The Spanish Steps in Rome, Italy are reopening on September 21 after a year-long restoration process. Opening in 1725, the steps are one of the most visited tourism attractions in the city of Rome. However, after restoration, many traces of human interaction were found that have sparked the question of fencing the stairs off at night to help prevent this.
“Bulgari chairman Paolo Bulgari has suggested that a fence be installed at the top and bottom of the staircase, to be locked at night in order to prevent people from accessing the steps. “Restorers found all kinds of things on the steps, from chewing gums to coffee and wine stains, cigarette butts, and I don’t even want to mention the other disgusting traces and residues that had defiled the monument,” Bulgari said. He fears the Spanish Steps will quickly be trashed and damaged again if people are allowed to loll around at night like they did before, leaving cigarette butts, beer cans, bottles of wine, and scratching their initials or, worse still, obscenities, with marker pens.” – Italy Magazine
Bulgari said that many of the local storeowners agree with him that the steps should be protected at night, especially because it has turned into a meeting and drinking hangout for young foreigners who leave trash behind.
Personally, I completely understand the idea of closing the stairs at night for protection. Although the monument has been open at night for an extremely long time now, change isn’t always a bad thing, especially whenever considering the expenses used to help keep this beautiful monument restored to its finest.
Picture courtesy of Morgana Hotel
What do you think on the matter?? Should the Spanish Steps remain open to the public at night, or be protected and closed?