Receive the latest Rome news, travel tips, insights and more + 10% off our store AND a free eBook - Subscribe Today!

Where to Catch the Best Views in Rome

Wondering where to get the best views in Rome? 

view of rome from castel sant'angeloCastel Sant'Angelo offers some of the best panoramic vistas of Rome. You can easily identify many Rome monuments and landmarks from here, such as the Pantheon.

Whether from one of Rome's seven hills, from the top of a monument, or at a special dinner, find out where to see breathtaking views of the Eternal City.

The best views in Rome - know where to go!

There are numerous vantage points around the city where you can take in the impact of Rome's unique panorama.

From sweeping skyline views, to rooftop bars, to the tippy tops of Rome's most iconic monuments, these places will give you a new perspective on Rome at any time of day.

Click here to visit my interactive Google map showing most of the places listed on this page. (I don't include restaurants, bars, or colosseum views on this map, as they each have their own maps.)

It will open in a new window.

Best panoramic views of Rome

Some of the best views of Rome are panoramic vistas you can enjoy from one of Rome's hilltops.

The Seven Hills of Rome

Rome famously has seven hills, but you won't necessarily get the best views of Rome from all of them.

Likewise, there are hills in Rome that are not part of the "7 Hills of Rome", from which you can get excellent views of Rome.

The Seven Hills are the Palatine, Capitoline, Aventine, Quirinale, Caelian, Viminale, and Esquiline.

You can get some of the best views of Rome from the first 4 but not so much from the latter 3.

Gianicolo /Janiculum

The Gianicolo Hill (Janiculum) is Rome's highest point (82 meters) and offers one of the best panoramic views of Rome.

panoramic view of rome from gianicoloOne of the best views in Rome is from Piazzale Giuseppe Garibaldi, high on the Gianicolo Hill in Trastevere.

The Gianicolo is not one of the original 7 hills of Rome. (This area was not part of Rome in Ancient Roman times.)

Located in the highest part of Trastevere, the Gianicolo also offers a unique view of St. Peter's Basilica from above, if you know where to look for it.

saint peter's basilica from gianicoloFrom Piazzale Garibaldi, as you face the main overlook, move backward and look to the left. This stunning view of Saint Peter's basilica is even more beautiful in early spring when you can spot wisteria just below you.

How to get there: From Piazza della Rovere you can either walk up the hill (about 20-30 minutes and it's almost all scenic), or take the 115 or 870 bus that will drop you right at Piazzale Giuseppe Garibaldi.

Do you travel with binoculars? I love having them with us on vacation.

And when you are chasing the best views in Rome, these are amazing for being able to pick out all the landmarks, great and small!

Disclosure : If you make a purchase through a link on this page, I may receive a small commission - at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting my site!

The Orange Tree Garden/Parco Savello

The Aventine Hill is one of the Seven Hills of Rome, and it offers two spots where you can see panoramic views of Rome.

One of these is the Orange Tree GardenGiardino degli Aranci in Italian.

Its actual name is Parco Savello, and it's part of the grounds of the beautiful ancient basilica Santa Sabina.

rome orange tree gardenThe Orange Tree Garden is a lovely place to visit on its own. It's also a popular spot to enjoy some panoramic views of Rome.

The park is worth a visit even in winter, when its orange trees are at their best.

The viewing area at the edge is not that big, so at sunset, especially during high season months, you can expect it to be crowded. It's also a popular wedding picture spot so be prepared.

But it's still worth it.

Pro tip!

Want this view without the crowds?

view from sant'alessio

Visit the garden just next door at Sant'Alessio.

To find more secret gardens in Rome, visit my page here.

How to get there: From Piazzale Ugo La Malfa overlooking the Circus Maximus, walk through the Roseto Rose Garden and along the slightly inclined hill and you will spot the Basilica of Santa Sabina after 5-10 minutes. The entrance to the park is on your right.

The Aventine Hill overlooking the Circus Maximus 

The other viewing point on the Aventine Hill has you looking across the Circus Maximus towards another of Rome's Seven Hills, the Palatine Hill.

view of the palatine hill from the aventine hillOne of the best views in Rome to see the Palatine Hill from above is at this spot across the Circus Maximus on the Aventine Hill. I love it year-round as the colors and shadows change. This is in winter when the shadows are long during the middle of the day. It's also stunning at sunset.

This spot is only a few minutes' walk from the Orange Tree Garden but it offers a completely different viewing experience.

What amazes me is that those ruins you see are only the structural bases of what were imperial palaces in Ancient Rome.

Can't you just imagine the emperor sitting high, high up and watching the games in the Circus Maximus below?

The Pincio

The Pincio is a hill leading away from the Trinità dei Monti, at the top of the Spanish Steps.

The Pincio is not one of the original Seven Hills of Rome, even though it was in use since before the time of Julius Caesar, when the wealthy had gardens here.

If you walk from the top of the Spanish Steps along the Pincio, you'll find beautiful views of Rome every step of the way.

But the most special spot along this hill is arguably the Pincian terrace overlooking Piazza del Popolo.  

view of piazza del popolo from the pincioPiazza del Popolo is one of Rome's most iconic piazzas, designed by Giuseppe Valadier. In the center is one of Rome's largest and most ancient Egyptian obelisks.

From here you can see Saint Peter's dome in the distance, and also get a perfect birds-eye view of one of Rome's largest and most ancient Egyptian obelisks, brought to Rome by Rome's first emperor, Octavian Augustus.

New Year's Eve fireworks

This is often where we have fireworks for New Year's Eve in Rome, so if you're looking for someplace to watch them, this can be a good spot.

How to get there: From the top of the Spanish Steps, walk to your right about 10-15 minutes. You'll have stunning rooftop views the whole way.

The terrace of Campidoglio

One of the best views of Rome is from the top of one of Rome's original Seven Hills - the Campidoglio Terrace high on Capitoline Hill.

Here, the panorama takes in the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill stretching out below you.

view of the roman forum from capitoline hillI must have hundreds of pictures of the vista which is easily one of the best views in Rome, if not the most iconic. It's easy to get this view for free as it's at the back of Capitoline Hill.

You'll can also glimpse the Colosseum in the background. 

Best views of Rome from a monument

Saint Peter's Dome 

Hopefully, you're planning to visit the Vatican on your visit to Rome.

While it takes a little effort, one of the best views in Rome is from the top of Saint Peter's Basilica.

saint peter's square as seen from the dome of saint peter's basilicaThis amazing view from the top of Saint Peter's dome is of Rome but the most eye-grabbing vista is of Vatican Square and Bernini's colonnade stretching out below you.

The view of Saint Peter's Square from Saint Peter's dome simply cannot be beat, especially if you go later in the day while the sun is setting behind you.


The perfect 3-day itinerary in Rome

Trying to figure out how to organize your visit to Rome? I've got the perfect 3-day itinerary for first-time visitors (or those who have not been here in a while.) It works for a 2.5 day visit as well.

In my 3-day itinerary, you'll see all the major must-see Rome attractions like the Vatican, Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Spanish Steps, Castel Sant'Angelo, and much more.

And if you have more time, or want suggestions for extra/other things to do, you'll find that there too.

Visit my page with the best 3-day itinerary in Rome for first-timers.


Castel Sant’Angelo

Castel Sant'Angelo is one of my favorite monuments in Rome, and is often overlooked.

If you're looking for some of the best views in Rome, it's worth a visit here for that alone.

view of rome from castel sant'angeloCastel Sant'Angelo offers some of the best views of Rome, nearly 360 degrees.

I love the monument - its history, art, and architecture, and I think it's worth visiting for those reasons.

roof of castel sant'angeloGetting to soak up the sweeping views of Rome from the roof of Castel Sant'Angelo is worth the short climb it takes to get here.

But as a bonus, from the very top where the angel is, you have some of the best views in Rome that sweep nearly 360 degrees.

view of saint peter's basilica from castel sant'angeloOnce on the roof of Castel Sant'Angelo, you have spectacular views of Rome in nearly all directions. To the west, you get this stunning view of Saint Peter's Basilica.

One thing I really love about the view of Saint Peter's Basilica is being able to see the Leonine walls.

This, by the way, is the famous "secret passageway" that popes used to escape the Vatican when Rome was under attack in the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

And it's a very cool place to visit today when they offer these tours.

Bonus!

Castel Sant'Angelo also has a rooftop bar and it's absolutely lovely to enjoy breakfast, lunch, or aperitivo here.

me at castel sant'angeloMe enjoying aperitivo with a friend on the roof of Castel Sant'Angelo. Pretty nice view, right?

Il Vittoriano/Altar of the Fatherland

Probably the most dramatic view in all of Rome is at the top of the Vittoriano. 

panoramic shot from roof of vittorianoThis is a panoramic shot I took with my iPhone from the roof of the Vittoriano.

It does require an elevator ride, and in winter it can be chilly up there with the wind blowing.

view from top of vittorianoThere is nothing like the top of the Complesso Vittoriano for the best views in Rome if you want a panoramic vista.

But it is absolutely worth it to enjoy these 360-degree views from the highest vantage point in the Eternal City.

top of the altar of the fatherland at sunsetA bonus of visiting the top of the Altar of the Fatherland in winter is getting to see these breathtaking sunset views.

Capitoline Museums/Terrazza Caffarelli  

One reason I love the Terrazza Caffarelli is how little-known it is. 

rome rooftops from terrazza caffarelliOne of the best views of Rome rooftops is on the "secret" Terrazza Caffarelli which is part of the café inside the Capitoline Museums.

I have never seen it crowded here.

Granted, to get to the best vantage point, the Capitoline Museums need to be open, so you can access the upper terrace. (You can access this terrace from inside the Capitoline Museums, but you can also access it for free by entering it from the lower part of Terrazza Caffarelli, as long as the museums are open.)

view of jewish ghetto and teatro marcello from terrazza caffarelliFrom Terrazza Caffarelli, both the upper and lower levels, you will get the best views in Rome of the Jewish Ghetto and Teatro Marcello right below you.

But even if the museums are not open, you can still enjoy beautiful city views from the lower terrace.

From here you can easily spot Saint Peter's Basilica, the Synagogue in the Jewish Ghetto, and the roof of the Pantheon, among other iconic landmarks.

Top of the Spanish Steps

The top of the Spanish Steps, called Trinità dei Monti for the church of the same name, is at the northern tip of another of Rome's Seven hills, the Quirinale.

Which is the highest hill in Rome?

Some sources declare that the Quirinal hill is the highest in Rome.

Others state that the Esquiline is the highest hill in Rome.

Either way, from the Quirinal Hill, you have a couple of spots where you can get some excellent views of Rome.

The view from the top of the Spanish Steps is not quite as panoramic as the others but it's still beautiful, especially at sunrise (behind you) and sunset (straight ahead of you.)

view from top of the spanish steps at sunsetThe view from the top of the Spanish Steps is a fairly small slice of Rome but the view of the fountain below (la "Barcaccia"), and via dei Condotti stretching out from it gives you a sense of the unique urban architecture of this famous piazza.

The Trinità dei Monti doesn't really offer the best views of Rome but it's lovely, especially when you include the walk along the Pincio (to the right of this photo),

view from the steps of trinità dei montiFrom the steps of the Trinità dei Monti church, you can get an even wider view of Rome's rooftops, along with a view of the lookout terrace below.

Best Rome dinner with a view

If you're looking for dinner (or lunch) with a fantastic view of Rome, your best bet is going to be an upscale restaurant, often inside a luxury hotel.

Here are 3 of my favorite restaurants where you can enjoy some of the best views in Rome:

La Pergola ***

Hands down one of the best views in Rome is from the Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria.

la pergolaOne of the best views in Rome is at La Pergola in the Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria high above Rome. Photo credit - Waldorf Astoria

And eating inside Rome's only 3* Michelin restaurant, La Pergola, will give you that view throughout your meal. Pretty spectacular!

Mirabelle

A personal favorite of mine for one of the best views in Rome while dining is from the Mirabelle.

mirabelle restaurantAnother option for one of the best views in Rome is from the Hotel Splendide Royale's Michelin* restaurant, Mirabelle. Photo credit - Mirabelle

Alessandro and I had an anniversary dinner here once and it was perfect in every way. I mean look at that view!

Aroma

There is only one restaurant I know of in Rome that has such a jaw-dropping view of the Colosseum, and that's Michelin* Aroma, on top of the Palazzo Manfredi Hotel.

view of colosseum from aroma restaurantMichelin* restaurant Aroma offers one of the best views in Rome of the Colosseum. Photo credit - Aroma

For more of the best views in Rome from a restaurant, visit my dedicated page here.

Best Rome rooftops with a view

I have a whole page dedicated to Rome Rooftop Bars.

But since this page is about the best views in Rome, here are 3 of my favorite rooftop bars if you want a stunning view with your aperitivo:

rooftop view of trajan's forum from nh fori imperialiThe relatively new NH Collection Fori Imperiali has a rooftop that is just wow. This is one of the best views in Rome from a rooftop.
pantheon with pink cloudsI may be biased because I simply love the rooftop at the Grand Hotel de La Minerve, but I believe this is one of the best views of the Pantheon from a Rome rooftop.
sunset from terrazza dei papiI love the rooftop bar at the Hotel Mecenate Palace, called Terrazza dei Papi, which means the Popes' Terrace. There is nothing like sitting straight across from Santa Maria Maggiore, one of the most stunning basilicas in Rome. Truly breathtaking!

To find out more about the best rooftop bars in Rome, visit my dedicated page here.

Best view of the Roman Forum

The best view of the Roman Forum is arguably from the terrace of Campidoglio (see above.)

If you visit the Roman Forum/Palatine Hill, you will be treated to another dramatic view of the Roman Forum, from the terrace on the Palatine Hill.

roman forum from palatine hillOne of the best views of Rome if you want to see a huge swath of Ancient Rome is from the precipice on the Palatine Hill.

There is yet one more place to get an excellent view of the Roman Forum, and that's from the Tabularium inside the Capitoline Museums.

roman forum from capitoline museumsFrom this angle inside the Capitoline Museums, you get another perspective of the Roman Forum.

Best view of the Colosseum

One of the great things about the Colosseum is how accessible it is.

You can walk right up to it on the outside, get up close, walk around it, 24 /7.

But if you're looking for a killer view of the Colosseum, there are a few excellent vantage points.

Here are 3 of my favorites:

colosseum wide angle viewBest views in Rome - to get this angle of the Colosseum, stand between the Arch of Constantine and the Via Sacra that leads to the Roman Forum.
partial view of colosseumOne of the best vantage points to view the Colosseum is on via Nicola Salvi, just above the Metro stop.
view of colosseumTo get this angle of the north-western side of the Colosseum, you can either stand on ground level or go inside the Roman Forum to the Temple of Venus and Roma.

For more, visit my page about where to find the best view of the Colosseum.


Want to save this page about the best views in Rome to Pinterest? Pin it here!

pin best views in rome

Get your  free Rome trip planner!

Simply sign-up today for our free newsletter and get the Romewise Quick-start guide to Rome .

We are committed to respecting your data. Click for our Privacy Policy .


Looking for Facebook comments?

I removed them to make this page load faster and thereby improve your page experience.

I am happy to answer your questions / comments!

Please come over to the Romewise Facebook page , or, if you want to send me a message, visit my Contact Me page .