The MAD stands for moda, architettura and design, and it's great for all of these. The clothes - women's only - are a delight: they're fun and modern as well as being elegant, and amazingly, they're not hugely expensive. It makes it hard not to fill up your shopping bag. Everything's made in Italy, and the designers, Francesca and Paola, are always at the shop to welcome clients. There's also a space for artists, photographers, jewellers, and there's usually an exhibition of some sort going on. It's well worth a visit. I love it.
This is the best English language bookshop in Rome. The owner Dermot O'Connell is a great source of information about the fantastic selection of books he stocks and will also be able to tell you where and where not to go. If you need a guide book, a good summer read, an Italian themed read or want to choose from his wide selection of non-fiction titles you must visit via del Moro 45. He also stocks some set books if you need something if you are studying in Rome. I love it!!!!
Via del Moro, 45, 00153 Rome, Italy
Google map: bit.ly/pqIbbX
Charming little bookshop filled to the ceiling with hard to find scores and music books. Don't be fooled by its size, they even host a grand piano. The back room is both a cafè serving gourmet coffee drinks and wine, and a miniature concert hall displaying the work of local artists. Also noticed for their one-of-a-kind recycled and handpainted furnitures and off-beat concerts with a cult following. Concerts draw the attraction of hundreds including famous personalities from the neighbourhood, despite the shop seating about 50 people. Located in Trastevere and not hard to find, just look for the crowd gathering on the doorsteps and listening to live music from street at night.
Via di San Francesco a Ripa, 60
In Italy, the blackmarket football merchandise is the more frequently available - even outside stadiums! The handiest store is at Piazza Colonna on the left as you walk north on Via del Corso. It is also a ticket office for games in the Stadio Olimpico but make sure to bring your passport for ID.
Google Map: tinyurl.com/5dvzf8
Out in Trastevere, Porta Portese flea market is exactly what you'd hope for: a noisy, bustling mass of stalls and animated throngs of people.
Held every Sunday morning (and you'd best get there early), you can pick up practically anything there if you're prepared to wrestle with a stallholder over it!
(Out in Trastevere) From Porta Portese gate along Via Portese
This great little cafe/bookshop is what all cafes in Rome should be like. Not perhaps as achingly scenic as some other cafes in Rome, it's nevertheless a good bet for a coffee, a slice of cake and a browse through the books.
Via dei Fienaroli 28 (across the river in Trastevere)
It's the king of kitsch in Rome. For all your hard-to-find knick-nacks and crazy gifts, this is the only place to go in Rome. On three floors, it's a splash of fun and colour in Rome, with a funny staff and loud music. It's open every day until 1am - kids will love it.
Via Santa Maria dell'Anima, 29 across street from Piazza Navona (it's 20 metres from Piazza Navona)
Traditionally a dirty, noisy and over-populated area of Rome just north of the forum between the Viminale and Esquilino hills. Rather than stray dogs, vagrants and ladies of the night, these days you are more likely to find locals sharing a slice of everyday Rome. Even though it’s a stone’s throw from the forum, these few streets feel like a village with a history all of their own. If it's genuine Rome you're after, this is the place to see it.
Via dei Serpenti, just off Via Nazionale. Also Via del Boschetto running parallel to via dei Serpenti plus several cobbled streets running off each.
A department store but not as we know it. This being Italy, Tad is a super-slick joy of a shop with beautiful displays of home-ware, furniture, perfume and designer clothes. Makes John Lewis look like Woolies.
Via del Babuino 155Tel: 06 3269 5131
Every Sunday there is a street market in Tastevere which is great fun. It covers four or five blocks and you can get everything from clothes and books to DVDs and statues. Everyone in our family could find something different and exciting and we have two nice oil paintings in our living room which we bought for less that £4 each.
Trastevere area - take the tram
This part of Rome is much quieter and on a smaller scale than much of the main part of the city. It's on the west side of the Tiber and south of the Vatican and has many small restaurants and boutiques - a few too many perhaps. It's a little reminiscent of Florence and the narrow cobbled streets still contain many picturesque old houses.
The cut of Italian clothes will flatter you as no other. Via Condotti is where most of the big designer names are to be found. But excellent clothes for less money can be found along Via Frattina, which runs parallel to Via Condotti, on nearby Via Campo Marzio and, further afield, on Via Cola di Rienzo and Via Po.
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