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Shopping on Via dell’Oca: Real Roman Retail

Shop this small street of local boutiques and boom, you’re Italian.

Sure, Rome is all about the fashun, bella. But if you don’t have time to trawl through all the label stables along Condotti there’s a piccolo pocket of all-Italiano artisan stores but a skip away where you can get the real Roma look in less time than it takes to say ‘elegante’.

From altered-to-fit everyday wear to locally-made shades and beach-bright bikinis, a speedy shop along on-the-up enclave Via dell’Oca will have you looking like a Fellini femme in no time. Flats on and AMEX at the ready, Rosa…

First up, fuel up like a local with a morning cappuccino and a freshly baked fagottino at the long wood counter of classic caffe Rosati. Or if you’re feeling spendy (which you certainly should be) nab a table out front – the service fee is steep but the view of Piazza del Popolo is worth it.

Alrighty, now just amble over to Via dell’Oca and let the retail romp commence.

Start at Cristina Bomba for effortlessly understated daywear designed with the same attention to detail as couture. From her little atelier crafty Cristina stitches up mod and mainly muted clobber cut from 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.

That’s your basics sorted, now it’s time to amp up your accessories so shimmy next door to concept store-cum-gallery Artisanal Cornucopia. Owner Elif Sallorenzo’s curated collection is gleaned from her regular gallivants around Italy, Europe and beyond where she sniffs out about-to-break designers and niche makers and brings back only their best bits. Peruse the shelves for buttersoft Manu Cashmere, heavenly Aquazzura heels and scent-uous Meo Fusciuni perfumes, plus Elif’s own house-line jewellery and rotating art and homewares by local talents.

But, you know, that effortlessly sexy Italian style ain’t all about what you see, Fee. Scoot back up the street and you’ll float straight into the wee boutique of Laura Urbinati, best known for her minimal bikinis and classic colour-block one-pieces, however this store also stocks a slinky edit of her sexy sheer intimates. Si, mi amor!

Already bulky with bags? Well there’s still more to come. No real Roman sashays the streets unshaded so skip over to Mondelliani for eye-catching, La Dolce Vita sunnies in bling-bright hues and geometric shapes. Just throw on a pair and, ecco, you’re Anouk Aimée.

And to stay doubly sun smart top it all off with some headgear from master milliner Patrizia Fabri. From fedoras to fascinators, all of her elegant cranial constructs are handmade with local materials (Piedmont felt, Tuscan straw) and shaped using an almost forgotten method of steam molding.

That’s it, you’re officially Italian! Now simply saunter back through the Piazza for a culture fix at Basilica di Santa Maria del Popolo – from out front she looks a bit plain Jane but inside she hides brushstrokes by Bernini, Raphael and Caravaggio. Or, if aperitivo hour is nigh, treat your aptly attired tush to ‘tails in the wisteria-scented courtyard bar of Hotel Locarno. Finito!

Rosati, Piazza del Popolo, 4/5A, Popolo, Rome. +39 063 225 859,

Cristina Bomba, Via dell’Oca, 39, Popolo, Rome. +39 063 612 881,

Artisanal Cornucopia, Via dell’Oca, 38A, Popolo, Rome. +39 342 871 4597,

Laura Urbinati,  Via Col Di Lana ,8, Rome. +39 02 837 2573,

Mondelliani, Via dell’Oca, 36, Popolo, Rome. +39 063 107 7321,

Patrizia Fabri, Via dell’Oca, 34 Popolo or Via degli Scipioni, 46. @patriziafabrihats

Basilica di Santa Maria del Popolo, Piazza del Popolo, 12, Popolo, Rome. +39 063 610 836,

Hotel Locarno, Via della Penna, 22, Popolo, Rome. +39 063 610 841,

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