Piazza di Spagna - Spanish Steps, Rome

3.5 out of 5 stars 296 Reviews

Piazza di Spagna

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  • evilprebil's Profile Photo

    Spanish Steps

    by evilprebil Written Jul 3, 2008

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    I was under-impressed by the Spanish steps. Sure it's a lot of steps, but why the tourist landmark? I was probably just underwhelmed by the mass of tourists and lack of anything else. I know a lot of people want to stay in this area, but it was soooo touristy.

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    Piazza di Spagna

    by ECYM Written Jun 25, 2008

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    The Scalinata di Spagna, or Spanish Steps, are located in an upmarket area of Rome, and join the Piazza di Spagna with the church of Trinita dei Monti with its twin towers that dominate the skyline. The church was built in 1502 by Louis XII, next to St. Francis di Paola's monastery. The Spanish Steps are usually very crowded during the summer months, with tourists just sitting, chatting, and taking a rest from visiting the designer shops that litter the area. It may seem like a good place to eat a picnic lunch, but the Italian authorities, in an attempt to keep the area clean, have banned visitors from eating whilst sitting on the steps.

    The staircase has been constructed using 138 steps. Designed in 1723 by Francesco De Sanctis, and funded by a French diplomat Stefano Gueffierwas, the steps are a mix of curves, straight flights, vistas, and terraces. The steps have needed to be restored many times over the years, with the latest restoration being in 1995. The Spanish Steps got their name from the Spanish Embassy to the Holy See which was located in the piazza.

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    Trinità dei Monti

    by MM212 Updated May 15, 2008

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    Trinit�� dei Monti (Mar 2007)
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    One of the most recognisable churches in Rome (perhaps only second to Saint Peter's), Trinità dei Monti stands dominant above Scalinata della Trinità dei Monti (Spanish Steps). The church dates from the 16th century and recently underwent extensive restoration work to bring it to its current beautiful whitewashed form.

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  • eksvist's Profile Photo

    Piazza di Spagna and Spanish Steps

    by eksvist Written May 8, 2008

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    The Spanish Steps are the set of steps in Rome, climbing a steep slope between the Piazza di Spagna at the base and Piazza Trinita dei Monti.
    The Spanish Steps is without a doubt the longest and widest staircase in all Europe.

    The monumental stairway of 138 steps was built with French diplomat Etienne Gueffier’s bequeathed funds of 20,000 scudi, in 1723–1725, linking the Bourbon Spanish Embassy to the Holy See, today still located in Palazzo Monaldeschi in the piazza below, with the Trinita dei Monti above.

    The Spanish Steps were already in poor condition, have been restored several times, most recently in 1995.

    In the Piazza at the base is the Early Baroque fountain called La Fontana della Barcaccia - Fountain of the Old Boat, built in 1627-29 and often credited to Pietro Bernini, father of a more famous son, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, who is recently said to have collaborated on the decoration.
    According to an unlikely legend, Pope Urban VIII had the fountain installed after he had been impressed by a boat brought here by a flood of the Tiber river.

    As our guide said, you must to talk with stranger on these steps ... it is for luck.
    I found there the local, who was made the lucky wrist-band for one girl from our group.
    And I help to communicate they ... it was my talking with stranger ;)

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    Spanish Seats

    by seasonedveteran Written Apr 6, 2008

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    Guarentee to find a fee spot to rest your feet from touring the jewel of the ancient medieterranean world: a civilized society in the sea of barabarism and wilderness. I dont know the history behind these spanish steps, but it must be as a gift from Spain. A bit of Spain in Italy.

    The Plaza at the base of the Spanish steps is very busy with tourists and has some impressive monuments of great Roman philosophers.

    TIP: Seat yourself and have a packed lunch here, since Rome is among the best cities for tourist trap food vendors. Unless you like spending 3.50 Euros

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  • muratkorman's Profile Photo

    A nice spot to watch the crowd and rest

    by muratkorman Written Mar 25, 2008
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    The Spanish steps are always crowded with tourists during day and night. It offers a nice panaromic view on Roman streets and the people shopping in that area. It is worth a visit for a rest during your shopping frenzy in Rome.

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  • abarbieri's Profile Photo

    A touch of colour!!

    by abarbieri Written Feb 1, 2008

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    On January 16th, 2008 Graziano Cecchini (Mr), self-considered futurist artist , covered the steps with hundreds of thousands of multicolored plastic balls.
    Soon after many of those balls were avalable on ebay!!

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  • wilocrek's Profile Photo

    Sitting, Waiting, Watching, Hoping!

    by wilocrek Updated Jan 18, 2008

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    Always crowded and always worth visitng!
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    The Spanish Steps is the perfect place to end a day of exploring Rome. Whether your a tourist or a local it seems that everyone finds their way to the Spanish Steps at one point in the day. Find yourself a step to sit on and take in the views while your wait for a friend. Or spend some time people watching, one thing is for sure the Spanish Steps has to be the people watching capital of the world! But perhaps the best part of visiting the Spanish Steps is hoping that you will meet someone new to talk to! With the amount of people who come to the Spanish Steps to meet and greet it is almost a certainty that you will meet someone new. There is always an excitement in the air around the steps, its as though all the energy in the city concentrates itself in that one place. It is definitely worthwhile to make the Spanish Steps a staple of your visit to Rome.

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  • Henrik_rrb's Profile Photo

    A small step for Spain, but a big step for Rome...

    by Henrik_rrb Updated Dec 19, 2007

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    Spanish steps
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    Again one of the most popular spots in Rome. The Spanish steps got it’s name in 1723 in honour of the Spanish Embassy, even if that wasn’t a popular decision for France. This because the steps, that leads up to the big church Trinita dei Monti, are financed by money from France…
    It’s a very popular meeting-point for both roman and other people, which sometimes means that it’s too crowded. I for sure wouldn’t decide the Spanish steps as a meeting point with a friend, since it must be easier to not find the friend that actually find him/her there…
    But I do advice you to go there, since it’s a really nice place, perfect for people-looking, some relaxing or to get a perfect view over Rome.
    Just ran up all the steps – and you’ll probably be dead… Instead go up slowly, watching out for all tourists that are sitting everywhere, and then take a look at the view when you’re up at the top.

    At the bottom of the steps is a huge piazza, wellknown for centuries for it’s luxury fashion-shops. Can’t say I’m that thrilled by their prices, but it could always be nice to just look around.
    There is also a big fountain, Fontana della Barcaccia, which is monument of a leaking boat. Made by Pietro Bernini, or his son, the more famous Gianlorenzo (see more at Villa Borghese). The water in the fountain should be drinkable, but since I’ve never actually tried it (always buy bottles with water in Rome, the tapped water tastes… well, not so good… It should be safe to drink it from the fountain, even if I’m not sure though…

    UPDATE december 2007: Much less people in the winter evening for some reason... :) Was a nice view over Rome from the top, but actually quite cold to stay there for a longer time.
    The stairs aren't the impressive without all the flowers either, and my poor friends who visited Rome for the first time were heavily disappointed about the Spanish Step.

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  • WanderingFinn's Profile Photo

    The famous though touristic Spanish Steps

    by WanderingFinn Written Dec 5, 2007

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    The famous Spanish Steps
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    The Spanish Steps (Scalinata di Spagna in Italian) are a very famous sight in Rome. The Steps, the piazza and church have long provided a gathering place for foreigners.

    Built with a legacy from the French in 1725, but named after the Spanish Embassy to the Holy See (which is still located in the piazza), the steps lead to the French church, Trinità dei Monti. In the 18th century the most beautiful women and men of Italy gathered here, waiting to be chosen as an artist's model.

    In May each year the steps are decorated with pink azaleas.

    lf you can't manage the steps there's a lift to the top outside the Spanish Steps metro station.

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  • iaint's Profile Photo

    one of the top 10

    by iaint Written Dec 5, 2007

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    looking from Steps down Via Condotti

    Spanish steps definitely overcrowded and over-rated. You feel you ought to go, and then when you get there, wonder why you bothered!

    Thats said after 2 visits, 5 years apart.

    2nd time around, got more fun out of walking round the chic shops in Via Condotti etc and watching the locals "posing" with their designer shopping bags

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  • rita_simoes's Profile Photo

    Piazza di Spagna

    by rita_simoes Updated Nov 24, 2007

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    This is always a crowded, CROWDED place, even at night. I think only Fontana di Trevi has more tourists for m2.

    Nonetheless, it's a charming square with a lovely fountain and, of course, the steps are a great view, but, being so overloaded with people taking photos, I really wanted to escape from there as soon as possible.

    When I went there, unfortunately, there were works in the obelisk, so it was covered, ruining my pics :-( Hope to catch it uncovered when I return.

    In the square, there's also the Shelley-Keats museum (the house where Keats died), which I didnt visit this time but I surely will next time!

    Just out of curiosity, some months ago a drunk driver fell with his car on the steps (there's a road right in front of the church) and came all the way down! So, pay attention when you sit there! ;-)

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  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo

    Tourist Sitting it out with Locals

    by BruceDunning Updated Nov 18, 2007

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    The steps are here to gawk, but the locals really do sit and relax. They like to show their special dressing attire, and look at the others there and going by. Once in summer, I remember there was barely a place to sit. Via del Babuiono street is s shopping street that leads into the steps area. The name comes from the fact that the Spanish Embassy was once here. The steps curve up the hill and end at the Trinita dei Monti church. The fountain at the base is designed by Bernini.

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  • piccolakitten's Profile Photo

    Spanish Steps and SHOPPING!

    by piccolakitten Updated Nov 6, 2007

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    On my last days I got a cab to Spanish Steps...u can have a glass wine and panini at a place right by the steps called Barcaccia ... around 17 euro... expensive but worth it cos u can go upstairs and if you`re early get a seat that overlooks Spanish Steps ...and u can be soooo entertained by ppl from everywhere in the world gathering . It`s a theatre all of its own. The service here was fantastic. And because I was early/late? they let me just sit and relax for ages......... The toilet is the best in the whole of Rome....has a REAL guy who offers you a real towel to dry your hands!

    Then go down Via Condotti window shopping. Prepare to spend lots of time...dont just window-shop...go INTO the shops and pretend you are rich....no one knows the difference....and touch all the clothes and dream ..honestly, I saw a dress here that was $10.000 dollars! and yes I held it up in front of myself in the mirror ! The clothes were amazing! The shop assistants are generally young and very friendly. I had a ball in this street...and wished i had done the "shopping Tourist" thingy earlier. From there you wander the streets and get lost....at every turn there will be amazing shops but of course the real secret is that you are walking around ancient Rome...and these shops were there thousands of years ago...just the merchandise has changed. And if you get hot you will find a church in the same streets...just look up and you will recognize an ancient church in the same street!! Go up the steps and thru the door and from the chaos and the buzz of chattering voices from around the world, and the din of roaring vespas and tooting taxis, you will step into another century. Only the silent sound of someone singing a quiet Ave Maria.... you will be so cool from the sun. I took my shoes off and calmed my feet on the cold stone floor....but check there aint a priest watching first! Then out you go into the chaos again. I don`t think the Italians have a phrase for it but "sono in cielo"...I am in heaven!..

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  • fairy_dust's Profile Photo

    The Spanish Steps

    by fairy_dust Updated Aug 19, 2007

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    The Spanish steps
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    The Spanish Steps are an outdoor stone staircase in Rome, near the Spanish Embassy. They're surrounded by beautiful old buildings. The Spanish Steps are a major tourist attraction and often used as a meeting point for both locals and tourists.

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