Scalinata dell’Ara Coeli | Turismo Roma
Live Rome, discover Rome
Tourist services and cultural offer
Your tailor-made trip

Social Block

You are here

The Ara Coeli steps

Scalinata dell’Ara Coeli

The steps of the Church of Santa Maria d’Aracoeli were constructed in 1348 as an expression of the people’s thanks for the end of a plague. According to folk traditions, Cola di Rienzo was the first to climb these steps.  

In the eighteenth century, the peasants who came to Rome to sell their produce would sleep on the steps. The prince, Caffarelli, who lived nearby, disapproved of this practice. His complaints having had no effect, the course of conduct he adopted then showed a markedly aristocratic bent – while the peasants slept, he ordered that barrels filled with stones be rolled down the steps. As a result of the injuries and deaths, the country people had to look for another spot, and did not return.  

In the past, people would climb the steps on their knees at night while reciting their Ave Marias and the De Profundis, and they also evoked the aid of the three Magi Kings (Caspar, Balthasar and Melchior) to find winning combinations of lottery ticket numbers. It is said that these efforts were successful.


POINT (12.482345 41.893892)
Share Condividi


Scalinata dell’Ara Coeli, Scala dell'Arce Capitolina
Scala dell'Arce Capitolina
41° 53' 38.0112" N, 12° 28' 56.442" E


To find out about all accessibility services, visit the Rome accessible section.

Media gallery

Node Json Map Block

Interactive map

Choose events and services nearby