Keats - Shelley House

Piazza di Spagna 26. (Open Map)


Inserted at the foot of the Spanish Steps on the right is the house that was the residence of the English poet John Keats from November 1820 to February 23 1821, the day of his death, known as the Casa Rossa (Red House).

The poet had reached Rome accompanied by his friend and travelling companion Joseph Severn in the vain hope of curing his tuberculosis. Keats’ tragic death inspired his friend and poet Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) to write the work Adonais. 

After a little more than one year in July 1822, Shelley himself drowned during a sail-boat ride. Both poets are now buried in the Protestant Cemetery near the Cestia Pyramid. 

In 1903 the Casina Rossa risked to be demolished to build a hotel, but in 1907 with the support of king Edward the Seventh, President Roosevelt, and king Victor Emanuel the Third the Keats-Shelley Memorial Association was founded and in 1909 the house was opened to the public and dedicated to the memory of the two poets. 

Souvenirs and relics of Keats, Shelley, Byron, and other English poets, who loved, lived in Italy and wrote about it, have been collected during the last ninety years. 

The House now also hosts one of the most furnished libraries of English romantic literature in Europe.