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Letter from Gertrude Bell to her half sister Mary Trevelyan

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Gertrude Bell
Mary Trevelyan
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[24 March 1896] Vicenza Tuesday 24. My dee dee Molly. We arrived here yesterday afternoon after two most delightful days at Verona which, I think is one of the most charming towns I have ever been in. We meant to go away from here early this morning, but when we saw what a nice place Vicenza was and found that our hotel was very comfortable, we decided to stay until the middle of the day. My room is palatial and it leads out onto a long balcony which runs all round the garden of the inn and along the wall looking over the street. Vicenza is one mass of palaces - it's so funny to come across these little places which are quite unimportant nowadays but which were great towns three hundred years ago. There are grubby little shops now under the columned archways and clothes hanging out to dry from the lovely pointed windows and over the carved balconies, and very few people to buy or to wash for I should think, judging by the look of the streets. Yesterday evening we drove out onto the top of a hill and had a beautiful view over the town and the Alps and the plain; it was quite clear and warm, a gorgeous sunset and a moon after it, and bats flying about all over. We found lots of lizards yesterday sunning themselves on a cloister wall at Verona. After lunch we are going to a little walled town called Castelfranco where there is a famous Giorgione which we want to see. We sleep there - I expect the inn will be rather poky! - and leave early in the morning, spend a few hours at Padua [Padova] and arrive at Venice [Venezia] in the afternoon. I hope we shall find lots of letters waiting for us there. If only this gorgeous weather will go on! Love to everyone Ever your affectionate sister Gertrude

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