It’s not all that common that a set of steps becomes a landmark, but that has been the case in Rome, where the Spanish Steps are one of the main tourist attractions. However, truth to be told, the Spanish Steps wouldn’t be so famous without the gorgeous location they’re in: They connect Piazza di Spagna and Piazza Trinità dei Monti, where the beautiful Trinità dei Monti church is located.
The 135 Spanish Steps were built between 1723 and 1725 and designed by architects Francesco de Sanctis and Alessandro Specchi. At the bottom, you will find Piazza di Spagna, which is one of the most famous plazas in Rome and owes its name to the Palazzo di Spagna, seat of the Embassy of Spain in the Holy See. You will be able to see two beautiful fountains, the Fountain of the Babuino and the Fontana della Barcaccia, as well as the Column of the Immaculate Conception. At the top of the Spanish Steps stands the church of the Santissima Trinità dei Monti, a beautiful Roman Catholic church.
The Spanish Steps are located in the IV rione of Rome, Campo Marzio, which corresponds to part of the ancient Campus Martius, which was the part “between the city and the Tiber” before the foundation of Rome and used to be the most populous area of the city during the Middle Ages. Nowadays, it’s a part of the city where the locals do live, although it’s expensive due to still being in the historic centre of the city. While you stay in the apartments near the Spanish Steps, you will have more than 6.500 neighbours in Campo Marzio.
Do you like fashion? Well, then we strongly recommend the apartments near the Spanish Steps! This beautiful location is the fashion centre of Rome, and the main are to go shopping in the capital of Italy. It’s very close to Via del Corso, one of the main shopping streets where you can find shops of the major affordable fashion brands, but that’s not all: Via del Corso, together with Via del Babuino and Via Ripetta, form the Trident of Rome. Together with other three little streets, Via Frattina, Via Borgognona and Via Condotti, they constitute the most exclusive shopping area in the whole country. Here, you will find boutiques by the major haute-couture brands, such as Versace, Louis Vuitton, Emporio Armani or Hugo Boss. Even if these stores are too much for your budget, it’s worth visiting some of them, since their interiors are real architectural masterpieces. The Versace Flagship Store in Piazza di Spagna and the Louis Vuitton Etoile in Piazza San Lorenzo in Lucina will leave you open-mouthed.
You are probably used to travelling by underground or metro in whatever big city you go to. It is in fact the easiest and fastest transportation system in European cities such as Paris, London or Barcelona, but Rome is a different case. There is indeed a metro, but it was impossible to make an extensive system due to bureaucratic issues and the many remains that were found as the tunnels were being dug. As you probably know, in Rome there are ruins everywhere! The metro is better if you need to go from one side to the city to the other, but it’s not usually the best means of transportation if you need to go from one attraction to the other. There are so many that the best way to move around is to plan a walking route and use your own feet. For instance, very close to the Spanish Steps you will find Piazza Spagna, Piazza del Popolo, the Trevi Fountain or the Quirinal Palace, as well as Villa Borghese. Still, if you don’t feel like walking, the metro station Spagna is right in the plaza, and there’s also another great way of enjoying Rome: with a Vespa, an ideal plan if you’re travelling with your better half.
There are many things to do around the Spanish Steps. Of course, you will have to visit Piazza di Spagna and the beautiful fountains located there, like the unique Fontana della Barcaccia; and you will be able to climb the steps themselves to visit the church Trinità dei Monti. But, besides, the Spanish Steps are a meeting point for one of Rome’s free tours: Just for a tip (which should be generous, since that’s how they make a living), the tour guides will show you around the area and explain a bit of the incredibly rich history of the city centre.
In the Beautiful Piazza di Spagna, you will also find the house of John Keats, the great English poet who used to live there. Nowadays, you can visit it as the Keats-Shelley Memorial House Museum: it’s located right next to the Spanish Steps.
Finally, you should know that the best moment of the year to visit the Spanish Steps is in the spring, during the month of May, since that’s when they are covered in flowers.
So much beauty may close your stomach, but for whenever you get hungry again, there are tons of yummy options around the apartments near the Spanish Steps. Some of the best restaurants in the area include fancy and modern Gusto, where you will be able to enjoy Italian cuisine in a different way. You need to book in advance.
If that’s not really your cup of tea, your can try the Ristorante Nino instead, which is completely different: a home-like atmosphere and yummy traditional food.
It’s hard to think about not being in the mood for Italian food, but near the Spanish Steps there’s a place where you can try something different: The Babington’s English Tea Room, a perfect place to satisfy your sweet tooth while you savour delicious English tea or coffee. Finally, if you’re travelling with children, there is a little place that will satisfy all their needs: The Pizzeria-gelateria Mariotti, where you will be able to have a delicious pizza and a refreshing Italian ice cream.
If you book one of the apartments near the Spanish Steps, you will have many different places available to have a drink. The centre of Rome is one of the main areas to go out in the centre of the city, and you will be able to mingle with the locals as you wish. You can have a drink or a cocktail at Albert or the Highlander Pub, as well as at the Trinity College.
If you’re travelling with your friends, around the Spanish Steps you will find one of the meet-up points for a pub crawl, which will allow you to visit different pubs and bars in the area - a good recipe for a fun night!