The Spanish Steps are one of the most iconic landmarks in Rome, Italy, and a popular tourist attraction. The staircase is monumental. It was designed by Francesco de Sanctis and Alessandro Specchi in the 18th century. It connects the Piazza di Spagna at the bottom to the Trinita dei Monti church at the top. The 135 steps are adorned with beautiful flowers and sculptures, and provide a magnificent view of the city below. The Spanish Steps are named after the nearby Spanish Embassy, which was located on the Piazza di Spagna at the time of the staircase’s construction. Today, the Spanish Steps remain a popular meeting place for both locals and visitors alike, and are most beautiful during spring.
Here are 10 Interesting Facts About the Spanish Steps:
- The Spanish Steps were built between 1723 and 1725, and were commissioned by French diplomat Étienne Gueffier. Gueffier wanted to connect the French church at the top of the hill with the Spanish square below. Aboveall, the steps were built to celebrate the peace treaty between France and Spain.
- The stairs were designed by Francesco de Sanctis and Alessandro Specchi, who were inspired by the baroque style of architecture.
- The Spanish Steps consist of 135 steps, and are one of the longest and widest staircases in Europe. If you try to count the steps, they will reach 136, one step is part of the drainage system that is elevated and is often mistaken for the first step.
- The steps are made of Travertine stone, which is a type of limestone that is commonly found in Italy.
- The Spanish Steps were originally built to be a place of pilgrimage, and many visitors would climb the stairs on their knees as a sign of devotion.
- At the base of the Spanish Steps is the Barcaccia Fountain, which was designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and his son, and features a boat-shaped basin.
- The steps have been featured in several films, including Roman Holiday, The Talented Mr. Ripley, and Eat Pray Love.
- The Spanish Steps have been a popular meeting place for artists and writers over the years, and were frequented by famous figures such as John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley.
- The steps have undergone several restorations over the years, the most recent of which was completed in 2016.
- In recent years, the Spanish Steps have become a popular spot for street performers, artists, and musicians.