There’s nowhere quite like the Eternal City at sunset. Seeing the sunset in Rome is always a magical experience, and whether you are with your better half on a romantic getaway, traveling with friends or family, or simply looking for a prime photo opportunity, you will be treated to incredible views that will make for even better memories.
Much like in other places in the world, the light changes in the Italian capital throughout the year, and the views of the sunset in Rome may vary depending on the season, even if you go to the same sunset spot every time.
You really should not miss out on the chance of seeing Rome at the golden hour. If you don’t know where to go for the best sunset views, don’t worry. I am a Rome expert and in this post I am going to share all the best sunset spots in Rome.
Make sure to also read my post Where To Get The Best Views Of Rome.
Where To See The Sunset In Rome
Also known as Giardino degli Aranci, the Orange Garden can be found on the Aventine Hill. It’s a green space that attracts visitors with its romantic setting, and it’s probably the most popular sunset spot in Rome.
Part of the Parco Sevello, this public space was designed by Raffaele de Vico in 1932, who created a belvedere (viewpoint). However, where the bitter orange trees came from is up for debate.
Various legends are ascribed to the oranges’ origins. One says that they were first brought here from Spain by Saint Dominic in the 12th century, while another tells of the 14th-century Saint Catherine of Siena, picking oranges and giving them to Pope Urban VI.
No matter what the story is, the Orange Garden remains one of the most places to see the sunset in Rome. Specifically, it’s from the belvedere that visitors can soak up the best views – you’ll see Rome’s skyline and St Peter’s Basilica taking center stage.
Head over to my post A Complete Guide To The Orange Garden, Rome.
One of Rome’s Seven Hills, the Aventine is far from being overly touristed. Instead, this hill is a quiet, leafy, residential area that’s layered in history. Among its tree-lined streets, you’ll find charming churches, get to explore lush gardens, and pass by aristocratic old residences.
Besides the Orange Garden, there are several amazing viewpoints scattered across the hill. One of these is the Aventine Keyhole where you can peer through a keyhole through a path of clipped hedges all the way to the dome of St Peter’s Basilica.
Another is the Rose Garden, a product of the early 20th century where an array of rose varieties are carefully cultivated across 10,000 square meters. Either of these spots would be ideal for a sunset across the roofs of the Eternal City.
Don’t forget to read my post A Guide To The Aventine Hill, Rome.
Terrazza del Gianicolo (Janiculum Terrace)
Janiculum Hill, or the Gianicolo, is the second-tallest hill in the city, but it’s not counted as one of the “traditional” Seven Hills of Rome. Atop this hill on the left bank of the Tiber, you’ll find the Parco del Gianicolo, which is also home to the Orto Botanico di Roma — the old botanical gardens tended to by the University of Rome.
It’s in this green space that you’ll find a sweeping belvedere in the form of the Gianicolo Terrace. Access to the Janiculum Terrace is actually easy via Trastevere too. It’s all uphill – you’ll be there when you find the massive Acqua Paola Fountain, one of the most impressive in town.
As the sun sinks below the horizon you will see the buildings of Rome painted orange and pink, making for a spectacular sunset spot (and one that’s popular with locals).
The Capitoline Hill is the location of the Capitoline Museums, as well as the Piazza del Campidoglio — the trapezoid-shaped public space designed by none other than Michelangelo, who was at the height of his fame at the time.
If you head around the rear of the Palazzo Senatorio, which faces the Piazza del Campidoglio, you’ll instead have a view over the Roman Forum and the Colosseum, which looks particularly wonderful come sunset.
Also known as the Altar of the Fatherland, this controversial monument was originally built in 1885 for King Victor Immanuel II of Italy. Sometimes dubbed “the Wedding Cake” by locals, the sizeable building features several museums, as well as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Via staircases, visitors can get onto the upper terrace for free. There is also a higher spot which you can get to via an elevator (but for which you have to pay) and which is the highest point of the Vittoriano. Views from here out over the city below at sunset offer a unique tangle of dark silhouettes and shadows cast across the city streets, all on a backdrop of reds and oranges.
To get elevator tickets for the upper terrace, click here.
Despite the fact that many in Rome don’t appreciate this monument, whatever controversy there is can be forgiven and forgotten once you get to see the view, as it’s quite simply impressive.
Check out my post A Guide To The Altar Of The Fatherland, Rome.
Residenza Maritti Terrace
Not all of the top views of sunset in Rome are famous. In fact, this one is much more under the radar and is actually part of a locally run guesthouse, where I happened to stay in one of my many visits to the city. This is definitely one of my favorite sunset spots in Rome!
The location of Residenza Maritti Terrace, close to the Roman Forum, offers up almost 360-degree sights including the Palatine Hill, the Colosseum, and the Piazza del Campidoglio.
The good news is that you don’t have to be a guest at Residenza Maritti Terrace to access the view. The terrace is open for anybody who wishes to come and enjoy the spectacular sunset available here – as long as you get a drink. Just make sure to contact them to enquire – send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Head over to my post The Best Hotels Near The Colosseum, Rome.
Villa Borghese is the third-largest public park in Rome. It’s a sprawling green space of clipped lawns, manicured trees, and leafy pathways, populated with statues and a mix of locals and visitors who come to stroll and relax in the park. It’s a particularly nice park to visit in the summer, as there is lots of shade and benches where you can rest (though I shall warn you, mosquitoes love to party there too).
There’s also a viewpoint here. That viewpoint is Pincio Terrace. Overlooking the Piazza del Popolo, a bustling space down below, the terrace is an ideal place to come to enjoy a long sunset. Thanks to the large park itself, you can arrive well before sundown and take an easygoing stroll before finding a good spot to admire the sun going down — and obviously, snap a few photos, too.
From the Pincio Terrace, you can see the historic center of Rome (the Centro Storico), as well as the dome of St Peter’s Basilica. You can either get to the Pincio Terrace through the Villa Borghese, or access it from stairs that lead up from Piazza del Popolo, which is at easy walking distance from the Spanish Steps and Spagna metro station.
Quirinal Hill Terrace
Known in Italian as the Quirinale, the Quirinal Hill is one of the famous Seven Hills of Rome, as well as the highest. Though it’s steeped in ancient history, today it’s most famous as being the location of the Quirinal Palace, which is the official residence of the Italian President.
And yes, it’s also a fantastic place to see a sunset in Rome, too. The best place to go for sunset on Quirinal Hill is the terrace on Piazza del Quirinale. From here, views seemingly extend for miles across the city. Alternatively, you can walk further all the way to the Trinità dei Monti church.
You should also read my post A Guide To The Quirinal Hill, Rome.
Colle Oppio (near the Colosseum)
The Oppian Hill is actually a part of the larger Esquiline Hill and is known for being home to the ruins of Emperor Nero’s notorious Domus Aurea (Golden House). These ancient ruins make up part of the Parco del Colle Oppio, a green space that’s interesting to explore during the day, but which also makes for one of the nicest sunset spots in Rome.
One of the main reasons for Colle Oppio being such a great place to see the sunset in Rome is that you get an amazing view of the Colosseum from here. Find yourself a bench before the sun sinks among the ancient ruins and enjoy the show.
You should also read my post The Nicest Gardens And Parks In Rome.
The cylindrical structure on the right bank of the River Tiber was originally constructed as a mausoleum for Emperor Hadrian in 134. It later became a fortress, was used by popes as a place of sanctuary (there’s even a hidden passage to the castle from the Vatican), and later became a prison.
The bridge connecting Castel Sant’Angelo is a sight in itself. It’s lined with statues of angels created by famed Roman architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini. But for sunset, the upper terrace of the castle itself is the place to go.
Castel Sant’Angelo is actually not free to access – but you can get tickets easily here.
From here, visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the city below, with sights to see including the Pantheon and St Peter’s Basilica.
Head over to my post A Guide To Visiting Castel Sant’Angelo Rome.
One of Rome’s famous bridges, the late 19th-century Ponte Umberto spans the River Tiber between the rioni (districts) of Ponte and Prati. With the river providing an unobstructed view of Rome’s skyline, and beautiful reflecting not only the buildings but the colors of the sky, it’s no wonder that Ponte Umberto has become a renowned sunset spot in Rome.
From this bridge, you can see the Vatican, with the curving dome of St Peter’s Basilica bulging into the sky as it turns variegated shades of pinks and purples.
Check out my post 12 Must-See Bridges In Rome.
Parco degli Acquedotti
This large park on the outskirts of the city features the remains of ancient and Renaissance-era aqueducts that run through it. Once a place where people lived in unregulated housing, today, this park has cleaned up its act and is a popular escape into nature (and history) for locals who use it to exercise and meet up for picnics with friends.
Being such a large outdoor area, the Parco degli Acquedotti allows for an almost perfectly unobstructed view of the sun setting. In this old piece of countryside, you get to see the sun set behind ancient aqueducts, which offers a unique perspective on this beautiful, lesser known part of the city.
For more information, read my post A Guide To The Parco Degli Acquedotti, Rome.