Thursday, 29 December 1864

Δὲν βρέχει[1] ― says G. at 6. So I rise, & commit the roba (at 7) to the care of one Cío of Mentone, who is to leave it at the Inghilterra Hotel at S. Remo. ^[Bill & porterage ― 31fr.] Cío, says, go with me, not there only, but to Nice, ― but he asks 40 francs, & I decline ― as now (at 8 P.M.) think, foolishly. The Vittoria at Oneglia is an honest Inn: little show, much attention, & moderate charge. At 7.30 ― I & the Suliot thread the long Oneglia St.; pass the bridge, (which G. wishes he possessed close by the Lanterna at Genoa, & that everyone had to pay a soldo,)[2] & so to P. Maurizio ― “Cío” passing us with ἀσπασμοῦς.[3] Beyond P. Maurizio, drew it, till near 9. And at 9.30, S. Lorenzo. Through that village by 10 ― all of which is ugliness, ― a continuance of hideous landslips & railway works impossible to imagine, & difficult to see without disgust. As I counted several fifties of men at work, I suppose them having been 1000 or 1500 between Oneglia & S. Remo.

At 11 ― tired of the long earth banks on one side & sea on t’other, ― St. Stefano[4] was neared: which I drew till 11.30: & then we lunched on the shore, & noon striking ― fled away. The climate’s becoming ’ot, & all things change. Pass thro’ St. Stefano, an uninteresting village ― & on, by more clay & olive & precipice ― to Riva,[5] a rather larger, but not lovelier place. The day is truly lovely, & every hour it becomes clearer & lovelier. The road strikes inward before coming to Arma,[6] & at 1 ― 1.20 ― pass over the bridge of Taggia, & draw the valley, wh. is wild & grand. And there are olives ― & some respite from the Eternal sea. At 1.30 ― Arma ― a livelier village ― but equally undrawable with its 2 predecessors Χώφια.[7] A most singularly dull road ― but that the sky becomes more beautiful, & air warmer. || 2. P.M. Below the Madonna di Capo Verde ― ever Railway works, & ugliness ― breaking of stones & raking of dirt; ― Certainly, nothing could have been lost by not seeing this piece of road, for the whole is ugly. The last of it is a long 1864-12-29 point of Cape, a dull peak ― with Arma, Riva, & St. Stefano in white dot=lines on its lower edge. At 2.30 ― G. suddenly says ― “Ἱδοῦ ι Ριφεράρι!”[8] ― & there they were: 2.40 overtake them, who from Picinisco come; make them play, & give them 4 soldi. | What memories those Abruzzi bagpipes recall ― masterfully!!! Dull road to San Remo. At 3.15 Hotel d’Angleterre ― clean & nice. Wonderful change of climate! The sunset ― (seen from an open window,) is glorious. At 5. P.M. nothing could be more beautiful. Dinner μόνος ― good: but a bottle of Marsala ― vile & undrinkable. ― Sent G. to see about progress tomorrow, & the Suliot returns, having “Combinared”[9] with a Vett: to go to Mentone for 20fr. wisely & well: for they said here, you can only take a vettura as far as Ventimiglia &c. ―


[1] Not raining.

[2] A coin.

[3] Kisses.

[4] Now Santo Stefano al Mare.

[5] Riva Ligure.

[6] Arma di Taggia.

[7] Villages (χωριά).

[8] Behold “i Pifferari,” i.e. “the fife players” in Italian

[9] From the Italian “combinare” with the English “-d” participle, “agreed.”


[Transcribed by Marco Graziosi from Houghton Library, Harvard University, MS Eng. 797.3. Image.]

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