All visitors must see this

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by alanmack37 on October 25, 2010

The Spanish Steps is a remarkable staircase of steps which was built in the 18th century for the newly formed Spanish Embassy. I visited the Spanish steps 6 years ago on a hot sunny night. I started at the top and walked down. There is a pretty church at the top, which i only glanced at quickly. There are so many churches in Rome that i tend to stare at the exteriors, rather than the interiors.

Rome, the Spanish steps is situated in the Piazza de Spagna, the heart of the city’s main hotel district. In the seventeenth century, the Spanish ambassador to the Holy See had his headquarters in this square, and the area around it was supposed to be Spanish territory. The Trinita dei Monti church (with a fine view of Rome) was linked to the piazza by a flight of steps, now known as the Spanish steps.

On one side is the Babington’s tea rooms, started in 1896 to cater to homesick British tourists, and a meeting place for writers and poets. It seems only fitting that on the other side of the steps is the Keats-Shelly Memorial house, where Keats lived with the painter Joseph Severn. The memorial and library houses photographs and manuscripts, including handwritten lines of Keats’ poems. One can also see the room where Keats died, though the original furniture was burnt and later replaced by copies.

At the foot of the steps is a famous baroque fountain, the Fontana della Barcaccia, designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini or his father Pietro. It resembles a leaking boat; "barcaccia" means "useless old boat". It is decorated with bees and suns, borrowed from the family coat of the Pope who commissioned it.

The Spanish steps overlooks Via Condotti which has the smartest designer clothes shops, and is considered to be one of the best shopping areas in the world.

A stone’s throw away, to the left, is the Colonna dell Immacolataa Roman column supporting a statue of the Virgin Mary.

One piece of advice be alert in this area and watch your wallet. There are pickpockets and predators around. There are flower sellers and people who will try to put a bracelet on you and then follow you around until you give them money. If this happens just throw the bracelet off and say no.

I did a walking tour of this area in summer at night and there were lots of men standing round the steps. I was told that tradition has said that the most handsome of men in Rome stand by the steps. No idea if this is true.

Well recommend a visit

Spanish Steps (Scalinata)
Piazza Di Spagna
Rome, Italy, 00187

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