Friday, September 19, 2008

Most Romantic Shopping in Rome

With the economy in trouble at home and the US dollar so weak abroad, shopping in Italy has got to be about more than just the goods. It's got to be about the experience as well. Rome is full of interesting and picturesque shopping opportunities for your honeymoon or vacation. Of course, for big spenders there are the shops near the Piazza di Spagna. Granted, there are Prada stores in all the world-class cities, but when someone compliments you on your shoes or handbag, it will be much more fun to say "Thanks! I got it in Rome!"And if you are in Rome in July or January, you can take advantage of the Saldi (sales). If you are in the market for antiques, there are several options. For antique books and prints, head to the Piazza Fontanella Borghese for an open-air antiquarian market. Not only will you find works in print, but you will also encounter rare coins, stamps and even jewelry. If you are budget-conscious, any one of the city's flea markets will suit your fancy. The Porta Portese is the largest market in Rome and there you can find any number of second-hand goods from all over the world. Be prepared to sort through some questionable items and to haggle once you've found what you're looking for! (Click here for more on Rome's open-air markets). For more expensive and larger options-be aware that shipping costs can be pretty steep-head to the Via del Babuino near Piazza di Spagna. You'll find countless shops filled with elegant antique furniture, paintings and china. Even if you don't buy anything, strolling down the street with your loved one while perusing beautiful old Italian goods will certainly feel romantic. The Modern Traveler's favorite shopping experience is always Santa Maria Novella, the Florentine perfume shop near Piazza Navona. The profumeria is over 500 years old and the original scent was created for Catherine de Medici. What could be more romantic than buying perfume?
Readers: What's your favorite shopping experience in Rome?

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