Spanish Steps (Piazza di Spagna): Hotels, Map, Sights
Even before the 17th Century, when Spain's ambassador had his embassy on the Square, the Spanish Steps area was already the center of attention. For centuries the square also formed part of the "Grand Tour" of wealthy European aristocrats. The British were so numerous that the Spanish steps area was dubbed "The Ghetto of the English".
Above: The Trinità dei Monti watches over the Spanish Steps.
Goethe (the famous German writer-poet) was so enamored with Rome and in particular with Via del Corso that he wrote:
Recommended Hotels near Piazza Di Spagna (Spanish Steps) - Top rated by Guests
The area is pedestrian friendly and along with the Piazza del Popolo many of the roads are closed to traffic. The pedestrians pulse through the narrow streets that crisscross the Spanish Steps area, they are like the blood that pumps through the veins of the 'mother of all shopping monsters'.
At the top of the Steps and along the street 'Viale della Trinità dei Monti' you will find the entrance to the relaxing and beautiful Borghese gardens. It may come in handy.
What to see?
At the top of the Spanish steps you find the church of the Trinità' dei Monti resting atop Pincian Hill, however most have their back to it while admiring the panoramic views over Rome.
At the bottom of the steps in Piazza di Spagna you will find 'La Fontana della Barcaccia' designed by Bernini. The name literally means "ugly boat". Less to do with the design of the boat and more to do with the limitation of pressure from the old Roman Aqueduct that still supplies a trickle of water. The boat lies half submerged in the fountain.
Just off the Piazza di Spagna to the left (with your back to the Spanish Steps) you will find the giant 'Colonna dell'Immacolata', a Roman column which supports a statue of the Virgin Mary.
The sights, sounds and smells are magnificent in the Piazza di Spagna area but there's another reason why many flock here...
Shopping in the Spanish Steps area: vini, vidi, VISA.
If the Via del Babuino, Via del Corso and Via di Ripetta are the primary arteries in this shopping monster then Via dei Condotti, stretching from Piazza di Spagna to the Pantheon area, is the Aorta (refer to my map of Spanish Steps area).
Big Italian brand shopping is the game and many of the Italians decorating the sidewalks look like models for the latest fashion gurus. Gucci, Bulgari, Prada, Versace and Giorgio Armani are names thrown around like accusations at an Italian political campaign.
Views from the Trinità' dei Monti
Getting to and from the Spanish Steps area.
Rome Metro: Spagna is the only Metro station that connects the area. (Refer to our map of the Spanish Steps area.)
From Spagna you can either head across the Tevere towards the Vatican City or in the other direction towards Piazza Barberini, Piazza della Repubblica and lastly Termini Station.
For more about the buses in Rome see my dedicated page Rome buses and Rome public transport.
Rome taxi: There is a main taxi rank just off Piazza di Spagna at the "Colonna dell'Immacolata" and a little further down the same road (Via del Giubbonari) at Largo del Tritone (towards the Via Veneto area). (Refer to our map and look for the big "T".)
Rome tourist buses: There are two main stops for most of the tourist buses (refer to the street map at the top of this page):
Note: If you haven't read about it on my site already then ATAC public transportation in Rome site has a great tool to calculate the quickest route from point A to point B anywhere in Rome (using Rome public transport). When you arrive at the website click on the English language option to the right. Fill in your departure address and arrival address.For more information visit public transportation in Rome Italy and its related pages:
Restaurants and nightlife in the Spanish Steps area.
For your meals do try to stay away from the tourist areas, and in particular the squares (piazzas), they are notorious for exorbitant prices and mediocre food - which in Rome constitutes a crime! (If possible, try to get recommendations from the hotel where you are staying.)
Finished with the Spanish Steps area? Click on an area of the map below to visit another area.
Central Rome Italy Map: Click on an area to go to its dedicated page.
Return to the Rome areas summary: Rome Italy map
Central Rome areas dedicated pages:
• Aventine hill
• Campo de Fiori
• Piazza del Popolo
• Piazza Navona
• San Giovanni in Laterano
• Trevi Fountain/Fontana
• Via Veneto