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Spanish Steps

A monumental stairway with a monumental past, the Spanish Steps are literally and figuratively at the heart of Rome.

There are many famous stairways around the world, from the Potemkin Stairs in Odessa, Ukraine, to the Escadaria Selaron in Rio de Janiero, Brazil. But few can rival the romance of Rome’s Spanish Steps.

Compared to most of Rome’s ancient tourist highlights, the Spanish Steps are fairly new additions to the city, yet they still predate the founding of the United States. The steps are so named because of the Spanish Embassy that was once located here.

In 1717, architect Francesco de Sanctis, along with Alessandro Specchi, developed a design for a staircase of 138 steps that would create better access to the Trinita dei Monti church. They incorporated curves, straight lines, vistas and terraces into a design that blends with the surrounding architecture of the piazza.

Since then, the stairway has played a significant part in the history of Rome. During the 18th and 19th centuries the Spanish Steps became a meeting place for local artists, writers, dandies and bohemians. In the 20th century it’s been immortalized on the big screen with movies ranging from Bicycle Thieves (1948) and Roman Holiday (1953) to The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999).

Today, even though the once-popular pastime of eating a picnic or gelato on the steps is now forbidden, the Spanish Steps remain one of the city’s most social spots where locals and tourists come to sit, converse and bask in the city’s beauty.

At the top of the stairway is the spectacular 16th-century church, and at its base the lovely 17th-century Piazza di Spagna with the Bernini masterpiece, Barcaccia Fountain as its focal point. Lounging on the steps, talking with friends while watching the sun set, you’ll sense a touch of Spain in a truly Roman landscape.

The Spanish Steps are in central Rome. Take Metro Line A (the red line) to the Spagna station, right next to the steps. Buses are too big to get through the narrow streets in the area, but there are many that stop at Piazza del Popolo, a 10-minute walk away.


Guide to Exploring Spanish Steps


Map

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Hotel Quirinale £164
Hotel Quirinale

Hotel Quirinale

Via Nazionale 7, Rome, RM
     
    4.0 out of 5.0

    Located in Repubblica, this family-friendly Rome hotel is steps away from Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, Via Nazionale and Via XX Settembre. Via Veneto and Piazza della Repubblica are also within 10 minutes. Repubblica - Opera House Station is only a 3-minute walk and Barberini Station is 8 minutes.

    iQ Hotel Roma £171
    iQ Hotel Roma

    iQ Hotel Roma

    Via Firenze, 8, Rome, RM
       
      4.0 out of 5.0

      Located in Repubblica, this hotel is steps away from Teatro dell'Opera di Roma and Via Nazionale. Via XX Settembre and Piazza della Repubblica are also within 5 minutes. Repubblica - Opera House Station is only a 4-minute walk and Barberini Station is 9 minutes.

      Hotel Nazionale £162
      Hotel Nazionale

      Hotel Nazionale

      Piazza Montecitorio, 131, Rome, RM
         
        4.0 out of 5.0

        Located in Navona, this hotel is steps away from Palazzo Montecitorio and Via del Corso. Pantheon and Trevi Fountain are also within 10 minutes. Barberini Station is 13 minutes by foot and Spagna Station is 13 minutes.

        Hotel Artemide £153
        Hotel Artemide

        Hotel Artemide

        Via Nazionale 22, Rome, RM
           
          4.0 out of 5.0

          Located in Repubblica, this romantic hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Trevi Fountain and Roman Forum. Spanish Steps and Villa Borghese are also within 1 mi (2 km). Repubblica - Opera House Station is only a 5-minute walk and Barberini Station is 8 minutes.

          Hotel Delle Nazioni £291
          Hotel Delle Nazioni

          Hotel Delle Nazioni

          Via Poli 7, Rome, RM
             
            4.0 out of 5.0

            Located in Rome City Centre, this hotel is steps away from Via del Tritone and Trevi Fountain. Via del Corso and Piazza di Spagna are also within 10 minutes. Barberini Station is 8 minutes by foot and Spagna Station is 8 minutes.

            The Code Hotel £159
            The Code Hotel

            The Code Hotel

            79 Via Sistina, Rome
               
              4.0 out of 5.0

              Located in Rome City Centre, this spa hotel is steps away from Trinita dei Monti Church and Spanish Steps. Via Veneto and Piazza di Spagna are also within 5 minutes. Spagna Station is only a 3-minute walk and Barberini Station is 5 minutes.

              Welcome Piram Hotel £156
              Welcome Piram Hotel

              Welcome Piram Hotel

              Via Giovanni Amendola 7, Rome, RM
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0

                Located in the centre of Rome, this family-friendly hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Via Nazionale, Teatro dell'Opera di Roma and Piazza della Repubblica. Via Marsala and Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore are also within 10 minutes. Rome Termini Station is only a 3-minute walk and Repubblica - Opera House Station is 5 minutes.

                Royal Palace Luxury Hotel-Piazza Di Spagna £112
                Royal Palace Luxury Hotel-Piazza Di Spagna

                Royal Palace Luxury Hotel-Piazza Di Spagna

                Via delle Carrozze, 34/36, Rome, RM
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0

                  Located in Rome City Centre, this romantic hotel is steps away from Via Condotti, Piazza di Spagna and Via del Corso. Spanish Steps and Piazza del Popolo are also within 10 minutes. Spagna Station is only a 5-minute walk and Barberini Station is 11 minutes.