Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The poet, some models and famous steps

 The Spanish Steps in Rome.
Built in the 1720's and the scene of a small film or two.

Perfect for pausing and admiring the scenery
Or perfect for posing and being admired as scenery.
And perhaps eating a gelato.

As usual with everything in Rome, The Spanish Steps is steeped in history,
and legend.

But my favourite story involves a dying poet and some pretty artist models.

 In 1820 the English poet John Keates was dying of tuberculosis.
His friends and doctor urged him to come to Rome, as they thought the warmer climate would improved his health.
It didn't.
In November 1820 Keates and an artist friend, Joseph Severn took rooms in a house right next to the Spanish Steps where Joseph cared for Keates until his death in February 1821. 
He was only 25.
Now at the time the steps was a great meeting place for painters and poets. but also a spot where beautiful young women would gather and pose hoping to get work as artist models.

The story goes that even though Keats was weak and in pain with illness, he took comfort gazing out the window and admiring all the pretty girls gathered on the steps.


The Spanish Steps and Keats, Shelley House Museum - Rome, July 2015


  1. Quite a story. The Steps are beautiful!

  2. They certainly are. Unfortunately I didn't realise until posting this that I didn't take any shots from the bottom of the steps looking up.

  3. It seems to me that, if you gotta go, there could be worse things to do than gaze at loads of pretty girls. Nice post. As for your comment above, your photos are great, but I repeatedly realise that I didn't get the right shot just as I'm sorting out photos back home on the PC for a blog post!

    1. Nice to know I'm not the only one :) And I agree - if you gotta go, you might as well look at something nice on the way.


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