Having heard of Rome as one of the best shopping cities in Italy, I had to go and try it out for myself to learn what to buy in Rome. What I found were designer shops, boutiques, market stalls and budget independent shops. You can buy everything you could possibly want in Rome.
When it comes to what to buy in Rome, you can choose from a variety of souvenirs like high-end Italian fashion, Roman mosaics, Italian wines, rosaries, religious icons, crucifixes, rare books, Roman coin replicas, Roman street art prints, and sweets and pastries. Italy is a country known for shopping, leaving you with endless choices.
Wondering about what you can buy and where you can go to get it? Keep reading as we explore all the fun things that you can go shopping for in Rome.
Introduction to Shopping in Rome
You may be wondering what kind of Roman souvenirs you could buy to take back to your friends and family. There’s a whole list of things that you can buy, depending on your interests. Some of the things include handcrafted toys, armor and swords from the Roman army, maps of Rome during the Roman era, movie posts, vintage postcards and many more things.
What to Buy in Rome: 16 Perfect Products
Next, we will look at what to buy in Rome, the average cost, and where you can get it. These are some great souvenirs to get while in Rome.
1. High-End Italian Fashion
You want to know what to buy in Rome and where to buy it. Via Condotti or Via del Corso would make for the best places to buy high end Italian fashion. Sure, you could buy it back home, but what makes this area so great is that you can often buy it for less. For example, one person said that they paid $100 for a handbag in Via Condotti, but they later saw that same handbag for $400 back in the United States. It’s not always that much of a discount, but it does happen.
2. Roman Mosaics and Pottery
You would want to buy Roman mosaics and pottery because it gives you a distinguished example of Roman art that you can display when you go back home. Some will include an option where they will ship it home for you since it’s easier than carrying it back yourself. These can be found throughout the city, but check out Via dei Barbieri 7 if you want a specific place. It will cost from $50 to $500 for mosaics or pottery.
3. Hand-painted Ceramics
Hand-painted ceramics are some of the most beautiful works of art that you could buy in Rome, and each one has its own unique character. Head over to Via Dei Condotti 24 to the shop known as Modigliani. A lot of the products here tend to cost about $50, but you can buy entire sets here that can cost up to $2,100.
4. Roman Wines and Olive Oils
If you want to know what to buy in Rome, Italy, wine is just a part of Italian culture making it an incredible thing to take home from here. You can get it at Rimessa Roscioli, and you can find olive oil here too. They put it on their salads, and some ancient Romans (and Greeks) even bathed with olive oil. Expect to pay $10 to $15 for olive oil and anywhere from $30 to $10,000 for wine.
5. Rosaries, Religious Icons, and Crucifixes
You can especially buy this type of item near the Vatican. Rosaries will cost from $20 to $50. Religious icons cost from $50 to $200.
6. Cameos and Jewelry with Roman Coins
Visit Percossi Papi for cameos and jewelry. Just beware that a real cameo can cost you anywhere from $1,000 to $7,000. The jewelry ranges from $100 to $10,000 depending on what you buy.
7. Rare Books and Art Galleries
Rare book collectors love getting a new and incredible book. You can head over to Libreria Antiquaria Borromini to find some antiquarian books. It’s located at Via Degli Orfani. Rare books can cost anywhere from $100 up to $1,000,000 depending on the book.
8. Movie Posters and Vintage Postcards
To buy movie posters, go to Hollywood tutto sul Cinema on Via di Monserrato. This is an amazing store for film lovers, and they have an absolutely massive collection. The store might be small and away from the main road, but it’s well worth seeking while looking for what to buy when in Rome. These can sell from $100 to $10,000 depending on what you buy. For vintage postcards, go to Libri Angelo Curati at Via delle Terme di Diocleziano. You could pay anywhere from a couple of dollars up to $30 depending on the postcard.
9. Colosseum Magnets, Key Rings, and Figurines
Souvenir Roma on Via Quattro Novembre would be a good place to buy colosseum magnets, key rings, and figurines. Expect to pay anywhere from $3 to $50. This place also has better prices than some of the other souvenir shops around. Along with a colosseum magnet, you could buy a gladiator statue here. Armor and Sword
10. Armor and Sword of the Roman Army
If you’re wondering what to buy in Rome that would be fun, head over to the Forge of the Dragon for swords and armor in Rome at Piazza Tommaso Cristoforis. You can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $1,000 depending on what you’re planning to buy.
11. Handcrafted Toys
I would check out Bartolucci for handcrafted toys in Rome. You will find many handcrafted toys here that were hand painted. Many of them were made by the Bartolucci family that still runs the shop. You can find things like dolls, lamps, pencil holders, airplanes, and motorcycles. It’s located in the Historical Center of Rome. You will see prices anywhere from $5 to $250.
12. Sweets and Pastries
When shopping in Rome thinking what to buy, you can find sweets and pastry shops all over the city of Rome because food is so deeply enmeshed in the culture. It usually ranges in price from $3 to $10, depending on what you buy. I would recommend 5 Lune near Piazza Navona. They sell their stuff based on the weight, which makes it easy to go in and get two of everything that they have. Fried cream puffs from here would be a special one to pay attention to.
13. Artisan Chocolate
Mariondo e Gariglio ranks as one of the most historic chocolate shops in all of Rome. You will encounter creations both beautiful and timeless. The history of this chocolate shop dates back 150 years. They have so many chocolates that you can choose from, and they make custom gifts here as well so that you could even take a gift back to friends and family. Now, the chocolates here can be a bit on the expensive side, but in some cases, it’s good to pay for something you like and get quality chocolates. You can also buy some delicious fruit jelly candies here—check out the blueberry.
14. Map of Rome from the Roman Era
When looking for what to buy in Rome, Italy, you can get a map of Rome from the Roman Era in almost any of the standard souvenir shops. It will usually cost you about $20 to $50 depending on the map purchased and where you get it. The reason you might want to buy this would be because it can help you to better understand the history of the ancient Roman empire. You can even use it as a way to see how Rome has changed in the last 2,000 years.
15. Roman Coin Replicas
Moruzzi Numismatica would make for the perfect place to go to buy Roman coin replicas. They’re also highly knowledgeable about the laws required for you to take coins out of Italy. This can be extraordinarily helpful for a tourist. This makes for an awesome place to shop for coins, but what you pay will depend on what you buy. They have coins from different eras of the Roman empirel. They range in cost anywhere from $50 to $10,000.
16. Roman Street Art Prints
I would check out Exclusive Urban Art at Via della Reginella. This is a great art gallery (check out this article on art in Rome) where you will see the most modern Roman art coming to life. Costs range anywhere from $100 to $25,000 depending on what you buy.
Best Places to Shop in Rome
You can shop in more than a couple of places here, but let’s take a look at a couple of the best places for certain things like luxury goods, religious art, leather goods, and local food and drinks.
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Luxury Shopping: Via Condotti and Via del Corso
Via Condotti and the Steps of the Spanish Stairs gives you one of the main designer shopping districts of Rome. This ancient street dates back to the ancient Roman era. Some of the biggest brands that you will encounter here include Armani, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, and Think Cartier. Via Del Corso would be another place for luxury shopping. The district is about 1 mile long.
Religious Art: Vatican City
If you want to know what to buy in Rome, you can shop at St. Peter’s Basilica gift shop where you will encounter a variety of religious art and other religious things like medals, rosaries, crucifixes, and art books. Along with those things, you can buy prints and postcards here that were inspired by the extraordinary collection of the Vatican.
Leather Goods: Historical Center
The Historical Center of Rome has leather goods in abundance. Some of the products that you can buy here include leather bags, belts, saddles, and wallets. As a side note, Italian leather has a reputation for being supple and flexible.
Local Food and Drink: Typical Streets of the City
While every area in Rome has delicious restaurants, you do have a couple of incredible places where you can go to eat like the streets surrounding Trastevere. Some of the popular foods in Rome would include pasta alla carbonara, trippa alla Romana, cicoria ripassata, abbacchio allo scottadito, and tonerelli cacio e pepe. Some of the best Roman drinks would include wine and Aperol spritz.
Insider Tips to Buy in Rome
Let’s take a look at some insider tips to buy in Rome. You have a couple of things that can help you to get better deals and have a better experience.
Most of the souvenir shops here will sell many of the same things. Where they differ would be with the cost. Some of them will cost less than others and give you a better deal.
Check a few different shops to see which one sells the item for the lowest price. This will allow you to shop for more things when on vacation. Try to check away from the palaces and other touristy areas for cheaper goods.
Many of the sellers in Rome know their wares, and they can give you an awesome recommendation for a product that they know others loved. Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations.
FAQs about What to Buy in Rome
We put together this FAQs section to answer some of the most common questions about what to buy in Rome. This will hopefully resolve any questions you might have.
When shopping in Rome and thinking what to buy, you have a number of special things to buy here to make it special like Italian ceramics, leather handbags, silk neckties, perfumes, clothing, shoes, and jewelry.
Luxury leather handbags, sweets and chocolates, clothing, perfumes, Italian ceramics, and Roman coin replicas are all things that the Eternal City has become known for.
The best place for shopping in Rome would be the area around Via del Corso and Via Condotti and the Spanish Steps. This has some of the high-end brands and unique luxury Italian boutiques.