Where to shop in Rome during the holiday season
The holiday season is one of the most magical times of the year. Chilly weather, streets decked with lights, Christmas songs and a beautiful holiday vibe fills the Eternal City. Even though Italians traditionally put up the Christmas tree on December 8th, I’m a firm believer that once the Thanksgiving leftovers are put away, it’s time to start decorating for the holiday season. For all expats and tourists that’ll be spending Christmas in Rome and have no idea where to buy holiday decorations, I’ve put together a list of Christmas shops to get you into the holidays spirit!
Where to buy Christmas Trees
It’s not Christmas without a Christmas tree. Everyone knows that. But where can you purchase yours (apart from the usual Ikea or Leroy Merlin)? Lucky for you, the task isn’t too hard. Rome is packed with vivai, fiorai and shops where you can get a real or fake Christmas tree.
If you’re near the Trastevere neighbourhood, get yourself to Fleur Garden Trastevere, a family-run green oasis of plants, flowers and decorations. Step inside to completely immerse yourself in the holiday atmosphere and choose your perfect tree to decorate. If you’re in the Marconi neighbourhood, head to Fleur Garden Trastevere’s sister: Vivaio Marconi Fleur Garden. Here you will find everything from bright red Christmas stars to handmade decorations and beautiful Christmas trees.
While strolling through the Trieste neighbourhood, don’t forget to stop by Bambusa Garden, a secret garden where you’ll dive into the world of plants. It’s run by a small group of gardeners and landscapers who pour their hearts in helping people create their green oasis right at home. For those on the hunt for a a fake Christmas tree, head to one of CoinCasa’s many shopping points. From classic to snow Christmas trees, you’ll find the perfect tree that will last in the years to come.
Where to buy Christmas Decorations & Ornaments
Now that you have a Christmas tree, it’s time to decorate it! And Rome is packed with charming Christmas decorations and ornaments shops. For handmade Christmas ornaments that will last a lifetime, get yourself to Sempre Natale at Via della Scrofa 93, footsteps from Piazza Navona. They only sell high quality handmade ornaments by Italian and European artisans who use traditional techniques.
Another personal favorite is Mr. Christmas. Just stepping inside this store at Galleria Alberto Sordi will get you into holiday mode! Their ornaments are inspired by those romantic and unforgettable moments that make every Christmas so unique. Each and every decoration is a small work of art that the company realizes on original design and exclusively distributes in Italy. The problem? You’ll want to buy the whole store.
Vertecchi is another winter wonderland you can’t skip on your holiday shopping. They sell everything from fake Christmas trees and ornaments to Christmas cards and decorations such as chuchu trains and sleds. It’s truly one not to miss. They have three stores in Rome, the one at Via della Croce 70/A (centro storico), the other at via Pietro da Cortona 18 (Flaminio) and the last at via Alessio Baldovinetti 104 (EUR).
If you’re in the Prati neighbourhood, make sure to stop by AlicantiStore at Via Trionfale, 80. They have everything from holiday home decor to unique Christmas ornaments to make your tree stand out. And last but not least, head to Maria Luisa Rocchi Flowers at Piazza Euclide for designer decorations. From one-of-a-kind Christmas table centerpieces to ornaments and home decor, you’ll find some amazing pieces at this store in Parioli.
There’s a reason why most of us over-indulge during the holiday season. Who can say no to pandoro, panettone and torrone? And don’t get me started on delicious tortellini in brodo! It’s like you never stop eating. And Italians take their Christmas dinner and Christmas lunch very seriously.
On Christmas Eve, tradition states that you can only have seafood dishes. That can range from seafood antipasti to seafood pasta and seafood secondi. While on Christmas day, you can only have meat dishes for lunch. That means tortellini in brodo, lasagne, abbacchio and so much more. While you can purchase all the ingredients for your Italian-style Christmas Eve and Christmas Day meals in every grocery store in Rome, why not skip the stress and order them from Eataly? That’s right, forget those long lines at the grocery store and get all you need for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day by pre-ordering them from Eataly instead. You can order anything, from canned goods to super fresh meat, seafood, bread and more! Not sure what to cook? Ask the staff at the market for tips! And for all those pandoro and panettone eaters out there, head to one of these stores to buy the perfect pandoro or panettone:
Le Levain, Via Luigi Santini 22/23
Antico Forno Roscioli, Via dei Chiavari 34
Bompiani, Largo Bompiani 8
Gruè, viale Regina Margherita 95/99
Panificio Bonci, via Trionfale 34/36
Romoli, Viale Eritrea, 142
Where to buy Christmas Gifts
Gift-giving is definitely part of the holiday season. I love browsing for the perfect gift for the people I love. Plus, seeing all the shops decked with Christmas decorations gets me into the mood even more. From heading to unique Christmas markets on the hunt for unique handmade goods, to navigating Rome’s most famous shopping streets and malls, it’s literally impossible not to find Christmas gifts in the Eternal city.