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Rome: Piazza del Popolo e Piazza di Spagna

The Piazza del Popolo and the Piazza di Spagna are two pretty squares in Rome, whilst the road between the two - the Via del Babuino - is lined with designer shops and little boutiques.

If you get off the Metro at Spagna, you're going to see a lot of people sat on some steps. These are the famous Spanish Steps, and whilst I've never seen the appeal, people sit on them day and night. (They are apparently the widest in Europe.)

Made famous by one of my favourites, Audrey Hepburn, and her co-star Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday, both the church at the top of the Spanish Steps, the Trinità dei Monti, and the fountain at the bottom are currently under restoration, just like the Colosseum and other famous landmarks.

It's OK though, I was in Rome in July 2011 when the church wasn't under scaffolding so you can see above how it should look.

At the Piazza del Popolo, you'll find the "twin" churches - Santa Maria dei Miracoli is to the left, whilst Santa Maria di Montesanto is on the right-hand side. They're not identical twins, but they are very similar.

The Piazza del Popolo translates as the "People's Square" nowadays, but there's another church here - the Santa Maria del Popolo - where the square originally got its name from.

The Piazza del Popolo is probably my favourite square in Rome, but it has one annoyance. Street vendors will come up to you and try and force flowers or trinkets on you whilst you're milling around. A firm no will do the trick, though it may take several of these for them to disperse.

If you walk up the steps towards the Villa Borghese, you can get back to Trinità dei Monti and the Spanish Steps whilst taking in the awesome sight of Roman rooftops, and some famous landmarks. Quite the view, huh?

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