Saturday, 13 February 2016

Rugby Widows

Oh how romantic, you thought. A weekend away in Rome over Valentine's Day. Little did you realise the ulterior motive - England are playing Italy in the Six Nations at Stadio Olimpico, with a 2.00pm kick off on.........Valentine's Day!
Oh well, at least you don't have to sit through the match with your Other Half. You can go shopping instead.
If you had unlimited funds you would probably not venture much further than Via Condotti 's designer stores but I'm guessing somewhere a little less high end might be in order.
Via Cola di Rienzo fits the bill nicely. This long, wide, tree lined street is packed full of shops, both popular chains and one-off speciality stores.

To reach here take Metro Line A to Ottaviano. From the metro station take Via Ottaviano to Piazza Risorgimento.
Diagonally across from you, in the right hand corner of the square you will find Duecento Gradi (Piazza Risorgimento 3). This is a good place to fuel up before shopping commences. The choice of Panini are excellent and the loos here are very good too!
Now you are ready to commence your stroll down Via Cola di Rienzo. Obviously you will be drawn to the shops that you like but here are some of my favourites.
First is Castroni (196/198) - an Aladdins cave of foodie items from all over the world. I love the ceramic spice jars which I buy as gifts (€4.50 - a bargain!)
There is a coffee bar in there too for your espresso fix .

If you see Pocket Coffee for sale here, snap them up. They are only available in the winter months and will serve as an instant surge of energy should your shopping spirits flag.

 Right next door to Castroni is Bertozzini Profumeria - a veritable temple to perfumes and cosmetics.

 A little further down on the opposite side of the road is Coin Excelsior (no.173) a department store with a basement supermarket that is the equal of Harvey Nicks food hall. It also boasts a Nespresso outlet complete with George Clooney.

 If you are shopping for teenagers back home then Brandy Melville & Subdued are next door to each other at number 136.

When you are shopped out continue on to Ponte Regina Margherita. Once over the river turn right & then left on to Via della Penna.
Hotel Locarno has the most divine Art Nouveau Bar where you can sip on a cocktail whilst waiting for your Other Half. Whether he is jubilant or despondent remains to be seen.

 All places mentioned can be found on this map

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