Tucked away in the elegant Aventino neighborhood, the idyllic Giardino degli Aranci (Orange Garden) offers one of Rome’s best views with a fabulous ambience. Located next-door to the Keyhole of the Knights of Malta, famous for its perfectly-framed view of St. Peter’s dome, the view from the garden is dominated by Michelangelo’s magnificent dome and flanked by elegant Roman pines for a truly romantic vista. The garden also has a number of eponymous orange trees and well-kept lawns that make for a perfect picnic spot. It is located within a gated complex so be sure to plan your visit according to opening hours (usually 7pm–6pm).
For the most expansive view of the city, make your way up to Gianicolo located above Rome’s trendy Trastevere district. The second highest hill in the city, it has dramatic sunsets that illuminate each of Rome’s cupolas and you’ll be able to soak in the majesty and all the city’s sites – with a particular emphasis on the Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II. Don’t miss checking out the 16th-century Fontana dell’Acqua Paola and the renaissance Tempietto del Bramante while you’re up here.
When in Rome you can’t miss a visit to its most famous park: Villa Borghese. Housing some of the city’s most premier works of art within the opulent Galleria Borghese, boasting a replica of the Shakespeare’s Globe theater, and containing a horse track and lake with swans, it’s the perfect place to spend a leisurely afternoon enjoying an oasis of green in the center of Italy’s capital. On your walk, be sure to check out the Pincio Terrace overlooking neoclassical Piazza del Popolo for a lovely view of the city. Then make your way to the piazza itself down the winding Passeggiata del Pincio on your right, or turn left to arrive at the Spanish Steps.
A lesser known viewpoint, Terrazza Caffarelli is a great place to soak in Rome’s scenery away from the crowds. Located on the Capitoline Hill that houses the Capitoline Museums, you’ll need to turn right as you head up the ramped staircase instead of continuing into the center of the piazza. You’ll come across a small pebbled garden that looks out onto the Jewish ghetto, a number of cupolas and has an impressive view of the Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II from an angle. If you’d like to enjoy the view with a glass of wine, head up to the café of the same name located just behind the garden.
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 conceived as a monumental burial chamber for Roman Emperor Hadrian and his family and was subsequently used as a fortress and castle by the popes given its proximity to the Vatican. It is now a museum that offers some of the greatest views onto the city of Rome. Up high you’ll see the decorated Ponte Sant’Angelo from a bird’s eye view and have a wonderful panorama of the Tiber river and St. Peter’s Basilica, as well as a nice overview of the tree-lined boulevards of the city’s Prati neighborhood.