I love vintage shopping in Rome—but hate those vintage stores that smell like Grandma’s attic. Enter Blue Goose. This little vintage boutique, which opened at the end of last year in Monti (on Via del Boschetto, of course!), is fabulous, well-priced, and anything but musty.
While tiny, the store has a beautifully-edited collection of vintage women’s clothing, bags, shoes, and jewelry. And most of the items are designer labels. Looking for that classic Louis Vuitton purse? Maybe a Versace jacket? This is the place to come.
(Note: This information was updated in April 2017).
Looking for the best shopping in Rome? Particularly if you’re in search of one-of-a-kind (and handmade! and stylish!) clothing and jewelry, beeline to Via del Boschetto, located an easy walk from Via Nazionale, the Roman forum, or the Colosseum.
In the heart of Rione Monti, one of Rome’s most ancient and hip neighborhoods, Via del Boschetto is packed with top-notch boutiques, artisans and ateliers, selling everything from hip clothing to handcrafted jewelry to vintage bags. The biggest surprise? At many of the stores, the pricetags are on par with what you’d find at a chain store—yet another reason to shop artisanal in Rome.
And remember: Over the next few months, I’m going to be focusing more on Rome’s unique stores, including with posts on some of my other favorite shopping streets in Rome, so stay tuned.
Now, let’s go shopping…
Tina Sondergaard, Via del Boschetto 1/D: The clothes at this tiny shop, all designed by Danish import Sondergaard (above), are hand-stitched and top-quality. The fabrics come from just outside Florence. Along with her whimsical-but-classy pieces, Sondergaard will create items by request—she’s made everything from costumes to wedding dresses in the past. But even her bespoke work won’t break the bank: She recently custom-made a cocktail dress for €200. Tel: +39 3343850799.
Kokoro, Via del Boschetto 75: Items at this “clothing laboratory” (above) are up-to-the-minute (items change weekly) and, well, frankly fabulous, with lots of play with color, prints, and texture (hello, suede leggings!). All the items, which include purses and accessories, are original Kokoro creations. And the prices are more than reasonable. Blouses are about €40, dresses €70. Who said shopping artisanal had to cost a ton? (P.S.: Kokoro also has another location on Via della Chiesa Nuova). Tel: +39 0664760251.
C.A.M., Via del Boschetto 76: The store’s name—which stands for “Classe Artigiana Monti”—gives you an idea of what the store is all about. Since 2009, Valentina Maroni and Giorgio Bacci, who met studying at the Academy of Fine Art (ABAV), have been designing and sewing their own creations here… right in the workshop in the back (below). Their designs, including lots of blouses and dresses, make classic, clean shapes contemporary with fun colors and textures, including, right now, lots of hip metallics. (Although C.A.M. is where Le Gallinelle used to be, it’s a completely separate store). Tel: +39 0648907175.
Il Giardino del Tè, Via del Boschetto 107: This tea shop, the first in Rome, has been a fixture in Monti since 1998—a feat in a city of cappuccino-lovers. Even if you’re not a big tea-drinker, it’s hard not to be sucked in by the aroma. Teas range from oolong and Turkish apple to hibiscus and walnut chocolate; jams and, yes, even some coffees are on sale, too. But what I’m really lusting after is some of the china on display (below). +39 0689535176.
Eliodoro, Via del Boschetto 109: Peek into the display window at Eliodoro and just try not to salivate. Precious gems as big as lemon drops make the rings look like they were stolen off of a very rich (and very hip) cardinal’s hand, while the earrings, necklaces and bracelets strike a similar classic-gone-chunky note. Rings start around €150. Tel: +39 064827486.
Le Nou, Via del Boschetto 111: This is the kind of hole-in-the-wall you could easily pass by. Don’t! The hip folks behind Le Nou design, and then handsew, trendy creations right there in the store lab. Lest you think getting something handcrafted makes it expensive, just wait: blouses start at €30. Yep, you heard me. The same price as at Zara. Tel: +39 0631056334.
Ashanti, Via del Boschetto 117: In the 12 years that jeweller Raffaelle Cinzio has been running this jewelry-shop-cum-art-space, he’s received serious accolades, like a mark of excellence for artisanship from the region of Lazio. Not that it’s any surprise: Raffaelle’s jewelry, handcrafted from silver, bronze, and gold in his workspace at the back of Ashanti Galleria, manages to be both exquisite and funky, much of it with a cool, androgynous tone (above). Contemporary paintings by artists, most of them Italian, hang on the walls. Sound too upmarket for your wallet? Actually, Raffaelle’s jewelry starts at €45 a pop, and the works of art at €100. Tel: +39 064884203.
Pulp, Via del Boschetto 140: This is a store with a serious cult following—and with reason. The boutique (above) sells not only colorful, funky vintage clothing and accessories, but vintage pieces that have been reworked by the owner, Fabrizio, to be both a) better-quality (no holes or tears here!) and b) even more hip. That’s not to mention the clothes that Fabrizio designs and creates from scratch. The overall effect? Fun (and sustainable!) fashion at a reasonable price. There’s a big collection of bags, shoes, and sunglasses here, too (below). +39 06485511.
Galleria d’Arte di Jullo, Via del Boschetto 141: Animal-lovers find themselves arrested by the display of this small, elegant gallery with its lovely oil paintings, sketches, and engravings of wild horses—all original creations by Italian artist Roberto di Jullo. Tel: +39 1919027.
Fabio Piccione, Via del Boschetto 148: Walking into this store is like diving into Grandma’s treasure chest. Jewelry from every decade of the 20th century have been repaired by the owner, Fabio Piccione, and resold at excellent prices. For costume-jewelry and vintage junkies, there’s no better bet for bangles. Tel: +39 064741697.
Want more tips about where to find the best shopping, and much more, in the Eternal City? Check out The Revealed Rome Handbook: Tips and Tricks for Exploring the Eternal City, available for purchase on Amazon, below, or through my site here!
I'd always wanted to try L'Asino d'Oro, the Umbrian restaurant, run by renowned chef Lucio Sforza, that had made the leap from Orvieto to Rome's Montesacro neighborhood. But, somehow, life got in the way. Before I had a chance to try it, the Rome location closed.
This past weekend, I went for the first time. And it was so good, I went back again four days later for lunch. I can't recall any other restaurant in Rome–not Le Mani in Pasta, not Palatium, not even Roma Sparita–that's made me such an addict so quickly.
Given the restaurant's glowing reviews and the elegant crowd inside (unsurprisingly, the restaurant was completely booked up), I had high expectations on Saturday. The meal, though, beat every single one.
Dinner kicked off with two surprises: smiling servers (rare for Rome!), and a little "taste" from the kitchen, a chicory and ricotta frittata drizzled with olive oil. Then came the fettucine in a duck liver and Vin Santo sauce (€10), one of those bizarre-but-perfect pairings that you just don't find at your average trattoria, and scafata with fava beans, peas and chard (€9). Wild boar stewed in "dolceforte," a reduction of chocolate and red wine–kind of like an Umbrian version of mole (€15). And a super-tasty twist on zuppa inglese that was light, creamy and just sweet enough.
I returned that Wednesday. I had to try their lunch: €12 for an antipasto, primo, secondo, glass of wine, and water. As I suspected, it just might be the best lunch deal in town. (Four-euro pastas at the Spanish Steps aside). For starters, the patio (shown at top) is a lovely choice on a nice day. The service is just as attentive as at night. The portions are smaller, of course, but just right for a lunch that doesn't leave you reeling. (Or rolling). The menu changes daily, and it wasn't quite as creative as what we'd seen at dinner. Still, it was delicious: pumpkin soup, ravioli with ricotta (below), and lamb stewed with artichokes.
So there you are. Another top restaurant to add to your list, and a well-priced one, too. As for me, I'm just thrilled to have found a restaurant that replaces a once-upon-a-time favorite in Monti. Let's just hope L'Asino d'Oro doesn't follow the same well-trodden path.