A Italian Journey

In 1907 a party of School Teachers travelled to Italy from Grimsby under the auspices of Grimsby Education Authority. This album is a collection of cuttings and documents of that journey

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Transcription of The Italian Journal of Charlotte URQUHART

In May 1907 a party of teachers travelled from Grimsby To Italy - Amongst this group was Charlotte URQUHART. She kept an intermittent Journal of the trip. This is a transcription of that Journal.

Transcribed by Ruairidh Greig and Richard Collinson

Charlotte Urquhart’s Trip to Italy

May 1907

A Transcription of her Journal

 

[Tuesday, April 30th 1907] We left Grimsby on Tuesday night April 30th   It poured with rain but there were crowds to see us off at the station. I had everybody but Alfred[i] & I wished I were not going. It was rather a pleasant journey to London it was still raining when we got there I was put to sleep with N. Metcalfe & E. Greenfield & hope I shall never be put there again as they are two soft asses. They woke up in the middle of the night & started talking so I could not sleep, I was glad to get rid of them.

 

[Wednesday, May 1st 1907] It was still raining when we got to Charring Cross en route for Folkston.

 

In fact it rained all the time. When we were crossing the channel I was dreadfully sick & so were Miss Stubbins & Miss Ashworth. We had to pass the customs at Boulogne. I lost my umbrella but found it in the carriage.

 

 The journey between Boulogne & Paris is most dreary & uninteresting. There is no nice scenery & it just poured with rain all the others in the carriage played “tip(?) it” but I felt too sick & miserable. When we got near to Paris, the weather began to clear up, & my first view of the city was Notre Dame bathed in sunlight. It looked glorious.

 

Arrived in Paris we drove across the city in carriages to Gare Du Nord[ii], where we were to dine at the buffet. On the way we passed a great many troops on horseback & as we knew King Ed (sic) VII was in Paris we came to the conclusion that they were out in honour of him. Paris is a very fine city. I noticed the “Place de la Bastille” where the Bastille prison used to be. The shops looked lovely, & people were dining outside the shops in the open air. Nearly every other shop was a restaurant with crowds of people dining out. The women in Paris don’t look nice, they have a peculiar trot, & all hold their dresses up in the same unbecoming manner & don’t mind if they show half their leg. I noticed they nearly all did this.

 

We left Paris again at 10-20 p.m. after about three hours stay. While there I received a P.C[iii]. from Annie which had been sent on from London.

 

[Thursday, May 2nd 1907] The night journey was not as bad as I had expected, we all slept a little, & we arrived at Chambery at 8 o’clock where we had breakfast on the station. We had not long to stay there & after we left Chambery the scenery began to grow interesting. It was just past here that I got my first glimpse of snow capped mountains & after this the scenery was magnificent & right on to Turin was on vast changing panorama of snow capped peaks

 

We passed little huts up on the mountain tops, & from them wires stretched in many cases right down mountain side & by this means the people at the top carry up fodder for the cattle in baskets, also provisions for themselves. In lots of places the snow had melted & formed cascades down the mountains.

 

At Modane[iv] we reached the Italian Frontier & had to have our luggage examined again, but this was done on the cars, & we went on. At Modane we were fastened onto the dining car, & we had lunch on the train. While we were having lunch we passed through the Mt Cenis tunnel, which journey took us 25 minutes.

 

We reached Turin about 3 o’clock, where we changed for Genoa. We saw a lot of beautifully dressed ladies & children here, also some men embracing & kissing one another in an affectionate farewell, it nearly made me sick.

 

After the train left Turin we began to leave the alps but the last view of them was a glorious one, & I feasted my eyes on them as long as I could.

 

The scenery then changed to Olive & orange groves & fields of vines & at one of the stations we bought so (sic) oranges on a branch just from the tree.

 

Nearly all the fields we passed had women ploughing etc, & not a single man.

 

After Turin the climate changed altogether & we seemed to come suddenly into summer & leave winter behind. It was very hot indeed. The train reached Genoa about 6 & our Hotel was very near the station, on the way we passed the statue of Christopher Columbus, in a garden with the most beautiful palms.

 

After dinner I went round the town with Miss Savidge & Miss Bolton & Mr Whitworth. Miss Stubbins was ill & had to go to bed. Our hotel was the Hotel Londres.

 

[Friday, May 3rd 1907] The next morning we had carriages & drove all around Genoa. It is a most lovely place but we did not have time to see a great deal of it. The Campo Santo or cemetery was visited & there are some of the most beautiful statues there. This is the finest Cemetery in the world.

 

The two statues which struck me most were “Eternal Rest” & the “Last Goodbye” carved in Carrara marble. Another was the statues of an old woman who made a fortune selling bread & chestnuts. When she died instead of leaving it to her scheming relatives she had a monument put up to her memory in the Campo Santo, among the remains of the rich.

 

We left Genoa a(sic|) eleven oclock (sic), we had lunch packed at the hotel to take with us on the train. With our lunch we were all presented with a lovely boquet(sic) of flowers. The flowers were, all red, white & blue. Mine was made up of 4 white roses, two red ones, blue cornflowers, lilies of the valley & white narcissus thus representing out national colours. It was a delightful idea.

 

In fact from Genoa the party went to Pisa arriving there at 3-25 p.m. on Friday 3rd May 1907 & staying at the Grand Hotel Michel – They left Pisa at 6-50 a.m. on Saturday May 4th 1907 – Charlotte seems to have skipped this in her journal as it continues –

 

Rome was reached the same night of May 4th at half past ten.

 

On the journey we had a lot of fun with Mr. Whitworth & |Mr Lister. They made out some tickets (supposed to be in Italian) for a wash. Mine was “1st classe Vassio 2d.” Dinner was served on the train. There was nothing much to be seen that night as it was quite dark , but I got up early the next morning [Sunday 5th May 1907] & went on to the roof garden to see the Eternal City, which I never thought that I would be able to visit.

 

Rome is the most delightful & wonderful place that one could imagine. Everything is nice, to the shops, the streets, the people & the beautiful children. The little babies are carried on cushions, in the most picturesque fashion.

 

The first thing that we did on Sunday morning was to visit St Peters where mass was held at 10 o’clock. There was nothing much to be seen except a few priests marching round, drinking wine & burning incense. Every time they pass before the altar they bow. Some of the priests robes were made of the most beautiful lace. I thought that the whole thing was a mockery from beginning to end. I was glad to get out

 

On the Sunday afternoon after lunch we visited the Catacombs. We had carriages & Doctor Forbes came with us to explain. On the way we stopped at the baths of Curricula. These are wonderful ruins, & must have been magnificent buildings in their full glory. I cant (sic) describe them.

 

 There are remains yet of the massive (unreadable) & stuccos on the walls.

 

We then drove on to the church of San Sebastian, & saw his monument in marble. Under this church are the catacombs where the early Christians are buried. We each had a lighted taper, & followed Dr. Forbes down the dark passages in single file. He pointed out to us the most important things as we passed. We saw the tomb of St Cecelia who was a martyr, & all along the narrow passages were tombs & inscriptions, remains of stucco & frescoes, the early Christians even decorated their catacombs. One inscription was “Flora . . . Pax” (Flora rests in peace. It was the tomb of a little child & Flora was a martyr for in the tomb was the remains of glass containing dried up blood which Dr. Forbes told us marked the tomb of a martyr.

 

The catacombs descend for three stories into the earth & if all the passages were placed one after the other would stretch 350 miles.

 

In the church of San Sebastian, at the entrance to the catacombs, is the grave where St Paul was first buried. We looked down into the little white washed crypt where he was laid & Dr. Forbes told us that it was absolute fact & not legend.

 

In many of the churches are relics, which have legends connected with them, for instance in St Johns Lateran is a slab supported by pillars six foot high, this was supposed to mark the exact height of Christ, & he is said to have stood under the same slab in the temple at Jerusalem. Such stories are called pious beliefs, & you are not bound to believe them unless you like.

 

On the way home from San Sebastian we passed other catacombs, also the monument of Drusus!

 

On May 6th [Monday 6th May 1907] we visited the Palatine Hill, again with Dr. Forbes. Some of the Cooks party were with us, which was horrid, but there were some nice gentlemen among them. The Palatine Hill is the place where Romulus first started to build Rome. We saw the remains of his wall, which was wonderful & was put together with wooden pins & clamps. Part of the wall still st&s. On the Palatine is Caligula’s palace, & the house of Germanicus.  In the latter, we saw on the walls the remains of frescoes & in these were the portraits of Agripina the wife of Germanicus. Also portraits of Agripina the younger & Dr. Forbes said that it had been compared with coins & there was no doubt that it was the same.

 

From the Palatine can be seen the place where Brutus offered the crown to Caesar, on the Lupercalia. The Lupercalia was a festival which still exists in the Roman Carnival.

 

Remains of the Domitian’s Palace is also on the Palatine.  Here as well are the palace  of Tiberius, the temple of Vesta & the arch of Drusus below. After lunch on the same day, we visited the church of St Paolo where St Paul is buried.

 

We called next at St Johns Lateran,  which is really modern but filled with the most beautiful  mosaics & ancient work. St John is supposed to be buried here. In this church are relics from every part of the world & the Romans must have robbed the  world to fill their churches Some of the mosaic figures in St Johns had Diamond eyes, which sparkled in the sun. In this church is the tomb of & statue of Innocent III the pope who put John the king of E. under interdict.

 

The baths of Diocletian are right in front of our hotel. To the left of the immense square where the old Roman games used to be played. These baths were made into a church by Michael Angelo. It is said of the latter that he tore down ancient Rome to decorate the churches. He took down the beautiful bronze doors of the old senate house on the Palatine, to put in St John’s Lateran. In the Baths of Diocletian the present king of Italy was married

 

On Tuesday May 7th {1907] we had an audience with the Pope at the Vatican. Three English monks were sent to meet us & showed us the treasures in the Vatican library while we were waiting. One of the priests was so nice, & I felt so sorry he was a priest. He is coming to England in a month.

 

We all had to wear black & veils on our heads when we went to see the pope, we did look guys. The Pope is such a dear old man dressed all in white, he had red shoes on, & had blue eyes and grey hair, which was covered with a white skull cap. He made us a little speech in Italian, which was interpreted by the brother of Lord Stanley who is in office at the Vatican.

 

On Wednesday [May 8th 1907] we went to Tivoli with Dr Forbes, & were joined again by cook’s party. There was such a nice Aberdeen gentleman whom I got chummy with. I had a good time at lunch with him. At Tivoli we first visited the Villa D’Este where there are the most beautiful gardens & fountains I ever saw in my life. We had lunch in the town,& sat in some gardens above the waterfalls, & the hills were all around us. I shall never forget that day. After lunch we visited Hadrian’s Villa which is too wonderful to describe.

 

On Thursday morning [May 9th 1907] a breakfast I had a letter from Alfred, a pleasant surprise, such a nice letter.

 

This was Ascension Day. We went to the church of Santa Maria in the morning, & here I met again my Aberdeen gentleman, I knew his grin. I dare not stop long from my party, & so I left him. We have visited such lots of churches that I have got all confused & can’t distinguish one from another, & refuse to go into another one. We went to the English cemetery & saw Keats & Shelleys graves.

 

After lunch on Thursday Pincian gardens to see the swells, hear the band & drink tea on the terrace this was a finish up. We met again our English priest who took us round. I was real sorry to leave him. He was not a bit like a monk.

 

May 10th [Friday]

 

We left Rome much to my regret at eight o’clock, I got my last view of the Eternal city from the roof garden of the hotel.

 

We reached Naples at two o’clock, & here I found a letter from Alfred. I was so tired from the journey, & real homesick, so it just came at the right time

 

We drove all round Naples in carriages in the afternoon, & it is the dirtiest, & yet the most picturesque city I have seen. We drove to the top & saw the beautiful blue bay with Vesuvius at the back, only the Mt does not smoke.

 

On Saturday May 11th we sailed to Capri. On the boat we met with such a nice American lady Mrs Julio Clerfayt. She had been in the earthquake at San Francisco & told us all about it.

 

At Capri we went into the Blue Grotto, you could only go in three at a time, & had to lie down in the boat at the entrance. The inside of the cave was wonderful, & just like fairyland. The water was a beautiful turquoise blue, & the roof and walls of the same iridescent colour, it was too lovely to describe.

 

We then landed on the island, which is covered with orange and lemon groves, & we had a guide who pulled us some lemons of the trees above the wall.

 

Mr. and Mrs. Lister, & Lill Burnet rode round the island on Donkeys they did looke funny. Lill sat stride legs.

 

On the way home we all went down to the poop end of the steamer & sang English hymns. All the other passengers came to listen. We finished up with our national anthem & three cheers for the king.

 

We all had to be taken ashore in little boats, but the funny part of it is that though 3d is charged the boatman always wants his macaroni money and swears if he doesn’t get it.

 

On Sunday [12th May 1907] morning the most of the party visited the Naples museum, the statuary is most beautiful, but oh dear some of it is very shocking to look at. The upper stories of the building are filled with relics brought from Pompei Frescoes, statuary, lamps, fruits, jewels, vases, rings, bracelets & other things too numerous to mention. We were late for lunch.

 

On Sunday afternoon Mrs Lister asked me to tea in her room, & then Miss Stubbins went to the aquarium, while I stopped in to write to Alfred. I laid down on the bed, thinking what they would be doing in Gy, & longing for somebody, & the next thing I knew it was five o’clock, & I had been asleep. I wrote my letter, but had a nice rush round to be ready for dinner.

 

Monday May 13th

 

Today we started off early to shop Miss Stubbins & I & came back without buying anything. I don’t like these people of Napoli, they cheat you right & left, & how they live is dreadful. The place is most densely populated, & there is no end to the children. The little hovels they live in are to me more like rabbit burrows than anything else, & I don’t think the children seem to go to school at all, & they are kept in a most filthy condition. As you pass the houses, you see in every one (no matter how filthy & poor the house is) a shrine, before which a light is always kept burning. The when you go to trade with these good religious people they give you in your change a bad two franc piece, but they mind that the money you give them is good. Then no shops are closed on Sundays, & as one passes down the street, they are busy washing, or sewing or mending boots etc, in the rooms, which serve as shop kitchen, bedroom, & everything. They have no glass windows, in fact no window at all. There is simply a big folding door in the front of this one room, which opens on to the street. This is kept open all day long, & the people sit at the door with their work, & live in the street. How ever they bring their children into the world puzzles me. Altogether conditions of life among the poor of Napoli are dreadful.

 

This afternoon Pompei was visited. To begin with the whole party was late for lunch & then the tram went so slowly that we managed to miss the train, so that good hour in Pompei was lost. On the way, as we passed we saw the lava beds formed last year near Boscotricase, & Annunziato by the eruption, but these persevering people have retilled their ground & crops are growing again.

 

Only about one third of Pompei has been excaved, & the ruins are wonderful. We saw the house of Glaucus the Athenian, the remains of the Forum, & amphitheatre. We had not time to visit Diamedes Villa and we were very disappointed. There were some beautiful frescoes still on the walls, & paintings of figures.

 

By these I should judge that there was absolutely no morality at all in Pompeian life, some of the figures make one blush to look at especially in the presence of gentlemen. In fact the ladies were not allowed to look at some of them, & the gentlemen went in alone. I thought it was a bit off, & we had a good laugh all to ourselves, because of course we were ushered out by the guide.

Then we were shown some of the figures which were found in the lava. These were dreadful to look at, some of them doubled up as though in death agony. One is lying face downward as though to keep the dust out of the face. It was the figure of a woman and the clothing seemed to be dragged over the head.

 

Some of the figures had rings on the fingers & others had teeth in good preservation.

 

We had to leave Pompei at five o’clock because it was closed. We had a rush for cars when we got to Naples & were half an hour late for dinner.

 

Tuesday [14th  May 1907]

 

                We left Naples for Florence at nine o’clock, & had a very hot but pleasant journey. The railway journeys are one of the nicest parts of our holiday. We always have corridor carriages reserved, & have good fun. When we got to Florence we found that the party was divided & I had to dine in one hotel, & sleep in the one next door, it was not very nice,& we had not  a very nice room.

 

When I got into dinner I got a letter from Alfred, he seemed rather mournful, & I am so sorry for him, but after all it is rather good to know somebody misses you. Could not send a P.C. home as I could not find any ink

 

Wednesday 15th May

 

We began the morning by visiting the Ufittze gallery, & I think I have just about seen enough nude figures in pictures and statuary to last me all my life. There are some lovely pictures. The ones I chiefly noticed were Corregios Madonna, Titians Flora. Love Triumphant was a lovely picture of a cupid just shooting  And one of Reubens “The marriage night” was a beautiful picture but hardly the thing for a public picture gallery. It gives me a shock every time I come across these things.

 

We saw here the statue of Venus de Milo, & Niobe with her seven sons and daughters.

 

On Thursday [16th May 1907]  we went to the Pitti gallery, & here the pictures are finer than the Ufittzi. The most beautiful picture or thing I have seen all the time I have been away is Murillos Madonna

 

Raphael’s Madonna is in the same room, but I liked Murillo’s best. Titian’s Magdalene is lovely; his paintings have the most beautiful red hair. I would have like to have bought some more copies of these pictures than I did, but could not afford. I got the “first meeting of Dante and Beatrice” for Alfred & some other little things. A fan for Annie etc.

 

We saw here at Florence in the church of Santa  Croche, the tomb of Dante, also that of Michelangelo. The latter’s tomb seems to me very unpretentious, & unworthy of such a great man. We saw in the same church the pulpit where Savonarola preached from, & Rossini’s tomb the great musician. In Florence is the house where Dante was born, also the one in which he afterwards lived. The Duoma of Florence is very fine, all white and red marble. Its Campanile is supposed to be the finest tower in Europe.

 

This town has also the most shops of any place we have yet been in, & we bought lots of things

 

Friday [17th  May 1907]  five o’clock

 

We have had such fun on the way to Venice. We sang all the morning in the train the Dear Homeland and Home Sweet Home and a lot of hymns. After lunch we had a raffle for an indian tablecloth and a broach. The tickets were 2d each, & Miss Savidge and Miss Bolton won.

 

We spend most of the time in the train, making tea, & eating oranges & biscuits. We get chocolates too, Mr Welkin passed a box round to day, because it is Miss Hird’s birthday today and Miss Burnett’s yesterday. Papa Broughton brought me a great packet of Choc one day for sewing his button on, so it came in nice for the train.

 

We shall soon be at Venice now, think of it! I wonder if there will be a letter for me there. I don’t know what I shall do if there isn’t.

 

12 o’clock

 

We landed at Venice at about half past seven, I could see its domes and towers as we were crossing the lagoon in the train. It was a moment indeed when I stepped into a gondola to be rowed to the hotel, & when we got into the grand canal, & the Rialto & saw all the marble palaces I felt that my dream was realised. We live on the grand canal & our hotel was formerly one of the Ducal palaces. I dressed in my best for dinner in honour of Venice. I got a letter from Alfred when I arrived, & he informs me he is going to Matlock for a week. Thought he would soon want a bit of variety I shan’t get many more letters I know. I wrote homer to night. Alfred says that absence makes the heart grow fonder, & so it does in my case, but wait till he gets to Matlock he’ll soon forget about me. I shan’t write till tomorrow now.

 

There are not any blinds to my window which is rather awkward, for the streets are narrow & I can see in the windows across the canal. I suddenly became aware that there was a young gentleman in the window opposite watching me in my nightdress tonight. I was drinking tea near the window. It was a good thing I had my best nightdress on. I shall have to mind what I do.

 

Saturday [18th  May 1907]  Today we have visited St Mark’s Cathedral & the Doge’s Palace. I have stood on the “Bridge of Sighs”, & have seen the lion’s mouth.

 

In the afternoon we went in a gondola to St. Georgio Del Maggiore church & went up the tower 250 steps & got a splendid view of Venice. Mr & Mrs Lister took me out & we had ices in St Mark’s square. We got home at half past ten.

 

Sunday  [19th  May 1907]  I have got a dreadful shock tonight, we had been out on the Lido all the afternoon with Mr Whitworth. We came home at about half past five, & I came down to dinner at seven to find two letters waiting for me. One was from Sissie, to tell me that my Grannie[v] died last Wednesday I was so upset that I couldn’t go to dinner, & have been in my room ever since. I had cried to think that I was away from home when it happened. The other letter was such a nice lovely letter from Alfred, & when I read it, I cried all the more

 

I have written home to Mother, & must write to Alf tomorrow. I have not seen any of the others, but I suppose Miss Stubbins will have told them, because Katie Brown sent me up the nicest little plate of cakes. I did think it was nice of her.

 

I shall always remember Venice. Poor old Granny, it is really best that she is at rest

 

Monday [20th May 1907]

I did not want to go anywhere to day, but went with the others first to the museum. I went with Katie Brown, then Mr Broughton took us for a ride in the steamer.

 

In the afternoon the Miss Sharps asked me to go out with them in a Gondola. In Rome I did not realise my ambition of buying flowers off the steps of the church but I got what I wanted in Venice & that was to ride from one end of the Grand canal & back in a Gondola. Mr Stephenson came with us to photograph. We passed Browning’s house, & Byron’s house. After we returned we went shopping, & had such fun with Ada Sharp buying some vases in St Mark’s square. We managed to beat the offer down. We had a rush to dress for dinner.

 

After dinner, I went out again with Sharps girls in a Gondola. All the others went too but one gondola only holds four. It was divine on the water with the moonlight & lights from gondolas, & the white buildings. You feel like a princess, if you only had a prince. There were some gondolas covered with lights, & people singing Santa Lucia. I was sorry to go in, it as really a world of romance on the water. I hope I shall live to come back to Venice some day.

 

On Tuesday [21st May 1907] morning we say goodbye to Venice, the sun shone on the buildings & water as we went in Gondolas to the station. The train left at nine. We had one or two break downs on the way to Milan. We lunched on the train & reached our journey’s end about four o’clock. Between that time and dinner we visited the cathedral in Milan, which is by far the most magnificent imposing building we have seen yet. We went right up to the top 490 steps, & got a bird’s eye view of the city. The statues all round the pinnacles are marvellous. There are thousands of them. The cathedral took 200 years to build.

 

The doors are to my mind even more beautiful than those at Florence which Ruskin declared to be the gates of Paradise.

 

I came again after dinner with the Miss Sharps to see the Cathedral by moonlight. On the way back we had 9d in Italian money to get rid of so we went into ever so many shops and priced things. Some were 10 francs & some six. We finished up by buying some chocolate and biscuits for the journey.

 

When we returned to the hotel it was nearly eleven so we made haste to bed. What did I do but walk into a room where there was a man in bed. I banged the door and flew.

 

Wednesday Morning  [22nd  May 1907]

We are now on the train to Lucerne. We left Milan at 7am

 

We have passed the time making tea & eating the cakes & chocolate we bought last night.

 

The scenery is beautiful. We have come through the St.Gothard tunnel which took us 15 min.

 

As soon as we arrived in Lucerne we had lunch & took steamer on the lake. The scenery was beautiful, & we had a good view of the mountains. Pilatus looks the finest all covered with snow. We got off at Stanstadt & had a walk round.

 

We had to return at 4.25 so had not long to stay.

 

We met a lot of nice people on the steamer, & I enjoyed it immensely, the water was a beautiful green colour & the green islands rising out of it were charming. Miss Stubbins would not come because she was afraid of being sick silly thing. I was glad that I went & would not have missed it for anything. Lucerne was the most refreshing place we visited though not of the most historical interest.

 

I visited the famous Lion of Lucerne with Ada Sharp. It is carved out of the solid rock in memory of the soldiers who fell

 

We were all sorry to leave Lucerne on Thursday morning [23rd May 1907]. We had to get up at five as the train left at seven. We changed at Basle for Paris, & had to have our luggage exam at the former.

 

The ride was not so interesting after we left Basle as we left the mountains behind

 

We arrived in Paris about six, & just had time to dress for dinner.

 

The hotel Moderne is rather decent, but not as nice as some we have been  in. I was disappointed at not getting a letter from Alfred, as I expected one at Lucerne. I think he might have written.

 

On Friday [24th May 1907].  we set out to see as much of Paris as was possible in one day. Mrs Lister took us as she had been before & knew the way a little.

 

We went first to the Louvre, where we visited the picture gallery

 

The pictures were lovely & different style from those we had seen in Florence. I was very pleased to see some of Greuze’s heads, which I have always admired, & never thought I should have the luck to see the originals. I admired very much Elizabeth Brun’s pictures of herself & her little daughter which she painted by means of a looking glass. These are the originals in the Louvre. The copies we saw at Florence.

 

There are some more beautiful pictures of Murillo in the Louvre. He is really the finest painter of the Madonna of any artist I think.

 

In the sculpture gallery we saw the famous Venus de Milo. Also copies of Venus D Medici which we saw at Florence. Venus de Milo was a little disappointing but the face is lovely. There were the Statues of Hadrian & Marcus Aurelius also Father Tiber.

 

After the Louvre we visited Notre Dame, & I find that it is not the building which we saw in the train at the beginning of the tour. That was the Pantheon of Paris & I don’t know its name.

 

Near Notre Dame is the Morgue, & Hotel De Ville; we only saw the outside of them.

 

After lunch we took a carriage Mrs Lister & I & drove down the Boulevard St Martin to Place de La Concorde. From there we went down the Champs d’Elysees. It was glorious driving among the carriages of the well-dressed ladies. The women of Paris are painted up terribly, & look awful with their ugly pink lips, & artificial hair.

 

We drove to Napoleon’s tomb, & it is a most beautiful place. It is a glorious monument fitting for so great a man. The light coming from the dome above the tomb is blue. Then behind it is an altar where the windows are yellow, & the golden light coming through them makes a wonderful effect. When I went in it made me feel quite awed, & I don’t think the world could contain a more beautiful monument.

 

After the tomb we visited the Madaline Church, & then we went along the Champs d’Elysees to the Arch d’Triumph, & climbed to the top of it. At the top of it was Mr Stephenson & he took our Photos.

 

When we came down we had lemon at Durands restaurant. Then we went to Rue de Rivole to shop & took a carriage home.

 

After dinner we presented Mr Wilkin with a diamond ring & sang Auld Lang Syne as it was the last night.

 

We left Paris for Boulogne on Saturday 25th of May. None of us were sick crossing the channel but I felt rotten when we got to London.

 

Dick Whitely came to the station here, & I had a nice long talk with him.

 

 

Transcribed by Ruairidh Greig and Richard Collinson

 



[i] Alfred Collinson?

[ii] According to the itinerary they arrived at Gare du Nore and crossed Paris to Gare de Lyon and dined at Buffet-de-Paris.

[iii] Postcard

[iv] Italian Frontier

[v] Charlotte URQUHART nee LAWRENCE died !5th May 1907

 

 

 

There are two PDF files of the original Journal and Itinerary that you can download - but be warned they are quite large and may take some time on a dial-up system

Italian Tour Itinerary

Charlotte Urquhart's Journal



Owner/SourceTimothy Collinson
Date12 Feb 2009
Linked toCharlotte Lawrence URQUHART
AlbumsA Italian Journey

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