The Best in Rome
Rome's Hotel Terraces: A ROOF WITH A VIEW
Rome is a breathtakingly photogenic city. Its rooftop bars and restaurants — most of them atop luxury hotels — offer panaromic views of a sprawling cityscape that reaches beyond the impenetrable green of the Borghese Gardens, to an arc of uninterrupted vistas dominated by the ruins of imperial Rome and the monumental architecture of recent centuries. The best time to enjoy it is at sunset, after a gloriously bright day, when the sky seems to be illuminated from behind a deep blue scrim. Relax, have a glass of wine, and be glad you've found paradise.
Circus Restaurant at the 47 Hotel
This panoramic terrace has a unique view of Rome, from the Aventine hill to the Capitoline, and Tiber river. It's magical at sunset, when you can watch the lights come on, illuminating the ancient monuments. Four emerging artists have been commissioned to create murals that adorn the walls. The cuisine is Mediterranean with an emphasis on zero kilometer ingredients, seasonal fruits and vegetables grown just outside Rome in the Lazio countryside.
Open daily for cocktails, lunch and dinner.
Via Petroselli 47 tel 06 678 7816 www.fortysevenhotel.com
Bella Vista at the Sofitel Villa Borghese
On a quiet street just steps from the hustle and bustle of the Via Veneto, this wrap-around terrace atop the former palazzo of the Ludovisi-Boncompagni family, boasts the most breathtaking views you'll find anywhere in Rome, looking over the Villa Borghese and beyond. It's beautifully decorated with comfortable seating and an expanded bar menu, featuring a nice wine selection, malt whiskeys, iced teas. Best of all, it's open from morning till night, making it a perfect place for a late morning coffee, light lunch, an apperitivo or an after-dinner drink. The chef prides himself on his morning pastries, original cocktails, smoothies, desserts and snacks menu. During the summer months, they offer happy hours, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 6 -9 pm, serving wine, prosecco and antipasti.
Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese, Via Lombardia 47, open 10 am - midnight tel 06 478021
You’ll take the elevator to the top floor, wind through the hallway and then walk up two flights of steps to reach this rooftop bar and restaurant, but it’s well worth the effort. In a quiet, leafy haven just behind Piazza Navona, the Raphael has catered to visiting journalists, filmmakers and artists for decades. In recent years its chic appeal has been supplanted by newer hotels, but it remains one of the great locations in Rome.
From the roof you are virtually at eye level with the great dome of the Chiesa Santa Maria della Pace and you can lean over and look straight down into the center of Bramante’s magnificent cloister. In the distance you can see the angel atop the Castel Sant’Angelo and the twin horsemen who seem to fly over the Piazza Venezia. The cuisine is unremarkable but the view is breathtaking. Stop by for a morning coffee or catch the sunset over a drink from the extensive bar list.
Largo Febo 2 tel. 06.682.031 (Piazza Navona)
Virtually overlooking the ancient Imperial Forum, the roof garden of this four-star hotel offers some of the most stunning views of Rome. From the terrace you can look down into the Forum itself, which is magically lit at night, and across the rooftops to the Piazza Venezia. The restaurant, which offers a more than respectable Italian cuisine, is a great place for a celebratory dinner. And the bar is open for cocktails and light snacks.
Via Tor de' Conti, 25-30 tel. 39 06 6792446 (Fori Imperiali)
Hotel Splendide Royal
One of Rome's most beautiful rooftop terraces is on the top floor of this recently renovated luxury hotel, which overlooks the Borghese Gardens. The Mirabelle Restaurant is elegant but expensive. You can opt instead for a cocktail in the American Bar, which also has terrace seating. Either way, you'll way you'll be able to drink in the view across the Pinciana hill to the Palazzo Medici and on to the cupola of St. Peter's Basilica. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner. The American bar is open from noon till 1 am.
Via di Porta Pinciana, 14 tel. 06.421 689 (near Via Veneto)
Rome’s fabled ever-changing light is the main attraction at the Exedra’s rooftop garden terrace, overlooking the spectacular fountain of the Naiads in Piazza della Repubblica, the Diocletian’s Baths and the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli, which was designed by Michelangelo. Take morning coffee or go for a swim at the hotel’s rooftop pool, which is open to the pubic for an entry fee. The Sensus Terrace Restaurant serves lunch and dinner, with cocktail service from 11 am till 1 am.
Piazza della Repubblica, 47 tel. 06 489 381 (near the train station)
The roof of this luxury hotel offers a stupendous overview of the city looking toward Piazza Venezia on the left, outward and across to St. Peter's and the towers of the Trinità del Monti, which are just below the hotel. La Terrazza piano bar is open every evening until 1 a.m.; La Terrazza restaurant (with one Michelin star) is open for lunch and dinner.
Via Ludovisi, 49 tel 06.478 121 (near Via Veneto)
At the end of a hectic day, we love to unwind at the roof garden bar of this historic luxury hotel. The service is more than friendly, the drinks are prepared with care, the pianist plays a varied repertoire, there’s always an interesting conversation going on at the next table, and the view of Rome's spires and domes, stretching towards the Piazza Venezia, is simply magnificent.
Piazza della Minerva, 69 tel.06.695 201 (Pantheon)
Hotel Atlante Star
The rooftop terrace of this small four-star hotel is the best place to see the panorama of St. Peter’s and the Vatican. The view of is unobstructed, 360 degrees including the river, the Castel Sant’Angelo and the fabled tile rooftops. To reach the terrace, you can enter from a separate door without having to go through the hotel lobby. There’s a formal restaurant, Les Etoiles, serving lunch and dinner, and an informal bar, La Terraza Paradiso, which is open from 8 am to 2 am serving coffee, drinks and light food. The view at night is especially dramatic, with St. Peter’s dome lit up in all its glory.
Via G.Vitelleschi 34 tel. 06.687 3233
Hotel dei Gladiatori
Just across from the Colisseum, this small rooftop lounge offers a view that reaches straight up the Via dei Fori Imperiali to the winged horsemen atop the Vittoriana at the Piazza Venezia. To your right, you’ll see the gardens of the Colle Oppio and the Domus Aurea, the Colisseum looms to your left and in the distance, the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica. Lunch menu, snacks, coffee, wine and cocktails. Lovely at sunset, or after dark when the monuments are stunningly lit.
Via Labicana 125 tel. 06.775 91380
In Rome Now Travel Guide: Rome, Italy Hotel Accomodations