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IN PHOTOS: Why Rome is even more beautiful by night

The Local Italy
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IN PHOTOS: Why Rome is even more beautiful by night
Rome's Colosseum lit up at night. Photo: Paul Bowles

Most of us see Rome's sights by day, navigating the packed piazzas and chaotic roads under the blazing sun. But there's another, more atmospheric way to see the city.


When in Rome, we'd all like to do as the Romans do. And here the after-dinner stroll, or passeggiata, is essential. The best thing for visitors is that walking through the city centre after dark gives you a whole new perspective on its most famous sights.

Not only are the crowds thinner and the touts absent at this time, but seeing the famous monuments illuminated at night is breathtaking.

We're convinced that the Eternal City is even more charming after dark. And if you don't believe us, just look at these spectacular night-time images by British photographer Paul Bowles.

On summer nights, Italians often get gelato and walk the city streets, perhaps stopping to admire a famous monument or two. Even the famous Capitoline Hill is usually very quiet.

With almost no one else around, you can spend as much time as you like admiring the view and soaking up the magical atmosphere around Rome's ancient temple ruins.

While of course you can't go inside, at night you'll have the whole Colosseum to yourself.

Here's the Colosseum behind the Temple of Venus, a sight you definitely don't see every day.

And doesn't the Altare della Patria (AKA the typewriter) look even grander when illuminated?

A city with such a long history holds more than its fair share of secrets, legends and mysteries. And walking around at night, you can easily imagine all of those old stories being true.

Is Rome safe to walk around at night? The centre feels very secure, with plenty of people out walking, and police and caribinieri on patrol. As long as you take the usual precuations, it's as safe as anywhere else.

And with spectacular views like these, we think every visitor to Rome should go for a night-time walk.

Although far less chaotic, the Trevi fountain still gets visitors after dark. So forget about re-enacting that night-time swim scene from La Dolce Vita, unless you don't mind having an audience (and possibly getting fined!)

There's so much to see in Rome, and the city's character changes with the seasons and even the time of day. It's no wonder so many visitors come back again and again.

All photos: Paul Bowles

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