21 facts about Spanish Steps

Spanish Steps
11.From the Piazza di Spagna branches the famous Via Margutta, one of the most magical corners of the Eternal City, made famous by William Wyler's "Roman Holiday" starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck.
Originally a street of humble artisans, workshops and stables, it now houses many art galleries and trendy restaurants. Although it is in the city center, it retains its garden atmosphere with fragrant trees and vineyards, making it an ideal choice for artists, painters, sculptors and antique dealers. It hosts the traditional art festival "100 Painters of Via Margutta", sponsored by the Mayor and the Province of Rome, which has been a field for discovering new artists for many years. For this period, Via Margutta becomes an art gallery where more than 1,000 works of art are exhibited, including oil paintings, drawings and watercolors. Among the historical residents of the street were Giulietta Masina, Federico Fellini, Renato Guttuso (painter and politician), Marina Punturieri (writer, actress, director, stylist) and Amerigo Tot (Hungarian sculptor and occasional actor).
12.Another street is the Via del Babuino, home to many antique shops, connecting the Piazza del Popolo with the Piazza di Spagna.
On the initiative of Pope Pius V, a new fountain decorated with a statue depicting an ancient deity associated with springs and water was built along the street. The figure did not please the street residents because of its great ugliness. They compared it to a monkey and nicknamed it Babuino (baboon). This name was quickly adopted for the entire street, which was earlier called Via Paolina. Franz Liszt lived there at number 89.
13.At the foot of the Spanish Steps begins the Via Condotti - it is named after the canal or canals that carried water to the Baths of Agrippa.
Today it is a street with the most exquisite shops and the famous Caffe Greco - perhaps the most famous coffee house in Rome, founded in 1760 (it is the oldest coffee house in Rome and the second oldest in Italy, after Caffe Florian in Venice). Famous people used to appear here: Stendhal, Goethe, Byron, Liszt and Keats to drink coffee. In Via dei Condotti 11, until his death in 1937, lived the inventor of the radio Guglielmo Marconi.
14.A McDonald's opened near the Spanish Steps, frequented by large crowds of tourists.
In 1986, fashion designer Valentino filed a lawsuit to close the establishment because of "noise and disgusting smells" under his six-story palazzo near Via Condotti. To the dismay of some Romans, McDonald's overcame the obstacles and is up and running.
15.There is a baroque fountain in the middle of the Spanish Square - Fontana della Barcaccia.
It has the shape of a half-sunken boat with water flowing through its sides. The fountain was commissioned by Pope Urban VIII and completed in 1627 by Pietro Bernini and his son Gianlorenzo Bernini. The form of the fountain was chosen to commemorate the flood that inundated the Spanish Square in 1598. There is a legend that during the flood, a lone boat made its way from the Tiber to the Plaza de España, where it settled after the waters receded.
16.At the southern end of Spanish Square is the Palazzo di Propaganda Fide, seat of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
The palace was designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, who created the main façade; the rest of the building was entrusted to Francesco Borromini, whose style was favored by Pope Innocent X. The building contains the chapel of the Biblical Epiphany, built by Borromini. The palace is extraterritorial property of the Holy See.
17.In the southern part of Spanish Square, opposite the Spanish Embassy, rises the column of the Immaculate Conception from the 19th century, which combines antiquity (Corinthian column) with modern times (statue of the Virgin Mary on the top).
18.Near the northeast corner of Spanish Square is the church of the Order of the Resurrectionists - the Congregation of the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
It was a Polish congregation whose members came from the surroundings of poet Adam Mickiewicz. In 1842, the first vows were taken in the catacombs of the Basilica of St. Sebastian behind the walls. In addition to the typical monastic rules, the resurrectionists carried out information activities related to the Polish cause. Poland was partitioned between three countries back then. Several paintings by Polish artists, including Henryk Siemiradzki, have been preserved in the interior of the building. The mortal remains of the founders of the congregation are also buried here. The church is rarely open to the public.
19.Near the church of Trinita dei Monti, at the junction of two streets, stands the historic Zuccari Palace, built in 1592 by the mannerist painter Federico Zuccari.
The façade of the palace is decorated with interesting portal and windows in the shape of huge maws. In ancient Rome, this place was called the House of Monsters. In this house for 12 years lived (1702-1714), Queen Marysienka Sobieska, widow of Polish King John III Sobieski. A remembrance of this fact - the coat of arms of John III Sobieski and next to it the family coat of arms of Marysienka are placed under the rococo portico with six columns. When Marysienka came to Rome, she made a great impression with the wealth of her court. Her entourage consisted of 300 people, 30 carriages, 500 horses, and supposedly even a few camels. As she strode through the streets of Rome, she shocked the inhabitants because the servants accompanying her were dressed in Turkish clothes.
20.In 2015-2016, the Spanish Steps underwent a restoration.
The sponsor of this restoration was Bulgari, which donated 1.5 million euros for this purpose. Bulgari jewelers are emotionally connected to the Spanish Steps, as they link Via Sistina, where the company's first store opened in 1884, with Via Condotti, where their showroom is located today.
Spanish Steps
21 facts about Spanish Steps

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