So you have a few days in Rome and you would like to see a few landmarks here and there, eat like and Italian, but also you may want to do some shopping, after all Italy is land of designers fashion and fashionista. So here comes the big question: Where to go shopping in Rome? Only if you could have imagined how many times we have been asked this question you too would have realize the importance of a good shopping center in Rome, so ready? Here we go:
1- Via Del Corso: if you do not have really enough time on your hand our only suggestion is “Via Del Corso”, a long ancient street between “Piazza Del Popolo” and “Piazza Venezia”. Via Del Corso is at the heart of Rome’e historic center so it is really easy to reach out and since it is next to many of Rome’s important landmarks including “Spanish Steps”, “Galleria di Alberto Sordi”, “Marcus Aurelius Column”, “Altar of the Fatherland” and… the shopping experience can become both shopping and sightseeing. Almost all of famous Italian and non Italian names and brands can be found easily in or around Via Del Corso and you can almost buy anything in there, from cheap flip flops to luxury expensive watches. So if you are going to stay only 2 – 3 days in Rome and you do not want to spend a whole day or a big part of your time for shopping, simply go to Via Del Corso.
2- Porta di Roma: if you are a serious shopper and really want to do some serious shopping, you may want to go to one of the Rome’s shopping centers (Centro Commerciale in Italian), like: Porta di Roma. Porta di Roma (meaning Port of Rome in Italian, obviously :-P) is located in northern part of the city and is almost out of the city itself, so it will take you sometimes to get there and to go back to your hotel and considering the time that you will be spending there, you probably may want to leave 5 to 7 hours of your time. If you want to use public transportation system of Rome, the bus lines 38 and 80 from Termini station and Piazza Venezia respectively will take you to Porta di Roma directly. Apart from almost all of famous clothing and fashion stores, an Ikea center, a multi salon cinema, Leroy Merlin center and so many restaurants and fast food stores can be found in Porta di Roma. We strongly recommend visiting Porta di Roma during the Christmas and New Year’s period for the festivals and ceremonies that are going on.
4- Euroma2: At the exact oppsite side of the Porta di Roma, southernmost part of the city you can find Euroma2, perhaps not as big and luxurious as Porta di Roma Euroma2 is another Rome’s big shopping center. Euroma2 is almost identitcal to Porta di Roma in so many ways, so all we can tell you is that if your hotel is located in southern parts of the city you may want to go to Euroma2 instead of Porta di Roma. The only tiny problem is that you have only one option to get there using Rome’s public transportation system: but number 71 which leaves from metro Linea B station EUR Fermi. Or perhaps you may want to rent a car, or use a sharing car system or even buy a new car, like a Ferrari, after all you’re in Italy, land of Ferrari.
5- Castel Romano Designer Outlet: So if you have come to Italy just for shopping, forget about Via Del Corso, Porta di Roma or Euroma2, you have got to go to an outlet, like Castel Romano Designer Outlet where you can find everything from %30 to %70 percent off all year long, so we have to warn you: be careful about your credit card. Going to and coming back from this outlet will take almost one complete day, since it is so far from the city there are shuttle services from Rome’s main train stations (Termini, Tiburtina and Ostiense) that will take you there and back to the city.
6- Valmontone Outlet: Another outlet near Rome, with a huge food court where it will give you a new sense of shopping and eating, or eating and shopping, identical to Castel Romano, a shuttle service from city center will take you there and back, so you will easily enjoy you’re experience where again you have from %30 to %70 percent off all year long. So everything and everyone is ready to help you destroy your credit record… hahaha.
A few final notes:
1- Check the websites of the outlet centers and shopping centers and make sure about the opening hours and shuttle services and their time table to avoid any inconvenience.
2- Enjoy your time in Rome and in Italy in general as much as you can, it’s a must, you have no other option, seriously!
So you might have actually asked yourself the same question; Do I really need to book a tour for the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel or the Colosseum? Why Should I take a guide when I can see everything on my own? Here are 5 reasons why you do need to book a tour for the Vatican and / or the Colosseum:
1- There is too many things to know, Rome has a very rich history, basically the only thing that Rome has left is its glorious past and rich history, there is so many things to learn and to know about Rome and the Vatican that you will be surprised how helpful a tour guide can be and how much details are yet to be discovered which with the help of knowledgeable tour guide you will catch them all… well almost all and instead of just seeing things, you will sink them in.
2- The Colosseum and the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel are huge, in fact for instance the Vatican is so big that in Italian language it is called “i musei vaticani” which means the Vatican Museums, plural, not singular, because there is a collection of 16 museums together which make the Vatican museum. Now it is true that the Vatican Museums are big but it doesn’t mean that necessarily all of it is worth seeing, this is why many tourists that go on their own will simply get bored of the Vatican Museums: everything looks the same, everything looks beautiful, it is all full of statues and paintings and all you will see is painting after painting after painting after… Believe it or not we’ve seen tourist in the Vatican area whom have asked us about the location of the Sistine Chapel, when we tell them it is the last part of the Vatican Museums they answer us surprised and shocked: we went to the Vatican Museums but we didn’t see it. Now do you know why? Because they were so bored with the Vatican Museums that half way through the end of the Museums (which is the location of the Sistine Chapel) they returned to the entrance and simply left the Vatican Museums. With a tour guide this will never happen to you.
3- You won’t get lost, yes, you may get lost in the Vatican Museums or in the Roman Forum, they are vast indeed, now there are some signs and directions but on a normal day this city of Rome and its sights are so busy, like shoulder to shoulder packed busy that you even will not find the location of your favourite sights, well with a local experienced tour guide this will never happen, because they exactly know where they are and where they need to go.
4- There are so many different travel agents on the streets in Rome offering different packages for Rome, for other cities in Italy and etc, now we know some of them in person and they are good and genuine travel agencies with good tour and services but there are so many scammers among them as well and the problem is you can never tell which one is the scammer which one is the genuine helpful guy, because they are telling you we are good trustworthy authentic travel agents… well well well… which scammer has ever admitted that I am a hoax? You can simply avoid them all by booking a tour in advance.
5- Now in our humble opinion these 4 reasons are enough to convince you to book a tour, but if you are not still satisfied let us play our ace: The Lines, yes there are horrendous endless gigantic lines to get to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel, to get to the St. Peter’s Cathedral, to get to the Colosseum and to get to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, hours of lines which can ruin your experience in this magnificent city, but by booking a tour you can simply avoid joining all these queues and simply walk into the museums and the sights, why? Because when you book your tour this means you will pay for the admission ticket in advance which we will purchase them for you, which means you do not need to queue up to buy the ticket. Easy, huh?
6- Yes we said five reasons, but we will give you an extra motive to book a tour just for the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel: on a normal day, almost 18000 visitors enter the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel and yes almost all of them want to see the most important parts of the Vatican, this means hordes of tourists everywhere, enthusiastic photographers trying to find a better spot for their photos, tour guides trying to take control of their groups and etc etc. If you book an early morning Vatican Museums tour you will be able to enter the Vatican Museums 1 hour before its public opening, when there is almost none of those 18000 visitors around… yet.