Where should I propose in Rome?
May 7, 2016 11:32 AM   Subscribe

Next week I will be in Rome with my girlfriend and I plan to propose, but I've never been so I have no idea where to try and make this happen. Looking for ideas! Some criteria inside.

General criteria:
- Somewhere pleasant/scenic, probably outside somewhere but that's not absolutely required.
- Can be public but the more private the better. If it's public it should be relatively easy to find a spot that isn't right next to others.
- She's pretty down to earth, so it doesn't have to involve expensive fancy things (but it could).
- Day or night is fine.

Possible shortlist based on my Google searching:
- Pincio overlook in the Villa Borghese gardens
- Gianicolo Park (Piazza Garibaldi? I'm not sure where the best view is.)
- Orange Garden on Aventine Hill

Not sure which of those would be best, or if any of them would be too crowded. Completely open to other suggestions.
posted by Defenestrator to Travel & Transportation around Rome, Italy (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Anywhere in the Villa Borghese gardens. I'd almost recommend taking her for a stroll and waiting until you find a place that feels just right - the scenery, the mood, the light - and be spontaneous.
posted by nightrecordings at 11:34 AM on May 7, 2016 [5 favorites]

+1 Villa Borghese gardens, go for a stroll and find a spot.
posted by fingersandtoes at 11:38 AM on May 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

Almost forgot! If you can specify the time of day your suggestion would be best (or if it doesn't matter) that would also be extremely helpful.

(Thank you nightrecordings for your suggestion!)
posted by Defenestrator at 11:38 AM on May 7, 2016

The best view is from the top of the Janiculum, in the little piazza besides the aqueduct fountain. You can take the road up or climb a million steps. It is not, however, super private, as people drive by the fountain all the time.
posted by bad grammar at 11:59 AM on May 7, 2016

the Palatine Hill complex is really lovely
posted by supermedusa at 12:18 PM on May 7, 2016

During the day, the aforementioned villa borghese, or head out to the Appia Antica for a walk and Get down on one knee on its ancient wheel-rutted stones where the urge feels right. Or Arco degli Acetari

At sunset overlooking the Gianicolo or Pincio.

In the evening also at those two, or at the Zodiaco (but skip eating at the restaurant up there). Late at night Trevi fountain won't have the massive hoards of tourists around it like the day time.

This is sort of a non-tailored list though. What flips your beloved's happy switches? Art? History? Nature? Hip trendy places? Gastronomy? Wines?
posted by romakimmy at 12:56 PM on May 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

Its inside, but on a sunny day under the Oculis in the interior of the Pantheon would really get my vote.
posted by Middlemarch at 2:43 PM on May 7, 2016 [2 favorites]

I'm going to go out on a limb and follow up my Villa Borghese suggestion by recommending early to mid morning. Why? Well, you may be jet-lagged, and it's a peaceful place you can go for a walk (public, open, free) when you're already wide awake at dawn. She'll be none the wiser, and probably quite charmed by such a perfect suggestion for something to do while most of the city is still asleep. There's a kind of electricity in the air during the very early morning hours. And when you arrive there is hardly anyone around.* The place may as well be yours.

*Myself having been there a handful of times at early morning, I can vouch that I saw very few people around, BUT. When I did, it was 1) a smartly dressed man on a unicycle and 2) a nude woman posing by a tree for a very tasteful photo shoot.
posted by nightrecordings at 3:31 PM on May 7, 2016 [2 favorites]

Does your hotel have a rooftop bar or restaurant? Many in Rome are pretty spectacular. Could be a good combination of indoor/outdoor, private/public, etc. Just search "rome rooftop bars" and you'll get plenty of ideas. I like the tiny one on top of Albergo del Senato - look down at the Pantheon, across at the Vatican and much more. Good luck!
posted by Right On Red at 5:18 AM on May 8, 2016

I wept at the beauty of Rome in Castel St. Angelo in Rome.... because you're not just looking over a vast swathe of geography, but it felt like I was looking through history (I'm from Canada and nothing is as old as anything in Europe, so I really was weeping hard up there). It's a place that feels as though it collapses space and time.

Castel St. Angelo
posted by Dressed to Kill at 7:15 AM on May 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

For a great view of the ancient parts of the city, the cafe on top of the Capitoline Museum is wonderful and is especially quiet in the morning/midday. If you go straight up to the terrace (not through the museum) it feels a bit like a secret entrance; you could get an espresso at the bar and then find a private spot with a good view.
posted by earth by april at 10:12 AM on May 8, 2016

The Pincio park (Villa Borghese) is a bit sprawling - only the terrace overlooking piazza del Popolo has that fantastic view.
Piazza Garibaldi up on the Gianicolo also has an amazing panoramic view of the city... but there's not much else, and too many cars.
Giardino Degli Aranci is in a lovely, less populated corner of the city - but the view from there is somewhat less iconic.

The top of Castel Sant'Angelo's a good alternative. I actually find the Ponte degli Angeli that leads to it an incredibly romantic place - but you'd have to be there very early or very late to not be amidst the crowds. Maybe the very tip of Isola Tiberiba could be quite a special place? Middle-of-the-night magical: sitting high up on the on the Spanish Steps - or in the middle of Piazza Navona. (Wee hours are also the best time to propose while standing in the water of the Trevi fountain, should you go for the Fellini touch.)
posted by progosk at 2:52 PM on May 8, 2016

Oh, also: the Giardino Botanico is quite a unique place for a private moment, I could imagine. (To be had before sundown, when the mosquitoes take it over.)
posted by progosk at 3:09 PM on May 8, 2016

Maybe the very tip of Isola Tiberiba could be quite a special place?

I'd thought of that one too, but of late there's a bunch of graffiti accumulated there that's sort of ugly aesthetically speaking (a bunch of badly written declarations of teenage love). YMMV
posted by romakimmy at 8:13 PM on May 8, 2016

Another one: in a row-boat, surrounded by turtles, in the middle of the rather romantic little lake in Villa Borghese.

(PS: it's Isola Tiberina, 'course.)
posted by progosk at 3:24 AM on May 9, 2016

Thank you so much everyone! I ended up following nightrecording's suggestion and just headed for the gardens as the day wound down. We were almost at the top near Pincio Overlook when we reached some kind of other overlook and the moment was perfect, so I asked there (and she said yes). Glad I did because the actual Pincio Overlook was swarmed and had a guy playing cheesy piano songs.

Thank you again for your help!
posted by Defenestrator at 12:31 PM on May 22, 2016 [5 favorites]

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