Hey guys! I’m back already, isn’t it great? This post will be an unusual travel-related one. As I went to visit Rome for the billionth time yesterday morning, I’ve decided not to act like a tourist but more like the literature enthusiast I’ve become over the years. I went to visit the Non Catholic Cemetery, where many artists from many parts of the world (some more famous than others) are buried. I’ve always had a thing for English Romantic poets and especially for John Keats, so what better way to express my admiration for him than visiting his grave? I’m great, I know. Best fan on the whole planet.
Should I introduce him to my beautiful readers? I think so, yeah.
Keats was an underrated poet at his time. After interrupting his career as a doctor to completely devote his life to poetry – which consisted mainly of odes and letters to relatives, friends and his beloved Fanny Browne – he fell ill and moved to Rome, where he died of tuberculoses at the young age of 25.
His poetry can be summed up by the world “beauty”, seen as the key to immortality, which can be reached either by the use of imagination or looking at anything that positively attracts our attention (a work of art, music, nature, etc).
Now, here’s my little photo gallery of the Non Catholic Cemetery in Rome. It is situated near the Pyramid of Caius Cestius (quite near the city centre), but the place itself is very peaceful. As it was too big, I wasn’t able to fully visit it.
At the entrance there is this beautiful gate:
I’ve got the chance to photograph some beautiful graves, like these:
Elsbeth M. Wegener Passarge
Devereux Plantagenet Cockburn
William Shelley, son of Mary Wollstonecraft and Percy Byshee Shelley
This cemetery also hosts a cat shelter, managed by a group of animal activists.. I’m sorry I hadn’t got the time to visit it 😦
John Keats’ gravestone
As you can see from the picture, Keats didn’t want nothing to be inscribed on his headstone, not even his name, except for “Here lies One Whose Name was writ in Water”. The first part reads “This Grave contains all that was mortal, of a YOUNG ENGLISH POET, who on his Death Bed, in the Bitterness of his heart, at the Malicious Power of his enemies, desired these words to be Engraven on his Tomb Stone”, has been added by poet’s close friends Charles Brown and Joseph Severn, who is buried next to him. Their graves are in a quiet corner next to the Pyramid of Caius Cestius.
P.B. Shelley’s gravestone
This gravestone is inscribed with “Cor cordium” (heart of hearts) followed by a quotation from Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”:
“Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea change,
Into something rich and strange.”
I guess it was chosen because it reminds of the way Shelley died, drowned in the Gulf of La Spezia.
If you are planning your first/next visit to Rome, you should consider visiting this cemetery.
Love, Vica x