Spanish Steps in Piazza di Spagna

Back to Rome

Remember Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn walking down the long set of steps with a Church with twin towers in Roman Holiday from the black and white cinema era? Those are the Spanish Steps. From the vantage point on Piazza di Spagna, a remarkable Church, sets of steps and a fountain creates the beautiful facade. A number of other famous work in pop culture including music videos and movies have been set with the iconic steps in the background.

The unusual boat shaped fountain (17th century) at the bottom of the steps, designed by Pietro Bernini, the father of the more famous Gian Lorenzo Bernini, sits in the middle of Piazza di Spagna. Looking up, the double domed Church, named Trinita dei Monti, houses many chapels dedicated to famous noble families. In order to connect the Bourbon Spanish embassy and the Trinita dei Monti in the higher level with the Holy See in Palazzo Monaldeschi at the Piazza di Spagna level, the unique steps were built by architect Francesco De Santis. A wonderful Baroque creation, it has a set of ramps with equal number of steps in each.

From the top of the steps, you can get a picturesque view of the square below with the characteristically similar buildings on either sides of the narrow alleys. On any given evening, while the warm glow of the setting sun adorn the top of the Church, finding a place to sit on the stairs could be a challenge.

Tips

  • For best photo opportunities of this marvel, plan to arrive early in the morning or late in the night.
  • Due to the large number of tourists here, pickpockets and petty thieves swarm this area. Be careful to not pay attention to your belongings while you admire the marvels through your eyes and the lens.
  • Before getting to sit on the steps with your group or by yourself, do not forget to get a coffee from the 18th century coffee-shop Caffe Greco.
  • Stop to admire the street performers playing a classic tune in their violins and flutes. Don’t forget to tip.
  • Last but not the least, if you are a fan, feel free to check out the designer shops in the area. Most recognizable names in the upscale fashion industry have a footprint here.

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