Whenever I visit a city, I spend a day or two walking the city trying to discover new and unique shops and things you can’t find anywhere else. 15 years ago it was easy to find new and interesting shops and the farther away from home you were the more you would find, but now in the Internet era with homogenized mega brands like Zara and H & M, finding treasures that are uniquely identifiable with a particular city or locale is hard to do. Well, that is where I come in. I just LOVE to create ultimate shopping guides for the cities I visit and on a recent trip to Rome, I scoured the city and uncovered the best of the best for the absolute perfect day of shopping. The shopping tour I’ve mapped out below can be done on foot in day. It is a LOT of walking, but you will burn a ton of calories and so you can eat as much gelato as you want! Plus, you will really get to see parts of Rome that are not frequented by tourists and get the true flavor of the city. You can also use taxis and other public transport for this tour. Just plug in each address and your starting point on Google Maps to get directions. I started the shopping tour at the Spanish Steps, but again, you can start play around with the route from your hotel by plugging each location into Google maps.
1. Sermoneta Gloves- We start off the tour with this Italian leather glove store that just makes me giddy. There are gloves in a rainbow of colors in about every color you can imagine. Cashmere lined goes start at 65 Euro, but you can get unlined gloves starting at about 35 Euro. When you enter the store walk upstairs and the women behind the counter will look at your hands and tell you what size you are. Then they will pull out gloves in your size and you can try them on until you fall in love with a pair. You tell her you want them, she gives you a ticket and you go back downstairs to pay. Depending on the exchange rate, you can really save a ton of money buying the gloves here. At the time of this post a pair of cashmere lined gloves was 65 Euros in the store (about 81 USD) and $189 online. Piazza di Spagna 61
2. Anteprima- I literally gasped with glee when I saw this store and the bags inside. I started talking to myself like a crazy person and just kept repeating “OMG, these are exquisite, I need one” over and over again. Finally, the sales associate Sebrena Urbinati came over and snapped me out of my trance. I had never seen these bags before and I know why….they only have five flagship stores worldwide in Rome, Milan, two in Hong Kong and one in Tokyo. These bags are amazing and worth the trip to Rome just to see them. They are made out of recycled PCV but shimmer and shine like a precious jewel box. Honestly, this will be a vintage treasure if you buy it. The brand was started in 1993. The brand is Italian but the designer and inventor of the “wirebag” is Japanese and a genius. If these bags aren’t an “It” bag in a few years, I will be shocked. The best part…I am a proud owner. I bought my little baby for 205 Euros. I just couldn’t resist. I am weak, I know, but honestly when you see these bags you will really just gush at how spectacular they are and the fact that they are eco-friendly makes them even more chic. Via Del Babuino, 147
3. Discount Dell Alta Moda. If you are on the hunt for discount designer brands, you can find some here. Honestly, I was not over impressed with the stock or prices, but I was told this is one of THE places to find discount designer goods in Rome. I find the US has really amazing designer discount deals at places like Neiman Marcus Last Call, Nordstrom Rack, TJ Maxx and Marshalls, but to get the Italian version check out this shop. They had cute stuff just nothing that made me swoon, but it is worth a looksie, so I have included it in the Ultimate Rome Shopping Tour. Via de Gesu Maria, 16A
4. Koster & B. I stumbled on the jewelry mecca filled with unique and affordable vintage inspired pieces and I gave my walled a workout. They have really beautiful pieces that are quality reproductions and original designs inspired by vintage pieces. Their collection of cameo jewelry and Etruscan and Roman jewelry reproductions are gorgeous and they have something for every taste and price point. Rings starting at 15 Euro. Villa della Scrofa, 46.
5. Vestiti Usati Cinzia. This store is on the same street as a string of other vintage shops and cute boutiques that is very near to Campo di Fiori and perfect place to stop for lunch. Vintage shopping in Europe can be a little spotty mainly because Europeans seem to hold onto things a little longer than we do, but the selection of vintage sunglasses and animal skin handbags in this shop was pristine! Via Del Governo Vecchio, 45.
6. Mado. This shop is small but full of personality including the owner who hand makes the jewelry bags in which your treasured purchases are lovingly packed. She carries a gorgeous selection of silk kimonos, vintage inspired and actual vintage jewelry pieces. Most of the shop seems to have 60′s and 70′s finds and the vintage necklaces were so amazing I almost fainted. Via del Governo Vecchio 89/a.
7. Omero & Cecilia Vestiti Vecchi. This shop carries bric a brac vintage. Nothing smells bad and you can negotiate if you pay cash. 110, Via del Governo Vecchio, 110.
8.Groove. Found the cutest, sassy fashion t-shirts in this small but well stocked shop. Sadly, all the shirts are in English with a few French sayings sprinkled in, but the shirts were different than anything I’ve seen in my travels and I couldn’t resist my own purchase of a tee myself. Via die Giubbonairi, 93.