Spanish Steps, Rome, Italy

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The famous Spanish Steps, or Scalinata Spagna, make up another one of Rome’s amazing tourist hot spots. Designed by Francesco di Sanctis and built in the 1720s, the Spanish Steps continually draws tourists and locals alike out of their apartments in Rome.

Created by the French diplomat, √Čtienne Gueffier, the monumental Spanish stairway contains 138 steps and subsequently boasts the longest and widest staircase in all of Europe.

The steps lead to the French church, the Trinita del Monti, which provides an amazing site for those at the base looking up with its twin towers that dominate the skyline. The church is also representative of the French legacy that built the attraction on land that was previously owned by them.

However in the 1700s during the construction of the steps, their popularity grew exponentially and guards from the nearby Spanish Embassy were sent to maintain the peace.

Ironically many Spaniards continued to flock to the stairs, resulting in French protests against the Spanish for an intrusion onto their land. Eventually a decision had to be made by the Roman Authorities and they sanctioned that the stairs fell under the jurisdiction of the Spanish. As such, time went by and the stairs eventually formed the name it is commonly referred to today as the Spanish Steps.

Furthermore, at the base of the stairs lies the beautiful Barcaccia Fountain, or Fontana della Barcaccia, which translates to “Fountain of the old boat”. The fountain derives its name from the shape of a half sunken ship with bows that contain overflowing water. In the middle of summer in Rome, many tourists use the fountain in order to cool themselves from the scorching heat, whilst others may toss a coin in for good luck. Whatever the reason, the Barcaccia fountain provides a great element to the popularity of the Spanish Steps and for bringing guests out of Rome apartments.

NB: Don’t forget to browse our riveting selection of Rome Posters and Prints.

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