Keats-Shelley House

Museum in Tridente, Trevi & the Quirinale

The Keats-Shelley House is where Romantic poet John Keats died of tuberculosis aged 25, in February 1821. Keats came to Rome in 1820 to try to improve his health in the Italian climate, and rented two rooms on the 3rd floor of a townhouse next to the Spanish Steps, with painter companion Joseph Severn (1793–1879). Watch a film on the 1st floor about the Romantics, then head upstairs to see where Keats and Severn lived and worked.

The bookshelf-lined rooms, practically unchanged since 1907 when the museum opened, evoke the impoverished lives of Keats and Severn. Faded letters, death masks and other memorabilia fill the first room where Severn slept. Keats' bedroom includes portraits of Keats by Severn, letters written by Severn cursing the 'brutal' Italian authorities and a 19th-century, walnut-wood barco a letto ('boat bed') – the original was burnt, along with the entire contents in the room, to prevent the spread of infection.


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