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The Romantics in Rome - Lord Byron, The Shelleys & Keats

Rome 5 nights Price from £1,998 per person
Departs: 16 Oct 2022
Departs: 16 Oct 2022

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The noble history and decaying grandeur and beauty of Rome was a powerful influence on the younger generation of writers and poets from across Europe in the early 19th century. Lord Byron, Percy and Mary Shelley and John Keats became the leading lights and whose imagination and creativity met the romanticism and mystery of Rome head on.

Highlights will include a private visit to the Keats-Shelley House, where Keats died on 23 February 1821, as well as the Protestant cemetery where Shelley, Keats and the painter Joseph Severn, who was with Keats when he died, are all buried. We will also enjoy the great Classical monuments that inspired the Romantics, including the Forum, which Byron visited almost daily, and Shelley’s favourite building, the Pantheon. We will stroll along the ramparts of the Aurelian Walls, see the Pyramid of Gaius Cestius and stop for tea at the Café Greco, Rome’s oldest café, where Keats and Byron were regular visitors.


What's included

...when you travel with Kirker

  • Return flights
  • Five nights’ accommodation with breakfast
  • Three dinners
  • All sightseeing, entrance fees and gratuities as described
  • The services of a Kirker Tour Lecturer


  • Day 1 - Arrival in Rome

    We fly to Rome today and transfer to the 4* Hotel Dei Mellini where we stay for five nights. Angus will host drinks in the hotel before dinner in one of our favourite local restaurants.
  • Day 2 - Spanish Steps

    We begin at the magnificent Piazza del Popolo, one of Rome’s most impressive public spaces, followed by the Pincio Gardens. Then we shall walk along the Via Margutta, where 18th and 19th century artists had their studios, to the Spanish Steps, Bernini's famous Barcaccia Fountain, and the Caffe Greco, opened in 1760 and frequented (at different times) by Casanova, Goethe, Stendhal, Thorvaldsen, Flaxman, Baudelaire, Berlioz, and Wagner. In the evening we will then make a private visit to the Keats-Shelley Memorial House, which will take place after it has closed to the public. This is the house in which Keats spent his final months. The Curator, Dr Giuseppe Albano will give a tour of the museum and library followed by Prosecco and nibbles on the terrace adjoining The Spanish Steps. 
  • Day 3 - Villa Borghese

    This morning we will visit the Villa Borghese, in the elegant Borghese Gardens, where the collection of art and sculpture including Canova’s famous nude of Paulina Bonaparte was much admired by Byron and the Shelleys. Next we go to the Protestant Cemetery to see the graves of Keats and Shelley as well as that of the artist Joseph Severn who was with Keats on his deathbed. We will also see the Pyramid of Gaius Cestius and enjoy a stroll along the ramparts of the Aurelian Walls at Porta San Paolo.
  • Day 4 - Ancient Rome

    Today is the first of two days devoted to Ancient Rome with visits to the historic sites which fascinated the Romantic poets. We will begin at the Pantheon which Shelley described as ‘the visible image of the universe in the perfection of its proportions’. Almost 2,000 years old, the Pantheon is not only one of the best-preserved of all ancient buildings, but also houses the tombs of some of Italy’s greatest artists, composers and kings. We shall then walk through the Roman Forum, where, in Byron’s view, ‘still the eloquent air breathes – burns with Cicero!’
  • Day 5 - Baths of Caracalla & Capitoline Museums

    will be our first stop this morning. Opened in 217 AD and now set in a beautiful garden (‘Never,’ in Shelley’s words, ‘was any desolation more sublime & lovely’), this is where several of the most famous pieces of ancient sculpture were discovered. In the afternoon we shall visit the Capitoline Museums where the great collection of ancient sculpture includes the Capitoline Venus and the Dying Gaul celebrated by Shelley and Byron. Our day ends at the Colosseum, the site of the gladiator games and recently restored to some of its magnificence. For Byron, in Childe Harold, ‘While stands the Colosseum, Rome shall stand ... And when Rome falls – the World’.
  • Day 6 - Return home

    We return to the airport this morning after breakfast.

Flight Details

Flights with British Airways

Depart Heathrow 12.20, arrive Rome 15.55
Depart Rome 16.40, arrive Heathrow 18.20

Departure Dates and Prices

16 Oct 2022

Status Limited

Price from£1998

Single Supp.£398

Call 020 7593 2284

Included Hotels


Dei Mellini
Rome, Italy, Europe

The Dei Mellini is very well located in a quiet street a few steps from the river; the Vatican is 20 minutes’ walk away whilst you can reach the Piazza Navonaand the Pantheon in 15 minutes. Facilities include a bar which also serves light meals, lounge and a large rooftop terrace. The 80 bedrooms are comfortableand stylishly furnished.

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