‘If I was living in Roman times I’d want to live in Rome..’ John Lennon.
Lennon also mentioned that The Beatles were bigger than God, which I’m sure would have had him ex-communicated from the Vatican or more likely, burned alive for such heretical slander. Rome has lost many mantles of its provenance, but few can return from the ancient city without an encomium for its archaeological feats. The Pantheon, the Sistine Chapel (although technically housed inside Vatican City and not Rome) and of course The Colosseum. A monolithic city (pardon the pun) in which you can immerse yourself unequivocally, becoming a willing seductee to its ostentatious wonders.
Cool, I got it Pete, but what about the fashion? The Italians always dress well, and although Rome objectionably plays second fiddle to Milan, it is happy to adopt that stigma. In fact, it does so with flagrant insouciance. Much like a dominant football side will spare little thought to its minnow neighbours in a derby clash. But why is Rome living in the fashion shadow of Milan? We asked a couple of indigenous fashionistas to lend their thoughts.
CARLOTTA AISHA CASTAGNERIS
‘Milan is the fashion capital because it hosts the Italian fashion week which is one of the most important fashion events in the world! Milan-Paris-NYC fashion weeks are the most important of the year! Milan has The quadrilatero della moda (“fashion square”), or Via Montenapoleone fashion district, a high-class shopping district, characterised by the presence of most of the world’s major fashion houses, famous all over the world! It is the Italian fashion capital! Rome it’s the political capital but not the fashion or economic or industrial capital of Italy. Even the lifestyle it’s pretty different, Milan it’s more similar to NYC, Rome it’s a little chillier and more “Italian”.’ Italian Blogger – Carlotta Aisha Castagneris
‘Being in the north of Italy, Milan is an industrial city. A lot of designers from around Italy came to Milan to develop their brands and produce their goods due to Lombardy being home to luxury goods production. I think it’s more that it wasn’t planned to be the fashion capital but it evolved in this way. A lot of Milan based designers are not Milanese so I wouldn’t think there is a great deal of rivalry. Take D&G for example, they are Sicilian and always display this in their collections despite not being based in Sicily. Majority of the fashion sold here (Milan) is to tourists, particularly for the Asian market. In my opinion it is cheaper to shop in Rome.‘ Italian Lifestyle writer, Rakelle Maurici
Menswear Stores I’d recommend:
For footwear check out Sore opposite the Fontana Di Trevi. You’ll need to fend off a thousand selfie sticks and street vendors but you’ll welcome the escape. For leather try Maledetti Toscani. Authentic Italian vegetable tanned leather goods, all sourced, crafted and manufactured in Italy. For Hats there are market vendors all over, plenty of fedoras and bargains to be had. However, if you want something more ‘upmarket’ take a look inside Troncarealli just off Piazza Navona.