on January 7, 2012
I know there are a lot of reasons to visit the Spanish Steps in Rome - and many people have their own. If you're really keen to see the famous spot used in films and adds and with a certain sentimentality attached. And I suspect many people want to visit it just to say they've seen it. And I can't say that it's not impressive in it's own way. The problem is - it's so completely packed with people, tourists, and vendors that there's no real way to appreciate it. Of all the selection of tourist spots I visited in Rome, this one I found to be the most overcrowded and with the pushiest vendors. This may have just been my own experience, and even so it was a much easier experience than I've had in other crowded cities. But it stands out in such stark contrast to our experience in the rest of Rome that it didn't really seem worth it. I have one single photo of the site so many people flock to see - and I took that as a token almost entirely for this review. I can't say I enjoyed a single moment at or near the Spanish steps - and in fact the entire area is so highly touristed that we spent what felt like an unnecessarily long part of that morning extricading ourselves out of it again. The really pricy shops are just off this square, but as it seems is always the case in Rome, just a few turns down quieter streets and the atmosphere of the city returns, and you wan wander once again and soak up what there is to see. So - if you have an inclination to the see the steps - I'll not suggest you shouldn't go. But as all these Roman sights - get there very early or very late for the best viewing. It appears there isn't a time in Rome when there aren't a lot of tourists flocking to see them, so you're best shot is at other times of the day. But even if you do have to go at it's busiest - it will be hard to really enjoy the large set of steps in the centre of Piazza di Spagna. For us it ended up being a token visit, and we were soon pushed out of the square and were happily on our way to see the rest of the city.
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