I've decided to display this data in pieces corresponding to the three main streets protruding from the central Piazza del Popolo. The second of the three streets I documented was Via del Barbuino. I have decided to explain the information the in same manner in which I encountered in, that being Via del Corso initially, followed by Via del Barbuino and finally Via di Ripetta. Discovering the neighborhood in this order shaped my opinion of it greatly.
Here you will find the spreadsheet documenting the businesses on Via del Barbuino sorted into the following categories:
- Women Shopping
- Men Shopping
- Women and Men Shopping
- Cosmetics (women emphasis)
- Accessories (sunglasses, eye glasses, bags, purses)
- Specialty (stores containing one specific purpose i.e. swimwear)
- Jewelry (women emphasis)
- Hotel and Luxury Suites
- Empty Storefront
These categories were decided upon the prevalence of store types in the area.
*Please note that residential simply documents the doorway present in a space between two businesses that allows patrons into their homes and is not an accurate depiction of the number of citizens living in an area.
**Please note that food is inclusive of restaurants, gelato, cafés, pizzerias, etc. It is not an accurate depiction of the number of restaurants in the entire area, as majority of restaurants resided in side streets not included in the sample area.
Qualitative Data Observations of Via del Corso:
This is the area that gives the neighborhood its ritzy, glamorous and expensive feel. Most of the brands here are your traditional big designer brands, such as Chanel, Valentino, Dior, Prada, etc.
Majority of your luxury brands (Valentino, Prada, Dior, Gucci) are centered directly in the Piazza de Spagna. I find it interesting how most of the expensive shops are grouped into this street and this particular piazza, which is a common tourist spot. It makes me question if this is where locals actually shop or if the shops are secretly a part of the tourist trap.
Other luxury designer boutiques that aren't commonly known (or lesser-known-to-Americans) are also located on this street. These shops include Gente, Manila Grace, and Tory Burch.
Later Observation After Exploring and Documenting All Three Data Points:
Via del Barbuino is the most expensive area to shop in the Tridente neighborhood, if not all of Rome. Businesses have thrived here because it is a heavy tourist area (because of the Spanish Steps, Villa Borghese, and Piazza del Popolo), but I wonder if fact that it's a tourist area and a shopping area have worked hand in hand to create the atmosphere that is surrounding this neighborhood.
I do question if this is the area that Italians regularly shop. I do not feel that I've seen many Italians walking around in Armani suits and Prada shoes, but I might be grossly mistaken.
Our group did a more in depth observation of the Spanish Steps and Piazza de Spagna, which can be found below:
HISTORY OF PIAZZA DE SPAGNA:
Built largely in the Roman Baroque style
The area used to be called Trinita dei Monti, named after the church at the top of the steps; Trinita Church is currently under construction. An advertisement for Versace has been placed on the facade covering the scaffolding.
The fountain at the bottom of the steps is Barcaccia Fountain (Fontana della Barcaccia — translation: Fountain of the Old Boat), designed and created by Bernini and his son Gian Lorenzo. The church has the characteristics of a sinking fishing boat, which is said to be a detail of the historical 1598 flood of the Tiber River in which a fishing boat was found beached. This is later thought to be a fabricated account from Bernini as an excuse for the fact that the fountain is dug into the ground to account for low water pressure in the fountain.
Carved into the fountain is a sun and a bee, which were symbols of the Barberini family. There is a Piazza dedicated to Barberini family not far from this location. The fountain was commissioned by Pope Urban VIII
The steps were built on request by Innocent XII. They were created by Francesco de Sanctis in the 18th century.
In the 2000s, a young drunken man attempted to drive a small car down the steps, causing damage to many of them (I did not see this while sitting on the steps, but will document this in the future).
There are a lot of rooftop gardens full of plants in the buildings opposite the steps. There are also a lot of different colors of shutters in this area, which could signify different apartment owners? Majority of the shutters were closed, either to block out sound or sun.
The first two floors are occupied by shopping stores, either as floorspace for consumers or as storage space for the business.
There are fewer stores than what were originally here. Number signs by the windows no longer correspond to the storefronts. This could indicate that stores have purchased numerous buildings, demolished the original walls, and created larger shopping areas.
There was a lack of smells in this neighborhood that have become common place in other neighborhoods. This area did not smell like urine, cigarette smoke, feces, bad odor, or car exhaust. The Spanish Steps are a relatively closed off area to cars, and so pedestrians are free to explore the area safely.
Tourists occupied the streets and steps rather heavily. The neighborhood is one of the cleaner ones in Rome. There are no lamp posts in this piazza; rather there are posts built into the walls, but still few. Everyone gathers in this area around the base of the fountain to photograph the steps. Again, this is a very low traffic area, with fewer than 10 cars spotted every 30 minutes.