Don’t Leave Rome Without Them
A bottle of Brunello
Enoteca Costantini on the Piazza Cavour makes Sherry-Lehmann look like a bodega. Try the Brunello di Montalcino CastelGiocondo 2000 (33 euros). You’re allowed to bring three bottles back to the U.S. Make good use of this rule.
See those dried pig legs in the windows of almost every food store? The ones with the hooves and hair? Go inside and ask for half a kilo of their best artisanal (that means good to the land and the pig) prosciutto and have them vacuum-pack it for the flight home.
Dry pasta sauce
The outdoor market at the Campo de’ Fiori is more than a flashy photo op. Go to the corner where they sell spices, choose a few dry pasta mixes—puttanesca, pesto, all’ arrabbiata—and ask them to seal each in a few plastic bags (we’re not sure how happy U.S. Customs will be about this souvenir). When you get home, add water and spaghetti. It’ll blow your jar of Rao’s sauce off the shelf.
A really, really nice shirt
There are custom-made-shirt stores all over Rome, but the women in the back of Albertelli (Via dei Prefetti, 11) make the nicest ones. The selection of fabrics is impressively edited, and the fit is a lot less boxy and staid than your basic Brooks Brothers button-down.
Next: A Walking Tour of Rome's Hippest Neighborhood