Spanish Steps



81 Via del Babuino,


You’ll see fashionable people all over town—punky Japanese tourists to preppy Roman men—carrying these shopping bags. Italy doesn’t have high-end department stores, but Gente, which carries clothes for men and women (jeans to couture), shoes, handbags, and only-in-Italy accessories, is the next best thing. With merchandise from Miu Miu, Cavalli, Chloé, and Burberry, this Roman chain-let does the pavement pounding for you and assembles the best of the season’s designer collections in one manageable store. If you can fend off the other vultures that descend here during Italy’s semiannual sale periods (first week in January and first week in July, when prices are slashed 10-50 percent in stores and 50-75 percent in outlets), you can make off with some amazing bargains.