One of the most popular things to see in Rome is the Roman Baroque style urban monument, the Spanish Steps. We came upon this beautiful butterfly-shaped Rome attraction accidentally, on our mission to find a way up to the Villa Borghese gardens from the Explora Rome Children’s Museum, and it was the hundreds of tourists pottering about that alerted us to the fact.
The Spanish Steps sit in front of the Piazza del Monti, which lead up to the impressive twin tower church, the Trinita del Monti, at the top. At the base of the Spanish Steps, there is a wide open-space called the Piazza di Spagna. This is the home of the baroque fountain, the Fontana della Barcaccia, or the “Fountain of the Old Boat” created by Pietro Bernini, of the famous Bernini artist family. You’ll notice the boat in the sculpture is sinking… it is said to be an image from an old folklore story.
Things to See in Rome – The Spanish Steps
The Spanish Steps tourist attraction have long been a drawcard for things to see in Rome. They’ve long held the honour of being a meeting place of artists, painters, and poets, along with the beautiful and sometimes rich people who are drawn to be near these creative souls. But now, the Spanish Steps are known as the meeting place for everyone, from all kinds of backgrounds, young and old.
If you are looking for things to do in rome with the kids, the Spanish Steps deserve at least a quick look. The stairs are the perfect amphitheatre for a bit of people watching in the old city of Rome. But while you are here, do take a decent stroll. After all, that’s what these Spanish Steps are made for!
Seven Fun Facts about the Spanish Steps
- The Spanish Steps are over 290 years old, having been built between 1723 and 1725.
- The Spanish Steps and the Piazza di Spagna were originally called the Trinità dei Monti after the church at the top but were renamed in honour of the Spanish Ambassador who lived there.
- The Spanish Steps were recently restored – they reopened on September 21, 2016. They are the widest set of stairs in Europe.
- If you visit in Springtime during mid April to early May, you’ll witness the Spanish Steps in full bloom as hundreds of pots of deep purple azaleas lining the route. It’s a commemoration of the foundation of Rome and a sight to see!
- Don’t think about eating lunch on the steps – The Roman Government actually forbids this practice. Dare to try it, and it might cost you a fine – anywhere from 25 Euro right up to 500 Euro for eating pizza, sandwiches, or snacks on this much-loved staircase
- There’s 135 steps to the top. Not 136. (The first ‘step’ is actually part of the drainage system!) That’s a lot of puffing. But If you are seven, the Spanish Steps are THE place to practice cartwheels! At least, that’s what Ned thinks. He spun, not walked, his way from bottom to top in this unique way! I though, half-carried, half-dragged the stroller up the stairs with Jack in the Ergo. Puffed is not quite the word I’d use
- At the top, for those who love shopping in Rome, you’ll find a row of artists, caricaturists, and souvenir sellers all hawking their wares.
The Inside Scoop
Correct at time of publication. Please check with venue for updates.
Opening Hours at:
- The Spanish Steps are open 24 hours a day
- The church at the top of the staircase, Chiesa della Trinità dei Monti, is open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday from 6 am to 8 pm.
Entry Fees at the Spanish Steps
- Free entry.
Location and Map:
Address: Piazza di Spagna, 00187 Roma, Italy
- 5 -10 minutes walk from the Trevi Fountain or 30 minutes from the Piazza del Popolo will also get you to the famous scalinata..
- The subway station “Spagna” opens right onto the square
- Take a bus to Via del Corso. Alight somewhere along the main street and wander down one of the elegant streets that lead to the square
By Taxi or Uber
- The Spanish Steps are easily accessible by taxi or Uber.
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