Sunday, October 6, 2013

Rome Holidays - 3 Spanish Steps

As we couldn't visit Vatican Museum, we took the Metro back to Spagna Station, where the famous Spanish Steps are.  Out of the Metro station, we just followed the flow of tourists, and we arrived at the Spanish Steps.

Overview of Spanish Steps, with Fountain of the Old Boat in the foreground

This is one famous place for pick-pockets, so watch out for your valuables.  Take note that no food or drink is allowed on the steps, and you are not even allowed to sit there.

This is a place which is very rich in culture.  On one side, you have the residence of British poet John Keating, which is now a museum dedicated to the poet.

At the bottom, it is the Fountain of the Old Boat, a masterpiece by one of the Bernini's, commissioned by Pope Urban VIII.

Fountain of the Old Boat

If you walk up the steps to the top, you have a nice view of Rome.

A View of Rome

And you get to see one of the surviving obelisks right in front of the Church of Trinita dei Monti.

Obelisk of Trinita dei Monti

Rome has the largest number of surviving obelisks in the world, some are from Egypt, some were made in ancient Roman Empire era.  The obelisk now standing in front of the Church of Trinita dei Monti is one of the ancient Roman obelisks.  Don't be fooled by the Egyptian wordings on the obelisk, as it was just a copy of the original Egyptian obelisk.

The Church of Trinita dei Monti is a beautiful church too.  No effort has been spared to make it look splendid.

Fresco at Church of Trinita dei Monti

Why is this place called the Spanish Steps?  It is actually named after the nearby Spanish Embassy.

Spanish Embassy

Why is the Spanish Embassy so important that a nearby staircase has to be named after it?  I will let you find out the truth yourself :), but rumor has it that because someone needed money from the rich Spaniards...

Standing in front of the Spanish Embassy is the column of Immaculate Conception, a 19th century monument.

Column of Immaculate Conception

The usual problem of traveling in Italy is that it is a country full of history & culture, but there is nothing to tell you what is what.  My friend and I stood in front of this beautiful column, but there is no sign or anything that tells me what it is.  And most of the tourists don't know what it is, I think.  People just walk by, ah it is a beautiful column and that is it.  If you are interested, you can find out more information about this column here.

Rome is so rich in history that sometimes you may feel it is too much for you.  Just look at the Spanish Steps, there is so much to see and so much to learn, so much to appreciate.  And it is just one small little part of Rome.  You might get information overload.  Then it is time for you to slow down, enjoy a cup of beautiful Italian coffee.

You can find all my Rome Holidays blog entries here.

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