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What are the names of the famous seven hills of Rome?

At school, since elementary school we have heard about the seven hills of Rome. They were fundamental since the birth of the first nucleus of the city. According to tradition, in fact, the birth of Rome took place on seven hills, small hills that today are perfectly integrated into the residential fabric of the historic center of the Eternal City. Why are there really seven famous ones (actually there are more)? And what is the hill where the first portion of the city was built? Let’s find out all the curiosities about the hills of Rome together.

The official list of hills is reported by the authors Plutarch and Cicero who, in their works, speak of seven hills (actually, in the historic center of the city there are also three others). The seven official hills of Rome are: Aventine, Campidoglio, Celio, Esquilino, Palatino, Quirinale, and Viminale.

The other three hills, on the other hand, are: Gianicolo, Pincio and Vatican. In some eras the Gianicolo and Vatican hills were part of the official list, but in this the Quirinale and the Viminale did not appear. The Janiculum was included only at the end of the 17th century, when Pope Urban VIII Barberini had the “Gianicolensi” walls built. From the terrace of the Janiculum it is possible to admire the whole city. As for the Vatican, it was the Emperor Constantine who leveled the area, in order to have St. Peter’s Basilica built: in fact, the place was originally not flat. The Pincio is another of the most famous sites in Rome by now: who does not have the endless steps of Piazza del Popolo with which you reach the famous terrace?

In addition, the orography underwent changes with the construction of the city, as is the case of the saddle between the Campidoglio and Quirinale cut in the second century to build the Forum of Trajan.

These hills are not isolated, but make up a hilly system.

The seven hills are home to some of the main attractions that make Rome unique. The Celio hill is the one from which you can admire the Colosseum and Via dei Fori Imperiali, the Palatine, which is the one on which Romulus founded, according to legend, the city of Rome. In fact, here are the largest palaces, such as the residences of Tiberius and Nero. On the Capitoline Hill, however, we find the political center of the modern city. From this square you can admire one of the most beautiful views of the city.

The Viminale is the smallest of all seven hills. The name seems to derive from the presence of abundant wicker plants and today it is mainly known for the presence of the homonymous building, seat of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and of the Italian Ministry of the Interior. Also on the Viminale you can also visit the Baths of Diocletian. The Quirinale houses the palace of the same name which is the seat of the President of the Italian Republic. On the Esquiline hill stands Termini Station, one of the vital centers of Roman public transport. Here stands the monumental Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, one of the places most dear to the Roman world. The Aventine hill is the one that in ancient times housed numerous temples dedicated to the Roman gods and which today allows you to visit the Circus Maximus and enjoy, from the Orange Garden, one of the most romantic views of the city of Rome.

There are also some hills that are no longer visible: the Velia hill, a small relief completely razed to the ground in the 1930s, located between the Palatine and the Esquiline. There was also a small saddle that connected the Capitol to the Quirinal, which was leveled by Trajan to build his great Forum.