Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Travel to Rome: (Piazza di Spagna) Spanish Steps

There were so many sites that we saw in one day that it is impossible to write a blog about just one day of sight-seeing. It would be very long! So I shared with you our Christmas meal and the pictures of the Colosseum from that day, but now I want to show you another site from the day.

In our wandering around on Christmas day we found the Spanish Steps (Piazza di Spagna). I didn't know what to expect, but I really wasn't very impressed. They were only named the Spanish Steps because at one time a Spanish Ambassador use to live in the Trinità dei Monti which is the church that stands above the steps. I think if we had seen them in the Spring when they are full of flowers it would have been better, but sort of plain in the winter.

spanish steps

In front of the steps is a fountain called Fontana della Barcaccia (Fountain of the Old Boat). The story behind it goes like this: After the waters receded from the flood of the Tiber River in 1598 there was a fishing boat found in this very spot so a statue was created in remembrance. Whether that is true or not, I don't know but the fountain is in the shape of a sinking ship.

Fountain at Spanish steps

In January 2008 a man released half a million plastic balls like the ones found in children's ball pits down the Spanish steps and into the fountain. Here is a link to the story, pictures and video. It is really quite spectacular!

While we were in the piazza we saw a man roasting chestnuts (marrone) and selling them. This was something neither of us had ever had so we bought some for 5 Euros. I thought it was a little high, but as they say, when in Rome.... We both tried them and came to conclusion that we didn't like them! I don't know if they were roasted to long or if it was just the type of nut. They were really really dry, but the idea of them was a neat experience.

Roasted Marrone

Christmas was a great day full of sight-seeing and food. We couldn't have asked for a better one.