Garbage Day with John Keats

Following last week’s trip to the Ara Pacis, my partner, Andrea, and I came across quite a scene. As we walked from the Piazza del Popolo to the Spanish steps we encountered hordes of boisterous German soccer fans marching in the opposite direction. They were supporting a team unknown to me, with colors of black and green, and causing quite a ruckus as they filled the Via Babuino and Piazza del Popolo. Arriving at the Spanish steps we saw what their pre-game party entailed: numerous bottles of Peroni and Heineken beer. Needless to say, the Roman cleaning crew had quite the mess on their hands.

The aftermath of the German horde.

The aftermath of the German horde.

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Eventually we found what we were looking for, the Keats-Shelley Memorial House, located right beside the Spanish steps. We buzzed to get in and, funnily enough, as we entered and ascended the stairs we could still plainly hear the sound of beer bottles crashing and rolling outside as the cleaners swept them down the steps. The museum itself is the final resting place of famous poet John Keats, depicting his life as well as the achievements of Percy Shelley and Lord Byron. Inside, the atmosphere felt worlds apart from the busy streets below and the people around us seemed to be all of English descent. This look into the past was a nice way to end a busy day of trekking across Rome.

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During Keats’s era locks of hair were given and treasured as signs of affection.

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