The Pincian Hill

Overlooking Piazza del Popolo, and adjacent to Villa Borghese’s marvelous park, is the Pincio. If you’re looking for a wonderful view of Rome, this is one of the places to go. Indeed, it’s been the place to go for the view for a very long time, inspiring many artists to paint it over the centuries.

The Pincian Hill by Ferdinand Heilbuth, circa 1845-1870


The Terrace of Monte Pincio by Gheorghe Tattarescu, circa 1850


View from Monte Pincio in Rome, P. C. Skovgaard, 1861


St. Peters Basilica from the Pincian Garden by Alberto Pisa, 1905

The Pincio that we see today was designed between 1809 and 1814 by the architect-archaeologist Giuseppe Valadier.  His name is attached to many places in modern Rome.  His design of the Pincio allows some great views.

Looking down from the Pincio at Piazza del Popolo


One view from the Pincio


Another view from the Pincio

But the Pincio itself is well worth visiting in its own right. It has a lovely garden area, filled with busts of artists, writers, philosophers, and many more interesting individuals. Spending an afternoon finding these busts and reading about who they represent provides a terrific crash course on Italian history.  The one at the top of this post is the venerable sculptor Antonio Canova who made, for example, one of my favorite pieces in Rome, the very in-your-face-sexy sculpture of Pauline Bonaparte, Napoleon’s sister (who married a Borghese).

The Pincio also has other attractions: little paths for strolling, an obelisk, and more….

The Pincian obelisk


Gravel paths, surrounded by lush greenery, at the Pincio


The water clock of the Pincio


Little fountain in the Pincio, with some busts in the background

It’s a wonderful place for whiling away a fall afternoon in the Eternal City.