Piazza di Spagna & the Spanish Steps

sights / Squares & plazas

Piazza di Spagna & the Spanish Steps information

Location
Rome , Italy
Getting there
Metro: Spagna
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A magnet for visitors since the 18th century, the Spanish Steps (Scalinata della Trinità dei Monti) provide a perfect people-watching perch and you’ll almost certainly find yourself taking stock here at some point.

Piazza di Spagna was named after the Spanish Embassy to the Holy See, although the staircase, designed by the Italian Francesco de Sanctis and built in 1725 with a legacy from the French, leads to the French Chiesa della Trinità dei Monti. This landmark church, which was commissioned by King Louis XII of France and consecrated in 1585, commands memorable views and boasts some wonderful frescoes by Daniele da Volterra, including a masterful Deposizione (Deposition). At the foot of the steps, the Barcaccia (the ‘sinking boat’ fountain) is believed to be by Pietro Bernini, father of the more famous Gian Lorenzo. In 2015 the fountain was damaged by Dutch football fans, and the Dutch subsequently offered to repair it. To the southeast of the piazza, adjacent Piazza Mignanelli is dominated by the Colonna dell’Immacolata, built in 1857 to celebrate Pope Pius IX’s declaration of the Immaculate Conception.