The Spanish Steps, one of the world's most famous open-air staircases, is as big and lively as a piazza.
The breezy balustrades of the Spanish Steps beneath the French church of Trinità dei Monti are the result of a dispute between the popes and the French crown which went on for decades. The French financed the stairway to their national church, and the Sun King Louis XIV would have preferred to erect a monument to himself on the Piazza di Spagna. However, the popes finally forced through their version, and had the elegant Steps designed in 1723 by Alessandro Specchi and Francesco de Sanctis. Once dominated by international youth, today eating, drinking, dope smoking and guitar playing are prohibited - but flirting's allowed.