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Since Rome is a city built on many hills, there are many advantageous spots to get a beautiful view of the city. Traditionally, the Janiculum Hill (above Trastevere) has the most desirable panorama day or night, which overlooks the entire city from the west. For a view from another country, climb the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica (in Vatican City), and you will have prime perspective on Rome’s historic center.
Closer to the city, the rooftop terrace at Castel Sant’Angelo has a front row view of Rome’s rooftops while the Terrazza delle Quadrighe in the very center of the city (at the monument to Victor Emanuel) looks forward into contemporary city and also back in time to the Roman Forum. For a slightly more expensive view, book a reservation at the Cavalieri’s restaurant La Pergola, on the Montemario hill to the north of the city. There is nothing quite like watching the Eternal City glitter at your feet while having a three-star dinner.
Hotels The First Art Hotel and Grand Hotel de la Minerve also have spectacular views of Rome from their rooftop gardens. Though not quite as all encompassing, there is nothing quite like watching the sunset drench the rooftops of Rome with a delicious beverage in hand.
Counting on hills and strategic terraces, Rome offers its residents and visitors multiple panoramic viewpoints scattered all around its territory.
Among the most popular places where you can get stunning views of the city is the Janiculum Hill, near Trastevere. Here you can climb up to its terrace and little by little a gorgeous panorama embracing all main monuments and churches will unfold before your eyes.
For as beautiful as it can be, however, this is not the only place where you can get great views. Thankfully so, since Rome is packed with gorgeous sights, mouments and attractions to be gaped at and photographed.
Another spot where locals like to indulge and proudly admire their city is Monte Mario, Rome's tallest hill, located behind the Foro Italico. On top is a terrace called Zodiaco, where you can stare at a wonderful scenery and also visit the astronomic observatory, for which a previous request is needed.
In the very city center, just above Piazza Venezia, on top of the Vittoriano complex is a terrace that offers a great view on the Foro Romano on one side and Saint Peter's Basilica on the other. Go there after visiting one of the many free exhibitions the Vittoriano always hosts.
At Villa Borghese, one of Rome's most famous parks, right above Piazza del Popolo is the Pincio's large terrace, from where you can enjoy a view on the beautiful square and on the city, very romantic during sunset, the perfect way to round off a day spent in this green oasis.
On the Aventino Hill, also downtown not far from the Campidoglio, is Giardino degli Aranci, the Garden of the Oranges, from where you can take a great picture of the Tevere River and many of the city's famed landmarks while enjoying the sweet fragrance of the oranges hanging from the trees.
A wonderful view on the Tevere River can also be enjoyed from the terrace of Castel Sant'Angelo, intriguing monument at the other end of Via della Conciliazione from Saint Peter's Basilica, that covered the most diverse range of roles throughout the centuries, from mausoleum to prison to Renaissance manor, while from the Quirinale terrace you have great views on Ancient Rome's cityscape, to be enjoyed maybe after an exhibition at the Scuderie.