Rome Travel Guide

Rome Architecture, History, Art, Museums, Galleries, Fashion, Music, Photos, Walking and Hiking Itineraries, Neighborhoods, News and Social Commentary, Politics, Things to Do in Rome and Environs. Over 900 posts

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Spiral Stairways of Rome

We've assembled five of our favorite spiral stairways.  Four are in Rome.  On the upper left, Bill is rather awkwardly examining an exhibit mounted in the helicoidal (apparently that's a word) ramp at the Accademia Nazionale di San Luca, located just steps from the Trevi Fountain.  The palazzo dates to the 16th century, and in the 17th, Francesco Borromini worked his magic and constructed this ramp, which circles inside the building for several stories.  Its purpose remains obscure; we don't know if it was intended for foot traffic, or horses.  On the upper right, a cool, modernist stairway designed by Luigi Moretti.  It's housed in the back of the Casa del GIL (a Fascist youth center), located within about 200 meters of Porta Portese in Trastevere (just follow the streetcar tracks), which was built between 1933 and 1936.  The staircase is accessible from the side of the building, off the parking lot. 

Below left, that smiling woman is Dianne, standing beneath a lovely staircase in one of the new towns--we're pretty sure it's Latina, but it could be Pontinia--built by the Mussolini government in the 1930s on the reclaimed Pontine marshes.  Below right, courtesy of photographer Jessica Stewart (see her site,, is one of two water towers constructed during the modernization of the Termini Station.  This one is located at the back of the station, on the right side (as one faces the station).  The architect was Angiolo Mazzoni, who also designed the towering side aisles of Termini.

Finally, a tantalizing staircase from the Villa Medici.  Looking up.    Bill

1 comment:

Londra capoccia said...

By the way I just received your book. I'll let you have my feedback if you're interested...