From the eye-wateringly expensive designer shops of Via Condotti to the quirky market stalls of Porta Portese, Rome covers the full spectrum of shopping experiences. But there’s much more to shopping in Rome than clothes shops - if you know where to look, you’ll also find delicious Italian food, beautiful stationery, and some unusual souvenirs.
Eataly (Piazzale XII Ottobre 1492) The mecca of food shopping, Eataly has it all. This gigantic emporium next to Ostiense station (also accessible from Piramide metro station) has several floors filled with the finest Italian products, from Venchi chocolate to truffle oil. You could probably spend a whole morning just wandering around the pasta aisles. Refuel in one of the bars or restaurants on the upper floors.
Il Papiro (Via del Pantheon 50) This Florentine stationery store also has a shop in Rome, close to the Pantheon. It’s not cheap, but this is high quality stationery - beautiful notebooks, cards and letter-writing sets. If you’re a writer with old-fashioned tastes, preferring to use an ink and quill rather than a keyboard, this is the place for you.
Castroni (Via Ottaviano 55/Via Nazionale 71) Get your coffee fix at this Rome institution, which has several shops in the city centre. Castroni is best known for its coffee and Italian food products, but it’s also good for international, hard-to-find food, so it’s popular with homesick expats.
Mercato Monti (Via Leonina 46) The trendy Monti neighbourhood is full of stylish boutiques and vintage clothes shops. The market, which is just a few steps away from the metro station Cavour, combines the best of old and new. Come here at the weekend for second-hand dresses and vintage sunglasses, as well as affordable clothing and accessories by up-and-coming new designers.
Anglo-American Bookshop (Via della Vite 102) There are a few good English language bookshops in Rome, but this shop near the Spanish Steps has one of the most comprehensive selections. There’s great selection of fiction and non-fiction, including an impressive range of history and philosophy books, and shelves of Penguin classics.
Lela Casa (Via dei Pettinari 37) On the street between Ponte Sisto and Campo de’ Fiori is this stylish little home accessories shop. Even if you’re not much of a cook, you won’t be able to resist treating yourself to some new kitchenware.
Il Negozio Benedettino (Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta 5) This tiny shop next to the church and monastery of Sant’Anselmo is one of the many hidden treasures of the Aventine Hill. You’ll find beauty products, soap, chocolate, honey from the Abbey of Norcia and other high quality products.
Roma Store Profumi (Via della Lungaretta 63) You can’t miss it. People walking along Via della Lungaretta, the main thoroughfare of Trastevere, often stop to stare at the elaborate window display of the perfume shop - the creation of a theatre set designer. But make sure you go inside too, where you’ll find an eclectic range of scents for men and women.
Volpetti (Via Marmorata 47) Heaven for cheese lovers, or anyone remotely interested in Italian food. This family-run store has been in Testaccio since 1973, specialising in Umbrian products. It’s a highlight of food tours of Rome, and the perfect place to find a foodie souvenir or gift.
Maurizio Grossi (Via Margutta 109) If you want to make your house resemble the Capitoline Museums, pick up a marble bust or bas-relief at this elegant antique shop, just down the street from the Spanish Steps.
~by Alexandra Turney~