Rome is a city without equal only by entering the streets, squares and alleys of the 22 districts of the historic center (including 20 within the Aurelian walls and 2 outside the walls) you can feel its greatness. But, if you really want to understand how majestic the eternal city is, then we suggest you to reach the most panoramic ‘belvedere’ (viewpoints) of the capital where you can hold, in a single glance, the magic of Rome!
Among these, we recommend without doubt the viewpoint of the Gianicolo where you can enjoy a spectacular view: the hill is located between the Vatican and Trastevere neighborhoods, on the right side of the Tiber and allows a view of some historic churches and the main monuments of Rome. In clear day, your gaze will come to see even the Colli Albani, a series of volcanic reliefs in the south-east of the city. We suggest to plan the visit to the Gianicolo at noon to watch the cannon firing (a “105/22 Mod.”), a daily event that began in 1847 for the will of Pope Pius IX to unify the bells of all the churches at 12.
Another breathtaking viewpoint is from the Terrazza del Pincio. We recommend to get there at sunset for a guaranteed show! You can access it both from the Trinità dei Monti steps and from Piazza del Popolo. There are no words to describe the magnificent views of the main baroque architecture of Rome! If you start from the Trinità dei Monti steps, continue towards Villa Borghese, taking the descent that leads to Piazza del Popolo (and vice versa).
The entire route will allow you to admire from above also the Barcaccia of Pietro Bernini, a stretch of Via Condotti, the majestic St. Peter’s Basilica on background and Piazza del Popolo, with the twin churches (Santa Maria in Montesanto and Santa Maria dei Miracoli) and the Flaminio obelisk!
To the most romantic people we highly recommend a nightly visit to the Zodiac of Monte Mario! The Roman lovers, to conclude a romantic evening, drove up the hairpin bends of the panoramic road, parked and walked the “Vialetto degli Innamorati” (Avenue of Lovers) to reach the belvedere, hug and kiss in front of an illuminated Rome that cradles them lovingly in the moonlight … From here, you have a beautiful view of the city and the Roman Castles!
Another striking viewpoint is the belvedere of the “Orange Garden” (Giardino degli Aranci all’Aventino, also known as Parco Savello), one of the most elegant residential districts of the capital. The park is so called because populated by many bitter orange trees where your gaze can range from the loops of the Tiber up to the Dome of St. Peter Basilica. It is open to the public from 7 to 18, but if you arrive late, don’t despair! In fact, going beyond the Orange Garden, reach Piazza Cavalieri di Malta, in front of Villa del the homonymous Priory where you can admire a new and exciting perspective view of the “Cupolone” (as the Romans call the St. Peter’s Dome) from the keyhole of the huge door! However, be patient: there will certainly be a row, but it will be worth it, guaranteed!
Of course, breathtaking views are also possible from many historic buildings, like the one from the St. Peter’s Basilica! You can access the Dome with an elevator up to the level of the terrace (then you have to climb 320 steps) or launch yourself in the climb of 537 steps that make up the beautiful spiral staircase called Lumaca di Sant’Andrea (“Snail of Sant’Andrea”): we did it!. Obviously the effort and the breath away will be rewarded by a magnificent view of the colonnade, Via della Conciliazione and, in the background Castel Sant’Angelo, the Tiber and the whole city at 360 degrees!
Also the Terrace of Castel Sant’Angelo will allow you a particular glimpse: in addition to the visuals on the inside of the Castle, you can photograph the baroque Ponte Sant’Angelo with the ten imposing angels of the Bernini, the Palazzaccio (the Palace of Justice), the Quirinale, Villa Borghese, the Aventino, the Pantheon, the Gianicolo, the Campidoglio and the St. Peter’s Dome!
Obviously, we didn’t miss the view that can be enjoyed from the Terrace of Quadrighe del Vittoriano, in Piazza Venezia. It is the highest point of the city with a 360 degree view of all of Rome! The panoramic lift takes you up for about 40 meters and, once you reach the top, you will remain speechless! On the terrace there are 4 free telescopes that offer you the opportunity to get up to the sea!
Rome will show you the best from all the viewpoint you will chose!
The gem: going to Via Niccolò Piccolomini, near the Via Aurelia Antica, you can experience a unique optical effect: the street ends with a belvedere on the city with St. Peter’s Basilica in the center. Following it in the direction of the Dome, you will have the sensation that it is moving away, shrinking; in the opposite direction (moving away, therefore) it will seem to you that the Dome approaches, becoming bigger and bigger. This optical illusion is due to the location of the buildings and the width of the street.
Terrace of Gianicolo: Piazzale Giuseppe Garibaldi
Terrace of the Pincio: Piazza Napoleone I
Zodiac: Viale del Parco dei Mellini, Monte Mario neighborhood
Orange Garden (Savello Park): Piazza Pietro d’Illiria
Dome of St. Peter Basilicca: St. Peter’s Square, Vatican City
Castel Sant’Angelo: Lungotevere Castello
Terrace of “Quadrighe” – Vittoriano: Piazza Venezia
original article on www.turistadimestiere.com | translation by Gigilatrottola