|The Spanish Steps|
WHAT ARE THE SPANISH STEPS? - They're the staircase to the "Trinity of the Mountain" or Trinita dei Monti church that descends to the "Spanish Square" where the Spanish embassy is located. The church is French and was built in 1726.
|Roman Holiday film featured Spanish Steps|
1) BUILT from 1723-1725 by a design of architect Francesco de Sanctis
2) KEATS MUSEUM - At the corner on the right as one begins to climb the steps, is the house where English poet John Keats lived and died in 1821; it is now a museum
3) FAMOUS FILM - The 1953 film Roman Holiday, starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, made the Spanish Steps famous to an American audience.
4) FAST FOOD - In March 1986, the first McDonalds restaurant in Italy opened nearby
5) STUPID DRIVER -In June 2007 a drunken man attempted to drive a Toyota Celica down the Spanish Steps. Several of the 200-year-old steps were chipped and scuffed. The driver was arrested.
|Fountain of the Old Boat|
FOUNTAIN OF THE OLD BOAT - known as Fontana Della Barcaccia is at the bottom of the stairs. Designed by the father of the famous Bernini, Pietro Bernini, the fountain was commissioned by Urban VIII in 1629 to commemorate the flood of 1598. The boat is decorated at either end with the suns and bees of the Barberini coat of arms.
BASED ON A LEGEND- The boat is based upon a folk legend. The legend tells that a fishing boat was carried all the way to this exact spot during a massive flood of the Tiber River in the 16th century. The design with the sinking boat also helped Bernini to overcome a technical problem, due to low water pressure.
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