In the afternoon of our second full day in Rome my parents and I were making our way through the central part of the city and eventually we ended up at the Spanish Steps. If you’ve been following this blog for a while you know that I already did a post on the Spanish steps back in October (which you can find here) so I’m going to try not to reuse too much material from that post. The TL;DR version of the history of the Spanish Steps is that they were built in the 1700s to connect the Trinità dei Monti church at the top with Piazza di Spagna (Spanish Square) at the bottom. The square holds Spain’s embassy to the Vatican, which is why both the square and the steps are called “Spanish.” At the bottom of the steps—and actually in view in today’s photo, unlike the photo in the October post—is the Fontana della Barcaccia, or “Fountain of the Longboat.” The fountain was built about 100 years before the steps and a local legend says that the inspiration for it came from a boat that washed up in the square when the Tiber River flooded.
Normally the area by the Spanish Steps is crowded with tourists standing around the fountain and taking a seat on the steps but the intermittent rain that day was keeping some of the tourist horde at bay. On the plus side the bad weather made it easier for me to get a clean shot of the fountain with the steps in the background. As my parents and I walked up the steps the rain started coming down hard and we ended up taking shelter in Trinità dei Monti to wait out the storm. In 2012 when I was previously in Rome the church had been closed to visitors so this was my first time going inside it. Unfortunately photos were not allowed inside Trinità dei Monti so I can’t show you what the interior looks like. When it looked like the rain was beginning to let up we went back out and made a run for the nearby metro station. The metro station entrance next to the church was sealed off for some reason so we went all the way back down the stairs to the entrance around the corner from the longboat fountain. Then we headed off to our next destination.