The 2011 sales season in Rome and Lazio kicks off on 6 January. Known as the Befana in Italy, the feast of the Epiphany is a public holiday and marks a slightly later start than usual to the shopping bonanza which began on 3 January last year. Shops in the historic centre's shopping district such as the newly revamped Zara store on Via del Corso are sure to draw substantial crowds, as are the large shopping malls outside the city such as Parco Leonardo near Fiumicino airport.

Before joining the crowds in search of a bargain, shoppers should be aware of a few rules. The original and discounted prices and discount rate should be clearly indicated on all goods. If traders normally accept credit cards and debit cards during the year, they are obliged to also do so during the sales. It is important to retain receipts in order to exchange any faulty item purchased.

The city's Christmas shuttle service Shopping 1 will be running and private cars whose drivers are not in possession of city centre driving permits are banned from entering the centre between 14.00 and 18.00.

Shopping 1 takes the following route: Via di Porta Pinciana, Via Crispi, Via Sistina, Piazza Trinit

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