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Spanish Steps

The Spanish Steps, or the Scalinata di Spagna, is between the base of the Piazza di Spagna and the towering church of Trinita dei Monti. The staircase, made of 138 steps, was made possible through the funding of French diplomat Stefano Gueffier back in 1723.

The steps were designed by Francesco De Sanctis, to solve the age-old problem of urbanizing the church's steep slope. De Sanctis decided to create a twist to the conventional terraced garden stairs. Since its creation, the steps have been restored many times over, with the latest restoration taking place in 1995.

When visiting Rome during Christmas, you will find a striking 19th century crib on the first terrace of the famous stairway. Meanwhile, flower pots of azaleas cover half of the monument during the month of May. Be warned, though, that eating or playing music on the steps of the stairs are forbidden, and tourists caught committing these violations are fined heavily.

Coming down from the 138 steps will lead you to the Piazza, where the Barcaccia, an Early Baroque fountain, can be found. The Barcaccia, which means ugly boat, is attributed to Pietro Bernini.

Another monumental site that can be found near the Spanish Steps is poet John Keat's residence, which is now a museum dedicated to his fine works.

Climbing to the top of the steps, you will be greeted by the majestic Trinita dei Monti, with its twin towers dominating the skyline. The church was built in 1502 by Louis XII, next to St. Francis di Paola's monastery.

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