Spanish Steps in Rome, being romantic in a crowded place

by Victor Grigore, Webphoto.ro

For anyone who visits Rome, Plazza di Spagna is one of the loveliest places to be in, and it would be a very romantic scenery if only another million people wouldn’t have had the same urge at the same time. As it is the case with Fontana di Trevi, Scalinata is a perfect place to appreciate the refined Italian tastes. The number of visitors who populate the Spanish Steps round the clock is so large that you don’t even get the feeling you are in front of the widest staircase in Europe. Indeed, nothing looks out of proportions with this animated passageway. What was supposed to be just a practical way to connect the palace that was then hosting the Papal See, with the Spanish Embassy and the French church on top of the hill, has become a veritable work of art and an artificial garden, with tens of luxurious flower pots.

The Spanish Steps are on a popular axis that goes from the Colosseum, near the Palatine Hill, to the Vittoriano, and all the way the Piazza del Popolo, though this imaginary axis changes some streets in the entangled street plan of Rome. The other axis in Piazza di Spagna is perpendicular to the first, coming from a street overcrowded with high priced fashion boutiques, up the stairway, to the hill dominated by the church of Holy Trinity (Santissima Trinita dei Monti). From the French owned church to the left, there is access to Villa Medici and its generous park, Villa Borgese.

The plaza bellow is embellished by a Renaissance style fountain, Fontana della Barcaccia. The blue water fountain with a large decorated boat, is the work of Pietro Bernini, and of his more famous son, Lorenzo Bernini, the author of the column surrounding Piazza San Pietro in the Vatican and of numerous decorated fountains in the city.

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