published Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Rome's iconic Spanish Steps getting a face-lift

  • photo
    A tourists cools off in the 17th-century Bernini fountain, also known as Barcaccia, in front of the historical Spanish Steps in Rome in this 2012 file photo. Rome's iconic Spanish Steps are getting a makeover.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

ROME — Rome's iconic Spanish Steps are getting a makeover.

High-end jeweler Bulgari is donating 1.5 million euros ($2 million) to the city of Rome to restore the staircase that connects the swank Piazza di Spagna with the Trinita dei Monti church above.

It's the latest Italian luxury brand to step in to spruce up Rome's historic landmarks as public funding dips. Shoemaker Tod's has put up 25 million euros to restore the Colosseum while fashion house Fendi is handling the Trevi fountain.

The restoration announced Thursday involves cleaning the travertine steps, removing plants that have sprung up in cracks and repairing steps that have been chipped since the last major renovation in 1995.

Bulgari, whose flagship store is just down the street, offered the funding to mark its 130th anniversary.

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