Evenings in Rome a treat to watch: Ambassador Stefano Pontecorvo


Rome: Senior Italian diplomat Ambassador Stefano Pontecorvo said this week that the evenings in Rome were a treat to watch.

Tweeting a picture of the Roman sunset, the senior diplomat shared his love for the city that is famous around the world and attracts numerous tourists every year.

There’s nowhere in the world quite like the Eternal City when the sun starts making its lazy way westwards towards the horizon. The great Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges once wrote that ‘no one can behold the Roman evening without growing dizzy,’ and when you gaze upon the dazzling drama of golden light painting the city’s rich tapestry of palaces and churches, domes and monuments in vibrant shades of red and orange, you’ll see exactly what he meant. What’s more, Rome is famously a city of hills – meaning there’s no shortage of panoramic vantage points from which to drink in the jaw-dropping spectacle.

Ask any Roman where they go to watch the sunset, and the Passeggiata del Gianicolo will feature near the top of most lists. A spectacular tree-lined avenue along the top of the hill that hugs the Tiber’s western bank, the Gianicolo is studded with panoramic terraces, a sculpture garden dedicated to the heroes of Italian unification who fought in this very spot, a lighthouse (a somewhat eccentric gift to the people of the landlocked capital from the Italian residents of Argentina in 1911), and even a cannon that fires off a deafening round to mark noon each day.

Across the city from the Gianicolo, the terrace of the Pincian hill is a worthy rival for Rome’s most spectacular sunset panorama.

If you’re prepared to work up a bit of a sweat in search of that picture-perfect sunset snap, then you need to don your walking shoes and make the hike up to the top of Monte Mario in northwest Rome.

The sight of St. Peter’s basilica looming impossibly large in the distance from across the city framed by the boughs of soaring Roman pines is the stuff that dreams are made of. And yet that’s exactly what lies in store in the Giardino degli Aranci atop Rome’s Aventine hill, a leafy park studded with fragrant orange trees in the shadow of the ancient church of Santa Sabina.

For a sunset pregnant with the memories of centuries past, head to the Parco degli Acquedotti in Rome’s southern outskirts.

If there is one place in central Rome where you need to watch the sunset, it’s Piazza Navona. An ancient racetrack transformed over the centuries into the Eternal City’s most important public space, this iconic horseshoe-shaped square boasts marvellous fountains, churches and sculptures, dominated by the works of the two great geniuses of the Roman Baroque.

There are few sights in Rome as beautiful as the Tiber at twilight, when the colours of sunset reflect and glint off its glassy waters. Any of the bridges that span its stately flow would make for a great place to watch the sun go down, but our favourite is the Ponte Umberto I.

Rome might technically be a landlocked city, but during its heyday as the ancient world’s most important urban centre it boasted its own port not far from the eastern city limits in Ostia Antica. A visit to Rome’s ancient port is a must on any trip to Rome, and Through Eternity offer fascinating Ostia Antica tours led by expert archaeologists.