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Romantic Rome is a very popular place for couples. Nearly every cobbled street in the Eternal City, at least in the city center, inspires a romantic gesture, a kiss, or even a proposal.
It is folly to try to list all of the romantic spots in Rome. But here are nine places — some obvious, some not — to consider if romance is on your Rome itinerary. Note that these are in no particular order.
1. The Spanish Steps
An obvious engagement locale for tourists for sure, as it’s at the heart of the city and abuzz with people from all walks of life (providing a bit of a din for you nervous proposers).
The Steps are lovely in the springtime when they are decorated with giant pots of flowers whose pinkish hue echoes the colors of the buildings around them.
I also like the Steps in the early morning, when fewer are there to disturb a romantic moment.
2. The Pincio Hill
This area is only a short walk from the Spanish Steps, but has one of the most evocative views of St. Peter’s and other domes and rooftops that make up the Roman cityscape. The Pincio is a balcony for the Villa Borghese park and also looks over Piazza del Popolo. Taking a stroll through Villa Borghese before and/or after popping the question is a great way to calm the nerves.
3. The Aventine Hill
Not the most conventional of romantic spots in Rome, the Aventino is home to tourist attractions like the Circus Maximus and the keyhole view of St. Peter’s from the Order of the Knights of Malta (Piazza dei Cavallieri). But it also boasts two not-so-touristy, romantic sights. The Roseto Comunale, Rome’s public rose garden, is open for a few months during the summer, usually May through early July. The Giardino degli Aranci, Rome’s Orange Garden, has spectacular views of St. Peter’s, and shady benches ideal for romantic moments. Read more about the Aventino here.
4. Villa Celimontana and Environs
Another site that is absent of tourists, Villa Celimontana and its surrounding park are where many locals go for lunchtime smooch breaks and picnics. What’s more, this oasis of calm is only a few blocks from the Colosseum (take Via Claudia).
Stroll a little bit further and you will reach the church of Santi Giovanni e Paolo, a popular wedding church, which is flanked by the Clivo di Scauro, an evocative arched walkway that obscures the entrance to some ancient Roman houses (Case Romane).
5. Via Appia amid Roman ruins
I imagine Goethe and his ilk made the most of Rome’s countryside, where they sat for portraits, had movable feasts, and no doubt spent time with their loved ones.
Nature and/or architecture lovers could not find a more romantic spot in the Eternal City.
6. Via Conciliazione, in front of St. Peter’s
There’s something about having the whole hulk of St. Peter’s and Bernini’s colonnade behind you that makes for a stunning setting for a proposal.
I’m sure this is even more true for practicing Catholics, who can vow — in front of this very iconic backdrop — to exchange vows.
Get there early in the morning or late at night if you don’t want to attract too much attention. Of course, you-know-who will be watching anyhow.
7. Via Giulia
Few streets in Rome are lovelier than the Via Giulia. This Renaissance-era lane has a slower pace, a sumptuous energy, and goes well with new (or heirloom) diamonds.
One bonus of the Via Giulia for nervous proposers — it’s a very long street, the longest straight street in Rome. So you have time to walk and talk and get comfortable before popping the question.
8. Piazza Navona
If you’re going to make your love official, why not go where everyone goes: to Piazza Navona.
The beautiful oblong square, decorated with three Baroque-era fountains and flanked by cafes, museums, and a church, is the most iconic of Rome’s squares. It’s also ground zero for public displays of affection, at least among young Romans.
So, if you want to hug and kiss your significant other while you take in the view, including Bernini‘s fountains and Borromini’s chuch, no one will bat an eye.
9. Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere
Bohemians-in-love may prefer the slow pace and artisan shops of Trastevere, whose main square, Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere, is usually rife with sketching art students. Sit for a cappuccino or a glass of wine at one of the sidewalk cafés, holding hands while you take in the relative quiet of the day.
By night, Trastevere comes alive with bustling restaurants and clubs. But there are still plenty of romantic cobbled alleyways criss-crossing this medieval neighborhood where you can declare your undying love.
Bonus Place: On a Bridge
Several elegant pedestrian bridges on the Tiber River are ideal for romance, so long as you can ignore the occasional vendors and passers-by.
The Angel Bridge, which crosses from Rome’s historic center at Via dei Coronari, is decorated with Bernini-designed angels and offers a view of St. Peter’s Basilica. The Ponte Sisto, which connects Via dei Pettinari (near Campo de’ Fiori) with Trastevere’s Piazza Trilussa, is another bridge on which to catch your breath and savor the moment.
Finally, there is one other bridge that I would recommend: the Ponte Fabricio or Pons Fabricius. The oldest bridge in Rome, the Pons Fabricius has connected Rome to the Tiber Island since 62 BC. Want to prove that your love will endure? This ancient bridge could be the perfect metaphor.
Have you gotten engaged in Rome? Tell us more about it in the comments!