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“Truly overwhelming-a must if you're a fan of Keats”

Keats-Shelley House
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Rome Uncovered: A Fully Private Walking Tour...
Ranked #95 of 1,976 things to do in Rome
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Known as Casina Rosa, this small museum is devoted to the authors' works and memorabilia.
Reviewed 10 October 2017

I've wanted to visit this house for a number of years but each time I've been to Rome it seems to have passed me by, thankfully not this time. Keats' poetry has long been a significant part of my life and standing in the room in which he died, looking out of the same window at (more or less) the same view as the man who wrote Endymion was an experience I wasn't prepared for.

The whole place is amazing and needs a lot more time to explore than its size might first make you think. It was an odd sensation to step off a busy street in Rome and into what felt like an English country house, but one I certainly enjoyed.

On top of this the staff were outstanding; there was a very friendly and helpful Irish lady at the entrance who even had patience with my clumsiness when I lost and then subsequently found my receipt/ticket and the girl sat in the main part of the building was on hand to answer any questions.

I'd recommend anyone with an interest in Keats' work to come here, I confess I'm not as well-versed in Shelley's work but I'm sure it's a must for fans of his as well.

Date of experience: September 2017
Thank ianjb1987
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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20 - 24 of 253 reviews

Reviewed 20 September 2017

The rooms are overwhelmed by what looks like Victorian bookshelves, which means that information is placed high up and is difficult to read. Not to mention that the info looks like it was typed out half a century ago. The bookshelves ruin any vestige of what the house looked like when Keats died there. It might be an extensive Keats library, but since the visitor cannot access the books, what is the point in keeping them there? Why not attempt to return the house to its early 19th century state?
I visited when there were private talks (fully booked) going on. I arrived at 2pm and was told I'd have to be out by 3. Fair enough, but I was pestered and followed around from 2.40 onwards, being told I'd have to leave in a few minutes. With all the interruptions, I didn't have time to complete the tour. Shoddy and amateurish. All in all, an unpleasant experience. It's a pity that the place isn't run more professionally, by people who have a clue about curatorship. Don't waste your money.

Date of experience: September 2017
2  Thank Sylvie206
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KeatsShelleyHouse, Manager at Keats-Shelley House, responded to this reviewResponded 27 September 2017

First of all, we very much regret that the style and decor of the House were not to your taste. You state that "the rooms are overwhelmed by what looks like Victorian bookshelves" and that "the bookshelves ruin any vestige of what the house looked like when Keats died there". When the Keats-Shelley Memorial House was founded at the beginning of the 20th Century, its principal purpose was indeed a library, whose important collection expanded during the following decades, leading it to become the most important research centre for second-generation English Romantic studies in Continental Europe. It's a great pity that so few decorative features survive from Keats's time but as is explained in our (regularly updated) labels and panels across the museum, the things that Keats might have touched in the House were burnt immediately after his precocious death by the local authorities due to the fear of the spread of tuberculosis. And, for people reading this piece who have never visited the House, the bedroom where Keats spent his final months has no bookshelves as that specific space is preserved as a shrine. Moreover, some important things have survived from Keats's time there, such as the ceilings with their painted flowers which Keats viewed as premonitions of the daisies above his own impending tomb as he lay on his death bed, and the marble fireplace by his bed on which Severn cooked meals for his dying friend.

It's regretful too that you found the labels to be placed "too high up", when we have ensured to keep them all at eye level. As mentioned above we regularly update our labels and panels as we move items from the collection around so we can rejuvenate long-term displays, add exciting new loans and acquisitions, and host temporary exhibitions. The very oldest labels in current use date from 2003 and many have been added in the last three years. We do wish we still had some left from 'half a century ago', as you claim, as we'd be so interested to see them, but sadly this is not the case! You wonder also what the use might be of keeping the library at all if the books cannot be accessed: the books may be consulted upon appointment, as clearly specified on our website, and some of the most beautiful and rare editions are routinely displayed for visitors in the showcases, alongside manuscripts, relics, portraits, and other works of art. There are always plenty of things for visitors to see and look at in detail, even if they cannot open the bookshelves.

Finally, it is sheer bad luck that on the day you visited we had an important event at 3 p.m. which necessitated early closure. It is very rare that we close the museum for any reason at all but this just happened to be one of the very few instances this year that we decided to close earlier than usual so as to allow our special event to take place. Our friendly and efficient staff made this very clear in person to all visitors that Saturday, and a large sign was also placed on the front door informing everyone that the museum would close at 3 p.m. on that occasion. We are very sorry if you felt pressured to leave earlier but we do try to ensure that nobody is ever "pestered and followed" at the Keats-Shelley House: we consider our staff to be very well-behaved and visitor-focused, as may be confirmed by the numerous 5-star reviews we have received on this website. On the other hand, you might have felt harassed by the fact that from around 2:40 p.m. onwards the staff were busy preparing the salone of the museum for the event. We are very sorry if this was the case, but the only alternative would have been to leave the museum closed for the whole afternoon, but we really didn't want to do this because we always endeavour to be as open and accessible as possible.

Over all, we are sorry that your enjoyment of the Keats-Shelley House and of Rome was diminished on this occasion. We offer you a complementary visit to the Keats-Shelley House and a complimentary introductory tour by one of the members of staff should you decide to visit the city again.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 September 2017 via mobile

As a Keats-Shelley lover this was high on my agenda for my trip to Rome! The house is small but its great how many artefacts are stored there! The ladies who work there were friendly and helpful. Really happy I went - once in a life time opportunity and I was not disappointed!

Date of experience: September 2017
1  Thank 590frankie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 August 2017

I had been most interested in visiting the Keats and Shelley museum at the base of the Spanish Steps but I was alone in this conviction so Donna and John took a cab back to the hotel and Dave climbed the 135 steps to find a place to sit where I allegedly would find him later. I toured the special Keats and Shelley Museum, a little known gem in Rome, alone for over an hour. An optional video introduction by Prince Charles described the importance of poets Keats, Shelley and Byron and he discusses the history of the poets in Rome and this museum. After the video I went to the bedroom where Keats had died and looked out over the Spanish Steps to the Fountain of the Ugly Boat to hear what Keats might have heard from his deathbed, but the crowd’s noise was so insistent that it was impossible to hear anything but the crowd. I imagine in his time he would have heard the clomping of horse’s hoofs and a few people milling about. In the museum I thought of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s poem Adonais "Go thou to Rome, at once the Paradise, The grave, the city, and the wilderness….”. If you want to learn much more about the lives of these poets who challenged what was acceptable in the day, read Daughter of Earth and Water, A Biography of Mary Wollstoncraft Shelley. An excellent read and preparation for understanding their time in England and Italy.

Date of experience: October 2016
1  Thank Kelleygirl2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 12 August 2017

In glorious air conditioning, peruse at leisure this historical site. Have a view of the video first before entering upstairs to the main museum part. Keep your 5 Euro ticket and you can return!. After your visit why not go to the 'Cemetary for Foreigners (the only one in Rome for non Catholics!) and see Keats memorial stone as well as other famous people!. Take Red Metro from Spagna in direction of Anagnina, change at Termini (2 stops), then take Blue Metro to Pyramide (4 stops) in direction of Laurentina.The Commonwealth War Cementary on the road opposite, is also well worth a visit for those interested in war history.

Date of experience: July 2017
1  Thank sarahjW9570ZB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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