Think Roma’s all Zegna, Gucci and Gabbana? Sure, the Italian capital may be known for her big-name brand names, but she also boasts an A-list artisan lineup that can stitch, sew and sculpt with more precision than a Caravaggio fresco.
From butter-soft hand-crafted leather to delicate jewellery and fab furnishings; here are our fave speciality stores for your next Rome retail trip.
Speciality: Marvellous mosaics
At first glance, these astonishing cufflinks might look like they’re adorned with pretty little hand-painted scenes, but in fact they’re inlaid with the micro-mosaic masterpieces of Luigi Faraoni, one of only seven remaining Roman artists of his kind. These painstakingly-crafted designs come in classical and contemporary styles and are also available as watches, rings and pendants. Piccolo perfection.
Via dei Banchi Vecchi, 137, Campo dei Fiori, Rome. +39 06 683 2832.
Di San Giacomo
Speciality: Frosted foot candy
Centurions would squeal with envy for Claudio’s razzle-dazzle sandals, fashioned in an array of vibrant, eye-popping hues and costume-jewellery adornments. He’ll even tailor the fit to your foot in his teensy atelier in under two hours! Also available sans the bling for more modest tootsies.
Via di Tor Millina, 10/11, Navona. +39 06 9684 7938. facebook: @disangiacomo
Speciality: Timeless accessories
These sleek n’ simple belts, bags, briefcases and sporting goods can be totally made-to-order and hand-sewn by leather goods god Federico. No time to spare? Pick from the pret-a-purchase range, or if you are going bespoke, ask about his international shipping service.
Via Piè di Marmo, 7, Pantheon. +39 06 679 7191. federicopolidori.com
Speciality: Hide and seat
Dario goes hell for eco-chic, veggie-tanned Tuscan leather in his vaulted, exposed-stone studio, moulding supple hides into Tripolina chairs, directors’ seats and Mart Stam-inspired Bauhaus-esque pews. Got your own design in mind? Have him created it for you.
Via dei Chiavari, 40, Campo dei Fiori. +39 06 6819 2188. darioalfonsi.com
Speciality: Couture clobber
From her little workshop Cristina expertly stitches modern and muted his, hers and even kiddies clothing cut from only the highest quality, natural materials. Go for off-the-peg capris, circle skirts or shirt-dresses, all of which can be fitted on the spot, or have something a little more special occasion made bespoke.
Via dell’Oca, 39, Popolo. +39 06 361 2881. cristinabomba.com
Speciality: Delectable dress shoes
Agnelli, de Niro and even Queen Lizzie have all had their well-heeled hooves shod at this family-run cobbler, which has been crafting bespoke brogues for the great and the good since 1899. Join the illustrious clientele with a pair of shoes, designed especially for you and guaranteed to last a lifetime.
Via Francesco Crispi, 97, Spagna. +39 06 679 3858. marinicalzature.it
Specialty: Gem-sational jewels
Working beneath the awe-inspiring ceilings of her family’s C.16th palazzo, under-the-radar belle of the baubles Lucia Odescalchi creates dramatic, architecturally inspired and contemporary style statements with steel chains and matte gold. Sleek and understated, each limited-edition item is adorned with semi or precious stones and can be bought bespoke or ready to slip straight onto your finger.
Vicolo del Piombo, 17/b, Piazza Venezia. +39 06 6992 5506. luciaodescalchi.com