76 Via del Boschetto
Tel: 39 06 488 101
Wilma Silvestri and her daughter Giorgia have long been the first Roman port of call for fashion insiders on the lookout for great vintage pieces from designers such as Pucci and Yves Saint Laurent. The Silvestris have expanded to a former convent on this picturesque street in the boho-chic district of Monti (their original store, at nearby 76 Via del Boschetto, is dedicated to up-and-coming designers). This team continues to produce its own one-off designs using vintage materials, in addition to more classic linen suits. There's some great costume jewelry, too.—Updated by Lee Marshall
Open Mondays 3:30 to 7:30 pm, Tuesdays through Saturdays 10 am to 1 pm and 3:30 to 7:30 pm.
45 Via del Moro
Tel: 39 06 583 6942
It would be hard to imagine how owner Dermot O'Connell could squeeze even one more slim volume into this tiny, long-established English-language bookshop in a picture-pretty alley in Trastevere. But you'll find all the latest fiction titles here, plus a host of works on art, architecture, history, and archeology—everything you need, in fact, to appreciate Rome's treasures to the utmost. The shop's bulletin board is a mine of information for anyone seeking lodgings or work in the Eternal City.
Open Mondays through Saturdays 10 am to 1:30 pm and 3:30 to 8 pm, Sundays 11 am to 1:30 pm and 3:30 to 8 pm.
79 Via Barberini
Tel: 39 06 484 517
Forget Savile Row: Custom-made suits reach their apotheosis in Rome. Brioni has been tailoring the best for dapper types since 1945; this was the preferred tailor for the famous and glamorous who flocked to the Eternal City for the postwar dolce vita. There are off-the-peg garments in this flagship store in Trevi, but for the full lap-of-luxury experience, select your glorious fabric and have measurements taken in your hotel room. The finished product gets sent wherever you want it.
Open Mondays through Saturdays 10 am to 7:30 pm.
75, 79, 93 Piazza Capranica
Tel: 39 06 679 0202
Degli Effetti is a triumvirate of style with its women's outpost at number 93, men's at 79, and something called "neo millennium" at 75. All three exemplify a certain breed of Roman storethe staff are so cool and the displays so perfect that it's intimidating just to walk in, let alone ask for help. But design label junkies persevere! Among the offerings: for le donne, Miu Miu, Y3, and Pink Watanbe; boys can choose from Prada and Helmut Lang, and the neo millennials among us get to pick out James Perse shirts, Rogan and Habitual jeans, and other trendy/casual items. Just be prepared to drop your entire shopping allowance in one centro storico piazza.
Most of the big names in Italian design have their flagship stores in the grid of elegant and exorbitant streets that lie immediately beneath the Spanish Steps. Whatever your credit limit, you'll at least want to stroll along Via Condotti to drool over the window displays of fashion powerhouses Prada, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Bulgari, Ferragamo, and Valentino. Parallel to Via Condotti, Via Borgognona used to be known as "Fendi Street." But with the 2005 opening of the new Fendi megastore in a 19th-century palazzo in nearby Largo Goldoni, only Fendi housewares and some accessories have remained on the old premises. Hit up the annual sales in August and January.
77 Via Condotti
Tel: 39 06 699 1460
10 Via Condotti
Tel: 39 06 696 261
Dolce & Gabbana
31 Via Condotti
Tel: 39 06 69992 4999
65 Via Condotti
Tel: 39 06 678 1130
73–74 Via Condotti
Tel: 39 06 679 1565
420 Largo Goldoni
Tel: 39 06 696 661
36–39 Via Borgognona
Tel: 39 06 696 661
8 Via Condotti
Tel: 39 06 679 0405
92-–95 Via Condotti
Tel: 39 06 679 0897
13 Via Condotti
Tel: 39 06 679 5862
23, 26–27 Via Bocca di Leone
Tel: 39 06 675 0521
You've window-shopped along Via Condotti, your credit card has wilted, but your spirit's willing. So where do you turn? Rome's city center stock houses won't always have the outfit you're dreaming of, but a rifle through the rails at Il Discount dell'Alta Moda may turn up some heavily reduced Prada, Miu Miu, Gucci, or Roberto Cavalli. Gucci bags are the main draw at sister store Il Discount delle Firme, along with significant markdowns on Alberta Ferretti, Versace, and others. The discount is generally 50 percent, rising to 60–70 percent during sales.
Il Discount dell' Alta Moda
16A Via Gesù e Maria
Tel: 39 06 361 3796
Il Discount Delle Firme
27 Via dei Serviti
Tel: 39 06 482 7790
7475 Via del Gesù
Tel: 39 06 678 4477
Even if you're not planning to set up your easel in the Forum or sketch copies of Roman statues in the Capitoline Museums, you'll be fascinated by the wealth of materials available at this shop, which has been meeting artists' needs since 1825. Besides a vast range of pens, pencils, and paints, there are natural pigments of the kind Leonardo might have used, burins for engravers, and handmade papers of all weights and hues.
Open Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays 9 am to 1 pm and 4 to 7:30 pm, Thursdays 9 am to 7:30 pm.
173 Via del Babuino
Tel: 39 06 3260 0361
In this stylish store on the eternally elegant Via del Babuino, you can stock up on luxury stationeryboth hand- and machine-madefrom Cartiere Fabriano in a rainbow of glorious colors. Leather and cloth photo albums, guest or address books of rich paper, and fountain pens all make great gifts.
Each Sunday morning, the streets just outside the ancient Porta Portese gate fill with stalls and bargain hunters in Rome's biggest flea market. There's a lot of rubbish here—"designer" T-shirts and "Louis Vuitton" bags straight from the Far East—and the wily dealers who run the antiques stalls in Via Ippolito Nievo always get the price they want. But rummage in secondhand book stalls or among boxes of vinyl LPs, and you may find some gems. For clothes, new and vintage, the scrum of choice is in Via Sannio, just outside the walls by the Basilica of San Giovanni Laterano. Each weekday morning, and all day Saturday, push through the cheap tat out front to stalls in the dark interior for fascinating finds. Pickpockets love the crush at both, so be careful with your wallet.
35 Via Monserrato
Campo de' Fiori
Tel: 39 06 686 3160
Ilaria Miani began her working life as a picture framer but has since branched out into a range of stunningly stylish furniture and housewares, such as the versatile Cube coffee table with lift-out trays in a selection of rich woods, multihued retro garden chairs, and her trademark Whatnot—adjustable shelves in wood and wrought iron. Miani first designed them to grace the villas she restores and rents out in the Tuscan countryside, but they look perfectly at home, and surprisingly urban-chic, in her smart Rome shop.
For Miani's insider perspective on the Eternal City, check out her itinerary for the perfect two days in Rome.
Open Mondays 3:30 to 7:30 pm, Tuesdays through Saturdays 10:30 am to 1:30 pm and 3:30 to 7:30 pm, September through July. Hours vary seasonally; please call ahead.
34 Via di Ripetta
Piazza del Popolo
Tel: 39 06 361 2325
The walls of this discreet, elegant perfumery are covered floor to ceiling with glass flasks. Drop by, and expert assistants will steer you around the shelves until you find your perfect perfume match. For a fuller exploration of your tastes and requirements, call ahead to book a passeggiata olfattoria—an olfactory stroll through the shop. You might end up with a fragrance customized just for you.
Open Mondays through Saturdays 11 am to 7:30 pm.
53B Via Margutta
Tel: 39 06 320 7660
It's not difficult to imagine Enrico Fiorentini draped in a toga and chipping bits off marble blocks for proud consuls and exotically perfumed Roman matrons. This welcoming, raucous marble-working shop personifies the Roman craftsman—today and 2,000 years ago—and this tiny spot on an ivy-draped street, otherwise populated by chic galleries, is quite timeless. Fiorentini will make you a "classical" statue or (far easier to carry) lapidary inscription to order.
Open Mondays through Saturdays 8:30 am to 7:30 pm.
14 Via di Pallacorda
Tel: 39 06 6819 3216
Milanese textile designer Lisa Corti creates colorful bedspreads, cushions, curtains, and womenswear out of Indian organza, cotton, and velvet. Featured in Saks and John Derian, Corti also has outlets in Milan, Florence, and Istanbul, but her Roman store is really quite special, and well worth seeking out if you can get hold of a decent centro storico map. The shop is in the tiny lane where the artist Caravaggio once killed a rival after a game of pallacorda (a sort of open-air version of squash). Inside, the gray columns and white walls of what were once the stables of a Renaissance palazzo are enlivened by the full-on hues and patterns of Corti's vibrant textiles.
Open Tuesdays through Sundays 10 am to 7 pm; check for extended hours in summer.
21 Via Piè di Marmo
Tel: 39 06 699 0856
Moriondo & Gariglio's dark red interior creates the perfect ambience for this chocolate-perfumed haven. For more than 100 years, the firm has been producing Rome's very finest chocolate, from the 70 percent pure cocoa variety to nutty pralines and treats with rich liqueur centers. Around Easter and Valentine's Day, the place gets seriously packed. Have a present for a special someone sealed into a sumptuously wrapped heart-shaped box.
Open daily 9:30 am to 1 pm and 3:30 to 7:30 pm, September through July.
Each Sunday morning, Via Portuense and the surrounding streets just outside the ancient Porta Portese gate fill with stalls and bargain hunters in Rome's biggest flea market. There's a lot of rubbish here—"designer" T-shirts and "Louis Vuitton" bags straight from the Far East—and the wily dealers who run the antiques stalls in and around Via Ippolito Nievo make sure they get the price they want. But rummage a little deeper, in secondhand bookstalls or among boxes of vinyl LPs plonked on the pavement, and you may find some gems. Pickpockets love the crush, so be careful of your wallet. Cinephiles will recognize the location from the neorealist classic The Bicycle Thief.
155A Via del Babuino
Piazza del Popolo
Tel: 39 06 3269 5131
At the one-stop shopping mecca TAD—Rome's answer to Colette in Paris and Jeffrey in New York—you'll find a handpicked collection of shoes, clothes, and housewares that look as if they were pulled right from the pages of Vogue Italia. Though dresses from designers like Alessandro dell'Acqua and Chloé don't come cheap, you can often find pieces that aren't available stateside. Other standouts include the ethnic furnishings picked up by owner Marina Coffa on her travels, plus flowers from Tearose that'll make your hotel room that much more chic. You can even have your hair done at the on-site salon. After you make your way through the varied offerings, refuel at the store's hip cafe in a beautiful courtyard with marble fountain. They also have a discount outlet around the corner, at 5 Via San Giacomo.
Open daily 10:30 am to 8 pm May through September; 10:30 am to 5:30 pm October through April.
Clued-in shoe shoppers head to the fruit and vegetable market in Testaccio, where the whole western aisle has been colonized by stalls selling manufacturers' samples and last season's models at bargain-basement prices (Monday through Saturday mornings). On Saturdays, traders bring more men's footwear. The streets around the market in this friendly residential neighborhood harbor many more shoe shops, including an AVC outlet (66–68 Via Mastro Giorgio; 39-06-5725-0493). And while you're here, stock up for your picnic in the park off Piazza Santa Maria Liberatrice.
Narrow, bustling Via del Governo Vecchio is not only unspeakably picturesque, it also boasts the highest density of one-off fashion emporiums in Rome, offering everything from the classiest secondhand garments at Vestiti Usati Cinzia (No. 45; 39-06-686-1791) to beautiful coats, sweaters, and embroidered wedding dresses designed by Luciana Iannace at Maga Morgana (No. 27; 39-06-687-9995 and No. 98; 39-06-687-8095). Patrizia Pieroni's daring conversation-piece dresses are at Arsenale (No. 64; 39-06-686-1380); you'll find strappy, spangly sandals at Jade & More (No. 36; 39-06-683-3936); Tempi Moderni has Art Deco necklaces and Bakelite brooches (No. 108; 39-06-687-7007); and there's outrageously ornate costume jewelry at Indecoroso (No. 67; 39-335-635-0096). When it all gets to be too much for you, take the weight off your feet at Shaki Restaurant, where meals, drinks, and snacks are served from 10 am to 2 am daily (No. 123; 39-06-6830-8796; www.shakiroma.com).
47 Via Marmorata
Tel: 39 06 574 2352
Enter this gastronomic temple at your peril. A sliver of piquant pecorino here, a mini-chunk of succulent salami there, and before you know it, you'll be opening your heart and your wallet to the charmingly cajoling salesmen behind the high, glass-fronted counter packed with every Italian deli specialty you've ever wanted to try—and quite a few that you've never even heard of. Claudio and Emilio Volpetti's goods are far from cheap but are always top-quality: There are cheeses of all ages and consistencies from up and down Italy's boot, a daunting selection of hams, and dozens of salamis, plus excellent bread, and a good though pricey selection of wines. For sit-down lunchtime self-service, check out the restaurant just round the corner at 8–10 Via Alessandro Volta, where you can sample a selection of the same goods, plus excellent pizza and salads.
Open daily 8 am to 2 pm and 5 to 8:15 pm.