5 Incredible Facts about Trinità dei Monti

The Church of Trinità dei Monti stands right in the heart of Rome city center, overlooking the stunning Spanish Steps. The Church was built in 1502 following the willing of Luis the 12th, King of France, and owner of that portion of land. Prior to that time, the church site was actually a vast vineyard, donated by King Charles VIII of France to an order of Monks.

View of Trinità dei Monti Church
Credits: image by @kirkandmimi
Location: near Piazza di Spagna
Tickets: Not Needed
Accessibility: Accessible
Kid-friendly Attraction

Works to build the church carried on during the 16th century and were subjected to an impressive delay of 60 years due to financial troubles that followed the Sack of Rome.
The church was built in gothic style, using stones from the French city of Narbonne.
Later, thanks to Francesco de Sanctis’ project, the church was connected to the Spanish Square through the giant stairs. By linking Piazza di Spagna to the French Church, the King of France was giving a clear signal of the consolidated peace between France and Spain.
In front of the church you can admire the so-called “Sallustiano Obelisk”, which was erected by the architect Antinori by Pope Pius VI will.

1The Chapels

The chapels inside Trinità dei Monti were decorated by the painter Daniele Volterra, Michelangelo’s apprentice, also known for having to cover nudity scenes of the Universal Judgment inside the Sistine Chapel (in the Vatican Museums) following Pope’s Pio IV orders. Inside the church you can admire his best known painting “Descent from the Cross”.

2The Bell Towers

The characteristic facade presents two symmetrical bell towers with two clocks, one showing Rome time and the other Paris time. The project was carried on by Giacomo della Porta and Andrea Fontana.

3The Obelisk

The Egypt-Roman Obelisk was probably brought to Rome by the Emperor Aureliano, and placed in the Horti Sallustiani, after which it is named. Later, in 410 it was destroyed during the Sack of Rome.


The obelisk presents severals symbols and engravings that were literally copied from the obelisk in Piazza del Popolo. Some of them were also misspelled.

5The Lily of France

The Obelisk is almost 14 meters in height and made of red granite. This is the only obelisk in Rome to show another symbol other than the pontifical one. Indeed, looking at it up close and personal, it’s possible to see the Lily of France.