Going to Italy
Tra il luglio e l’agosto del 1827 Anne Lister giunge in Italia, insieme a Maria e Jane Barlow. Il suo viaggio comincia entrando dallo Spluga, e si concentra nel Nord/Nord-Est del paese, fermandosi anche diversi giorni a Padova, Verona, Venezia e Milano, fino a raggiungere il Sempione, da cui uscirà dal paese.
Accanto al racconto giornaliero del viaggio di Anne Lister in Italia (che trovate a seguire), abbiamo realizzato una travelmap interattiva, che riporta tutte le località toccate facendole raccontare direttamente a lei, attraverso estratti dei suoi travel journals.
Dal quaderno di viaggio
“At the fine cascade of acqua Fraggia [Acquafraggia] in 20 minutes (drove unusually fast) 250 ft. of fall from the very top of the mountain (about, nearly ½ way down the mountain of Savogno) the water there falls rapidly down the rest of the mountain into broadish foaming the Maira which we had all the way close on our right in going – 1 principal fall – one small thin line of fall on each side the great one – falls over the sort stone from which they get the amianthus – about ¼ hour at this fall.”
"(...)just opposite stood the ancient town of Plurs, or Piuro, overwhelmed by the fall of the mountain 25 August 1618 and the lake from above – a wooden foot-bridge over the Maira just over this end of the old town completely buried – not a trace to be seen now – completely with rock and earth – walked forwards along a very narrow path – the brink of the river to the skeleton of the only house-spared by the catastrophe – a largeish house."
"The scenery all along the lake beautiful – the mountains not very high, but high enough for fine scenery – dark rock – sufficiently wooded – the lake not board, but broad enough to be very beautiful – vineyards all along the mountain sides – cottages – villages – hauled to for a minute or 2 at Gerra [Gera Lario] to take in 2 more rowers (3 before) – surprised at the 2 different colours of the water – the sandy column we were just leaving and the sea-green we just coming to – the latter the lake of Como – the former lake of Maira, or I suppose, of Chiavenna – the lake beginning to fill – would be very full by and by and then the other boat with the carriage could not get along – for the more the water the less smooth and the wind more strongly contrary."
"Our companion gave us a good deal of information – this road all along the Valteline (pronounced Walteline) and over Monte Brauglio [Braulio] projected by Napoleon and completed by him as far as Bormio (Worms in German), but the rest, over the mountain, only just done by the Emperor of Germany – fine, rich vale – a perpetual vineyard almost to the very top of the hill all along on our left – villages here and there at the foot of the mountains, and cottages (of stone) the colour of the rocks and scarcely distinguishable, everywhere among the woods and vineyards – no vines right – but much wooded – the Adda a broad, muddy rapid, foaming stream – crossed it once or twice."
"At 1 ¼ on looking back saw Jane walking up the hill - the carriage empty and the horses taken off – returned immediately found our cocher had stopt to bait a little at the 2nd station-house – Mrs. and Miss B- [Barlow] would take nothing – had just had bread and wine and water in the carriage – I was very thirsty – went upstairs at 1 ½ and had a little bread and some warm wine and water – attempted to write a little but too sleepy – slept about an ¾ hour."
"At 8 ¼ down the 42 traverses of Monte Brauglio [Braulio] – in several places, the road only just practicable on account of stuff fallen from the mountain – a frightful pass – in one place just before getting into the carriage again (at 7 20/60) the road only 10 ft. wide."
"Found my thermometer broken this morning I know not how – very cold – surrounded with snow-covered mountain tops – the snow hard frozen walls on each side of us in 20 minutes from setting off – the road only just passable in 2 or 3 places – I think at the top of the mountain F must have been not much above 32°."
"Very nice town - water very rapid current in a square wooden channel (perhaps about 1 ½ ft. square) runs down almost all the streets covered with wooden doors that seem to lift up at pleasure – women washing clothes along those channels having their tables standing by them (all on one side their right) to put the linen on when done – women too washing tubs pots window frames etc in this stream, as if it were a common washing up place – the rapidity of stream keeps it clean the houses of several streets built on arcades – walked up and down the principal street (a large one) of arcades – very good shops there – a book-binder, but no regular bookseller."
"plenty of excellent strawberries at breakfast – the best flavoured I have tasted during the journey."
"Stand for a moment at a cocoon-shop – several women at a large table assorting them, and a man ready to weight them out when assorted – the smell oppressive – something the smell of the yelk of an egg strengthened to a very unpleasant degrees – some of the cocoons quite white – the greater part yellow more or less."
"At 6 40/60 stop for 5 minutes at the gate of Verona to have our passports examined (...) – walled town – soldiers about in brown Holland coloured linen cloth coats, and in white ditto ditto – singular looking town – singular square seeming to be the market place – narrow streets – alight the hotel ‘Grand Paris’ at 7."
"Then thro’ the marché des herbes (fruit and vegetable market) a singular looking square – the exchange on one side of it, a very singular looking painted outside building – several of the better and old houses painted outside – on one a very good copy of Leonardo da Vinci celebrated picture of the last supper – altogether much pleased with Verona – good town – capital Inn."
"Passed an oblong deep place said to have been the bath of Catullus – in 2 or 3 minutes more at the ruins of the villa – very considerable remain of high arches evidently Roman from the manner of building – finely situated on a little point jutting into the lake – staid sauntering about and musing ¾ hour – what a delightful situation for a villa! Fine views along the lake – Domenzano [Desenzano], Tosculano [Tosconlano], Garda Salo [Salò] Bandolino [Bardolino] etc plenty of villages scattered round – lake 35 by 14 miles."
"From 10 to 1 ½ wrote the last 4 ½ lines 1st end, the 2nd end, and much under the seal, and finished my letter very small and close to M- (dated Monday 2 July, Friday 6th Tuesday 10th Saturday 21st and this morning Monday 23rd July) then copied to my aunt all I wrote to M- this morning respecting the journey – my aunt’s letter dated exactly the same as that to M- the ends and under the seal, and 2 or 3 lines at the top of the p.1 being very small and close."
"My guide very devoutly took me to the balcony # # very fine view from this balcony over the rich plain to the South Padua in the distance – could quite well distinguish its towers (apparently the 3rd story from the ground) adjoining the Church whence a man threw himself down but invoking the Madonna was not all hurt – I merely asked if it was quite true – oh! yes! quite true – there were people living who could remember it."
"On passing the gate of Verona the country people coming in with fruit etc etc the Austrian soldiers on guard put their hands into their baskets, and took what they chose from each, to eat, and put into their pockets, without the poor Italians daring to say a word – they slipped as if delighted to get past."
"Thence at 6 ½ to the race-course quite near – the races began immediately – only staid to see 3 – there was to be one more – a gun was fired to give notice of starting – a regular chariot race in imitation of the antique – everything correct, chariot (auriga) (while Roman dress – border 1st red then yellow then blue) all but the yoking of the 2 sorry horses to a pole as we do in these days – 3 chariots started at once each take course and went twice round (or perhaps 3 times) in about 6 minutes – large concourse of people – on temporary raised woodwork – a few carriages standing near us."
"Arqua [Arquà Petrarca] a poor little village – Petrarch’s house now occupied by a farmer who had 9 oxen in his stable and was thrashing corn in what must have been the poet’s porte cochère – still a goodish house - must have been very comfortable in its day – lovely view from it of the Euganean mountains and the rich plain towards Este and Padua – the garden of the house and of the whole village full of vines, pomegranates etc olives too as we had come along – olive trees look just like willows, and the pomegranate bushes very like privet, but a brighter green – the rooms in Petrarch’s house still bedaubed round the tops of the walls with fresco paintings of himself and Laura, meeting parting etc Laura living and dead in one of these daubings - his tomb outside on the north close to the neat small church – just below is what is called his fountain, now the common fountain or well of the village – pested to death with children clustering about us and the carriage – could not stir without them."
"At 1 ¾ and alighted at the baths at Bagniola [Battaglia Terme] at 2 ¾ – went immediately to the table d’hôte at 3 swanziker which begins daily at 2 ½ – not over till 4 40/60 – 40 people – not many ladies – 2 singers – man and woman, but only the former sang accompanying himself on a mandolin – while the woman went about collecting twice – each person seemed to give a sol each time – the man sang bravura songs ‘Figaro Figaro’ and the people were very noisy."
"Alighted à L’Europe a Venise at 2 ½ after a pleasant row across the water – dirty-coloured – no freshness and waves as at sea – more like a large lake – the gondola very comfortable – one of our men would have a franc paid in advance before we started – about 2/3 the way over put in to a little boatway at a church on a little island (but not a soul to be seen) wanting us to pay 2/. more in advance – I would not – said I would pay all at the Europe and nothing more before – the man said he would turn back – said he might if he chose, and very coolly looked at my watch – on this he thought proper to go forwards – on arriving he wanted much more than 2/. – said I would pay no more – it was what the police officer had told me to pay and I was determined."
"Had a laquais de place, and went out from 7 to 9 10/60 round the place de St Marc – to the Rialto, then almost to the public garden – what a singular town! – according to our guide 64 churches – about (very nearly) 300 bridges, and 47 islands four of them of recent formation – there used to be 43. In the time of the republic 200 thousands inhabitants under the French 150,000 – at present 100,015 – many obliged to leave city – cannot live here, imposts so enormous – nothing English or French allowed – all German manufactures – nothing else allowed – the people were happy under the French – to speak of the French was, as it were, to speak of God."
"Lay on the bed for about an hour – would not live here for the world – the heat is so damp one might as well be in a hot-house – everything looks and feels damp – the marble-like plaster-floors unctuous as one goes along – not in a regular drip, but a sort of subdued perspiration – on this account the heat very relaxing – In the house or out of it, sheltered from sun or not, our is in a never ceasing clammy perspiration – Singular as is the situation of this fallen mistress of commerce of the world, perhaps the most striking feature is the silence – no rattling carriages – nothing but the silent gondola – no noise – no dust – no anything like all the other cities that one sees."
"Next to the Église du Rédempteur, chef d’oeuvre de Palladio – several capucine monks at prayers – what a shabby, dirty-looking, brown dress! In the sacristie, John Bellino’s [Bellini] celebrated picture virgin and child and 2 little angels each playing on a guitar – when the French came, they immediately examined this church in search of this picture – the concierge daubed it over with dirt, that it was not discovered for the moment – in the night he cleaned it put it safe in a box and hid it at the bottom of the cistern and thus it escaped."
"Took our laquais and went to the top of the clocher of St Mark – ascended by 46 inclined planes, and a step or 2 at the end of the few last of them, and 15 steps after the 46 inclined planes – 5 minutes mounting – 17 minutes at the top – well repaired – very fine view of the town and islands."
"At 12 25/60 landed at the convent of the Armenians – the principal a very handsome man and very intelligent, speaking English very fairly – shewed us all over – nice, neat, good church, handsome enough – the Imprimerie very interesting – shewed us several of their works – among the rest the book of prayers in 24 languages – surprised and delighted to find that I could read (for he would try me) the Latin and Greek – thought I could learn the Armenian in a few weeks well enough for anything I could want."
"From the cathedral sauntered to the piazza dei Signori (good part of the town hereabouts – Padua a very good town) chanced to ask the name and price of some little gateaux in a little shop-window – de la crême – ready to fry – waited ¼ to have some done – very good made of farina de riz (ground rice) cream, yelk [yolk] of egg and sugar – our friend (André Montagnari piazza dei Signori n°47) seemed a very nice little man – was beating almonds for paste – a little confectioner – or what the Italians would call ‘Fabricator di pasti dolce d’ongni [ogni] sorte’ (written over the door of a confectioner’s shop) – Surely he was honest – only charged us 0/35 for our 4 crêmes, frying and all, plates, clean napkin for table cloth, and a large glass of cold water."
"On landing at Mestre at 6 55/60 a longish way to walk straight forwards to the Inn (La Campagna?) – our coachman ill in bed – had arrived 3 days ago and been in bed ever since – unfortunately he had staid too long at Fusina, and got the malaria fever – made inquires about what he had had – paid for his medicines – and got the formula of what he had taken, apparently not very likely to do him much good or harm."
"At 11 ½ enter Este – brick cathedral and, 2 or 3 small churches – very good town partly on arcades – we somehow left the canal somewhere about Monselice – very good road as far as Este, from there began to be rather heavy, so that we seldom went out of foot’s pace – our coach man worse today than yesterday – could not perhaps attend much to his horses, every now and then leaning on his elbow on his box – heavy road, heavy carriage, sick, courageless coach man how shall we get on."
"At 2 ¾ alight at Montagnana (antico albergo del Paradiso) perhaps the only place between here and Mantua where we could be comfortable... very fair for a village auberge – by the way we have a black board up in the salle à manger commemorating in golden letters the sleeping here of their royal highness Francis and Maximilian 16 February 1825, and also of the archduke Maximilian in 1825, and again in 1826 – we had a rice soup, a little bit of boulli, and of roast veal and a salad – peaches and a bit of parmesan."
"Breakfast at 8 ½ – wondered we had never seen the master of the house – Immediately after handing us out of the carriage seized by a pain in his ancle [ankle] and fever, and obliged to go to bed where he must still remain – long while – in getting our bill – one bill for the coffee from the still-room."
"[coachman] still stupid, and cowardly – happening to say he ought to have some good strong physic, he took fright, he could not bear ‘medicine forte’ – luckily the aubergiste seems an intelligent man – gave coachy into his care, desiring him to do his best to keep him covered in bed – to get him some thé from the Doctor to make him perspire, and see that his linen was properly changed."
"One is coolest and best sitting up quietly employed."
"Got up the moment the aubergiste rapped at the door – brought a message from our coachman to say, he meant to be off exactly at 5 – bon gré malgré nous – downstairs I went in my dressing gown, and sent for poor cocher – he and our host soon came to my room door together – said I was not a person to be dictated to by a coachman – I had engaged man carriage and horses, but not to be gênée comme ça – I should go whatever hour I pleased, and not suffer anybody to order for me – if the coachman did not please me, I should leave him, and take carriage and horses – our host said I could not do that – I said there were magistrates hereabouts, and I should try whether I could or not – but if the coachman would beg pardon for having sent such a message I would overlook the thing, and be in future as I had been hitherto as considerate for him as possible – he began to talk – I would listen to nothing – he must beg pardon 1st – to that he seemed not at all inclined – took out my watch, said I should give him ½ hour – he might beg pardon in that time, or not just as he chose – but he would gain nothing by not doing so, and at all rates he must either go at my hours or should not go at all with me – In a minute or 2, seeing me so determined, he begged pardon and then, of course, all was right and I ordered the carriage at 6."
"1st Church of St André dessin d’ Alberti but the dome added later - brick exterior – covered nave – 3 arcades of aisle on each side – dome, and the covered aisle on each side of it (forming the transepts) looking like a large deep arcade, midway each side of each transept one smallish arcade forming 4 chapels – ½ a lower dome for the high altar – the whole church ceiling and everywhere completely covered with fine painting in fresco - very striking effect – never before saw anything like it – very pretty church – my valet said all the English went to see it, and admired it exceedingly."
"Boy in the courtyard with frogs (rani) to sell skinned and strung on sticks like larks – took them for little birds of some sort, till seeing their little feet and that they were too white for birds – tomatas [tomatoes] growing in the courtyard a parasitic plant – trained upon sticks against the wall – 1st time of seeing frogs prepared for eating, or tomatoes growing – plenty of drains of still water about Castellaro [Castel D'ario] – no wonder so many frogs."
"In returning went to see the new theatre de la Fenice – opened in 1822 – performances only from October to April – 5 tiers of boxes – something like the theatre at Venice – about such another."
"Concert close to us last night – very good music – very good flute-concerto – very finely played – kept us awake sometime."
"Got out at the chapeau il capello (a good deal to do to find it) at 8 5/60 – very civil waiter – not very spacious rooms – not such as at Mantua, but comfortable, and we are very well satisfied so far – tasted Italian ices 1st time – chocolate and lemon the latter very good – but afraid, and mixed the chocolate in hot water."
"Mrs. B- [Barlow] often says she does not like Italy because one cannot pet make love sleep together."
"Got there in ½ hour and staid about ¾ hour – too late to see the making of the curd (done an hour or 2 ago) but saw the cheese in its wooden case saw the large copper cauldron, and furnace, the dairy etc. etc. the milk kept in (13) very large circular black pot shallowish bowls – this morning’s milk (milk at 4 or 5 am and p.m.) cold, creamed over excellent – cream not thick, nor yellow."
"Milan at 8 ½ – take a couple of ices (sorbetti) – they surely do me good."
"Nice cool room last night – good beds – slept comfortably – the people said all along, we should find the heat not so great at Milan – at Lodi the people said yesterday was the hottest day they had had – they were almost suffocated – I should not have guessed it – did not feel at all oppressed myself – nor did Mrs. or Miss B- [Barlow] make any complaint – I was oppressed at Padua than anywhere – never have good water – the best at Venice, and it was purified rainwater."
"The cathedral – Gothic – very fine – but York cathedral spoils me for Gothic but itself – the exterior all in white marble from the lago maggiore, magnificent – many workmen always at work to finish this gorgeous pile – the emperor expends cinqcent mille francs upon it per annum – several new statues put up – now according to our guide, 5000 inside and out, great and small – the pavement of the nave of the church in marble just completed – the 2 aisles on each side remain to be done – the ceiling of the nave and dome so well painted in imitation of Gothic tracery, one takes it for real at first – very good effect."
"I have never anywhere found the people so exorbitant – this beats England where half a crown is enough for seeing the generality of fine houses, and five shillings quite enough anywhere in whatever style one goes."
"Just out of it the Lazzaretto (or campo della confederazione) – the little church in the middle now warehouses – of the square of arcades the south side 454 of my paces by 4 broad – (or 3 2/3 umbrella broad) – no arcades on the west side – quite a little town – occupied by different trades – the back part of the north side out of repair just under the roof – ‘was here that St. Charles Borromeo went about administering the sacrament to those dying of the plague."
"From 6 ¼ to 8 at the bread baker’s almost next door to us to see the Italian bread made – very hard work – the chief secret seems to be in the kneading – 6 masses of 120 lbs. each made up in the tub (with leaven) and then kneaded for 5 minutes (till quite hard) by 3 men with a long heavy lever fixed on an iron pin, and lifted up and down – the bread stands to rise in a little place next the oven, and kept at an intermediate heat by throwing the warm embers along the floor under the shelves – 3 faggots to heat the oven at first afterwards 2 – all dried willow-twigs, pianta dolce – nothing but the flour, a little salt, the necessary leaven, and tepid water."
"Shewed us the famous Virgil – never had a very ancient copy of Virgil (never the 1st copy of Virgil) – perhaps there was a very ancient one at Florence – Napoleon took Petrarch’s Virgil to Paris but it was rendu – (about 7 fine pictures still unreturned) – then shewed a fine manuscripts copy of Pliny natural history dated 1382 – but these in the same writing as our old papers of about the same date."
"¾ hour there - saw the jewels, and the imitation iron crown – could not see the real one without a permission from the government at Milan, or one granted by the majordomo or chamberlain at the palace here – took a respectable looking old man recommended by the keeper of the church treasures and off to the palace – do not like to be troubled with granting permission – however rushed up to the top of the palace to the majordomo comte Granville and got what was wanted."
"Great many English and travellers went to the top of St. Salvador for the sake of the view – 4 fêtes a year (...) at the church on the top – a young man, aetatis 24, struck by lightning in the church and killed last fête of ascension – monte Caprino opposite to Lugano – Mt. Salvador forms the south abutment as it were of the gulph of Lugano – Go to the top another time – the finest view in Switzerland – Lake fine – not so ornamented as Como – more recluse – fine hills, but not so beautifully picturesque – yet agreeably surprised to find this lake finer than we expected – Lugano beautifully situated."
"Borromean islands in view! close to us! How so? we have unaccountably passed Arona where we meant to stop to see the famous statue etc, and at 6 25/60 found ourselves à la poste at Stresa – alight at 6 25/60 – 9 miles from Arona – what we took for Dormeletto [Dormelletto] was Arona – the statue (we never saw it) on the top of that fine rock."
"At the palace on the Isola Bella at 10 40/60 – never saw a palace I envied less – none of the pictures struck me – walked thro’ the picture gallery and all the other rooms without caring for anything save a very beautiful mosaic table lately given by the present pope Leo II, to the present Count Borromeo, ambassador from the emperor of Austria to the pope."
"Napoleon dined in the salle of this mosaic (very pretty) apartment – saw the bed he slept in 2 days before the battle of Marengo – wanted to buy this island – no! said the count – you may take it by force, but cannot buy it with money – I love it too well – Napoleon did take it by force."
"At 11 40/60 at Isella [Iselle] – little church, 3 or 4 cottages, auberge, and neat white-washed douane (over 5 good arcades) where we stopt to shew our passports at this last village on the Sardinian frontier – they might have searched our baggage, but (as usual) took one word and one ½ fr., and let us go on."
ALTRO SU ANNE LISTER E L'ITALIA