The Spanish Steps

by Steve Van Derodar

The Spanish Steps in Rome, Italy | Photo by Mike McBey via Wikimedia Commons

In many parts of the world, some properties are situated in unique locations by topography. More often, an enhancement is done to improve accessibility and provide value impacting the area. Perhaps, you could be thinking of one that comes to mind immediately – a famous landmark in Rome called The Spanish Steps.

The famous attraction is a set of 135 steps that connect the Piazza di Spagna at the base to the Trinità dei Monti church at the top. The steps were constructed between 1723 and 1725 and are considered one of the best examples of the Roman Baroque style.

The name “Spanish Steps” comes from the fact that the steps were originally built with funds from the Spanish Embassy to the Holy See. The Embassy wanted to connect the Spanish square at the bottom of the steps to the church at the top, so the steps were built. Today, the Spanish Steps symbolize Rome’s beauty and cultural heritage, attracting millions of visitors annually.

Whether we like climbing the steps or not, it offers panoramic views of the city and is a popular gathering spot for locals and tourists alike. More and more people appreciate the steps for socialization, dining in the piazza, and whatnot. What else can you expect during the summer months?

What about Roman Holiday (1953)? The Spanish Steps are one of the most iconic locations in this classic romantic comedy starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. The film includes a scene in which Hepburn’s character, Princess Ann, eats gelato on the steps and is serenaded by a street musician. You could recall a few scenes from The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), a psychological thriller based on the novel by Patricia Highsmith, which features a scene in which the character played by Matt Damon sits on the Spanish Steps and looks out over the city. Another example is To Rome with Love (2012). This ensemble comedy, directed by Woody Allen, includes several scenes set on and around the Spanish Steps. And who would forget When in Rome (2010) – This romantic comedy starring Kristen Bell and Josh Duhamel takes place in Rome and includes several scenes set on the Spanish Steps. Recently, John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017). In this action film starring Keanu Reeves, the Spanish Steps are the site of a pivotal scene involving a high-stakes assassination.

The Spanish Steps significantly impact the real estate market in the surrounding area, making it a highly sought-after location for buyers and investors. For one, the steps enhance the curb appeal of the properties nearby, creating a focal point and a sense of grandeur to the location, drawing the eye and adding interest to the landscape.

Being located in a bustling and historic part of the city, The Spanish Steps are within a radius of several famous properties and landmarks nearby, such as:

  1. Hotel Hassler Roma. This luxury hotel is at the top of the Spanish Steps and offers stunning city views. The hotel has been a favorite of celebrities and politicians for decades and is known for its elegant decor and exceptional service.
  2. Keats-Shelley House. This museum is dedicated to the life and work of English Romantic poets John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley. The museum is located near the bottom of the Spanish Steps and contains original manuscripts, letters, and other artifacts related to the poets.
  3. Babington’s Tea Rooms. This famous tea room has been a fixture near the Spanish Steps since 1893. It is known for its elegant decor and traditional English afternoon tea service and has been frequented by literary figures and celebrities over the years.
  4. Piazza di Spagna. This large square at the base of the Spanish Steps is a popular gathering place for locals and tourists alike. Historic buildings and monuments surround it, and it is home to several high-end shops and restaurants.
  5. Villa Medici. This historic villa is located near the top of the Spanish Steps and has been home to the French Academy in Rome since the 17th century. The villa contains a large collection of art and artifacts and is surrounded by beautiful gardens and fountains.

Suffice it to say walks are possible within a property and can be a beautiful and functional addition, providing numerous benefits to both the property and its inhabitants.

Buying a property near the Spanish Steps can be a good investment opportunity, given the factors such as its prime location, prestige, and tourist attraction.

Due to the area’s historic nature, limited properties are available for sale. This can increase the prices of existing properties and make it more difficult to purchase a property in the area.

Given the example of The Spanish Steps, we then ask ourselves, am I taking opportunities of a similar kind? It’s also important to consider the local market conditions, including property taxes, property management fees, and any regulations or restrictions that may apply to the property.

Buying a property near the Spanish Steps or anywhere else should be based on individual financial goals, budget, and personal preferences.


(Stevenson’s experience in Philippine Real Estate spans more than 15 years. He has been involved in horizontal, vertical, vacation, and commercial properties. He has worked as an International Property Specialist to markets in Asia, Europe, and North America with Ayala Land, Federal Land, and Century Properties. Through PhilHouseHunters, he offers real estate investment opportunities, marketing, and consultancy with a key focus on Metro Manila and Mega Cebu areas. Visit Email at

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