Italy Highlights

Welcome to Spanish Steps and Roman Roads, your walking, adventure and culture guide to Spain, Italy and their out of this world scenery and unmatched hospitality.

The Vatican Museums are the civic art and sculpture museums in the Vatican City, which show works from the wide collection of the Roman Catholic Church. Pope Julius II founded the museums in the 16th century. The Fontana di Trevi or Trevi Fountain is the most famous and arguably the most beautiful fountain in all of Rome. This imposing tombstone dominates the small Trevi square located in the Quirinale district. You will not find any additional place in the world that celebrates the ever-mutating and hard to believe power of water like Rome. The Trevi Fountain is a unbelievable work of art that is much more than a mere sculpture. This successful example of Baroque art with its yielding, usual lines and dream creatures embodies movement as the soul of the world. The fountain is a true wonder, a jewel of water and stone that is nestled between the palaces of the historic centre of the city.


The Tower of Pisa was a labor of art, performed in three stages over an age of about 177 years. Structure of the first floor of the white marble campanile began on August 9, 1173, a period of armed success and prosperity. This first floor is bounded by pillars with classical capitals, leaning against blind arches. In the past it was widely believed that the inclination of the Tower was part of the project ever since its beginning, but now we know that it is not so. The Tower was designed to be "vertical", and started to incline during its construction.


For an extended time, it was supposed that the Baptistry was originally a Roman temple dedicated to Mars, the tutelary god of the old Florence. Dante is often mentioned as the founder of this legend, but this is wrong. The creator of this legend was Giovanni Villani in the 14th century. However, excavations in the 20th century have shown that there was a first century Roman wall running through the piazza with the Baptistry. Opposite the Duomo is its octagonal Baptistry, with several decorated doors.  Crowds gather to see only one set of gilded bronze doors, the Gates of Paradise by Lorenzo Ghiberti.


Michelangelo's David arrived in 1873, moved here from the Piazza della Signoria in order to improved preserve it. A copy of the statue still stands in Piazza della Signoria where it formerly was displayed. Despite the familiarity of the statue's image, the sheer size of the marble statue comes as a surprise.


The St. Mark's Square (Piazza San Marco), which was called "the drawing room of the world" by Musset, has been the centre of the holy and social life in the Venetian republic for almost one millennium. Here you will find the St. Mark's Basilica (Basilica San Marco), the Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale) and the Bell tower (Campanile).