Unlike Paris, where department stores were part of Baron Haussamans’s grand plan, Rome’s grandi maggazzi aren’t all that grandi.
They’re actually pretty small – the big stores are in the new shopping malls on the ring road that runs around Rome’s perimeter. But you can certainly find whatever you’re looking for in Rome’s department stores, and many are located near Via Condotti where luxury labels like Versace and Dolce & Gabbano are located.
Most stores are open seven days a week until 8 or 9 at night.
La Rinascente is Italy’s premier department store. It’s roots go back to 1865 when two brothers opened a men’s clothing store in Milan. The Rome store first opened in a turn-of-the-century palazzo on Via del Corso. But recently, it was purchased by the popular clothing store Zara and relocated to the neighboring Galleria Alberto Sordi.
If you’re looking for top International and Italian brands like 7 for all Mankind, Armani Collezione, Guess, Marc Jacobs, and Burberry, La Rinascente is the place. Their own label, Ellerre, is stylish and more affordable.
The different departments here are arranged like individual boutiques, and the staff are well trained and informed. You’ll find a vast assortment of up-market cosmetics and perfume, men’s, women’s, and children’s fashions. The suburban Piazza Fiume branch has a beautiful housewares section.
Coin carries a little less status, but it’s less expensive, and you can still find all the latest fashions for everyone in the family. Brands like Calvin Klein, Guess, DKNY, Lacoste, and Esprit are best sellers. And they carry top-quality Italian housewares, and kid’s clothes.
There’s a Milan-based hair salon, and a restaurant and bar on the fourth floor. The Piazzale Appio location is not far from the Vatican.
UPIM, which stands for Unico Prezzo Italiano Milano, first opened a store in Cremona in 1928. Today, UPIM is similar to H&M – they offer the latest styles for men, women, and children at affordable prices. You won’t find designer labels, but their private label is good, and the BLUKIDS line for children is especially popular with Italian families. They also sell attractive housewares at attractive prices. In January of 2010, La Rinascente sold them to Coin.
Oviesse is a popular chain with inexpensive clothes, cosmetics, and accessories. They’re similar to Target or Kohl‘s. Lately, they’ve rebranded themselves as OVS or OVS Industry and done more to target the youth market. Their Baby Angel boutique features clothes designed by Fiorucci. They also have a plus-size department.