As a young girl I became very fond of 19th Century poetry and have enjoyed it throughout my life. When I got he chance to visit he apartment of Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning I jumped at it.
They moved here in 1847, a year after they married and lived here together until Elizabeth’s death in 1861. They called it “Casa Guidi” and wrote some of their finest poetry here. Their son, Pen, was born in 1849 and grew up here.
Casa Guidi is a suite of eight rooms situated on the piano nobile (The piano nobile is the principal floor of a large house, usually built in one of the styles of Classical Renaissance architecture. This floor contains the principal reception and bedrooms of the house) of Palazzo Guidi, located opposite the south wing of the Pitti Palace, at Piazza San Felice 8, Florence, Italy.
The building is not that special looking from the outside, and wouldn’t give it a second look if you didn’t know the history.
The only marking is a small engraving above the door.
Some of the original photographs and letters they wrote are nicely displayed.
This is the original desk of Roberts where he did his writing.
In his office was the original chaise that Elizabeth spent many hours resting.
A portrait of Elizabeth that Robert had commissioned for her birthday.
There wasn’t much of a view, but I did particularly like this.
Everything about this rooms mirrors the original, down to the paint color.
This was a painting that had been done of the room while they lived here.
The bedroom has the piano that Robert and a Pen played.
I imagined Elizabeth laying in bed while Robert played for her.
There is a little terrace where we were told Pen raised a pet rabbit.
The apartment is now owned and managed by Landmark Trust who have 194 historic, interesting buildings that can be rented for self-catering holidays. How fun it would be to stay here.
Casa Guidi is open to visitors Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., 1 April through 30 November. Information about letting the rooms may be obtained by contacting:
The Landmark Trust
Berkshire SL6 3SW
Tel: 01628 825925