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Souvenir Shopping Rome’s Monti Neighborhood: Cute Indie Boutiques

Shopping Rome for the best souvenirs can be a daunting experience, especially if you’re only in town for a quick city break. It’s not that Rome has a lack of souvenirs to buy– you’ll find plenty of vendors hawking tchockes on every corner. But if you’re looking for tasteful, quality souvenirs to bring home, well that’s another story. At first, I considered searching for souvenirs Rome and all of Italy is known for– like Italian leather. But I found I didn’t have time to properly research the best spots for leather, nor the inclination to go out of my way to find said shops on a short trip.

While Monti might not have the big attractions of other parts of Rome, there are charming surprises around every corner.

I decided instead to focus on finding a typical Roman neighborhood, one that catered not only to tourists but also locals. A neighborhood where I could stroll boutiques and shops, and grab a bite at a trattoria without having to plan where I was going in advance.

Rome’s Monti neighborhood seemed like just the kind of shopping destination I was looking for. Monti is small enough to be manageable and central enough to be accessible, but isn’t chock full of ruins and attractions like other areas, so the tourist crush is somewhat lessened. Still. Monti is a scenic and photo friendly neighborhood, so non-shoppers traveling with you should enjoy the atmosphere– a gentrified working class neighborhood with a bohemian vibe. I hate to use the comparison because it’s so cliché now, but yes, Monti is the “Brooklyn” of Rome.

We asked the cab driver to drop us off in “central Monti”– wherever he thought that might be (it turned out to be an excellent starting point, Piazza della Madonna dei Monti). Then, I did what I always do– grabbed an espresso and ask a local to recommend some good streets for shopping. It turned out we were right in the heart of the Monti shopping district, on Via del Boschetto and Via dei Serpentini– along with neighboring streets– are a great place to get started.

Piazza della Madonna dei Monti– a perfect place to be dropped off in a taxi to start your Monti tour.

This cute cafe (La Bottega del Caffè) right on the square was the perfect spot for an esspresso and morning tiramsu.

monti street rome shopping cobblestone

Typical cobblestone street in Rome’s colorful (and uncrowded) Monti neighborhood.

Photo Shopping Tour (and lunch break) in Rome’s Monti Neighborhood

There are so many shops in Monti, you’ll inevitably run across more favorites just by browsing the streets. Here are a few interesting shops where I brought things home or that simply caught my eye.

Tina Sondergaard for Handmade Retro Inspired Dresses Straight out of Roman Holiday

Via del Boschetto 1D

Tina Sondergaard’s dress shop was filled with classic 1950 styled dresses all handmade by the designer, who also runs the shop. Many of the dresses are one of a kind. I loved all the bold graphics and gorgeous patterns, but had such limited time that I just I couldn’t make up my mind on a daring design. So I instead went with the sure thing– a  black, very Audrey Hepburnesque dress that will never go out of style. Also of note: cute tunics in lustrous fabrics and handbags.

vintage retro handbags rome monti shopping

I also adored the cute retro inspired handbags.

Tina Sondergaard dress rome nyc monti custom made

Back home in Manhattan, my dress is perfect for strolling down Fifth Avenue.

Sufir for Original Clothing and Handbag Designs at Incredible Prices

Via del Boschetto 113

Sufir was the exact type of shop I was hoping to find in Rome. The clothes are mostly made on the premises by the designers (manning the shop) and the prices are inexplicably comparable to a standard chain store (I bought an adorable dress for the equivalent of US $60, and the blue leather handbag below for $25). The shop is filled with a mix of clothes made by the designer and accessories from around Italy. My friend and I spent a lot of time here and we both loaded up on several items to bring home.

moni rome boutique designer shopping dresses

Monti’s Sufir shop– a bargain destination for made-in-Rome designs.

Sufir Rome scarf accessories handmade monti boutique shopping

I wear my lightweight cashmere scarf from here in practically all seasons.

Leather handbags were shockingly cheap.

Monti’s Vintage Shops for Clothes Straight out of a Classic Italian Film

The vintage shops in Monti are to die for. I felt like I was browsing through the costume department of those classic 60s films. If you are a vintage nut, plan to spend a lot of time here.

Pulp

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Pulp is one of the better known vintage shops in Monti, and it’s easy to see why– the shop is bright and well-edited, filled with pristine, colorful clothing.

Other vintage shops in Monti

A selection of photos I took while browsing Monti’s vintage shops, Flamingo and King Size:

Vintage Home

Perlei for Modern Jewelry that’s Wearable Art

Via del Boschetto 35

Looking for unique modern jewelery? This is your shop.

Il Gardiano del Te for Tea Lovers

While tea is hardly uniquely Roman, this tea shop featuring unique teas from around the world is worth a stop for tea lovers.

Te & Tisane

Shopping Lunch Break in Monti– Hostaria La Carbonara

I love Carbonara and figured a restaurant that calls itself Carbonara is as good as place as any to indulge in this classic Roman dish. While my absolute favorite carbonara in Rome is at Santopadre in the Veneto area, the carbonara dish here definitely hit the spot.

carbonara typical roman dish monti

Classic carbonara, Roman style.

Have you been to Rome’s Monti neighborhood? Where are your favorite boutiques?

 

3 Responses to Souvenir Shopping Rome’s Monti Neighborhood: Cute Indie Boutiques

  1. Shepard C Willner 08/05/2017 at 7:59 pm #

    Nice article, Kristin, and very timely because I’ll be visiting the Eternal City sometime next month. That said, where are us guys supposed to shop in Monti for things like wallets, gloves, leather jackets, shoes, and chocolate? What do guys do if they’re not shopping? Do they tour the place, or do they go to the cafes and wait for their GFs and spouses to join them, arms filled with shopping bags? Also, were the fountains flowing with water, or was they dry because of the low water level problem in the Tiber and the lake where Rome gets it H2O?

  2. Rolling Harbour 08/08/2017 at 2:31 pm #

    Excellent, Kristin. Trouble is, now I want Carbonara… RH

    • Shepard C Willner 08/08/2017 at 8:26 pm #

      The first time I had Carbonara was at an Italian place near a theater in London in ’14. One of the saltiest dishes I have ever eaten–I was reaching for the water and my beer every time I took a bite. The reason for the saltiness may have been the bacon bits. Never again! 🙁

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