Rome’s Spanish Steps closed for renovation

Rome’s Spanish Steps closed for renovation

TORONTO — Head’s up to those headed to Rome: one of the city’s top attractions has closed for renovations.

The Spanish Steps, made famous by Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in the classic ‘Roman Holiday’, was closed last week for restoration, a project spearheaded by Roman jeweler Bulgari. The company has donated 1.5 million euros to clean and resurface the marble staircase, which rises from Piazza di Spagna to the Trinita dei Monti church in Rome’s historic centre. The project is slated for completion in spring 2016.

The entire staircase will be closed until Dec. 7 before being partially opened in early December to tourists arriving for the Catholic Holy Year of Mercy festivities in the Vatican.

Roman officials cited heavy tourist foot traffic as the main reason for the steps’ deterioration. Some steps are slipping away, stone surfaces are marred with dark stains while other areas have been cracked and damaged by invasive plants.