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. Transport: Visit the website for information about shuttle times from the center of Rome.
Recommended for Women's Clothing because: All the designers you love in the one spot and at discount prices.
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.
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
Recommended for Women's Clothing because: A piece of Roman history, a hat from Borsalino is a purchase for the ages.
Maria's expert tip: The hat store has two other locations in Rome: one near the Trevi fountain and the other at Piazza del Popolo.
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, prêt-à-porter, accessories and even home furnishings. Romans remain proud of this local brand that is at the forefront of haute couture on the world stage but remains true to the city that it was born in. The Fendi building remains one of the centerpieces in Rome's Christmas decorations and city lights display. Metro: Spagna.
Recommended for Women's Clothing because: Proudly Roman, this is the flagship store of the international fashion powerhouse.
Maria's expert tip: After shopping, why not pop into Zuma on the rooftop for a Japanese lunch or dinner!
Artifizio is a small little women's boutique shop in San Lorenzo specializing in funky bohemian skirts and shirts, handbags, jewelry and scarves. The tiny shop serves as a gallery of sorts where aspiring designers and stylists (mostly recent graduates from the fashion academy of Rome) put their most prized creations on display for sale. The boutique is the perfect place to not only pick up a unique gift but also a great way to support local artisans in Italy. Rest assured that this 'souvenir' from your Roman Holiday is a bonafide Made in Italy item (not all that easy to find nowadays unfortunately. METRO: Termini
Recommended for Women's Clothing because: For unique and artisan items, Artifizio will meet the fussiest taste of female shoppers.
Maria's expert tip: The shop is closed on Monday mornings and on Sundays.
Louis Vuitton opened its new flagship store at Piazza San Lorenzo in Lucina in Rome. Everyone's buzzing about it. Critics are raving about it because the design is well, succulent and sexy. Tres magnifique or simply, bellissima. The new 1,200 square metered store was designed by the famed celebrity New York-based architect Peter Marino who was also the mastermind behind flagship stores in London and Shanghai. What makes the design of this store so special, is the homage that Marino pays to its original identity, the Etoile. In fact, the location of the new LV store is situated where Rome's first movie theater was built in 1907 and projected films by the great Federico Fellini. The LV maison decided to keep the cinema complete with 19-seats and a 3-D screening room on the first floor. In the future, it has plans to organize events and film screenings by legendary Italian greats like Fellini and Lattuada. The three-story building also features a library and winding staircase down the center of the store that resembles a cinema film strip.
Recommended for Women's Clothing because: The French brand continues to remain ever popular in Rome with Italians and international shoppers.
Maria's expert tip: While shopping for fabulous handbags, shoes and jewelry, customers can catch a glimpse of historic famous flicks and documentaries playing in the background
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. METRO: Spagna
Recommended for Women's Clothing because: The Italian brand for cool and style remains ever popular in Italy and abroad.
Maria's expert tip: The high-end fashion store also sells sunglasses, shoes and purses.
Like La Rinascente, COIN is an upscale department store located near the Vatican, but is locally famed for targetting a younger audience. The store is actually located on one of the most 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. They host a number of instore events and sales and details can be found at the info desk on arrival. COIN has two other locations: one in the San Giovanni neighborhood and a smaller location in Termini train station. METRO: Ottaviano. Bus: 23,87
Recommended for Women's Clothing because: COIN is a department store popular with locals and foreigners alike and has something for all budgets.
Maria's expert tip: The locations at Termini and Via Cola di Rienzo also feature the famous cosmetics brand MAC.
La Perla is a sexy but sophisticated lingerie shop for visitors to the Eternal City that are looking to pick up something romantic for their Roman Holiday. Locally and now even internationally, the brand has become synonymous with Italian elegance and style and the quality of its pieces are made to match. The upscale lingerie store sells top of the line bras, underwear, sleepwear and babydoll slips. 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 duds. BUS: 116, 80, 52, 53. METRO: Spagna.
Recommended for Women's Clothing because: La Perla is Italian excellence in lingerie and intimate womenswear.
Maria's expert tip: The shop also features a swimwear collection recently launched in partnership with designer Jean Paul Gaultier.
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.
Recommended for Women's Clothing because: A shopping mall with something for all tastes and budgets.
Maria's expert tip: During the summer, the mall organizes all sports of outdoor activities in the courtyard such as rock climbing and skate boarding for kids. They also organize free concerts from time to time as well. In the winter, the mall sets up an outdoor ice skating rink on the terrace.
Conveniently located across from the Spanish Steps, this lively boutique will provide an entertaining shopping experience. The bright colors and trendy styles cater to young men and women shoppers. New and old hip designs combine to create the ever-popular retro patterned look. Their famous zigzag knitwear patterns are always on display in the window shopfront, providing one of the most colorful settings in Piazza di Spagna. Here in the boutique you can explore the house's most recent installations on the classic zigzag pattern or stick to many of the staple classics which are always available in the quarterly stock. Metro: Spagna.
Recommended for Women's Clothing because: If not even to purchase, check out the Missoni Boutique for the fun and colorful shopping experience.
Maria's expert tip: Ask to see the seasonal catalogue. Not all items for the season are on display but they are in store.