The Best Rooftop Restaurants in Rome

Amazing rooftop restaurants in Rome like Settimo offer a heady mix of Italian feasts and elevated al fresco dining
Amazing rooftop restaurants in Rome like Settimo offer a heady mix of Italian feasts and elevated al fresco dining | Courtesy of Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese / Expedia
Jo Fernandez

Rome is sexy, sophisticated and full of life. The Italian capital’s cinematic streets are lined with head-turning architecture, yet the food is the real star of the show. And where better to consume it than high above the streets, looking down on the Colosseum, St Peter’s Basilica and the Trevi Fountain? These rooftop restaurants in Rome offer an unbeatable combination of Italian feasts and elevated al fresco dining.

1. La Pergola, Rome Cavalieri, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel, for edible art

Hotel Restaurant, Italian, Seafood, Mediterranean

The rose-hued luxury dining room of the three-Michelin-star La Pergola at the Rome Cavalieri, with panoramic city views
Courtesy of Rome Cavalieri, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel / Expedia
Creating edible art, chef Heinz Beck presides over the only three-Michelin-star restaurant in Rome: ninth-floor La Pergola on Monte Mario. Instead of pasta like mamma makes, you’ll sample deep-fried courgette flowers with caviar, washed down with a choice of over 70,000 bottles of wine – or water from the 12-page water menu. As you enter the lobby, take a moment to marvel at the collection of Venetian artistic masterpieces.

2. Settimo, Sofitel Roma Villa Borghese, for a leafy escape

Hotel Restaurant, Italian

Chic dining room of Settimo, in the Sofitel Roma Villa Borghese, with sloped ceiling, mosaic floors, velvet seating and plants
Courtesy of Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese / Expedia
For more haute Italian cooking, head to the top of this Roman palazzo on the edge of the lovely Villa Borghese park​​. From the terrace of this garden-themed rooftop restaurant, you can peer across to the Renaissance dome of St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican as you linger over creamy carbonara. Come morning, return to sip your espresso as the sun rises over the Eternal City.

3. Ristorante Roof Garden, Hotel Forum, for endless views

Restaurant, Italian

Shaded al fresco dining terrace with pale pink tablecloths, red chairs and Forum views at Ristorante Roof Garden, Hotel Forum
Courtesy of Hotel Forum / Expedia
A removable canopy facilitates fresh-air feasting at this romantic rooftop restaurant in Rome. You’ll be torn between guzzling your clam-and-artichoke pasta and gazing from the Piazza Venezia across to the Imperial Forums and as far as the Basilica of Maxentius and the Colosseum. Perhaps that’s why the Dalai Lama chose to stay here. Set on a tiny flower-filled terracotta terrace above the restaurant, the American Bar is the icing on the cake of this 18th-century hotel.

4. Terrazza Borromini, Eitch Borromini Palazzo Pamphilj, for atmospheric dining

Hotel Restaurant, Italian

People enjoy the chic rooftop terrace with white-cushioned seating at Terrazza Borromini - Eitch Borromini Palazzo Pamphilj
Courtesy of Eitch Borromini Palazzo Pamphilj / Expedia

Housed in an atmospheric 17th-century palazzo, this sumptuous rooftop restaurant is blessed with sweeping views over the dome of the Pantheon to St Peter’s and Piazza Navona below. That’s not all the balustraded Terrazza Borromini has to offer the lucky guests who dine here; incorporating ingredients from around the country, dishes include classic Roman cacio e pepe (pecorino and pepper) spaghetti and grilled octopus with Amalfi lemon.

5. Ambrosia, Hotel Artemide, for heavenly fresh pasta

Hotel Restaurant, Italian

The rooftop terrace of Ambrosia restaurant at the Hotel Artemide, with dark tables and chairs, umbrellas and city views
Courtesy of Hotel Artemide / Expedia

Freshly rolled tagliatelle, steamed lobster and crispy pork belly lure guests to the top of this 19th-century hotel on the boutique-lined Via Nazionale boulevard, where well-dressed Romans shop up a storm. When they’re done, they pitch up to Ambrosia for the sought-after views as they revive with a stiff, well-mixed negroni and velvety chocolate cake with a white chocolate heart.

6. Zuma, Fendi Palace, for modern Japanese sharing plates

Restaurant, Japanese, Seafood, Sushi, Asian, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-free

Al fresco rooftop dining space with chunky wood tables, green cushioned-chairs and city views at Zuma, Fendi Palace
Courtesy of Fendi Private Suites / Expedia
As locations go, this spot is on the money. Sat atop the iconic Fendi Palazzo, just off the luxury Via dei Condotti retail strip, the two-floor Zuma shirks pasta and pizza for modern Japanese sharing plates and tasting menus. Nibble rock lobster-and-avocado maki and truffled wagyu tartare as you enjoy views across central Rome from the wooden, bay-tree topped terrace.

7. Mater Terrae, Hotel Raphael, for an eco utopia

Hotel Restaurant, Italian

Sunny al fresco rooftop dining area of Mater Terrae, in the Bio Hotel Raphaël, with tablecloth-clad tables and potted flowers
Courtesy of Bio Hotel Raphaël / Expedia

This ivy-clad hotel behind Piazza Navona is where Julia Roberts stayed while filming Eat, Pray, Love – but you don’t have to be a Hollywood star to spend time on the terrace overlooking some of the finest sights in the city, from St Peter’s to the Pantheon. Here, among the flowers and foliage, organic, vegetarian and vegan dishes are the order of the day, complementing the hotel’s green and eco ethos.

8. La Terrazza Bar, Hotel Capo d’Africa, for a front row view of the Colosseum

Hotel

Lush outdoor lounge space with comfy seating, candlelit lanterns and trees at La Terrazza Bar, Hotel Capo d’Africa
Courtesy of Hotel Capo d’Africa /Expedia

For a ringside view of the ancient Colosseum, shimmy over to the Hotel Capo d’Africa. Its leafy, candlelit terrace will soften the heart of even the most unromantic diners as they tuck into sea bream topped with prosciutto on a balmy summer’s night. If money is no object, book the studio suite for a private terrace where you can sip Frascati in sight of that alluring amphitheatre.

For great places to stay in the Italian capital, check out our guides to the best boutique hotels and the best luxury hotels in Rome, all bookable with Culture Trip.

This is an updated rewrite of an article originally by Marianna Hunt.

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