Architecture People & Places


Ralph Rapson at the Spanish Steps

Piazza di Spagna, in Rome, Italy, designed by Alessandro Specchi, 1721 to 1725.

Color sketch by Ralph Rapson, from Ralph Rapson Sketches and Drawings from Around the World, courtesy of the Afton Press.

"I was fortunate to be able to spend a fair amount of time in Rome both as a tourist and a working architect. Full of history, energy, and architecture – it still seems the center of a far-flung empire. 

"There's much to see in Rome and the surrounding countryside, but I was continually drawn to the Spanish Steps. What an enchanting place! More than just a unique mix of building types, uses, materials, and colors, the steps area meeting place for people both night and day. 

"The pace – with all the coming and going, the sitting and standing, the symphony of song and voice, musical instruments, laughter, children calling and crying – always left me energized. Whether with students or fellow architects or alone, I loitered there whenever possible." – Ralph Rapson

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St. Peter's was another of Rapson's destinations in Rome. Image: Ralph Rapson

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