What to Do at the Spanish Steps

The Spanish Steps are a set of stone steps in Rome that climb a steep slope between the Piazza di Spagna and the Piazza Trinitá dei Monti. This enormous, and rather beautiful staircase counts 135 steps and was built with the funds of a French diplomat in the mid 18th century. It was designed by architects Francesco de Sanctis and Alessandro Specchi.

History of the Spanish Steps

Though the steps were only brought to light in the mid 1700’s, plans and drawings from the 1580’s show that these steps had been on the table for over 100 years. The main reason for these steps was to link the Trinitá dei Monti Church at the top of the slope to the Spanish square below. This construction was named the Spanish Steps after the square, which in turn took its name from the Spanish Embassy as it was once considered Spanish territory. The popularity of these steps grew as more people saw their beauty. Artists of all kinds would visit to draw inspiration from the surroundings and the locals of Rome would use it as a meeting place. To this day both tourists and Romans use this destination to meet, have lunch or go for a stroll and the tradition of the Spanish Steps as a gathering place lives on.

Places to Visit Around the Spanish Steps

The steps are also surrounded with other interesting places to visit. Not only is the Trinitá dei Monti Church at the top worth a visit, but so are the various attractions in the Spanish Square below. At the very bottom of the staircase you will find the Fontana della Barcaccia, known in English as the Fountain of the Old Boat. This ornate fountain was designed by Pietro Bernini and displays the image of sinking ship, the story of which is based on a folk legend. It is said that a fishing boat was carried all the way to this exact spot during a colossal flood in the 1500’s. Though the Spanish Square is a great visit, you can also visit the museum dedicated to the memory of John Keats the English poet. This building is also significant to the poet because it is the house in which he lived and died.

To visit Rome and the Spanish Steps is to follow an ancient Roman tradition. This impressive, and beautiful meeting place is the ideal place to immerse yourself into the Roman culture and get a real taste for what the people of Rome are like.

Check out the Spanish Steps on our Rome City Tour with Colosseum.

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