Spanish Steps (Piazza di Spagna)
The monumental Spanish Steps—designed by Francesco de Sanctis—are one of Rome’s most popular tourist sites. Surrounded by bars and cafés and always bustling, the staircase features on most day or nighttime Rome city tours, whether on foot, by bike, Vespa, Segway, or hop-on hop-off bus. Such tours typically stop at spots such as the Colosseum and Pantheon, great for time-pressed travelers. You can also visit on a specialized private food and wine or pizza tour.
Things to Know Before You Go
Sitting, eating, and drinking on the steps is forbidden; local police strictly enforce these rules.
The steps are just that: stairs. As such, they are not accessible to wheelchairs or strollers.
Just adjacent to the Spanish Steps is the house where English poet John Keats lived, now a museum dedicated to his memory and works.
Be aware of your surroundings and watch for individuals who will thrust a rose or other souvenir into your hand and then demand payment.
How to Get There
The metro line A runs from the Termini train station to Piazza di Spagna, at the foot of the Spanish Steps. Many walking tours depart from or pass by the staircase too, as do hop-on hop-off bus routes.
When to Get There
The Spanish Steps are crowded most of the day, so you'll have to visit early in the morning or late at night if you want to enjoy them in relative peace. Avoid midday, as there's little shade and lots of sun. For great photos, visit in the spring or winter when the steps are festooned with colorful flowers and decorated with a towering Christmas tree and fairy lights, respectively.
The Spanish Steps were financed by French diplomat Étienne Gueffier and built to link the Trinità dei Monti Church—which was at the time under the patronage of the King of France—with the Spanish Square below. The steps were so-named because of their proximity to the square, home to Spain's embassy and considered Spanish territory in the 17th century.
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