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The Best in Rome

SHOPPING

Rome is full of wonderful, unique shops, each reflecting the personal taste of its proprietor. The trick is learning where they are and we are here to help you. Several distinct shopping areas can be defined in the center of town. The streets around the Spanish Steps are largely occupied by a firmament of designer boutiques, from Giorgio Armani to Ermenegildo Zegna. The Via Giubbinari, which runs from Via Arenula to the Campo de’Fiori, is lined with shops catering mostly to the young or young at heart. Trastevere is dotted with boutiques carrying an electic mix of cutting-edge design, ethnic looks and fine made-to-measure garments. The Via dei Governo Vecchio, behind Piazza Navona, is home to chic ateliers. Shops surrounding the Pantheon and along the fashionable Via Campo Marzio are of the moment, but with a sense of history. The Via del Corso, which runs from Piazza Venezia to Piazza del Popolo, is almost always too crowded for comfort, the attraction: a procession of sportswear vendors, many of them branches of Italy’s popular chains — Blue Sand, List, Le Group, Etam, Ethic, Sisley, Benetton. The same shops can be found on several other shopping streets, such as Via Nazionale, which runs from the Piazza Venezia to the Piazza della Repubblica, and the Via Cola di Rienzo, in residential Prati. Nether is as crowded as the Via del Corso, and you’ll find much the same merchandise.

The shopping mall has begun to infect Rome, confined though it is to the outskirts of the city. The oldest of the bunch is Cinecittà2 in south Rome, reachable by metro on the A line. Others have erupted along the GRA, the road that rings Rome. The megalopolis of Porta di Roma at the north edge of the city, can be reached from Stazione Termini on the number 38 bus. www.galleriaportadiroma.it The newest one, and allegedly the largest in Italy, Roma Est, has 220 stores, including an Apple Superstore. It's reachable by car, on Via Collatina, the Ponte di Nona exit on the A24 or exits 14 and 15 on the GRA. www.romaest.cc. Another enormous mail Parco Leonardo, is near the airport at Fiumiciono, reachable by the airport train from either Stazione Termini or Stazione Trastevere. www.parcoleonardo.it. The newest entry is smaller and more elegant, but still a sizeable mall by any standard, in the Eur zone, so closer to the center of town. The EurRoma mall is now reachable by the number 700 or 709 bus, and it has a huge parking structure. www.euroma2.it The jewel of Rome’s malls is right in the center, on the Via del Corso, the small but elegant Galleria Alberto Sordi, which re-opened in 2004 after an extensive restoration. The vintage deco stained glass ceiling covers a soaring atrium, and the shops tend to be a bit more interesting: Calvin Klein, the Spanish chain Zara, and Jam, a three-story wonderland of the youngest and hippest clothes and accessories. More interesting for bargain hunters are the designer outlet malls- There are two major outlet malls near room, the MacArthur Glen in Via Ponte di Piscina Cupa, at Castel Romano www.mcarthurglen.it and the Valmonte Fashion District, which offers a shuttle bus, leaving from via Marsala at the back of Stazione Termini at 10 am and returning at 5:30 pm. www.fashiondistrict.it.