Piazza Spagna (Spain Square)
The very famous Piazza Spagna takes its name from the Spanish Embassy to the Holy See and the Order of Malta, in office since 1647, located next to it.
At the edge of the square you can see the dazzling staircase of 135 steps that connects it to the Renaissance church of Trinità dei Monti. The staircase was financed by the House of the French Bourbons from 1721-1725 to connect the Spanish (Bourbon) embassy with the church.
On the right corner of the staircase is the house of the English poet John Keats, who lived and died here in 1821. Today it is a museum dedicated to him and his friend Percy Bysshe, both representatives of English Romanticism.
In the centre of the square is the baroque Fountain of the Barge, inspired by the arrival in the square of a ship in the flooding of the Tiber in 1598 and representing a half-sunken barge. It was the work of Pietro Bernini, assisted by his son Gian Lorenzo Bernini, who later surpassed him in technique and fame. It was made between 1627 and 1629.
The Piazza Spagna has been the scene of many events such as Flash Mob and other more sophisticated ones such as haute couture. The latter is not strange since very close to the square is Via Condotti, home to the most prestigious haute couture shops in the world.
Piazza Spagna is a favourite meeting place for locals and tourists alike, even after 2019 when it was forbidden to sit on the steps (a fine of up to 400 euro is imposed on those who do so).
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