One, two, three steps to heaven

Oct 26, 2017 239

BY: ELIZABETH SALTHOUSE

Rome’s Spanish Steps are famous around the globe. As too are Venice’s stepped bridges crossing her countless canals. And the Vatican Museum’s Bramante spiral stairway is one of the most photographed in the world. But Italy is also home to many more historic staircases. From Michelangelo’s Florentine work of art to Rome’s biblical centerpiece to Sicily’s ceramic flight of flowers, these architectural sculptures add elegance, decoration and beauty to the simple task of climbing the stairs. Let’s take a look at eight of the best.

Let’s start with one of the oldest; the Scala Santa or Holy Stairs in the Piazza of St John in Laterano, Rome. Legend has it these are the 28 steps climbed by Jesus on his way to trial by Pontius Pilate. But Pilate lived in Jerusalem so how did the stairs end up in the Italian capital? For that we have St Helena, Emperor Constantine’s mother, to thank. Mother and son were some of the first Romans to convert to Christianity and Helena marked her devotion with a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

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SOURCE: http://www.italoamericano.org

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