When in Rome…

ROME: A FASHIONISTA’S HEAVEN

To celebrate the release of the romantic comedy When In Rome on Blu-ray and DVD, we’ve got the ultimate guide to the chic Italian capital city for fashion fans. Where’s the best place to shop, eat and be seen in Rome? The answers are all here…

WHERE TO SHOP?


Rome is famed for its chic fashion and designer boutiques, but shopping in this city is different to many other capitals around the world. There are no huge department stores or shopping malls. Instead, the streets are filled with small grocery stores, wine shops and one-of-a-kind boutiques.

1) DESIGNER BOUTIQUES

Designer stores can be found on the streets at the base of the Spanish Steps – especially on Via Condotti. Here, you can peruse the emporiums of the big guns of Italian fashion including Giorgio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Valentino and Prada.

2) FUNKY FASHION

Head to Via del Governo Vecchip, just off the Piazza Navona, for one-of-a-kind contemporary fashion finds. A number of chic boutiques line this tiny street featuring hip new designers, as well as vintage clothing, jewelry and shoes.

3) DIY DREAMS

Design your own handbag from a selection of leathers and synthetic materials and see it brought to life at Artigianato del Cuoio on Via Belsiana. Sketch your design for the store’s staff and then wait for up to a week for the finished piece to be completed. Perfecto!

artigiano del cuoio

WHERE TO PARTY?

The hippest clubs and bars in Rome usually have a tough door policy, so dress up to the nines if you want to get inside and party the night away…

1) THE PLACE TO BE SEEN…

Bar della Pace is the place to drink for the stylish and beautiful who want to see and be seen. You might pay more for the drinks here, but the atmosphere is electric and the clientele are uber chic. Find it at 3-7 Via della Pace at the Piazza Navona.

2) DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY…

La Maison is an elegant nightclub with a great-looking crowd and discerning doormen. The music is disco and R&B – and the ambiance is very plush with deep chairs and comfy couches. Try your luck getting in at 3 Vicolo dei Granari in Largo Argentina.

3) FASHIONISTA ALERT…

Bar del Fico at 26-28 Piazza del Fico at the Piazza Navona is another hotspot for Roman fashionistas. It’s near Bar della Pace (mentioned above), so it’s worth trying your luck here if you’ve not made it inside elsewhere. Good luck!

WHERE TO EAT?

Italy is famous for its pasta and pizza, but head away from the tourist traps and find a restaurant with a difference, much like these…

1) A DIVINE VIEW…

The rooftop bar and restaurant at Hotel Raphael is the perfect place to watch the sunset over a delicious meal. Keep your eyes peeled for visiting celebrities as they’re often found enjoying the food and the awe-inspiring views of this chic location.

2) ROMANTIC ROMAN DELIGHTS…

Santa Lucia is a romantic, ivy-covered restaurant in Rome’s historic center. Located near Piazza Navona, it’s another dining destination for Hollywood A-listers visiting Rome.

3) A LIGHT NIBBLE…

Don’t want a full meal? Grab a bite to eat at Antico Café Greco on the Via Condotti or Café Sant’Eustachio on the Piazza Sant’Eustachio. These famous café houses are cute and chic – and full of locals.

caffe greco

WHAT TO DO?

Visitors to the city often enjoy a stroll around the historic cobblestone streets to lap up the Roman atmosphere, but what else should be on your list of things to do? Try these three delights…

1) ENJOY A COFFEE HIT…

Rome is definitely the place to get into the espresso habit – or capuccino if it’s the morning. Stand at the bar like a local and pay a meager price for your drink, but note that you have to pay more for the same coffee if you opt to sit down in the bar. If you’ve got a spare hour, why not head to an outdoor café on the Campo de Fiori to people watch and take it all in? You won’t be disappointed!

2) SEE THE SIGHTS…

Hire a driver for a nighttime cruise around Rome and stop at the monuments you choose for photo opportunities as you go along. The city is even more dramatic and beautiful when illuminated at night – and the shops are closed, so you’ve got plenty of time on your hands.

3) SHOP ‘TIL YOU DROP…

Shopping is the reason you’re in the city, isn’t it? Well, shop away! Most stores are open from around 10am to 8pm – especially in the centre of Rome. However, some stores are closed on Sundays and a few shut their doors from 1pm to 4pm every day. Some non-food stores are closed on Monday mornings, so don’t leave any last-minute purchases until then!

SHOPPING ESSENTIALS…

In Italy, the sales person (or commessa) is much more involved in your shopping experience than in other parts of the world. Be sure to ask if it is OK to touch or unfold any of the clothing in the store before you put your hands on anything. Rome is home to well-priced silks, cashmere and leather – but make sure you try everything on for size before you buy it. Returning items is not common or widely accepted in Italy. The commessa may know how your size translates, but it’s best to know yourself. Italian women’s clothing is cut on the slim side, so don’t worry if you have to move up a size.

When in Rome, available on DVD and Blu-ray 8 September 2010.

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