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.

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