Dining with a View in Rome 

Beautiful views of Rome can be had from some the city’s lovely rooftop bars and restaurants.  Just know that gorgeous views often come with high prices!  You’ll find that many of these places are on the top of hotels. Some are enclosed and open year round, but others are not, so it pays to call ahead – open rooftop bars may be closed over fall, winter, and early spring, and even in summer they may close if there is a danger of rain or windy weather.

0-300 Cold and Grill at the First Hotel

This open rooftop bar (open May to October, weather permitting) near Piazza del Popolo has a view of Villa Medici and the Spanish Steps to one side, and St. Peter's Basilica to another, and the rooftops of Rome all around. As the name implies, this is about either cold food or grilled food, and the menu is limited but there are enough attractive choices.

47 Hotel Restaurant Circus

An enclosed rooftop restaurant with a view “from the Aventino to the Campidoglio.” In 2014 they offered dining for Christmas Eve (65 euros), Christmas Day (50 euros), and New Year’s Eve dining and dancing (150 euros).

American Bar and Roof Garden Restaurant at the Hotel Forum

Open spring through fall (thanks to outdoor heaters), the American Bar is open for cocktails, overlooking the Imperial Forums. There’s also a restaurant one level down, open year-round for lunch or dinner (offering, among other things, a buffet lunch and vegetarian options). In 2014, the restaurant was open for Christmas Day (a la carte menu) and New Year’s Eve (300 euros excluding beverages).

Aroma at Palazzo Manfredi

Aroma, a high-end restaurant, has an extraordinary view of the Colosseum. Open for dinner year-round, you can also stop by for cocktails on the lounge bar terrace overlooking the Colle Oppio (Emperor Nero’s gardens). In 2014 the restaurant was open for Christmas Eve (200 euros) and New Year’s Eve (750 euros).

The Minerva Roof Garden at the Grand Hotel Minerva

Overlooking the Pantheon, this high-end restaurant is open for lunch and dinner year round.  Also a rooftop bar open during the summer. In 2014 the restaurant was open for Christmas Eve (85 euros), Christmas Day (80 euros), and New Year’s Eve (300 euros including beverages).

Il Palazzetto Terrace Wine Bar

This seasonal terrace directly overlooks the Spanish Steps and is a great place to be at sunset. Limited menu.

Imago at Hotel Hassler

This Michelin-star restaurant, with an amazing view over the Spanish Steps (and then sweeping across the Rome skyline), is open nightly for dinner year round.  Old school elegance.  For 2014, Imago was open for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year's Eve (menus from 120 to 895 euros); other options at the hotel for the holidays are the charming Salone Eva on the ground floor and a champagne toast on the 7th floor Panoramic Terrace starting at 37 euros.

La Pergola at the Rome Cavalieri Hotel

It’s quite a trek outside the historic center, but this three star Michelin restaurant (open year round, outdoor terrace also open in warmer weather) has an amazing view of Rome – as well as amazing food.  Old school charm; just be prepared for the bill! Menu for 2014 Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Year's Eve here (starting at 400 euros and going to -- gasp -- 1,200 euros ... at least it includes the wine!)

La Terrazza at Hotel Eden

This enclosed Michelin-star restaurant (open for lunch and dinner) has views of Piazza Venezia, St. Peter's, and Trinità del Monti.  The piano bar is open nightly. In 2014, the restaurant was open for Christmas Eve (200 euros), Christmas Day (160 euros), and New Year’s Eve (800 euros including wine selections).

Les Etoiles Rooftop Garden Restaurant and La Terrazza Paradiso at Hotel Atlante Star

Enclosed high-end rooftop restaurant open year round, with views of the Vatican and Castle Sant’Angelo. Also open-air La Terrazza Paradiso at same location.

Rooftop Bar & Restaurant at Hotel Indigo Rome – St. George

Open during the summer, this is a rooftop bar on the quaint Via Giulia. The indoor restaurant (on a different floor) is open year-round.

The Roof Garden at Hotel Raphael

The seasonal terrace looks across at the dome of Santa Maria della Pace and the Bramante Cloister; the indoor part of the restaurant is open year-round. Many vegan and gluten-free options.

La Terrasse at Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese

La Terrasse Cuisine & Lounge restaurant, on a terrace with a retractable roof, offers great views of Rome.  Bar open from 10:30 to midnight. Open for 2014 Christmas Eve (120 euros) and New Year's Eve (350 euros).

Terazza dei Limoni at the Grand Hotel Plaza

A beautiful view of the Spanish Steps area can be had at the champagne-centered Lemon Terrace.  Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings.



Terrazze Gourmet Roma by Nicolas Schilder (book and handy app on itunes)