Souvenir shops are set up outside all around the big sites.
What to buy: Most of the stuff they sell at souvenir shops is pretty junkie, but if you like something, get it. Remember, though, many of these souvenir vendors have pricetags that are RIDICULOUS. I bought a small replication of the Pieta for my grandmother. The price tag said 85 Euro...EIGHTY FIVE EURO! I got it for 15 and still think I should have gone down to 10. Act interested but poor. Keep saying the price just doesn't fit your budget. When they say they won't go any lower, start to walk away. They'll go lower. Remember, when it comes to this little souvenir places: NEVER PAY WHAT SEEMS LIKE A RIDICULOUS AMOUNT OF MONEY!!!
If you want a great souvenir of Rome in print, book, or antique form, you HAVE to check out this market! Throughout the city there are hundreds of "antique" stores that are selling old prints of the various monuments and piazzas of Rome for 100's of Euros. I found some of the same prints here for under 20.
What to buy: I love the old time stamped "prints" of the sights and piazzas on the faded, textured matting. Mine of Piazza del Popolo, my favorite piazza in Rome, is pictured here. The other great bargain are the prints of cappucino and coffee ad posters from France, similar to the famous Vermouth one.
What to pay: Small prints are 5 Euro, Medium 15, Large 25
Magazine covers and books are varied
Located next to the Information Office (on the left hand side as you face St Peter's Basilica), the Vatican Post Office is a very popular place for both tourists and local Roman's as the Vatican postal system is reputedly fast. Inside, you can buy a large variety of Vatican stamps, coins (although the Euro collections sell out very quickly), postal covers and albums etc.
Remember: you cannot post mail with Italian stamps in the Vatican post office nor can you post mail with Vatican stamps in the Italian mail system.
De Sanctis is in the Piazza Navona, it's been open since 1890. It's a great place to get a nice handpainted ceramic made in Italy. They have handpainted tiles of saints, and also cups & saucers, plates, etc. It's all beautiful and though not all exactly cheap it IS handpainted.
What to pay: The small tiles were 30 euro, a teapot made in Florence was on sale for 25 euro.
CASA DEL ROSARIO
Rome is full of souvenir sellers - shops galore and the constant stream of illegal pests selling anything.
It's refreshing to walk into a shop well laid out with friendly staff who hand the customer a metal tray to place their purchases onto. Row upon row of religious memorabilia in 2 rooms - and that's not all. They have a great range of general souvenirs of Rome at prices that seem to be at least 25% better than else where.
We found this small shops and we were very well attenden for the old lady. Is a souvenir shop but she sell more jewellery than souvernirs like mugs, cards,,,,. We bought 2 clasp and hanger as present and for ourselves, they are made of Murano. They are so beautiful. Sorry for the pic is very little but i could not get higher from my computer. The lady is very nice and she has very beautiful things to sell.
Encontramos esta pequena tienda en los alrededores de la plaza de Espana y nos gusto mucho. La atiende una senora mayor que es encantadora. Vende souvenirs, pero el principal motivo por el que entramos es porque vende colgantes, broches y piezas hechas de cristal de murano, muy famoso en Italia sobre todo en Venecia. Compramos varios broches y colgantes para regalos y para nosotras.
Just a very large flea market that happens in Trastevere on Sundays. Gives you a nice atmosphere and some good bargaining ground for getting gifts for people. Enjoy and bargain. Oh, you will definitely get a smaller price if you keep walking away from a stall, especially the purse selections. Remember they just want to sell (while still getting some profit!). ENJOY!
What to buy: Buy anything your little heart desires! there are shirts, shoes, designer bag knock-offs, antiques, jewelery, furniture, and food. you are bound to find something here.
What to pay: from 1E to 30E depending on what you are buying
I used Laura Morelli's book, Made in Italy, on my recent trip to Rome. There are invaluable shopping tips and listings of many great places to find traditional handcrafted goods all over Italy.
I recommend it!
Piazza Navona is a great spot to stop in and buy some art pieces. There is a large variety of watercolor paintings and oil paintings. The prices are usually displayed, but you can negotiate if you buy more than 1 painting from the same artist.
We got some really nice watercolor paintings and also an oil painting from here. Make sure you negotiate the price especially if you buy more than 1 piece from the same artist.
What to buy: watercolor and oil paintings
What to pay: 8 Euros per watercolor painting (if you buy more than 2 from the same artist); 75 Euros per oil painting (original asking price 100 Euros)
What to buy:
There are a lot of nice jewellery shops in Rome. You can really find something nice there.
What to pay: it depends, you can buy nice jewellery with the Glass from Murano , the small pendant -10 Euro and also the expensive jewellery from the jellow gold or white gold with the diamonds or other precious stones.
It is harly a shop , but we liked it ,
and just like many people we stopped and
had a look.
What to buy:
Plaster suns , little angels , the mouth of truth ,
or why not , a table foot...
All that for a couple of euros.
Everything is made just behind that
table you were looking at.
What to buy:
At the top of the Spanish Steps are many local artists selling everything from caricatures to huge oil paintings. These paintings are great alternatives to overpriced souvenirs.
The cheapest tend to be small watercolor paintings, but the best deals are on the oil paintings. The subject matter of the paintings are really diverse, from landscapes, Roman attractions, to florals and imitations of the Mona Lisa and Sistine Chapel.
Just remember to make sure you have room in your luggage because shipping art from Italy is difficult and expensive.
What to pay: For a small watercolor painting, depending on the painter and the subject matter, can sell for as low as 5 Euros to a maximum of 10 Euros.
The price of an oil painting is harder to determine, because it really does depend on the seller and the actual quality of the work.
But just keep in mind, the first price quoted is always negotiable! :)
Tacky tchochke shops, like the one above, clutter up every street and every corner around the tourist hot spots and they all carry the same junk: ‘David' key chains; glow-in-the-dark Virgins; plastic Pietas; lurid, mass-produced Venetian masks (wrong city, folks); Colosseum ashtrays; the Pope slapped on everything from tea towels to fridge magnets.
C’mon, are you really gonna use any of this stuff when you get home? Didn’t think so.
Consider these instead:
• Leather goods: Italy is known for leather and nice gloves or a wallet won’t add weight to your suitcase. Please, please don’t buy the knockoffs of designer labels hawked in the streets, OK? It’s illegal to produce/sell those and there are plenty of reasonable, legitimate leather goods to be found.
• Scarves: light, easy to pack, and available in tons of colors and fabrics
• Ceramics: hand-painted kitchenware is an Italian tradition. Larger items can usually can be shipped.
• Books: nice picture guidebooks from the gift shops of museums you visit - especially those which do not allow photos - are great keepsakes when you get home
• Music: CD's offered by street musicians you may have enjoyed
• Art: a small drawing or watercolor piece from a street artist
• Italian soccer or bike jerseys: also lightweight and packable, fans of the sports will love them
• T-shirts: not a thing wrong with one if you’ll wear it later. Choose well-made products with images of your favorite attractions
• Biscotti or amaretti cookies, liquorice or other wrapped, Italian sweets. Also dried pasta.
• We always pick up a Christmas ornament when we travel to a new destination. Putting up the 'Travel Tree' is an event at our house that brings back lots of great memories.
The shop is located on the second floor of the Colosseum. It's a nice shop because you can buy books and other souvenir items.
Make time to just look around and check out all the materials the shop has.
What to buy: There are many things to buy here, but mostly souvenir items like key chains, refrigerator magnets, books, vases, pens, etc.
What to pay: Depending on what you buy. I bought a bookmark for 2.99 euros.
Some good shopping areas are: a street just off the Camp dei Fiori that I can't remember the name of...it is the street that Ethic (which I describe in other shopping tip) is on; Via del Corso (which gets very crowded); Via Nazionale, and Via Cola di Rienzo.
What to buy: Italian shops mostly feature very trendy items, so you can find a lot of the same stuff in the stores. I actually prefer shopping in Paris, because there is more variety and I prefer the less-flashy style. However, if you like the trends that are featured in the shops at the moment, then you'll be happy.