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You cannot go to Rome and not see Piazza di Spagna with its Spanish Steps (Scalinata di Trinità dei Monti), which with its 135 steps seems to climb to the sky. Wonderful setting for fashion shows and famous star of many films, the Spanish Steps is known and loved around the world.

Many historical figures have stayed here, as Joseph Balsamo, called Cagliostro, famous alchemist and esoteric, who was staying in one of the adjacent houses to the square. It is said that his arrest occurred just in the square and that his wife’s ghost still roams in this area, because it was she denounced her husband to the Holy Office, the Congregation of the Holy Roman and Universal Inquisition. Today the atmosphere is more reassuring, with thousands of tourists sitting on the stairs (even if you could not).

At the lower end of the stairs you can find an early baroque fountain called Fontana della Barcaccia, or “Fountain of the Old Boat”. It is credited Pietro Bernini; a member of the renowned artist family Bernini and father of famous Baroque artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The fountain has the form of a sinking ship and it is said to be based upon a folk legend. The legend tells that a fishing boat was carried all the way to this exact spot during a massive flood of the Tiber River in the 16th century. The design with the sinking boat also helped Bernini to overcome a technical problem, due to low water pressure.

USEFULL INFO

Opening hours: open air

Admission: free

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How to reach: metro Spagna (MEA)

Address: Piazza di Spagna, 00187 Roma RM

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