Travel Diary: Miss Mary in Venice

Who goes to Venice in July?  Then as now, Americans!  And I would have been shocked if Miss Mary had NOT written “Dodge” for Doge.    

Tuesday July 2

Staid over night at Milan and this morning wrote a letter to grandma.  Took the train for Venice this afternoon and am on the train now.  Arrived at Venice and went to Hotel Europe.  Found two letters there for me, one from Mary and one from Agnes.  There was a boat all decorated with colored lanterns filled with musicians and we had some lovely singing.

Wednesday July 3

Went to St. Marks Church and saw the tomb of Dodge Andrea Dandolo.  The church is beautiful and is all decorated with mosiacs represinting Cenes from the Bible.  Then went into the Palace of the Dodges and went through it and saw a great many paintings by Titian, Tintereto and others.  Saw the box where the people put the letter against a person when they wanted him killed, also the Council Chamber of the Council of three and ”  ” there.


Bocca di Leone, Doge’s Palace, Venice. Photograph by Deror Avi, 2009. From Wikimedia Commons.

Saw largest oil painting in the world by Tintreto, Paradise.


Tintoretto (1518-1594): Paradise, c.1565 Image from Web Gallery of Art, Wikimedia Commons

Then we went down into the dungeon of criminals and politian prisoners.  The latter were worse.  Saw cells where Dodge Faleri and genral Carmagnola were confined.  The cells are awful and I don’t see how any one could live in one many days.  We went part way over the Bridge of Sighs.


Marino Faliero Dux LV, painting by Francisco Pradilla y Ortiz, 1883. Museo del Prado. Faliero was 55th Doge of Venice (1354), beheaded in 1355 for conspiracy to wrest control from the Venetian aristocrats.

The Peassi San Marco is lovely and I like the doves very much.  The clock tower is very nice.  In the afternoon went the Church of the Scalzi where there are a number of beautiful marble alters which belonged to noble families one urn is a wax Ecce Homo made by a monk the face of Christ is quite good.  Went to Church of Maria Gloria dei Frari where we saw the tomb of Canova which he designed for Titian and soon after died then one of his pupils made his tomb from the design.  It is very beautiful.  Also saw tomb of Titian which is beautiful it is not made by Canova’s design for that was for his tomb in Venice.  There is a black chest with red crosses on it [] the tomb of the genral whose cell we saw in the Dodges Palace, the Republic would not let the family have any [] of a [].  In the evening went to the St. Mark Pattasi.


Doge’s Palace and Piazzetta, Venice, 1890-1900. Detroit Publishing Co., under license from Photogrob Zurich. Image from Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, digital ID ppmsc.06650

Thursday July 4

Went to Palace where there is the finest plaster ceiling in the world.  Then to a palace where there is the handsomest stair case it is beautiful.  In afternoon went walking about and looking in the shop windows and walked over the Rialto Bridge.  In the evening took a gondolo ride out into the harbor which was delightful came back by the Grand Canal and saw it by moonlight it was delightful.  The same people were singing in front of the hotel that were the first night we were here.  I wore my American flag all day but it has not seemed a bit like Fourth of July altho I have had a splendid time.

Travel Diary: Italian Lakes

Friday June 28

We intended to go to the lakes this afternoon but John and Uncle Sam came so we staid.

Saturday June 29

Left this morning for the lakes.  Took the train to the foot of Lake Maggorie and then took the boat up the lake to Bavino arrived there about 12.10.  The lake is very pretty and reminded me of Lake George only the mountains are higher and the lake is prettier.  In the afternoon took a long drive to a little lake called Orta.  The cenery very pretty.  When we got to the lake took a little row boat and went to a little island in the lake where there is a little old church and a school for boys taught by priests.


Isola San Giulio, Lake Orta. Painting by Sir Edward John Poynter, 1898. Image from

In the church there is an old pulpit of the fourth century.  Staid over night at Bavano.

Vegetation on Lakes Figs, olives, mulberry

Sunday June 30

Spent the morning at Bavino and started on about twelve oclock.  Took boat up the lake to Polizzo and took a narrow gage railway to Lake Lugano.  The railway ran through some of the wildest country I ever we through on a railroad.  We followed the course of a little stream which is very pretty.  Then we took a steam boat up Lake Lungano.  It is the most beautiful of the lakes.  The mountains come right down to the water and some of the mountains are [] almost to the top.  Some of the houses are built on the edge of precipice and away up the mountains where I don’t see how the people get to them.  Little chapels are built on the top of mountains too.  Got off at the end of the lake and took train to Maggiore Lake Como.


Lugano from Massagno, Tessin, Switzerland. Published by Detroit Publishing Co., 1905, Print No. 6696. Photograph c. 1890-1900. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, ID ppmsc.07802

Monday July 1

Staid at Maggio over night and the next morning Uncle Samuel and I took a walk up the mountain back of the hotel and went through a silk factory where they gave me a pretty piece of silk not woven or dyed.  The walk up was very pretty and we went farther up the mountain and had a very nice view.  Took the boat to Como in the afternoon and had a very pleasant sail down the lake.  Took train at Como and came back to Milan.

Travel Diary: On to Milan

Sunday June 23

Started early this morning for Milan.  We stopped over night at Aix la Bains


Thermal Baths Place, Aix-les-Bains, c. 1890-1900. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Digital ID ppmsc.04914

and get to Milan tomorrow evening.  A little while after leaving Dijon were delayed about 1 hour because there was a mountain torrent running over the track.  We finally got started again and went through the water up to the first step of the car.  Arrived at Aix la Bain about 11 oclock when we ought to have arrived a 8.40.  Stopped at Grand Bergues Hotel which is very clean and nice.

Monday June 24

Left at 7 oclock for Milan beautiful cenery all the way to Turin.  The mountains are beautiful with lovely little silver streams coming down the sides and making waterfalls.  Some of the mountains had snow on the top.  We went through the Mont Cenis Tunnel which is about 8 miles long and took us about 30 minutes to go through it.  Arrived at Milan about quarter of six and are stopping at the Contentias Hotel which we like very much.

Tuesday June 25

Went to the Reflectory to see Reonarda DeVinci’s “Last Supper” which is a fresco on the wall.  But it so banged up that you can’t tell much about it and there were some copies near it that you could get a much better idea from than the original.  One copy is very good.  Then we drove to the Arch of Peace which was built by Napolion and is very handsome.  Went to the cathedral which is beautiful.


Duomo di Milano, photographer Roberto Rive (18? – 1889). From Wikimedia Commons.

Went into a room and saw some thing to hold relics, priest’s robes and such.  Went down to the cript and tomb of Saint Calo Borromeo the room where the tomb is is finished in solid silver representing the cenes in the life of the Saint.  The karcophagus is of solid silver with bas relif and is very handsome.  They worked the coffin up and we saw through the glass and saw the saint’s body.  It is dressed in embordered clothes embordered with gold and on his head a cap all gold and jewel.  There are a great many jewels in the coffin and a beautiful cloak made of emeralds and diamonds given by Marie Teresie.  The emeralds are the largest I ever saw.

In the afternoon walked in the arcade which is very handsome and a great many pretty stores in it.  Bought some things.  Attended part of the service at the Cathedral.  It was very queer.

Wednesday June 26

Went to Art Gallery and saw Raphels Marriage of “Joseph and Mary,” a very good picture of Abraham sending Hagar wife and boy to the wilderness and many others.

Thursday June 27

Rained this morning and [] I took a walk went into Cathedral — Papa went to an [] Asylum.  Took walk afternoon and bought dress for me.  Wish Uncle Sam and John would come, I am getting very tired of this place.

Travel Diary: Miss Mary at the Paris Exposition, 1889

June 22 Saturday

Went to the Exibition this morning and went to the American exibit and Papa and Mama bought a very pretty lamp for Madamislle which she likes very much.  Then went to the exibit of paintings and saw one beautiful one of Bougerau pictures.  It is the Virgin with Christ in her arms and cherubs around.  The cherubs are painted splendidly and the picture is one of the most lovely I ever saw.  We also saw one of Rosa Bonnehes, cattle ploughing.


Ploughing in Nevers, 1849. Painting by Rosa Bonheur (1822-1899). Musee de Orsay.

Packed all afternoon.  In the evening went to the exibition again.  Miss Baker came to dinner.  The exibition grounds were all lighted up and when we got there a great many people were standing on the bridge over the Seine and waiting for something.  We had just got to the Eifel tower when there was a shout of “Carnot” and a carriage drove by but I could not see the president there was such a crowd.  Just after the carriage passed there was a noise like a cannon and the Eifel tower was all alumeted by burning red lights.  It looked as if it was all on fire and [] smoke coming out the top like a volcano.  They allumeted twice and each time it was beautiful.

After this they set off the electric fountain.  There are lots of little fountains near it and when they set off the big one the little ones played too.  The color of the fountain changed and the [] would be another color from the top then the little fountain would be alternately the colors of the large one.  There was blue and green, gold, silver, yellow, pink, [] and orange.  Some times the [] would be all the colors of the rainbow and the top one color.  The main building was all lighted and F. R. over the door in fire.  The light on the Eifel Tower would change and some times it would shine on the figure on top of the building and make it look like gold.  One of the buildings was lighted with red and green lights and another had a flag with red, white and blue stripes in fire, with a large globe all lighted inside and a figure standing on it with a lighted torch in each hand.  The Trockedaro had two lines of lights around it.  On every step of the cascade was a line of lights and a great many vases all around the cascade with a large bouquet of lights in each.


La Tour Eiffel et le Palais du Trocadero, 1889. From the Henry Clay Cochrane Collection, USMC Archives, Quantico.

Travel Diary: Paris

As a historian, I have never been interested in French history.  Part of reason is that the French seem to have been rather inept at managing their affairs in the 18th, 19th, and into the 20th century.  As I read Miss Mary’s diary, I have to remind myself that while she was 100 years from the French Revolution (and as with many people to this day, enamored of the “romance” of Marie Antoinette), she was a mere 18 years from the 1871 Paris Commune.  When she visited the ruins of the Château de Saint-Cloud, she was looking at recent history, events that occurred around the time she was born.  

Wednesday June 19

Staid at in the house in the morning and went to the market with Madameselle.  It was very funny to see how the French motion when they talk.  In aft. went to St. Cloud and saw the ruined castle.


Chateau de Saint-Cloud, after 1870. Photographer Charles Soulier, from the Conway Collection, Cortauld Institute of Art.

The grounds are perfectly beautiful and it is the loveliest place I have seen in France.  The fountains must be beautiful when they playing.  The grounds are all woods with pretty paths out through.  This is where Napolian likes to stay.  In the evening we went to the opera and saw Romeo and Juliet.  It was splendid and I never saw a lovelier woman than Juliet.  Romeo was handsome too.  I don’t like the play very well because it is too sad at the end.

June 20 Thursday

Went to Versailles this morning.  Drove to the palace and went through it.  Saw the rooms of Marie Antoinette and rooms of Louis the Thirteenth and the room the dolphin was sleeping in when the mob came and the staircase down which Marie escaped from the mob, also where she came out on the balcony with the dolphin.  We saw the largest oiling painting in the world and a painting 71 feet long and 16 feet high and so many other things that I can’t remember them.


Capture of the Smala of Abd-El-Kader, painted in 1844 by Horace Vernet (1789-1863).

Then we drove to Great Trignion and went through it and saw Marie Antoinette’s bed with a bed spread embroidered by the Ladies of Lyons and given to her for a wedding present.  Then we went to a place where they keep old state carriages and saw the longest carriage which Napolian had to take his boy to be christened in, Marie Antoinette’s sleigh and Madame De Barry sleigh that she rode in when she had the sugar and salt put down the snow, and many others.  Then we drove to Little Trignion and to Marie Antoinette’s dairy and saw where she made butter.  The grounds are very pretty.


Hameau de la Reine: Chateau de Versailles, 2011. Photographer: Jean-Christophe Benoist. Wikimedia Commons

June 21 Friday

I stayed at home today and rested.  I was very tired when I got home from Versailles yesterday.  Wrote a letter to Agnes and took a walk.

Travel Diary: Miss Mary in Paris

Saturday June 15

Went to Notre Dame which is very handsome and went around inside.  There are beautiful rose windows.  Went through the treasury saw coronation robe of a bishop that was shot in the comune with many other things.


Georges Darboy (1813-1871), Archbishop of Paris, executed by communards during the 1871 Paris Commune. Image courtesy of Bibliotheque nationale de France.

After lunch went to Saint Shappel which is beautiful also Palace of Justice.

pugin's La Sainte-Chapelle

La Sainte-Chapelle, Paris. Engraving by A. W. N. Pugin. Image from

Then to the site of the Bastile and saw the Colom of July.  Then to the Pere La Chaise where we saw the tombs of Héloïse and Abélard, Rachel and the Rothschilds.  Then drove to Buttes Chaumont which is a very beautiful park and then drove to Parc de [] another pretty park.

Sunday June 16

Spent the morning in the house.  Papa and Mama went to church.  In the afternoon went to Fountenblou and went through the palace which is very interesting.  We saw the first looking glass ever brought to France which was given to the government by the Venitian government.  We also saw the rooms that Pope Pius 13  was imprisoned in and in one of them there is some beautiful Goblin tapestry, some of the finest in the world.  Then we took a drive in the forest which is beautiful.

Monday June 17

I staid in the house in the morning and in the afternoon took a drive to the Garden D’Acclimatation and saw a great many queer animals, fishes and birds.  And then drove out through the Bois de Bologne which is beautiful.

Tuesday June 18

Went shopping in the morning and in afternoon went to the Hotel des Invalides and saw tomb of Napolian which is very impressive.  We did not go down in the cript as we had no order.  Then went through the picture gallery of the Luxembourg and saw some very nice pictures.  Then we went through the garden which are very pretty and there is one lovely fountain in it.  Then we drove to the Pantheon but it had just closed.  Then we went to the Hotel Cluny where we saw all kinds of old things.  We saw one old chess board made by the Germans about the 16th century of glass and glass men which is very queer.  We also saw some very old earrings, the bed of Francis first and the rooms of le rein blanche and chapel connected with it.  Where the widow of the king would dress herself all in white and come here and mourn.  We also saw some of the ruins of the very old part that the monks built on the old Roman foundations.

Travel Diary: Shopping in Paris

June 10 Monday

Came to Paris today and are stopping at the Hotel du Helder where we have the best meals I ever ate.

Tuesday June 11

Spent the day looking for lodgings the hotel du Helder too expensive.  Found a boarding house near the Arch de Triumph and came here today.

Wednesday June 12

Went to the Bon Marchet and Mama bought 3 dresses.  Uncle Sam and John came to dinner.

Thursday June 13

Uncle Sam and John went south today.  Went to the Lovre and saw a few of the famous pictures.  Bought a dress for me.

Friday June 14

Went first to Madeline which is very beautiful.  Spent the morning in the Louvre and Palace Royale and bought a pink silk dress for me.  In the afternoon went to the Exebition.  We went to where the fishes are in a very pretty grotto which was very interesting and then walked to the large building.  Were near the entrance we saw some beautiful Goblin tapestry which looks like paintings.  Then we went into the jewelry department and saw some beautiful things.  I bought two pins for the girls.  Then we went and saw the exibit of bronzes which is very nice from there we went to the Turkish part and saw a Mussleman calling the hour of prayer from a mosque.  Then we went to the Russian exibit which is beautiful and Mama bought six spoons.  From here to the American which I am sorry to say is not very good.  The grounds of the Exibition are beautiful there are three large buildings one at the end and one on each side.  We only went through the large end one which is very handsome.  There are some lovely small fountains on the grounds and one very handsome large one in front of the principle building.  It is France represented in a boat with many figures around her and the water all around the boat with a dolphin at each corner spouting.


Eiffel Tower and illuminated fountain, Exposition Universelle 1889. From Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Photochrom Prints Collection.