Rome's shopping streets
Rome may not be as famous for shopping and fashion as Milan, but what's certain is that Rome's shopping streets are almost all immersed in the heart of the city's most beautiful and historic districts. So even if you're not a huge fan of shopping, it's still pleasant to walk along the most famous streets and buy a few things while you head for the most striking monuments. With this little guide, we'd like to recommend the most interesting places to pick up fashionable souvenirs from the Eternal City.
Where to go shopping in the centre
The first shopping street to mention is undoubtedly Via del Corso, which will take you from Piazza del Popolo to Piazza Venezia. Despite its central location, the shops you'll find here are perfectly affordable and sell various items, from clothing to accessories. Its accessibility and location in the heart of the city make it very popular with tourists and locals, so at peak times you'll have to put up with walking at rather a slow pace!
If instead you prefer to walk from Piazza del Popolo to Piazza di Spagna via a quieter and decidedly more chic street, we recommend going along Via del Babuino which, in addition to its very beautiful buildings, has several higher-profile shops than the parallel Via del Corso, with brands like Chanel and Tiffany.
If you're looking for luxury and the top fashion trends (and money is no object), Via Condotti is the place for you. This street, which cuts across Via del Corso at right angles and offers a beautiful view of the majestic Spanish Steps, has over time become the symbol of fashion in the capital, like Via Montenapoleone in Milan.
If, on the other hand, you prefer a more casual style and don't want to mortgage your house to follow the fashions dictated by Via Condotti, there are several streets which, over time, have been filled with very special offerings. In Via Frattina, for example, you can find several shops that have imported Parisian fashion into the capital, while in Via Borgognona there are artisans waiting to be discovered.
Going from the historic centre towards the Vatican City, in the Prati district, we recommend taking a nice walk in Via Cola di Rienzo, a pleasant tree-lined street where you'll find all the main brands at affordable prices.
Other districts and markets to visit
The shopping options in the Eternal City don't end at the streets of the city centre: other districts are also dotted with typical and appealing shops or are home to historic neighbourhood markets that are worth a visit.
The Monti district, for example, a few steps from the Colosseum, is the ideal place for those who love vintage as well as special and alternative items. In particular, Via del Boschetto is full of typical shops, while in Via Leonina you'll find the Mercato di Monti, usually open at weekends from 10am to 8pm.
Another extremely famous market in the capital is Porta Portese, located a few steps from Trastevere: mainly visited by locals, it offers mostly second-hand goods. You'll often need to rummage around a little, but you can find interesting items and pick up some real bargains. The Porta Portese market is usually open on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 5am to 5pm and on Thursdays from 5am to 3pm. It's best to go there as early as possible, even at the crack of dawn, to pick up the best pieces!
One final market we recommend is the Mercato delle Stampe, found in the pretty square of Largo della Fontanella di Borghese. This market is a paradise for lovers of graphic prints and antiquities: there are old books, comics and prints, and all kinds of drawings. It's open every day from 7am to 1pm.