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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

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Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 entry, paper

45.6982642, 9.6772698

Wed. 18. [18 March 1896] Breakfasted at 8 - a grey morning with the
clouds hanging very low, however we resolved to carry out our plan of
going up to Bellaggio. Went up to the Broletto - too dark to see the
pictures in the Cathedral - and to S. Fedele which is really charming -
the apse. We came to the conclusion that the balcony on the Broletto
is a later addition though a very charming one. It doesn't seem to fit
onto the window and the string course had to be broken through to
make the door out onto it. Our boat left at 9. Cold and grey, but the
shores looked very lovely. A charming Italian woman on board with
her devoted husband. Cadenabbia very charming; reached
Bellaggio at 11 and found on disembarking that it was quite warm.
Wandered up across the peninsula and into vineyards where I found
starch hyacinths, primroses, oxlips, white and blue crocuses and a
charming heath. Scrambled about till we found ourselves in a villa
garden and jumping over its wall landed ourselves near our hotel.
Lunched at 12 out of doors under a rose arbour by the lake, all green
but of course no flowers yet. Then walked up to the gardens of the
Villa Serbelloni and had exquisite views of the misty lake and perfect
foreground of wood and rock, clear water and boats beneath us.
Unfortunately the Alps were not visible. But the lake is wonderfully
lovely - soft and suave beyond words, headland after wooded
headland falling into clear water; clustered little white villages and
white villas standing among cypresses by the water's edge. Left
Bellaggio at 2.30 and reached Lecco at 4 - very wild and lovely that
Lecco arm of the lake, but oh it was so cold! Took our things up to the
station, went and had chocolate and cakes at a caffÈ and then came
up to the station and read and wrote till our train left. Reached
Bergamo at 7.10 - our hotel was the Capello d'Oro - very bad one and
rendered worse by the fact that it was being repaired. Papa's room
wretchedly uncomfortable. Dined at 8 and went out walking in the
dark streets. Shopped - Papa exhibited an astonishing knowledge of
Italian! Early to bed.

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