The Spanish Steps, or the more poetic Scalinata della Trinita dei Monti in Italian, is Rome’s most famous staircase – a set of 135 steps climbing the slope between the Piazza di Spagna and Piazza Trinita dei Monti and the Trinita dei Monti church at the top. La Scalinata has drawn tourists, lovers, royalty and writers to its wide staircase for centuries.
Built in 1725 from an Italian design and financed by a French diplomat, the Spanish Steps gets its moniker from the nearby Spanish Embassy. The staircase is divided into three landings and features ramps and stairs which intersect to open like a fan to connect the church above and the square below. The staircase is particularly beautiful in April and May when the azalea flowers bloom around the steps. In summer, the whole area is cast in a golden light in the early evening, but the Spanish Steps are a popular destination at any time of the year and are always teeming with people.
At the base of the Spanish Steps, the Piazza di Spagna is a magnificent example of Roman Baroque architecture. The piazza houses the Keats-Shelley Memorial House and Babington’s Tea Room at either side of the scalinata – remnants of the era during the 18th century when the English resided in the area. Piazza di Spagna also contains the Early Baroque boat-shaped fountain, Fontana della Barcaccia, at its base.
At the top of the Spanish Steps are the Piazza Trinita dei Monti and the Chiesa della Trinita dei Monti. The church stands resplendent at the top of the staircase and is an example of Italian Renaissance style. The closest metro station for the Spanish Steps is Spagna and from there it’s a seven-minute walk down Via Francesco Crispi, right into Via Sistina then Via di San Sebastianello.