Spanish steps, Piazza di Spagna, Rom, Italy
Günter Flegar/age fotostock
Often called the Spanish Steps, Rome‘s famous scalinata (monumental staircase) is the centerpiece of Piazza di Spagna. Built in the early 1700s, the steps connect the piazza (now a busy shopping area) with the Trinità dei Monti church on the hill above. The area became a hangout for models and artists and one of Rome‘s most photographed sites. Head to the top to see the sunset, or make like Hepburn and Peck in the film Roman Holiday and stroll around the piazza.
People-Watching from the Spanish Steps
The Eternal City of Rome has no shortage of piazzas where you can watch the flood of people traversing the city, but the Spanish Steps are perhaps among the most iconic places to observe city life. Built in 1725, they connect the Piazza di Spagna below to the Trinità dei Monti church at the top of the widest staircase. At the bottom of the stairs, the Fontana della Barcaccia (Fountain of the Old Boat) is thought to be a work from Pietro Bernini, father of the more well-known artist. Just to the right of the fountain is the Keats-Shelley Memorial House, which is most famous as the place where poet John Keats died, but also houses artifacts from writers like Lord Byron and Oscar Wilde. After climbing the steps, Judy suggests clients duck into the Hassler Roma where you can grab a bite in the hidden courtyard café or order a bellini from the speakeasy-style Hassler Bar.