For those who didn’t get what they wanted for Christmas or want a few more items, the bargains are here. The traditional post-holiday winter sales begin in Rome on Saturday, 10 January, and will last until 21 February. The annual sales, attracting a frenzy of shopping in the city, offer clothing discounts of around 50 per cent. An estimated 15,000 clothing businesses in Rome are participating in the sales.

As the shops prepare for the onslaught of bargain hunters, the city has worked to ensure that those participating are actually offering discounted goods and that none start the sales early. The city has sent inspectors to various stores over the past few weeks to inspect prices of merchandise. More than 100 city businesses have been fined this year for offering sale prices to customers in advance of Saturday’s start date. Every discounted item is required to list the full price along with the sale price. The city has set up a hot line for complaints. Tel. 0667102055.