There are plenty of religious experiences you can have in Rome, but for the truly devout fashion fan, few will rival finding an incredible piece of vintage clothing. The good news is that in the nearly 2,800-year-old city, there are plenty of vintage stores that can really wow a shopper, from those classic treasure troves of dusty bins and stuffed racks to the carefully curated collections of Italian designer garments.
What you need to know about vintage shopping in Italy’s capital is that prices can be a bit higher than what you might be used to in American vintage shops, but don’t let the sticker shock stop you from buying something great.
Located on the winding streets of Trastevere, one of Rome’s most vibrant neighborhoods, Twice Vintage Shop has an eccentric collection of vintage pieces that are on-trend for today. A rack right by the entrance presents the shop’s favorites, which have recently included a Fran Drescher–esque red dress with pearl embellishments—have you heard, the ’80s are back?—and a blush pink prairie dress with a button-up front. The shop is dotted with designer shoes, leather boots, and a wide selection of pastel-hue sunglasses. In the back is an extensive men’s section with a well-curated selection of Levi’s jeans and Carhartt pants. Women should be sure to leaf through; some pairs, in cranberry red or pastel blue, work regardless of gender.
Well-curated doesn’t even begin to describe Flamingo. The small store located in the Monti area has honed its selection of vintage pieces with an expert’s eye. The predominant aesthetic is fashionable, flirty, and fun—think items that would work in both Sicily and South Beach, Miami. There’s a fair share of designer items with higher-than-average prices, like a knit Pierre Cardin top in summery white and green, but there are also great label-less finds in lively floral prints, as well as delicate, dainty accessories.
Ready to rummage? Head to King Size Vintage. The store is massive by Roman standards and has everything from a rail of vintage American sports jerseys to a pair of knee-high Fendi logo boots. Which is all to say, there’re plenty of excellent pieces to be found, but you’ll have to have the patience to wade through the store’s many racks and rooms.
A stone’s throw from other vintage stores in the Monti area, Pifebo is a large store with a mostly ’80s and ’90s selection of Americana vintage wares. Leather jackets, collegiate crewneck sweatshirts, and plenty of denim make up much of the shop’s offering, with a fair helping of American flag–printed items, too. Next door is the impressive Pifebo Kilo Shop which is, exactly as it sounds, a store where you can purchase one kilo—roughly 2.2 pounds—of vintage for €10 or about $12.
The husband-and-wife team behind Omero e Cecilia has been sourcing the best vintage in Rome since 1976. Their expertise shows in the store’s wide selection of ’70s dresses, dapper men’s jackets, and leather boots for both sexes. You could spend hours parsing through the racks—or chatting up the lovely staff—so make sure to allow time to properly go through everything Omero e Cecilia has to offer.