Via dei Condotti
This is it. The epicentre of Roman bling shopping. You (and probably fifty thousand others) are standing in Piazza di Spagna by Bernini's iconic boat fountain, straight ahead lies the gauntlet of Condotti where Italy's most famous brands lie. Portfoglios out... Saunter down Condotti and, even if you're not thirsty, pop your head into pretty Antico Caffè Greco at #86 (see Coffee). Carlo Eleuteri at #69 / 06 678 1078 / has stunning antique jewels and bijouterie. On the corner of Via Bocca di Leone, above the Ferragamo store are the Portrait Suites (see Accom.), and further down Condotti in the private courtyard at #61a is tailor Battistoni / 06 697 6111 / battistoni.com. Now exit left, crossing Condotti, and turn left into Via Borgognona to find Brunello Cucinelli at #33 / 06 678 7680 / for sublime, classic women's and menswear, and Iro at #29 / 06 6919 0631 / for Parisian-chic day-to-night w/wear pieces. Fancy something a little more risque? Brighenti Boutique at #27 / 06 678 3898 / has hot n' haute lingerie. Detour right onto Via Mario de' Fiori for faux jewels at Imperatore di Capri #6a, or stay on Borgognona for foot candy maestro René Caovilla at #10 / 06 678 3879. Pecky? If you've booked ahead, then delectable Da Nino is at #11 / 06 679 5676 / ristorantenino.it, or continue on up to Piazza di Spagna and either turn left for glove emporium Sermoneta at #61, or head right and right again into Via Frattina, down and left into Via Mario de' Fiori for mid-retail bubbles at #91 Vuda Bar / 06 679 2976, or carry on Frattina, about a third of the way down on the left is the rather snobby Galassia at #21 / 06 679 7896 / for designer duds and po-faced salesgirls. Across the street is queen of stripes Gallo at #122 / 06 6920 2198, then make a quick detour right into Via Bocca di Leone to find the reclusive Marni store at #8 / 06 678 6320. Whip back to Frattina, to find lovely old-school beauty shop Castelli at # 52 / 06 678 0066, more labels at #69 Gente, and Luisa Venier at #80 / 1/F / 06 6979 7741 / for love it or loathe it lace and embroidered linens. At the bottom of Frattina you'll hit the deluge of Via del Corso, trot left and on the left at #166 is Grilli / 06 679 3650 / with handmade custom handbags. Across at #406 is the ancient Hausmann & Co. / 06 687 1501 / who have been watchmaking, repairing and selling since 1794. Time waits for no man, and you're probably hungry enough to neck a Patek, but no need for that, simply retrace back along Corso and either carry on and turn right into Borgognona to find juiced-up lunchkin Ginger (see Lunch) or, opposite Via Frattina you will espy the charming Piazza de San Lorenzo in Lucina. Here you'll find Cruciani & Bella at #34 / 06 687 6394 / with a stash of excellent handmade ties in silks and cashmere, which'll sort hubby out for a fair few birthdays to come. Over on the far right cnr is the very lovely Ciampini (see Lunch). Grab a terrace table, or nip upstairs if it's winter, and don't forget to try their pistachio ice-cream (see Gelateria). While you're at it, why not pop a Negroni down your blouse too. Oh, go on then.