If it’s your first trip to Rome then start with the simple-but-fabulous stuff. Like The Spanish Steps.

Via Condotti, in front of the steps, has Prada, Versace, Gucci and other famous designers.

And then there’s the famous Fountain of the Old Boat with its Sun God stonework, designed by Bernini’s father.

Take the Metro to Spagna station on the A line and emerge to find…

A real Dead Poet’s Society.

And perfect tea and coffee…

Of course, this is more than a vast flight of steps. Just minutes away, you will find two legendary places to have a cappuccino or tea and scones.

The historic home of fine coffee, Caffe Grecco, is at 86 Via Condotti – the street sign is easy to find, if you walk five minutes in front of The Spanish Steps. It’s tucked away near the Italian designer stores.

And Babington’s Tea Rooms is impossible to miss, because it’s right at the base of the steps.

Caffe Grecco is a good place to experiment with the Roman way of drinking coffee – standing up, at the counter. Knock it back, grab your handbag and feel the caffeine…

Lord Byron used to drink his coffee here too. Look for Fashion Land nearby (Via Condotti, perfectly summed up by Jane de Teliga in our book, The Holiday Goddess Handbag Guide to Paris, London, New York and Rome) and you’ll soon be licking the windows of Gucci, Prada and Valentino. Along with us!

Sad farewells before you leave the Spanish Steps

There is a sad story near the steps, but a fascinating one. It lies inside Keats-Shelley House where the romantic British poet John Keats died of tuberculosis. By law, everything he possessed was burned, but his tiny rooms have been filled with rare letters, manuscripts and paintings devoted to John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Lord Byron, William Wordsworth, Robert Browning, Elizabeth Barrett Browning – and of course – Oscar Wilde.



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