At Christmas time, Rome’s shopping streets are filled with Italian fashion brands tempting passers-by with beautiful displays and opulently dressed windows. However, while fresh-off-the-runway items from designer labels make excellent gifts, they’re rarely unique. This festive season, why not treat your loved ones to a more personal, bespoke creation with a one-off piece of jewellery, clothing or an accessory that’s been handmade by Rome’s best artisans. Discover a world of Italian craftsmanship with this guide to shopping in Rome.
Italian leather is famous around the world for its quality and durability. One of the best places to discover it is Mancini Leather Goods. A local favourite for nearly 100 years, the workshop was originally opened by master saddler Tito Mancini in 1918 as a quality luggage manufactory. Nowadays, still under the watchful gaze of the Mancini family, it’s better known for its stylish handbags and accessories. Visit the boutique on via della Palombella to meet Tito’s great grandson Riccardo and to browse a large collection of handbags, satchels, briefcases, backpacks, luggage cases and ‘stocking filler’ accessories such as key rings.
Gioielleria Peppino Capuano is one of the most exclusive and highly-regarded Italian jewellers in Rome. Founded by Peppino and Vincenzo Capuano in 1960, the Roman maison and its unique, precious designs were highly coveted by celebrated artists from around the world, including Brigitte Bardot, Joan Crawford and Luchino Visconti. Today, the atelier is run by the founders' nephew Sergio Capuano and his son Federico, who continue to maintain the family's traditions. Visit the elegant showroom on the first floor of Palazzo Caffarelli in Via Condotti to browse some of the finest handcrafted jewellery in Rome.
Artisans at Bocache & Salvucci approach shoemaking like a painter considers a canvas, crafting wearable works of art. Shoes are made from the best available leather that’s cut, shaped and finished by hand. To ensure that each fits perfectly, master shoemakers mould shoes to the wearer’s feet. A pair of bespoke, customised shoes from Bocache & Salvucci is not only your chance to show how well you know a loved one, it’s a gift that will last for many Christmas’ to come.
As one of the oldest hat shops in Rome, Antica Manifattura Cappelli is a local favourite. If you’re looking to purchase a piece of headwear that will last for years and never go out of style, this is the place to go. The manufactory, which has a shop close to Piazza del Popolo and a workshop in Via Degli Scipioni, has been family-run since opening in 1936. Hats are handmade by milliners who use trusted age-old methods to create a range of modern, historic and custom headwear for a variety of occasions.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do and select an extra special gift from Sartoria Ripense. While the city is home to countless premium Italian fashion brands, go the extra mile by commissioning customised, tailored clothing. Sartoria Ripense in Via di Ripetta is one of the city’s best tailoring houses. Here, tailor Andrea Lucarelli creates bespoke creations and classic suites for stylish customers.
A leather jacket or coat is a long-term investment and a timeless gift. Punto Pelle on Via Margutta is one of the best places in the city to go for high-end or custom-made leather fashion. The workshop uses top quality leather that’s designed, cut and sewn into modern designs by a team of expert artisans. Shoppers can also work with the boutique to design a customised item of clothing in any chosen style or colour.
If you’re planning to do your Christmas shopping in Rome, take advantage of Hotel de Russie’s seasonal getaway packages and relax in opulence after a long day of gift buying.
Image credits: Shoe making © Bocache & Salvucci, tailoring © Sartoria Ripense