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Italy

Steamer Calabrese, January 17th. - If I had remained at Marseilles, I might have found many peculiarities and characteristics of that Southern city to notice; but I fear that these will not be recorded if I leave them till I touch the soil of Italy. Indeed, I doubt whether there be anything really worth recording in the little distinctions between one nation and another; at any rate, after the first novelty is over, new things seem equally commonplace with the old. There is but one little interval when the mind is in such a state that it can catch the fleeting aroma of a new scene.

Hotel de l'Europe, June 1st. - I remember nothing very special to record about Marseilles; though it was really like passing from death into life, to find ourselves in busy, cheerful, effervescing France, after living so long between asleep and awake in sluggish Italy.

37 Palazzo Larazani, Via Porta Pinciana, January 24th. - We left Marseilles in the Neapolitan steamer Calabrese, as noticed above, a week ago this morning. There was no fault to be found with the steamer, which was very clean and comfortable, contrary to what we had understood beforehand; except for the coolness of the air (and I know not that this was greater than that of the Atlantic in July), our voyage would have been very pleasant; but for myself, I enjoyed nothing, having a cold upon me, or a low fever, or something else that took the light and warmth out of everything.

Hotel d'Angleterre, June 11th. - We left Avignon on Tuesday, 7th, and took the rail to Valence, where we arrived between four and five, and put up at the Hotel de la Poste, an ancient house, with dirty floors and dirt generally, but otherwise comfortable enough. . . . . Valence is a stately old town, full of tall houses and irregular streets. We found a cathedral there, not very large, but with a high and venerable interior, a nave supported by tall pillars, from the height of which spring arches. This loftiness is characteristic of French churches, as distinguished from those of Italy. .

Civita Castellana, May 24th. - We left Rome this morning, after troubles of various kinds, and a dispute in the first place with Lalla, our female servant, and her mother. . . . . Mother and daughter exploded into a livid rage, and cursed us plentifully, - wishing that we might never come to our journey's end, and that we might all break our necks or die of apoplexy, - the most awful curse that an Italian knows how to invoke upon his enemies, because it precludes the possibility of extreme unction.

Hotel de Byron, June 12th. - Yesterday afternoon we left Geneva by a steamer, starting from the quay at only a short distance from our hotel. The forenoon had been showery; but the suit now came out very pleasantly, although there were still clouds and mist enough to give infinite variety to the mountain scenery. At the commencement of our voyage the scenery of the lake was not incomparably superior to that of other lakes on which I have sailed, as Lake Windermere, for instance, or Loch Lomond, or our own Lake Champlain.

May 26th. - At six o'clock this morning, we packed ourselves into our vettura, my wife and I occupying the coupe, and drove out of the city gate of Terni. There are some old towers near it, ruins of I know not what, and care as little, in the plethora of antiquities and other interesting objects. Through the arched gateway, as we approached, we had a view of one of the great hills that surround the town, looking partly bright in the early sunshine, and partly catching the shadows of the clouds that floated about the sky.

If there is one artist, more than another, whose work it is desirable that you should examine in Florence, supposing that you care for old art at all, it is Giotto. You can, indeed, also see work of his at Assisi; but it is not likely you will stop there, to any purpose. At Padua there is much; but only of one period. At Florence, which is his birthplace, you can see pictures by him of every date, and every kind. But you had surely better see, first, what is of his best time and of the best kind.

To-day, as early as you please, and at all events before doing anything else, let us go to Giotto's own parish-church, Santa Maria Novella. If, walking from the Strozzi Palace, you look on your right for the "Way of the Beautiful Ladies," it will take you quickly there.

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