While exploring the ancient sites of Rome can quickly fill your itinerary, save some time for the cosmopolitan side of this unparalleled city. The Italians are synonymous with fashion and boast some of the biggest names in the industry – Ferragamo, Gucci, Prada, Valentino, Bulgari and Dolce & Gabbana just to name-drop a few. And if you are visiting on a weekend, the flea markets possess a treasure trove of collectibles and have something for every taste level.
Whether you are a serious fashionista or merely want to window shop, here are the streets and markets you need to know:
The former site of the annual jockey less horse race in the early 19th-century, Via del Corso is one of the most populated boulevards (boutique wise) and runs through the heart of the city from Piazza Venezia to Piazza del Popolo. The major “chain” stores are located here along with modern boutiques, Renaissance buildings and churches and the closest thing Rome has to a “shopping mall.”
This elegant promenade offers high-end fashions and accessories from Prada, Gucci and Louis Vuitton and great for window shopping and people watching. Located near the Spanish Steps, it is the height of Italian haute couture and you can also find French and American brands such as Hermes and Jimmy Choo.
Italy is known for its leather goods so be sure to check out Andrea Fabiani and Fausto Santini for handbags and shoes. Also near the Spanish Steps, the cobblestone street has a great mix of boutiques.
A pair of leather gloves (in every color of the rainbow) are a must at Sermoneta along with the affordable fashionable bags at Furla. Situated in the historic center of the city (and near the Spanish Steps), there is also a variety of jewelry, children’s and men’s shops. And be sure to sample the exquisite Italian chocolates at Quetzalcoati Chocolaterie.
Fans of the iconic 1960 Fellini film La Dolce Vita will no doubt recognize the chic setting of this famed avenue. Known for its luxury hotels, stylish shops and fantastic people watching, it’s a great spot for shopping in high-end Italian boutiques and considered one of the most elegant and expensive streets in Rome. Stop by the Hotel Eden rooftop bar for views of the city or the historic Café Doney for a cappuccino.
If flea markets are more your style, visit the city’s largest Porta Portese where thousands of stalls offer everything from vintage clothing to antiques. If you are a foodie, be sure to soak in the local atmosphere and pick up some honey, olive oil or wine at the Campagna Amica Market near Circus Maximus (open on Saturday and Sunday).
What are you looking forward to exploring most in Rome? Share in the comments below!