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Perfume and sunglasses shopping in Rome

Shades and scents


The price of branded perfume is more or less the world over. The big fragrance houses like it that way to stop parallel marketing (buy cheap in less affluent countries and resell for more in wealthy countries). When buying brand perfume do not assume that the duty free on the plane or in the airport is the cheapest place to buy it. At least wait until your trip home before buying. If you are looking for something different then seek out the artisan perfume houses in Rome, who make their own scents or sell for other local producers.

Some recommendations

L'Olfattorio  Perfume Bar -  Via di Ripetta (Piazza del popolo) +39063612325


One of the richest men in Italy and owner of Raybands is Leonardo Del Vecchio. In short Italians do sunglasses well, which is what you would expect in country where the sun shines and you can even wear your shades in the metro or after dark. Bar a few classic brands like Polaroid, Persol, Police, Raybands and Safilo the sunglass design world is now under the control of the big fashion names, which as you would expect make a very fine job of designing frames. However, the lens are not always on a similar par so an ideal approach is to buy frames and then have your opticians make up your lenses even if you do not have a sight impediment.  A good pair of frames cost 150 Euro and it’s the same again for lenses. The sunglasses you find on the street are only good for fancy dress parties.

Some recommendations

Ottica Bernabei - Via del Corso 531  +39063610247

Tip – How free is tax free Cool

Tax Free shopping is an opportunity to purchase great things in Rome without paying Value Added Tax (VAT), which is 10 - 20%. Thus, if your home country is outside EU and you are making a purchase that exceeds 155 Euro; don't forget to ask a shop assistant for a Tax Free receipt. Also remember all of the goods listed in your Tax Free receipt need to be shown at Customs, so don’t put them too far down in your luggage. Tax Free buys have to be new, so don’t take off any labels or tags. If you are travel in company we suggest collective shopping; this way, you will easily reach the 155 Euro sum necessary for a Tax Free refund. Collectively processsing your refund is always a good idea so only one unfortunate indivdual has to face the line at the airport, which is enough for many to waiver their claim.


Written by...

Stephen content writer Rome

By Stephen Wheeler Licensed Tourism translator