Walking Tour in the Piazza Del Popolo and Piazza Di Spagna

For our last week, McKayla Bates, KateLynn Calabretta, and I got the chance to give our Education study abroad group a walking tour in the Piazza Del Popolo and Piazza Di Spagna. We started our tour by getting on the metro to Spagna which led us right to the top of the Spanish Steps or Scalinata di Trinita dei Monti. From there McKayla began the tour by talking about the Trinita Del Monti church right besides us. The Trinita Del Monti translates to the holy trinity of the mountains. It began in 1502 on behalf of the King of France, Louis XII. The church was made with a Gothic style and took the whole 16th century to construct because there was damage due to the Sack of Rome. After discussing the church I explained the history of the Spanish Steps while the students took in the magnificent view. The Spanish Steps were built between the years 1723-1726 by Francesco De Sanctis. Francesco built the elaborate steps to connect the Piazza to the church. The steps and piazza were decorated for Christmas and created a friendly atmosphere. KateLynn concluded our Piazza Di Spagna tour with the Fontana della Barcacca, or the fountain of the old boat! This fountain was built as a monument for the Tiber river in 1598. The only way to get around Rome during this time was by boat because the river had flooded. The fountain was built by Pietro and Gian Bernini and was inspired by a boat that was left in the square at the end of the flood. From the square, we made our way to the Piazza del Popolo. McKayla informed us that the piazza was built from 1811-1822 and was designed by Giuseppe Valadier. Piazza Del Popolo means the square of the people and was made to welcome the pilgrims into the city. The entrance was decorated by the famous architect Bernini as well. KateLynn told our group of the significance of the three fountains and Obelisk in the square. The Fontana dell Obelisk was one of our favorite fountains because of the history that it contains. The fountain was originally a watering hole for horses, but later had the lion statues added to give it a more regal feel. The Obelisk of Sefty was moved from Circus Maximus to the square in 1958 by Pope Sixtus the 5th. The Obelisk is 23.2 meters tall and originally stood in the sun temple in Helipolois in 1300 B.C. After these lovely descriptions of the fountains, I took the students all the way up to the Pincian Hill for the lookout of the Piazza Del Popolo. This hill was named after the families who settled there at the time, and made the square have a 3D feel. This view was one of the first public gardens of Rome and overlooks most of the beautiful city. The students took some time to take pictures at this location, along with the Fountain of Neptune and the Spanish Steps. McKayla then concluded our trip by leading us to the twin churches. These churches were designed by Carlo Rainadli and commissioned by Pope Alexander VII. The Montesanto church was built first in 1662 through 1675. The Miracoli church was built after in 1675 through 1681. This church means the Blessed Mother of God and the alter has the image of Mary on it. This tour was easy to give to the students because of wonderful views that both of the piazzas had to offer. After the tour many of the students expressed that they would be visiting this area again because they enjoyed it so much. The beautiful sunset at the end of our tour was the perfect way to end on a great note.

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