8 Authentic Rome Souvenirs You Should Buy

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.

magnets
Avoid cliche Rome souvenirs like magnets and opt for more unique ones instead. Photo credit: Marco Verch

Religious goods 

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

a rosary
A rosary from Rome can be both a poignant and culturally resonant keepsake. Photo credit: Gwen

Roman coins 

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.

coins
A classic souvenir from Rome: coins! Photo credit: Thomas K.

Gladiator gear 

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.

people dressed up as gladiators in Rome
You might spot gladiator enthusiasts roaming around Rome, which could inspire you to acquire some gladiator gear of your own. Photo credit: Pickpik

Roman art 

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.

sculptures in Rome
In addition to sculptures, Rome boasts a rich array of artistic treasures. Photo credit: Sonse

Italian scarves 

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.

Silk scarves
A Rome souvenir that’s sure to impress? Silk scarves. Photo credit: Rawpixel

Roman jewelry 

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. 

People browsing jewlery at a market
A cherished local souvenir? Jewelry crafted by artisans from the region. Photo credit: Elias Jara

Italian perfume 

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.

bottle of perfume
Another distinctive Rome souvenir is a bottle of locally crafted perfume. Photo credit: hehaden

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

rome soccer team / rome football team
For the sports enthusiast in your circle, nothing beats a jersey from Rome’s local football (soccer) team as the ultimate souvenir. Photo credit: Erik Törner
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About the author

David Farley is a West Village-based food and travel writer whose work appears regularly in the New York Times, National Geographic, BBC, and Food & Wine, among other publications. He’s the author of three books, including “An Irreverent Curiosity: In Search of the Church’s Strangest Relic in Italy’s Oddest Town,” which was made into a documentary by the National Geographic Channel. You can find Farley’s online homes at https://www.tripout.online/ and https://dfarley.com/index.html

More by David Farley

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