Rome’s streets are
filled with unique shopping opportunities and you’ll most likely
find yourself stumbling upon the best shops by accident. You may
also realize that when you do find an amazing shop, you rarely
remember its name, but always seem to make your way back
Shopping in Rome is a great way to practice your
Italiano. The moment you step through the door you will be
immediately greeted with a warm, “Buon Giorno!” or “ Buona Sera!”.
Instead of mumbling a quick “hello” or a small smile like most of
us do in the US, respond with just as enthusiastic of a greeting
and encourage a little conversation. When shopping in small stores
or boutiques don’t be put off if you are followed and recommended
various items. At the same time, don’t feel pressured into buying
something just because you feel bad leaving after getting their
hopes up for a sale. After a few days in Rome it will become clear
that the customer service Italians lack in restaurants is more than
made up for in shops.
When the temperatures are at their most extreme in
the months of January and August, take to the stores to escape the
weather and embrace the saldi! Only twice a year stores in Italy
bring out red markers and slash their prices in preparation for the
new season. Virtually every store participates in the ritual and
will have windows clearly marked with “Saldi, Saldi,
When the sun is up and the temperature is right,
Roman streets will begin to fill with an abundance of cheap
portable shops in the shape of street vendors. You will be
surprised to find that street vendors offer everything from shoes
to shirts, towels to tights, and even some necessary kitchen
supplies. Prices can range from €3 for boots to €5 for button down
shirts for guys. Bargains can be found around virtually very
corner, but keep in mind, with prices that cheap, don’t expect your
new favorite pair of boots to last very long.
- Avoid shopping at major chain stores like H &M unless you
are just looking to restock on some basics.
- Giving yourself a budget before you leave the dorm is always
wise. Having to choose between new boots or a weekend in Berlin is
not a decision you’ll want to make.
- Choose cash over cards. Every time you use your ATM or credit
card out of the United States, you are charged an additional fee.
After living in Europe for four months, these fees will add up, so
stick to using cash for any purchases.
- Force yourself to picture your suitcase before you make any
purchases. Then, picture if what you are about to buy will fit
inside it. Finally, consider if paying an extra fee for overweight
luggage is worth whatever it is you are about to buy.
- Whenever you are in any area that is known for its shopping,
keep your purses and wallets under extra supervision and leave any
backpacks at home.
There are a few streets in Rome that have become synonymous with
shopping, so if you have enough room in your budget and want to
treat your wardrobe to some authentic Italian style, head to some
of our favorite areas:
If you ever find yourself in Piazza del Popolo and have a sudden
urge to shop, you are in luck. After taking in the beauty of the
twin churches, head down Via del Corso, the street that is
situated directly in the middle of the two churches. Once there,
you will find yourself in the midst of a variety of stores ranging
from major brands like United Colors of Benetton to smaller
Via dei Condotti, Via Borgognona and Via Frattina
Prada anyone? Hopefully you’ll only be window shopping in this
area, seeing as it is home to some of the world’s most popular and
expensive designers. Nonetheless, it’s still an experience watching
Rome’s wealthy and taking in the amazing window displays.
Via Cola di
This street should sound pretty familiar seeing as it’s located
just a couple of blocks away from campus. Cola di Rienzo is one of
the main shopping streets in Rome, offering everything from
clothing boutiques, shoe stores, grocery stores and tons of cafes.
The best way to end a stroll down Cola di Rienzo is to stop by Old
Bridge Gelateria for some of the Pope’s favorite gelato in all of
Sundays, 7AM- 2PM
Rome’s largest and most unique flea market is Porta Portese.
Every Sunday, the Porta Portese market emerges in the form of
hundreds of vendors selling anything from clothing, antiques, art,
jewelry, and knick knacks, just to name a few. Be sure to practice
your Italian before you go, bargaining is a sport there, and coming
prepared with a few key phrases is a wise idea.
Below is a list of some of our favorite name brand stores that
we would recommend:
Via Cola di Rienzo, 136
Based out of Rome, Brandy & Melville offers a perfect
combination of LA meets European style. While Brandy does offer
endless amounts of must have clothes, we would recommended giving
yourself a budget even before you enter the store seeing as prices
may sometimes be a little steep. However, just like any other
store, B&M offers great steels if you have a little patience
and an eye for bargains.
Although Promod is a French company, their clothing
translates impeccably throughout all of Europe. Their stores offer
designer influenced clothing at a budget you can afford. From
casual tops to picture perfect summer dresses, you will be able to
find a wide variety of clothing for every style. Lucky for us,
Promod does not follow the strict saldi schedule and often holds
sales throughout the year
Intimissi can be described as being similar to Victoria’s
Secret, but without the angels and a bit more simple. Stocked with
the basic undergarment essentials, Intimissi is an Italian company
geared towards supplying Romans with comfortable sleepwear,
colorful underwear and a vast assortment of tights.
Via del Corso, 129-235
For some reason, shopping at a Zara in Europe is a much different
experience than shopping at Zara in the United States. Zara stores
in Europe tend to stock clothing that is more shaped to the local
style, in contrast to H & M who stocks the same clothing
worldwide. In addition, while Zara’s TRF line is difficult to come
by in New York stores, the Zara on Via del Corso reserves much of
their floor space for the TRF line.
Although H&M can be found worldwide, it’s still a great
store to return to for the basics. With cheap tanks and t-shirts
and plenty of winter accessories to compliment your newfound
Italian style, H&M is an affordable option for quick fixes to
your travel-worn wardrobe.