Oh Rome, you bring me so much peace … and pizza. Variations of all sorts actually. Thin crust, extra cheesy, all the works. Despite your carbs trying to weigh me down, I have never felt lighter.

Rome has a way of romanticizing people which is why it has quickly become “honeymooner central”. This doesn’t necessarily mean everyone is on their honeymoon – it’s more like everyone feels like they are because Rome is a seductress using pizza, chianti, pasta, and Roman architecture to fully #romance you. In fact, the main attractions in Rome such as the Colosseum and Trevi Fountain are a mad rush of romanticized people running other romanticized people over with selfie sticks.

As someone who has been to Rome twice and has explored almost every nook and cranny by walking every inch of the city, here is my perspective on the most unique ways to see the city shine.

Before we jump into the most unique views of Rome, here are my three rules of thumb as a tourist in Rome:

Rule #1If you are capable WALK EVERYWHERE. When I travel I’m an advocate of walk until you drop and Rome is the most walkable city. This way, you don’t miss one cobblestoned alley or hidden piece of street art.

Rule #2: Eat ALL the gelato you can along the way without getting physically sick. Best gelato in Rome? Frigidarium without a doubt.

Rule #3: Wake up early and head out by 6am to get to the main must-see outdoor attractions before all the other tourists come rushing in at around 8am (ex- Trevi Fountain).

I would actually spend your first couple days in Rome waking up early to see the ruins and famous sites so that you can spend the rest of your time wandering the streets and eating and drinking your way through Rome #italianstyle.

This leads me to the 5 uniquely beautiful ways to see Rome:


 1. Visit Vatican City’s St Peters Square at Sunrise (arrival around ~5:30am depending on time of year)

There is so much beauty in Vatican City from the architecture of St Stephens Basilica, to the Egyptian obelisk, and morning events happening in St Peters Square. However, usually this beauty is hard to see when there are thousands of people in the way. When we arrived at sunrise we saw the nuns and monks getting ready for the day and there was not one, literally not ONE tourist in site. The sun rose above us in a way that shined such a bright light on the basilica and it was picture perfect.

So now here is a super cheesy photo of me and my husband trying to be roman romantics at 6am:

Photo by @LauraJaneHaver

Here is what the sunrise looked like on our walk into Vatican City:

Photo by @LauraJaneHaver

If you show up after 7:30am you will be pushed over by a formation of people no doubt.

Side Note- The Vatican is the most popular museum of all and home to Michaelangelos Sistine Chapel. If you want to go inside you need to buy tickets in advance and wait in a pretty long line or join a tour group (entry begins at 8:30am).

2. Go to Hotel Raphael in Ponte before sunset for the best panoramic city views Rome has to offer

This hotel rooftop has insane city views that become a real-life watercolor when you watch the sun come down. The best times are always when the sun is rising or setting right?!

The menu prices here are a bit steep but I recommend ordering a glass of wine or cocktail for the sunset show (or a bottle of wine to share- just sayin’)! After sunset explore Piazza Navona nearby.

                                                                     Photo by @LauraJaneHaver

3. Get lost in Trastevere

The neighborhood of Trastevere is one of my favorite neighborhoods in Rome located on the other side of the River Tiber south of Vatican City. Trastevere is iconic Italy: cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, homemade style family cafes, and unique street art. You can find the most authentic restaurants here alongside many trendy establishments and cocktail bars.

Check out Taverna Trilussa for pasta or Dar Poeta for incredible pizza because those stood out as my favorite meals in Rome.

I personally loved spending hours finding the most authentic and picturesque alleyway of Trastevere. Here I am, skipping light-as-a-feather down my very favorite Trasteveran street, after eating an entire pizza pie. I will let you do the hunt to find it…

4. Hike up to Trastevere’s Janiculum Terrace

The hike to Janiculum terrace is really pretty but pretty challenging, so if walking isn’t an option you can always take a bus. The neighborhood surrounding this peak will give you an authentic taste for residential Trastevere Rome.

You will find a gorgeous botanical garden, a few monuments including an 1895 equestrian statue, a shrine, and a Baroque fountain up top (it wouldn’t be Rome proper without those elements). Most importantly, you get INCREDIBLE endless views of the city.

Bonus! Every day at noon, a real life cannon is shot as a signal of time which started back in 1847 which is classic living-in-the-past Rome.

Photo by @LauraJaneHaver

5. Stroll around Orange Garden, Giardino degli Aranci for guess what? More panoramic city views of Rome

There is also a magic keyhole to the city…

Located on Aventine Hill, Orange Garden is named after the orange trees that grow throughout. You can stroll around looking out at Rome from different viewpoints like the view pictured below.

Where is the most unique view? When you walk to the very top of the hill there are large green doors with a small brass keyhole overlooking Rome. When you look through the keyhole, you will see a perfectly framed St Peters Basilica. It’s like magic. You know my 3rd rule of thumb on waking up early to see the main attractions? This is one of them, so hike up at sunrise to avoid the line of eyeballs waiting to peep through that keyhole.

Photo by @LauraJaneHaver

Hope you are ready to be totally romanced by Rome.

Keep your eye out for more Italy inspired blogs coming from yours truly; here is me at the Trevi Fountain at 6:30am… Rule 3 for the win.

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