Rome - Photography Spotguide

If you've seen the pictures of our trip to Rome, here comes my three favourite spots:

Spot #1: Spanish Steps

This is one of the more obvious things to shoot when in Rome, but it's totally worth it. Go either at dawn or dusk to get the best light. Bring a wide-angle to 50mm to be able to capture the whole scenery as well as some portraits of people. 

Spot #2: Vatican & Colosseum

These are probably the two top tourist attractions of Rome, however I would absolutely recommend that you book a tour. The tour-guides can get you fast access to the biggest sights, otherwise you'll spend hours in the line, potentially in 30 degree heat. For the Vatican, make sure you're dressed appropriately (cover shoulders/knees) and be aware that you're camera backpack might get searched by security. Even if you show up early in the morning it's going to be busy, also the Colosseum is regularly covered in scaffolding for restorations so make sure you check in advance if you're desperately after some exteriors.

St Peters Basilica


View from the top of St Peters Basilica

Tip: For an extra 7€ you can climb up St Peters Basilica which is quite a hike but worth the effort. (There's a water fountain on the way down, you'll need it) In terms of lens I found that I mostly used my wide angle, If you're shooting outside during midday a graduated ND-Filter won't hurt.  

Spot #3: Villa Borghese & Park

If you're tired from the city and looking for a place to relax that this will definitely put your mind at rest. And most importantly you should visit multiple times, have a breezy walk through the gardens, rest you feet in one of the many fountains and take some great panoramas at sunset at Pincio Hill by the North-West side of the park. It'll offer you one of the best views over the city totally stress free.

Last but not least, a few general tips for photographers:

  1. Rome's a busy place and streets and alleys become really crowded, so make sure you have an eye on your bag and belongings. Leave everything you know you won't need at home or in the hotel-safe. 
  2. The city heats up quite a lot during the day and even in Rome light's not gonna be great at 1pm in the afternoon so make sure you safe your energy for the late afternoons and nights, that's when Rome reveals its real Beauty. And don't worry, shops and restaurants are open till late you won't miss out on that pasta.
  3. An empty bottle can be refilled for free at one of the hundreds of fountains scattered all over Rome. That's pretty neat, and you will need it.