Though the purpose of this blog is to cover the industrial side of Italy, the hard reality is you can't do so without discussing its immeasurable cultural wealth from time to time.
I came across a biography of the architect Francesco de Sanctis - who along with Alessandro Specchi - designed and built the Spanish Steps in Rome.
Interestingly enough, the Spanish Steps really have little to do with anything connected to Spain (though I always took it for granted it probably was linked to the Spanish occupation of Southern Italy) but rather could (or should have been called) the French Steps since it was France who actually paid for its construction.
Maybe they could rename it the Spench Steps?
Well, plenty of things were paid by Italians claimed by other nations (think exploration when Italian bankers and merchants bankrolled many expeditions claimed by unified Monarchies) so I guess the French will just have to take the high road on this one.
In the end, it was a couple of Italians, though, who brought it to life.
De Sanctis for his part was (unfairly) scapegoated when part of steps collapsed in 1728 thus ending his career in Rome.