Visit Rome, Italy and you know to climb the Spanish steps, see St. Peter’s dome, throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain, tour the Colosseum, and wonder at the architecture of the Pantheon. But what about getting a panoramic view of the entire city at sunset?
Nice Panoramic views of Rome
1 – St. Peter’s Dome – Some people will tell you that climbing to the top of St. Peter’s will give you a wonderful panoramic view, and it will, but that view is mostly of the Vatican. Plus the top of St. Peter’s dome is a minute circle with a mesh fence, crowded, and not somewhere you can sit for a while and admire the views. The hours for the dome climb do not extend past 6pm in the summer (5pm in the winter months) so… you won’t see the sunset from this viewpoint. So this is an option, and I do recommend it, but it isn’t the best spot in the city for a sunset, all around, panoramic view of the city.
TIPS for St. Peter’s dome – visiting St. Peter’s Basilica is free, however climbing up to the top of the dome requires a ticket. There are two options: one to climb all the way up (551 steps) or two to take a lift half way and then climb 320 steps. The lift is small and hot in the summer, but it does save time and is a nice break for your feet after walking all over the city.
2 – Janiculum Terrace – Cross the15th century pedestrian Bridge, Ponte Sisto, and climb up the hill to the Botanical Garden; at the top you will find the terrace where you get a nice view of the city. This is a nice open area, the trees offer shade, the neighborhood is nice and you will see the main downtown of Rome from here.
3 – Altare della Patria – This is the main location to go for a spectacular panoramic view of Rome. The Altare della Patria is a gigantic monument in the heart of the city. The building honors the first King of Italy, Victor Emanuele II, and was inaugurated in 1911. You can visit the Institute for the History of the Italian Risorgimento and the Central Museum of the Risorgimento. The tomb of the unknown solider is also found here. The monument stands as an imposing building, dominating the Piazza Venezia, and towering over the neighboring buildings.
And for those amazing views… go around behind the monument and into the museum where you can purchase tickets for the elevator to the top terrace. The only way to access the terrace is by elevator, no stairs; but the price is worth it. Exit the museum and continue to the back of the monument where there is a glass elevator. The terrace at the top of the Altare della Patria brings you up to the statues of the winged victory and horse chariots. The views extend all over Rome, you can see St. Peter’s dome, the Colosseum, the Roman forum, and even the mountains in the distance. The terrace is large enough that you will not feel crowded and it is open until 7pm.
Ticket prices: 7 euros for adults and 3.50 euros for kids/seniors (prices as of June 2018)
So when in Rome, make sure you go to the Altare della Patria terrace for the best panoramic view of the city!