The most beautiful viewpoints offer you a view of Rome from above. Enjoy the view over the archaeological area of ancient Rome, the Tiber island, the St. Peter’s Basilica and the city center as far as the mountains of Albano and the Appenine.
Monte Pincio rises north-east of the city center. It’s not part of the seven hills of Rome. For the ascent, you may use the Spanish Steps. From there, you can walk along the Viale della Trinità dei Monti to the left and look down on the city center.
The road goes past the French Academy Villa Medici and ends under the Casina Valadier, where you can go up on a pedestrian path. From there you have a nice view of the church of Trinità dei Monti and the city center.
Continue to the terrace of the Pincio, which is above Piazza del Popolo. It is one of the most beautiful and famous viewpoints in Rome. From there you can see straight over Piazza del Popolo and the shopping street via Cola di Rienzo up to the Vatican. Left is the medieval city centre with the “Trident”, the three streets leaving Piazza del Popolo, via di Ripetta, via del Corso and via del Babuino.
From Pincio you can go to the Villa Borghese or you can go down stairs to Piazza del Popolo.
If you want to photograph, in the morning you have the Sun in the back on the Pincian Hill and in the afternoon you have Contre-jour.
The Capitol Hill
A good way to look over the forums is a climb to the Capitol. The most beautiful viewpoints on the Campidoglio allow you to take a look over the Imperial Forums, the city and the ghetto.
To the Capitol are three ways to rise, two from Piazza Venezia seen right or left behind the Vittorianum and one from Circus Maximus going up via Monte Tarpeo. If you take from Piazza Venezia on the right of the Vittorianum, you will find a wide staircase which leads you directly to the square with the equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius. The Capitoline museums are located on the square, on the right Palazzo Conservatorio, on the left Palazzo Nuovo and straight ahead the Senate Palace.
As soon as you arrived above, you can see an archway on the right.
Piazza Caffarelli with a beautiful view over the ghetto is behind it. Caffarelli café with a terrace, which offers an even better view, is located in the Palazzo Conservatorio. Access to the Café Caffarelli is located directly on the Piazza.
Left of the Senate Palace via San Pietro in carcere is located, which leads down to via dei Fori Imperiali. Here you will find a viewpoint to the right over the Roman Forum.
On the Vittorianum, there is an elevator to the roof. From there you have a beautiful view over the city.
However, you will find the most beautiful viewpoints in the Capitoline Museums. From the terrace of the cafeteria you have a wonderful view over Rome up to the Vatican. An underground passage between the Capitoline Museums and the City Hall leads to a viewing point over the Imperial Forums and the Forum Romanum.
Palatine and Colosseum
You can visit Roman Forum, Palatine Hill and the Colosseum with the same unique ticket. An entrance to the Palatine and the Forum Romanum is on Via dei Fori Imperiali, the other entrance on Via di San Gregorio, between Colossseum and Circus Maximus.
On the Palatine Hill, there are a number of beautiful viewpoints. To visit them all, you have to reckon at least two hours. If you would like to visit the Forum, add at least another hour.
For the Palatine Hill, you choose best the entrance on via di San Gregorio. You climb on the left side in the direction of Circus Maximus and reach the ruins of the Imperial Palace. From there you can watch the circus and behind it the Aventine hill, on the right the synagogue and the St. Peter’s Basilica and on the left the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and farther to the left, the baths of Caracalla.
You can turn then North towards St. Peter’s Basilica and then East direction Roman Forum to find a series of other viewpoints, which offer views of the city, the Capitol, the Roman Forum and the Colosseum.
A map of the area can be found here.
Since the 1st of November 2017 the 4th and 5th ring of the Colosseum has been released for guided tours. From there you have a spectacular view over the city.
A nice view of the forums you have also from the restaurant on the roof terrace of the hotel forum.
The Aventine hill rises on the south side of Circus Maximus. Here there are three viewpoints. If you’re using the hop on hop off bus, you have to get off at the Circus Maximus. With public transport you can get off at the stop “Greca”, as soon as the bus from Piazza Venezia is turning to the left at the Bocca della Verità. From Piazza Venezia, you can take bus lines 81, 160, 628, on Sunday also the 118.
The rise is done on via Clivo dei Pubblicii and further on via di Santa Sabina to the Basilica of Santa Sabina. Right before the Basilica you will find the entrance to the Orange garden, “Giardino degli Aranci”. In the garden you will find a viewpoint over Trastevere until St. Peter’s.
Behind the Basilica of the Holy Sabine, you will find another park, the garden of St. Alexius. Also from this garden an interesting view over the city opens up. Among you is the Tiber island, on the left the Gianicolo with the lighthouse, on the right the Capitol and the Vittorianum.
Continue along Via di Santa Sabina until you come to the “Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta”. There you will find the famous keyhole in the entrance gate of the Priory, where you can admire the dome of St. Peter’s.
The Gianicolo rises to the right of the Tiber and south of the Vatican. Here you’ll find a beautiful park and some spectacular views.
You can use bus lines 115 and 870, from the Ospedale Santo Spirito on the Tiber River Bank South of the Castel Sant’Angelo, to the Gianicolo.
Walking you take best the way from the Vatican through the parking garage “Terminal Gianicolo” to the “Bambino Gesù” paediatric hospital and from there following the road further up. You pass a lighthouse donated by emigrated Italians to Argentina, Villa Lante, Finnish Embassy and Cultural Center. To the right of the villa is engraved in a wall the Constitution of the Roman Republic of 1849. Across the street is an equestrian statue of Anita Garibaldi with her baby in her arms, a young Brazilian freedom fighter and wife of Giuseppe Garibaldi, whose equestrian figure is on the same square. From there you have on the one side a beautiful view to St. Peter’s, on the other side down to the city.
Right you can recognize the Basilica di San Giovanni on the horizon, closer ahead the Vittorianum. In the Centre you can see the Pantheon and above the Spanish steps the Church Trinità dei Monti, left side Villa Medici and Casina Valadier. Here you have Contre-jour in the morning.
If you go further right on the square, you come to the Roman Republic museum, devoted to Garibaldi, and to the park of Villa Pamphili. Left, it goes to the beautiful Fountain “Dell’ Acqua Paola”, and further down to Trastevere.
On the Monte Mario, there is a beautiful, popular viewpoint, especially at night, which however is not to reach with public transport. There’s an astronomical observatory and a restaurant, “Zodiaco”. For the climb up you must reckon little more than 30 minutes from Piazzale Clodio.
The look is very romantic and impressive. However, you can’t see St. Peter’s from here.
The optical illusion of Via Piccolomini
You can take the bus 982 from the stop “Ospedale Santo Spirito”, on the Tiber River Bank South of the Castel Sant’Angelo, to go to via Piccolomini.
If you want to see via Piccolomini and Monte Mario, it might be worth renting for a night a taxi or a limousine.
From the via Piccolomini, you can very well see the dome of St. Peter’s.
In this street there is a special optical effect: the dome of St. Peter’s will appear smaller, the closer you get to it.
The dome of St. Peter’s
You have a beautiful view over the city from the roof of St. Peter’s Basilica, from the Dome you can see in all directions. More information about St. Peter’s Cathedral and the dome
The roof terrace of Castel Sant’Angelo
Castel Sant’Angelo offers some interesting views. Especially from the roof terrace you have a nice view over the city center.