June 2nd – Arrived at Adelsburg at five, remaining over to see the grotto, the best thing of the kind I ever saw. It made me regret that I had not seen the cave at Matamzas. Parts of this grotto were known in the middle ages. Just before we entered we saw the river Paik running into it, the noise of which sounded very loud as we crossed the stairway over it. We had four guides who bore torches. The principle places were illuminated for our benefit by 116 candles. This cave was known in the middle ages. We went through numerous passages, the stalactites and stalagmites of which were perfectly wonderful, bearing resemblances to a prison, butchershop, confessional, palm and cypress trees. The portion most recently discovered is the most beautiful, being the whitest. The transparent drapery is wonderful. The ball room is the largest chamber in the cave.
Arrival at Trieste in the afternoon and went right aboard the steamer which brought us to Venice the next morning. Had a very pleasant visit of three days. Saw St. Mark’s Church. The most remarkable thing in it were the mosaics which were on the sides of the wall and ceiling instead of paintings. They are very old and some of them are crumbling. They represent different scriptural scenes. The palace of the Doges was very interesting, particularly the gallery of paintings – one of Paradise, said to be the largest ever executed on canvas. In one room we saw some maps of the countries explored by Venetian navigators, the Mappi Monde of Trieste Mauro. Besides a number of pieces of sculpture, we saw busts of Venetian celebrities, Marco Polo, Sebastian Cabot, Galileo and some of the Doges. These were around the colonnade on the first floor.
The armory at the arsenal was very interesting. There we saw the great standard of the Turkish Admiral taken in the battle of the Levants, of red and yellow silk; also much fine and curious ancient armor; full suit of Henry IV of France, given by him to the Republic in 1803. We visited a private palace, where among other curiosities we saw a room full of most beautiful India work. In the same room we saw a painting in imitation of a marble bas relief. The deception was so great, that we all took it to be marble.
In the Church of St. Maria Gloriosa de Trariaro, two most beautiful colossal monuments – one created to the memory of Titian the other to Caneva. It is astonishing the number of expensive tombs in these chambers. Almost the cost of any one of them would build a plain church.
In the church of St. Giovanni we saw the celebrated Peter Martyr by Titian, said to the his first work and considered by many to third picture in the world, coming after the transfiguration of Raphael.
On the Piazzotta or public square are the two famous granite columns, one surmounted by the bronze lion of St. Mark and the other by the statue of St. Theodore, the protector of the Republic. A large flock of pigeons is always seen frequenting this square. They are protected with almost superstitious care and affection by the Venetian people. They are fed at two o’clock and it is a curious sight to see them arrive from every side on the striking of that hour by the great clock of the Terre doll _______. They have existed here so long that their origin is forgotten. We walked across the Rialto bridge made famous in connection with Shakespeare’s Shylock and when in the Doges Palace walked out in the Bridge of Sighs and looked out of the windows, up and down the canal. Then went down into the prisons. Saw one all covered with wood. They were all formerly so covered, but were burnt. We went to a glass bead factory – saw them making all kinds of trinkets. Also went to a Mosaic factory.
From Venice we went to Padua, the oldest city in Italy. Here we took a _______ and drove around to the river Po, ______ reaching it at 5 o’clock. Here we crossed in a small boat and took the cars for Bologna – remained over night. Engaged a carriage in the morning and drove all over the city. The most interesting place we visited was the cemetery. It is the finest model for an extensive Campo Santa I ever saw. It occupied the corridors of two spacious cloisters of the convent, in which niches in the walls have been built to receive the dead formerly owned by the Carthenian Monks, who built it in 797. The regulations of this cemetery are remarkable as establishing no exclusion of cost, although separate enclosures are not apart for Protestants, Jews and Ecclesiastics, including monastic individuals of both sexes.
The general effect is very fine and some of the tombs and monuments are remarkable, not only for the names they record, but for the character of their design. We saw the tomb of the Murat family. The large area of each cloister is occupied by the graves of the poorer classed unable to pay for a privileged site under the cloisters.
We went through the royal palace. The rooms were handsomely furnished – saw several good paintings and some very fine statuary and ornaments in marble.