The Spanish Steps have reopened after a lengthy restoration process.
What you can see of them, between the hordes of people, does indeed look exceptionally clean.
With the scaffolding also finally removed from Trinità dei Monti, the area is once again picture-perfect.
The €1.5 million restoration bill was paid for by Bulgari, which makes sense because the Italian luxury brand has a flagship store just a few meters from Rome’s most famous stairs. Footing the bill for the cleaning of the iconic monument was the jewelry brand’s way of celebrating its 130th anniversary.
The investment is one they are looking to maintain. Paolo Bulgari, the head of the company, requested a gate be erected to protect the open-air staircase from tourists.
Rome’s (increasingly beleaguered) mayor squashed plans to install a gate to close the Spanish Steps nightly. However, she is sticking to her promise to ensure everyone remains on their best behavior by increasing police presence. Just after re-opening, the 7 tourists were smacked with a €900 fine for drinking wine on the lovely staircase. (Based on a 2012 law, it is illegal to eat and drink on Roman landmarks).
The gleaming white travertine steps are indeed heavily patrolled, so do not even think about enjoying your gelato while climbing them.
However, you should climb them sans-snacks, because the view is incredible.
This weekend, I sat and watched the crowds in order to hang around until sunset.
Rome puts on quite a show, and the Spanish Steps are one of the best seats in the house. I am thrilled that they have finally reopened.