Trinità dei Monti. Keats and Shelley House, a small apt. in the most famous staircases of the world. When Italians and English work together and then ask money to Americans, here the result: in 1909, a jewel was born.
But let’s imagine Rome at that time, less than 200.000 people – in comparison Naples was much more populated – carriages in the streets, and an old lady living alone and making ends meet in renting her place.When we enter this hidden place, it’s a hot day of July 2021. Atmosphere in Rome is strange, no tourists around as usual but a white, warm and unbelievably empty staircase, on which Keats’ lovely balcony opens. There was the kitchen there, once, while the library was shared between the lady and the poet. On the other side, there is Keats’ room, though furniture is a reproduction, except for the refined marbled fireplace, wooden ceiling and floor. The originals were burnt, because of Keats’ disease.
In the library, which now is a reading and exhibition room, there are manuscripts, letters, paintings and memories of Keats, Shelley, Byron and Oscar Wilde, who inherited Keats’ query on aestheticism.The famous lines “truth is beauty, beauty is truth …”, personally interpreted by Wilde, whose everlasting search to aestheticism led him to his ultimate masterpiece Salomé, let the author saying “Salomé it’s me”, was is in this words “the ultimate aesthetic truth”?
Fortunately, the place and its books escaped the second world war because the sign was removed and the books temporary brought to Monte Cassino Abbey. Today, despite the pandemic, piazza di Spagna wouldn’t have been so charming and beautiful without it.
Credits: Zelda (except the library)