Rome, you beautiful creature you. Before heading on my very own ‘Vacanze Romane’ this summer I naturally looked to my Italian icons, Sophia Loren and margherita pizza for inspiration. A trip to the eternal city with my Mother required planning – what to see, what do you, where to eat and more importantly where to shop. Vintage shopping in Rome used to be a high-class affair, specific and sourced but the past few years have seen an influx of new openings.
We stayed in the ‘vibrant’ (as lonely Lonely Planet puts it) Testaccio district in a beautiful early 20th century apartment surrounded by coffee shops, grocers and restaurants but best of all, locals. Not a tourist in sight, until I glimpsed my own reflection anyway. After covering the Roman hit list, the Colosseum and the Vatican my itinerary naturally turned to the other Italian greats, Missoni, Moschino and Miu Miu.
In and around the Spanish Steps you’ll find all the leading international fashion houses along with European high street brands but a quick side step on to Via del Governo and you meet a street filled with tiny treasure-trove vintage boutiques. Racks of Italian leather belts, bijoux handbags and box jackets worthy of Jackie O.
So, here’s the thing, Italian’s actually do it better, especially vintage. Italian style is celebrated and clothes are really cared for, the joys of Sunday best hey.
Three vintage items to buy when in Rome (hand luggage friendly)
Handbags – Even beyond the pre-loved designer (make sure you snap up anything 1970’s bamboo Gucci) Italian’s are masters when it comes to leather goods and the bags are just beyond down even down to the lining.
Silk Scarves – Is there any more symbolic of Italian style, a silk scarf is Sophia Loren in an instant or Audrey Hepburn on a vespa. The big Italian houses are the best to look out for, keep your eyes peeled for Versace’s baroque and Pucci’s print psychedelia.
Sunglasses – Italians are all about the accessories and sunglasses are a timeless classic. From Persol to Prada you’ll be spoiled for choice.
Three must-visit vintage stores:
Pifebo - Italian casual and sportwear with a brilliant selection of vintage handbags Via dei Serpenti, 141
Tempi Modernin – A vast collection of jewellery dating back as far as the 1920's and some of the best vintage couture and pret-a-porter from Moschino and more.
Via del Governo, 108
Abiti Usati – Racks and rails filled with 1960's, 1970's and 1980's clothing and accessories for men and women. Excellent scarf selection too. Via del Governo, 35