Piazza di Spagna took its name from the time that the site was Spanish territory back in the 17th century when the Spanish Embassy to the Holy See was located here.
At the bottom of the spanish steps you can see Fontana della barcaccia(fountain of the old boat ) (pic2) which is nice baroque fountain and has a shape of half sunken ship. It was erected in 1627, 29 years after a flooding of Tiber river that caused the flooding over piazza di Spagna. There was a boat left there when the water withdrew so they made Pietro Bernini and his son made the fountain inspired by that.
Spanish Steps(Scalinata Della Trinità dei Monti ) must be the most popular meeting point in Rome among locals and tourists. It is always crowded day and night, especially by young people that can spend hours on the steps with a beer in their hands and countless of tourist trying to take romantic pictures although they know it’s impossible with so many people around :) From this spot starts via Condotti, the famous street which is full of expensive clothe stores and boutiques, with people come and go non stop but you cant imagine how packed it was in christmass period during the evenings. Watch out for pickpockets.
The wide staircase was built by Francesco de Sanctis in 1725 with a terrace in the middle to enjoy the view. Pic3 shows the view from the upper terrace, Rome lies in front of you…
At the top lies Trinita Dei Monti, a beautiful French church that was built in 1585 with two bell towers. If front of the church is another obelisk(pic4) that was erected in 1789 by Pope Pius VI, it’s a small scale copy of the obelisk you can see at Piazza del Popolo. We walked inside the church and took a picture of the interior(pic5) but didn’t stay long to check the paintings because they were people praying at that time and they wouldn’t understand the VT excuses I guess… :)
The most famous square in Rome, Piazza di Spagna, owes its name to the fact that the piazza was considered Spanish territory for a while during its history. Along with the Scalinata della Trinità dei Monti (known as the Spanish Steps in English) it is a favourite gathering spot, day or night, among Romans and tourists alike. The piazza is graced by a Bernini fountain and surrounded by stunning Italianate architecture in the typical ochre colours of Rome. It is also where the famous Via Condotti meets the Spanish Steps. Unfortunately, during high tourist seasons, this area is unbearably crowded and is best avoided!
The steps is the longest and widest staircase in Europe. The steps lead to the French Church, Trinita dei Monti, a beautiful church is located on a hill overlooking the small Piazza della Trinita dei Monti. From this square, you have a nice view over Rome. It can get crowded on the steps with people sitting, relaxing and talking. At the base is the early baroque fountain called Fontana della Barcaccia ("Fountain of the Old Boat"). From here it's just a step to designer boutiques on Via Condotti, Via Veneto, etc.
This is where you can always find a lot of people sitting down on the steps, taking photos...
At the foot of the beautiful staircase you'll find a fountain in the shape of a sinking ship. The Barcaccia Fountain was designed by a father and son, Pietro and Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
The stairs will take you to the 16th-century French church, Trinità dei Monti. In front of it, there's an obelisk with the same hieroglyphs as those on Piazza del Popolo.
The majestic staircase was built around 1725 by Francesco De Sanctis to celebrate the peace between Spain and France.
At the top of the Spanish Steps you reach Trinità dei Monti and a whole other perspective opens up.
Villa Medici houses the Académie nationale de France and was originally meant to bring French artists into contact with classical art, a bath of culture I guess. That mission probably still applies.
I enjoyed my visit there, there's a feeling that art is indeed alive and well. And the gardens are wonderful.
During this last visit to Rome, I focussed a lot on fountains. There's a fountain with a story in front of Villa Medici (see pics.)
Have you heard the beautiful music by Ottorino Respighi, Fountains of Rome? It's part of a trilogy, the other two are Pines of Rome and Roman Festivals. I don't know Roman Festivals but grew up with Respighi's Fountains and Pines of Rome... I was happy to get a photo of the fountain in front of Villa Medici because Respighi was inspired by that fountain and three others for his work. In fact, Respighi was also inspired by the pines nearby for his Pines of Rome, and I got a photo of them too.
The happiness I felt that day at Trinità dei Monti comes back in swift rushes now, when I see those photos.
The fountain at Villa Medici is made of two Roman basins and was designed by Annibale Lippi in 1589. It's a beauty, worth climbing the steps and spending time nearby.
The ball from which the water sprouts is a later addition. It's a ball fired by Queen Christine of Sweden from Castel Sant'Angelo towards Villa Medici, to test the cannons of the fortress (imagine that!)
This site is known for its view and has been the subject of many paintings in earlier centuries. I saw some of them in an old illustrated book on Rome at the "bouquinistes" by Terme di Diocletianus and Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri (near Viminale.)
The road leads to the Pincio Hill where you have a fantastic view on Piazza del Popolo but I turned before that and walked into Villa Borghese, which is no cause for regret either.
The baroque church was constructed in 1502 under the auspice of King Louis XII of France right next to the monastery which was built in 1494.
If you're in piazza spagna, you won't miss this, so take your time, go up the 138 spanish steps and visit the trinita dei monti church right on the last step.
The Fountain of the Old Boat is located right at the foot of the Spanish Steps. People agather around this boat taking that picture-perfect shot standing below on the side of the boat. it is exactly in the middle of the piazza.
The boat was built by the Berninis in 1627 as commissioned by Pope Urban VIII.
The Piazza di Spagna is popularly known because of the spanish steps. The steps was constructed in 1723 and has 138 steps leading to the church of Trinita dei Monti located right at the top.
The first McDonalds in Italy is located near here - and a bit hard to find - amidst protest. I'm supposed to join a walking touor of the city and the McDonalds is the meeting place but can't find it.
I went there early in the morning, took the metro from Termini which is beside my hotel and got off at the Spagna metro stop which is the 3rd stop from Termini. Met with friends and we started our tour of the day from here.
Rome's most famous piazza, or public gathering place, is the Spanish Steps. Francesco de Sanctis designed these steps and the square, which were built in 1723-1726. The church of Trinita dei Monti (1502) stands up at the top, and the Barcaccia Fountain near the bottom. This is where young Romans go to see and be seen.
To many, Piazza di Spagna is the postcard-worthy image of a romantic Rome. Perhaps in picture, yes, but in reality, it typifies a decaying, dirty city. You don't need bionic olfactory sense to come to the conclusion that the place stinks - and how it does - especially the fountain on the foot of the world-famous Spanish Steps. Someone please do something about this.
The smell is so horrible, it's enough to send a family of English tourists running back to the subway station. I was as usual taking lots of photos, when a couple with their two toddlers arrived. The moment they realized how awful the smell was (very clear with the way they covered their noses), the mom told her brood to quickly pose for the camera ("Let's take pictures, quickly and run" - something to this effect). True enough, after about two shots, the family hurriedly left the place for the subway. It was over in two minutes!
One of my unforgettable Rome experience.
The Piazza di Spagna is probably the most photographed piazza in Rome, or for that matter, in Italy. It combines the twin towers of the church of Trinita dei Monti on top and the harmonious square with its bizzarely shaped fountain below to form one of the most distinctive of Roman scenes. Piaza di Spagna is so called because there has been a Spanish Embassy to the Holy See here since the 17th century.
The cascade of the Spanish Steps is perpetually crowded with visitors day and night. At the bottom of the steps is the fountain by Bernini - the Barcaccia - a half-sunken boat fed by water from the ancient aqueduct Aqua Virgo.
The Spanish Steps is one of the most visited sites in Rome and I must say this is one of the coolest spots in the entire world. Tons and Tons of people come here and just hang out !!!! What a great place to people see.... a must do experience on any trip to Rome !!!!! Loved it here !!!!
The steps were designed by Italian architect Francesco de Sanctis & completed in the 1720's. They were built to link the church Trinita dei Monti & the Piazza di Spagna.
Today the steps with their terraces create a spectacular much photographed city landmark. They were busy both day & night with people sitting & taking in the views.
In the 17th century, the French owners of la Chiesa della Trinità dei Monti, the church towering above the Spanish Steps, decided to provide access from their church to Piazza di Spagna further down the hill. As a result, they created the elegant Spanish Steps, better known as la Scalinata della Trinità dei Monti, that have become an important landmark and Rome's favourite outdoor gathering place. As part of experiencing Rome, one must visit the steps on a sunny day, sit on one of the steps and take the time to observe everything and everyone around. A gelato in hand only enhances the experience!
Named after the recognisable twin towered church, Trinità dei Monti, this small piazza is a balcony over Rome, graced by one of the best views of the Eternal City. It is located at the top of la Scalinata della Trinità dei Monti (known in English as the Spanish Steps), overlooking Piazza di Spagna and Via Condotti, and has views extending all the way to the Vatican and St Peter's. Yet another obelisk is mounted in the centre of the piazza, but this one was in fact carved by Ancient Romans as a replica of Ancient Egyptian obelisks. Going up the Spanish Steps to this piazza is highly recommended at least for its views , especially at sunset (see photos).