The Keats-Shelley House in Rome is a memorial museum dedicated to the two Romantic poets, honoring, at the same time, the contribution of plenty other figures to the cultural scene of the 19th century (the likes of Wordsworth, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Browning, Oscar Wilde, Byron). The museum was set up in the early 20th century, at the initiative of Robert Underwood Johnson, an American poet who insisted on purchasing the house in which Keats lived for several months and died in Rome.

It took 6 years (from 1903 to 1909) for the Johnson’s initiative to materialize, but the efforts eventually paid out. The Keats-Shelley Memorial Association purchased the house and opened the museum, trying to reproduce as accurately as possible the atmosphere of the period in which the poet lived here. The task had its inherent difficulties, in particular because all the fixtures were burned after the death of Keats (this was customary to do after the death of a person affected by tuberculosis). A particularly difficult moment of the museum was in World War Two, when most of the patrimony (books, personal effects, memorabilia, correspondence, and sundry artifacts) has to be hidden in view of safekeeping from the Nazi authorities (the items were moved to the Abbey of Monte Cassino, and sheltered here until the end of the war).

Located in a building situated at the foot of the Spanish Steps, in a set wonderfully isolated from the urban hustle, the Keats-Shelley House is a remarkable encounter with the traces of the immortals of literature: a miscellaneous collection of things that once belonged to the praised poets of England.

Keats-Shelley House
26, Piazza di Spagna, 00187, Rome, Italy
0039 06 6784235
[email protected]
Opening hours:
Monday to Friday: 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 6pm; Saturdays: 11am to 2pm and 3pm to 6pm