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Top 10 Absolute Best Views of Rome That Will Blow Your Mind

by Michele
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top 10 best views of Rome - View from Castel Sant Angelo Rainbow
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Italy’s beautiful capital also has one of the best skylines in the world. With so many viewpoints and rooftops terraces in the Eternal City, I’ve cherry-picked 10 locations that will give you the best views in Rome.

Rome has a lot to offer, from haunting ruins to impressive masterpieces and a vibrant street life but my favourite things to do in Rome is to see it from above!

Included in this guide to the 10 best views in Rome

  1. Janiculum Terrace
  2. Terrazza del Pincio & Terrazza Viale del Belvedere
  3. St. Peter’s Dome, the Vatican
  4. Castel Sant’Angelo
  5. Giardino degli Aranci
  6. Rooftop at Eitch Borromini
  7. Imàgo at Hotel Hassler
  8. Il Vittoriano Rooftop Terrace
  9. Rooftop Terrace at Hotel Raphaël
  10. Lo Zodiaco

Map of Rome’s Best Views

To help you locate each of the magnificent viewpoints in Rome that I’ve included in this list, I’ve created a handy Google map you can use. Got a question? Just ask me in the comments below.

Tip: For a larger view of the map, click on the icon in the top right corner. 

1. Janiculum Terrace / Terrazza del Gianicolo

best views of rome - terrazza-del gianicolo janiculum terraceWhen I first moved to Italy, I was in the habit asking my taxi driver their best local tips. When I asked one lady what her favourite place in Rome was she quickly responded “Gianicolo!”. I even featured this local favourite in my self-guided Trastevere walking tour post.

Located behind Trastevere and just south of the Vatican, the terrace on top of Gianicolo Hill offers some of the best views of Rome. It’s also one of the best places to watch the sunset and have an aperitivo (drink and snack). Just near the lookout is a small bar that’s open till late offering a range of alcoholic drinks and light bites. A visit to Gianicolo is the perfect way to bring a busy day in Rome to a close.

How to get there
If you’re coming from Trastevere, walk up the southern section of Passeggiata del Gianicolo located just behind Fontana dell’Acqua Paola (Fountain of Acqua Paola).

If you’re coming from the Vatican, the ascent if a tad steeper climb as you walk up Via del Gianicolo which turns into the northern part of Passeggiata del Gianicolo.

Cost: Free

2. Terrazza del Pincio & Terrazza Viale del Belvedere

best views of Rome - Terrazza del Pincio

View from Terrazza del Pincio

High above Piazza del Popolo are the gardens of Villa Borghese which offer two uniquely stunning panoramic views of Rome’s historic centre. Located on the perimeter of Villa Borghese is a hanging terrace called Terrazza del Pincio with a direct view of St. Peter’s Basilica.

best views of Rome - Terrazza Viale del Belvedere

View from Terrazza Viale del Belvedere

Heading south along this perimeter wall is Terrazza Viale del Belvedere. The views from here are even more epic as you can see further east towards il Vittoriano and see the top tier of the Colosseum peak through.

How to get there

Depending on where you’re coming from, if you start at Terrazza del Pincio first then I recommend taking Line A and get off at Flaminio. As you enter Piazza del Popolo, turn left and take the stairs up to the top.

If you’re coming from the direction of the Spanish Steps, head to Terrazza Viale del Belvedere, get off at Piazza di Spagna metro stop (also on Line A). Look for an exit for Viale della Trinità dei Monti. If you exit at the bottom of the Spanish Steps Exit, walk to the top then turn left along Viale della Trinità dei Monti. Continue walking along this tree-lined street until you reach the elevated footpath leading you into Villa Borghese.

Haven’t booked your accommodation yet? Staying close to the Spanish Steps is one of the best locations in the city. Check out my guide on where to stay in Rome for ideas on where to stay and recommendations for hotels and apartments for all budgets.

Cost: Free

3. St. Peter’s Dome, the Vatican

best views of Rome - Top of St Peter's Basilica in the VaticanTechnically this next stop is located in the world’s smallest sovereign state. St. Peter’s Dome in Vatican City offers some pretty spectacular views of Rome and is worth crossing borders for. Bring that passport! Just kidding!

From the top of the Dome, you also get a great view of il Passetto (the Passage) a high defensive wall with a hidden passage along the top which was used by Popes to secretly and safely escape the Vatican when Rome was under threat.

Not only is the view from St. Peter’s Dome iconic, but what makes it even more special is that it was designed by Michelangelo himself! Did I mention it’s also tallest dome in the world? The form of the colonnade was also one of Michelangelo’s great ideas designed to symbolise embracing the citizens of Rome.

You can get to the top either with the help of an elevator which will take you as far as 320 steps up, otherwise you can walk the entire 551 steps for a slightly smaller fee.

As you approach the top, the walkway becomes a bit tight but I swear it’s worth it even for a glimpse of the view.

How to get there
Take line A and get off at Ottaviano. From here it’s a 10-minute walk down Via Ottaviano. This is a great area for shopping so either allow extra time to explore or keep your eye on the prize and make a beeline to St. Peter’s

You will need to pass security before you enter the Vatican city where the ticket office is located.

Cost: 7 euros for the elevator which will take you the first 320 steps of the 551, otherwise it’s 5 euros to take the stairs all the way up. I recommend the later, purely for the full experience.

4. Castel Sant’Angelo

best views of Rome - View from Castel Sant Angelo RainbowThe view from Castel Sant’Angelo is probably my favourite, firstly, it is located atop one of the most important monuments of Rome and secondly because it was built by my favourite Emperor, Emperor Hadrian. Hadrian intended this building to be his mausoleum and it was for a time before it was later used as a fortress then a private residence and hideout for Popes that reached it using il Passetto (the Passage).

The panoramic views from the rooftop of Castel Sant’Angelo extend as far as Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, which is the oldest and highest ranking of the four papal major basilicas, including St. Peter’s Basilica. From here you also get a bird’s eye view of the glistening Tiber River and Bernini’s Bridge of Angels.

How to get there
Since there are no close metro stops, buses 30, 70, 81, 87 can all take you with a couple of minutes walk. Alternatively, it takes 13 minutes on foot from Piazza Navona.

Cost: 10,50 Euros gives you access to visit the castle itself before walking to the rooftop.

5. Giardino degli Aranci

best views of Rome - Giardino degli AranciA popular lovers hang out, Giardino degli Aranci (Orange’s Garden) sits atop the Aventine Hill, one of the seven hills of Rome.

Legend has it that Spanish Saint Dominic planted the first orange tree in Rome. The garden is full of orange trees along with several statues, ancient ruins, and of course, a fountain.

From the terrace, you get an excellent view of the city which is why on most weekends you’ll see a slew of couples and newlyweds posing for photographers. This incredibly romantic viewpoint is a hot spot amongst Romans.

How to get there
Take Line B to Circo Massimo, from here it’s an 11-minute walk.

Cost: Free

6. ‘La Grande Bellezza’ Rooftop at Eitch Borromini

best views of Rome - Eitch Borromini Piazza Navona Panorama

best views of Rome - Eitch Borromini SunsetLocated on the sixth floor of Hotel Eitch Borromini in a seventeenth-century palace designed by Borromini is an exclusive rooftop terrace complete with a fully stocked bar. Locally nicknames the ‘La Grande Bellezza’ Rooftop (a reference to the successful film of the same name and set in Rome, La Grande Bellezza) this isn’t just any rooftop, it’s fancy. Attracting affluent Romans and visitors, this is the perfect spot to enjoy a refined aperitif and hold private events. This intimate bar is set up with comfy white sofas, providing the ultimate experience to enjoy a 360-degree sunset of Rome.

best views of Rome - Eitch Borromini Piazza Navona

best views of Rome - Eitch Borromini Rooftop Bar

best views of Rome - Eitch Borromini St Peter's Basilica

How to get there
Located behind Piazza Navona in Via di Santa Maria dell’Anima.

Cost: Open everyday 6:30 pm, it costs 20 euros per person which includes a drink. Booking is essential at +39 06 68215459.

Click here for more details about Eitch Borromini

7. Imàgo at Hotel Hassler

best views of Rome - Hotel Hassler Imago RestaurantIf you’re celebrating a special occasion or just want to spoil yourself with great food paired with incredible views, head to Imago, a Michelin Star restaurant located above the Spanish Steps.

A few years ago I surprised my boyfriend by bringing him here for Valentine’s Day. The experience was nothing short of incredible. Soft music plays as you relax amongst the elegant and refined decor all conspiring to create a magical atmosphere and a memorable dining experience.

The dishes are the Chef’s reinterpretation of regional Italian cuisine, each carefully prepared and presented according to the season.

How to get there
Take Line A to Piazza di Spagna. Walk to the top of the stair and turn right.

Cost: Main meals start from 33 Euros alternatively 6-course tasting menu starts from 130 Euros

Click here for more details about Imàgo at Hotel Hassler

8. The Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele aka Il Vittoriano

best views of Rome - Il Vittoriano Terrace - Monument Vittorio Emanuele IIIl Vittoriano is one of the most eye-catching buildings in Rome. Both its size and the sun reflecting off its white marble exterior draws your attention to its grandeur making it the subject of thousands of photographs taken by tourists each day.

Located in Piazza Venezia, the Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II (Altare della Patria) was inaugurated in 1911 to pay respect to Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of Italy after the country’s unification.

Inside the building is the Institute for the History of the Italian Risorgimento and the Central Museum of the Risorgimento dedicated to the unification of Italy in which weapons, flags and other objects related to this historic moment are exhibited.

The Monument is also home to the tomb of the unknown soldier where the eternal flame burns and guarded by two soldiers.

I recommend visiting the monument and museum before taking the elevator to the terrace located at the same height as the chariots on top of the building. The panoramic elevators are the only way to reach the upper part of the monument so you won’t have to worry about the climb.

How to get there
Reach Piazza Venezia but using any of these buses 30, H, 40, 44, 70, 81, 87, 64, 492, 628, C3,

Cost: 10 euros, only cash is accepted.

9. Rooftop Terrace at Hotel Raphaël

best views of Rome - Hotel Raphael TerraceFans of the film Eat Pray Love will enjoy this inclusion. Hotel Raphaël is famous for playing host to Julia Roberts during the filming of Eat Pray Love, as well as being featured in the lunch scene where the characters discuss what word best sums up Rome.

But the real attraction is on the 5th floor where you can relax on the cosy roof terrace with a cocktail in hand whilst enjoying its 360-degree views over Rome.

The best part is that this rooftop terrace is still quite unknown making it the perfect hidden gem.

The only downside is that the experience isn’t cheap, much like Eitch Borromini, a glass will set you back at least 20 euros, in which case you’re better off buying a bottle and sharing it. Plus, you’ll get some light snacks to go with it.

How to get there
A short walk from Piazza Navona, located on Largo Febo.

Cost: Starting from 20 euros including finger food.

Click here for more details about Hotel Raphaël

10. Lo Zodiaco

best views of Rome - Lo-ZodiacoFor a vantage point with few tourists around, come to The Zodiac, one of the best views in Rome and locally dubbed the ‘path of lovers’. Sitting 139 meters up you can see Rome’s historic center as well as the mountains and the villages of the Castelli Romani in the distance.

Located atop Monte Mario just north of the Vatican, this is the highest and lushest hill in Rome. A true best-kept secret of the city.

You can walk around the pathways of the park, relax on the benches and enjoy the view, as well as eat or drink something at the famous bar located at the lookout point.

How to get there
Just out of comfort, I recommend taking a taxi over the bus. However, if you prefer the bus, departing from the Vatican Museums on Viale Vaticano take the 913 bus Get off at Prisciano/medaglie D’oro, down Piazzale delle Medaglie d’Oro, turn right along Via Trionfale then turn left at Viale del Parco Mellini. All up it’s an 11-minute walk.

Cost: Free.

Click here for more details about Lo Zodiaco

Looking for a place to stay in Rome? Don’t miss my guide to the best areas to stay in Rome and top accommodation recommendations.


Don’t miss my guide of 10 Unusual Things to do in Rome


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Top 10 Best Views of Rome That Will Blow Your Mind


Over to you!

Have to you visited any of these locations in Rome? Which was your favourite? Tell me below!
Let me know using the comments section below or join me on social media to start a conversation.

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4 comments

Katie June 12, 2018 - 01:33

Amazing photos Michele! I was honestly planning to skip Rome during my summer in Europe – but this article just may put Rome on the list! I also love that many of your tips are free! Thanks for the good read and inspiration!

Reply
Michele June 12, 2018 - 12:49

Thanks so much Katie. I’m glad you found it useful 🙂

Reply
Ilana June 11, 2018 - 17:54

Really great and informative article. I like the perspective of the best views of Rome – different . Great photos btw!

Reply
Michele June 11, 2018 - 20:32

Thank you so much Illana, I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂

Reply

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