I have been told that I can just buy decent jerseys on the street in Rome, but I want to buy my nephew a nicer one for his B-day since he plays soccer almost year-round and gets to wear his own jersey when he is in goal. Any suggestions for not getting ripped off? I am going in September and I'm unbelievably excited! Thanks for your help.
AS Roma's website sells official merchandise and I'd be surprised if they did not ship internationally
Most of what you see on the streets will be cheaper versions of the jerseys, might look OK, but probably not the real deal. Most major towns have team stores selling the local team, also many department stores sell jerseys. Shop around, but expect to pay 50 euros maybe more for an authentic jersey. There will also be an official FIFA seal or tag on the jersey, but counterfeits on the street will have something similar.
"...AS Roma's website sells official merchandise and I'd be surprised if they did not ship internationally..." There's no reason to have anything shipped internationally. There are lots of retailers in the US that sell them. Head to your nearest outlet mall and browse through the sel ec tion at the Adidas and Nike stores. These companies do mail order: http://www.soccer.com http://shop.bigsoccer.com/ If you want to wait until you arrive in Rome, literally every single souvenir shop in Rome carries them. Some authentic, some knockoffs.
Also, you don't want an AS Roma jersey, you want an AC Milan jersey. They're the best team in the history of the world.
You should also check if your nephew has a favorite team in the Italian league ("Serie A") or a favorite international player. As others have already mentioned, you'll find knock-off jerseys of all the popular players, club teams and Italian national team, at all the street vendors and better ones in the sports shops. (If you end up purchasing an Italian national team jersey, ask if you can get one pre-stained with dirt marks where the player dove and faked an injury to draw a penalty, hahahahahha. )
Rik -- AC weren't the best on May 25, 2005, at least for that fateful six minute spell!!
Yikes! I didn't realize that I would spark such emotion :) I know that I can buy him a nice jersey here in the states, but part of the fun is getting it in Italy! I know what you mean about the knockoffs, but as he is only 10 now, he will grow out of whatever I buy him in a year anyway! I did buy my EIRCOM jersey here though, but now I have to support Portland. Go Timbers! Thanks so much for all your help guys. I appreciate further input as well. I was trying to see if Siena had any games while we are there as it will be the start of the season but their website is entirely in Italian and I had trouble finding anything that resembled a calendar!
Look for a Dechatlon store. Sometimes they sell expired (e.g., from last season) jerseys at very cheap prices. There are 2 types of official soccer jerseys "fan jersey" - they look like one, but done with cheaper, common fabric "real-play jersey" - they are exactly like the ones used by players, with hi-tech stuff like draining micro-fiber an the likes. The last trend on real-play jerseys are tight ones that fit into body. Expect to pay €120+ for the latter type.
Thanks Andre. This site is awesome! I can't wait to check out their stores. I think, since Rome is our last stop, I'm going to buy a sports bag there and check my souveniers/prezzies for the trip home since we are packing super light.