Piazza di Spagna takes its name from the Spanish Embassy to the Vatican, but is chiefly celebrated for the elegant cascade of stairs down from the church of Trinità dei Monti. Known in Italian as the Scalinata di Trinità dei Monti, the English Grand Tourists referred to them as the Spanish Steps. Completed in 1725, they might more accurately be called French: they were funded by French diplomat Etienne Gueffier, who felt the muddy slope leading up to the church – itself built with money from a French king – needed a revamp. At the foot of the stairs is a delightful boat-shaped fountain, the barcaccia, designed in 1627 by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and/or his less famous father Pietro; it’s ingeniously sunk below ground level to compensate for the low pressure of the delicious acqua vergine that feeds it. The steps are best seen first thing in the morning before the crowds arrive.
Time Out says
The elegant cascade of stairs down from the church of Trinità dei Monti are best seen first thing in the morning before.
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