Like everywhere else, good old-fashioned, CD/record stores are disappearing in Rome, to be replaced by boring chain stores having only bestsellers in stock. The main one of these is called Ricordi, but for the music lover with a more specialized taste there are still some good alternatives left, both for new and used cd’s or vinyl. (Some day I will write down the addresses of all the Ricordi stores, but you will probably run into one or two of them while you are in Rome anyway, so I won’t bother now.)
To start with a warning: If you have checked other sites before coming to this one, you have probably run into the name Disfunzioni Musicali in the San Lorenzo quarter. Apparently the writers of these sites haven’t really gone to the trouble to check their information and are just copying each other, since Disfunzioni Musicali closed its doors several years ago.
Not too far from where Disfunzioni Musicali used to be is Transmission (Via dei Salentini, 25 -00185 Rome, Italy | Tel: +39 06 44704370). Transmission specializes mostly in used vinyl, but has a small used cd selection as well. The owners were probably young when the Factory label and bands like Echo & The Bunnymen were big, since that is the kind of music they seem to be playing in their shop most of the time.
Elastic Rock (viale dei Quattro Venti, 239 – 00152 Roma | Tel. 06 5814243) sells both new and used cd’s. It can be found in the Monteverde area of Rome, south of the Trastevere quarter.
In Goodfellas (Circonvallazione Casilina, 44 – 00176 Rome | +39 06 4544 9836) the main music genre is alternative music and they mostly have cd’s.
Revolver is one of the biggest independent record stores in Rome. They have a good selection of new stuff, but sometimes it is also possible to pick up some unexpected treasures at low prices as well as fairly recent used cd’s. There is also a small selection of vinyl, but this is rather pricey for what they offer. via Silvestro Gherardi 90/102 | Tel: +39 06 5578922)
Mille Records used to be in Via dei Mille near Termini, but can now be found in the Via Merulana. They specialize in jazz, both used and new, but also have a good selection of other music genres. Their new location is a lot bigger than the old one, and as a result the vinyl selection has expanded quite a bit. (Via Merulana, 91 – 00185 Rome, Italy | +39 06 70490109).
Not really a music store, but MEL Books on the Via Nazionale has a small, but well chosen selection of cd’s as well. It is clear that the guys running the music section have their own – rather experimental – taste, which is kind of nice for such a big store, even if you don’t like their kind of music. And sometimes you can walk out of there with an unexpected used treasure in your hands. (Via Nazionale, 254 – 00184 Rome, Italy | +39 06 4885405).
The last one to mention is the Discoteca Laziale. Their selection has become a lot smaller over the years, since most of the store is now taken up by books and dvd’s, but they still have a decent jazz selection and sometimes very cheap offers for new cd’s. (Via Mamiani, 62 – 00185 Rome, Italy | +39 06 44714500).
Other record stores are:
Just Like Heaven
And outside Rome
Doctor Music – offers all types of music venues, but they are pricey. Additionally, they carry a lot of vinyl (records) from back in the day when those were still being manufactured and you will even find some bootlegged music as well.