Piazza di Spagna

 

Piazza di Spagna is an 18th century Rome?s most famous example of city planning, it is a long thin straggle of a square almost entirely enclosed by buildings and centring on the distinctive boat-shapped Barcaccia, the last work of Bernini?s father.

Facing directly onto the square, opposite the fountain, the Keats-Shelley Memorial House, where the poet John Keats died in 1821, now serves as a museum of manuscripts and literary mementoes relating to the Keats circle of the early 19th century.

 

 

As for the Spanish Steps, which sweep down in a cascade of balustrades and balconies. They are at their best in spring, when they're filled with flowers, jewelry dealers, and photographers snapping pictures of tourists.

At the top, adding to the international flavour of the square is the Trinità dei Monti, a largely 16thcentury church designed by Carlo Maderno. Its rose-coloured baroque facade overlooks the rest of Rome from its hilltop site, and it?s worth clambering up just for the views.

Piazza di Spagna has always welcomed tourists: 18th century dukes and duchesses on their Grand Tour, 19th century artists and writers like Stendhal, Balzac, Thackeray and Byron, all in search of inspiration.