Most tourists get so caught up in the hustle and bustle happening at street level in Rome that they don’t realize just how completely gorgeous Roman sunsets are. There’s too much going on: too many people, too much history, too many breathtaking sights – Rome is a glorious sensory overload.
It is easy to lose yourself in the sheer majesty of the city and miss the delicate moments she has to offer. Sunset is one of those moments. If you know where to go you can get up high and watch the apricot veil drape over the city, making the ancient ruins and the Baroque buildings glow in the near ethereal light. The soft haze starts drifting upwards, as if 3000 years’ worth of souls are floating up into the evening sky.
After years of traveling to and from Rome I have learned to make sure I am somewhere fabulous at the end of the day to watch the sun set over the Eternal City.
In my book Glam Italia! 101 Fabulous Things To Do In Rome I devote an entire chapter to the 7 best places to watch the sunset in Rome.
One of them is in my neighborhood, the Trastevere.
Walk to the end of via Geofreddi Mamelli, go up the stairs through the park-like surrounds and follow the road to the Garibaldi Monument.
This is the Janiculum Hill. From the viewing points you can look out across Rome and spot every monument and building you have visited that day. You get an incredible perspective on how small the heart of Rome really is. The first time I went up here I was shocked to see how close the Monument Vittore Emanuele II (the Wedding Cake Building) and the Roman Forum are to the Pantheon.
This is my favorite place in Rome to watch the sunset, for two reasons. Firstly you are across the river (Tras-tevere) so you are looking out at Rome rather than from within Rome.
Secondly you are behind the Dome of St Peters, so rather than looking and photographing into the light you can watch the sun turn the dome into a magnificent apricot-orange ball. I don’t even know how many times I have come up here to watch it, but it has never lost any of the magic.
You don’t really see tourists up here. You will meet lots of locals, walking their dogs, going on dates, stopping to enjoy the view. The American school and the Spanish school are nearby, so sometimes you will run into college kids.
Sunset up on the Janiculum Hill is peaceful and beautiful and gives you a lovely respite from the hubbub of the busy city. On the way back down the hill there are wine bars and restaurants to stop at, or you can walk into the Trastevere itself where there are endless eateries to choose from.
The Janiculum Hill is across the river from the heart of Rome, and is an easy walk from anywhere in central Rome.
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