There are a million things to do in Rome. Gorge on fried artichokes. Gorge on braised artichokes. Scoff cacio e pepe at Tonnarello. Sip Cirò Rosso at Cavour 313. Eat gelato at night by the Trevi Fountain. Stay in bed. Fall head over heels in love with your travel partner, or with the person standing next to you in the queue for pizza bianca (we’ve done both). But in between all these escapades, fit in some shopping – you’ve got to work up an appetite for pasta somehow. Rome is one of the most exhilarating cities in the world, so take a piece of it home with you.
If you want: gorgeous goods for your house
Gallery-cum-boutique Mia is run by three incredibly stylish women whose motto is ‘less house, more home’. Pick from covetable furniture, home accessories, crockery, books, lighting and more. Items we wish we’d shoved in our hand luggage include the Reused History glasses, the Randaccio mirror, the La Michetta sofa and the Bubble lamp. Screw you, hand luggage.
224 Via di Ripetta
If you want: to smell delicious
We’ve met many bartenders in our time, but not many who dabble in scents. Olfattorio is a Roman perfume bar where you can sit back, relax and be guided around an Aladdin’s cave worth of sparkling perfume bottles until you’re matched with the one that steals your heart. It’s personal shopping at its most fragrant.
34 Via di Ripetta
If you want: Instagram-worthy jewellery
Beloved of Beyoncé, Delfina Delettrez has stellar sartorial pedigree, hailing from the Fendi family. She has proven she’s a gifted designer in her own right, founding her eponymous jewellery label in 2007. Her Portrait rings riff on pop culture’s emoji love affair: pick from cutesy numbers in yellow or white gold, with generous scatterings of peridot, pink tourmaline, amethyst and aquamarine. Add the pouty, ruby-encrusted, lip-shaped ‘mini portrait’ ring to your Christmas/birthday/whatever list. Prices on request (gulp).
67 Via del Governo Vecchio
If you want: gourmet gifts
Lose time, gain calories in Antica Pizzicheria Ruggeri, which is stuffed to bursting with pastas, pastes, salamis, cheeses, breads and other enticing items. (They’ve been stocking up since 1919.) Invest in a jar or three of creamy white-truffle spread (your scrambled eggs will thank you), or invest in a hefty round of pecorino and a bag or two of strozzapreti. Nibble on a snack or two while you’re here – the shop also has a deli section.
1 Piazza Campo de’ Fiori
If you want: ceramics for your mum/kitchen/mum’s kitchen
Take some Mediterranean sunshine home with you by investing in Sicilian and Tuscan ceramics at De Sanctis 1890. (We wish we had the pomegranate platter sitting next to us now.) Don’t worry if you’ve only got a meagre luggage allowance – the shop ships worldwide. Earn mega-mum points by buying her one, too. A rooster bowl, perhaps?
23 Piazza di Pietra
If you want: sexy specs
‘Four eyes’ ain’t an insult at Monocle, which stocks a glittering array of trendsetting sunglasses and specs, with the focus firmly on independent designers rather than well-known names. Highlights include designs by Chrome Hearts, Dita, Thom Browne, Mykita, Kuboraum and 8000, but Monocle’s own range (hand-made in Italy, natch) is worth a look-see, too.
13 Via di Campo Marzio
If you want: bonkers cushions
Lisa Corti’s designs make the rainbow look vanilla – her cushions, curtains, rugs, throws and clothes come in a vivid array of colour-pop hues and prints. You’ll think of India when you clap eyes on the emporium’s exotic treasures, which makes sense: pieces are designed in Milan, but made by master craftsmen and women on the Subcontinent. Furnishings come in a plethora of fabrics and weaves: pick from cotton, muslin, mulmul, wool, silk, zari, ikat, bandhani, calico and more.
197 Via dei Coronari
If you want: gelato
There are not many things we will queue for. Gelato is one. Join the locals standing patiently in line for what might be the city’s creamiest scoops, served in chocolate-stuffed cones, at Come Il Latte. Diet, schmiet: cream counts for a devilishly pleasing two-thirds of Come Il Latte’s concoctions. If you really want to test your ticker/do things properly, add melted chocolate and generous lashings of zabaglione-flavored whipped panna (cream).
24/26 Via Silvio Spaventa