Italy is well known as the home of fashion. Here's where to spend your bucks.
Vintage shopping in Rome
Via del Governo Vecchio, just off Piazza Navona, is home to 50 per cent of the finest vintage stores in Rome – and the neighbourhood of Monti has the rest. To get between the two takes a good 30-45 minutes of walking (if you don’t get lost), while a taxi costs around €15. For the best concentration of second-hand clothing and accessories stores, start at Via del Boschetto. It’s not really a market for haggling, as the quality of the stock is generally pretty good and there is a steady stream of business with vintage-loving locals, but you can always try asking for a sconto, which means discount.
Best boutiques in Rome
If you’re happy to wander and take shopping at a slower pace, stroll around Via del Babuino, Via Margutta and Via Vittoria. These three connected streets between Piazza del Popolo and the Spanish Steps are filled with little boutiques selling designer dresses, perfume, elegant homewares, art and other pretty objects – so it’s your chance to bring a little piece of la dolce vita home with you. If all this beauty makes you hungry, head to Babette on Via Margutta for afternoon tea. They make a delicious ricotta cake and tarte tartin – when ordered with a Roman espresso and devoured in their tranquil courtyard, it’s the perfect way to contemplate whether to treat yourself to art, shoes or fragrance.
Rome’s must-see markets
Porta Portese in Testaccio is a well-known flea market boasting everything from furniture and clothing to bric-a-brac and bicycles. However, you won’t find real quality vintage clothing – the best quality items are probably the leather jackets. It runs from Via Portuense to Viale Trastevere and Piazza Porta Portese. If you’re serious about fashion, try Monti at their MercatoMonti on weekends, at Via Leonina 46. It’s packed with independent designers, serious vintage sellers and even inexpensive accessories that make for great gifts for loved ones at home.