When visiting Rome, it’s tempting to bring back typical souvenirs* like wine, pasta, coffee, and trinkets of famous landmarks. Instead, seek out unique Rome souvenirs that capture the essence of the city—things that you can’t easily find online or outside of Rome.
(When we say typical souviners, we happen to mean things like: wine from Lazio, dried pasta from Gragnano, bags of dark roasted coffee, a snowglobe of the Colosseum, a refrigerator magnet of St. Peter’s Basilica, a package of biscotti, some vacuum-packaged prosciutto, 30-month aged Parmigiano, and/or a bottle of limoncello…)
Read along for our guide of the most unique Rome souvenirs to save space in your suitcase for.
If you’ve ever wanted to dress up like a priest, monk, and/or a nun then point yourself to Comandini, located in Vatican City. Since 1962, this shop has been selling various Catholic paraphernalia. The shop doesn’t just sell religious vestments, but also chalices, rosaries, and reliquaries.
You sometimes read stories in the news about someone hiking in Europe and they see a glint of something in the dirt. After scraping away some earth, they realize what they’ve found: an ancient Roman coin.
You don’t have to try your luck by hiking in around Italy until you eventually find a coin of your own. You can buy one at Diana Numismatica, a shop located in Museo dei Cappuccini—just a two-minute walk from the Piazza Barberini metro stop. You can buy a single coin or an entire collection.
If you’ve watched the film Gladiator even just once, and wanted to know what it feels like to strap on all that gladiator gear and hold a sword, there are several gift shops and souvenir stands sprinkled around the Colosseum where you can pick up some plastic armor and wooden swords and become a 21st-century gladiator. They also have child sizes too, making an ideal gift for your little gladiator in training.
At the clunklely named Creart Roma, located in the Centro Storico across the river from Castel Sant’ Angelo, you can walk in and then walk out with some incredible Roman-themed art.
Do you want a replica of a Roman Empire-era relief sculpture? A stone eagle, reminiscent of Musollini’s Fascist Italy? A ceramic rendition of Rapaele’s angels, like the murals at the Vatican Museums? A mosaic “Beware of Dog” sign in Latin? Or a ceramic bust of a cat as a Roman emperor? You can take home these and much, much more home with you.
Romans parade around the streets looking oh-so suave with scarves intricately grasping their necks that probably took them three seconds to assemble. Now you can have that cool Italian look by nabbing a smooth silk scarf. There are numerous shops in the center of Rome that sell scarves but for the best Roman experience, go to the enormous market Porta Portese on Sunday for a vast selection.
Two architects from Rome started Co.Ro. a few years back when they began designing unique jewelry that captures the essence of the architecture of the Eternal City. They sell necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings, etc. all inspired by the design of Rome, some of which evoke certain historical eras of the city’s history, such as the Roman Empire and the Renaissance.
Monks on the island of Capri have been making irresistible fragrances from local flowers since the 14th century. And fortunately for you, they have a shop in Rome’s historical center. Carthusia, located in the Centro Storico, has perfumes for both men and women and there are about 20 different fragrances to choose from.
Football merchandise (a.k.a., soccer merch)
A.S. Roma is the most popular of the two first-division teams in the Italian capital. And the team has a few shops sprinkled around the city, particularly in the center of town. So you can stop in to pick up an official A.S. Roma jersey, a scarf, track suits, shoes, flip flops, even bathrobes emblazoned with the A.S. Roma logo. You can even get some cool retro jerseys from decades past.