Rome Travel Guide

Rome Architecture, History, Art, Museums, Galleries, Fashion, Music, Photos, Walking and Hiking Itineraries, Neighborhoods, News and Social Commentary, Politics, Things to Do in Rome and Environs. Over 900 posts

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

RST Top 40. #31: Protestant Cemetery

"It might make one in love with death, to think that one should be buried in so sweet a place."

It's hard to top Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley's take on Rome's Non-Catholic (usually referred to as Protestant) Cemetery, and shortly after penning these words, in 1822 he drowned off the coast of Italy and was buried here.

There are myriad reasons to put the Protestant Cemetery in Rome the Second Time's Top 40, including visiting the graves of figures such as Shelley, fellow Romantic Poet John Keats, and 20th-century Italian intellectual atheist Antonio Gramsci, who died in 1937 under police guard in a Rome hospital (having spent a decade in Fasicst prisons).

Another reason to visit is simply its lushness and quiet, especially compared to the zaniness that is Rome. It's a lovely break from one of the most congested of areas, the Porta San Paolo, right outside the Cemetery walls. A third is the spectacular - and perhaps best - view of the Pyramid.

The Protestant Cemetery has been much better maintained in the past few years, with regular (!) visiting hours, a newsletter, and a very helpful website in English.

The Cemetery appears in Rome the Second Time as part of Itinerary 4 at pages 71-72, and note the correction on Shelley's heart (now that should tempt you to check it out) in our post of May 5, 2009.


No comments: