The Spanish Steps in Rome

The famous steps in Piazza di Spagna

 

Next to the Piazza di Spagna is the “Scalinata della Trinità dei Monti”, better known as the Spanish Steps of Rome.

Info Spanish steps from Rome

address Piazza di Spagna Rome
metro Stop the Spagna (Line A)

The Spanish Steps of Rome

The ‘Spanish stepsIn Rome, which was built in the Rococo style between 1723 and 1726, the steps lead from the Piazza di Spagna to the French monastery church Trinita dei Monti (built between 1502–1587). There are 135 steps and three different terraces related to the Holy Trinity (Trinità).

The top of the stairs near the Egyptian obelisk offers a beautiful view, although it is shared with many other tourists. The name can be a bit confusing as the steps were actually commissioned by the French (Louis XII). In the 17th century, the Spanish embassy was in the square – “Piazza di Spagna” – at the foot of the stairs, hence the name ‘Spanish steps‘. The official name is therefore not Spanish steps, but Scalinata della Trinità dei Monti.

Fontana della Barcaccia

On this Piazza di Spagna there is also a fountain by Pietro Bernini (father of the famous Gian Lorenzo Bernini) called ‘Fontana della Barcaccia‘. This literally means “well of the ugly boat”. This does not refer to the ugly sculpture, but to the story that the Tiber flooded in 1598 and the ugly little boat stranded in this spot.

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That was Bernini’s inspiration. The not very impressive jets of water from the well are the result of insufficient water pressure from the aqueduct that supplies it. If the French had their way, it would also have a large statue of the French King Louis XII.

Given near the steps. But the then Pope would not allow that, which would delay the construction. Nowadays, the area surrounding Piazza di Spagna is a luxury shopping district, with Via Condotti being the highlight.

Flowers on the Spanish Steps

At the end of April, when Rome celebrates its anniversary, the Spanish Steps are transformed into a sea of ​​azalea flowers. The statue of Mary at the foot of the Spanish Steps is also covered with flowers in spring and on December 8th (Mary’s Immaculate Conception). It is tradition that the Pope visits the Spanish Steps on this day.

You can visit the Trinita dei Monti for free at the top of the stairs. It contains a number of impressive murals, such as the deposition of the cross by Volterra.


Where are the Spanish Steps?

The Spanish steps end on Pincio Hill. From there you are near the Villa Borghese park (with the Borghese Gallery), the 16th century Villa Medici. Also nearby is the Romantic Museum, where the English poet John Keats died.