Friday, July 27, 2007

It's heating up

The View of the Piazza from Keats' room.

Without meaning to, our sightseeing has somehow managed to fall into daily themes. Yesterday we feasted on the incredible treasures of the Vatican Museums and St Peter’s Basilica. Today, feeling somewhat ‘overfed’, and expecting 36 degree heatwave temperatures, we took a less challenging path and wandered along to the Spanish Steps to visit house where John Keats lived when in Rome, and where he died.

Already extremely ill with tuberculosis when he arrived in November 1820, the views of the Piazza di Spagna that we enjoyed from his bedroom today would have given him little joy. The house, immediately beside the Spanish Steps, has a large and fascinating collection of letters, manuscripts and pictures relating to the Romantic poets, particularly Keats, Shelley and Byron, and Keats’ bedroom is set up as it would have looked when he lived there.

Apparently he was well enough for a time to be taken out for rides to the park on Pincio Hill where a belvedere affords spectacular views right across the city, so we climbed the steep hill to enjoy both the views and the ever-so-slightly cooler air.

Rome was really heating up by now, so we stripped off our shoes and socks and soaked our walk-weary feet in a pond in the Borghese Gardens.

When in Rome…..

On the opposite side of the Spanish Steps to Keats’ house is the elegant Babbington’s English Tea Rooms, quiet and cool, where we recovered from our energetic excursion with afternoon tea and scones with jam and cream - and a glass of prosecco - as many a foreigner has done before us.

1 comment:

  1. Hey great to see you are both keeping your feel clean ... good for you. Photo's are great and it is good read that you are both well, enjoying yourselves and not missing us all over here too much!! Stay safe, keep happy and we look forward to your return. Love from Di, Matilda and the folks
    PS: Himself will still be in hospital for a few more weeks yet but is coming ahead slowly. XXX


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