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Cool Things To Buy In Rome That Can Be An Amazing Gift

These cool things to buy in Rome, Italy can be a unique Christmas gift, or perfect for any holiday, and they will be a big hit with your family and friends.

There are a large number of souvenir stores in Rome that are stacked with your typical gifts to bring home for yourself or others. These include pastas in all colors and shapes, a calendar of attractive looking priests and limoncello in bottles that you would be embarrassed to display. You will also find small “marble” tiles with Italian or Latin phrases printed on them, but they are as authentically Italian as the Chinese factory in which they were probably made.


Looking For Cool Things To Buy In Rome

I’m not trying to shame those who have these tiles because I include myself as not being immune to cheap tourist kitsch. The thing is, Rome, and Italy in general, has tons of artisans who hand-make cool gifts, but you just have to know where to look!

Giada is My Guide For Great Gifts

I learned about this one shop that hand-carved these marble tiles from a video with Giada De Laurentiis about Rome. I had forgotten about her recommendation for a number of years, but after moving to Rome and having sold or donated all of our belongings I was on the lookout for some cool Italian coasters. In particular, I wanted some coasters that screamed Rome and in a moment of clarity, I remembered Giada’s video and went on a hunt to find out more information about this craftsman.

The Marble Shop


cool things to buy in rome - The Marble Shop

Get Your Marble Carvings Here


If you are in the most touristy areas of Rome, like near the Spanish Steps, in Piazza del Popolo or shopping along the Via Del Corso you are right near La Bottega del Marmoraro and might not even know it. Running parallel to Via Babuino is a picturesque little street, Via Margutta. This street is lined with luxury hotels, art galleries and expensive clothing stores, but if you notice, there are a number of buildings that have signs mounted on their walls that have a different look to them.

Cool Fathers Day Gift Ideas

When you get to number 53B, you will notice that one of these shops is not like the others. Stepping inside La Bottega del Marmoraro even a single step will transport you to another time. This small workshop founded in 1967 by Enrico Fiorentini and run now by his son Sandro is piled as high as you can see with the objects for which this place is famous around the world, small slabs of white marble overflowing with letters, words and phrases, some funny, others forbidden for children and almost all of them full of wisdom. Some are small, in other words: coaster sized :-), and others are quite a bit larger. Most of the existing signs are in Latin, Italian or Roman, but I did see one with a mix of English and Italian.

Most of these signs have a hole drilled in them and are ready for hanging, which wasn’t a perfect fit for my needs. We used our limited Italian language training (we’re still learning) and engaged with the proprietor about our options. There are a ton of tiles already carved, but we were happy to learn that we could request a custom carving. You can get anything you want carved into a slab of any size. 


Depending on the shop owner’s workload, I’ve heard it is possible that he can get it done in a few minutes while you wait, but since we weren’t in a hurry, and we live here in Rome, we gave him a few days to complete the work. We requested three customized tiles with our names on them which would include the hooks for hanging and a fourth one that was probably already carved that read: In Vino Veritas (In Wine There Is Truth) but that didn’t have the hole used for hanging. My plan was to stick some felt pads to the bottom and use this one as my long sought after coaster.


cool things to buy in rome - La Bottega del Marmoraro

This Workshop Is Full of Options


These coasters/signs were, in my opinion, very reasonably priced and especially when you consider that they are hand carved and custom made. The price for each of them was 15€ and they were all ready at the scheduled pick-up time. When placing the order, please consider that the owner didn’t speak much English. When we placed our custom order, he wrote on a notepad  the names we wanted carved and checked with us for confirmation. You’ll want to do this so that there are no misunderstandings. As always: Measure Twice, Cut Once. In other words, make sure you both are on the same page because you won’t be able to un-carve the marble.

Cool Mothers Day Gift Ideas

Why buy something cheap that was probably imported, or something expensive that will go out of fashion from any of the shops on via del Babuino, when, for only for 15€, you can buy a piece of eternity? With these cool things to buy in Rome, there is something for all budgets already available in this workshop and anything can be asked for.

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