Destination: Italy: Rome
The tridente, or trident, formed by Via del Corso, Via di Ripetta and Via del Babuino, as well as the cross streets, most notably the Via de Condotti, has some of the best shopping in Rome. Here, all of Italy’s top designers are represented—Gucci, Prada, Bottega Veneta, Armani, Fendi, Max Mara and Ferragamo—as well as jewelry houses like Buccellati and Bulgari. But one cannot live by labels alone, and it pays to head off down alleyways and discover where real Romans shop.
For unique boutiques, Romans head to Monti, a small neighborhood tucked between Via Cavour and Via Nazionale. The center is Piazza Madonna dei Monti, where the newly opened B (Piazza Madonna dei Monti 1) sells clothes by a variety of European designers. Both Via Boschetto and Via degli Zingari are off the Piazza and are full of fun, quirky shops.
But as much as Italians like great style, they have not bought into the 24/7 shopping mind-set of Americans. It’s common for stores to close for an afternoon siesta, usually from 1 to 3 p.m.; and many are closed Sunday (though a few are open in the afternoon), and most do not reopen until 3 or 3:30 p.m. on Monday. And many shops are closed for at least two weeks in August.
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