Wondering where to get the best views in Rome?
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.)
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Some of the best views of Rome are panoramic vistas you can enjoy from one of Rome's hilltops.
The Gianicolo Hill (Janiculum) is Rome's highest point (82 meters) and offers one of the best panoramic views of Rome.
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.
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.
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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 Garden, Giardino degli Aranci in Italian.
Its actual name is Parco Savello, and it's part of the grounds of the beautiful ancient basilica Santa Sabina.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
You'll can also glimpse the Colosseum in the background.
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.
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.
I love the monument - its history, art, and architecture, and I think it's worth visiting for those reasons.
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.
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.
Probably the most dramatic view in all of Rome is at the top of the Vittoriano.
It does require an elevator ride, and in winter it can be chilly up there with the wind blowing.
But it is absolutely worth it to enjoy these 360-degree views from the highest vantage point in the Eternal City.
One reason I love the Terrazza Caffarelli is how little-known it is.
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.)
But even if the museums are not open, you can still enjoy beautiful city views from the lower terrace.
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.
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.)
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),
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:
Hands down one of the best views in Rome is from the Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria.
And eating inside Rome's only 3* Michelin restaurant, La Pergola, will give you that view throughout your meal. Pretty spectacular!
A personal favorite of mine for one of the best views in Rome while dining is from the Mirabelle.
Don't forget to bring these essential travel items with you!
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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.
For more of the best views in Rome from a restaurant, visit my dedicated page here.
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:
The relatively new NH Collection Fori Imperiali has a rooftop that is just wow!
I love the rooftop bar at the Hotel Mecenate Palace, called Terrazza dei Papi, which means the Popes' Terrace.
With views like this, the Pantheon Iconic hotel is one of the best rooftop bars in Rome.
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.
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.
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:
For more, visit my page about where to find the best view of the Colosseum.
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