August 5th, 1883

(Forgive the delay in blogging. I have a friend dealing with terminal cancer and now possibly another friend. They are still running tests. I’m thankful for these diaries I’m blogging as they take me away for just a little while; a place of peace.)

 “August 5th,

Today is Sunday and as we intended going by rail to Pisa, papa called us early to go to bathe. We went by boat again and used our new bathing dresses for the first time. The water was a little cold it being early in the morning but we like it very much. Papa let us float in the water and Else got a good ducking. After breakfast we went ashore, called at the office where we found another letter from mamma and then drove to the railway station where we took return tickets for Pisa which we reached in half an hour. On our way we passed a large herd of Dromedaries. Pisa is a very old town and used to be at one time the capital of a powerful republic, always at war with Genoa, also republic at that time. After walking through the town we took a carriage and drove to the Cathedral, a most magnificent building with the leaning tower on one side and a little church only used for baptizing children, at the other side. Close to it is the Campo Santo. We visited the Cathedral first where we saw the most beautiful pictures painted by Michael Angelo and his disciples. Also some sculptures executed by the same artists. The church is built in the form of a cross and dates as far back as the eleventh century. It is far more beautiful than San Lorenzo and at least 200 years older. The pictures can scarcely be described; they are so beautiful. The portraits come out so natural and the coloring cannot be surpassed. Then we visited the little church where we saw a little baby 2 days old being christened. The Catholic ritual is quite different from our protestant. The priest even made the little thing hold a burning holy candle in its hand. There was also a beautiful echo here but not so grand as in the chapel of the Campo Santo in Genoa. We bought some stereoscopic views of Pisa and then drove through the town, it being too warm to mount the leaning tower. In driving through the town we passed a great many places of interest, especially the house where the great astronomer Galileo, a native of Pisa lived; but being hungry we went to the Hotel Washington where we had a nice little dinner and a bottle of Barolo; a splendid wine of which I took several glasses…..”

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