Rome Travel Guide

Rome Architecture, History, Art, Museums, Galleries, Fashion, Music, Photos, Walking and Hiking Itineraries, Neighborhoods, News and Social Commentary, Politics, Things to Do in Rome and Environs. Over 900 posts

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Caput Mundi Mall: You'll have it all to Yourself--If you can Get There


We first learned about Caput Mundi, the new, luxury Rome shopping center that's a stone's throw from Saint Peter's, about a month ago, when it opened. The location seemed curious--elevated in an older building off via della Conciliazione--and we were eager to see how the developers had managed to squeeze a shopper's paradise into a crowded neighborhood of historic buildings. 

The best access, as we later learned, is down via Padre Pfeiffer Pancrazio--there's a less-than-spectacular sign for Caput Mundi at the end of that street. 

And beyond the sign, and closer to the front entrance, a less-than-inviting enclosure for the Carbinieri, taking something away from the welcoming Easter Egg. A typical hallway, ahead. 

But we missed what is intended to be the main entrance and found another, the "back door" entrance if you will, accessed off an underpass at Largo di Porta Cavalleggeri, almost directly south of the Vatican Obelisk. [It could be the "main" entrance is inside the "Gianicolo" bus parking garage - in an attempt to appeal to the thousands of tourists who "enter" the Vatican via tourist bus.]

On our back-door excursion: we found ourselves in a lengthy (estimate: 1/4 mile) passageway, gradually elevating as we trudged along, virtually alone, an occasional moving walkway assisting in the ascent. We thought maybe the architects had modeled this entrance after the Metro walkways we love so much. On the way we stopped at the restrooms--one marked WOMAN, the other MAN.

Heading on up to Caput Mundi. 

At the end of the trek, an elevator brought us to the 5th floor, the door opening onto: CAPUT MUNDI: THE MALL!

All on one floor, Caput Mundi has some of the feel of the most sophisticated of airport shopping areas: gleaming goods, perfectly arranged and presented: a bookstore, a candy shop, an upscale wine store, clothing of all kinds, several inviting places to eat, a pharmacy, a SONY pavilion where one can scratch the chin of an affectionate, responsive techno-dog, impressive art installations here and there (even a small exhibit of the work of Andy Warhol). A giraffe holding a lamp, or cage, or something, in its mouth. 

This says it all. In the foreground, a thinker-type art work. In the background, 
two workers taking advantage of the lack of customers to replace light bulbs.

Oops! A shopper!

Quite a place. Except....except there were no shoppers. Well, maybe a half dozen (high-end estimate). Maybe. A helpful clerk Dianne chatted up told us the lack of shoppers was par for the course, except on the weekend, which implies most shoppers are not tourists but Romans. Every shop has a clerk, every coffee shop or lunch space is complete with cooks and servers. But nobody to serve, nobody to cook for, nobody to buy anything. Well, not quite. Dianne made a stop at the para-pharmacy (all goods OTC).



Coochie Coochie

No comments: