What’s better than taking a short break from all your sightseeing on your trip to Rome? How about a little table in the sun where you can rest your legs, sip a cappuccino and enjoy the view. What if the view’s like this?

Truthfully, the café is a little farther up the path, but you get the idea. The Colle Oppio café is a wonderful place to relax, drink a coffee or – depending on the hour – an aperitivo and enjoy the fabulous view.

Colle Oppio is a small park just next to the Colosseum and, on nice days, it provides a welcome respite from busy tourist itineraries.

It’s a favoured spot for locals as well. If you’re travelling with children, there’s a tiny playground toward the back of the park.

From Colle Oppio there are also pretty views over the imposing medieval Santi Quattro Coronati abbey-fortress.

Colle Oppio is most famous for its stunning Domus Aurea (Golden Palace), which is , sadly, closed to the public while it undergoes major renovation following a partial collapse.

The view over Celio and the Santi Quattro Coronati abbey

The Domus Aurea was the opulent Ancient Roman Palace of Emperor Nero. It was built in 64 AD, following the great fire of Rome that destroyed all of the previous buildings in the area. The complex of buildings that made up the Domus Aurea was enormous, spanning from the Palatine Hill to the Esquiline and Celian Hills. A great lake and surrounding forest land was built on the ancient site.

The complex was largely destroyed by subsequent Emperors. The lake was drained in order to construct the Colosseum in its place. The segment in Colle Oppio was built over rather than destroyed. It was only in the 15th century that the sole surviving segment of the Domus Aurea was “rediscovered”. Famous artists like Raphael visited and were influenced by the stunning frescoes.

There is no news yet as to when the site will once again be open to visitors. Nevertheless, a visit to Colle Oppio is still a pleasant stop during your stay. From Colle Oppio, you’re just a short stroll to a medieval landmark I mentioned in an earlier post, the Shrine of Pope Joan.

Enjoy your cappuccino with a  view on your next visit to Rome.