„Rome opened my eyes for the beauty"
Hans Christian Andersen
Like many other foreign artists before and after him, Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) also used to live in Rome, on st.104 Sistina, even not far away from his house lived Gogol. A marble slab reminds of his residence in Rome. The Danish author stayed in the Eternal City for around a year between 1833-1834. It was at that time when the idea of his first novel " The improvisatore", which was published in 1835, and made him famous in Europe even before his fairy tales and poetry. Andersen narrate in this novel for a young boy Antonio, who look like the writer, travelling around Italy to Rome, Naples, Herculaneum, Sorrento and other interesting destinations.
At the time when Andersen was in Rome, there was also a big Scandinavian colony of artists, between whom people like the sculptor Thorvaldsen (1770-1844), the playwright Ibsen (1828-1906), the poet Aterhom (1790-1855) and other who used to gather together in Caffé Greco. This café, which works even nowadays, was a meeting point for foreign writers and artists such as Goethe, Gogol, Byron and List. Andersen, who was tireless adventurer, traveling to Rome was one of his 30s around Europe, which caught him with its colors, beauty of the south landscapes and rich cultural heritage.
At that time, he used to make friendships with brothers Grimm, poet Haines, Victor Hugo, Thomas-Alexandre Dumas, composers Schumann, Mendelssohn and List.
The birthplace of the Danish writer is in Odense, Denmark, is turned into a museum in 1908. Before he died, on August 4 1875, is declared as the greatest writer alive. His funeral is in his birth town Odense and the funeral procession is similar to those of the royal families.