The Piazza di Spagna is one of the most popular meeting places in Rome. It is also one of the most visually pleasing squares. The combination of a monumental staircase, the famous Spanish Steps, an obelisk and a beautiful church draws photographers to the squareThe Piazza di Spagna or Spanish Square is connected to a French Church (Trinità dei Monti) on top of the hill via a long staircase, known as the Scalinata della Trinità dei Monti or Spanish Steps. The idea of connecting the church with the square below originates from the 17th century, when the French also planned a statue of King Louis XIV of France at the top of the staircase.Papal opposition caused the plans to be shelved until 1723, when the monumental staircase was built without the statue. Pope Innocent XIII appointed the Italian architect Francisco de Sanctis. He presented a design that satisfied both the French and the papacy.The elegant staircase consists of 137 steps over twelve different flights. It has an irregular albeit symmetric structure. It is especially beautiful in May, when it is decorated with azaleas. The steps are usually very crowded; it attracts tourists as well as locals who use it as a gathering place.At the bottom of the Spanish Steps is the Piazza di Spagna or Spanish square. The long triangular square is named after the Spanish Embassy to the Holy See. In the 17th century, the area around the embassy was even considered Spanish territory. At the foot of the Spanish Steps is the Fontana della Barcaccia, a sober fountain commissioned by Pope Urban VIII and designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The design, a small boat, was inspired by the flooding of the Tevere in 1598, when a small boat stranded here after the water subsided.The whole area of Piazza di Spagna is one of the most interesting and beautiful of the ancient Rome! Here you are in the hearth of the historical centre and in best area for walking and doing shopping ... all the most prestigious boutiques of the Fashion Italian Designers like Valentino, Prada, Dolce e Gabbana are concentrated in this wonderful area!