Shopping in Rome: The Streets to Know
High fashion boutiques, commercial galleries, niche vintage and second-hand shops
Those ready to revel in the city's exclusive boutiques will find Gucci, Prada, Fendi, Ermanno Scervino, Giorgio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Burberry, Chanel, Tiffany, Bulgari, and so many others. Practically all the streets near the Spanish Steps (Piazza di Spagna), including the charming Via del Babbuino that leads to Piazza del Popolo, are dedicated to high fashion and haute couture.
Those looking to window-shop rather than buy should traverse this district anyway, noting the window displays and monuments, and maybe even taking coffee in one of a few of Rome's oldest cafes, particularly Antico Caffè Greco. If pricey is not your thing, trendy on a budget is the name of the game on the main thoroughfare of Via del Corso, which also hosts the Galleria Alberto Sordi or Galleria Colonna. Shoppers will like the mix of high and low here (think Guess and Pinko), and can browse through chains like Zara, H& M and Italian department store La Rinascente.
Be sure to check out the neighborhood aorund Campo de Fiori, where Via dei Giubbonari and Via del del Governo Vecchio are lined with a mix of small but locally well-known Roman designers, cult and international underground brands, and some secondhand stores. Via del Boschetto, then, in the super boho chic Monti district, is tops for vintage lovers. Devotees of small, indipendent designers will also appreciate Monti for its original finds, whether in its quaint and cool shops or in the Sunday consignment market.
If you find yourself in Prati, just north of the Vatican City and St. Peter's Basilica, check out Via Cola di Rienzo and Via Ottaviano. Otherwise, Via Appia Nuova is a huge (mostly low-end fashion bargains) shopping street neighboring the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano.
Finally, the certified style set into more than merely purchasing might be interested in Rome's historic fashion events and places. Italy's Capital launched the career of Valentino Garavani of course, and the city honored Maison Valentino with a retrospective on his haute couture collections at the Ara Pacis in 2007. In celebration of the designer's 45th anniversary, "Valentino a Roma: 45 Years of Style" was an exposition of over 300 dresses and archive material. Armani held a similar affair with its Armani Day on October 24, 2013, setting up a fashion show of the Giorgio Armani, Emporio Armani and Armani Privè lines in the EUR district's Palazzo della Civiltà del Lavoro, more commonly known as the "Square colosseum."
Finally, the historic Fendi family chose the neoclassical structure in Largo Goldoni as its headquarters and boutique in 2005. The seven-floor Palazzo Fendi is an icon in itself, and a big draw at Christmas for its annual lights and decorations (the lights forming a belt that wraps around the building are an enormous hit every year).