The Smart Shopper: Retail therapy in Rome

Made in Italy: still the best label in the world. When it comes to design – especially of luxurious clothing and jewellery – no one beats the...

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Made in Italy: still the best label in the world. When it comes to design – especially of luxurious clothing and jewellery – no one beats the Italians. They seem blessed with a collective good eye and a peerless ability to cut flatteringly, conjure the subtlest colours, and – once you’re pulling out your credit card – charm you into feeling you’re making the most sophisticated, discerning choice. We’ll ignore their aberrational fondness for Speedos on men and sequinned leopard-skin on women; at the top-end, Italian design is lean, clean and ultra elegant.

One of the great things about visiting this country is that, thanks to the national obsession with looking chic and creating la bella figura, even if you go to a small town, you can find designer boutiques and a couple of stores selling lovely underwear, nightwear and knockout beachwear. However, when it comes to a luxury shopping trip, there is nowhere better than Rome.

Italy’s most extravagantly beautiful city feels less tense than the fashion and business capital, Milan, and less choked by tourists than Florence. Crucially, most of the delectissimo shops, Italian and international, lie within the old heart of the city, around Piazza di Spagna and the Spanish Steps. Shopping on and around Via Condotti, Borgognona and Frattini is further simplified because most shops specialise in just one item. So, if you’ve finished your cappuccino, let’s go.

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Read the full article by Adriaane Pielou at thenational.ae