Known as the city of seven hills, Rome is filled with terraces, gardens and parks which offer incredible views of the city’s skyline. Visit these spots to gaze over the domes, bell towers and monuments that make the Eternal City one of the most beautiful capitals in the world.
Tucked away in the elegant Aventino neighborhood, the idyllic Giardino degli Aranci (Orange Garden) offers a staggering view over Rome’s skyline. Dominated by St Peter’s dome, the entire cityscape is laid out at your feet – it’s the ideal place to take panoramic photos of the Eternal City. The garden, filled with elegant Roman pines and the eponymous orange trees, is located within a gated complex so be sure to check the opening hours. It’s usually open until dusk, so pack a picnic and watch the sun set over the city. The garden is also right next door to one of Rome’s worst-kept secrets; the Keyhole of the Knights of Malta. Peek through this keyhole and you’ll discover a perfectly-framed view of Michelangelo’s magnificent dome.
Overlooking the lively, authentic Roman district of Trastevere, this is the second highest hill in the city. Make the climb up and you’ll be rewarded with an expansive view of Rome; dramatic sunsets illuminate each of the city’s many cupolas. Try and identify the city’s sites from above – see if you can spot the majestic Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II. While you’re up there, there’s more to see than just incredible views of the city: don’t miss checking out the 16th-century Fontana dell’Acqua Paola and the small Renaissance temple of Tempietto del Bramante.
When in Rome you can’t miss a visit to its most famous park: Villa Borghese. There’s plenty to see and do within the park itself, from admiring classical sculpture and paintings within the opulent Galleria Borghese, discovering a replica of the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, and strolling around a lake filled with swans. It’s an oasis of green in Italy’s crowded capital, and also affords a beautiful view of the city itself. As you make your way through the park, be sure to stop at Pincio Terrace, overlooking Neoclassical Piazza del Popolo, for a picture-perfect view over Rome.
Beautiful as the views from the Orange Garden and the Aventine Keyhole are, you’ll often find yourself vying for the best position among the crowds. To escape the herd, head to this lesser-known viewpoint: Terrazza Caffarelli. Located on the Capitoline Hill, which houses the Capitoline Museums, it still manages to remain relatively peaceful. When you climb the ramped staircase, turn right instead of continuing into the centre of the piazza. You’ll come across a small pebbled garden that looks out over the Jewish quarter and a number of cupolas, and has an impressive view of the Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II from a unique angle. There’s a café, also called Terrazza Caffarelli, located just behind the garden, if you’d like to sit and admire the view with a glass of good wine.
The AD 134 Mausoleum of Hadrian, better known as Castel Sant’Angelo, is one of the most unique structures in the city of the Rome. This cylindrical building was designed as a monumental burial chamber for Roman Emperor Hadrian and his family. It was subsequently used as a fortress and castle by the popes given its proximity to the Vatican (there’s even a secret tunnel joining the two places). Today, the structure is a museum that offers some of the greatest views of the city of Rome. From this height, you’ll have a birds-eye view of the decorated Ponte Sant’Angelo, an incredible panorama of the Tiber River and St Peter’s Basilica, and a glimpse of the beautiful tree-lined boulevards of the city’s Prati neighbourhood.