Also Referred to as Strangers Quarter
Piazza di Spagna is one of the top tourist attractions in Rome millions visit every year. Located in the heart of Rome, right in front of the Spanish Steps, when you visit it, you’ll get to see both these incredibly important attractions of the city. In order to prepare you for your visit, we have searched and found facts very few people know that will make you appreciate the place even more. Here are 10 incredible facts about it you did not know! During the 18th century, the Porta del Popolo was near the Piazza where many travelers stay in accommodations after a tiresome journey. This led to the Plaza being dubbed as the Stranger’s Quarter due to how many guests it would received and still does. Click the next ARROW to see the next image!
Its old name used to be Piazza della Trinità and later changed to Piazza di Spagna. Today, Piazza di Spagna is considered one of the main attractions of the city especially that it is along the main shopping street, Via Dei Condotti. Click the next ARROW to see the next image!
There is an Egyptian obelisk at the top of the Spanish Steps and it is one of the only 12 obelisks found in Rome. Click the next ARROW to see the next image!
One of the best known paintings of Michelangelo’s student Daniele da Volterra, is housed in Trinita dei Monti. It is called “Descent from the Cross” along with other pieces. Click the next ARROW to see the next image!
At the start of the Spanish Steps, there are small globes and columns that are decorated with fleurs-de-lis of the French Kings and Pope Innocent XIII’s checkered eagle, the reigning Pope at the time of construction. Click the next ARROW to see the next image!
Symbols of the Pope and Bernini Family
The Bernini family that spearheaded the construction of the Fountain in the center of the Piazza is remembered through a sun and bee ornament. It is also in reference to the late Pope Urban VIII who supported the work up until its completion. Click the next ARROW to see the next image!
Total Spanish Steps
The Spanish Steps that is one of the main attractions of Piazza di Spagna has 135 actual steps in total. The slightly elevated drainage system is not included but is often mistaken as the first step. It was built to link the Spanish Embassy to the Trinità dei Monti Church which used to be under the Bourbon Kings of France. Architects Francesco de Sanctis and Alessandro Specchi designed the Spanish Steps. Click the next ARROW to see the next image!
From a Chapel to a Church
The large Trinita dei Monti Church used to be a chapel but was replaced at the end of the 15th century when French King Louis XII commissioned the erection of a new church. However, construction even though started in 1502, dragged for several years until finally consecrated by Pope Sixtus V in 1585. Click the next ARROW to see the next image!
John Keats Museum
A museum that is dedicated to the memory of popular English poet John Keats is located at the right corner of the Piazza. It used to be his house where he lived up to the age of 25 when he suddenly died of tuberculosis. The museum provides rich memorabilia including those from the English romantic generation. Click the next ARROW to see the next image!
Fountain of the Ugly Boat
Built by Pietro Bernini, the Baroque Fountain called “Fontana della Barcaccia,” (Fountain of the Ugly Boat) is located at the base of the Piazza. It is based on a legend that a sinking ship once ended on that same spot due to a Tiber River flooding in the 16th century.