The first thing everyone thinks about when they arrive in Rome is: "where can I photograph the eternal city from above?". Because yes, it's nice to photograph Rome and its buildings full of antiquity up close but also from above, to be able to admire all the monuments that make it up and have a more complete view of the city. A concrete example ... seeing the winged horses of the Altare della Patria in the sky flying in the clouds is no small feat!
So here are the 5 panoramic points of Rome that you absolutely must not miss in the eternal city.
1. Let's start with the best known, the Terrazza del Pincio; perhaps because of its position in the center of the city allows it to be accessed more easily. Located near Piazza del Popolo and above it, the terrace of the Pincio rises on the Pincio hill (from the Latin mons Pincius); it was designed in 1826 by Giuseppe Valadier who also designed the opposite square. A lookout from which you can see the city from north to south; in fact, we see the dome of San Pietro in the north, the Prati and Monte Mario district, the Janiculum hill to the north-west (we will talk about it later) and the view to the south-west towards the skyscrapers of Eur district. Access to the terrace comes from a staircase that starts from Piazza del Popolo, then allows entry into the Villa Borghese Gardens. Curious is the hydro-chronometer which is located in the center of the terrace garden. It is more commonly known as the "water clock" and was designed in 1967 by Giovanni Battista Embriaco and presented at the Universal Exposition in Paris. Inserted above an islet in the center of a pond, it is supported by a small tower. A jet of water below allows movement and emits a sound created by the alternation of filling two basins. The clock works 24 hours a day so if you venture on a night walk you can enjoy its charm even in the moonlight, how wonderful!
2. We continue our tour on the hills and panoramic points of Rome with the Belvedere dello Zodiaco. Experience to do especially in the evening, when the lights come on (seeing Rome illuminated takes your breath away, for sure!). Add a little romance to the lights and if you want to impress the person you like, I'd say you're in the right place. The zodiac, also known as Vialetto degli Innamorati, is the romantic place par excellence; who hasn't been with their lover at least once? The belvedere is located in the area north of Rome on the top of Monte Mario and offers a breathtaking view over most of the city starting from the Ponte Milvio area below with the Ponte della Musica.
3. For the third of Rome's scenic spots we move further east into the Janiculum area. Here in summer it's a party every day. As soon as the school ends, young people find themselves having a cool drink here, enjoying the breathtaking view. The belvedere allows you to have a view over the whole city, from the Altare della Patria with its winged horses to the perfect view of the Colli Albani and Monti Tiburtini neighborhood. The monument to Giuseppe Garibaldi is characteristic of the Piazza del Gianicolo; an imposing equestrian statue located at the highest point of the hill. It was built by Emilio Gallori and was inaugurated on September 20, 1895, on the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the capture of Rome.
4. The fourth of the scenic spots in Rome is the Giardino degli Aranci, located near the Colosseum and more precisely the Circus Maximus. From there starts an uphill road that will take you to one of the wonders of Rome; a garden not always known or highlighted in the maps, one of those places that a tourist knows only if he is well informed or if some local shows it to him. If you come to Rome in spring, before arriving at the belvedere, you will pass through the Rose Garden: an enchanting garden cared for to perfection full of roses of all colors and types. Located on the Ripa hill, on Mount Aventino, Il Giardino degli Aranci owes its name to the numerous bitter orange trees found inside; also called "Parco Savello" in memory of the ancient fort erected by the Savelli family between 1285 and 1287. The atmosphere there is decidedly dreamlike, several street musicians play their songs in the hottest periods amid the smell of pine nuts and kisses of lovers.
5. We are at the end of this tour among the panoramic points of Rome, the last stop not to be missed is Via Piccolomini. Have you got a car? If the answer is yes, excellent! If the answer is no, you absolutely must find a passage to go to this wonderful place. Navigator in hand and set it on Via Piccolomini. The peculiarity of this point lies in an optical effect, beauty lies in speed combined with the perspective that is created. At the beginning it may seem like a simple tree-lined avenue that takes you from the center to the junction; but if you have a good guide you will discover that it is not only this. The perspective means that the further you go away with the car, the bigger the dome becomes and the closer you get the smaller it gets back to the normal size! How is it possible you are wondering ?! It is an optical effect in which the buildings around play a fundamental role; in fact they frame the whole street, except at the end of the belvedere. The dome, 136m high, after passing the buildings, remains alone with "the sky of Rome" as various songs recite and returns to its normal size. It may seem strange, but trust me when you see this place with your own eyes you will understand why it is so special!
I hope that these viewpoints of Rome will make you appreciate Rome and its wonders even more, you can discover two beautiful neighborhoods of the city also through our Ghetto + Trastevere quiz tour, we are waiting for you!
Written by Denise Ticozzi.
A special thank for photographs to Matteo Torre (Terrazzo del Pincio, Gianicolo and Giardino degli aranci picture on the right) and to Morris Paganotti for the photo of Giardino degli Aranci (on the left).