Results 1-10of 22 Reviews
by Red Mezz
Inverness, Scotland, United Kingdom
January 7, 2012
From journal The Golden, Eternal city...
Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
October 25, 2010
From journal la dolce vita in roma
March 8, 2010
January 19, 2009
From journal Six Days in Eternity
heber ctity, Utah
August 12, 2007
We bought an all-day transit pass at a news stand 1½ blocks from our hotel, I took a bus to the Coliseum Metro station to Spagna (Spanish Square) and the famous Spanish Steps (impressive, but I think over rated) and visit America Express to cash Amex Travelers’ Checks at the best rate we found in Italy.Rearmed with euros, we reversed direction to the far end of the Square and went left on Via d. Croce, an attractive narrow street lined with trendy shops, to Via Corso, Rome’s main shopping street. San Carlo al Corso, with its impressive Baroque interior was almost directly across V. Corso. A short walk (two blocks) to the left on leaving the church brought us to V. Pontifici, where a left turn brought us to the Tomb of Emperor Augustus.Although desecrated by the Popes, who stole the marble facing of the tomb and the ring of statues that circled the garden on top, Augustus’ Tomb remains impressive. To fully appreciate it, find the sign along the sidewalk circling the tomb that has a drawing of how it originally looked. Seeing this picture also helped understand the structure of Castle San Angelo (Hadrian’s Tomb).The Alter in Honor of the Peace of Augustus (~10BC), celebrating the end of 22 years of civil war, is adjacent to the tomb, inside the modern building. The alter is considered the finest remaining ancient Roman art work. Now on the banks of the Tiber, we crossed the river, turned left past the monumental Law Courts to Castle S. Angelo, which technically is only the top part of the structure, a Papal Palace built on top of the garden that surmounted the Emperor Hadrian’s Tomb. Note how the Popes used the massive ancient Roman building as the center piece of the fortifications protecting the Papal Palace. Don’t miss the Pope’s bathroom.There is a decent public restroom just inside the entrance on the left, and if I recall correctly, it can be reached before the ticket booth. After a visit to the Papal Palace, we proceeded along the Tiber to the grand entrance way to the grand entrance to Bernini’s grand Vatican Square where we visited St Peter’s Cathedral, saw the Pieta, and took a bus from just outside the entrance to Vatican Square back to within one block of our hotel. St Peter’s is the largest church in the world, almost 700 feet long, with 500 pillars supporting the roof. It is said to have once held 60,000 people. We thought the best view of the Pieta was from the right side, rather than head on. Scrunch right up to the wall. Note: If you are going directly into St Peter’s (free) rather than to the Papal Tombs(fee) under the church, you can bypass the long, long line waiting to get into the catacombs.
Being Culture Week, admission to Augustus’ Peace Alter and Hadrian’s were free. All in all, a fascinating walk through history.
From journal City of Thieves
brooklyn, New York
June 21, 2000
From journal Roman Holiday
November 19, 2002
We arrive at the Piazza di Spagna after a short but not very comfortable ride on the Rome subway. At the foot of the stairs, dozens of tourgroups are already gathered, although it is not yet 10.30 am. The stairs themselves are exactly like in the many photos we have seen, with the Trinita' dei Monti-church hovering over them. We take a couple of pics and begin to climb the stairs. Funnily enough, the look down is one I have never seen before on any picture.
Once we reach the church at the top of the stairs, we turn left on the road, and as crowded as it was at the foot of the steps, as quiet it is up here. We find ourselves suddenly almost alone. A few hundred meters further to the left, along the road, we discover a look out point with a grandiose view across Rome. In the distance shimmers the dome of the San Pietro church and the Vatican.
From journal Eternal Rome
St. Louis, Missouri
June 29, 2005
The steps are at their prettiest in the spring, when they're covered with flowers. Unfortunately, though, between the tourists and the vendors attracted there by the tourists, the steps are usually crowded. The vendors are also unusually persistent, and consequently, in my opinion, the piazza is a nice place to see but not to stay for very long.
From journal A Study Abroad Semester in Rome
January 18, 2005
Although the Trinità dei Monti church and Piazza di Spagna has been paid for by the French, the square has been named after the Spanish embassy to the Pontifical States that was based here.
To me, the steps and the square are best approached from the church, either coming from Piazza Barberini or the Pincio Garden. The Trinità dei Monti is a beautiful baroque-style church built mainly in the 16th century and designed by Carlo Maderno. It's a great stop to take a break from the Roman sun and look at the painting (search for the "Assumption" by da Voltera, in which this pupil of Michelangelo painted his master in the scene). The square and steps were built later by architect Francesco de Sanctis between 1723 and 1725. In front of the church, you will notice many street vendors selling anything: painting, jewelry, food and drinks, postcards... Admire the view from the balustrade and take in the steps... you'll realize how crowded it is.
Now, avoid walking on people's hand or feet when going down. It used to be a place for artists and models to be picked up and well... it's still a place to be picked up and to see and be seen Just give in, buy a gelato, and enjoy!
At the end of the staircase is Fontana della Barcaccia, the Little Boat Fountain. It is not known which one of the Berninis (Pietro, the father, or Gianlorenzo, the more famous son) created the fountain (maybe they both worked on it). You'll often find lots of people there cooling off. The water is drinkable and it's a good idea to refill.
Resource for Tourists:
American Express has its office here.
Although I don't recommend eating there (come on, you're in Rome), check out the interior of the McDonald's. They established themselves in an old palazzo, causing the ire of the Romans.
Have a tea at Babington's or Caffe del Greco (on swanky via Condotti... check out the autograph by Buffalo Bill), where sophisticated British ladies and other rich foreigners were indulging during their mandatory pilgrimage to Rome.
From there, hit the designer shops of Via Condotti (if you have the wallet for it) or Via del Corso (more democratic), or reach the Trevi Foutain.
From journal La dolce vita a Roma.
Jarrow, Tyne & Wear, United Kingdom
September 17, 2002
From journal When In Rome...