Facts about Rome Spanish Steps

Facts about Rome Spanish Steps + Best Hotels & Restaurants

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The Spanish Steps are one of Rome’s most iconic attractions – and the best part about it is they are free to visit.

Learn all you need to know about the history of the Spanish Steps, Italy. Check out some interesting facts, and learn all about what makes this attraction so popular.

What are the Rome Spanish Steps

In the 18th Century, a French diplomat left some funds at his death. From this bequest, a set of steps were constructed at the base of the Piazza di Spagna. They rise upward, reaching the church of Trinità dei Monti – one of the top 10 churches in Rome – at the top in 135 steps.

The architect Francesco de Sanctis won a competition to design the steps (although Alessandro Specchi could have actually been the designer).

Spanish Steps History

Spanish Steps history facts

There had actually been plenty of discussion about how to make the mount between the Piazza di Spagna and the church atop on the Piazza Trinità dei Monti. But no one could really agree what to do. The design that was finally accepted has been in place now since 1725.

The steps have been subject to a number of restorations over the years, and are still as grand as ever.

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What makes the stairs so famous?

There are just a few pretty cool features around that make them so famous.

the Spanish Steps Fountain

Fontana della Barcaccia Rome

At the foot of the Steps you’ll find the stunning Fontana della Barcaccia. The “fountain of the boat” was designed by Bernini in the 16th century.

Apparently, Bernini took the inspiration for the design from a recent flood. It was so bad that a boat ended up in the Piazza Spagna. You can see the design represents a capsized ship.

the Piazza di Spagna

The beautiful Piazza di Spagna is one of must-see Piazzas in Rome.

Home to the Palazzo di Spagna, the square provides a dramatic base to the Spanish stairs. The steps get their name from the Palazzo.

There is a museum to John Keats in the square, as well as a monument to the Virgin Mary (Column of the Immaculate Conception)

the Trinita Dei Monti Church

At the top of the steps stands the Trinita Dei Monti Church. Construction began in 1502 in French style.

From the top you have a fantastic view down the steps to the square. The interior too doesn’t disappoint either, with four chapels depicting scenes from the life of Christ.

Intriguing Facts about Spanish Steps most tourists don't know

Trinita Dei Monti Church
  • The Trinita Dei Monti Church is actually on French territory
  • In 2007 a drunk driver tried to drive down the steps. You can still see the scuff marks!
  • In the square at the bottom of the Spanish stairs you’ll find a museum dedicated to John Keats in his former house.
  • Sadly for some, the first McDonalds was opened in 1986 in Italy here. It led to many protests!
  • In the spring the Spanish Steps flowers are famous – azaleas or other blooms are planted in a tradition that goes back generations

Things to do in Rome near Spanish Steps

Things to do in Rome


Literally every street off the Piazza di Spagna is a shoppers heaven! Simply take an hour or two to wander around and check out the little boutiques and stores.

The Via Condotti is one of Rome’s most famous shopping streets.

The beautiful Villa Medici

This Palace is home to the French Academy in Rome – offers tours. And, when the rooms aren’t occupied by budding artists, you can even stay there!

Spanish Steps Walking Tours

The Spanish stairs are a starting point for many Rome walking tours. Check out this self guided tour by GPS My City here.

Visit the John Keats Museum

Visit the Museum with the bedroom preserved exactly as it was when he lived there.

Affordable Restaurants near Spanish Steps Rome

Famous restaurant Spanish stairs

Time your visit to the Steps with lunch! There are loads of restaurants in the area.

You will need to plan carefully though, as the tourist vibe of the area means there are many overpriced places too.

  • On Via della Croce you will find Pastificio. Offering a simple choice of 2 pasta dishes each day for under 5euros it is perfect for those on a budget.
  • For Pizza under €10, head to Pizzeria Leoncino on the Via del Leoncino

Nicest Hotels near Spanish Steps Rome

hotel spanish steps maison d art
trevi boutique hotel spanish stairs

Cheap Spanish Steps Hotel Rome

La Maison D’Art Spagna is a great choice for those on a budget. With stunning views, free access to a nearby Spa and pleasant decor, we are not sure why it is so cheap!

3 star hotel near Spanish Steps Rome

The Trevi Beau Boutique is a great 3* option. The rooms are spacious and some boast the original wood ceiling.

4* hotel near Spanish Steps Rome

Bookin.com hotel 87 in Rome
art hotel piazza spagna

Hotel 87 is a 4* option at a 3* price. There is a fitness centre and a hot tub. There are stunning views too from the roof terrace.

Hotel Art by The Spanish Steps is set in a converted church in a great location near the Spagna Metro.

jk hotel near spanish steps rome
inn hotel spanish steps

5* hotel near the Steps

JK Place Roma is an amazing hotel half a kilometre from the Steps. The interior, the breakfast, the common spaces all get our vote.

Apartment at the Piazza di Spagna Rome

If you prefer more of a homely style, why not try The Inn.

Located on the Via Condotti, these apartment suites include your own kitchen.

Why not upgrade to a balcony suite that looks onto one of Rome’s most famous shopping streets!

Spanish Steps Rome Map & How to get there

The best way to get there is to take the Rome Metro to Spagna Metro station. If you want to walk there however, use the map below to get your bearings.

Frequently Asked Questions

faq roma pass travel blog

Why are they called the Spanish Steps?

The steps are named after the Palazzo di Spagna, which is located in the square.

What are the Spanish Steps made of?

135 white marble stairs make up the Steps.

Can you sit on the Spanish Steps?

Yes - the Piazza di Spagna is a favourite meeting place for locals and tourists alike.

How many Spanish Steps are there?

There are 135 steps to climb to the top!

How old are the Spanish Steps?

The steps were built in 1726!

How to find parking in Rome near Spanish Steps?

There are a few paid places for parking near by.

How far from Spanish Steps to the Colosseum?

It is about a 30 minute walk to the Colosseum from there. Or, you can take the metro from Spagna to Colosseo.

How to get from Trevi fountain to Spanish Steps?

It is just an 8 minute walk from these two iconic attractions.

How far is Trastevere from the Spanish Steps?

You can walk to the Trevi Fountain, then take the line 83 bus .


The Spanish Steps and the attractions listed here are definitely a must see when in Rome. To check out some more, why not read our guide to the best things to see in Rome.

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