. Shuttle buses leave the city center each day.
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: This outlet has all your designer shopping needs covered.
Maria's expert tip: Visit the outlets' website before you go and sign up for their Privilege Club. It's free and entitles to you all sorts of offers and discounts.
This is where it all started. In 1918, Adele Casagrande opened a boutique specializing in furs and leather; in the 1960s, Karl Lagerfeld joined the family and what was already a successful Italian operation became an international fashion powerhouse. Today, you'll find the trademark double F on fabulous handbags, fragrances, furs, pr�t-�-porter, accessories and even home furnishings. Located at the end of the famous designer fashion street, Via dei Condotti, Rome's beautiful Fendi store is adorned each year with a different Christmas lights display that attracts and locals and visitors crowd throughout the holiday season. It's often lit up as a large gift or has a big Santa wrapping his arms around the building. Metro: Spagna.
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: The Fendi building has become the hallmark in the historical center's Christmas lights display
Maria's expert tip: Christmas lights don't usually turn on in Rome until the 8th of December - the feast of the Immaculate Conception.
Big American-style department stores never really existed in Rome - until now. The Italian brand gallery, La Rinascente has moved location and this new, designer store is multi-level and will impress the fussiest of luxury shoppers. Located in the heart of Rome, between the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain on Via del Tritone, it features 6 floors (across 14,000 square meters) and sells clothing, shoes, accessories, beauty products and household items. Among many more, you'll find brands like Gucci, Fendi, Michael Kors, Swarovski, Tod's, Stone Island and Lacoste. The new flagship store has brought the first Alexander McQueen to Rome and sells quality, top of the line children's clothing and a personal shopping service is available on request. There is a rooftop terrace and a gourmet food court too. METRO: Spagna, Barberini
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: The new Rinascente is a well trusted Italian brand of department stores, centrally located and is perfect for alll your shopping needs.
Maria's expert tip: Visit at lunch time and enjoy the diverse offering at the 6th floor designer food court.
The Christmas market in Piazza Navona is where to go in Rome to get the highest concentration of Christmas cheer. There are stands selling mulled wine and sweets along with all sorts of Christmas decorations, which make wonderful souvenirs and gifts from Italy. The ornaments of Befana, the Italian Christmas witch, are particularly Italian as are the figurines for nativities, which many households recreate in their homes each year. There are also lots of activities for kids, like the Christmas carousel. If you go, be sure to try a super-sugary ciambelle, or donut, to keep your shopping energy in full gear! BUS: 70, 81,87
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Feel true Christmas spirit in the heart of Rome at this former annual market that returns in 2017.
Maria's expert tip: Don't leave without trying the ciambelle - a big sugay donut!