Best views of Rome: 10 stunning panoramic spots

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Last updated on January 28, 2024

Whether you are a sunset lover or photography aficionado, in this post you’ll learn where to find the ultimate best views of Rome, Italy. 

Known as the city built over seven hills, Rome has some of the most astonishing vantage points on the planet. Whilst living there, I made it my mission to go out and find the very best of them. So without further ado, here are the best views of Rome.

Golden hour at the Giardino degli Aranci in Rome
Golden hour at the Giardino degli Aranci in Rome

Best views of Rome: 10 stunning panoramic spots

Viewpoint no. 1: Terrazza del Pincio

Probably the most popular lookout, Terraza del Pincio sits atop vibrant Piazza del Popolo, in the Villa Borghese gardens. Offering far-reaching views across Rome, expect crowds to gather in the evening to watch the sun go down. Live music usually plays in the background, creating a romantic atmosphere. Operational public toilets can be hard to come by, so bear this in mind before making your way there.

Entrance fee: free
Opening hours: open 24 hours

Terrazza del Pincio overlooking Piazza del Popolo in Rome
View of Piazza del Popolo from Terrazza del Pincio

Viewpoint no. 2: Terrazza Viale del Belvedere

Not far from Terraza del Pincio lies Terrazza Viale del Belvedere, with privileged views of the distinctive Roman rooftops. Team up your visit to Terrazza del Pincio and Terrazza Viale del Belvedere, with a stroll along the Villa Borghese gardens, and a visit to nearby Spanish Steps (see no. 3).

Entrance fee: free
Opening hours: open 24 hours

Roman rooftops from Terrazza Viale del Belvedere
Roman rooftops from Terrazza Viale del Belvedere

Viewpoint no. 3: Trinità dei Monti

Right in the city centre, Trinità dei Monti is a very well-known viewpoint. Although not particularly high, it offers the best spot to admire the famous Spanish Steps from above.

Entrance fee: free
Opening hours: open 24 hours

View of the Spanish Steps from Trinità dei Monti in Rome
View of the Spanish Steps from Trinità dei Monti

Viewpoint no. 4: Altare della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland)

The imposing Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele, also known as Il Vittoriano, is located in Piazza Venezia. Facing the famous Via del Corso, it offers stunning 360-degree views of Rome.

Entrance fee: the entrance to the monument is free, giving access to some lovely views. However, to reach the rooftop via the glass lift, you’ll need to purchase a (at the time of writing) 12 EUR ticket, which also allows admission to the Central Museum of the Risorgimento and the Museum of Palazzo Venezia.
Opening hours: check here

Panoramic view of Rome from Il Vittoriano
Fantastic views of Rome from Il Vittoriano

Viewpoint no. 5: Belvedere di Via Monte Tarpeo

This lookout hides behind Piazza del Campidoglio, in the intersection of Via Monte Tarpeo and Via del Campidoglio. If you are an early riser, you can enjoy a gorgeous sunrise over the Roman Forum and Colosseum from this spot. Regardless of the time, the views are bound to take your breath away. And because of its somewhat concealed location, it is not as frequented by tourists.

Entrance fee: free
Opening hours: open 24 hours

View of Roman Forum and Colosseum from Belvedere di Via Monte Tarpeo
Roman Forum and Colosseum from Belvedere di Via Monte Tarpeo

Viewpoint no. 6: Giardino degli Aranci

Located at the top of Aventine Hill, the Giardino degli Aranci (Orange Tree Garden), overlooks the River Tiber and Trastevere neighbourhood, offering magnificent views of the ‘Eternal City’. You’ll often see couples having their wedding photos taken at this location, as well as painters capturing the surrounding beauty on their canvases.

The shaded benches under the trees are the perfect spot to spend some time reading, snacking, or just gazing. It can get busy around sunset, in which case you may want to head to nearby Giardino di Sant’ Alessio (see no. 7).

Entrance fee: free
Opening hours: check here

View of Rome from the Golden hour at the Giardino degli Aranci
Giardino degli Aranci

Viewpoint no. 7: Giardino di Sant’ Alessio

If you are looking for a more serene atmosphere, the Giardino di Sant’ Alessio is the perfect oasis away from the chaos of the city (and my personal favourite from the list). It is tucked away between the Basilica dei Santi Bonifacio e Alessio and the Basilica Sabina all’Aventino. You’ll often find dogs jumping into the water fountain to cool off on a summer day, as well as lovers holding hands as they admire the view.

Just a stone’s throw away lies il bucco della serratura, a famous key-hole that perfectly frames St. Peter’s Dome. The best time to visit the latter is after dark, to avoid crowds.

Entrance fee: free
Opening hours: check here

Giardino di Sant’ Alessio in Rome
Tranquil Giardino di Sant’ Alessio (top), St. Peter’s Dome from il bucco della serratura (bottom left) and sunset at Giardino di Sant’ Alessio (bottom right)

Viewpoint no. 8: Belvedere del Gianicolo

Gianicolo Hill lies behind the charming Trastevere neighbourhood. It is technically not part of the seven hills, yet it’s probably one of the best locations for wide-reaching views of Rome. You’ll often find locals gathering around the Giuseppe Garibaldi monument after work, to bring the day to a close as they sip a beer and take in the sunset. There are plenty of street vendors to purchase drinks and snacks from.

Because Gianicolo Hill is right outside the city centre, it is usually less busy, as not as many tourists make their way to this area. If you walk north via Passegiata del Gianicolo, you’ll come across several beautiful lookouts as you make your descent towards the proximities of Vatican City. If you walk south via Passegiata del Gianicolo, you’ll find the beautiful Fontana dell’Acqua Paola, and one of the most romantic spots of Rome, in my view.

Entrance fee: free
Opening hours: open 24 hours

Panoramic view of Rome from Belvedere del Gianicolo
Most top attractions are visible from Belvedere del Gianicolo

Viewpoint no. 9: St. Peter’s Dome, Vatican City

Often overlooked by visitors, St. Peter’s Dome offers one of the highest vantage points and 360-degree views of the Vatican, Rome, and beyond. Designed by Michelangelo, it is split into two levels.

The first can be reached by lift (plus a small staircase), or by climbing 231 steps. From there, you’ll be able to appreciate the colossal statue of Christ the Redeemer, flanked by the twelve Apostles. You’ll also find a gift shop, toilets, and a refreshment point.

To reach the second level, you’ll have to climb an additional 320 steps (no lift available!). The one-way staircase gets narrower and narrower towards the top, so it can certainly feel claustrophobic.

The Basilica faces east, and the sun rises in front of it, which means the early hours of the morning are not ideal for photography. Unfortunately, at a later time, you may have to face large crowds and queues.

Entrance fee: there’s no entrance fee for the Basilica, but the Dome has an (at the time of writing) 8 EUR fee to use the stairs, or a 10 EUR fee to use the lift to the first level (you can continue to the top via staircase).
Opening hours: check here

Panoramic view of the Vatican from St. Peter’s Dome
View of the Vatican and beyond from St. Peter’s Dome

Viewpoint no. 10: Ponte Umberto I

The view of the river Tiber from Ponte Umberto I towards the Vatican is not to be missed. Expect some crowds to gather with tripods around sunset to capture the beautiful colours of the sky, as the sun goes down behind St. Peter’s Basilica.

Entrance fee: free
Opening hours: open 24 hours

View from Ponte Umberto I over the Vatican
View from Ponte Umberto I towards the Vatican

I hope you’ve found my post on the best views of Rome useful. If you can think of others that didn’t make the list, please use the comment section below!

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