3. September 2018

Spanish Steps Rome: Tips and Information about the Spanish Steps in Rome

You will find useful tips and information for your visit to the Spanish Steps in Rome in this article. The Spanish Steps in Rome are famous all over the world and one of the most popular sights in Rome. At the same time they are probably the most impressive steps in the Italian capital.

Spanish Steps Rome: Tips and information about Rome’s most famous stairway

The famous Spanish Steps lead from the Piazza di Spagna to the Roman Trinità dei Monti church. The steps have already been featured in many films including Woody Allen’s ‘From Rome with Love’ and ‘Roman Holiday’ starring Audrey Hepburn. But the Spanish Steps are not only used for filming blockbusters, fashion shows are held there as well. The Roman luxury brand Bulgari is the official sponsor of the in 2016 completed restoration works of the Spanish Steps.

Spanish Steps Rome: History and description of the Spanish Steps in Rome

In the jubilee year of 1725 the monumental stairway was inaugurated by Pope Benedict XIII. For more than 150 years the popes had been considering how to overcome the steep slope between the French church Trinità dei Monti and the Spanish Square. The order for the construction of the church was given by the French King Louis XII. in 1482, however, it was completed only a hundred years later in 1587. In 1660, a French diplomat left a considerable sum to build the stairway, and sixty years later, constructions began.

Spanish-Steps-in-Rome

The English name ‘Spanish Steps’ is connected to the Spanish Square beneath. The Square once belonged to the Spanish embassy. The Italian name of the stairway is in reference to the church above the steps. In Italian the stairway is called ‘Scalinata di Trinità dei Monti’.

There were many different ideas and contrary opinions on how to design the stairway. The Sun King Louis XIV, patron of the popes, wanted to see an equestrian statue of himself at the bottom of the stairway. There was also the idea of a steep, continuous stairway. In the end, however, the project of the architect Francesco de Sanctis prevailed and the Spanish Steps were built in the Italian Baroque style.

The Spanish Steps in Rome rise in the first part with a tripartite staircase to the first terrace. Two concave stairways on the left and right then lead around the terrace to the second platform. From there, the path leads on a central convex stairway to a platform, from where the stairway again divides into two concave stairways leading to the last terrace in front of the Trinità dei Monti church. It is said that the architect of the Spanish Steps designed the stairway this way to refer to the the church’s name, trinity.

The Spanish Steps are very steep. There are 23 meters of difference of hight from the bottom to the top. The Spanish Steps consist of 135 steps which might leave you breathless on hot summer days. Luckily the architect included two platforms were you can take a break and enjoy the view. From above you will have a great view onto the city. In the center you can see the luxury shopping street Via dei Condotti. Once arrived at the top don’t miss visiting the church. If you make a left the path will lead you to the Palazzo Medici, which nowadays houses the French Academy in Rome, and on to the Pincio view point near Piazza del Popolo.

Rome spanish steps

Below the Spanish Steps is a famous Roman fountain in the shape of a barque ‘La Fontana della Barcaccia’ carved by Pietro Bernini and his better known son Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The fountain is a good place to take great pictures of the Spanish Steps. Early in the morning you can often see newlyweds having their photo shoot on the Spanish Steps.

Spanish Steps Rome: Important tips for your visit to the Spanish Steps

To keep the stairway clean it is in fact forbidden to sit down on it and to eat and drink. So don’t bring food or drinks or your visit to the Spanish Steps will soon be over. BUT as you can see on the pictures, the Spanish Steps in Rome are full of people.

people at the Spanish Steps in Rome

Lots of people sitting on spanish steps

Spanish Steps Rome: Tickets and opening hours

The Spanish Steps in Rome are open 24 hours and 7 days a week, so that you can visit them during the day, in the evening or even at night. After the last restoration, however, there were calls to close the Spanish Steps at night and to charge admission to the stairs.

Spanish Steps in Rome

Fortunately these demands could not prevail and the Spanish Steps are still accessible day and night and free of charge. You do not have to pay admission fee to the Spanish Steps.

Spanish Steps Rome: Address and how to get to the Spanish Steps in Rome

The best way to get to the Spanish Steps in Rome is by taking metro line A and getting off at the station ‘Spagna’. Buses run along Via del Tritone, Via Tomacelli and at Piazzale Flaminio. This buses  52, 53, 62, 63, 71, 83, 85, 160 and 492 make a stop at the station Tritone / Trevi. From there, take the Via del Nazareno alley to Via di Sant’Andrea delle Fratte and continue along Via di Propaganda to the Spanish Steps.

Spanish-Steps-Rome

If you are coming from the northern part of the city you can take the bus line 628 to Via Tomacelli. From there, the path leads through Via dei Condotti to the Spanish Steps. The bus 628 continues in the direction of Appia. On Saturday afternoons and on Sundays this bus line passes Piazza Navona. In the northern direction the bus stop of line 628 is near the Tiber on the left side of Via Tomacelli. There is one more station of metro line A on Piazzale Flaminio, as well as the last stop of the tram line 2 and the bus lines 61, 89, 160, 490 and 495. From there the path leads via Piazza del Popolo and Via del Babuino to the Spanish Steps.

Scalinata-di-Trinità-dei-Monti-Spanish-Steps-Rome

Inside the metro station Spagna is a passage way to Via Vittoria Veneto. Very convenient because you can easily manage the difference in altitude between Villa Borghese and Via Veneto via a system of moving walkways and escalators. There also is a large paying car park. If you come to Rome by car, this is parking is a good starting point. The entry to the car park is on Via del Muro Torto.

Spanish Steps Rome: What to do after visiting the Spanish Steps in Rome

  • On the right side of the Spanish Steps is a Marian column. It is the pillar of Immacolata, the Immaculate Conception. On the 8th of December, Roman firefighters climb on their ladder to honor the statue in the presence of the pope with a flower wreath. The statue stands on an ancient pillar and was inaugurated in 1857.

  • To the right of the column is the Spanish Embassy, near the Holy See. On the other side, on Via dei due Macelli, is a big MacDonalds. In the background you can see the tunnel which leads to Via Nazionale underneath the Quirinal. If you continue on Via dei due Macelli you will reach the luxury mall Rinascente where you can go shopping. On its right side is the passage Via di Propaganda leading to the Trevi Fountain.

  • Opposite the Spanish Steps, the noble street Via dei Condotti leads to the Corso. There and in the whole area to the left and right are many shops, which are great for shopping.

  • To the left of the Spanish Steps is the tea house Babington’s founded in 1893 by two English ladies who had settled in Rome. The tea house still maintains its English charm and is a popular meeting point among politicians and artists.

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