The 7 hills of Rome: list, main attractions, how to visit

by marta

The 7 hills of Rome: their names, where they are, what Rome attractions you can see on each and practical tips for visiting.

Rome is built on 7 hills, seven higher elevation areas of the city that exist since the city’s foundation and are still now a feature of the Rome landscape.

They are mentioned in ancient sources and they are at the center of many stories, events and legends that shaped the history of Rome in ancient and modern times.

The seven hills of Rome host many of Rome’s most important attractions.

In this travel guide, we are going to learn the name of Rome’s seven hills, where they are, why they are significant and what to see on each.

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List of the names of the seven hills of Rome

In Italian, Rome’s seven hills are called ‘I sette Colli’ (Translation: sette=seven; colli=hills. The singular of Colli is colle)

The names of the seven hills of Rome are:

Name of HillMost Famous ForFree Admission
Palatino / Palatine HillWhere Rome was founded, now an archaeological parkNo
Campidoglio / Capitoline HillAncient seat of Roman Temples, now famous Renaissance Piazza with important MuseumsYes*
Aventino / Aventine HillBeautiful churches, panoramic terrace, now a wealthy residential areaYes*
Esquilino / Esquiline HillBeautiful churches, train station, multicultural feelYes*
Quirinale / Quirinal HillThe seat of the president of the Italian RepublicYes*
Viminale / Viminale HillMuseums, Rome Opera House, the seat of Ministry of the InteriorYes*
Celio / Caelian HillAncient ruins, beautiful early Christian churchesYes*
*Entrance fees to specific attractions may apply

Good to know! As you stroll around Rome, you find yourself going up and down hills all the time. However, not every hill in Rome is one of the historical seven hills! I give a quick overview of the most scenic and interesting hills in Rome outside of the main 7 at the end of this article.

Why are the seven hills of Rome significant

The seven hills of Rome have been part of the history of the city since its foundation.

The peculiar geography of the ancient city is mentioned in all ancient sources and the significant archaeological finds and churches we can still see on their slopes bear witness to the constant use of these areas.

Rome’s seven hills and the valleys between them are the most significant places in Rome for archaeological exploration.

view over the Roman Forum from Campidoglio Hill
View over the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill (right) taken by the Capitoline Hill

The 7 hills of Rome map

The 7 hills of Rome are all in what is now the historical city center.

What to see on each of the seven hills of Rome

The Palatine Hill / Colle Palatino

The Palatine Hill (Colle Palatino) is one of the most historically significant in Rome and one of the most beautiful and interesting to visit.

view from Palatine Hill Rome

The Palatine is the where Rome began.

The historical tradition tells us that this is the location Romulus chose to build the city and it is where the most ancient settlements of Ancient Rome have been found.

The Palatine is also where the Emperors built their palaces.

This long and important history left interesting and beautiful vestiges we can still see today and it is one of the things that make this hill one of the most beautiful places to see in the whole of Rome.

As you climb up to the Palatine from the Forum, you have glorious pine trees, lawns, blossoms, views over the Colosseum and, as you get to the very top, two fantastic terraces with some of the best views over Rome you can ever ask for!

View of Roman Colosseum from the Palatine Hill

I found Rome a city of bricks and left it a city of Marble – Augustus, Roman Emperor

Find more quotes about Rome here

Need to know:

The visit to the Palatine is ticketed. Access to the hill is included in your Roman Forum ticket while some of the houses of the Emperors are a so called ‘super site’ and require additiopnal booking.

You can find tours and ticket options at the following links

Access: Colosseo metro station, all buses serving the Colosseum and Piazza Venezia

Find here >>> my complete guide to the Palatine Hill

Capitoline Hill / Colle Campidoglio

The Capitoline Hill is beside the Palatine hill and is one of the best known of the 7 hills of Rome under several accounts.

Piazza del Campidoglio Capitoline Hill Rome

In ancient times, the Capitoline Hill is where temples to the Capitoline Triad, the most important Roman Gods and Goddesses, stood.

In the XVI century, the Capitoline hill has been entirely redesigned by Michelangelo and is now home to one of the most beautiful piazzas in Rome.

Things to see on the Capitoline Hill include:

  • The Capitoline Museums of ancient art
  • The equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius, one of the most important statues in Rome
  • The view over the Roman Forum
  • The view from terrazzo Caffarelli
  • The copy of the Rome she-wolf

Visiting the Capitoline Hill is free and a true pleasure, you can find my full guide to Campidoglio here.

Good to know! The hill and main square are free to access and a visit is one of the best things to do in Rome for free. This is also one of the best places to see Michelangelo’s work in Rome.

Access: Piazza Venezia bus terminus

Caelian Hill / Celio

The Caelian hill is on the other side of the Colosseum and is less known than others yet still interesting to visit. 

Rome Colosseum in the early evening with its arches lit up

It covers a rather large area and has several attractions on its top and at its base too. Some of the most beautiful churches in Rome are here, ancient Roman houses are on the hill and you also find here some of the best panorama points in Rome!

Attractions worth visiting on the Caelian Hill are:

  • Santi Quattro Coronati, a remarkable ancient basilica dating back to the IV century AD with stunning mosaics
  • Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo
  • Basilica di San Clemente, at the bottom of the hill, absolutely fantastic as built over three layers, all open to the public, and dating to three different eras. A wonderful place to learn how Rome evolved as a city!
  • Basilica di Santo Stefano Rotondo, a round church with peculiar and gory frescoes
  • Ancient Roman Houses (Case Romane del Celio), beautiful underground Roman homes
  • Villa Celimontana, a lovely park that, in summer, hosts a famous jazz festival (one of the best things to do in Rome in July and August!)

Fin here >>> my complete guide to the Caelian Hill of Rome

Good to know! A great way ti visit the Coelian hill is by tram: tram n3 climbs up here and this is a fun and cheap way to come up this lesser know hill. The view over the Colosseum is rather special!

Access: Metro Colosseo, Tram 3, all buses serving the Colosseum

Colle Esquilino/ Esquiline Hill

Esquilino is the large hill between the Roman Forum and termini station, the one with the Monti district.

Basilica od Santa Maria maggiore, on top of the Esquilino Hill, Rome

It covers quote a large area and it is a varied and exciting place with some of the most beautiful churches in Rome, many pretty cobbled streets and a multicultural flavor thanks to the many ethnic restaurants and people from all over the world that call this Rome’s neighborhood home.

Among the the main attractions on the Esquilino there are:

You can find here >>> my complete guide to the Esquiline Hill

Top tip! In this area, there are lovely rooftop terraces from where to catch views over Rome. You can find our recommended Rome rooftop bars here.

Access: metro Colosseo, Cavour, termini, all buses serving Termini station and the Colosseum

Colle Quirinale/ Quirinale Hill

The Quirinale is the hill with the Quirinale Palace, the seat of the president of the Italian Republic.

Fountain on top of Quirinale, one of the historical seven hills of Rome, with elegant palazzo in the background with Italian Flag colors

Quirinale is an elegant and scenic place.

At its top, the palace dominates a large square with Italian and European flags proudly displayed above the palace’s main entrance, designed by Bernini.

From the square, you have wonderful views over Rome and you can easy access some of Rome’s most beautiful attractions such as:

  • Chiesa di Sant’Andrea, one of Bernini’s own favourite creations
  • Scuderie del Quirinale, an excellent exhibition space with regular high caliber exhibition
  • San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane, by Borromini
  • Access to the Trevi Fountain, just downhill from here
  • Santa Maria della Vittoria, a sort walk from Quirinale Square, where you can see the entasis of St Therese by Bernini

Access: all buses serving Via Nazionale

Learn all you can see on this hill in our guide to Colle Quirinale / Quirinal Hill

Colle Aventino /Aventine Hill

Aventino is a tall hill in front of the palatine that overlooks the Circus Maximus on one side and the rive Tiber on the other.

Rome orange garden terrace with pine trees framing St Peter'd dome in the distance

Aventino is now an affluent residential area of Rome and is stunning to visit.

Here you have some several sites worth seeing:

Find here >>> my complete guide to the Aventine Hill.

Colle Viminale / Viminale Hill 

Viminale is the smallest of the 7 hills of Rome and the least visited by tourists or at least, one that you are likely to pass but you may not consider a destination itself.

outside of main area of baths of Diocletian Rome

It between the station and Santa Maria Maggiore and it is mostly mentioned as the seat of the Ministry of Interior, hence is regular mentioned on Italian newspapers.

The hill feels flatter than others and this is why you may not realize you are here however, there are several things here worth seeing:

Access: Metro termini, all buses serving Termini station.

Find here >>> my complete guide to the Viminale Hill

Other hills that are not the 7 hills of Rome

As well as the historical 7 hills of Rome, there are other hills in the city you will encounter and enjoy.

Among the most interesting there are:

Collina del Pincio, which now has the Spanish Steps and the beautiful Pincio terrace in Villa Borghese

Monte Mario, outside of the center and very tall, a wonderful place to catch expansive views over the city

Gianicolo, the hill above the Vatican, with a stunning panoramic terrace – perfect to visit in combination with Trastevere.

Colle Vaticano, now occupied by the Vatican Gardens (Stunning!)

The Appian Hill, technically part of the Esquiline Hill, famous for offering stunning views of the Colosseum and for hiding the unique Domus Aurea, Nero’s palatial residence!

I hope you enjoyed this overview of the 7 hills of Rome and helped you plan a visit. Safe travel planning!

Guide to the seven hills of Rome: pin this

Seven photos depicting the seven hills of Rome with text: the 7 hills of Rome, all you need to know (with map)

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