Close to Termini, there are a lot of small shops run by immigrants (mostly African) and they sell a lot of cheap but cute things. Usually, these shops are on the smaller streets.
What to buy: I got a blue beaded drawstring purse, but I also saw a lot of jewelry, African drums, etc.
What to pay: I paid around 5 Euros for the purse.
Being a girl, I just HAD to check out the shoe stores! I checked out a few close to Termini and compared prices, and ended up buying a cute pair of wedge sandals with leather straps for very cheap.
What to buy: Shoes of all styles and price ranges.
What to pay: I think I paid around 30 Euros for the pair I bought.
Close to the Santa Maria Maggiore basilica, I stumbled upon a dancewear store called Coppelia. Being a dancer, I just had to check it out! It's quite small but there are all sorts of dance shoes, clothes, etc. Since they had brands that are not available in my hometown's dancewear store, I took advantage of the opportunity and tried on many pairs of pointe shoes (and ended up buying a pair of Grishko 2007 pointes).
What to buy: Pointe shoes and ballet slippers (brands include Bloch, Grishko, Prima Soft, Porselli, Freed, Gaynor Minden), leotards, tights, dance sweaters, skirts, jazz pants, etc. Mostly ballet stuff, but I also saw some jazz shoes and sneakers.
What to pay: I think I paid around 40-50 Euros for the Grishko pointe shoes.
Those who know me knows that I have a thing for D&G-clothes. They are expensive, but most of the time really nice looking, and of great quality.
Since I couldn't find the D&G-shop when I was in Dublin the week before, I was really looking forward to do some serious shopping in the D&G-shop in Rome.
Was I mistaken or what...??
Either D&G has shock raised their prices during the last four months, or that shop in Via Condotti seriously has missunderstood the price settings... I found two very nice t-shirts in the shop. The first was priced 250 euro. The second 450 euro.
For a t-shirt!? Are you kidding me?!
Needless to say there were no shopping made that day...and definitely never ever in that shop.
The shop itself was nice, although compared to the D&G-shop in Milan the staff was fairly arrogant, I almost felt like Julia Roberts in "Pretty Woman" when I walked in.
And no, I wasn't dressed like a prostitute... ;)
But there sure are better shops to burn your VISA-card in Rome than this one...
If you still want to go there, there are women's clothes on the first floor, while men goes a level up.
What to buy: Nothing, no matter how rich you are.
What to pay: Way too much...
Tourists in Italy arriving from outside the European Community are entitled to the refund of I.V.A. (Value Added Tax) which ranges from 12 to 35% on amounts exceeding 155,00 euro spent in the same shop. To enjoy this benefit it is necessary to apply to shops that have an agreement - Tax Free, Italy Free Shopping, Tax Free System, Euro Tax, Tax Refund posted in their window and/or inside. The refund can be obtained inside the shops with the proper sign - or at Leonardo Da Vinci International Airport of Fiumicino in the Customs Office or by post. Items must be new, in original boxes, and you must have all receipts. Go early to the airport if you intend to complete the procedure there.
I'm updating this tip with the following information from a visitor to my pages indicating that he has used this tax free service in Italy and they were very efficient:
Happy shopping in bella Italia.................
The woman that owns this shop has been doing her trade for 25 years, she told me, which includes hand made hour glasses and sundials. She makes hour glasses in a range of sizes from 4 feet to pendant size for a few euro. Many of them are very fine. She also crafts sundials and has made a unique assortment of them. My favorite was a ring with a knob that slides a piece back and forth which you align so as to let the sun's shadow fall through a hole and onto the inside of the ring where the hour ticks are. You'll never need a watch in Rome with a ring like that!
There were many other very clever designs including one with magic squares of words from ancient Rome or floor plans of the Pantheon, Collosseum, etc crafted into pins, cuff links, wax seals, jewelry, and more. I fell for the octant, an old brass sailing instrument with protractors and moveable lenses and things for my fiancee who loves boats and Leonardo. Needless to say a hand-crafted historical gift like this, hand wrapped with much care and a beautiful wooden box for under 150 euro was a steal and a pleaser.
Stop in here for tons more wonderful curiosities! The website is also wonderful.
What to buy: The sundials are calculated for Rome's latitude.
The Roman Forum shop, which is entered when exiting the Roman Forum is a small but relaxing shop offering great views over the Forum.
What to buy: There are figures, pop-out books, colour in boks etc. all at street value prices.
All over England there used to be Spar shops. They slowly became less and less until the last I had seen on the Isle of Wight (U.K where I live) became a CO.OP (Cooperative). I hadn't seen a Spar for ages and then when I was strolling through Rome there was a Spar. Just as I remembered seeing in England with the Red and White striped band and geen logo. I couldn't beleive it.
What to buy: They sold everything you used to get in th eEnglish Spar just with some different names. If you didn't want to go out for a meal you could go in there and get something.
What to pay: Usual prices
Really sweet little childrens toy shop, only small but has a good range of dfferent toys but mainly knights and castles. Some kids go there to buy toys, others just to play. It's a really sweet shop. Just behind the River Tiber. I would be grateful if someone could tell me the name and road.
What to buy: A good range of educational and just fun toys. Mainly knights and castles. Few girls toys.
What to pay: Same price you would in England really.
Its a small rough shop, furnished with dark wooden cases and always cost cut alcohol. It is Salsamenteri and is beautiful. Above the doors it says Enoteca Vino
What to buy: They sell lots of different varieties of wine and lots of differnet shaped pastas. Some are more for novelty like the Italian flag and other more rude shaped pastas. Still, it is a lovely shop and a great place to get a present for some one back in your own country or someone you are meeting in Rome or just buy it for yourself.
What to pay: The prices are resonable, around 3 or 4 Euros for a big bag of novelty pasta or around 4 to 5 Euros for Wine, cheaper if it is displayed outside.
Shopping near the train station has reasonably cheaply priced items i.e. hand made leather belts and purses. There is also many clothing shops. Don't go at night and walk around. I got very nervous when I did it. lots of seedy characters.
What to pay: You can definetly hagle over prices
Marco says that he maintains a laboratory for the reproduction of archeological artifacts. They are quite good - many excellent marble/alabaster statues, both large and small. Lots of Gladiator artifacts that look as if they could be or could have been cinema props. Excellent array of reproduced ancient jewelry. Very entertaining!
What to buy: Reproductions of Roman artifacts - Jewelry especially
What to pay: Negotiate with Marco Bocchio - always ask for the tax to be deducted over 155 €
This is a small shop - right across from Bartolucci's wood working shop and close to the Pantheon. The owner is most accommodating and has a great number of fascinating masks to choose from.
What to buy: Fantastic Masks
You can find almost everything here - clothing, stationery, Lundt chocolate shop, music, books -- and on a sweltering Rome day, the air conditioning alone beckons to you if you are anywhere near the entrance. The Galleria Alberto Sordi was built in 1914 on the former Palazzo Piombino and is named after the famous Italian actor who died during the year before it re-opened, honoring his name. The arcade facility is located right in front of the column of emperor Marcus Aurelius. The arcade had always been one of the city's strategic meeting places. Obscure actors were know to gather here during the first half of the 20th century in hopes of securing an engagement. For 20 years arcade had gradually fallen into decay and became an abandoned place where the homeless spent the night. Its revival and reopening in 2003 permitted two generations of roman people to step into the former Galleria Colonna for the first time in their life.
For those who are familiar with Milano, you might say it is reminiscent of the Milano Galleria - only on a much smaller scale - perhaps it is the glass ceiling.
The lovely stained glass ceiling is complimented by a centrally located bar and cafe where you can leisurely await the final hour(s) of your companion's shopping sprees.
What to buy: Almost anything - always check tags for "Made in Italy" as there is so much now that is "made in China"
What to pay: From average prices to slightly more expensive than the off-Corso shops.
The shops in Rome tend to close on a Saturday lunchtime and don't open again until Monday morning.
Don't plan a weekend shopping trip to Rome - you might be disappointed. Better to shop in the week.
What to buy: Rome is great for sandals at the moment. Lots of stalls across the city sell a good selection of sandals for 13 euro per pair.
The Pantheon is my favorite building in Rome and might be my favorite building in the world. The...more
My husband and I stayed at the Hotel Santa Maria for three nights at the end of a three week trip...more
Stayed at Barocco September 2011 in an "annex" room. I loved being in the annex--hotel amenities...more