7 Hills of Rome - Facts, Attractions, Tickets

What have you heard about the 7 Hills of Rome? It was the place where the great city began to grow and shape up. In the heyday of Ancient Rome, the seven hills were used by locals to build their houses and temples, right up to the invasion of the barbarians who destroyed the aqueducts that supplied the entire area with water. For a long time the hills were ruined and abandoned. In the 16th century, the aqueducts were reconstructed, and now with water, the seven hills were given a new lease of life. Each of the hills has its own name and storied history. Let's go and take a closer look at them.

Palatine Hill

Palatine is named after the goddess Pales, the patron of shepherds and herders. It is a cradle of Rome, as it was here where Romulus started the foundation of the great city. The first buildings located here date back to 1000 BC. Since ancient times, Palatine has also been selected by the Roman nobility to build their villas and palaces.

Places to see: ruins of palaces of Roman emperors, starting from Romulus and ending with Caligula. In addition to the picturesque ruins, you can enter the beautiful Farnese Gardens from here.

The ticket to the archaeological area costs 12 euros, valid for 2 days.

Opening hours: from 9.00 - 19.00 without days off.

You can get there by metro - the Colosseo station.

Aventine Hill

The southernmost and most picturesque of the Seven Hills of Rome. Divided into the Lesser and the Greater Aventine, this was the area of Rome originally outside the sacred boundary of the city and traditionally associated with the plebs of ancient Rome.  In the founding myths it was said that, while Romulus set up his augural tent on the Palatine Hill, his twin brother Remus set up his on the Aventine. 

Among the sights is the tomb of the Roman official Cestius, representing a marble pyramid 30 meters high. It was built in 18-12 BC "on the wave" of  Romans fascination of the Ancient Egyptian. Up to the 17th century Italians mistakenly believed that Romulus's brother Remus was buried in the pyramid. Other attractions are the ancient temples of Santa Sabina and Sant'Alessio, a rose garden, an orange garden, a monument to the revolutionary Mazzini. At the top are the gates of the Embassy of the Order of Malta.

The rose garden and park are open from 8 to 19. Santa Sabina from 6.30 to 12.45 and from 15.30 to 19.00, Sant'Alessio from 10 to 12 and from 15.30 to 17.30.

You can get there by metro - Piramide or Circo Massimo stations.

Capitoline Hill

In ancient times, Capitoline hosted the temples of Jupiter and Juno. Later, the famous Capitoline church was erected here  and became the “heart” of the public life of Rome. Senate meetings were held in the temple. It was destroyed in the 4th century. 

Attractions: the Mamertine Prison where St. Peter and the Basilica of Santa Maria in Aracelli with the world's oldest Christian altar (built by Emperor Augustus after his vision of the birth of Christ). And, of course, the Capitoline Museums founded in the 15th century and designed by Michelangelo.

Museums are open from 9 to 20, mon. - output, ticket price 13 euros.

Basilica of sv. Mary is open from 9.00-12.30 and 15.30-17.30, entrance for free.

How to get there: metro station Colosseum.

Quirinal Hill

The Quirinal hill is dominated by the Palazzo del Quirinale, one of the three official residences of the Italian President. The obelisk in the elaborate horse fountain at the centre of the adjacent piazza was originally the partner of the one outside Santa Maria Maggiore on the Esquiline, and flanked the entrance to the Mausoleum of Augustus.  Art lovers should head to the Palazzo Barberini, home to the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica, and Borromini’s Baroque church of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane is also nearby and worth a visit.

Esquiline Hill

The Esquiline hill is the area of modern Rome to the south of the Termini train station and to north of the Colosseum. It’s home for the incredible basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore (one of the four papal churches) as well as several smaller churches and monuments.

The nearby Medieval church of Santa Prassede is frequently overlooked but a highly recommended stop on a walk around this part of Rome. There are relics of ancient Rome prominently displayed either side of Santa Maria Maggiore, with an obelisk to the rear (one which flanked the entrance to the Mausoleum of Augustus) and a huge column at the front which was originally part of the epic Basilica of Maxentius, the vast structure seen on the left-hand side of the Via dei Fori Imperiali approaching the Colosseum.

Viminal Hill

"Willow Hill" owes its name to the willow rods (viminalis) covering the hillsides. During the time of the Roman Empire, there were mainly residential buildings of the lower class, as well as the Baths of Diocletian - the ancient Roman baths that accommodated up to 3200 people and also included gardens, fountains, and a library on the area of ​​13 hectares.  Using  ruins of one of the Baths' halls, Michelangelo designed the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli built in 1563-1566.

Today, the Viminal Hill houses the Roman Opera and the Ministry of Home Affairs. 

Caelian Hill

The Caelian hill lies to the south of the Colosseum, and these days it’s a good place to escape the manic throng of tourists.  If you’re a fan of churches, there are some stunning examples here.  On a rather larger scale is the Basilica of St John Lateran, one of the four papal churches, and the Baths of Caracalla, the ruins of which go some way towards giving us an impression of the enormous scale and magnificence of Roman imperial bath houses (which were so huge that they even had libraries).

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