The 13 best rooftop bars in Rome

Take in views of the city from about as you eat, drink, lounge and party on the best rooftops in Rome
Photograph: Courtesy Zuma Roma
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Everyone knows the rule: you need to go at least three streets away from the main drag, to escape those pesky tourist traps and stumble across a hidden gem. But in the Eternal City, where the
 crowds can be relentless, this often feels like an impossible feat. To truly do as the Romans do, you need to go a few floors up, to live the real dolce vita in Rome. Take your pick from our insiders’ tips on where to eat, drink and even dance on the rooftops, with some of Rome’s most breathtaking views.

Best rooftops in Rome

1
Hotel Raphael, Rome
Photograph: Courtesy Hotel Raphael

Hotel Raphael

What is it? Adorned with ivy, and famous for being where Julia Roberts stayed while filming ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, this classy hotel is tucked away behind Piazza Navona. Its small-but-perfectly-formed terrace overlooks the iconic rooftops of Rome’s historic centre.
Why go? Waiters in white tie will treat you to complimentary mini sandwiches as you sip your prosecco, at this romantic, peaceful spot. Be warned, though: here a spritz is topped up with the finest French champagne, and costs an eye-watering €22. 


2
Minerva Roof Garden
Photograph: Courtesy Grand Hotel de la Minerve

Minerva Roof Garden

What is it? This exclusive rooftop bar, right next to the majestic Pantheon, specialises in martinis, with more than 16 kinds on the menu. It’s the perfect spot for a date, as no one can resist the charm of such a romantic view!

Why go? Did we mention 16 kinds of Martini?! Plus, this Vogue-worthy terrace is in the heart of Rome (so come dressed to impress). If you can bear to leave, stop to admire Bernini’s elephant statue outside the hotel, on your way home.

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3
Angelina, Rome
Photograph: Courtesy Angelina

Angelina

What is it? Built into Monte Testaccio (a ‘mountain’ made of ancient Roman olive oil amphorae) this classy restaurant boasts a prime location and serves up high-quality local produce, with a modern twist. It’s pricier than neighbouring restaurants, but oh so worth it.
Why go? Climb the steep staircase and you’ll gasp when you see the roof-garden: leafy, green, stylish and just a little bit ‘shabby chic’. Order the antipasto della casa, followed by oxtail pappardelle and pigeon, for a truly memorable feast.

4
Roof Garden Les Étoiles
Photograph: Courtesy Atlante

Roof Garden Les Étoiles

What is it? Famed for its photogenic view of St. Peter’s Basilica’s iconic dome, the 360-degree panorama from the roof terrace of Rome’s Hotel Atlante Star will take your breath away. Get your cameras at the ready (no filter needed).

Why go? Lounge around on one of their sofas, order a bellini and enjoy the complimentary finger food. This roof’s best enjoyed in the evening as the sun goes down and lights around the city begin to twinkle. Luckily, the cocktail bar is open until 1am.

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5
Rinascente view
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr Franek N

La Rinascente

What is it? A closely-guarded secret among locals! This insider secret is nestled away at the top of the shiny, new department store La Rinascente. A stone’s throw from the hustle and bustle of the Trevi fountain.
Why go? Come up here for peace and quiet, stylish sunset cocktails or dinner (the roof garden restaurant here is run by Michelin-starred chef Riccardo Di Giacinto). Just don’t tell everyone – please!

6
Hotel Capo d'Africa
Photograph: Courtesy Hotel Capo d'Africa

Hotel Capo d'Africa

What is it? Close to the Colosseum, this peaceful terrace is hidden away at the top of the Hotel d’Africa, several floors above the chaos below. It’s so pretty, you may want to stay the whole night. Which you can, for around €300.
Why go? Catch a glimpse of Rome’s most famous monument lit-up at night, while you wine and dine to your heart’s content. If you’re lucky, you might even have the place to yourselves at sunset.

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7
Radisson Blu es. Hotel
Photograph: Courtesy Radisson Blu es. Hotel, Rome

Radisson Blu

What is it? Romantic, luxurious, and deliciously Italian: this is a one-of-a-kind rooftop
With a swimming pool, two restaurants and a spa and fitness centre, it has everything you need for a relaxing day out.
Why go? The pool here is the absolute pièce de résistance. Those not staying at the 5* hotel can enjoy a dip for €65 per day, from June to September. If you’re hungry, bag a poolside table at ‘Sette’, the hotel’s fine dining restaurant.

8
Chiostro del Bramante
Photograph: Courtesy Chiostro del Bramante

Chiostro del Bramante

What is it? Although this may not constitute a traditional rooftop, the cloisters of this fifteenth century church are home to a bookshop, café and courtyard terrace bar. They boast a private view of a recently-discovered Raphael fresco.
Why go? This oasis of calm in the middle of the busy historic centre also hosts some of the best art exhibitions in town (recent names include Turner, Hokusai and Juan Mirò, to name a few).

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9
Feria at Lanificio
Photograph: Courtesy Lanificio159

Feria at Lanificio

What is it? Not one in the guidebooks (you may need to get a taxi here), this one is for the local revellers. Riviera-themed Feria runs every night of the week through the summer, until September 30.
Why go? The barbecue here is the icing on the cake, and certainly differs from the classic Roman cuisine – as does the music: DJs here play everything from roots to afrobeat. Don’t expect to see any tourists! Free entry.

10
Marco Martini, Rome
Photograph: Courtesy Marco Martini

Marco Martini Cocktail Bar

What is it? This is a local spot on the Aventino hill. The Marco Martini cocktail bar takes its name from the renowned chef at this restaurant/hotel, who at 24 years old, was awarded his first Michelin star; in 2015 he gained his second.

Why go? It’s easy to miss the leafy, luxurious lounge garden as you walk past, but the velvet sofas, Liberty-style flooring and dazzling gazebo are well worth a visit. Try the creative tasting menu, with wines to match, for €105pp.

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11
Hotel Forum
Photograph: Courtesy Hotel Forum

Hotel Forum

What is it? With a bird’s eye view of the Roman forum, this panoramic roof garden boasts one of the most exclusive locations in the city. Everyone from Jackie Kennedy to the Dalai Lama have been guests at this converted convent.
Why go? While the sunsets here are spectacular, to make the most of your visit (and avoid fellow tourists) come between 7am and 10.30am for breakfast. During the summer months, take a break from sightseeing, and try their daily lunch buffet.

12
Zuma Roma
Photograph: Courtesy Zuma Roma

Zuma

What is it? The ultra-contemporary and London-based Japanese restaurant opened in Rome in 2016. It’s location? On top of the iconic Fendi palace. Shop ‘til you drop, then make your way up to the roof terrace for unbeatable views and award-winning food.
Why go? Dreamed up by Rainer Becker, the izakaya-style sharing dishes range from sashimi to seared beef with truffle. Reasonably priced at lunchtime, expect a bigger bill and longer waiting list at dinner. You might even spot a celeb or two.

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13
Achilli at DOM
Photograph: Courtesy Stefano Delia

Achilli at DOM

What is it? This 5* achingly cool hotel rooftop is a favourite haunt among the well-dressed and well-heeled. During summer months, international visitors and Romans seek out a table here to enjoy chef Alessio Tagliaferri’s imaginative, desert-island-inspired menu.
Why go? Beautiful flowers and seasonal herbs adorn this terrace, which overlooks the lush Gianicolo hill. Speaking of lush, anyone on the lookout for eye-candy should not miss this place! A glamorous oasis in the city.

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