« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
the members' seats. All of the wall paintings here were very fine.
We took a gondola and went to St. Maria Formosa to see the beautiful picture of St. Barbara, by Palma Vecchio. From here we went to the Church of SS. Giovanni et Paola (the Pantheon of Venice) to see the wonderful tombs of the Doges. Outside, in the square, is the statue of Bartolommeo Colleoni, the great Venetian general. From here we went for a ride on the canal. We passed under the old Rialto Bridge, which has a single arch and is lined with shops. Until recent years this was the only bridge across the Grand Canal. We went through the small canals, where we saw balconies and gardens high up on the sides of the buildings. Some of these are very picturesque and beautiful, with lovely vines and blooming plants. The lower parts of the buildings seem to be just foundations, all being built on piles. At high tide the water comes into the lower doors, almost rising to the top steps of the buildings. We came again out into the Grand Canal, seeing the beautiful old palaces, Desdemona's house, Browning's house, both of which were once palaces. Our hotel was once a palace, and our own Roosevelt stopped here in April, so the manager very proudly told us. There is a flight of six or seven stone steps, leading up to the office door, and I noticed at high tide the water came nearly to the top step.
We left our gondola at the Piazza and went to a cafe here for 4 o'clock tea, which we enjoyed, sitting in the open air, at one of the little tables. I noticed two elderly and quietly dressed women, evidently ladies, at a small table near us, taking tea, and afterward they smoked cigarettes. This is a very common thing all over the continent. Cigarettes were passed to us very frequently. I am not educated up to this advanced accomplishment yet, and never expect to be. This custom is also becoming quite general among women in our own country.
We took a gondola again to visit the lace school and shops, passing under the Bridge of Sighs on our way. We saw them making all the different kinds of Venetian point lace. They are all lovely, and I would like to have had some of the different kinds, but contented myself with a very beautiful set of point Venice.
In the evening we took another gondola ride over to the music barges. There are two of these barges, and I see them each evening as they pass the hotel on their way to anchor. They are lovely in their bright different colored lights. This was another evening of musical pleasure. It is a sight I shall never forget, as it is seen nowhere else.
Wednesday, September 14, we left Venice in a pouring rain.
Our umbrellas were in our limousine at Mestre. Gusty was undecided about starting in the rain, on my account, but I settled the question by saying we were ready and would go, as conditions might remain the same for several days. We got into a covered gondola between showers, with our luggage, and it was not raining when we arrived at the station. The mainland is reached by a railroad built on a viaduct. At Mestre, we waited quite a little while at the station before Gaston drove up. He was ready to come for us, but was detained until he had settled his bill, as cars are not allowed to leave the garage until that was done, and he had to wait for the clerk to make out the bill.
We were soon settled comfortably in our car and resumed our trip. We passed through many small villages, by beautiful Italian villas and lovely gardens. We passed through Padua, one of the wealthiest cities in northern Italy in ancient times. We saw the Chapel of Madonna del Arena, but it was raining too hard for us to visit it. Giotto's interesting frescoes were there.
We motored on to Rovigo, where we stopped for luncheon at Hotel Corona Ferrea, crossing the River Po before we reach there. Here we saw the old castle, still surrounded by its moat, also the cathedral with its campanile at the back.
We motored from here to Bologna, stopping at the Hotel Brun (Palazza Malvania). We located and made ourselves presentable, then called a carriage and drove over this interesting old town. I wonder why so few people visit here; it is full of interest and one of Italy's most ancient towns. It has long, narrow streets,
with arcades on both sides. The arcades here are made by the building extending over the sidewalk, well supported by large columns and numerous arches, which form the arcades. Shops are all along inside the building. The roofs of the buildings also extend out over the narrow streets, and these help protect people from the sun's hot rays, for it certainly does get warm down here. There is a beautiful Neptune fountain in the Plaza, made by John Bologna, who was a native citi
We saw the Church of St. Dominie. John Bologna's tomb is in this church. Many fine old palaces are still standing. Our hotel is a remodeled palace. We saw the sarcophagi of prominent men on the sides of principal streets. They were supported by four stone columns. There are two leaning towers here. One is unfinished and is ten feet out of perpendicular. The completed one is only a few feet out. We went to the Church of St. Petronio (patron saint of Bologne). In this church is the tomb of Princess Eliza, a sister of Napoleon.
We drove from here out on a high hill, seeing here an old monastery (St. Michael). From the terrace we had a fine view of Bologna and the plains beyond.
We passed through a lovely park called the Giardini Marguerita, after the queen mother, Marguerita.
Thursday, September 15. We left here promptly, having a delightful morning ride and stopping at Bagni di Poretta for luncheon at Hotel Poretta. After leaving here, we crossed the Apenines to Pistozre. Our favorite weapon, the pistol, is said to have been invented here.
We visited the Church of San Giovanni to see the lovely group in terra cotta, “Visitation of Mary,” by Luca de la Robbia. In the Church of St. Andra, we saw a beautiful pulpit made by a pupil of Niccolo Pisano. We saw the hospital with its frieze or bas reliefs of colored and glazed tile, representing the seven works of mercy. On leaving here, we passed through the old town of Prato, saw the Church of Madonna della Carceri, on the road to Florence. All along the road we saw peasants, both women and children, busy plaiting straw for hats. They do this very rapidly.
Arriving in Florence, we stopped at Hotel de la Ville, on the Arno. This was about 6 P. M.
We were greeted with church bells ringing on every side. They seemed to me to commence about 5 o'clock in the morning and keep it up about every fifteen minutes during the day. Florence and Rome have both more churches than even Gusta could visit, and she went to a new one each day when she was here several years ago. After refreshing ourselves, we ordered dinner in our rooms, and enjoyed it leisurely. About this time I heard a mandolin, and, looking out of the window, I saw a musician under it, playing. And then he sang, and sang well. After several songs he lifted his hat toward