5 Rooftop Bar Alternatives in Rome

While an evening at a rooftop bar in Rome sounds idyllic, there are a few downsides. For the best-known spots, you’ll have to book – sometimes well in advance, which means a spontaneous drink is out of the question.

And of course, stating the obvious, these are not private terraces. You’ll be sharing the space with other drinkers and diners, some of whom may have grabbed the best table (and blocked your view).

Here are our suggestions for alternatives to rooftop bars in Rome.

© Le Terrazze Castel Sant’Angelo

Le Terrazze Castel Sant’Angelo: A hidden gem on top of an ancient monument

Yes, that Castel Sant’Angelo – the imposing, fortress-like monument on the river, not far from the Vatican. It’s a museum and a historic landmark, but that’s not all.

Many people – even those who have lived in Rome their entire lives – are unaware that there’s a wonderful bar and restaurant at the top of Castel Sant’Angelo. While the term “hidden gem” has become a little overused, in this case, it seems entirely appropriate.

Where else can you have a drink in a place that was once a papal residence, and the mausoleum of a Roman emperor? Quite literally, nowhere else…

And as you can imagine, the views are truly breathtaking. Castel Sant’Angelo is in one of the most scenic parts of Rome, right on the Tiber River, and just down the road from St Peter’s Basilica.

Something to keep in mind is that the Castel Sant’Angelo bar is connected to the museum. That means you’ll have to buy a ticket to access the bar, and that the bar closes just before the museum, at 7pm. 

So, this is a place for a pre-dinner drink only. But what an aperitivo…

Terrace Suite Navona: A dreamy rooftop terrace in Rome’s historic center

Terrace Suite Navona is one of TreasureRome’s premium apartments, located just steps away from Piazza Navona. While the interior feels contemporary, the moment you step outside you’re immersed in Roman history. 

The apartment’s large rooftop terrace overlooks Chiesa Nuova; although the name literally translates as “new church,” it’s actually a Baroque building dating back to the 16th century. You’ll also spot many other Roman landmarks from the two terraces, which are ideal for enjoying an atmospheric aperitivo.

One of the main draws of Terrace Suite Navona is its modern, fully-equipped kitchen. If you’re in the mood for a BBQ, there’s also a Green Egg on the terrace. All in all, this lovely apartment is the ideal base for comfortable self-catering, with all the space and equipment you need. 

Simply stock up in the nearby shops, then get set for an unforgettable rooftop meal in the heart of historic Rome.

Alternatively, for an even more relaxing evening, ask your concierge for assistance. For the luxurious combination of a secluded setting and professional catering, you could even hire a private chef for the night.

Aperitivo on the Aventine: A picnic in one of Rome’s most beautiful parks 

There’s another way to combine an alfresco aperitivo with panoramic views – bring a bottle to one of Rome’s hilltop parks.

While the Pincio (above Piazza del Popolo) is a tempting option, our vote goes to the Giardino degli Aranci.

The orange garden on the Aventine Hill is undoubtedly one of the most romantic spots in Rome. A path lined by elegant umbrella pines leads to a large terrace overlooking the Tiber River. 

And while it’s the dome of St Peter’s that first grabs your attention, there’s plenty more to see in this Roman panorama. From the Aventine terrace it feels like you can look out across the entire city, making a game of spotting all the famous monuments.

There are no bars or cafes in the park, but there’s the grass, of course, and plenty of benches.

If you don’t mind a more informal arrangement, you can bring your own drinks and food to the Giardino degli Aranci. Stock up in the nearby neighborhood of Testaccio or in the shops on Viale Aventino, which runs along the bottom of the hill.

In case you’re wondering – at the time of writing, it’s legal to consume alcohol in public places in Rome. However, the rules occasionally change, particularly during summer months. If in doubt, check with your concierge.

Another option is to separate the two activities. First, wander up the Aventine and enjoy the views from the Giardino degli Aranci. Then head back down the hill, and find a bar where you can sit comfortably for your aperitivo. 

There are plenty of options in the Testaccio neighborhood, including Volpetti and Vinificio, while Viale Aventino is also lined with pleasant bars and restaurants such as Aventina.

The Terraces at the Capitoline: A highly luxurious private rooftop

Roman terraces don’t get better than this – your own private rooftop in the heart of the historic center.

The Terraces at the Capitoline is a spacious luxury apartment overlooking the Capitoline Hill. As a guest, you’ll have access to several private terraces, which have the most spectacular views of the city.

These terraces offer everything that rooftop bars lack – privacy, comfort, flexibility, and unobstructed access to the best views. You can wander up for a drink whenever you feel like it, and have the place all to yourself.

But if you prefer to be taken care of, you can always rely on your concierge. In addition, the Beyond Collection offers the bespoke experience “Aperitivo Hour on the Terrace,” where everything is organized for you.

You can simply sit back and relax with a glass of wine, as you gaze at the most exclusive panorama in Rome.

© Turismo Roma

The Fontanone: A secret balcony inside a monumental fountain

After the Trevi, this is perhaps the most magnificent fountain in Rome. Located on the Gianicolo Hill, most Romans know it as the Fontanone (“big fountain”), though its official name is the Fontana dell’Acqua Paola. 

You may recognize it from the memorable opening scene of Paolo Sorrentino’s Oscar-winning film La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty). Or, even if you haven’t yet seen the fountain up close in Rome, you may have seen it from afar – an evocative monument high on the hill.

Now, you may be wondering – what does this fountain have to do with rooftop drinks?

The fountain doesn’t have a roof exactly, or a bar or restaurant. Instead, it has one of Rome’s best-kept secrets – a hidden balcony.

In the central arch of the monument, above the water, is a breathtaking balcony that allows you to stand inside the fountain. It’s a truly unique viewpoint. You can stand here, admiring the Roman skyline, then lower your gaze to see the water flowing down, into the vast basin of the fountain.

As you might imagine, the Fontanone is not normally open to the public, making the prospect of a visit even more tantalizing. 

Still, if you’re interested in sipping a drink on this particular balcony, we might just be able to make it happen. Speak to your concierge about the possibility of a private visit, so you can experience the most unique aperitivo in Rome.

Live Like Caesar – The Modern Emperor’s Roman Retreat

Imagine a Roman emperor – Julius Caesar…Augustus…Nero…take your pick!

Now, imagine that one of these emperors was alive today, looking for a home away from home.

Where would he stay? What kind of place would he choose as a base?

A notoriously extravagant ruler like Nero or Caligula would demand the best of the best – a huge space that’s lavishly decorated.

Someone more serious like Hadrian or Marcus Aurelius might want a quiet, secluded place where they can work and study undisturbed.

Then there are qualities that any emperor would look for, such as a central, strategic location, with easy access to the city.

Luckily, we’ve got just the property – a home fit for an emperor…or anyone else who needs to work while in Rome.

It’s a luxurious apartment in the heart of the city – The Terraces at the Capitoline.

The Perfect Location

One of the main draws is the central location.

A Roman emperor would want to be in the middle of it all, within reach of all the most important places in the city, from temples to town squares. Perhaps they’d like to watch a triumphal procession in the Roman Forum, or pay a visit to their other residence – a palace on the Palatine Hill.

The Terraces is perfectly located. It’s right in the center of Rome, on the edge of Piazza Venezia. Just as all roads lead to Rome, it could be said that all roads in Rome lead to Piazza Venezia – the bustling center of the Eternal City.

Nearby, just a five-minute walk away, is the Roman Forum – the center of daily life in ancient Rome, and the location of several important government buildings.

In addition, just across the road from the Terraces apartment are two sweeping flights of steps – one leading to the 6th-century Basilica of Santa Maria in Ara Coeli, and the other to the top of the Capitoline Hill.

The Capitoline was the site of the most important temple in ancient Rome – the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus. Today, it’s home to one of the city’s best collections of ancient art (the Capitoline Museums), as well as the mayor’s office.

In other words, the Capitoline has always been a place of power and culture. And it’s right there, on the emperor’s doorstep.

A Sense of History

Perhaps some emperors would be drawn to something modern – a flashy new five-star hotel. But on the whole, Roman leaders valued the past.

They were very much aware of their ancestry, and the city’s ancient history, starting with the myth of Romulus and Remus.

For instance, the emperor Augustus was famously a fan of Virgil’s Aeneid. This epic poem tells the story of the hero Aeneas, the mythological founder of Rome. Emperors liked to think of themselves as part of an ancient dynasty, and part of Roman history.

That’s another reason why our emperor would feel right at home at the Terraces. There aren’t many modern touches (apart from conveniences like air conditioning and wi-fi). Instead, they’re surrounded by reminders of the past – a real sense of history.

In addition to the historical sites nearby, from the Capitoline Hill to the Colosseum, there’s also the story of the apartment itself.

The Terraces occupies the top floors of a Baroque palace, and the apartment has a long and fascinating history.

It once belonged to one of Rome’s most famous noble families, the Colonnas. This family played an important role in Roman history, with members including the medieval pope Martin V, as well as other church and political leaders.

For centuries, the Terraces has represented power and privilege. What better base for an emperor?

A Palatial Space

Our emperor would most likely look for somewhere that’s both spacious and secluded… not to mention luxurious. There aren’t many hotel rooms that would fit the bill, but the Terraces is perfect.

Considering that it’s a city center apartment, it’s remarkably spacious. Multiple rooms and terraces are spread out over three floors, making it ideal for entertaining. Whether the emperor is hosting banquets or meeting with other leaders, there’s a space for every occasion. In fact, there’s even a watchtower, built in the 19th century by Duke Mario Massimo as his very own personal astronomical observatory

The apartment is also bound to impress, with its spectacular views across the city, as well as its beautiful interior design and furnishings.

Emperors always wanted to make a good impression, showing off their wealth and taste. Just think of Nero’s palace, the Domus Aurea. Decorated with gold leaf and mosaics, the palace also boasted an octagonal dining room with a revolving ceiling and a 35-meter-high bronze statue of the emperor.

Admittedly, the Terraces isn’t quite that opulent. But it’s still luxurious enough to satisfy the refined tastes of an emperor.

The apartment is decorated with marbles, hand-painted frescoes, and the most beautiful antique furnishings. In the dining room is a replica of a table once owned by King Louis XVI of France, while the living room displays an elegant piece of antique furniture from Japan.

Of course, these are all details that the emperor would appreciate himself. But even more importantly, perhaps, he would enjoy dazzling his guests…

Looked After in Luxury

So, we’ve found a spacious apartment that’s conveniently located, steeped in history, and beautifully decorated and furnished. It seems like the perfect place for an emperor.

But before the handover of the keys, there’s still one more factor to consider – services.

Our emperor is a busy man, whether he’s rushing around Rome or working from home, overseeing his empire. He could do with some help, and he undoubtedly likes the feeling of being looked after, or even pampered.

Fortunately, the Terraces can offer all this as well. Another standout feature of the apartment is the incredible quality of the services and amenities.

As well as the daily breakfast and housekeeping services, the emperor can enjoy the assistance of his concierge, both before and during his stay at the Terraces. There’s no need to worry about getting opera tickets or booking tables at Michelin restaurants – the concierge will take care of it all.

With dedicated staff to look after him, the emperor can make the most of his time in Rome. Maybe he’ll try one of the bespoke services on offer, such as a guided run through the city center.

Or perhaps he’ll simply relax on the terrace with a glass of wine, enjoying the view as he gazes out over the city – his city.

Your Turn for an Imperial Experience

If you fancy living like a Roman emperor, it’s your turn to try the Terraces. It truly is the perfect base – a place where you can combine work and leisure on your next trip to Rome.

Click here to read more about the Terraces at the Capitoline or contact us for rates.

5 Best Michelin-Starred Restaurants in Rome – and One About to Be

You certainly won’t go hungry in Rome. Even the most ordinary-looking trattoria will serve up a delicious plate of pasta, and sometimes a simple slice of takeaway pizza can be satisfying enough.

But if you’re looking for something more – a meal that’s truly memorable – we recommend booking a table at a Michelin star restaurant. There are currently 17 in Rome, which means there’s probably one just round the corner from your apartment.

To qualify for a Michelin star, a restaurant has to offer something outstanding – not only high-quality ingredients, but also mastery of cooking techniques.

So, if you’re a food-lover looking to make the most of your Roman holiday, an evening at a Michelin restaurant is a must.

These are our recommendations for the best of the best. If you’re staying at one of our apartments, make sure you ask your concierge to book a table well in advance!

© La Pergola

The Most Famous – La Pergola

La Pergola at the Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria is perhaps the most renowned restaurant in Rome.

By Michelin standards, it’s the best, as it’s currently the city’s only three-star restaurant. Run by Heinz Beck, one of the most renowned chefs in fine dining, it’s famous for its creative cuisine.

Dishes include “venison loin with spiced spelt, tubers, chamomile milk cream emulsion” and “char, razor clam milk and black elderberry powder” – like nothing you’ve ever tasted.

The wine cellar is another draw – around 60,000 bottles – while the terrace offers spectacular views across Rome.

A restaurant for a very special occasion, where a 10-course tasting menu with a wine pairing costs around €600 per person.

© Il Pagliaccio

Most Creative – Il Pagliaccio

Located in the heart of Rome’s historic center, Il Pagliaccio is run by the celebrated chef Anthony Genovese. It’s known for its tasty, innovative dishes, blending Mediterranean cuisine with Asian influences.

The 14-course tasting menu “Parallels Experience” features quirky dishes such as “Movements, Flows and Flavors,” (eggnog, cauliflower and caviar) and “Eel Hunting” (hazelnuts, cheese and citrus fruits). The concept here is food as theatre – the first dish is named “The curtain,” and the last “The last act.”

The wine is also intended to be part of the performance. There’s an impressive wine list, and pairings are carefully curated to add to the experience. 

© Acquolina

Best Seafood – Acquolina

Under the helm of chef Daniele Lippi, Acquolina was recently awarded its second Michelin star.

It’s perhaps the best seafood restaurant in Rome, not just for the exceptional quality and freshness of the food, but also for its creativity.

Inventive dishes include cacio e pepe with a fishy twist, and blue lobster with Marsala wine and tarragon.

One of the two tasting menus, “Anabasi Catabasi,” takes inspiration from history and ancient traditions. It includes a version of garum (a fish condiment used across the Mediterranean in ancient times), and red prawn with fermented ewe milk.

Acquolina also has an excellent wine list, and special signature cocktails such as Costa Merlata (vodka, tomato and fermented anchovy).

© Aroma

Most Amazing View – Aroma

Aroma would be worth a visit for the view alone – the Colosseum is right there, in front of your table. While you dine on the terrace you have an unobstructed view of the monument in all its glory, just across the street.

And the food is just as special. There are several wonderful tasting menus, including a vegetarian option (not always easy to find in Rome). Aroma also offers a twist on the traditional Roman carbonara – the “shaken” carbonara, which recently went viral.

Blending tradition and innovation and boasting a stunning view of the Colosseum, this may well be the ultimate Michelin-starred restaurant in Rome. Our Colosseum Penthouse is also mere steps away and offers its own spectacular (and private) views of the world’s most majestic monument.

© Orma

Best Design – Orma

Tucked away in one of the most elegant neighbourhoods in Rome, close to Villa Borghese, you’ll find Rome’s newest Michelin-star restaurant. Just several months after opening, Orma was added to the Michelin guide for 2024.

The interior is refreshingly contemporary, with natural shades and materials, and a space designed to make the most of natural light. The concept here is architettura sensoriale, or “sensory architecture.”

In other words, this is a restaurant where the design contributes to the dining experience, making it even more special.

The food is an intriguing mix of Italian cuisine with some more exotic influences. One tasting menu begins with endive, plantain and truffle, followed by chawanmushi (a savoury egg custard dish) with coconut and shellfish.

All in all, Orma is an excellent option if you’re looking for something a bit different – innovative fine dining in a stylish setting.

© Ineo/Hotel Anantara Palazzo Naiadi

The Next Michelin Restaurant? – Ineo

Ineo doesn’t have a Michelin star yet. But in our opinion, it’s just a matter of time. Head chef Heros De Agostinis was mentored by La Pergola’s Heinz Beck, and he’s worked in numerous Michelin-star restaurants.

He’s now in charge of Ineo, a luxurious restaurant located in a 5-star hotel in Piazza della Republica. Here, you’ll find a range of intriguing dishes that reflect De Agostinis’s international tastes.

For instance, veal with chicory (very Roman) comes with avocado sauce and coriander. Similarly, the most traditional of Italian dishes – risotto – is livened up with some Indonesian spice.

With its fresh approach to gourmet cuisine, Ineo is a strong contender for next year’s Michelin list.

Definitely one to watch!