Rome Italy

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Discover the top photo spots in Rome

One of the world’s most inspiring cities, Rome is not to be missed from your photography bucket list! It’s a powerhouse of historical buildings, classical ruins, evocative vistas as well as wonderful local trattorias, quirky shops and a buzzing street scene. Let true Roman and SNAPP Pro photographer, Massimo Squillace, guide you to 36 of his favourite photographic spots in and around the city with over 100 images to inspire your visit there.

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Notwithstanding the abundance of subject material, most buildings and interesting locations in the city are quite challenging to photograph because there’s too little space before them, or the composition is ruined by distracting, inappropriate elements like e.g. cars, garbage bins and too many people.

In my opinion the most significant views can be found along the Tiber, and especially Castel Sant’Angelo (Castle of the Holy Angel) offers lots of photographic opportunities, since you can frame it both from below, along the river, and from street level, above the so-called “Muraglioni”, the embankments that were built in the late 19th century to stem the frequent floods.

Other favorite spots of mine can be found in the Roman Forum area and in Piazza Navona.

In the countryside, I love to shoot the waterfalls along the Treja River at Monte Gelato, and enjoy day trips to several small medieval villages, like Pitigliano, Calcata and Civita di Bagnoregio.
You should plan to spend at least three/four days in the city, visiting the extensive area around Piazza Venezia, which will be used as a the reference starting point for all distances in this guide. Another three days could be spent in the countryside around Rome, tracking down some of the small towns to appreciate a different, less known flavor of central Italy.

TRAVEL TIPS

Despite rumours that Romans are always ready to take advantage of tourists, in the Eternal City a foreign traveler applying normal common sense will be quite safe.

You should take care when in crowded areas, like on public transportation or around major landmarks, and leave unnecessary valuables in a safe back at the hotel or concealed in an inside pocket.
Try not to become distracted when studying maps, taking pictures or carrying around your gear; be aware of scammers trying “gold ring” tricks on you, of people asking for donations supporting some fake petition and do not trust strangers offering help with your luggage.

If you visit Rome during the summer, be advised that temperatures frequently soar well above 30°C (86°F) so bring along a bottle of water to stay hydrated. Wear comfortable, flat walking shoes because the ancient ruins provide tripping and falling hazards, and the city center is paved by the characteristic “sanpietrini” (cobblestones) and is quite uneven in places.

While big and spread out, downtown Rome is best visited on foot or via public surface transportation; if arriving by car, it is far better to leave it parked in a garage near your hotel since you’ll soon discover it is nearly impossible to find a parking place around the landmarks, and when you happen to find one you’ll most surely have to pay.

Conversely, if you plan to visit the nearby towns listed in this guide I suggest renting a car. The road signs are very clear and it is easy to reach any small town, even without using a GPS navigator; the latter, however, would be very useful to find one’s way through the alleys and streets of central Rome.

Italy uses standard European two-pin plugs at 220V.

The major mobile network providers are TIM, Vodafone, Wind and 3 (H3G); the signal is quite good in Rome but less so in a few villages, deep in the hills. Most recent hotels and apartments in the city offer Wi-Fi but this is not typically the case for the small towns.

The Best Photo Locations In Rome

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About The Author

Massimo Squillace

Born and raised in the Eternal City, I've been passionate about landscape and cityscape photography since the early 80s. Loving to shoot at the edge of day, I am more than willing to forgo sleeping, and travel alone for hours in the darkness just to be ready and capture a worthy image. I started with 35mm SLRs, fell in love with 6x9 View Cameras and resisted the digital allure until around 2005, when I bought my first DSLR. Currently shooting with a FF Sony mirrorless camera, I spend long evenings developing my RAW files until the image reflects what I felt in front of the original scene.