One of the most popular traditional products to buy in Italy is pasta. Visitors will find all types of pasta of different shapes and sizes, flavour and ingredients throughout the city. The best places to buy Italian pasta are in supermarkets or specialized shops. The most extravagant variations can cost up to € 3 (US$ 3.40) for a 500-gram bag.
Other products that make great presents are: limoncello, olive oil or vinegar. If you like parmesan cheese, you can get some in Rome, which is normally a lot cheaper and better quality than in the rest of Europe or the US.
If you want to spend as little as possible on these souvenirs, then the best place to get them is in a supermarket, although these are sometimes hard to find in the city.
The Italian love of fashion is well known and the fact is that, although it is not Milan, Rome has some of the best designer boutiques in Italy.
If you’d like to discover these shops, head to Via del Corso, where the most prestigious boutiques are located, or to the streets surrounding Piazza di Spagna, especially Via dei Condotti, where you’ll find Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Bulgari or Armani. Then walk to Via Veneto, where there are other stores of the same standard.
If you’re looking for counterfeit products, especially bags, you’ll be surprised at how many people sell these on the popular streets of Rome. It is possible to purchase a Gucci replica bag for € 10 (US$ 11.20).
Art and antiques
Souvenirs and gifts
Souvenir shops and street stalls are found in Rome’s most important tourist spots. If you are good at bargaining, you will be able to get the typical figurines and other souvenirs for great prices.
Unlike most capital cities in Europe, Rome does not have many department stores. The closest to the city centre is the Galleria Alberto Sordi, on Via del Corso, near the Piazza Colonna. It opens every day from 10 am to 10 pm.
Rome has several very interesting street markets full of traditional products, art, clothes and antiques:
- Porta Portese Market: Only open on Sunday mornings, this traditional flea market that sells from books to clothes to cds is Rome’s largest street market. It is spread throughout the streets of Trastevere Railway Station.
- Mercato dei Fiori: This market is open every morning and mainly sells flowers, vegetables and fruit. It is located in the Campo dei Fiori and is very charming.
- Piazza Fontanella Borghese Market: It opens every morning except Sundays and is specialized in books and antiques. Visitors will find it near the Piazza di Spagna.
- Via Sannio Market: Five minutes from San Giovanni metro station is located Via Sannio Market. It opens on weekdays until 8 pm (approximately). It mainly sells clothes and jewellery.