Rome Shopping Tips by nicolettart
Rome Shopping: 276 reviews and 280 photos
What to buy: In mid-November the department stores like Upim and Standa were just beginning to put out their Christmas items. I was able to pick up some small pieces just as they were unpacking their shipment. Now, we're not talking high quality museum pieces like you would find in Spaccanapoli in Naples. I bought some small plastic bags of flour, pottery, stucco farmhouse fragments covered in moss, donkey pulling a cart, and some figures. Nice additions to my Nativity.
What to pay: They were inexpensive between 2 and 7 Euro.
Address: Via Gioberti 64
Directions: Upim is across the street from Santa Maria Maggiore.
Theme: Department Store
It's a basic stationery store, nothing fancy. At the time I went they had Christmas cards and I was able to buy some old ones for about 50 cents!! This store also had childrens books, Italian design markers and pens, and other stationery items. Reasonably priced.
Address: Via Arenula 85
This shop specializes in many religious articles, including figures for a Nativity scene. I purchased about a half dozen Fontanini figures, less than 10 Euro apiece. They also had these wonderfully realistic clay sheep, which were more expensive, but gave me a great idea to make some when I got back home!!
What to buy: Religiious articles, statues, and souvenirs.
Address: Piazza della MInerva
Directions: Santa Maria Sopra Minerva
Theme: Local Craft
Zecchino D'Oro CD
I find that my baby loves music, especially children singing. SInce I was a child I have watched Lo Zecchino D'Oro , a childrens' singing contest, on RAI. While in Rome I decided I wanted to pick up the latest CD and I found it in a music shop in Trastevere. It was near S. Maria in Trastevere.
What to buy: Italian CDs
What to pay: Average price for the 2CD set was 20 Euro, I think. I also bought Zucchero's latest, Shake, which was only 10 Euro.
Address: Via della Lungaretta 65
You can get wine anywhere in Rome, really!! I purchased wine to bring home in a place behind our hotel which seemed to attract tourists more so than locals. The delightful find in this store was the truffle oil. I chose the white truffle oil (in olive oil) for 14 Euro, which I thought was comparable to what I would pay back home at, let's say, Dean&Deluca in NYC.
What to pay: Comparable 10 Euro and up for a bottle of wine.
Theme: Food and Drink
This shop specializes in all kinds of books (in Italian). I bought cookbooks, magazines, and Roberto Benigni's Pinocchio book (the movie had just come out). Of special interest to me was a Roman recipe book with pictures.
What to pay: Italian books and magazines in Little Italy, NY would cost much, much more.
Address: corner of Via del Corso and Via del Tritone
Directions: Largo Chigi
....unless you are a serious print collector, that is. I wanted to bring home some prints of Rome, but the prices here were too high for me. A medium quality print ran about E35, and that was the cheapest. And forget bargaining--this one woman did not budge. It was very surprising considering it was raining and buyers were scarce. Anyway, I did find the cheaper versions right near Fontana di Trevi for much , much less.
What to buy: Antique-style architectural prints
What to pay: 2 Euro near Trevi for cheap versions.
35 Euro and up at Mercato delle Stampe for the serious versions.
Directions: Mercato delle Stampe is at Largo della Fontanella di Borghese.
Italian Baby Food
I learned that you cannot find diapers and baby food in a supermarket in Rome. If you need baby items, look for a pharmacy. You can identify it by the green neon cross(+) above the door. If you can pronounce it, ask for omogeneizzati ( I am fluent and had trouble with this one at first). You will be shown jars of commonly found baby food, such as applesauce, and the more interesting concoctions, including zucchine, prosciutto, lamb, and even coniglio (rabbit). I was so thrilled I brought home jars of the food you can't get back home.
What to pay: Same as back home. Diapers were a little more expensive.
What to buy: I wanted to buy Alessandro Baricco novels while I was in Rome. I was in Trastevere one day and I happened to find a small shop where I bought "Novecento", "Seta", and his latest, "Senza Sangue". I think you can also get these books in the English version online. If you saw the recent movie "Legend of 1900", it was based on the book Novecento .
What to pay: Cheaper than in US.
Novecento cost 4,50 Euro.
Address: Via della Lungaretta, Trastevere
Directions: Near Santa Maria in Trastevere church, in Trastevere.
Funky Baby Shoes
Childrens's shoe store. I found a great pair of platinum metallic leather maryjanes on sale here. I was in Rome in November, so there were some good deals.
What to pay: 29 Euro was a great deal for shoes that regularly sold for 55 Euro.
Address: Via Cola di Rienzo
Theme: Children's Clothes
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