Guide to Shopping in Fòndaco Roma
FONDACO ROMA, the first 'concept street' in Italy (and perhaps the world) is a place where taste and elegance make their way. Located right in the centre of the city, in Via della Frezza, just behind the imposing Piazza Augusto Imperatore, Architect-designer ALESSANDRA MARINO has revitalised an entire street, anchored by the three-storey Fóndaco. It encompasses a restaurant, a cocktail bar, a tearoom, a chocolatier, a show kitchen, three guest suites, a day spa and a series of intimate, connected galleries that display modern and contemporary art and design. Lucilla Loiotile explores the hottest shopping strip in Rome which launched in 2017 with a Gabriella Crespi retrospective.
Words & Photography by Lucilla Loiotile
We are talking about “via della Frezza”, an address in the historic center, the object of a restructuring aimed at giving back to the Romans and tourists a street where they can indulge in any kind of treat.
A Fòndaco in the Middle Ages was a building that stood near the port, common in the Italian Maritime Republics, designed for foreign merchants who used them as warehouses, to exercise their businesses and sometimes even to stay.
By coincidence via della Frezza is behind the ancient Port of Ripetta that supplied the Romans with all kinds of goods.
It is this way of drawing inspiration from the past and making it actual and innovative that fascinates us by this place where you can do many things.
You can buy as well admire the works of international artists in the art gallery, the bookshop or the boutique, as well as through the lighting that decorates the shops.
Contemporary photography is the other constant that you find in all areas. Along with great masters such as Gabriele Basilico, we also discovered international names or the unexpected lesser recognizable works of photojournalist Magnum Paolo Pelligrin.
You can also find shops selling outdoor furniture such as the exclusive brand OLUA. There are also home and office shops, a music shop, and a pet shop. Then there are areas such as a tea room, a chocolate shop, an American bar and even a laboratory kitchen. Fòndaco is also a place where you can feel special in three suggestive suites and take care of your body and mind in the “day spa”.
In the boutique, you can find a calibrated mix of Made in Italy brands less known to the general public that are based on traditional tailoring, such as Maurizio Pecoraro and Aquilano Rimondi. These brands together with emerging designers and some selected foreign brands (but produced in Italy) make it an international address. Then you have Elisabetta Cipriani’s jewelry “Artwork to be Worn”. A well-known gallerist who invites renowned international sculptors and painters to create exclusive wearable pieces with the use of precious materials. These pieces are created in limited collections or as one-off items.
It is impossible to absorb all that Fòndaco has to offer in a single visit because every object has been chosen for the story it tells. Each selected brand marries the same values of competence, aesthetics, ethics, and perfection as the entire project.