The First Step is the Drainage System
When in Rome one will also pass in front of or through the Spanish Steps. It’s truly such a central and significant part of the city and recommendable to see by all. No visit is complete until you sit on them and take a photo. It’s usually filled with tourists but that’s just a testament to how popular a site it is. Here are 10 facts about the Spanish Steps you haven’t heard of before! What secrets do you think this Rome attraction holds? Construction of the Spanish Steps was made between the years 1723-1725 and it has 135 steps in total not counting the elevated drainage system that is usually mistaken as the first step. Very few people know this, but the structure was actually incredibly refined for its time and the number of the steps might discourage you but it’s definitely worth going up them. Click the next ARROW to see the next image!
Designed by an Unknown Architect
If you consider how famous the Spanish Steps has become today, it is ironic that its design was by a not-so popular architect, Francesco de Sanctis. And it was financed through the graces of the heirs of the French diplomat Étienne Gueffier. Click the next ARROW to see the next image!
Based on a Folk Legend
The Fountain of the Old Boat which is located at the lower part of the stairs was based on a folk legend. It tells of a great Tiber River flood during the 16th century which brought a sinking ship to the exact space. A member of the Baroque family, Peitro Bernini is credited as the designer of the said Fountain. Click the next ARROW to see the next image!
Drunk Drove a Toyota Down
Due to a drunken man’s dare in driving a car down the Spanish Steps, some of its 200 year old steps were scuffed and chipped. Although no one was hurt, authorities arrested the driver. Click the next ARROW to see the next image!
Museum Dedicated to John Keats
The house where John Keats, a famous English poet, lived is located at the right corner where visitors can start the climb. It has been converted into a museum where people can see different memorabilia of his works and the English Romantics. Click the next ARROW to see the next image!
First McDonalds in Italy
The first McDonalds dining establishment in Italy was built near the Spanish Steps in the first quarter of 1986 which drew a lot of protests. Three years later, Carlo Petrini started the international Slow Food movement to counter the fast food industry. Click the next ARROW to see the next image!
Convergence of Artists, Travelers and Locals
Painters, poets and all kinds of artists use it to inspire their work due to the elegance and unique beauty of the Steps and the whole Piazza de Spagna. Many travelers and locals converge there to get together while some hopes to be taken as models by the artists. To this day, reveling in the beauty of the Spanish Steps and the Piazza has become a tradition. Click the next ARROW to see the next image!
Origin of its Name
Its name originated from the fact that the Spanish Embassy was located on the base of the steps and the plaza was called, Piazza di Spagna which means “Spanish Square”. From there, the steps followed which people simply refer as the Spanish Steps. Click the next ARROW to see the next image!
A Chapel was replaced by the Church on Top
Until the end of the 15th century, only a chapel was standing at the top of the Steps. But this changed in 1495 when French King Louis XII led the building of a new church which replaced the chapel. In 1585, the church was finally consecrated by Pope Sixtus V. Click the next ARROW to see the next image!
Built to Link a Church and a Square
The main reason for the Spanish Steps’ construction is to link the Trinità dei Monti church under the King of France’s patronage to that of the Spanish square below it. Once considered to be Spanish territory, the area around (and the Square) is named after the Spanish Embassy to the Holy See.