/ The Rome Traveler
Rome — By theromeguide on December 10, 2008 at 6:45 am

Christmas Shopping in Rome

Oh dear, Christmas is here (yes, rhymes are allowed during the holidays!) and you’ve got absolutely no idea what to give to your girlfriend/mother/father/sister/friend/grandparents and worst of all, you’re in Rome. Fear not, my little travelling friend, your personal guide is here to send you back home with gifts that will awe and inspire and turn you into the best Santa ever!

The Prati neighbourhood, just behind the Vatican, is a quiet and residential area filled with hip and young designer shops such as 40 GRADI (on the corner of Via Virgilio and Via Boezio) where two brothers, normally found playing with the in-store Playstation will be more than happy to help you find rare handbags, limited edition sneakers and impossible-to-pronounce designer clothes by Maharishi, Jeans Kato, Ivana Helsinky, La Casita di Wendy, Dupe, Apollo, Tonite, and Phtalo. The store is small and messy, but trying on clothes while chatting and sipping coffee with the owners will turn into an experience that will be hard to forget.

Take a bus to the chic Parioli ‘hood and find BE COOL  (Via P.P. Rubens 22/24 and Via Del Leone 10/11) where Simone and Vincenzo will entice you with their rare 1976 sneakers and piles of new and pseudo-used jeans. Sweaters and tshirts have all been hand selected by the owners who really know what’s hot and what’s not.

Go green this Xmas and find hand made yet durable accessories and clothes in the POWERSTOCK STORE (Vicolo del Governo Vecchio). Created by Carlo Brancati, founder of the Powerstock Festival, this small and temporary store is filled with clutches made out of chewing gum wrapping paper, delivery bags constructed with dozens of old seatbelts, and over the shoulder bags made of soda can tabs. House and techno music pervades this tiny store near Piazza Navona.

Where could you have lunch, shop designer clothes, get haircuts, buy art books, limited edition fragrances and home furnishings without having to schlep around an unknown city? Well, TAD concept store (Via Del Babuino 155/a)  is the ideal place for you! Walk through the shimmery walls and into the colorful flower shop filled with rare plants and a stunning collection of candles. Past the sweet natural scents, you’ll find a clothes and shoes corner covered in unknown but stunning designer attire and bags. The perfume store is great for all the women in your family – oils, creams, incense and fragrances for all tastes. Need a haircut while on vacation? Walk right in and ask for an appointment. If there’s a waiting list, cut time by having tea and cookies in the artsy courtyard where the beautiful people of Rome hang out while listening to lounge music.

Running out of time? POLVERE DI TEMPO (Via del Moro, 56) in lovely Trastevere sells hand made hourglasses, sundials, globes, sextants, compasses and cool jewelry based on old timekeepers. Find old maps and prints for the travellers in your family and ancient gizmos to make any child happy. Architect and creator, Adrian Rodriguez will be delighted in helping you find the perfect gift.

Take home something to share with the whole family. Hop into VOLPETTI (Via Mormorata 47) in Testaccio and find all the Italian specialties you can immagine: wild-boar salami, black and white truffles, hundreds of different ham, all kinds of pasta and sauces to enrich any Christmas dinner. Open since 1973, Volpetti has become an insititution in Rome – don’t be turned off by the lines of people waiting to buy their signature baskets filled with prestigious cheeses, wines, hams, salami and chocolate. Everything is made in Italy.



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