Piazza di Spagna is one of Rome’s busiest squares; this marvelous urban setting and favorite evening hangout is named after the Spanish Embassy located in front of the massive Column of the Immaculate Conception.
Initially suburban, the area was first used as a rest stop for horse carriages and foreigners before entering Rome; the increased traffic favored the flourishing of a vivid intellectual scene attracting writers and artists from all around. This thriving cultural hub and crossroads soon brought to the construction of hotels, businesses and prestigious buildings that to date continue to surround the square.
The peculiar Fountain of the Ugly Boat sculpted by Pietro Bernini in white travertine stone – clearly visible via our live webcam - can be found at “center stage”. The fountain, the very first functioning with water running from Rome’s Aqua Virgo Aqueduct, takes the form of the so called “barcacce”, traditional boats used in the nearby port of Ripetta for the transportation of wine; although, it is also of popular belief that the fountain is a recreation of an odd looking boat that washed up during the flood of 1598.
Sitting elegantly in front of the city’s most curious fountain are the beautiful Spanish Steps; 135 travertine steps - designed by Francesco De Sanctis and Alessandro Specchi – connect the Spanish Embassy to Trinità dei Monti, a church dating back to the 16th century commissioned by King Louis XII of France. The stairway was inaugurated by Pope Benedict XIII during the 1725 Jubilee. At the top of the Spanish Steps stands the impressive Sallustian Obelisk. Last, but not least, Rome’s Piazza di Spagna is also home to the Palace of the Propagation of the Faith designed by celebrated Architects Bernini e Borromini.
The city’s most crowded and popular shopping streets, such as Via dei Condotti, Via del Babuino, all come together in Piazza di Spagna; after leisurely strolls locals enjoy evenings in the square, long talks and drinks on the Spanish Steps!
Come spend your lazy afternoons in Rome, Piazza di Spagna awaits! Start daydreaming with all our live cams broadcasting from the square now!
On the bottom right-hand side of the Spanish Steps stands the Keats-Shelley Memorial House, in this building John Keats spent his last months; weakened by tuberculosis Keats and friend Joseph Severn moved to Italy chasing warmer weather, the poet died on February 23rd 1821 at the age of 25, he was buried in the Protestant Cemetery in Rome.