Friday, October 15, 2010

Spannish Steps

"The first guide book of Rome I looked at showed a picture of Spanish Steps." she said. The DK Eyewitness Travel Rome Pocket Map and Guide was small enough to fit into my shirt pocket so had become the de rigor of travel guides for me since I actually carried it. The heavier bulky ones stayed in the room. This guide said Spanish steps were near the Piazza di Spagna, "built by the French in 1725 to link the Trinita del Monti church with the Piazza di Spagna". It was described as Rococo design.
We had been very close on two occasions and just missed finding the Piazza di Spagna. We were trying to remember the piazza name by saying the Spanish steps were by the Spagetti place. On the way back from the Vatican I actually saw that there was a metro stop there. Because of the crush of people we missed the stop and got off at the Barbarinni Piazza.
It turned out the walk to Spagna from there was chalk full of history and sights. First we had coffee and sandwiches looking at the old pair of churches before exploring them and wandering into several more along the route to Piazza di Spagna. Each church was a unique museum of painting and scupture and all were juxtaposed to shops selling Prada, Gucci and Chanel. The whole area was the finest uptown shopping with prices to match. But between two modern boutiques would be a door to a great cavern of an ancient church.
We found Spanish steps at the end of the walk and Laura had her chance to sit there. We even climbed up to Trinita del Monti for a great view of the city. Fabulous ice cream sold at a vendor by Trinita so we got some cones and walked down to savor them on the steps. I liked that the poet Keats house looked down on these. I carried a book of Keats around with me and read his poetry religiously when I was in my 20's.

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