This article originally appeared in
By Eric J. Lyman
Voyager
Roman Riches
As the ancient capital of a country that attracts shoppers who love of great design, fashion, and cuisine, there is no better place than
Rome to sample the best of what Italy's diverse regions have to offer. Writer and long-time resident Eric J. Lyman unveils some
highlights.
In The Bag

Valentino is the most important Italian fashion house
based in Rome, finding a home in the Eternal City
since the 1960s. Already famous for its classic looks,
Velentino launched the current "vintage" trend in high
fashion when actress Julia Roberts received her
Oscar in 2001 wearing vintage Valentino. The iconic
design house is well known for its ladies' handbags
that start around 600 euro and can go much higher,
with matching belts costing between 250 euro and
500 euro.
Taste of Tuscany

Super Tuscan wines are a combination between the modern
and the ancient, a mix of state-of-the-art techniques and
international grape varieties harvested from the Tuscan
countryside that has produced renowned wine since Roman
times. Tignanello is a trailblazer among Super Tuscans, and it
remains a good bet for world-class wine. Pay 60-75 euro for a
bottle from a good vintage, which in the case of Tignanello is
any year between 1997 and the recently-released 2003.
Kitchen Friends

The company's playfulness is evident in Alessi colorful tabletop
kitchenware, which resembles children's toys as much as useful
and stylish additions to a modern home. From left to right: a
hard-boiled egg stand, a toothpick holder, a sugar pourer, and a
wine opener. Prices range from 8 euro to 40 euro.
Bowled Over

Alessi kitchenware has been one of the leaders of Italian design
since Giovanni Alessi founded the company near Italy's border with
Switzerland in the 1920s, and it has never looked back. Some of its
products have even been displayed in museums of modern art.
This red metal fruit bowl from Alessi, called Mediterraneo, recalls
wild corral. Alessi bowls start at 30 euro.
Classic Glass

Fearing the risk of fire, the canal city of Venice ordered all its foundries to move to the
nearby island of Murano in 1291. With so many talented artisans in one spot,
creativity and competition spurred glassmakers to ever-greater heights. That tradition
continues today, with age-old technique still employed to make world-renowned
works of art. One-of-a-kind objects like this 50-cm tall lamp start at 400 euro.
Photo credit: Marco Lillini
Hats Off

Borsalino's classic style has for the most part remained
unchanged since the then-tiny northern Italian company started to
export hats to England in the 1870s. As an unintended tribute to
its past, the company's logo dates to 1909 and its literature
carries an image of a "Borsalino man" from the 1920s. But
modern elegance emerges from a classic style that is still a
cornerstone of many Italian men's wardrobes. Prices range from
100 euro to 350 euro.