Rome, the Forum

The Best Spots to Take Panoramic Pictures in Italy

Whether you are a professional photographer or you just have a great passion for photography, you will be certainly interested in finding some beautiful places in Italy where photographers go to get the most stunning views of the Italian boot. Here are some interesting spots where you can get gorgeous views from above. Just keep in mind two important rules: choose the moments of the day when the light is just right (early mornings anyone?); go there when tourists do not crowd them!

St. Peter’s Cupola in the Vatican

St. Peter's Cupola as seen from Ponte Umberto I in Rome at night

As the Vatican museum, you can enter the St. Peter’s Cupola paying an entry ticket, and of course, the queue to climb it is almost always very long; for this reason is better to go very early in the morning, if you do not fancy climbing many steps, there is a lift to take you to the top but still there will be about 300 steps. If you take the stairs all the way you will have to climb almost 550 steps to get on the top, but once you are over the Cupola, the view is really worth it: for sure, one of the best views you can find in Rome.

The Asinelli Tower of Bologna

The view from the Asinelli Tower in Bologna at sunset

Together, the Asinelli Tower with its neighbouring, smaller Garisenda Tower, are the two symbols of Bologna, also known as the kissing towers, because they lean towards each other.

If you are not scared by narrow stairs and heights, climbing 498 steps you will get the top of the Asinelli Tower and you will have the chance to overlook the city centre of Bologna (and the Garisenda Tower as well) from the 97 meters high tower. The altitude makes the view down almost perilous and your pictures will be absolutely stunning. From there you can photograph the red roofs of the city and in good clear days you can see all the way to the Appennini mountains.

Church of St. Peter, Portovenere

The Church of St. Peter's in Portovenere, Liguria, Italy

Portovenere is a small village always crowded and full of tourists from Italy and all over Europe who spill over from the even more popular Cinque Terre. However, the Roman Catholic Church of Portovenere is not to be missed at all. Climbing through the narrow streets and steep stairs to the Church is quite a hike, but the effort is worthwhile. The striped building sits on top of the cliff giving the idea that it is designed like the prow of a ship. There, the photo opportunities are panoramic and aplenty, given the spectacular landscape of the Gulf of the Poets.

The Guinigi Tower in Lucca

View from the Guinigi Tower in Lucca

The Guinigi Tower is one of the few remaining towers of the city of Lucca in Tuscany. The climb is not steep and you get a great view of the walled city from its roof. As an added bonus, there’s a hanging garden on top of it that can provide some needed shade after the climb on hot summer days.

St. Mark’s Campanile in Venice

View over St. Mark's Square from the Campanile in Venice

The view from the bell tower (campanile) of St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice is certainly not to be missed and worth the long queues that are often present there. Luckily, a fast 14-seat elevator dispatches them quite rapidly.

Boccaccio’s House in Certaldo

Boccaccio, one of the fathers of Italian literature, lived in an austere little building in terracotta brick situated in the middle of Via Boccaccio, in Certaldo. Nowadays it is a museum.

What interests us is the fact that the façade of the building is interrupted by a very beautiful tower, accessible by the top floor of the house, which looks all over the stunning panorama of the Valdelsa hills all the way to San Gimignano. It is not to miss!

The Ghirlandina Tower in Modena

Connected with the cathedral, the Ghirlandina bell tower, standing 89 metres tall, is an architectural masterpiece and a very nice viewpoint in Modena. Imagine that since the origins, the custodians watched the treasure chest of the city from the top of the tower.

Paying just 3 Euros you can enter the tower and, by climbing about 200 steps, you can reach the top. Take notice that the hours for visiting the tower are restricted so it is best to phone or email ahead and find out when it is open.

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