Staircase and landing

Inside the house, the young Johann Wolfgang was especially drawn to the engravings with views of Rome. His father had taken a trip to Italy himself in his youth and his stories had awakened his son’s desire to travel there already at an early age.

In 1786 Goethe enthusiastically wrote to his mother from Italy that he finally had before his eyes that which he had seen in the engravings since childhood.

Inside the house my attention was primarily attracted to a series of scenes of Rome which my father had used to decorate a corridor. […] Daily I looked at the Piazza del Populo, the Coliseum,  St. Peter’s Square, St. Peter’s Basilica from within and without, the Castel Sant Angelo, and much besides. These edifices made a deep impression on me, and our usually laconic father was sometimes good enough to favor us with a commentary on them. He had a marked partiality for the Italian language and everything pertaining to Italy.

Goethe: From My Life. Poetry and Truth, part 1 , book 1