The best views of Rome: these, you cannot miss!

by marta

Discover the best views of Rome with our handpicked selection of the best viewpoints in Rome city center.

Rome is beautiful from all angles but is hard to beat the effect it makes when you look at its distinctive skyline from above.

View over Rome with domes in the foreground, Vittoriano building and mountains in the background
View of Rome cityscape

When you cast your eye over the expanse of the city, domes, red tiles, narrow streets and grand buildings all reveal themselves to you in a mix of styles unique in the world.

But what are the best places to go to get a great view over Rome? As you can imagine, a city built on 7 hills has quite a variety of viewing points, some natural and some carved out of rooftop terracing and building tops. 

I am not sure I can pinpoint the best viewpoint in Rome of all, but I can think of many of them, all worth seeing and all the best view over Rome from one aspect or another. 

This is my selection of the best views of Rome.

photo collage of view of Rome and of the inside of the colosseum with overlay text: the best views of Rome, all the best spots'

View of Rome from the Vittoriano terrace (free)

The Vittoriano is the massive white building overlooking Piazza Venezia one of the most distinctive in the city. 

The monument itself is not to everyone’s taste however, there is no doubt the view from it is spectacular.

Rome view from Vittoriano with Colosseum in the background

You can choose different terraces and sides and I invite you to see them all and pick your favorite, however, I am happy to reveal my favorite pick: the second tier terrace, to the left (Terrazza Italia). 

Access is free, you have beautiful views over the forum, Trajan’s Market and the Colosseum and you even have a café with outdoor tables (surprisingly reasonable prices considering the location,) one of the best free views of Rome!

View of the Roman forum from the Campidoglio Hill (free)

A very different type of view and truly unique one is the view of the Roman Forum you catch from the back of the Campidoglio hill.

View over Roman Forum at night

Here, you have a small terrace overlooking the forum which opens up right in front of you and a remarkable close distance!

From here, you see not just the vast expanse of the forum but some of its ancient columns from up close.

 Access to this viewpoint is free and the panorama wonderful at any time of the day. You can read how to access the Capitoline hill and what to see there in our visitors guide to Campidoglio.

If you have to choose, however, come here at night: the forum all lit up, it is just unbeatable (it is also one of the most romantic places in Rome if you are looking for a special backdrop!)

Best view of the Colosseum

Another excellent view of the Roman forum is from the inside of the Roman Forum itself and in particular from the way up to the Palatine Hill, in the horti

The climb up the stairs takes a little bit of effort but the view over the temple of Antonino and Faustina and the forum is out of this work beautiful, worth alone the cost of the admission ticket!

Make sure you stop and look behind you on the way up: it is easy to think you need to get to the very top to enjoy the view but actually, that on the way is even better!

View of the colosseum from the forum

View over Rome from Terrazza Caffarelli (free)

One more beautiful view of Rome is from the other side of the Campidoglio hill, from the Terrazza Caffarelli (Caffarelli Terrace).

View over Rome in autumn, with blue sky and some clouds

This terrace overlooks the Jewish Ghetto, the area with Marcello’s theater and the river, and is a wonderful place to see the sea of red tiles that makes up Rome city center, dotted but its innumerable domes!

Best Rome view from the Otivm Hotel terrace (rooftop bar)

One of the most beautiful views over Rome can be seen from the rooftop terrace of the Otivm hotel bar, in Rome city center. 

The Otivm hotel is hosted in a refurbished yet historical building and the view from the bar on the top floor is simply out of this world.

From here, you see the Vittoriano on your left, the peculiar shape of the synagogue on your right and a perfect view of Michelangelo’s Piazza del Campidoglio. 

Go at sunset and stay for the first hour after dark: all lit up, the Campidoglio is a vision and the small terraces around you, all belonging to private homes, make for a quintessentially Roman view.

This is one of our favorite rooftop bars in Rome, worth for the view and the drinks!

View of Rome from the Otivm hotel terrace with Piazza Venezia and Campidoglio in the distance

Best view of Rome Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona is one of the most beautiful squares in from street level, from below (yes!) and of course from above.

From above, in particular, you get the change to admire the shape of the square which gives away its origins: Piazza Navona, before monumental city square, was emperor Domitian’s stadium!

The best view of it is from the second floor of Palazzo Braschi, the museum of Rome, which is also worth seeing for its interesting collection of Rome prints and paintings.

Another wonderful view of Rome’s’ Piazza Navona, which you can accompany with the luxury of a stay or even just dinner, is also from the Eitch Borromini hotel, tucked away behind the side of the piazza and offering an unexpected yet stunning vantage point for admiring Baroque Rome.

Best sunset spot in Rome

All the views on this list are wonderful at sunset but there is one that I love most of all, and that is the view of Rome you get from the Divinity terrace, the rooftop bar of the Iconic Pantheon hotel in Via di Santa Chiara.

What I love about this spot is that you are surrounded by three of the most incredible domes and roofs in Rome, which you get to admire from an unusual viewpoint: right at eye level!

As the sun starts to go down, the orange sky creates the perfect backdrop for the marvel that is St Ivo alla Sapienza’s unique spirally dome, the open dome of the Pantheon and the incredible details of Sant Eustachio’s church roof and its stag!

Find the list of our favorite sunset spots in Rome here.

Best view of Rome Colosseum (inside)

I always recommend booking the Colosseum tour that includes its top tier and the reason for it is the wonderful view you get from there. 

From inside the Colosseum, you get a fantastic view over the inside of the colosseum itself, which is incredibly impressive from above, but also of the entrance to the Roman forum nearby, Via dei Fori Imperiali and part of ancient Rome’s archaeological area. 

You can read how to book the top tier tour of the Colosseum here.

inside of the colosseum as seen from the top tier

Best view of Rome and the Vatican

Maybe the best view of Rome of all is from the very top terrace of Castel Sant’Angelo.

From here, under the watchful eye of the statue of archangel Michael, you get a bird-eye view of the whole city, including the Vatican, the river and Piazza Venezia.

The top terrace is only one of the many parts of the castle offering a beautiful view of Rome.

As you follow the visitor itinerary along with the castle, you will have plenty of opportunities to look over the city from several vantage points, each offering something different.

View from castel Sant'Angelo Rome Italy

View over Rome from Pincio terrace (free)

One of the most famous viewpoints over Rome is the Pincio terrace, a belvedere inside Villa Borghese.

View over Piazza del Popolo Rome from Pincio terrace

The main part of the Pincio terrace overlooks Piazza del Popolo, which is impressive seen from above, but if you walk a little to your left, away from the main belvedere and towards the Casina Valadier restaurants so to speak you will also find a slightly different vantage point which will reveal Piazza Venezia and the Spanish steps too! 

View of the Vatican square and Rome

If you are not afraid of heights, then you will now be disappointed by the Rome view you will get from the top of St Peter’s dome!

The climb up is not for the faint of heart or the claustrophobic, however, the reward for your efforts is significant.

From the top, you have a wonderful view over St Peter’s square which will reveal itself for the architectural marvel it really is, and you will also get a view over the Vatican Gardens which are impeccably designed, something you can really appreciate from up here!

View of Rome from the top of Gianicolo (free)

Maybe the most famous view of Rome at all, immortalized by many movies too, is that from the Gianicolo hill.

Gianicolo is above Trastevere and indeed from here, you have an expansive view over the city and you will be able to spot some of Rome’s main monuments. 

3 views of Rome in one from the Aventino hill (free)

I close this list with a place that offers not one view of Rome but 3, each so different from the other you will be hard-pressed to pick a favorite.

This is place is the Aventino hill, the hill in front of the Palatine, on the opposite side of it from the Colosseum.

The first view of from its base: before you start climbing its clivo, take a minute to take in the might of the palace of emperors on the palatine, across the Circo Massimo (in the evening, it is like a vision, incredible!).

Then, walk up and stop at the viewing terrace at the garden of oranges, a nice par with tall pine trees framing a view of Rome and St Peter’s dome.

Then, clinb a little more ore and reach Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta.

Here, in this square that seems impossibly closed up to offer any type of view, identify the black door of the Istituto dei Cavalieri di Malta and look through the keyhole: you will see the most unique views of St Peter’s dome, perfectly framed by tall manicured shrubs of a secret garden! Read how to find the Aventine Keyhole here.

Top tips: if you are looking for romance, this is one of the best spots to propose in Rome!

I hope you enjoyed this selection of the best views of Rome. Safe travels!

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