#1 Son recently got back from his field trip to Rome. Amid the endless museums, ruins and historic sites he and his friends had ample time to explore sections of Rome on their own. For #1 Son, the area around Rome’s famous Spanish Steps quickly became the default destination to people watch, soak up Roman history and culture, shop and eat wicked good gelato!
The 138 steep steps were built by the French in 1723-1725. Their purpose was to connect the Spanish Embassy and the French Trinità dei Monti church at the top to the Holy See at the bottom. The centerpiece of the piazza is a fountain called Fontana della Barcaccia (“Fountain of the Old Boat”), built in 1627-29 – just a few years after the Pilgrims held their first Thanksgiving in the New World. It is the widest staircase in Europe.
Sitting on the Steps, #1 Son and his friends could look out over the rooftops of Rome and enjoy the bright paint and tiles that are very different from what they see at home in New England. They also marveled at the narrow streets and the tiny size of most of the cars.
Despite being hundreds of years old, the area is vibrant with modern shopping and creature comforts. One of the most recent additions to the area is Italy’s first McCafe — like they don’t know how to make lattes and cappuccinos in Italy! At least the gelato sold nearby was authentic and #1 Son reports it was worth every Euro they charged.
The Spanish Steps were just a 10 minute walk from their hotel, so #1 Son and his friends found themselves there whenever they had some time to kill – whether early in the morning or late into the night. As Americans, they often found themselves hungry and eating dinner much earlier than most Italians – which gave them lots of extra time to check out the scene in the evening and still make it back to get enough sleep for the next day’s adventures.
If you are visiting Rome with teens, the Piazza di Spagna and the Spanish Steps are a good area to let them shop and relax if they need a break from mom and dad. If you visit, let us know what your teens think!
Looking for more fun travel ideas? Head over to the Delicious Baby Photo Friday page where you will find lots of great links including this article.