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RomePiazza di Spagna
Piazza di Spagna is one of the most famous squares of Rome. It owes its fame to the spectacular staircase leading to Trinita’ dei Monti. It consists of 135 steps, it was inaugurated on the occasion of the Jubilee of 1725 by Pope Benedict XIII and it was built to connect the “Spanish embassy” (hence the name of the square) to the church of Trinita’ dei Monti. Another element that distinguishes the square is the “fontana della barcacia”, the fountain of the tub by Bernini. The fountain is a semi-submerged boat in an oval basin. The fountain is below street level because at that point the aqueduct had a particularly weak pressure and it was impossible for the artist to recreate waterfalls or fountains. According to a popular legend Bernini was inspired by a boat aground in the square, brought there from a flood of the Tiber. Unfortunately the statue over the years has suffered several damages. Last in chronological order in 2015, when a group of Danish hooligans, flocked to Rome to watch a game of the Europa League, scratched Bernini’s work with the launch of bottles, creating serious and permanent damage.
Rome - Piazza di SpagnaThe charm of the square
From Piazza di Spagna you can get to Via Dei Condotti, the luxury shopping street in Rome, where boutiques have the largest fashion houses in the world. Many artists were struck by the charm of the square. The English poet John Keats lived and died in 1821 in a building at the right side of the stairway where today we find a museum dedicated to his memory and that of his friend Percy Bysshe Shelley. On top of the staircase we find the Sallustiano Obelisk, which faces the square. The square was also used for several film productions. The most famous scene is the one with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck eating an ice cream on the steps in the film “Roman Holiday” by William Wyler.