Discovering the Seven Hills of Rome
The seven hills are an integral part of the ancient history of the eternal city, beloved by Roman citizens and also popular with the many tourists who are interested in this wonderful city. Even if you don't remember the names of all seven hills (like the seven dwarfs, you'll always end up forgetting one), you will surely come across many of them during your walks spent discovering Rome. So let's discover together what wonders are concealed among the ancient hills of the capital.
Palatine, Aventine and Caelian
The seven hills are all located on the right bank of the River Tiber and are centred on the Forum, the political heart of ancient Rome. Among them all, the Palatine Hill is the most famous of ancient Rome and is currently the one most frequented by tourists, because it hosts the wonderful complex of the Imperial Fora and the Colosseum. Don't miss the Basilica of Santi Cosma e Damiano and that of Santa Francesca Romana.
The Aventine hill is located near the Circus Maximus and is home to a quiet, elegant district sprinkled with villas and surrounded by greenery, far away from the chaos of the most touristic neighbourhoods. When visiting this hill, don't miss out on a visit to the Municipal Rose Garden, a romantic walk in the Orange Trees Garden and a peek from the famous keyhole of the door of Santa Maria del Priorato Church, from which you can enjoy a beautiful view of St. Peter's Basilica.
In this triad of hills further south, the Caelian hill is certainly the liveliest, being sprinkled with numerous establishments that attract both tourists and residents. It is a rather extensive hill and also hosts several monuments of certain interest, such as the Basilica of San Clemente, Villa Celimontana and the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano.
Capitoline, Esquiline, Viminal and Quirinal
The Capitoline Hill, where the Campidoglio is located, was a real acropolis in Roman times, thanks to its favourable position with respect to the river and the surrounding area. Don't miss a visit to the impressive Altare della Patria, (English: Altar of the Fatherland) the Capitoline Museums, the Palazzo del Campidoglio and the Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius.
In contrast, the Esquiline Hill is the highest and most extensive of the seven hills of Rome and embraces several neighbourhoods and key areas of Rome, such as the multi-ethnic Termini, the quarter that surrounds the central station, and the alternative quarter par excellence, Monti, where you must spend at least one evening enjoying a drink. This hill is also home to beautiful places to visit, such as the Oppian Hill park, which conceals the beautiful Baths of Trajan and Domus Aurea (Nero's House), and the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, which stands on one side of Via Cavour.
The Quirinal hill is nowadays the hill with the greatest political significance, given that at its summit we find the Quirinal Palace, the seat of the Presidency of the Republic, the Palace of the Constitutional Court and the Ministry of Defence. The Quirinal Palace and its fantastic gardens are one of the most beautiful attractions on this hill, in addition to the famous and eternally fascinating Trevi Fountain.
Finally, the Viminal hill is the smallest of the seven hills, squeezed between the Quirinal and Esquiline hills. Here you will find the beautiful Palazzo del Viminale; its inner areas are not open to the public but it is still interesting to see from the outside, the Museum of the Baths of Diocletian, the Piazza della Repubblica with its huge fountain and the Opera House.
Don't let the word "hill" scare you; Roman hills are not particularly steep and it is a pleasure to visit them on foot, wandering between them and discovering the most fascinating spots.