12 Photos of Rome at Night in Black & White

piazza del campidoglio at night black white

Rome is magical every minute of the day, but to me it is most special at night. After sunset, the tour groups disband, Romans start to reclaim the coffee shops and bars, and the piazzas fill with performers, lovers, artists and photographers. A relaxed vibe permeates the air. The tourists, who during the day are busy rushing from place to place trying to see it all, are now eating gelato and taking it easy. Candle lights flicker from sidewalk cafes and nearly every table seems to have wine.

Rome stays up late. Our first night in Rome, we ate a pizza at a sidewalk cafe; it was 12:30am. The pizzeria was aswirl with patrons, fashionable people paraded down the streets, and cars and scooters buzzed about. It was a Thursday night, yet it had the feel of a holiday weekend.

Night brings about drastic changes of pace. Tourists abandon the Piazza del Campidoglio and Spanish Steps, which become eerily quiet and peaceful after being besieged by visitors all day.

Conversely, the Trevi Fountain is the scene of a nightly wrestling match as tourists shove and elbow their way to the front to take photos. People pose on the edge of the fountain, some needing 10 takes to get it just right, adjusting make-up and hair between shots. Some are content with a “selfie” while others make videos with IPads. People watching becomes more interesting than monument watching at the iconic fountain.
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Rome at Night Photo Gallery


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Other European photo essays on Planet Bell

1. A Photo Tour of Istanbul, or Expect More Negative Posts in the Future

2. 10 Photos of a Stunning Santorini Sunset

3. A Photo Tour of Meteora – the Coolest Place in Greece you May Not Know About

4. Is Symi the Most Beautiful Small Town in the World?
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Have you been to Rome?

Like me, do you think people look stupid using an Ipad for a camera like the guy in the last photo?

(Insert plea for comments here)

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22 Comments on “12 Photos of Rome at Night in Black & White

  1. Yes, been to Rome and the fountain a couple times over the years. I don’t remember crowds like the ones in your photos though. Ah, the past! Even back then, the best time to see the sites, were after the tour buses were gone.

    Love your B&W photos. With today’s cameras, you can just flip to another mode. Gone are the days when if you wanted to do some B&W photography, you had to devote an entire roll of film to the project.

    Also, as the Italians are in such an economic distress, all they’d have to do is turn off the electricity to the pumps in all those fountains for a few days and they’d be out of the red! 🙂

    • I was shocked to see the crowds in November. Some places they were overwhelming, but for the most part it wasn’t too bad. I can’t imagine this place in summer.

      That is so true of B&W photography. Sometimes I flip the mode to B&W to get in the mindset of taking B&W photos, but usually I just convert them afterwards. I don’t want to miss out on something that may be better in color. How times have changed.

    • Thanks Kevin. I have been very motivated for photography, mainly because I am surrounded by some of the most photogenic sights I’ve ever seen. Sunset is at 4:50pm so it isn’t hard being around for the magic hour.

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  3. Nice B&W shots Jeff. I always have difficulty getting decent B&W shots. Because I don’t have color to fall back on, the photos and their contents have to stand on their own merits. I’ve always thought that B&W photography separates the good photographers from the “also rans.” Re: photos on the ipad. If I didn’t have a camera with me, and did have an ipad, I would use it for photos, but otherwise, no way. In addition, I think that in many places you’re inviting an easy theft. You’re focused on holding the ipad, composing the shot, and it’s just hanging out there for someone to grab. A easy sellable $400 piece of computer gear must be a big temptation. ~James

    • I never thought about the IPad being easy for theft, but that is a great point. I just always think how unwieldy and awkward they look.

      I wish I were better at black and white. Often times, I put the camera in BW mode and try to think in Black and White. It can change how you see things.

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  8. On February 1, I started getting tons of traffic to the post from Facebook, but I can’t find where it was posted. If anyone who has found this post through Facebook lately can you please tell me the source? I’d like to thank whoever shared it.

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