Vintage Shops in Rome’s Esquilino neighbourhood
Nestled along one of Esquilino’s late 19th century streets, vintage clothing shop and costume lab Sitenne awaits those who seek treasure troves of retro-ware, wool, leather, jewelry and lace or just a place to browse and soak it all up in a warm and cozy environment.
Alberta (house manager) and Valerio (marketing administrator) work together in this business and are equally energetic and welcoming. A funky place, Sitenne is much more than just a clothes store; it is closer to what Valerio describes as a “creativity lab” as it provides an array of other services of which include the renting out of costumes for theater and film production, creative collaboration for such productions and an in-house tailoring service. Sitenne accepts clothing from individuals who would like to sell their items and both the store and the individual takes a portion of the earnings.
The partners stay true to their ethical and eco-friendly approach as they work, salvaging and reimagining through a creative and contemporary lens, pieces from eras past. Alberta, who curates the collections, takes from her experience in the theater business through which she had the opportunity to observe the ins and outs of costume use. She has come to feel strongly about the reusability of clothing and is a magician when it comes to matching her beloved pieces to the individual customer.
Valerio and Alberta denounce standards of beauty projected by the media and promote individual expression. They have created an environment that embodies a sort-of anti-H&M where shoppers feel they can express themselves through dress, free of fast-fashion’s pressures to conform.
Sitenne, in collaboration with the association “Il Cielo Sopra L’Esquilino,” houses a little book exchange called book crossing and customers can take books for free and either choose to leave one in exchange or not. In this way, the atmosphere is really one of relaxation and is even a bit of a social scene, as Alberta likes to host her friends and is herself a very entertaining person to chat with.
A true gem in the heart of this multi-ethnic neighborhood, Sitenne is a not-to-be-missed destination with its eclectic and finely tailored collection. If you’re on the lookout for vintage in Rome, here is your top contender.