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Shopping in Rome

Italy's has a well-deserved reputation for quality and nowhere more so than in Rome's shops, studios and specialist boutiques. Major brands are well represented but it's the bespoke leather goods, clothes, accessories and food that present the best value for money.

Key areas

Via Condotti is where all the big-name designers have their shops. For smaller, independent boutiques try Via del Boschetto, Via del Pellegrino and Via dei Governo Vecchio. For mainstream labels and chains, focus your energies on Via del Corso. Luxury goods to take home include assorted vinegar, truffles and olive oil. Castroni (Via Cola di Rienzo 196) sells plenty of Italy's regional culinary riches.

Markets

Rome's largest flea market is the vast Porta Portese in Trastevere (Sunday 0700-1300) and is the place to pick up antique knick-knacks for a good price. The oldest and most famous food market is the Campo dei’Fiori (Monday to Saturday 0800-1300) for anything from fresh produce and fish to beautiful flowers.

Shopping centres

The oldest shopping mall in Rome is the Cinecittàdue Centro Commerciale (Viale Palmiro Togliatti 2, www.cinecittadue.com). It has everything an eager shopper would want, from perfume shops to children's toy stores. Rome's biggest shopping centre, Euroma2 (Viale dell'Oceano Pacifico 83, www.euroma2.it), boasts with 230 shops.

Opening hours

Shops in Rome are open Monday to Saturday from 0900-1300 and 1600-2000. Supermarkets and department stores stay open all day, and are open on Sundays.

Souvenirs

Roman souvenirs range far and wide; stop in any local shop and peruse the local leather goods, from handbags to boots, or pick up a hand-carved rosary at the Vatican. The liqueur limoncello is a tasty reminder of the trip.

Tax information

Value-added tax (IVA) of 22% is added to every purchase in Italy. If you are a non-EU resident and spend more than €155 on a single item then you can claim a refund when you leave the country. Only available from shops displaying a ‘tax free’ sign.

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The Fifteen Keys Hotel

This chic hotel in the Monti district in Central Rome has stylish, light-filled rooms that are just perfect to unwind in after a long day of sightseeing - if you need even more help to relax, just order an in-room massage. A breakfast buffet is available daily, and served in the courtyard garden in summer. Other facilities include a gorgeous bar and complimentary bike rentals.

Hotel de Monti

Hotel de Monti is situated on the third floor (no lift) of a 16th-century building in the bohemian Monti district, a ten-minute walk from Roma Termini station and a 15-minute walk from the Colosseum. The seven bedrooms are modest, but include air-conditioning, sound-proofing and en suite bathrooms, and a complimentary breakfast with excellent coffee is served in the room. Staff are extremely welcoming and helpful.

Hotel D’Inghilterra

In a prime spot by the Spanish Steps, this sedate and sophisticated hotel is where the poet John Keats stayed when he visited Rome in the 19th century. There are roaring fires in the public lounges where guests can relax with a book and a pot of tea.

Hotel d’Este

Sitting on the peak of the Esquilino hill, Hotel d'Este is a characterful, old-fashioned place with 31 charming bedrooms. Housed in a timeworn palazzo, rooms have high ceilings, period detailing and classic furnishings such as brass beds and mahogany-coloured dressers and wardrobes. Breakfast is served on a roof terrace.

The Beehive

Established by Californian couple Steve and Linda, The Beehive is deservedly one of the most popular, budget stays in Rome. Run with great personality and warmth, the house features dorms or private rooms with original artworks on the walls, a vegan and vegetarian café, a book exchange and a yoga studio.

Hotel Locarno

Close to Piazza del Popolo, the classy yet moderately priced Locarno dates back to 1925. It's full of atmospheric art deco details, from its rattling cage lift to the wood-polished bar. Each room is uniquely decorated with discreet antiques and coordinated Liberty-style wallpaper and fabrics. A real find.