Traditional Historic Shops (Botteghe) in Rome

"Traditional Historic Shops (Botteghe) in Rome" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Tuesday 8th February 2011

Traditional Historic Shops (Botteghe) in Rome, Italy

Some of the most beautiful and important traditional, historic shops (botteghe) in Italy can be found in Rome's historic centre.

Two of the oldest and most famous are the Antico Caffè Greco and Babington's Tea rooms. The former, which was founded in 1760, is renowned throughout the world for the fact that the small coffee cup ("tazzina di caffè") was invented there, as well as for the fact that it was a meeting place for artists and writers, including Leopardi and De Chirico. The latter is located in Piazza di Spagna. It was founded in 1893 by Mr Babington and Isabel Cargill.

Sixty-seven historic "botteghe" are known and recognised in the historic centre of Rome. In order to be classified as a historic "bottega" the same goods must have been sold for at least fifty years, it must have its original interior as well as being situated in a building which still has its antique structure.

Traditional Shops (Botteghe)

Traditionally, one would apprentice under a master craftsman and thus the know-how was handed down through the generations. As many bottegari (meaning botteghe owners, or craftsmen) will be quick to point out however, the system has broken down under pressure from large department stores and readily available, mass-produced imported goods. The work is no longer cost effective, and so the current generation of apprentices have not lined up to guarantee continuity of the trades.

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