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The best panoramic views of Rome

Feet that walk on the cobblestones and nose up. This is generally the tourists’ walking posture when walking around Rome. But this is not the only way to see Rome. You can turn the tables and do a 180 perception wise and admire Rome from above and check out some jaw dropping views.

Which are the best spots to get a breathtaking view of Rome? Here’s a list of Rome from above!

Indice / Contents

St. Peter’s cupola

Going to St. Peter’s is just about a must when a new visitor comes to Rome. So after checking out the beauty and majesty of the Church and having seen the inside of the cupola, why not go all the way up to the legendary Cupola and get a panoramic view of Rome?

So arm yourself with strenght and stamina and climb the 537 steps up to the top. The famous stairway named “ “lumaca di sant’Andrea” (St.Andrew’s snail) leads us into a spiral-shaped path up to the external gallery where you have a 360 degree view of the city. When you get there your legs shake not for fatigue but for the overwhelming feeling!

Castel Sant’Angelo

This is also a must see when coming to Rome not only for the historical and artistic magnitude of the place but also for the view that you get from its balcony and inside the castle itself. So the view from the top embraces the Tiber and its bridges – Sant’Angelo bridge firstly and Bernini’s ten angels. Looking southward, eastward and westward you get a nice view of the legendary Cupolone, of the Palazzaccio (palace of justice), Quirinale, Pantheon, Pantheon, Gianicolo and Campidoglio. So the hard work to get to the top wiil pay you dividends.


At 12:00 every day since 1846 three soldiers load up a cannon and fire a shot that echoes throughout the whole city. All churches of Rome synchronize their bell toll according to this shot. The hill is located 88 meters high behind Trastevere. The hill overlooks the bridge and from its famous terrace you get a suggestive view that embraces the whole city in one glimpse. From there you recognize the main monuments and roman churches. If the sky is bright you can even look up to the Colli albani.

Pincio’s balcony

Another classic spot to check out a great view of Rome. One that overlooks Piazza del Popolo and then reaches the baroque part of the city where the St.Peter’s cupola is and further down Castel Sant’Angelo and the Altare della Patria. All of this in one of the most beatiful parks in RomeVilla Borghese. You can reach the balcony either from inside the park or through the staircase of Piazza del Popolo. At sunset it is one great romantic spot.

Giardino degli aranci

For the romantic type you can’t miss the opportunity to take a walk in the famous Giardino degli Aranci – that is named after the several orange trees planted there –, the balcony in the park Savello on the Aventin inside Savelli’s fortress medieval walls. The panoramic view is right in front of the Gianicolo, and overlooks the Tiber island and the Ghetto area (you can recognize the square top of the roman sinagogue). Following the river turns you can get a glimpse of the St.Peter’s Church.

The hill hosts some of the most beautiful churches in Rome (Santa Sabina, Santi Bonifacio e Alessio, San Saba). The city rose garden is a few steps away. There you can admire one of the most beautiful sights of Rome. In fact you can peer the S.Peter’s cupola – perfectly framed by a tree-lined road – through the keyhole of the main gate


In Monte Mario, the highest point hosts the Zodiaco (139 meters of altitude) where you can also find the regional park and the national observatory. The Zodiaco – also known as the alley of the lovers – has one of the most breathtaking views of the entire city. As a matter of fact the view embraces the whole city even reaching the Appennini mounts. At night it turns into a true show of lights and colors. If you’re the romantic type why not taking your significant one out to dinner at the restaurant at the Zodiaco with its spectacular glass wall. We cannot guarantee though that you will be the highlight of the night.

The panoramic balcony of Horti Farnesiani

To enjoy a great view of the old imperial Rome we recommend a visit to one of the panoramic balconies of the Horti Farnesiani, on Palatino hill. The tale says that this is where the eternal city was founded over 2500 years ago. So on one side the Campidoglio and vittoriano wonderful buildings stand tall. On the other side you can enjoy a view of the Forum up to the Colosseum and the Oppio hill. It’s just a magic environment to a fantastic journey to the past.

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