4 Best Cities for Studying Literature in Europe

April 09 , 2019

Took this photo during my trip to Edinburgh with my girlfriend. Just lov these old tall buildings and also lots of greenery everywhere. The weather was constantly changing so I was pretty lucky to take this photo before it started to rain.
Photographer: Dominik Rešek | Source: Unsplash

Europe is the perfect backdrop for students studying literature as its storied history has influenced many of the great writers that we continue to study today. If you’re looking to develop a study abroad program check out these four cities that any literature buff would love to visit.

1. Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh is world renowned for its connection to incredible literature. In fact, the city became the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature, which brings together more than 1000 libraries, 70 literary festivals and 900 bookshops worldwide.

Notable former residents of Edinburgh include Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson, J.K. Rowling, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and many more. The center of Edinburgh includes one of the world’s largest monuments dedicated to a writer, the Scott Monument (pictured below), dedicated to Sir Walter Scott one of the country’s greatest writers.

People shop in Edinburgh, on a cold, foggy Saturday
Photographer: Ross Sneddon | Source: Unsplash

2. Dublin, Ireland

Trinity College Library
Photographer: Andreas Sterner | Source: Unsplash

Dublin became the fourth UNESCO City of Literature in July 2010. This Irish city is the birthplace of many famous authors including James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, and Samuel Beckett, among a slew of others. The city boasts The James Joyce Cultural Centre and is open to the public throughout the year.

Dublin also contains the world’s best surviving example of monks transcribing the Bible into manuscripts, The Book of Kells, which dates back to 800 AD. The book is on display at the Old Library at Trinity College, another can’t miss while in Dublin! The city includes The Dublin Writers Museum, which celebrates the country’s history of literature dating back to Irish poetry and Celtic storytelling.

3. Paris

without info we flew a mavic air over paris, france
Photographer: Rodrigo Kugnharski | Source: Unsplash

You can’t have a list of important literary cities in Europe that doesn’t include Paris. From the 15th century through the 20th century, the number of poets, novelists, and playwrights that lived in Paris is astounding. Famous names such as Marcel Proust and Victor Hugo all once called Paris home for a time.

In the early 20th century, Paris also became a refuge for a number of American authors who sought to escape the conservative atmosphere of the USA at the time. Included in this group were Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Gertrude Stein, who all found themselves in Paris. Today you can visit many of the locations these great artists made famous, such as La Closerie des Lilas (pictured below) and the Shakespeare and Company Bookshop.

Source: Google Images

Rome, Italy

Wandering little streets of Rome
Photographer: Jakub Puchalski | Source: Unsplash

The history of Rome in the world of literature dates back to the days of the Roman Empire as early as the 3rd century B.C. Three of the most famous Roman poets include Virgil, Horace, and Ovid.

Outside of the many Roman authors produced throughout the reign of the Roman Empire, there were many famous poets, playwrights, and novelists hailing from various parts of the world who came to Rome for inspiration by living and working in the Eternal City. Notable names include Edgar Allen Poe, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Johann Wolfgang Goethe and John Keats.

Rome is home to the Keats and Shelley house directly next to the Spanish Steps, which is most famous for being the final home of Keats, who died there of tuberculosis in 1821 at the age of 25. The graves of and memorials to Keats and Shelley can also be visited at the Protestant Cemetery (pictured below).

Source: Books N Places

The city also has the Goethe House, where you can walk the rooms where Johann Wolfgang Goethe stayed during his travels through Italy in 1786.

What other literary European cities should be included on this list? Let us know in the comments.

Interested in setting up a short-term study abroad program for your course and literature students. Contact us to start planning.

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