Bruno Papaleois


Five spots to find Roman treasures

As maitre de maison at luxury Relais & Chateaux hotel Palazzo Manfredi in Rome, Bruno Papaleois is well placed to know the best places to go for retail therapy. Here he shares the highlights of one of Rome’s finest shopping streets, Via Cola di Rienzo


Scents of history

Opened in 1913, Bertozzini Profumeria feels timeless. Inside this historic Roman perfume store are lotions, potions and perfumes from Italy and across the world. Look out for soaps in art deco packaging, or pick up some barbershop essentials: the combs, scissors, shaving oils and brushes will keep you neat as a dapper Italian. The store prides itself on excellent service, so don’t be afraid to ask for help navigating the overflowing shelves.
Must-buy: Fragrance by Florentine perfumier Lorenzo Villoresi.


Department store gems

For those short on time, the three-storey Coin Excelsior lets you discover the best of Italian shopping under one roof. Head to the first floor for luxury fashion from brands including Valentino Red and Armani Collezioni. Fans of smart Italian tailoring should try Patrizia Pepe and Pal Zileri. Also visit the basement, home to an Italian food market and the Coincasa homeware store.
Must-buy: A Zazà moka coffee pot from 100-year-old brand Guzzini. The chic aluminium pot brews one cup on the stove.


Souvenir stop-off

The largest branch of Italian gourmet food store, Castroni is a temple of foodie treasures. In addition to exotic foreign exports, you’ll find locally produced jam, pasta, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, chocolates, grappa and wine. There’s a stand-up coffee bar where you can join the locals as they enjoy a morning cappuccino. Freshly ground coffee beans are also sold by the bag.
Must-buy: For an easy-to-pack gift, try bottarga. This salted, pressed and dried fish roe is delicious as antipasti, grated and served on bruschetta.


Leather loving

Italian fashion house Trussardi began life in 1911 as a leather glove manufacturer. And while it has expanded to sell clothes, jeans and perfume, it’s still the leather goods that make the store worth a visit. Ladies’ handbags come in mouth-watering colours and finishes, while the tablet cases and men’s wallets are quietly luxurious.
Must-buy: The men’s holdalls and travel bags are well made, durable and subtly on-trend.


Foodie favourite

You might not be able to take much home in your suitcase, but Franchi is a must-visit for delicious gourmet food to enjoy during your stay. Cheese lovers will be impressed with the selection, including parmigiano and fresh burrata from Puglia. There’s also a great selection of prosciutto, salami and smoked fish, as well as truffles and fresh stuffed pasta.
Must-buy: Scamorza, a pear-shaped cow’s milk cheese (pictured) similar to mozzarella but with a harder texture.

This article has been tagged Fashion + Style, Destination