In Rome, you'll face plenty of temptation from glossy designer flagships and independent stores crafting custom-made leather shoes. But there's more to the city's shopping scene than luxury fashion. There are markets to wander through, both old and modern, where you can tuck into regional specialities at street food stalls, as well as vintage boutiques and chic design stores to explore. To help you plan, here's our ultimate guide to shopping in Rome.
Rome's Markets: Vintage Clothing to Veg and Olive Oil
On Sundays from 5am until 2pm, the Mercato di Porta Portese - Rome's largest market - in Trastevere is home to stalls stacked with antiques, fabrics, jewellery and clothes. Go early to beat the crowds.
Opened in 2009, MercatoMonti is a weekend market where you'll find an array of vintage clothes, old LPs, hand-painted ceramics, sustainable knitwear, handmade shoes and artwork by local artisans.
The 400-year-old Campo de Fiori is open every day. Plenty of Romans buy their groceries here and you'll find lots of Italian meats and cheeses alongside fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers, after which the market is named. Pick up some local olive oil if you're looking for gifts to take home.
At Testaccio market, there are not only piles of fruit, veg, meat and fish, but also stalls selling designer goods and vintage clothes. The market is open every day from 7:30am until 2pm, except Sunday. Meander through the street food section and sample mini pizzas, mozzarella balls and fresh pasta. Mordi e Vai is extremely popular for its Roman sandwiches with tongue and tripe fillings.
Fashion in Rome: Big Brands to Unique Boutiques
Rome's main shopping street, Via del Corso, is where you'll find high-street fashion stores such as H&M, Zara and Gap, while Via Condotti is home to luxury brands, including Prada and Gucci. Make a stop at the city's oldest coffee bar, Antico Caffe Greco, to rest your feet. You'll find the white marble-clad Valentino flagship store on Piazza di Spagna. For a one-stop shop, Gente is a designer boutique with several branches throughout the city, stocking an elegant selection of luxury mens- and womenswear.
On Via Monserrato, L'Archivio di Monserrato is open by appointment only and houses Soledad Twombly's atelier store. Her pieces are made to order from fabrics she's collected on her travels.
SBU (Strategic Business Unit) sells modern menswear on Via di S. Pantaleo and you can get shirts tailored to fit at F.G. Albertelli on Piazza del Parlamento, which also stocks silk-lined suits and leather bomber jackets.
Designed to mimic a giant jewellery box, Delfina Delettrez's little store on Via del Governo Vecchio showcases her contemporary gem-studded jewellery collections, which include piercing bars with tiny golden bees and intricate multi-band rings.
Browse the super-cool boutiques of Monti, particularly those along Via Urbana and Via del Boschetto, such as LOL, with its selection of clothing organised by colour, jewellery and bags, or vintage store Flamingo.
A Rome Speciality: Leather
Saddlers Union on Via Margutta specialises in high-quality leather bags that make great investment pieces. Among the collection are the bucket models that made the brand famous in the 1950s, chic saddle bags and block-coloured suede clutches.
If you're after a pair of fine leather shoes, call in at Marini on Via Francesco Crispi. Leave plenty of time, as you'll need two fittings to make sure your shoes fit perfectly. Alternatively, try Calzoleria Petrocchi on Vicolo Sugarelli, or either branch of Di San Giacomo Sandals, where you can order a pair of sandals to be made in about an hour.
Perfect Designs: Shopping for Homeware
At C.U.C.I.N.A on Via Mario dè Fiori, you'll find all kinds of cookware from brands such as Alessi - pick up a parmesan knife or some espresso spoons for a perfect culinary memento that'll bring you back here every time you use it.
Arcon is a boutique packed full of stylish contemporary homeware - think sleek round-corner Zanotta bed frames or modern and minimalist floor lamps from Ingo Maurer.
On Bocca di Leone, Fleur is a concept store stocking Art Deco and mid-century furniture alongside designer clothing and a selection of books and candles. There's a little tea shop and oyster bar in the back.
If you're looking for Italian marble, pop into Bottega del Marmoraro on Via Margutta. Sandro Fiorentini uses the stone for carvings and sculptures, but there are small plaques you can buy as souvenirs.
The Best of the Rest
Bottle the memories of your trip to Rome at Essenzialmente Laura, a perfume store with scents such as acqua barroca, inspired by the fountains of Rome, or Italia, with its floral notes.
For a more physical souvenir, try your hand at mosaic crafting with a workshop at Studio Cassi, where you can make your own Roman mosaic.
Stop for a coffee at Castroni (there are several branches all over Rome) and to stock up on Italian produce such as Aoste Valley cheese or balsamic vinegar. Expats like Castroni because it also sells home comforts that are hard to come by, including US peanut butter or Marmite.