“I love the silent hour of night” said Anne Bronte and I second that. Many passionate photographers would nod affirmatively to that too with their tripod and photographic gear hanging heavy on their shoulder. But don’t discourage if you’re not into photography: night is the time when blissful dreams arise and the city reveals its charms in front of everybody, not just the photographers.
Luckily for you, with its Mediterranean climate, Rome is a pleasure to stroll at night all year round. During summertime, grab a huge gelato cone and start your tour. You might want to grab a hot cocoa if you’re strolling during winter time although I would pass hot cocoa for a yogurt and dark chocolate gelato anytime of the year 🙂
If you’re not keeping up regularly with my blog posts, you might want to read the one in which I describe a bit of Rome by day; it will give you more information about the landmarks pictured in this post and you can find it here.
Start your tour on the North-West side of the city, at the Ponte Umberto from where you can take a look at the impressive building of the Palace of Justice (Palazzo di Giustizzia). Located in the Prati district of Rome, this huge building is popularly called by Italians the “Palazzaccio” (the bad Palace) due to its unusually large size, astonishing decorations and long period of construction which created the suspicion of corruption.
A short 5 minutes walk to the next Tiber bridge and you are in front of the Castel Sant’Angelo. Beautifully illuminated, the castle is just as crowded at night time as it is during the day particularly in summertime. To get a good photograph of it, you might need to get there after 10pm when the affluence of tourists cools down a bit and the street sellers retire home. Or you can attempt a long exposure picture but this can still be tricky as you can see below.
Don’t miss the chance to get a glimpse of the gorgeous Vatican which can be seen from the Sant’Angelo bridge.
Although closed for visitation, you can still walk around the surroundings of Vatican and soak in the serene view. Crowds of people will be here as well until late at night in the summertime but some good photographs can still be taken. I have dedicated an entire blog post to Vatican and you can read more about it here.
Return from the Vatican via Corso Vittorio Emanuele boulevard to find yourself in front of the Altare della Patria also known as the National Vittorio Emanuele Monument. This is a good 20-30 minutes walk but it’s a perfect time to have a good chat, enjoy some window shopping and admire the architecture.
Once you’re done with admiring the impressive monument, you are only 15 minutess away from the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. Both landmarks are closed for visitation at night but don’t waste the chance to see them from the outside, basking in the silence and the moonlight. Here, the Colosseum and the Arch of Constantine carefully watched over by a patrol car.
I found the Arch of Titus to be particularly beautiful. Constructed in 82AD by the Emperor Domitian shortly after the death of his older brother Titus to commemorate his victories (including the siege of Jerusalem), the arch is undisturbed at night, peacefully watching over this alley.
Take Via del Corso and head to the north part of the city to reach Piazza del Poppolo (the People Square). Here you can enjoy the view of the Egyptian obelisk and the gorgeously illuminated statues. Once you have visited them by day, it is a must to see them at dusk.
End your tour not before climbing the Pincio hill and soaking up the night view of the Eternal City with the Vatican profiling in the back.
I hope you enjoyed this short post and it inspired you to go out and breath in the beauty of the Rome night life!