Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck meet on the Spanish Steps in Roman Holiday(1953)
Rome has gotten more than its share of criticism in recent years for poorly-maintained monuments, but the pendulum may be swinging the other way. The iconic Spanish Steps is the latest renovation project, funded like a number of the others by luxury-goods companies with ties to the city.
The Spanish Steps, dating to the 18th century has 144 steps, and will be closed until Dec. 7th, although work will continue through spring 2016. The Dec. 7 date is important because it's the start of a Catholic Jubilee year expected to drawn millions of extra visitors to Rome.
The work includes maintaining drainage, restoring original lamps and leveling the steps to repair wear and tear. In the U.S., the Steps got their big fame boost for their romantic role in the film Roman Holiday with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck.
Last year, the government issued a plea for help in financing Italy's heritage monuments; others that have responded include Fendi, which is paying for repairs to the Trevi Fountain and shoemaker Tod's which is financing some of the work at the Colosseum.