Tuesday, August 25, 2009

29Oct1867, Sight-seeing in Venice

VENICE, October 29th, 1867.
—Another glorious, perfect day, spent in wonderful enjoyment. The Doge's Palace took us all the morning, and fully came up to anything I ever dreamed of ; afterwards delightful gondola expeditions to S. Giorgio Maggiore, Redentore, and Madonna di Salute ; all very grand and stately, though I am only just beginning to appreciate any style but Gothic, and still think these styles fitter for Polytheism than Christianity. Ended our doings with going up the campanile of S. Mark's at sunset ; the view very curious and interesting of the crowded town with its many towers, and the lovely light ! I dined at the table d'hôte, more lively than usual, with Yankees discussing their politics, the nomination of General Grant to succeed President Johnson, etc. Afterwards to the scrubby little theatre Malibran, all boxes and pit ; very funny to see the most unassuming shirt-sleeves occupying the boxes opposite ! The pit full of all sorts of people, who all roared between the acts. But one charm of Italy is that one hardly ever hears a harsh voice. The melodrama turned out to be dull, incomprehensible and improper, which was distressing. We walked home through the crazy little labyrinthian paved ways and across innumerable hunchbacked bridges ; had an ice at a cafe ; snug read of "Jane Eyre," in the midst of which I was overtaken by sleep ; sight-seeing has that effect, I find.

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