left Sorrento by steamer for Naples, arriving between seven and eight o’clock.
We took passage aboard an Austrian steamer at two o’clock for Genoa,
via Leghorn. We were all sick during the whole trip and felt very weak on
our arrival. Spent the day in sightseeing in Genoa. Left the next morning
for Milan. We had a pleasant drive in the afternoon in Genoa and visited
a beautiful private garden which was full of fountains and numerous rare
plants and ________, among which were the tea and coffee plants; also the
camphor and anise tree, besides a variety of greenhouse plants. This garden
was constructed on terraces on a high hill overlooking the sea with a fine
view of the city and mountains around.
July 7th – Went this morning to see the great cathedral. It is a wonderful structure, but I think it is much too broad for its height. It is not yet finished. The guide told us it would be two hundred years before its completion. They are repairing and building all the time. Its statues and ornaments give it a very fairylike appearance. The interior is nothing extra. Its stained glass windows are very beautiful.
We have not seen any cathedral to compare with the one at Seville, (Spain).
Left Milan July 10th in the care for Lake Como – took a steamer and went about half way up the lake and landed at a very pleasant place where there is a good hotel. After a good dinner, we, in company with six other persons rowed to a point the other side of the Lake, where is a pretty little villa. There are many German villas on the lake, but their occupants are not here this year on account of the war. The whole of this beautiful sheet of water is surrounded on all sides by the alps, the peaks of some soon in the distance being clad with snow. Toward evening a lovely blue haze gathers around them. This is admired very much by most persons. We left Catanabia early in the morning in a row boat and in about an hour stopped at a little town where we took a diligence for Lake Lugano. Here we went aboard a steamer and in an hour or two were at Lugano where we took dinner and then engaged a velturino to go over to the St. Gothard Pass. Had a most interesting passage all the way up. The country is picturesque, dotted with Swiss cottages and well cultivated – women working in the fields everywhere. We found a great variety of new flowers. The highest mountains were covered with snow, the melting of which caused many beautiful waterfalls, which swelled the rapid river. Below us the road is a perfect wonder. We ascended by 28 zigzags to the ______; stopped a few moments to get a view, but were soon glad to descend, as it was very cold and no place to stop for the night. We rested at Andormatt, a distance of about ten miles.
Left here the next evening for Fluellen and Lake Lucorn, where we took a steamer stopping at a small town where we took a carriage and then horses to ascend the Rigi range of the Alps. This owes its celebrity not to its height, but to its isolated position, which converts it into a natural observatory. It is very accessible. On its summit is a large hotel which is crowded during the summer. We stayed all night in order to see the sunset and sunrise which is the chief attraction. An hour before a wooden horn is played through the halls until all are awake; then commences a general stir and rush of 200 or 300 persons with half open eyes to await the glorious prospect. We had a splendid view of the lakes and mountains all around us and watched them as they were being tinged with golden hues. It was said to have been the finest sunset they had this summer. The crowd – young and old – appeared more like a company at a watering place. We descended the mountain on foot, which occupied 2½ hours. Took a boat at _______ and were soon in Lucerne. Have rooms in a fine hotel which is crowded. The ladies dress very prettily. Walked around the city in the morning and took a drive in the afternoon. Saw the sleeping lion, the bridge which has so many _______.