Rome oozes style. Zipping through the Italian capital on a classic Vespa, decked out in a sharp suit and shades, is the epitome of retro chic. Immortalized in classic films such as “La Dolce Vita” and “Roman Holiday,” the Eternal City has an ambience of timeless sophistication and is a paradise for vintage-shopping fans.
Italians are among the most style-conscious citizens on the planet, so it’s no surprise that Rome houses a fantastic array of vintage boutiques and markets.
From sourcing strappy dresses and capri pants to seeking sunglasses and swanky bags, here’s our round up of the best shopping in Rome for vintage divas and retro fashionistas. (If you’re lucky, you might even spot some old-school Versace, Armani or Fendi).
Mercato Monti Urban Market
Head over to Rome´s trendy Monti district and join the hipsters, artists and creative types at this pop-up weekend market held in the conference room of The Grand Hotel Palatino.
Mercato Monti smoothly blends old and new by selling both vintage goodies and clothes and accessories by emerging designers. For a taste of what’s on hand, take a peek at The Talent of the Week on the Mercato Monti website. Mercato Monti is open on weekends from September to June.
Hip Pifebo has three jam-packed stores dotted across the city. Every inch of each outpost’s bright red and orange walls, and even the ceilings, is used to showcase vintage pieces.
Flick through rails of leather and denim jackets, Hawaiian shirts and summer dresses. Try on hexagonal sunglasses and feathered hats, and don’t overlook the super-cool cowboy boots.
Before you visit, get inspired by Pifebo´s online lookbook, where suggested combos include oversized shades paired with crinkled skirts and a splash of blue lipstick.
Mercato di Porta Portese
Rummagers and hagglers will be in seventh heaven at Mercato di Porta Portese. Stallholders at this sprawling Sunday market sell everything from vintage clothes and curios to DVDs and antiques. The market dates back to the 1940s and is famed for its multicultural vibe.
Boasting a prime spot on the banks of the River Tiber, by the Porta Portese ancient city gate, Mercato di Porta Portese opens at 6:00 a.m. and closes at 2:00 p.m. Arrive upon its opening or near closing to catch the best bargains.
Humana Vintage Roma
What makes Humana Vintage Roma stand out from the crowd is that it is managed by a nonprofit, HUMANA People to People. The clothes are gathered from collection points, sorted into categories, and the best vintage picks from the 1960s to the 1990s end up at Humana Vintage.
The best part? The shop’s sales fund development projects in Africa.
What you see in store is just the tip of the iceberg. If you are looking for something special, like a wedding dress or fancy-dress costume, ask the team, and they will try to source it for you.
Mercato Borghetto Flaminio
Every Sunday the yard of a former bus depot up Via Flaminia plays host to this vintage flea market. The atmosphere here is less hectic than at some of Rome´s larger markets, and Borghetto Flaminio has a reputation for selling high-quality items.
The stalls overflow with retro jewelry, trinkets and bags, and on the clothing rails you´ll find everything from 1970s dresses to vintage furs.
Check out the labels as you browse, as this is the perfect spot to pick up pieces by big-name designers. Borghetto Flaminio is open Sundays from 10:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.