Authentic souvenirs and affordable gifts to buy in Rome
1. Replicas of ancient coins
2. Vatican souvenirs
You can buy a rosary, crucifix, or medallion from the shop near St Peter's Basilica run by the nuns. The main souvenirs shop in Vatican is well stocked with a wide variety of souvenirs, ranging from rosaries to Sistine Chapel art replicas.
Or simply take a picture with the Vatican Post boxes, where you can mail home a postcard stamped with Vatican mail stamps.
3. Colosseum gift shop
The gift shop at the Colosseum stocks many interesting souvenirs – both from modern and ancient Rome. Shopping at Colosseum souvenir shop is my recommendation for those in a hurry.
If you want something better priced, browse the street shops outside the Colosseum. You never know what you will find!
4. Gladiator Suits
Children will love this souvenir. A full-sized gladiator suit that can be purchased from the Gladiator schools like this popular Gladiator school
5. Vintage Roman items
If you are looking for expensive but authentic traditional crafts items, shop at one of the recognized vintage shops. The official tourism site list "shops of excellence”, the ones recognized by the Association of the Historical Stores of Excellence in Rome.
If you are looking for something smaller and cheaper, stroll along Via dei Coronari behind Piazza Navona. You will be greeted by many small shops selling what can be passed off as Roman vintage collectables. You can also visit The Mercato delle Stampe, a flea market of vintage books and old prints.
6. Football gifts
Italian Soccer merchandise makes for popular souvenirs. Shop for the Roma team wear at the A.S. Roma stores near the Pantheon.
7. Italian Fashion
Even if you are not in the market for haute couture, you must go to Via dei Condotti, near Piazza di Spagna is a must. The ritzy street houses shops of all the famous Italian designers like Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Giorgio Armani, Tod's and many more.
You should also visit Via Cola di Rienzo which houses more moderately priced designer wear.
8. Leather Goods
Rome has always sold good quality leather goods. Your girls might appreciate a purse from Gazelle on the Via del Corso. A nice pair of leather or kid gloves from a store like Giorgio Sermoneta near the Piazza di Spagna makes a good gift.
9. Card Games
10. Pasta accessories
Nothing is as Italian as pasta. Pick up authentic pasta accessories as a unique gift from Rome. Pick the kitchen accessories at Casa Bella di Trastevere, Via Luciano Manara. And your luggage will surely have space to take back some Pecorino Romano cheese as gifts for friends and family back home.
11. Food souvenirs from Rome
You can never go wrong with authentic food souvenirs in Rome. I suggest you buy local products such as Pecorino Romano or Parmigiana Reggiano cheese, Guanciale bacon, coppiette di maiale (pork), or good wine.
Recommended souvenir stores in Rome
For some unique souvenirs from Rome, you can look at following 3 shops.
- Ricordi di Roma souvenir store (Via della Stazione di San Pietro) has good prices and a wide range of Souvenirs.
- Discover souvenirs is conveniently located near Termini station and stocks good quality souvenirs.
- Al Sogno at Piazza Navona is famous for toys (peluche, fairies, dolls..); it is a shop where everyone feels like a kid.
Gift shops at attractions
Most of the big attractions like Colosseum and Borghese Museum have souvenir shops. You can look at buying Roman coins at the Colosseum souvenir shop and interesting art replicas and catalogues at the one in Borghese Museum.
Via margutta for art souvenirs
For souvenirs to do with art, visit the local artists camped out in this beautiful narrow lane Via Margutta, with art galleries and nice restaurants. It is near Piazza del Popolo.
Eataly for food souvenirs
Eataly is a shop of four floors where you can buy products of Italian cuisine. You can also enjoy them because the building has several restaurants. You can easily get to Eataly taking the metro B and get off at Piramide. Just follow the information along the tunnel at the subway to get there. It is a less than 10 minute walk.
Where to buy souvenirs in Rome
Paciotti SalumeriaIf you are looking for edible souvenirs, head to Paciotti Salumeria. This is a family run shop and they are experts in explaining the origins and processes of Italian food making, and here you can buy salami, cheeses, hams, wines, spirits, balsamic vinegar, truffle products and other delectable Italian foods.
Via Marcantonio Bragadin, 51, 00136 Roma
Antica Caciara TrasteverinaAntica Caciara is another family run business that sells meats and cheeses, and as well as buying products to take away, the owners can put together food to eat then and there. This is an especially great little shop if you want to by mozzarella di Campagna, bocconcini (small cheese balls), and parma ham.
Via di S. Francesco a Ripa, 140A/B, 00153 Roma
Galleria Commerciale Porta di RomaIf you are looking for a shopping centre that feels a bit more familiar then head over to Centro Commerciale Porta di Roma. It is easy to reach this mall using public transport, and here you will find big name food brands and other big lifestyle brands.
Via Alberto Lionello, 201, 00139 Roma
Sant’Eustachio Il CaffeThis is a historic and traditional coffee shop that is located near Navona, the Pantheon and Campo de' Fiori. This is a great little place to get an espresso or cappuccino, paired with one of their cornettis. Remember to stand at the bar with your coffee if you don't want to pay more!
Piazza di San Eustachio, 82, 00186 Roma
Del Giudice RomaThis is luxury leather manufacturer that has been there since 1959 selling goods that have been made in Rome. Here you can find handmade leather bags, briefcases, travel bags, tote bags and accessories, all made from high quality leather by the family business.
Via della Stelletta, 24, 00186 Roma
BartolucciThis is a charming store full of wooden toys, and this store is a must if you are shopping for any children. The company makes high quality toys using both traditional and modern methods, and here you will find top quality wooden toys, and things like pencil holders and personalized souvenirs that will make incredibly special gifts to take home.
Via dei Pastini, 96-98-99, 00186 Roma
Alfieri Leather StoreThis one of a kind store is one of the best places to shop if you are looking for high quality leather apparel. The family that runs this store will ensure that you find exactly what you are looking for, whether you are looking for jackets, bags, belts, wallets or other high quality products.
Via del Corso, 2, 00187 Roma
CastroniIf you are a lover of coffee then make sure you stop in at Castroni. Here you will find high quality coffee beans, chocolates and sweets, as well as other Italian food products such as flour, pasta, pesto sauces, spices, wines and cooking oils. This is magical place to find Italian food souvenirs and enjoy the coffee they produce themselves.
Via Cola di Rienzo, 196/198, 00192 Roma
Centro Commerciale RomaEstCentro Commerciale RomaEst is a typical mall and is located outside of the centre of Rome. Here you will find 200 shops selling both local and international brands, and it can be a great escape from the heat of Rome.
Via Collatina km 12, 00132 Roma
10. Tips for buying souvenirs in Rome
1. Get away from the main streets
Shopping around the Spanish Steps can be an incredibly memorable experience, and the Via dei Condotti is one of the most popular drags to window shop, but you can expect to spend large amounts of money here- if you are travelling on a budget these are probably not the best places to find something to take home with you. The same advice can be applied when shopping for small souvenirs around the main tourist sites- move away from these places if you want to buy souvenirs!
2. Go to the markets
Markets will always be an interesting and colourful experience, and these are the best places to go if you want to haggle for prices on your souvenirs. You will usually get even better prices if you tell the vendor that you are comparing prices with someone else.
3. Beware of buying fakes
In Italy, the police have started to crack down on counterfeits. It is a good idea to be wary of people who are selling designer brands on the street as sometimes the police are watching, and you can be fined if you purchase the bag knowing that it is a fake (and the vendors might have already picked up their wares and left). Buying fashionable goods is appealing in Italy, but do not assume that you will be exempt from local laws just because you are a tourist.
4. Shop around
As a general rule it is probably best not to buy the first thing you see (even though it is tempting). Often in the popular shopping areas you will find the exact same items in a stall further down the street for a different price. If you know what you are looking for, make sure you compare prices.
5. Consider buying Italian food items
You will almost definitely enjoy discovering Italian cuisine while you are in Rome and there are many places where you can buy Italian food products to take home with you. There are many small, family-run businesses where you can buy top quality meats, cheeses, sweets and cooking oils that you can take home with you (but make sure you check your home country's airport customs procedures!)
6. Always get a receipt
No matter what you buy in Rome, make sure you get the receipt. Like the police cracking down on counterfeits, the Finance Guard are attempting to stop tax cheats, and this law can affect you as well. Make sure you take a receipt with you to avoid any issues (and also hold on to all of the receipts if you want to get tax refunds on your purchases).
7. Remember that it is not cheaper to buy designer clothes in Italy
Even though Italy is the home of beautiful clothes and designer fashion, it will not be any cheaper than buying labels back home. Make sure you have a currency converter on hand and know what the prices are back home before splashing out on bargains.
8. Carry cash and small change
Even in some of the bigger stores it is important to carry small change so that you can pay as close to the correct amount as possible. It can sometimes be difficult to get the correct change when shopping in Italy, so make sure you count it and ask politely if you think there is a mistake.
9. Watch out for pickpockets
This is a good general rule when moving about busy cities like Rome, but if you are going to markets or stalls around crowded tourist attractions, pickpockets will likely take advantage of anybody that is not aware of their surroundings. This should not be a problem if you have your belongings where you can see them (i.e. not in your backpack while you are moving through crowds).
10. Learn some basic Italian phrases
Even if you are shopping in some of the bigger stores, you should not assume that people will be able to speak English. If you are in market places and quieter residential areas, you will be able to haggle for better prices, ask for your receipt, and point out that you have been given the wrong change a lot easier if you have a few basic phrases up your sleeve.