Design and Antiques Shopping in Rome with The Antiques Diva

Ciao, Bella! Today Antiques Diva Guide Désirée is taking us antiques shopping in Rome! Whether you’re shopping for vintage fashion, antiques or seeking design inspiration, Italian design is guaranteed to deliver! From dodging Vespa’s in the hustle and bustle of Roman and Renaissance cities to cruising the softly undulating hills of the Tuscan countryside, Italy is brimming treasures just waiting to be uncovered. This is the perfect country to plan a multi-day, bespoke Italy antique tour, going from Rome to Milan to Florence to Venice to Siena or a hilltop village in between; finding the best prices on mid-century pieces, contemporary ceramics and glass and a gorgeous selection of rustic farmhouse and more traditional antiques. Our Italy Antiques Diva Guide will take the guesswork out of where to go, creating well-researched itineraries for you, as she picks you up from your hotel and escorts you through this enchanting nation, translating and negotiating on your behalf the entire time. Because our guides are locals, they have relationships with vendors and know exactly where to take you based on your style and budget, maximizing your time and money while on tour. Today, Rome Antiques Diva Guide Désirée is taking us behind-the-scenes on a recent tour. 

In September I met with a Diva client; a mother-daughter duo, who work in the interior design industry. They travel, they speak a few words of Italian, and they certainly know how to shop. They were funny and clever and had the loveliest relationship full of warmth and humor.


So why did these women need a Diva Guide to shop while traveling abroad?


As with all things in Italy, shopping and shipping is all about who you know.


Antiques Shopping in Rome with The Antiques Diva | Toma Clark Haines | The Antiques Diva
As The Antiques Diva Guide in Rome, Italy, I find the most important part of my job is that I represent the client before and after they arrive, building relationships with the shop owners so that they are willing to help us get the best price and service on amazing items.


There are shops in Rome that cater to international clientele, regularly ship internationally, and may speak passable English – but they are no secret, and their prices and attitudes often reflect that.


Diva Guides take you to the shops for the local people. The language used will only be Italian and possibly dialect. They COULD ship something for you – but maybe they have never shipped internationally before. This is where we come in.
Antique Inspiration in Roma | Toma Clark Haines | The Antiques Diva
You fly into Rome, eat the carbonara, walk the cobblestone streets from fountain to ancient fountain and one afternoon we meet. We drink prosecco and jump in a taxi and wander through various markets, warehouses and shops finding treasures. When we part – you keep enjoying the wonders of Italy – and the Diva Guide takes over, making sure your treasures arrive to you as soon as possible.
Cheers! To Shopping in Rome with The Antiques Diva!
Cheers! To Shopping in Rome with The Antiques Diva! 
My clients were very happy to have their purchases arrive to another continent. They can not only share the beauty of their discoveries but now have insider travel experiences to add a bit of sparkle to the stories they represent.
From Rome, Italy to South Carolina, USA the Diva delivers.


Rome Local Expert & Antiques Diva Guide Désirée Marie Townley 
Désirée Marie Townley | Rome Diva Guide | The Antiques Diva





Toma, The Antiques Diva 


Diva-scovery: Antichita Marciana – Venice, Italy

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>While I love Venice, I’ve never exactly thought of it as a shopping mecca. Romantic, gorgeous and historic, yes… but I’ve always saved my euro for Italian shopping in Milan, Florence, Como and Rome, assuming that the prices in Venice would blow my bank budget for the next 6 months! But a recent trip to Venice changed my way of thinking. It started with scoring a perfect cocktail dress in one boutique nearby the train station. As the address was down-market by Venetian standards, the lower price point didn’t surprise me though I personally was pleased as punch with my purchase. As I continued on my way through town, weaving through alleyways and crossing tiny bridges over so many canals, I finally stopped consulting my map and just let my feet do the navigating. My husband and I wandered into a gorgeous linen store, scoring some plush new hand towels for the guest bathroom again at prices so low it felt like “The Italian Job!” We then visited Fortuny and while nothing in Fortuny is a bargain, it can seem like a bargain if you’ve ever shopped Fortuny in the USA, so comparatively speaking we were saving money even if my husband had to stifle back a cough when he saw my grand total for a few pillow shams!

On a roll, we rounded a corner in the arcades not far from Piazza San Marco and stumbled into one of the most gorgeous antique shops I’ve ever been into – Antichita Marciana!

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />In typical Venetian fashion the exterior of the building was crumbling around itself, but the goods inside were fit for a palazzo!

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 274px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Antichita Marciana specializes in 18th C paintings, furniture and special objects that will certainly be “conversation pieces” in your home! Each purchase is accompanied by a certificate of guarantee stating its period, the origin, the state of preservation and restorations done. And if you’re worried that the Italian commode (remember: commode isn’t a toilet in Europe but something similar to a buffet) won’t fit inside your carry on, don’t worry! Antichita Marciana ships worldwide, with specific transporters specialized in the care of high-end antiques and art.

to 10px; WIDTH: 374px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 266px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />For those arm chair travelers, if Venice isn’t on your travel itinerary, never fear! This shop even offers online shopping, but alas I fear the website is currently only available in Italian. There is an English option, but your mouse just hovers over it without clicking as if insisting you view this Venetian shop in the language it was meant to be seen – Italiano!

On that note, Arrivederci!

The Antiques Diva™

P.S. Stay tuned for an upcoming Diva Blog with divalicious details on Fortuny!!!

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Diva-scovery: San Jacopo Show – Florence, Italy

to 10px; WIDTH: 300px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>One night in Florence, while meandering from our hotel to dinner at Cammillo Trattoria, we weaved our way down the Borgo San Jacopo. Every few stores I would stop in my kitten-heeled sandles to peer into the antique and fashion boutique windows while my husband waited patiently accustomed to my frequent stops and starts. But in the light of that fading Italian evening, one shop stood out from the others – San Jacopo Show. Dinner reservations or not, I had serious Diva Business to attend to and discovering an intriguing shop for my readers took priority over a rumbling stomach. My heart rate increased as I oogled the stores contents through the front finestrino and, though the store was about to close, I snuck inside to investigate. Though the store was packed with an odd assortment of modern and quirky items, it was the lampshades that stole the show…. and made this Diva-scovery worth writing home about!

to 10px; WIDTH: 300px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />
to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />For Mannequins, Art Gallery, Fabrics, Interior Design, visit:

San Jacopo Show
Borgo San Joacop 66r.
50125 Firenze, Italia

Phone: +39 055 23.96.912

Happy Shopping,

The Antiques Diva™

Another Diva Tip!

to 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 240px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />On your next trip to Florence, be sure to make dinner reservations in the heart of the antiques district, just down from the San Jacopo Showroom, at Cammillo Trattoria. I’m still dreaming of my dinner… first course, Pecorino Brulee and Tagliatelle ai Funghi Porcini!

to 10px; WIDTH: 240px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 320px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Borgo S. Jacopo 57r.
Firenze, Italia
Phone +39 055 212427

Read a great restro review on this delightful gem from The New York Times!

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