The Spanish Steps and the Church of Trinità dei Monti
Located just steps from Hotel de la Ville, the Scalinata di Trinità dei Monti, or ‘Spanish Steps’, is the centrepiece of the Tridente district, and a well-trodden historic landmark. Connecting Piazza di Spagna with the Church of Trinità dei Monti, it provides an ambient al fresco living room for locals and visitors looking to meet and lounge, to enjoy gelato à la Audrey Hepburn in the warmer weather and to admire the annual Nativity scene during the winter holidays. Yet the history and cultural value of these elegant stairs and the church they lead up to makes them far more significant than simply somewhere to sit and watch the world go by.
Despite their name, the Spanish Steps were not built by the Spanish, but by the French, and were inaugurated by Pope Benedict XIII in 1725. The 138 terrace-style steps and their elegant curved balustrades allowed for easier ascension of the steep hill leading from the Piazza di Spagna—then home to the Spanish Embassy to the Holy See—up to the Piazza dellaTrinità dei Monti, home of the Trinità dei Monti church that was originally commissioned by Louis XII of France in 1502. The renaissance-style, twin-towered church that exists today was built to replace the original church by Pope Sixtus V in the late 16th century, as was the Via Sistina, which connected the Piazza dellaTrinità dei Monti with other parts of Rome. The steps came to symbolise peace between Spain and France, and today, the church and its surrounding area remain the responsibility of the French.
They’re not just symbolic of changing politics, though. The moment you set foot on the Spanish Steps, you’ve begun a journey through important periods in art and literature. At their base bubbles the marble Barcaccia fountain, sculpted by the Berninis before the height of their fame. Further up, you’ll find the Keats-Shelley Memorial House, which contains a vast collection of rare works relating to the Romantic poets. And at the top, you’ll see an ancient Roman obelisk before you enter the church itself. Besides its architectural and religious value, this iconic place of worship is a destination for art-lovers, home to works including Zuccari frescoes and Mannerist master Daniele da Volterra’s prized Deposizione.
To discover this Roman landmark as part of an unforgettable stay at Hotel de la Ville, call us on +39 06 32 888 880 or email email@example.com.