Learn about the history of the Spanish Steps in Rome with iMinds Travel's insightful fast knowledge series. The Spanish Steps are one of the most visited destinations in the Eternal City of Rome. This graceful staircase sits like the tiers to a great amphitheatre. But rather than a stage to watch, those seated here can watch the drama and intrigue of Italian life from the safe distance of an inconspicuous spectator. People-watching is a great Italian pastime and these steps form the prime place for it in the buzzing capital of Rome.
Visitors like to join in on this secretive hobby when arriving in this area of Rome. What is highly interesting about the Spanish Steps is that they are a tourist attraction where visitors simply relax! They are named after the nearby Piazza di Spagna, which translates to ‘Spanish Square’. The square lies at the bottom of the steps and is so named as the Spanish Embassy to the Vatican used to be close by. This piazza itself is of interest, and has a famous sculpture of a boat. The fountain is known as ‘La Barcaccia’, meaning ‘Old Boat’ and is so-named as it portrays a half-sunken ship whose bows are overflowing with water. It was the last work of Pietro Bernini, who was the father of the famous baroque artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The fountain was completed in about 1627, but the steps behind it stem from a later date.
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