You know I’m an artist and a writer and many would describe me as a historian as well! Knowing my limitations and accepting the fact that shopping for many people (meaning most women) is an excellent reason to visit Rome, I needed to go to an excellent source to understand better what it is about shopping that can have a person dashing past a statue by Michelangelo and stopping whilst almost drooling in front of an Italian shoe shop.
“Okay Peter - let me tell you why all women love shoes (especially high heels). They are the one (sexy) fashion item that any woman, be she fat or thin, can fit into (well 80% of us anyway). So many times a woman will go into a shop lusting after a gorgeous dress in the shop window, only to be looked up and down by the sales assistant and to be told "No Madam, it doesn't come in YOUR size.” But not so with shoes. And for those women who can also fit into those dresses, they love shoes because they make you feel sexy all over when you wear them - and don't we all love to feel like that! Germaine Greer had a great cartoon about shoes - perhaps it might even be available on the net - but it bore the title, alongside a cartoon, entitled "Fuck Me shoes" and "Don't Fuck Me shoes". (She really did describe shoes like this!) You can imagine what the latter shoes looked like - walking shoes with laces, or something like it! But she summed it up very well. And, of course, Italian shoes are famous for their style and quality. There a few good shoe shops in Via dei Baullari (near Campo dei Fiori, I think) and around the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain certainly - but, of course, so many more places. And there wouldn't be many of us who travel to Italy and don't go home with a great pair of shoes (or an Italian leather bag).”
Well, there you have it, straight from a most reliable and experienced source whose name I cannot divulge but at last count (I’ve seen this with my own eyes and who has one room in her house dedicated almost entirely to her shoe and handbag collection!) must over one hundred pairs of shoes with many coming from Italy of course.
Perfect Traveller can tell you that over the last few years outlet shopping on the outskirts of Rome has become extremely popular for Romans and visitors alike, and the most popular seems to be Castel Romano Designer Outlet. I’ve counted fourteen different shoe shops out there alone, not to mention twelve different bag shops!
I’m no expert shopper but I do appreciate good design and when it comes to shoes and you happen to be in Rome, a visit to the shop of Fausto Santini is uplifting, and a treat for the eyes. The window displays here can be very special and the shoes (I don’t own a pair) look like works of art.
Rest assured that Perfect Traveller will regale you with some more local shopping tips for Rome and Florence, as we try to slip in some great art and history as well!
Happy Shopping . . . .