After a €1.5M restoration, Rome’s Spanish Steps are set to reopen on Wednesday.

La Scalinata di Trinità dei Monti, as it is known in Italian, was closed for almost a year for renovation works meant to clean the staircase of stains and dirt and repair the damaged pavement. The renovation was financed by Rome-based jewelry brand Bulgari as a way to pay homage to the city where the company was founded 130 years ago.

Chairman Paolo Bulgari has called for a fence to be installed at the top and bottom of the stairs, which he thinks should be locked at night to prevent people from lolling around, as was common before. He said he feared the Spanish Steps would quickly get dirty and be damaged again unless people are forbidden from sitting on the steps, drinking, eating and smoking.

His proposition has stirred much controversy. Those who disagree with Bulgari’s stance maintain that the monument is a public space and cannot be fenced off; they say that locals and tourists alike should instead be educated to respecting our precious common heritage.  

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