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6. 'Notes Italy & Italian language &c', 1780 (SM volume 162)


Italian notebook with 12 rough sketches, 1780 (dated entries from 19 April to 7 June 1780; note (inside cover) refers to August 1779, a translation exercise (19r) is dated January 1780, and a list of books (144r-141v) was made c.1782
Label on front cover inscribed Sir John Soane / Notes Italy & Italian language / &c (by A.T. Bolton, Soane Museum curator 1917-45) with 176 leaves of laid paper watermarked F and with (parts of) cardinal's hat and tassels framing a shield bearing an eagle, and simple crown, bound in vellum with flap and vellum tie (170 x 125). The sketchbook is of a type made in Italy. The medium is pen except where pencil is stated and all the drawings are freehand, that is, 'rough'. The leaves were numbered by a past curator as ff. on the bottom right-hand side of each recto (1, 2, 3 etc).
Soane used both ends of the note/sketchbook leaving a large middle section blank: ff.1r-19v for Italian vocabulary and translation, 20v-23r for travel expenses from 21 May to 7 June 1780; (then reversing the notebook) ff.176v-166v translation exercises; ff.162v-144v as a travel journal; ff.144r-141v for a list of books in Soane's library, c.1782
Literature. du Prey, 1977, passim; du Prey, 1982, passim
An outline of the journey (recorded on ff.162v-144v) from 19 April to 29 May is as follows: Soane left Rome on 19 April 1780 and was in Florence by 23 April having visited Caprarola on the way (162v). Leaving Florence on 29 April he travelled 32 miles and slept at Pietra Mala (162r) arriving in Bologna (27 miles distant) on 30 April (161v & r). The next night was spent at a 'miserable hole' about 3 miles beyond Ferrara (which was some 35 miles from Bologna) (161r). The following day, 2 May, he visited Rovigo, and Monteselice (160v), and came to Padua on 3 May (159v) leaving it the next day for Vicenza (about 18 miles) (158r). From there to Verona (about 30 miles) (158r) where Soane stayed from 4 May until he left for Mantua on 8 May (24 miles away) (158r, 157r, 156v) and then, travelled 36 miles by night, to Parma (156r). Revisiting Piacenza on 9 May (155v) Soane arrived at Milan on the night of 10 May and stayed until 12 May when he left for Genoa, which was about 100 miles and 2½ days journey, staying first at Pavia and then Novi en route (154v) reaching Genoa late on 14 May (154r). There Soane stayed until 19 May returning via Novi to Milan on 21 May (152r, 151v, 150v, 150r) and left the following morning (22 May) for Como, 24 miles away, leaving at 11 o'clock at night to go by boat to Rezzonico about 32 miles from Como (150r). On 23 May Soane left Rezzonico for Gera and then Riva (about 20 miles) and then by horse for eight miles to Chiavenna which he left on 25 May (149r). He then travelled to the Isola where he stayed the night and thence via Tusano to Coira staying there 26-27 May (149r, 148r). On 28 May Soane travelled about 27 miles on horseback for 10 hours from Coira to Walenstadt (146v) and then by boat to Vesey. Very early, the next day, he set out on a 14-hour journey by boat for Zurich (145r, 144v). On 7 June Soane recorded that he had supper at Friborg (Freiberg in Germany) (23r) and the account ends there (but see also 20v-23r for travel expenses from 21 May to 7 June 1780). It can be supplemented by some of Soane's notes in the margins of his copy of Itinéraire des routes les plus fréquentées ... by Louis Dutens, 1777 (q.v. in this Sketchbook catalogue). Thus he was in Cologne on 15 June, Liège on 16 June, Louvain on 18 June, and subsequently in Brussels.
The only specific references to travelling companions in this note/sketchbook are an entry for 19 April 1780 (162v) 'Left Rome with Messrs [George] Holgate & [his pupil Michael] Pepper' and another for 8 May (156v) 'Went with Messrs [Charles] Collyer & [Edward Roger] Pratt to Mantua 24 miles'



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Contents of 6. 'Notes Italy & Italian language &c', 1780 (SM volume 162)