There is nothing more exhilarating than walking around the busy streets of Rome – that is until you step foot outside your door and into the chaos. Scooters whizzing by, cars honking at pedestrians and people coming from every which way make the Eternal City hectic but so worth the visit. From its historical sights to its traditional cuisine, there isn’t another place quite like Italy’s capital. Luckily, there are hidden gems well above street level that allow you to take in the views while having a much more serene experience.
Rooftops are always a popular venue for cocktails and bites, and the terraces in Rome are no different. After a busy day touring, it’s imperative to unwind with an aperitivo, Italy’s version of happy hour. Sit back, relax and enjoy la dolce vita at one of these Roman rooftops.
Cielo at the Hotel de la Ville
For some of the best people-watching in the city, the Hotel de Russie’s center garden has always been the place to be. While its charm is hard to top, its sister property from Rocco Forte Hotels, Hotel de la Ville, offers visitors the same quality and excellence but also unbeatable panoramic views from above the Spanish Steps. Go for sunset and a spritz before venturing out for a meal. If you can’t get enough of the Roman skyline, stay for the perfect pasta pomodoro or one of the many signature dishes from chef Fulvio Pierangelini.
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La Pergola at the Rome Cavalieri
This three-star Michelin restaurant is worth the splurge to dine under the stars with the Eternal City’s lights twinkling below. Famed chef Heinz Beck’s attention to detail is evident in every course (you have the option of seven or 10 dishes) or go with the a la carte menu for the perfect complement to the view.
The Court at Palazzo Manfredi
The Palazzo Manfredi’s location is so close to the Colosseum that you really feel like you can reach out and touch the historical landmark from any of The Court’s rooftop tables. Once the sun goes down and the impressive structure lights up, you may find yourself gazing at it for hours wondering what life was like back then while sipping one of the innovative, futuristic cocktails created by Matteo Zed. This establishment was ranked as one of the top bars in the world and often features guest bartenders from around Italy and other countries in Europe.
Situated atop the Palazzo Fendi, this high-end Japanese eatery has views spanning down Via Condotti, Rome’s iconic shopping destination, and its adjacent area. It’s a great place to stop in to have a glass of bubbly after a busy day roaming the stores or if you find yourself needing a break from the pasta and pizza you’ve been consuming.
Otto Rooftop Bar at the W Rome
Rooftops are rare in Rome and what’s even rarer is one with a pool. The brand new W Rome, which just opened in May, gives guests panoramic views and a rooftop pool. The food offered is a range from crudo to pizza from Pier Daniele Seu as well as great cocktails. Depending on the hour and day, DJ sets provide the perfect soundtrack to the evening.
Alto Cocktail Bar at the First Musica
The newest property from Hong Kong-based The Pavilions Hotels & Resorts just opened its doors on June 30. On the sixth and seventh floors, visitors will find views as far as the eye can meet at the Alto Cocktail Bar. On theme with its name, there will be live music events and DJ sets to enjoy while indulging in their beverages and fare. Similar to another of their Rome properties, Aqua Roof at the First Roma Arte, the venues are worth visiting.
This may be a crazy idea but visiting Rome’s most fashionable department store is a must for shopping, but it may be more so for its terrace restaurant. It’s a great place to unwind and take a break from the bustling city below.
Though this is a members’ only destination, if you apply for the Soho Friends membership option, you can stay at the hotel and partake in all that Soho House Rome has to offer, including its rooftop terrace and pool. Located in the San Lorenzo neighborhood by La Sapienza, the hip vibe and décor matches its surroundings.
They say nothing in life is free, but thanks to the Belvedere del Gianicolo, we beg to disagree. High on one of Rome’s seven hills, the views are breathtaking. Pack a picnic, walk through the statues and find a spot to take in every angle of the city below.