Rome is known for its fabulous shopping – but the streets round the Via del Corso and the Piazza di Spagna can get overcrowded, making shopping with family or footsore companions a chore.
There is an alternative, however – my two favourite shopping streets off the beaten track and away from the main tourist drag.
What is more, they are perfectly placed if you are visiting the Vatican or Castel sant’ Angelo, Piazza Navona, the Palazzo Farnese or the Campo dei Fiori – so you can combine shopping with sightseeing!
Via dei Banchi Vecchi is easily accessible, as it is directly across the road from the Ponte sant’ Angelo. This is a street where Romans live and you will find all the useful shops locals need – including electrical shops, hairdressers, bicycle shops, toy shops, cafes and shops where you can send a fax, email or make a photocopy – as well as artisan shops full of lovely handmade goods.
Via del Pellegrino joins Via dei Banchi Vecchi – and this where the real artisan shopping starts, with antique shops, artisan jewellers, art shops, vintage clothes emporia, independent boutiques and artisan leather craft shops.
Whether you are just browsing or looking to do some serious Christmas or souvenir shopping, these two streets offer something for all budgets and tastes in a relaxed boho atmosphere.
Don’t forget to look skywards en route, as there is some spectacular architecture in this area of Rome – this was a Roman route and an area known as Via Mercatoria (market street), but Via del Pellegrino was also one of the routes pilgrims took to the Vatican.
Via del Pellegrino 58 was the home of Lucrezia Borgia’s mother, Vannozza Cattanei – the lover of the Borgia Pope Alexander VI. She was also the mother of his son, the infamous Cesare Borgia.
Both streets are fairly narrow and shade you from the sun, so provide a nice haven from both tourists and the midday rays – but watch out for speeding Vespas and cyclists when you shop and stop, as locals make their way up and down the streets at their own pace!
Once you have finished browsing Via dei Banchi Vecchi and Via del Pellegrino, head to the Campo dei Fiori – and walk diagonally across it to Via dei Giubbonari – another great shopping street, but being near the Campo dei Fiori, it gets busy. However, you will find some fantastic shops and cafes here – including my favourite shoe and bag shops. See my previous post Rome Shopping – Bargain Boots and Bags
Buon viaggio and happy shopping!
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Set off to the Eternal City for a weekend of surprises in ROME ALONE, as unhappy housewife Bee and newly-divorced Alzheimer’s expert Dr Neil McCarthy leave from opposite ends of the country for a mini-break full of the unexpected that will change their lives forever. Return to Rome with them three years later in ROME AGAIN and discover the forces at work which they never suspected on their first trip.
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In VERONA ALONE, newly divorced former cellist Moira decides to fulfil a girlhood dream of visiting Verona during the summer opera season. There she is taken under the wing of a quirky and generous American who appears to have a secret, which is only discovered when she finds herself all at sea with him. VERONA AGAIN sees three couples fight to save their relations – who will succeed, who will fail and who will lose the love of their life?
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All images copyright Angela Meredith 2017