When ‘Made in Italy’ appears on a label it automatically signals a sense of exclusivity and quality. Italy is known around the world for its authentic handmade craftsmanship and, in particular, its burgeoning textile, leather and perfume industries. While Milan is famed for its high fashion Rome is one of the country’s greatest artisanal centres, with countless boutiques offering a range of quality Italian wares. Follow in the footsteps of the city’s well-heeled citizens with this insider’s guide to where to shop in Rome.
Glamorous Italian labels
The illustrious Via Condotti is renowned for its designer boutiques, with glamorous Italian fashion labels such as Valentino, Gucci, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Alberta Ferretti and Giorgio Armani all calling this stylish street home. Elsewhere in the city, the most talked about opening is Colosseo Quadrato, the new Fendi headquarters at Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana, housed in a striking building from the Fascist era. Opened in honour of the Italian fashion house’s 90th anniversary, the headquarters features a free-entry gallery that’s a must for fashion and design lovers. Back on Via Condotti, the brand has also re-opened Palazzo Fendi, following a refurbishment. As well as featuring Fendi’s largest boutique in the world, the five-story building has a fur atelier and, from spring, will be home to acclaimed Japanese restaurant Zuma.
When it comes to men’s style, there’s nothing better than a bespoke, tailor-made suit. With a long history of craftsmanship in men’s clothing, Rome is a fitting place to commission a custom suit. Presenting Italian style combined with the best artisanal traditions, Sartoria Ripense is one of the city’s premier tailoring houses, and a favourite of the local fashion set. Owned by Roman tailor Andrea Lucarelli, the workmanship here is second to none, whether you’re after a classic three-piece or a bespoke creation of customised colours and materials.
Roman perfume houses
Perfume is big business in Italy. For those looking to pick up an Italian fragrance, local brand Acqua di Parma offers some of the city’s most popular scents. From its store on the beautiful Piazza di Spagna, visitors can explore a considerable collection of perfumes and colognes for men and women, while the personalisation service will ensure you pick the perfect gift or souvenir, and the in-house barber will see you suitably spruced. On the nearby Via di Ripetta, scent-savvy shoppers can find Profumum Roma, a renowned Roman perfume house specialising in premium niche fragrances unique to the city.
Traditional Italian millinery
If you’re looking for a bespoke hat, there’s only one place to go: Antica Cappelleria, located in via dell’Oca 34. Treasured by locals as one of the oldest hat shops in Rome, it has been passed down between four generations of the same family since its opening in 1936. In the workshop, milliners use trusted age-old methods to create modern, historic and custom hats for any occasion.
When in Rome, only Italian craftsmanship will suffice, and this applies to accessories as well as to the wardrobe. Gioielleria Capuano, a family-owned jeweller that has been operating since the 1930s, presents a collection as timeless as the Eternal City itself. At the boutique on the exclusive Via Condotti 61/A, shoppers can discover an array of sparkling pieces, from gem-studded cuffs and diamond necklaces to striking pendants and one-of-a-kind rings.
After a long day of shopping, rest and unwind with an Ancient Roman Ritual at De Russie Spa. The healing foot treatment encompasses a warm foot bath and exfoliation, followed by a mask, a reflexology massage and moisturising, to leave feet feeling soothed and relaxed.
Image credits: cover image © Profumum Roma. Via Condotti © PaoloGaetano/iStock. Rome boutique © Acqua di Parma.