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Roman monuments: the marvelous Trinità dei Monti stairway in Piazza di Spagna or Spanish Steps

Roman monuments: the wonderful steps of Trinità dei Monti in Piazza di Spagna. The staircase of Trinità dei Monti, a masterpiece of the eighteenth century, was built between 1723 and 1726 by the architect Francesco De Sanctis who managed to get the better of the project presented by Alessandro Specchi after long and heated discussions on how the steep slope on the side of the Pincio should be connected to the church.

The staircase, in travertine, is composed of a series of ramps, 11, each made up of 12 steps, which divide and come together, constantly changing direction. From any position you can enjoy a magnificent view of the square, made famous by the cinema but above all by the love of tourists who, before the Coronavirus emergency, used to crowd it (and not only them) at any time of day. A series of balustrades accompanies the ramps: they interrupt the difference in height and serve as a stopping point and to admire the landscape.

The structure served as a link between the slopes of the Pincio dominated by the church of the Holy Trinity and the underlying Piazza di Spagna.

The staircase seems to rest on the hill, articulating itself in a continuous alternation of protrusions and recesses, and is the expression of a monumentality typical of the Roman eighteenth century (for example the Ripetta port, demolished at the end of the 19th century, and the Trevi fountain). Subjected to numerous maintenance interventions over time, the staircase underwent a major complete restoration in 1995 and later in 2015, thanks also to the funds donated by the famous Bulgari fashion house. Piazza di Spagna owes its name to the Palazzo di Spagna, seat of the embassy of the Iberian state in the nearby Vatican. In the center of the square is the famous Fontana della Barcaccia, which dates back to the early Baroque period, built by Pietro Bernini and his son, the most famous Gian Lorenzo. The monumental staircase was inaugurated by Pope Benedict XIII on the occasion of the Jubilee of 1725: it was built, thanks to French funding starting from 1721, to connect the embassy of the Bourbons of Spain, to which the square owes its name (which in the 17th century was “Piazza di Francia”), to the church of the Trinità dei Monti. The winning project was that of De Sanctis who imagined a large staircase decorated with numerous garden terraces, decorated in spring and summer with many flowers. The staircase was designed in such a way that as you approach the scenic effects they increase from time to time, a typical element of Baroque architecture.

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