When it comes to shopping, Rome combines the glamour and sheer range of choice of an innately stylish capital city with the individuality of a village of small shopkeepers and artisans. The retail trade here is still carried on at street level rather than in impersonal malls, and even in the centre, grocers, ironmongers, sculptors, cobblers and haberdashers hang on in there alongside the global brands and the department stores.
And there are still scores of quirky little one-off shops, many run by local craftsmen, offering that priceless commodity: unique items and gifts that you just can’t find elsewhere. Sure, you may miss out on the frenetic buzz of Italy’s fashion capital, Milan. But the upside is a more relaxed shopping experience.
If you’re looking for bargains, note that the winter and summer sales begin on the first Saturdays of January and July, and run for around a month.
I've arranged my guides (below) as undemanding walking tours of some of the centre's most rewarding shopping areas.