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Spanish Steps

The Spanish Steps in Rome is an open-air structure of 138 steps in the Baroque style. The landmark leads from the Spanish Square in the capital to the Pincio Hill to the local titular church of Trinita dei Monti. In this article, we will introduce you to the history of the origin of the Spanish Steps. We will present interesting facts, which partly served as a reason for the increased attention of tourists to this object.


Erection began at the beginning of the 18th century. But the idea of the construction appeared long before the design of the structure, and for many years there was a pause because of the enmity of the two ruling dynasties: Spanish and French. The church on Pincio was a symbol of the French monarchy and was a national stronghold for the French who lived in foreign lands. Located at the foot of the famous steps, the “Piazza España” played an important role for the Spaniards living in Rome. It was here that their monarchs were represented.

There were close family ties between the dynasties. Louis XIV took Maria of Austria (daughter of the ruler of Spain) as his wife, although the feud between the monarchs continued. In order to mend relations, the diplomat Etienne Géffier put forward a rational proposal. He recommended that the two buildings, which were of such high importance to the warring parties, be united by the construction of a staircase. He outlined his proposal in his will, allocating funds for the construction. To accomplish this at once did not give Cardinal Mazarin. Until the end of his days, he prevented the construction.

It was only in 1717 that things moved forward. Architects Specchi and Sanctis made a project of the construction. The construction took two years. The Spanish Steps in Rome were officially opened in 1725.

A legacy for contemporaries

The Spanish Steps are one of the symbols of modern Rome. It attracts foreigners with its size and design, and citizens with the opportunity to sit directly on the steps or to organize a celebration of a significant event. Here you can just relax and take original photos.

In the warm season right on the steps the authorities organize an exhibition of flowers. In winter, the stairs are transformed into a stage for Christmas performances. And necessarily once a year, in summer, the Spanish Steps become a catwalk for designer shows of world fashion masters.

Near the stairs there are historical objects that attract the attention of travelers.

The structure consists of a wide central segment and two narrow (side) sections. The observation platform is arranged in the upper part.

It can be accessed from the side spans. Elements of heraldic symbols peculiar to the French, as well as images of the symbols of papal authority (crown and eagle) were used for decoration. Today this historical monument is very popular among tourists. But not everyone knows what the first name of the Spanish Steps in Rome was, and why it is called so now.

Barcaccia Fountain

A place that attracts visitors to the city with its extraordinary appearance. The structure is located at the foot of the famous landmark and depicts a sunken boat. The construction of the fountain is a tribute to the memory of the Italians about the flood that took place in 1598. The idea for the realization of such an idea, in the form of a fountain, the architect was prompted by an incident that occurred during the disaster – the flood “brought” to the flooded square boat. The fountain appeared in 1627.

Church of the Holy Trinity (Santa Trinita dei Monti)

It was built over a period of 83 years. After opening in 1585, the church was restored only once, two centuries later. It was the residence of a French cardinal.

In front of the entrance to the church is an ancient Roman obelisk. Its style is reminiscent of Egyptian statues. From the observation deck there are wide horizons and an excellent panorama of Rome. The description of the exterior of the temple admires the number of elements in the decor. And not for nothing. Prominent Italian architects who lived in the Renaissance worked on the facade of the building. Inside the church a masterpiece by Daniele da Volterra (a pupil of Michelangelo) – the fresco “Deposition from the Cross” occupies a place of honor. The grandeur of the facade of the temple is given by two bell towers rising above it. On them you can see the dials of traditional and sundial. Both are still in use today. Masses are celebrated in French. Opening hours: daily from 7.30 to 19.00.

How to get there

Once you arrive in Rome, the Spanish Steps neighborhood will not be difficult to find on your own. The exact address: Italy, Piazza España, 00187, Rome. The attraction has a good location in the area where there are several hotels. Having settled in one of them, a tourist can walk to the famous staircase on foot.

You can reach the square along Via Condotti, in parallel visiting numerous boutiques of the capital.

If the starting point of the traveler will be the crossroads of 5 streets, you should choose the direction – Via Frpancesco Crispi. After walking a block, turn to Via Sistina. The easiest way to determine the route is to use the city scheme. Having accurately marked your location on the map, it is easy to find the shortest way to the Spanish Square.

How do I get to my destination if you stay in another neighborhood in Rome?

One option is a cab service. The price depends on the distance to be traveled and your ability to bargain with the driver. An alternative to this method is public transportation. From Termini Station, you can take the metro. The final station is “Piazza España” (use line A). The fare is 1.5 euros. Tickets are sold at metro ticket offices, as well as in vending machines near any station, in stores, bars and tobacco kiosks. The most convenient way to get there is up to you.

Piazza España in Rome is the beginning of the capital’s famous shopping streets. Walking leisurely, you can enter prestigious boutiques, buy gifts for relatives or please yourself with a thing from Prada, Gucci or Valentino. There are many cafes nearby, offering a fragrant Italian drink. You can have a great rest in the old English tea house Babington’s, which has been famous for its traditions for 120 years.

No food is allowed on the steps of the Spanish Steps.

Whenever you have to visit Rome, whatever event is taking place on the steps of the Spanish Steps these days, you can safely say one thing: such popularity of the structure can not be exaggerated. This is evidenced by the numerous reviews of experienced tourists.

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