Romantic Literature Memorial, Spagna

To find out how the Spagna area has hidden deals, go to the ‘UI Areas of Rome’ page. This shrine to English romantic literature flanking the Spanish steps attracted me as a visitor many times before I later began to work as a guide here. An oasis from the hectic Spagna area, the intimate rooms of the Keats and Shelley House are lined with yellowed books in carved wooden bookcases and sparkling chandeliers hanging from the original ceilings of painted rosettes. The atmosphere of calm instantly transforms you to a time long gone to when the poet John Keats spent his last months here hoping that Rome’s climate would ease his Tuberculosis, but in vain. The memories of Keats, Shelley and Byron are warmly and respectfully remembered, all having lived in Italy. It is a touching and memorable find off the beaten tourist trail.  The museum remembers how Rome’s classical art drew flocks of English tourists the likes of Keats, Shelley and Byron (English romantic poets) and how inevitably Keats succumbed to his ailment and never returned to his beloved England and fiancée. His remains along with Shelley’s are kept at the lush ‘Non-Catholic Cemetary’ in the Pyramide area (search keyword tab for ‘Non-Catholic Cemetary’). Here in the hushed silence, drink in the view that Keats experienced over Piazza di Spagna and imagine the melancholic romantics, each touched deeply by Italy in the early 19th Century. Tickets €5, open Mon-Sat 10am-6pm (closed for lunch 1-2pm)  http://www.keats-shelley-house.org/

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