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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.
Traveling isn't just about famous destinations and ritzy hotels. It's about the experiences you have and the memorable moments you collect on the way!
Your trip to Spanish Steps is just about to get really exciting. There are heaps of activities on offer, such as:
Have a little time on your side? Go to our Spanish Steps things to do page for a full range of options.
Located in Rome City Centre, this guesthouse is steps from Via del Babuino, Via del Corso, and Piazza del Popolo. Piazza di Spagna and Villa Borghese are also within 10 minutes. Flaminio - Piazza del Popolo Station is 5 minutes by foot and Spagna Station is 8 minutes.
Located in Repubblica, this family-friendly Rome hotel is steps from Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, Via Nazionale, and Via XX Settembre. Via Veneto and Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore are also within 10 minutes. Repubblica - Opera House Station is only a 2-minute walk and Barberini Station is 8 minutes.
Located in Rome City Centre, this guesthouse is within a 5-minute walk of Villa Borghese, Via del Corso, and Piazza del Popolo. National Gallery of Modern Art and Piazza di Spagna are also within 15 minutes. Flaminio - Piazza del Popolo Station and Rome Piazzale Flaminio Station are within a 2-minute walk.
Located in Repubblica, this hotel is steps 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.
Located in Rome City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Teatro dell'Opera di Roma and Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. Via Nazionale and Piazza della Repubblica are also within 10 minutes. Repubblica - Opera House Station is 8 minutes by foot and Cavour Station is 10 minutes.
Located in Repubblica, this spa hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps. Roman Forum and Villa Borghese are also within 1 mi (2 km). Repubblica - Opera House Station is only a 4-minute walk and Barberini Station is 8 minutes.
This family-friendly Rome hotel is located in the historical district, steps from Via Condotti, Piazza di Spagna, and Via del Corso. Spanish Steps and Pincio are also within 5 minutes. Spagna Station is only a 3-minute walk and Flaminio - Piazza del Popolo Station is 11 minutes.
This family-friendly Rome hotel is located in the historical district, within a 5-minute walk of Via Veneto and Piazza Barberini. Villa Borghese and Spanish Steps are also within 10 minutes. Barberini Station is only a 4-minute walk and Spagna Station is 9 minutes.