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  • Writer's pictureCharmaine Warren

Captivating Rome: Why the Spanish Steps Should Be Your Next Stop

Updated: Apr 23

Welcome back and behold the enchanting world of the Spanish Steps! Imagine yourself bathed in the warm glow of the Roman sun, ascending the iconic staircase that pulsates with life. Each step you climb whispers tales of history, while the cheerful chatter of fellow explorers creates a symphony around you. As you reach the summit, a breathtaking panorama unfolds – the Eternal City sprawled out before you in all its glory. But the Spanish Steps are so much more than just a climb to a view. They're a mesmerizing masterpiece of Baroque architecture, steeped in history and brimming with cultural significance. So, get ready to delve deeper, because these iconic steps deserve a starring role on your Roman adventure!

Behold the Spanish Steps.. (Photo by Shai Pal on Unsplash)

The boat fountain with the Spanish Steps in the background

I am kidding that is not what it looked like… it is this

The boat fountain with the Spanish Steps in the background

Although the Spanish steps is really busy the visitor must keep in mind that the culture of the city. Piazza or a public square is meant for people to congregate in and socialize. It is not a surprise that you would find piazzas busy both with tourists and locals. You can find the Spanish Steps and Trinita de Monti at the Piazza di Spagna.

History of the Spanish Steps

It might be really busy but you cannot discount the magnificence of the Spanish Steps, you're not just looking at a staircase but stepping into centuries of history. This incredible monument has been a meeting place for people from all walks of life for many years, connecting the Piazza di Spagna at its base with the Piazza Trinità dei Monti and the Trinità dei Monti church at the top.

The Spanish Steps were constructed between 1723 and 1725, funded by the French diplomat Étienne Gueffier’s bequest. The steps were designed by the French architect Francesco de Sanctis after many years of discussion about how to bridge the gap between the two piazzas. His design was chosen for its elegant simplicity and harmony with the surrounding architecture, standing out against other more complex designs presented at the time.  Baroque elegance defines their design, with 135 steps cascading gracefully upwards.  This design draws your gaze towards the majestic Trinità dei Monti church perched atop the summit.  The connection between the Steps and the church is undeniable, offering a seamless transition from bustling piazza to serene religious sanctuary.

Piazza di Spagna with the Spanish Steps in the background

Trinita de Monti: A Haven of Art and Devotion:

Step inside Trinità dei Monti, and prepare to be awestruck by the artistic treasures within.  The soaring nave is adorned with frescoes and paintings by renowned artists like Daniele da Volterra and Giovanni Guerra.  The highlight for many is the captivating "Madonna dei Pellegrini" (Our Lady of Pilgrims) by Perugino, a masterpiece depicting the Virgin Mary with Saints guarding pilgrims on their journeys.

Inside the Trinita de Monti

Interesting facts about the Spanish Steps and Trinità dei Monti:

The Spanish Steps and Trinità dei Monti church are more than just stunning Roman landmarks – they're brimming with fascinating stories waiting to be discovered! So, put on your explorer hat and delve into these intriguing facts:

  • A French Twist on a Spanish Name: Despite their name, the Spanish Steps were actually funded by a Frenchman, Étienne Gueffier, in the 18th century. The name itself comes from the Spanish Embassy located at the foot of the stairs in Piazza di Spagna.

  • A Stairway to Silver Screen Stardom: Movie buffs, rejoice! The Spanish Steps have graced the silver screen in countless films, becoming a symbol of romance and adventure. Remember Audrey Hepburn's iconic moment in "Roman Holiday"? Or the high-octane chase scene in "Fast X"? The Steps have played a starring role in pop culture history.

  • Beyond 135 Steps: While climbing the 135 steps might seem daunting, here's a little secret: the design is a masterclass in illusion. The steps are divided into three sections, each with 12 steps, creating the optical effect of a continuous climb.

Close to the top of the Spanish Steps is a viewing area that breaks the 135 steps

  • A Church with a Parisian Flair: The Trinità dei Monti church perched at the top boasts a surprising connection – to France! Designed by architects favored by the French crown, the church reflects a Parisian influence, adding another layer of international intrigue to your visit.

  • A Poet's Inspiration: Calling all literature lovers! The famed English Romantic poet, John Keats, once resided near the Spanish Steps. Imagine strolling the very streets that inspired his beautiful verses! Perhaps a visit to the Steps will spark your own creative spark and inspire you to write your own Roman story.

  • Best view from the Spanish Steps Rome is just before you reach the Trinita de Monti. It reminds of the views from Sacre Couer which if you have not read, please check out our Sacre Couer Blog

Views from the top of the Spanish Steps

How to get to Spanish Steps Rome

The Spanish Steps are incredibly accessible, making them a breeze to incorporate into your Roman itinerary.  For a hassle-free journey, hop on the Rome Metro's Linea A (red line) and disembark at the Spagna station.  Voila! You'll find yourself right at the foot of the Steps, ready to begin your ascent. (How to get to Spanish Steps Rome)

Best time to visit Spanish Steps Rome

The Spanish Steps are a popular attraction, and crowds can sometimes hinder the experience.  To truly appreciate the ambiance and capture stunning photos, consider visiting during the less busy hours.  Early mornings, before the tourist rush arrives, or evenings, when the golden light bathes the city in a warm glow, offer the perfect opportunity for a tranquil climb.

We went closer to sunset and were not disappointed by the views

View of the Piazza from the Spanish Steps

Spanish Steps Bonus Travel Tips:

  • How many steps are there in the Spanish Steps Rome? 135 steps!! So wear comfortable shoes

  • Consider Spanish Steps walking tour Rome to delve deeper into the history and hidden gems of the area, but if you read this blog you are half way to absorbing its rich history!

  • Safety tips for Spanish Steps Rome: Be mindful of pickpockets, especially in crowded areas

  • We did have coverage for the most part while exploring but it also helps to download a reliable offline map like Google Maps to navigate the surrounding streets with ease

Don't Miss Out:  Embrace the Magic!

The Spanish Steps and Trinità dei Monti offer a unique Roman experience that shouldn't be missed.  Imagine capturing breathtaking panoramic views, exploring artistic treasures within the church, and soaking in the atmosphere of a bustling public square also the Trevi Fountain is near Spanish Steps Rome.  This is your chance to become part of the story, to climb the steps that have been graced by countless visitors for centuries.

I hope we inspired you to make sure that the Spanish Steps should be your next stop in Rome. Have you been there? How was your experience?



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