Cycles of early modern hodoeporics. (2024)

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Perhaps the most elemental of human pursuits, physical motion has often been considered the symbol of an interior, non spatial activity. (1) The image of the journey fits, metaphorically, the familiar patterns of the individual's endeavors from birth toward death, from the exile of this "lacrymarum vallis" to a glorious world of personal salvation.

Although movement could by no means be theorized as a part of the divine essence of the Trinity, for God (the Primum Mobile), as immutable, is devoid of motion, the Second Person, Christ, the Word (Verbum, Logos), who was with the Creator in the beginning ("In principio erat Verbum," John 1:1), defined Himself, in His humanity, as the Way ("Ego sum via," John 14:6). He, indeed, the course that leads humanity to God (regressus ad Deum), is viewed by Augustine as a Goal ("quo itur Deus, qua itur hom*o"), and remains a mysterious operation within the inscrutable relationship that defines the persons in the Holy Trinity. This Via is, therefore, an inexplicable, mystifying element that transcends our spatial and chronological perceptions. It signifies for the human race an eschatological convergence of all that is created into the historical event of (a collective salvation, the path "in virum perfectum in mensuram aetatis plenitudinis Christi" (Eph. 4:13), "le Christ Omega" ("the final Christ") postulated by Teilhard de Chardin.

Travel, our collective and individual motion, is also a metaphor of human life, as we all reflect on our course, like Orpheus and Lot gazing at the path they had just traced, a sequence of footsteps (as in Machado's senda) never to be imprinted again:

 Al andar se hace camino y al volver la vista atras se ve la senda que nunca se ha de volver a pisar. (3)

Poetry has focused naturally upon spatial motion to evoke the cycles of human life and the recurrence of beginnings and ends that marks the "cammin di nostra vita" (Inf. I, 1) through "la diritta via" (Inf. I, 3) to the "dubbioso" or "fiero passo" (Petrarch, Canz. CXXVI, 22; C, 9), "le grand voyage" (4) of death. Our life and soul are, therefore, continuously moving toward their goal, like Baudelaire's ship in search of the elusive and ultimate locus amoenus, a landing in a Promised Land. (5) Travel is thus reaching a sequence of intermediate points between the relative hic et nunc and the Kingdom, either a geographic milieu or a sought-after region of the spirit, something akin to the ascent to a sacred "Mont Ventoux," as in Petrarch's famous letter of 1336 to Dionigi da Borgo San Sepolcro (Famil. IV, 1).

Travel also represents an initiation. This painful chore of motion (6) has often been regarded as the path leading to a symbolic death, the voyage of life leading to a termination endured in order to achieve a new birth. (7) Such ending, a regressus ad uterum, becomes also a regressus ad patriam, an initiatory rite, (8) whose function, a sort of Bildungsreise, is to renew and re-create a person.

The pedagogy of travel comes to mind as an intellectual initiation. The Grand Tour, that "Moving Academie, the Peripatetique School," (9) Shakespeare's "course of learning and ingenious studies" (The Taming of the Shrew, I, I, 9) was a cultural phenomenon that engaged many generations of bright young men looking at the Continent, Italy in particular, for an experience their country could not provide. (10)

Thus the constant motion that is at the foundation of Heracl*tus's philosophy ("panta chorei," "everything moves") pervades all forms of human expression, leading Michel de Certeau, albeit with some exaggeration, to write that "tout recit est un recit de voyage." (11)

Rather than engaging in a philosophical or anthropological analysis of the various forms of motion through the centuries, I would like to limit this essay to an investigation of travel cycles in hodoeporic texts and practices from the 14th to the 19th century. One must keep in mind, however, that the recits de voyage of the Renaissance are usually limited to the description of the bare facts of the journey--departure, arrival, encounters with famous people, sightseeing, and return. Explicit reflections on the travelers' innermost reactions and the analysis of their own feelings are rare occurrences before the 17th century, with the notable exception of Montaigne's Journal, one of the first instances of awakening to self-consciousness by a travel writer. Eventually, 18th-century intellectual curiosity and 19th-century egotisme gradually put the writer's moi in the center of the literary universe; the voyage became a quete de soi and brought to the discovery of one's own self and its relationship with the surrounding world, as Stendhal acknowledged: "Je ne pretends pas dire ce que sont les choses; je raconte la sensation qu'elles me firent" (p. XXXVIII).

One of the most basic components in the human psyche is the trust we put in our vital space, our Heimat, Umland (Turri 359) or "comfort zone," as it is called today. This centripetal trend, however, clashes with another, opposite, yet fundamental, human characteristic, the ambition to escape beyond the boundaries of one's familiar surrounding. A journey is a motion into an unknown (or less known) area, for it can hardly be conceived as a leisurely walk into one's neighborhood.

Journeying to far-away places, one looks for dreamed-about sites, searches for adventure, excitement, and knowledge. Self-confident, curious, full of high expectations, an individual, determined enough to withstand the inevitable dangers and hardships of the journey, takes the first steps outside his home, sustained by the challenge of a new, far-away experience. Hilarius Pyrckmair is adamant about the value for the intellectual life of leaving the coziness of one's home, looking "forward to acquire knowledge of great things":

 Quid enim turpius? quid homine studioso, praesertim nobili, indignius? quam semper domi sub tecto sedere, et ita in otio omni gloria et laude carente senescere, neque cogitare aliquando ex hoc tamquam nimis opaco et circ*mscripto domicilio ad rerum maximarum cognitionem acquirendam evolandum esse. Ad hoc autem suscipiendum animos liberales, ea, quae non mediocris est, utilitas invitare debet. (2-3)

The length of the traveler's sojourn abroad varies according to specific considerations and circ*mstances; eventually, the cycle can be brought to a full circle by an instinctive inclination to return to one's familiar habits: "une vague peur [...], un desir instinctif de regagner l'abri des vieilles habitudes" (Camus, 26).

After returning home, a repetition of this cycle can be triggered. The traveler often chooses to initiate a journey to new sites, for one's unquenched thirst of knowledge now prompts him to more challenging discoveries. Or, like Amerigo Vespucci, he (12) decides to write about the journey just achieved in order to make others aware of his successes. (13) In this case a literary form of journeying ensues. The traveler is now an author with an audience; his name (and Vespucci's case--the naming of America--is paradigmatic) becomes known outside the small circle of friends who have witnessed his departure and enjoyed his return; his hodoeporic will become the prototype of many other journeys.


Before millions of middle-class travelers engaged in the well-organized activity of modern global tourism, only wealthy and courageous individuals considered the idea of leaving their birthplace, and not without much trepidation. Most people were happy to settle in the aurea mediocritas chastized by Pyrckmair and expressed by the noted Erasmian aphorism "Nusquam commodius, nusquam liberius, nusquam lautius homini vivere contingit quam domi." (14) However, a morbid instability (libido currendi) had sent crowds of beggars and throngs of clerici vagantes, pilgrims, and craftsmen on the medieval roads, scattering picaros of all sorts to roam the world. In fact, according to Montaigne, "inquietude" and "irresolution," the most self-absorbed of human qualities ("nos maistresses qualitez, et praedominantes"), are at the foundation of our desire to travel. The travelers' dreams and expectations are stirred by "cette humeur avide des choses nouvelles" and an "honeste curiosite de s'enquerir de toutes choses" (Essais, III, 9; I, 26).

Fostered by readings about the sites of their dreams, voyagers still face the fear of unknown dangers, (15) but are exalted by the thrill that awaits them. (16) Thus, it is not unusual that they have a reasonably good idea of what they are going to find abroad. (17) If such knowledge offers timid travelers unjustified hopes and naive excitement, (18) it can be, nonetheless, a good prelude to a positive experience, (19) as it was for Goethe as he arrived in Venice: "und weiss, dass ich, wenn auch einen unvollstandigen, doch einen ganz klaren und wahren Begriff mit wegnehme" (Italienische Reise, 12 October 1786: "And I know that I [...] carry a picture away with me which, though it may be incomplete, is clear and accurate, as far as it goes").

Reading about foreign places can also help the traveler's preparation. Young abbe Jean-Jacques Bouchard, leaving Paris for Italy, on October 29, 1630, had carefully researched Rome's climate and dangers, and packed, accordingly, his clothes, money, documents, writing implements, a selection of books acceptable in Inquisition-controlled states, and an adequate medicine chest to protect himself from the venereal diseases the hot climates of the southern lands harbored. (20)

Renaissance travelers sometimes prepared to start their physical journey by purging, either by clysters or emetics, and bloodletting (purgatio ac venae sectio). (21) Contemporary medical precepts asserted that "humors," moving more randomly and violently inside the body of a traveler during a trip, became corrupted, causing ailments and disorders. Excesses of such bad humors therefore had to be removed, since a tranquil and regular digestion was considered paramount to good health. The normal concoctio in the stomach of the food eaten, which was more easily altered on the road, was frequently addressed in medical texts (post prandium aut stabis aut lente ambulabis, a traditional axiom of the Schola Salernitana, intimated rest or slow walking after meals). Practiced "indiscriminately and to excess," (22) phlebotomy was routinely prescribed even to healthy individuals for its promising prophylactic value. (23) Guglielmo Grataroli, a 16th-century Italian doctor specializing in travel medicine, (24) ordered that physical exercise as strenuous as traveling never be performed by an "impure" body, i.e., a person who had not undergone a drastic purge:

 Exercitium non purgato vel impuro corpore factum nonnulla adfert mala seu morbos et symptomata, cum ex motu accendantur magis humores et ad varia corporis partes pro eorum situ ac natura defluant et currant. (p. 109r) (25)

That is why the anonymous young travelers of the Discours viatiques were ready to start on their journey only after taking a rejuvenating purge:

 Chacun, avant que de partir, s'estoit purge et avoit faict provision de jeunesse et de sancte, par quoy on ne parloit que de rire, avecques deliberation de n'empirer rien d'un sy bon commencement. (Discours viatiques, p. 46) (26)

But purging is not just a physical cleansing, it is also a metaphor for a clean beginning of a new phase in one's life. 927) As such, it has been widely employed, even in post-World-War-II Europe, to offer a good start to newly-drafted young soldiers or children freshly arrived in summer camps. Purging is also a symbol of a psychological and spiritual catharsis, a renovation, not unlike baptism, rooted in physical cleansing. (28) Thus the traveler is transformed into a hom*o novus, a tabula rasa in qua nihil est scriptum, ready to assume a new identity, forget his past, and become a palimpsest on which a new experience could be inscribed. Leaving Paris on September 21, 1588, the young men of the Discours viatiques started their journey at their best, and took the coach to Chalons-sur-Saone "laughingly" (p. 46). But this is not necessarily a universal approach, for some members of the group, deeply attached to their lady-friends (and therefore still bound to their old ways), were unable to get a totally clean start: "Toutesfois les ungs qui de nouveau avoient veu leurs maistresses souspiroient" (p. 46).

We must notice that the early modern travels are usually not for the lonely individual, for the dangers of the road are overwhelming. Instead, a small group of wealthy friends, accompanied and attended by intelligent servants, (29) usually embark in a long journey:

 Non deve fare il viaggio un solo, ed intendo solo uno che vada con uno o piu servitori mercenari, ma presupponendo che questo tale sia facoltoso, che dovera a sue spese condurre seco uno o piu amici alquanto a se inferiori in alcuna qualita, accio possano perseverare in sino alla fine del viaggio con quell'ossequio che si deve al principale che fa la totale spesa. (Giustiniani 175)

The most useful form of travel that opens up experience and prudence is undertaken "per mera elezione, non per necessita"; the free choice of the traveler implies a certain amount of leisure, ability to move whenever one elects to do so; in a nutshell, the activity of well-bred individuals, "che abbia[n] in se quella erudizione che conviene a questo effetto; che abbian[n] larghezza di denari e che sia[n] liberali[i] per natura" (Giustiniani 173). (30)


From an etymological standpoint, departure, like its related expressions in Romance languages (partenza, depart, partida, etc.), comes from the Latin term pars, implying a separation and disconnection, a schism of some sort caused by someone dissolving a connection. (31) Leaving, on the other hand, from an AngloSaxon root, signifies forsaking someone, relinquishing and abandoning something.

As Goethe wrote, departure (which is used metaphorically for death, as we saw in n. 4 above) is indeed a painful, foolish uprooting ("In jeder grossen Trennung liegt ein Keim von Wahnsinn," Italienischen Reisen, 22 March 1788: "In any departure there is a small amount of folly"). (32) It could also be a blessed, longsought change in pace and milieu, the rejection of a too familiar scene or a boring background, (33) a joyous feeling (the journey is the reward), as Stendhal felt on the blissful day he finally received permission to leave for Italy: "Que je suis encore fou a vingt-six ans!" (Stendhal 287).

Leaving behind one's home is also a form of death ("Partir c'est mourir un peu") and a dangerous enterprise. St. Paul's words, often heard in the liturgical readings, must have rung in the memory of many people who were about to depart:

 ter naufragium feci, nocte et die in profundo maris fui, in itineribus saepe, periculis fluminum, periculis latronum, periculis ex genere, periculis ex gentibus, periculis in civitate, periculis in solitudine, periculis in mari, periculis in falsis fratribus" (2 Cor. 11:26). (34)

The plunge into a space unknown, away from the warmth of one's Heimat, is a challenge that requires courage to brave the anguish of departure, before the invigorating thrill of adventure takes over:

 Durant cette minute ou la vapeur qui jette dans l'air son sifflement strident n'a pas encore communique au convoi son elan irrefrenable, mon coeur indecis se cabre en arriere: tout ce que j'y laisse d'aimant et d'aime m'y rappelle et m'y retient; en cette seconde d'hesitation, j'entrevois toutes les possibilites du malheur. [...] Les hotes les plus chers et les plus assidus de mon foyer abandonne me disent: Songe que tu peux ne plus nous revoir et ne plus nous entendre, au jour ou tu reviendras. [...] Apres une heure de cette course precipitee a travers l'espace, je sens je ne sais quoi de vivace et de resolu succeder a l'abattement et a la timidite du depart. (35)

Exiting one's Umland is a palingenesis, a rewarding regeneration. That is why in the Christian tradition prayers and devotions were normal before engaging in a journey. While Protestants preferred reading the psalms, (36) Catholics had at their disposal a variety of sacramentalia and prayers "ad proficiscendum in itinere" or "pro iter agentibus." (37) Sebastiano Locatelli celebrated masses and visited the shrines of the Virgin in Bologna, Reggio, and Parma (pp. 58, 61, 63) before leaving for Paris. Yet Locatelli's trip to France was a reasonably short journey that had been commonplace among Italian merchants and bankers as early as the Trecento. (38)

Departure was a solemn occasion to be observed with gravity and prayers, an opportunity to think of eternal values and ponder the fragility of human life. (39)

If there was excitement, it surely was not the romantic elan of Walt Whitman for the "open road." (40) Normally, the early modern traveler does not mention "the frisson of escaping" (41) nor does he explicitly feel the poetic anxiety of Baudelaire ("Je serai mieux ailleurs que la ou je suis"), (42) the restlessness of Paul Theroux or Jack Kerouac's attraction to the "purity of the road." (43) A few travelers certainly felt a thrill, the expectation of reaching out to grasp and enjoy "todo lo bueno y el mejor del mundo," (44) the mystery at the end of the road, the anticipation of experiencing something new (as in Montaigne's "faim extreme de voir," Journal 71) or profitable to their spirit (Essais, III, 9), perhaps akin to Du Bellay's obsession to reach Rome. (45)

Some travelers set out because they were afraid to "waxe dull and even die, being included in the narrow bounds of their domesticall seats;" (46) others escaped from the narrow-mindedness of their milieu under the sanctimonious pretext of "studying man." (47) Even Montaigne, at times, showed a strain of picaresque weakness or existential angst for aimless wandering ("Je scay bien ce que je fuis, mais non pas ce que je cherche," Essais, III, 9), but his attitude was only a proof of the extraordinary lucidity of an individual whose self-analysis was always cruelly objective. Others set out to complete their education, the usual goal for northern travelers, according to Hubert Vautrin, a Jesuit who wrote at the end of the 18th century that "l'education se termine, dans les contrees du Nord, par des voyages. Ils sont utiles aux Polonais depourvus, dans leur pays, d'idees sociales et de modeles en tout genre." (48)

Searching for freedom and autonomy is not a specific goal of Renaissance travelers. Wordsworth's evocation of the wanderer reflects an 18th-century preoccupation:

 Whither shall I turn, By road or pathway, or through trackless field, Up hill or down, or shall some floating thing, Upon the river point me out of my course? (49)

All this debate, understandably, involves journeys performed by intellectuals, for reasons other than business, discovery, or religion. It is evident that merchants and conquistadores rarely, if at all, had the time or compulsion to write about their perception of the adventures of the roads they traveled. Missionaries and ambassadors are often required to give their superiors a written report of their mission. We are more concerned here about analyzing the new dynamics of the modern age than reporting on one's journey.


By and large, Renaissance travel journals maintained a terse, crisp narrative style. A tedious and painful exercise, journeys were not for sightseeing, (50) and the method of traveling, according to Dr. Johnson, gave the traveler little time to observe and notice: "He that enters a town at night and surveys it in the morning, and then hastens away to another place, and guesses at the manners of the inhabitants by the entertainment which his inn afforded him" has very little to write about in his journal. (51)

The voyager was cautioned to ride in silence in order to save his energies and protect himself from thirst: "Primum autem moneo ne cum iter faciatis multum loquamini. Inde enim sitis faucibus aridioribus contrahi solet" (Rantzov 97). A common form of relaxation, while traveling, witness Erasmus, was writing poetry, "sicut meus est mos, nescio quid meditans nugarum et totus in illis." (52)

The writer--unlike his Romantic confreres--was concerned mainly with the objective elements of spatial motion: the phenomena of departure and arrival. He rarely mentioned in his recits the personal components of his journey or anecdotes related to his private experience. Often the reader is not even privy to the reasons and goals of the travel. Laconic writers do not make great subjects for psychological or literary analysis.

Early modern travel was defined as a journey of study in a land partially unknown, an enterprise pursued by a prepared individual planning to use his personal improvement for the service of his country:

 Est autem peregrinatio nihil aliud quam studium perlustrandi terras exoticas et insulas, ab homine idoneo suscipiendum ad artem vel ea acquirenda quae usui et emolumento patriae vel Rei esse publicae possunt. (Georg Loys, 3)

The common good was often the final goal of northern Europeans who made a journey to southern countries full of sun and history. Italian travelers, traditionally more individualistic, were perhaps less sanguine about engaging in the service of their community. They were more interested in pursuing a combination of leisure and instruction, as was Francesco Vettori, a Florentine ambassador to Germany (1507): "Intra li onesti piaceri che possino pigliare li uomini, quello dello andare vedendo il mondo credo sia il maggiore; ne puo essere perfettamente prudente chi non ha conosciuto molti uomini e veduto molte citta." (53)

A series of contradictions may ensue. If the joy of leaving home is admittedly a benefit ("Habet multum iucunditatis solis coelique mutatio" (54)), changing one's milieu, indeed a frivolity, may also bring spiritual demise, particularly to the young traveler. (55) In any case, the planning and preparation of a journey can still be considered the best part of traveling, for in that stage one is never afflicted by bad weather, illness, unpleasant encounters with bandits or avid innkeepers. All the fears and anxieties of the prelude are brought to their climax once the traveler finds himself on the road. (56) Travel, however, was and is, as Hieronymus Turler stated in 1575,

 nothing else but a painetaking to see and searche forreine landes, not to be taken in hande by all sorts of persons, or unadvisedly. (57)

In a cryptic passage, Camus mentioned the same pain, underscoring its ascetic values, claiming the austerity and self-denial of this kind of discipline:

 Il n'y a pas de plaisir a voyager. J'y verrais plutot une ascese. [...] Le plaisir nous ecarte de nous-meme comme le divertissem*nt de Pascal eloigne de Dieu. Le voyage, qui est comme une plus grande et plus grave science, nous y ramene. (Camus 26)

As for the condition of roads and inns, the antics of mischievous innkeepers, the encounters with bandits, the enticements of vetturini and procacci, everybody knew the picture. Tomaso Garzoni's tragicomic description of the inn gives a pale idea of the tribulations that life on the road offered the Renaissance traveler:

 Un'ostaria tutta sfessa e smantellata, una camera sbuccata, ruinata e sostentata per forza di pontelli, ricetto di topi solamente; un solaro nero come la caligine de' camini; un lastricato di quadrelli mobili, che par che i spiriti l'abbian disfatto a posta; le mura spegazzate di mille disonesta e spurcizie che i forestieri per dispetto v'hanno scritto per tutto; le tavole piu onte che quelle de' beccari, e tarolate dentro e fuori per la vecchiezza; le tovaglie sporche di vino e di brodo, [...]; i salini attaccati insieme col filo e con la cera; il bicchiere senza piede; i boccali col viso rotto; i fondelli con verderamo alto tre dita; i cucchiari brutti, i cortelli senza taglio, le forcine senza punta, le scutelle nere come i bafioti dei pellegrini francesi; e' sugamani stracciati come le tele de' ragni; i lenzuoli tutti ripezzati e carichi di brutture; i letti duri come strammazzi; i cossini puzzolenti piu che l'orina guasta; i capezzali pieni di cimici; le coperte che san di tanfo per ogni banda; i letti con fornimenti da furfante polito quanto dir si possa, e in somma tutta l'osteria esclama da ogni parte pidocchieria estrema e infinita. (Garzoni, II, 1133) (58)

One of the most frequent instances of a traveler emphasizing his tribulations is perhaps aboard a ship, "a jail with a chance of being drowned" (59) or "un compendio dell'inferno," as it is defined by a Jesuit voyager (Scaduto 336). The dangerous storm at sea is a commonplace of travel hodoeporics. Usually terse, even the anonymous author of the Discours viatiques becomes more long-winded in the narrative of his sea voyage; the drama of winds, rain, and crashing waves is surely an effective device to capture the readers' attention (pp. 164-165). The traveler of the Voyage de Provence et d'Italie recalls the sinking of several galleys with the loss of 1,200 men during a winter storm between Toulon and Villefranche (p. 53), and Aurelio Scetti devotes a long passage to the tragic storm in the gulf of Marseille that destroyed a good portion of the allied fleet of Spain and Tuscany on April 19, 1569. (60) The travel literature of 16th-century shipwrecks is pervasive, from Erasmus ("Naufragium") to Rabelais (Quart livre, XVIII-XXIV) to numerous private letters:

 l'acqua [...] con tanto impeto intrava [nella fregata] et faceva tanti gran monti che tutti eravamo bagnati et storditi; [...] e volendo voltar la vela da una banda a un'altra, si rompette certe funi di la vela; laonde tutti alzavamo le mani al cielo con ferventi orationi, temendo non esser fatti in quel giorno cibo de' pesci. Tutti stavamo come sardelle sopresse l'uni adosso a l'altro, perche eravamo insino a cinquanta passaggieri in cosi picciola fregata. (Scaduto 334)

But the roads and their conditions were also extremely poor. When the coach Thomas Jones rented to go from Rome to Tivoli (November 3, 1777) broke, one of his guests scornfully remarked that he "never in his life knew of an Italian coach that would last a journey throughout" (64). And Joseph Addison summarized that his traveling through Europe consisted of "bruises upon land, lame post-horses by day and hard beds at night with many other dismal adventures." (61)


After the trial of the journey, the arrival appears as the happy completion of a cycle that for many travelers had begun with readings by a starry-eyed adolescent (Montaigne, Du Bellay, Goethe, et al.). (62) It is an excitement not unlike the innamoramento for Stendhal, who chose this quote from Hazlitt's Memoirs of the

Late Holcroft as the epigraph of his travel journal:

 The smile which sank into his heart the first time he ever beheld her, played round her lips ever after: the look with which her eyes first met his never passed away. The image of his mistress still haunted his mind, and was recalled by every object in nature. Even death could not dissolve the fine illusion: for that which exists in the imagination is alone imperishable. (Stendhal 1)

The excitement of the arrival is epitomized by Stendhal's rush to La Scala, as soon as he set foot in Milan: As he would hasten to join a mistress,

 j'arrive, a sept heures du soir, harasse de fatigue; je cours a La Scala. [...] Tout ce que l'imagination la plus orientale peut rever de plus singulier, de plus frappant, de plus riche en beautes d'architecture; tout ce que l'on peut se representer en draperies brillantes, en personnages qui, non seulement ont les habits, mais la physionomie, mais les gestes des pays ou se passe l'action, je l'ai vu ce soir. (Stendhal 5, 288) (63)

Romantic imagination transfigures ever a dreadful reality into a world of dreams. (64) A nameless hotellerie hidden in a dark alley behind Palazzo Corsini is the perfect milieu where young Lamartine can nurture his youthful dreams and prepare himself to his first encounter with his beloved Rome:

 J'y fus loge dans une mansarde nue sous les toits, sans autre meuble qu'une couchette de fer, une table, une chaise et une cruche d'eau. Mais je ne fis pas meme attention a la nudite et a l'indigence de cette hotellerie: j'allais m'endormir et me reveiller dans la ville des grandes memoires; c'etait assez pour un jeune homme qui ne vivait que d'imagination. (65)

This "return to childhood" (Leed 139), Lamartine's reduction to the "bare essentials," allows the traveler to address and challenge his memories and expectations and confront them with a drab reality. The excitement of discovery, enhanced by the knowledge he has previously acquired of what he now, finally, can admire, proves to be immensely valuable. He now feels at home, for he is familiar with the place, its literary allusions, the characters of the play. Thomas Jones, a British landscape painter, writes in his Memoirs, that even the scenery of the Campagna Romana

 seemed anticipated in some dream--It appeared magick land--In fact I had copied so many studies of that great man & my old master, Richard Wilson, [...] that I insensibly became familiarized with Italian scenes, and enamoured of Italian forms. (55)

Like Montaigne, however, he is more interested in plunging into the past than examining the local citizenry and the accoutrements of the ladies ("la richesse des calessons de la Signora Livia," Essais, I, 26). Although 16th-century Italy is already engaged in a sad process of political and social deterioration, the traveler is nonetheless happy to adopt a new way of life, according to the old axiom: "Si vivis Romae, vivito more."

For the early pilgrims, once they had reached the holy shrine they sought, the rituals of liminality consisted in a quasi-mystical experience, "the alienatio from sensory realm by attending totally to God." (66) But we know, witnessing Erasmus and Rabelais, that by the early 16th century many instances of the Christian pilgrimage had become expressions of a deeply-rooted libido currendi.

Not all travelers, however, rush impetuously to embrace the long-awaited image of their dreams. Often, alas, their first reaction is a sense of disappointment; Rome in particular has been for many years a pale image of its past greatness. (67) Their hopes, as Erasmus wrote, are shattered: "Roma Roma non est, nihil habens praeter ruinas ruderaque priscae calamitatis cicatrices ac vestigia." (68) Sixteenth-century Rome is a depressing, unkept rural expanse where sheep roam freely among broken columns. Startled by the desolation of what he has accepted, naively, as the Eternal City, the visitor feels the pain of an exile. (69) At dusk, in particular, when "l'ora [...] volge il disio," the traveler's soul is crushed by homesickness and nostalgia; (70) like a pilgrim who hears a church bell ringing, Dante dreams of home and his far-away friends (Purg. 8: 1-3). So a lonely Du Bellay in Rome reminisces of the "naturel sejour" (Regrets, XXXV) of his village and the warmth of his household (XXXI), where he should be resting "entre pareils a soy" (XXXVII), (71) and walks alone on the banks of the Tiber, "la France regrettant, et regrettant encor/[S]es antiques amis, [s]on plus riche tresor,/Et le plaisant sejour de [s]a terre angevine" (XIX). We are reminded of what a 16thcentury German pilgrim, Dr. Johan Jakob Rabus, wrote about Rome: "Rom ist eim jeglichen das, das er [sich] selber ist" ("Rome is for everyone what he is for himself"), (72) which essentially means that our perception of a place is influenced by our own biases and foibles. Du Bellay insisted on the superficial image of a decaying Rome, while Erasmus, who lived in the same reality a few years earlier, preferred to emphasize, nostalgically, pleasant walks and conversation with friends, in the soft light of Roman afternoons. (73)

At times, nostalgia could give way to physical illness, particularly when the traveler is young and unprepared. Such was the case of Lord Cranborne, sick in Padua, "his affections being so strangely set on his return homeward, according to the English ambassador in Venice, that any opposite is a disease." (74)

The newly displaced individual is forced to face the diversity of the locales and grasp his own identity. Obviously, the effect of considering one's own differences and the trauma caused by such realization vary with the different degree of spiritual inner strength and emotional independence the traveler possesses. While Stendhal is an unabashed lover who cannot but idolize what he sees abroad, (75) most of all in his cherished Milan, Montaigne is more analytical, and Du Bellay, moved by nostalgia, certainly resents every instant he is spending in a foreign city, surrounded by people who have lost any resemblance with their glorious ancestors.


Etymologically, return suggests the completion of a circle, a completed tour, a giro without which there can be no journey, for the journey is essentially self defined, as we saw in the momentous quote from Machado (al andar no hay camino).

The reditus, the moment of return, Stendhal's "etonnement du retour" (711), is an exciting component of the travel cycle. Plunging back into his family life, the new Ulysses receives the long-awaited prize of the possession of his wife and the accolade of his friends. As in the prelude to departure the male travelers were saddened by the absence of their maistresses, their return home was anticipated by the loving encounter of the lovers and wives they left at home. This classical topos is at the foundation of the epic cycle of the Nostoi (Returns) to which the Odyssey belongs (Leed 115). (76) The traveler's return home, triggered by homesickness, often shows that the goal of his long search was precisely his return home. Such a return, at times, evokes negative memories of the journey, as an experience too sad to mention. The wayfarer has been far away, lost "entre les loups" (Du Bellay, Regrets, IX), where he has acquired a bitter knowledge (" un scavoir malheureux," Regrets, XXIX, an "amer savoir," Baudelaire, "Le Voyage,"109). More positively, like Dante's Ulysses, the traveler sums up his experience, "del mondo esperto/e de li vizi umani e del valore" (Inf. XXVI, 98-99). He is happy to see, once again, "de [s]on petit village/Fumer la cheminee" (Regrets, XXXI) and to set foot into his home, a final reditus ad uterum.

Back home, among familiar surroundings, he is now ready to put his experience to use. He is expected to work for the common good of the State, to serve his country abroad, teach young people or just enjoy the fruit of his hard-acquired knowledge. He should not, according to Bacon (58), "leave the countries where he hath travailed, altogether behind him, but maintaine a correspondence, by letters, with those of his acquaintance, which are of most worth."

Other travelers, returning to their northern homes from sunny countries, consider their journey as "un de ces reves du matin auquel viennent bientot succeder les ennuis du jour" (Nerval 790). Others, like Pietro Della Valle and Sebastiano Locatelli, know well that, once back at home, they will regret the freedom of their beautiful adventure. If Della Valle is moved by a deep feeling of restlessness, the good abate Locatelli, who has enjoyed a great amount of freedom in France, is about to go back to the strict, boring life of his native Bologna, locked in by his city's starchy and conventional morality. He is not about to forget the Parisian life, a life to be compared only to that of the mythical Fortunate Island:

 Tutto e vago, tutto e caro, ma il colmo delle contentezze che vi si gode e il vivere che vi si fa con innocenti costumi, con voglie moderate, sempre in faccia a stupende bellezze, sempre in seno agli amori" (p. 250).

Locatelli, the starry-eyed young priest let loose in Paris with two unforbearing youngsters, is undoubtedly fearing the moment he will plunge from an ideal vacation into real life. And Thomas Jones, back in London, feels different, afraid and surprised like a foreigner:

 I was nearly in the predicament of a foreigner--Every thing appeared strange--The extravagance of the inns frightened me, and the rudeness of the vulgar--disgusted--I was extremely mortified likewise at the contemptuous manner in which we were surveyed by the servants as well as the mistress of the house--Our dress and appearance were not calculated to command respect, and must seem to them rather outlandish, as the coachman expressed himself. (138-139)

Stendhal, in his bureaucratic niche, surrounded by a throng of obtuse colleagues and superiors he despises ("sots a rubans" who will be universally detested within ten years), can rely only on the nourishing memories of his "beaux jours d'Italie": "C'est l'ame qui gagne," he concludes." La vieillesse morale est reculee pour moi de dix ans. [...] Je me sens rajeuni. Les gens secs ne peuvent plus rien sur moi: je connais la terre ou l'on respire cet air celeste dont ils nient l'existence; je suis de fer pour eux" (161). For him his life in Italy was a positive experience!


The journey does not exist during the motion itself, but only as a self-reference, after it is accomplished. "Se hace camino al andar," Machado wrote," for travels exist only as a gnoseological expression, a self-conscious effort to describe it post factum. (77)

The motivations for recording one's quest are related to the motivations for the journey itself. (78) When only a very small number of people embarked in traveling, their vicissitudes were considered extraordinary and praiseworthy. Having left home in order to emerge from a homebound mediocrity, (79) the travelers' pride and virtu are firmly established by their tales of a successful challenge. Their dangerous journeys have earned them glory and fama; the account of their adventures and their impact on the readers are now an integral elements of the quest itself. Talking and writing about their journeys express the necessity of sharing their feelings with others, as Jean Potocki wrote: "L'on ne voudrait pas de plus belle campagne du monde si l'on n'avait quelqu'un a qui l'on peut dire: voila une belle campagne." (80)

This new cycle begins after the traveler has returned home. (81) Since the early days of human history, when Gilgamesh, after "a long journey," decided to "engrave his entire story on a stone," writing is an option immediately considered by the returning traveler. Formulating a report of one's adventure is strictly connected to memoria and sapientia, and is geared to remembering one's experience and setting it out for others to learn and enjoy. William Lithgow, in his preface to the reader of his travel journal, defined his writing as "a peregrination of mind, in reviving the same [journey] in the Map of my own Memory" (Lithgow, n. p.), for travel writing, as most writings, is an attempt to recreate what one has lost (Monga 43): Yeats ("I sing what was lost, " "What Was Lost," 1) translates a famous line by Machado: "se canta [we could say "se escribe"] lo que se pierde" (CLXXIV, "Otras canciones a Guiomar," VI, 2). (82)

Sometimes notes are taken in the course of the journey, (83) but these still imperfect and hastily written texts have rarely survived: incomplete, short-handed annotations, often illegible to us, taken at night, in the smoke-filled common room of a foreign inn, the writer surrounded by tired or drunk fellow customers. (84) In many cases, these impressionistic, incomplete notes will serve as blueprints for a more complete re-writing. The exegesis of Stendhal's recits about his Italian experience, for example, is a very enlightening study, for it shows the extent of the writer's exploitation of his travel narrative. It is a political pamphlet, an analysis of post-Napoleonic Italy, a text published at the author's expense by a dilettante who pretends to write for his own pleasure and pretends not to care about the marketing of his book, although he is sure that it will be a popular success.

Two proverbs indicate opposing attitudes in this respect. Truth and lies are fundamental elements of the traveler's tale: "Si via sit dura, licitum est tibi scribere plura," (85) or "Wenn einer eine Reise tut, so kann er was erzahlen" ("When one travels, one has something to tell") and "A beau mentir qui vient de loin." This proverb reflects the attitude expressed in the prologue of William Langland's Piers the Plowman ("Pilgrymes and palmers ... heddenleue to lyzen heere lyf aftir") and in many treatises of the Italian Renaissance: "Ne mancano [i viaggiatori] d'aggiunger bugia a bugia, contando di mano in mano il viaggio pericoloso, insolito, nuovo, pieno di maraviglie e stupori c'hanno fatto, riducendosi alla memoria" (Garzoni, II, 1045). (86) Even in the Age of Enlightenment readers were dependent on travel literature "not only for facts about a world that was growing both larger and very interesting, but for entertainment--the adventurous, the exotic, the marvelous" (Adams 223).

The writer may twist the circ*mstances of his writing. Thevet lied unabashedly that his account was "tumultuairement compris et laboure par les tempetes et autres incommodites d'eau et de terre" (305), when we know it was instead penned at home, with the help of Mathurin Heret, a young ghost-writer who provided Thevet with a host of starchy classical references.

In order to enhance his story the traveler, now a writer (and, perhaps, a liar), stretches the truth and embellishes a plain, boring set of events. (87) Naturally, he is proud of the originality of most of his observations and, above all, does not want to be caught restating what others have written. Coryate makes a point of telling his readers new details about Venice's cortigiane ("I have related so many particulars of them, as few Englishmen that have lived many years in Venice, can do the like," I, 407), and Goethe in Venice confesses: "Von Venedig ist schon viel erzahlt und gedruckt, dass ich mit Beschreibung nicht umstandlich sein will"("About Venice so much has already been said and written, that I do not wish to enter in details in my descriptions," 29 September 1786). (88) Each traveler wants his unique approach to be remembered, for readers are aware of the numerous recits de voyage that are on the market. We have been able to catch Locatelli red-handedly rewriting at least twice his original travel narrative (which he calls, amusingly, "quattro strambotti"). He added new episodes, revised his naive perceptions and interpretations of France and its people; he had developed his original material in order to entertain his brother and his friends during the long summer afternoons in his country home (pp. 342, 65). And a few years earlier, in the introduction to his Osservazioni nel viaggio, Francesco Belli had openly admitted embellishing the truth of his travel narrative of a European voyage:

 Io non niego pero che non sia lecito avantaggiare ed abbellire un tal poco le cose con qualche aiuto di concetti e dilicatezza di stile: non essendo cotali fregi piu alla fine che gli ornamenti nelle donne, che non le rendono piu belle in sostanza, ma piu aggradevoli in apparenza. Per altro, sendo stato il viaggio continovo o pochissime volte interrotto, non sara meraviglia che io tocchi appena gli oggetti e accenni gli avvenimenti. [...] Tocchero adunque le cose vedute e udite: e se talora introdurro qualche cosa che paia diversa e lontana dalla materia, non sara che per fecondar la sterilita della stessa (89).

A symbiotic relationship between travel and writing, the intervention of the writer's subjectivity in the final version of the narrative was conceded with refreshingly good humor by William Combe in his poeticaccount:

 I'll make a tour--and then I'll write it. You well know what my per can do, And I'll employ my pencil too:--I'll ride and write, and sketch and print, And thus create a real mint; I'll prose it here, I'll verse it there, And picturesque it everywhere. (90)

Travelers' claims to truthfulness became a required commonplace in their journals, witness Marco Polo's impressive apology in the foreword of his Il Milione: (91)

 Signori imperadori, re e duci, [...] vi contera il libro ordinatamente siccome Marco Polo [...] le conta in questo libro e egli medesimamente vide. Ma ancora v'ha di quelle con le quali elli non vide, ma udille da persone degne di fede, (92) e pero cose vedute dira di veduta e l'altre per udita, accio che 'l nostro libro sua veritieri e sanza niuna menzogna. (103)

In the Age of Enlightenment, the traveler's pact with his reader suggested that his recit had been be enriched by personal remarks, as Jean Potocki wrote in 1797:

 Je ne promets au lecteur qu'une chose, c'est de ne pas fermer le yeux. Tout ce que j'aurai l'occasion de voir, je le raconterai. J'y joindrai quelquefois des remarques qui, je me plais a imaginer, ne seront pas mal recues, meme des hommes instruits; car je les ai faites non en passant, mais dans un temps ou je croyais que toute verite concernant l'histoire de l'homme ou celle de la nature etait si importante qu'on devait lui sacrifier volontier son repos et son plaisir. (93)

Fantastic voyages a la Cyrano de Bergerac, contes philosophiques such as Voltaire's Candide, sea novels, historians' studies of comparative governments and religions, treaties of natural history and reports of explorations soon begin a trend which becomes extremely popular, to the point of overshadowing the newly established roman as a literary genre. In the early years of the 19th century, Stendhal used his carnet de route as the core for so many re-writings and adaptations that his critics are still confused about the exact itinerary and time of his Italian journeys. Accused of making novels out of his travel accounts (what is called "romancer les voyages"), he acknowledged searching for the "piquant" (the clever, catchy, charming elements) and avoiding "what was common, what was not worth being said" (V. Del Litto in Stendhal, XXII-XXIII). Revising his own notes, he also set in motion a writing laboratory in which personal observations were mixed pele-mele with all sorts of material pillaged from guidebooks, magazine articles, anything, literally, the French writer read during and after his visits to Italy. Chateaubriand and Lamartine, Nerval and Dumas, Sterne and Heine began to compose "roman-voyages," (94) "travel impressions" that were enormously influential. The path from a travel account to a novel is now being defined. The travel liar takes over and the eighteenth-century reader, be he a savant or a bourgeois, is deeply influenced by a new, pervasive literary genre.

But now a new cycle has begun and other cycles are looming ahead. Potential travelers are lured to starting their own cycles. Interested readers will engage in vicarious traveling from the comfort of their homes, following Jacques de Villamont's suggestion, a sensible marketing ploy for the publication of his guidebook to Jerusalem:

 Francois, voyez ces peuples estrangers, Sans changer d'air faictes ce long voyage, De Villamont en la fleur de son aage A ses despens vous tire des dangers. (95)

And just because of the accessibility of hodoeporics, in the economy of this cycle any traveler's recit owes something to those of his predecessors and influences those of his successors. It is, as Goethe pointed out, "ein Supplement aller ubrigen [...] so muss dieses vorzuglich von Reiseberichten und Reisenden" ("a supplement of all others, [...] particularly of travel writing and travelers," Italienische Reise, 4, 5, and 6 June 1787). (96)


Travel, an experience that affects people in different ways, can be a positive change in one's philosophy of life or lead to one's rejection of his own traditions and cultural background. Milton's axiom Coelum non animum muto dum trans mare curro (see n. 52) underscores his attachment to the values of his forefathers. The paranoia of John Howell and Rogers Ascham was often justified, for many young Englishmen returned from the Grand Tour deeply changed, having wasted their time abroad and transformed themselves into "Italianfyd Inglischemen," as Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, sarcastically implied, or "affectate travellers," vain individuals, ashamed of their own language and speaking English through "[their] teeth, like ... Monsieur Mingo de Moustrap." (97)

In general, hundreds of returning Grand Tourists affected not only the collective perception of the local cultural elite, their Wanderlust shaped the intellectual history of their country, (98) for many people, unable to travel, were affected by the reading of the travellers' journals. (99) The intellectual development of England and the United States was profoundly altered by the personal experience of their leaders who had lived for a while in foreign countries.

People like Richard Symonds and John Evelyn returned from the Continent to 17th-century London with rich portfolios of prints and drawings. Ships sailing from Italy carried to England their purchases of statues and glass. Grand Tourists had their portraits painted in Rome or Venice, they chose Delft tiles in Holland to brighten the fireplaces and floors at home, or looked out for cabinets of inlaid stone and polished wood to set beside their own old furniture as a novelty in fashion. Books acquired in foreign cities, occasionally annotated by the travelers, and even with faded flowers pressed between the leaves, were sometimes to remain for centuries on their library shelves. These visible tokens were certainly less important, though more easily identified, than the gradual response of the travelers' mind to experience overseas. They learnt history, they learnt geography, they learnt politics (Stoye, 327).

One could use the words of Christopher Wren's epitaph in St. Paul's Cathedral to illustrate this evidence: "Si monumentum requiris, circ*mspice." The effect of travel and the sense of identity with ancient Rome and Renaissance Florence on the cultural life of the English-speaking world, from the decor of British country houses to Jefferson's Monticello and L'Enfant's Washington, needs no demonstration. (100) The virtuosi who visited foreign countries discovered a widespread locus amoenus "whither the eyes and the heart of every artist turn, as if pictures could not be made to glow in any other atmosphere, as if statues could not assume grace and expression, save in the land of whitest marble." (101)

Returning travelers preferred to underscore their positive experience, the discussions held abroad, the written memoirs, even the artwork they gathered abroad. Their collective learning enriched the national consciousness and helped form a class of intellectuals more open to a global perception and more subject to suggestions from fellow scientists and philosophes from neighboring or far-away countries. Travel and travel writing, when travelers were sensitive and curious, have truly formulated our history which, like Thucydides's "treasure forever," truly is a cornerstone to be reckoned with by future generations.


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Anon., Voyage de Provence et d'Italie [1588-1589], ed. L. Monga. Geneva: Slatkine, 1994.

Adams, Percy G., Travelers and Travel Liars: 1660-1800. New York: Dover, 1980.

Bacon, Francis, The Essays or Counsels, Civill and Morall, ed. M. Kiernan. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1985.

[Basire, Isaac], Travels through France and Italy [1647-1649], ed. L. Monga and Ch. Hassel. Geneva: Slatkine, 1987.

Batten, Charles L., Jr., Pleasurable Instruction: Form and Convention in Eighteenth-Century Travel Literature. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978.

Bouchard, Jean-Jacques, "Voyage de Paris a Rome" in Journal, ed. E. Kanceff. Torino: Giappichelli, 1976, 2 vol.

Camus, Albert, Carnets: I (Mai 1935-Fevrier 1942). Paris: Gallimard, 1962.

Carletti, Francesco, Ragionamenti del mio viaggio intorno al mondo, ed. A. Dei. Milano: Mursia, 1987.

Coryate, Thomas, Coryat's Crudities: Hastily Gobled in Five Moneths Travells in France, Savoy, Italy [...]. London: William Stanby, 1611; reprinted: Glasgow: J. MacLehose; New York: The Macmillan Co., 1911.

Fantuzzi, Giacomo, Diario del viaggio europeo [1652] con Istruttione et avvertimenti per far viaggi lunghi, ed. by Piotr Salwa and Wojciech Tygielski. Varsavia-Roma: Accademia polacca delle scienze, Centro Studi di Roma; Oswiata: Upowszechnianie Nauki, 1998.

Garzoni, Tomaso, La piazza universale di tutte le professioni del mondo, eds. P. Cherchi and B. Collina. Torino: Einaudi, 1996, 2 vols.

Gautier, Theophile, Voyage en Italie. Paris: Charpentier, 1884; reprint: Geneva: Slatkine, 1978.

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Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von, Italienische Reise, ed. A. Beyer and N. Miller. Munchen: C. Hansen, 1992; Italian Journey, transl. by W. H. Auden and E. Mayer. San Francisco: North Point Press, 1982.

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Luigi Monga

Vanderbilt University

(1.) See my essay in this bibliography and its adaptation in Italian, "Viaggio e scrittura: approccio ad un'analisi storica dell'odeporica," in Bollettino del C.I.R.V.I., 14 (1993 [but published in 1997]), nos. 27-28, pp. 3-67. For an explanation of the recently-coined terms "odeporica" and "hodoeporics" (travel literature) cf. Monga 5.

(2.) "Where you go is God, the way you go is the man" (De civitate Dei, XI, 2).

(3.) Antonio Machado, "Proverbios y cantares," CXXXVI, 29.

(4.) "Il nous faut tous faire le grand voyage," Encyclopedie (s.v. "Voyage"). Among many examples, a 14th-century fresco in Pisa's Camposanto, attributed to Bonamico Buffalmacco, shows a group of elegant horseback knights facing with astonishment three graves: precisely an allegory of the humans ineluctably riding toward death.

(5.) "Notre ame est un trois-mats cherchant son Icarie" (Les Fleurs du mal, "Le Voyage," 33).

(6.) The etymology of travel is related to travail; the Anglo-French verb travailler, with a double meaning of "to travel" and "to torment," came from the late Latin trepalium, an instrument of torture made of three (tres) stakes (pali); see Monga 11-12.

(7.) This element could be linked to the existential anxiety that finds in motion a sort of mental peace, as Lucretius expressed in his De rerum natura: "... et quaerere semper / commutare lucum, quasi onus deponere possit" (III, 1053-1054). I found this image of "unloading" a heavy burden very contemporary.

(8.) In the language of French Free-Masons, voyage is an administrative trial, "une epreuve que l'on fait subir a ceux qui veulent entrer dans l'ordre, ainsi qu'aux adeptes qui veulent passer d'un grade inferieur a un grade superieur" (Grand Dictionnaire Larousse du XIXe siecle, s. v. "Voyage").

(9.) James Howell, Instruction for Forreine Travells [1642] (reprinted: New York: AMS Press, 1966), p. 13.

(10.) Rome and 16th-century Italy replaced what Paris had meant for European scholars from the 12th to the 14th century. A crossroad of many cultures, a meeting place of nations and intellectual trends, Paris continued through the 17th and 18th century, after the end of the religious wars, as a training field for scholars and gentlemen.

(11.) L'Invention du quotidien: I: Arts de faire (Paris: 10/18, 1980), p. 206.

(12.) By and large, at least through the 17th century, the traveler has been a young male (Monga 29-33), which can possibly be rationalized by the "male" apprehension of being confined. From biblical times to classical authors good women (the biblical "mulieres fortes" as well as Homer's models of domestic virtues) remained at home looking after family business and their husband's interests (Prov. 31: 10-13). This attitude endured through the 19th century even in Europe, limiting women's rare outings to pilgrimages (See, for ex., Chaucer's "worthy woman from Bath"; for an interesting exception, see Locatelli 260-263). In fact, as late as the middle of last century, women were often kept not only from the outer world, but even from literacy in order to prevent them from confusing reality with "fole, romanzi e delirii," as wrote Vincenzo Troya, a high official in Italy's Ministry of Public Education (quoted in Silvestre-Valerio 166).

(13.) "Io ho perduti molti sonni e ho abreviato la vita mia dieci anni; e tutto tengo per bene speso, perche spero di venire in fama lungo secolo, se io torno con salute di questo viaggio" (Amerigo Vespucci's letter from Capo Verde to Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de' Medici [June 4, 1501] in Il Mondo Nuovo: scritti vespucciani e paravespucciani, ed. M. Pozzi. Alessandria: Edizioni dell'Orso, 1993, p. 76).

(14.) Erasmus, Adagia, no 2238, III, iii, 38. This adagium, however, is a commonplace which does not necessarily express Erasmus's own view on this matter, for Erasmus was indeed a welltraveled scholar. Even Goethe, another famous traveler, wrote: "Willst du immer weiter die Ferne schweifen?/Sieh, das Gute liegt so nah." ("Do you want to wander on into the far distance? Look, the good lies so close," "Erinnerung," 1-2). The tension between going and staying is, perhaps, only a literary pretext. Pascal suggested that "tout le malheur du monde vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre" (Pensees, no. 136**-269**), for often one travels the world in search of something that it is eventually found back home, an existential anxiety (see n. 7). Such a domestic life, according to Du Bellay, who eventually regretted this utterance, is a rich, stupid, and happy one (Regrets, XXIX). A discussion of the Renaissance commonplace of man-traveler vs. home-bound woman would lead us astray here: Georg Loys suggested that only poor, lusty, and quarrelsome women engaged in traveling, for he considered even pilgrimage among officia virilia (Pervigilium Mercurii, no. 109) and Fynes Moryson despised "the masculine women of the Low Countries" who "make voyages for trafficke" (III, 349).

(15.) For the etymological and semantic relationship between "experience" and "danger," see Monga 24.

(16.) "Heute habe ich abermals meinen Begriff von Venedig erweitert, indem ich mir den Plan verschaffte" (Goethe, Italienische Reise, 30 September 1786, evening: "Today I acquired a map of Venice to widen my acquaintance with this city"). And Stendhal, in a footnote to his Promenades dans Rome, suggested to his readers: "Vous aurez beaucoup plus vite du plaisir a Rome, si avant de quitter Paris vous avez lu les descriptions de ces fresques de Raphael en presence des gravures que Volpato en a donnees. Elles sont partout..." (Stendhal 643, but see his contradictory statement in the following note). Cf., for ex., the frequent occurrences the anonymous author of the Discours viatiques mentioned Leandro Alberti (pp. 65, 89, 113, 127, 161, 181; also Voyage de Provence et d'Italie, p. 62). Alberti's Descrittione di tutta Italia was a standard work, quoted in many travelers' journals. Georg Loys suggested a list of mostly German authors as "silent guides" (muti domini) to his readers about to depart: "Mutos dominos diligenter legat, eos cum primis qui de peregrinatione scripserunt, quales sunt: Zvvingerus, Birckmaierus, Gratarolius et alii. Nec abs re erit, inspexisse libros monumentorum Italiae a Schadero editos et singulares observationes rerum memorabilium in Graecia, Asia, Aegypto, Arabia, etc. Pet. Belloni e Gallicis in Romanam linguam translatas a viro clarissimo mihique amicissimo Carolo Clusio" (Pervigilium Mercurii, no 9). One of Montaigne's regrets in the course of his journey was that he had not brought with him Sebastian Munster's Cosmographia universalis, one of the books "qui le pouvoient avertir des choses rares et remerquables de chaque lieu"(Journal 32).

(17.) Montaigne, who had learned Latin as a child, acknowledged: "J'ai eu connoissance des affaires de Rome long temps avant que je l'aye de ceux de ma maison: je scavois le Capitole et son plant avant que je sceusse le Louvre, et le Tibre avant la Seine" (Essais, III, 9). And Goethe found in Italy cities he knew well from his studies: "Es ist mir wirklich auch jetzt nicht etwa zu Mute, als wenn ich die Sachen zum erstenmal sahe, sondern als ob ich sie wiedersahe" (Italienische Reise, 12 October 1786: "It is true that now I do not see things as if it were the first time, but I see them once again"). Stendhal is, arguably, on the opposite side, favoring spontaneous sensations and emotions that would spring in the traveler's spirit: "Je dirais aux voyageurs en arrivant a Rome: [...] n'achetez aucun livre, l'epoque de la curiosite et de la science ne remplacera que trop tot celle des emotions. [...] Vous vous sentirez disposes a sentir le beau inculte et terrible ou le beau joli et arrange " (emphasis mine: Promenades dans Rome, 608).

(18.) The reading of a travel journal may be an end in itself. Rather than being a prelude to a real journey, it becomes, particularly for armchair travelers, a source of gratification that does not require a physical motion. Thus hodoeporics will replace travel (see below, the section on Writing).

(19.) Hermann Kirchner concluded his "Oratio XVII" ("Italica peregrinatio fructuosissima") with an excited exhortation to leave: "Ibimus itaque, commilitones suavissimi, ibimus nulla amplius mora interclusi, in Italiam!" An English version of this Oratio appeared as a preface to Coryate's Crudities.

(20.) "Les jambes doivent estre munies, outre les bottes, de gamaches, ou au moins de bones galoches, n'y ayant rien de plus delicat et de plus expose a toutes injures que le pied. J'amerois mieus porter mon espee a la cinture qu'avec un baudrier, pour ce que le poids de l'espee, pour legere qu'elle soit, blesse a la longue l'espaule droite, la ou pose le baudrier. [...] De plus, il munit ses poches de tablettes, d'escritoire, d'une monstre, d'un estui et d'un cousteau, choses estrangement necessaires par voyage. [...] Il ne se chargea point de livres, fors d'un petit Seneque et d'un Epictete: n'y ayant marchandise plus fascheuse a porter en lieus d'inquisition. [...] Pour tous papiers, il prit ses lettres de docteur en droit civil et canon [...], ses lettres de tonsure [...] et un passeport du roy [...] qui temoignast de la qualite de ses parens et de la sienne parmi les estrangers" (I, 41-42).

(21.) "Es saludable consejo que el curioso marcante, ocho o quinze dias antes que se embarque, procure de alimpiar y evacuar el cuerpo, [...] porque naturalmente la mar muy mas piadosamente se ha con lo estomagos vazios que con los repletos de humores malos"(Antonio de Guevara, Arte de marear, ed. R. O. Jones. Exeter: University of Exeter, 1971, p. 48).

(22.) F. David Hoeninger, Medicine and Shakespeare in the English Renaissance (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1992), p. 239.

(23.) "Bloode lattynge in mesure it clerith thi thought, it closith thi bladder, it temperith thi breyn, it amendith thyn heeringe, [...] it defieth [digests] thi mete, it clerith thy voice, it sharpith the witt" (A Leechbook or Collection of Medical Recipes of Fifteenth Century, ed. W. R. Dawson. London: Macmillan, 1934, pp. 62-63).

(24.) De regimine iter agentium vel equitum vel peditum, vel navi vel curru rheda [...] viatoribus et peregrinatoribus quibusque utilissimi (Argentorati [Strasbourg]: V. Rihelius, 1561), in particular pp. 109-133: "Cautelae quaedam in itinere atque hospitiis habendae, deque curru sed rheda." After a first edition in 1561, this manual was re-issued as Proficiscentium, seu magnis itineribus diversas terras obeuntium medicina quibuscumque valetudinis incommodis depellendis apprime necessaria (Cologne, 1571) and reprinted in Hilarius Pyrckmair's De arte peregrinandi (Nuremberg, 1591).

(25.) By the same token, breakfast ("il pranzo della mattina") was considered essential ("almeno un paro d'ova fresche," according to Giacomo Fantuzzi) to avoid the danger of not finding food later on the day ("ritrovarsi digiuno ne' luoghi di poca buon'aria," 176). But only a light meal was needed, for too much food was dangerous for the traveler. And Fantuzzi quoted Avicenna ("equitare non debet quis plenus, ne cibus antequam digeratur penetret aut sine digestione labatur, aut propter inundationem corrumpatur") and Galen ("quando mutus sequitur cibum, descendit cibus de stomaco praeter digestionem suam et intrat venas sine mutatione, et adducit in epate opilationem et renibus et reliquis membris morbum," 177).

(26.) It is a rare occurrence to see 16th-century travel writers mention bodily functions. Montaigne, usually an exception to most hodoeporic rules, was criticized as late as the 19th century for making of his Journal "un bulletin fastidieux des remarques journalieres sur sa sante et sur les effets des eaux minerales dont il faisoit usage" (Gilles Boucher de la Richarderie, Bibliotheque universelle des voyages. Paris, 1808, I, 293).

(27.) Before beginning a new course of studies with his ward, Maistre Theodore, Gargantua's doctor, purged him "canonicquement [...] a ce qu'il considerast si possible estoit [le] remettre en meilleure voye, [...] et par ce medicament luy nettoya toute l'alteration et perverse habitude du cerveau" (Gargantua, XXII). This operation was intended to make him forget "tout ce qu'il avoit apris soubz ses antiques precepteurs," according to Quintilian's precepts (Instit., II, 3).

(28.) Cf. Thomas Hoccleve's "Epistle of Grace Dieu" in Hoccleve's Works: The Regimen of Princes and Fourteen Minor Poems, ed. F. J. Furnivall ("Early English Texts Society," LXXII, 1897).

(29.) The passport of Thomas Abdy, 23 years old, "eldest son to Alderman [Anthony] Abdy of London, to travell into forraine partes for the space of three yeares," specified the permission to take one servant with him (cf. my essay "Thomas Abdy's Unpublished Travel Journal through France and Italy (1633-1635)," Bollettino del C.I.R.V.I., 7, 1 [1986], 61-98).

(30.) It is what 18th-century Englishmen called "Iter philosophicum." It was made "ad sapientiam acquirendam," and, if we believe an anonymous advertisem*nt circulated in the British university community (written in Latin "ne ab illitteratis intelligatur"), most of "philosophical travelers" were young men in their late twenties, holding a master's degree from Oxford, speaking Latin and French, with some notions of Italian and a written knowledge of Greek and Hebrew (quoted by Ch. Batten, 73).

(31.) Francisco de Figueroa's 16th-century lyrical jeu-de-mots illustrates this appealing element: "Triste de mi que parto, mas no parto: / que el alma, que es de mi la mejor parte, / ni partira ni parte" (Monga 9).

(32.) While bidding adieu to his brothers, John Whethamstede, abbot of St. Alban's, leaving England for the Council of Pavia (1423), was overwhelmed by great emotion: "ita singulti sermonem turbaverunt, quod vix se poterat fratrum precibus sub ullo intellectionis eloquio commendare" ("Annales Monasterii Sancti Albani" in Rerum Britannicarum Medii Aevi Scriptores. London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1870, p. 121). To avoid the psychological travail of the day of departure, Giacomo Fantuzzi suggested leaving abruptly: "chi vuol partire senza molto dispiacere di lasciare i suoi piu cari, parta all'improvviso qualche giorno prima del pubblicato" (177).

(33.) "J'ai quitte Paris et meme la France, parce que la tour Eiffel finissait par m'ennuyer trop. Non seulement on la voyait de partout, mais on la trouvait partout, faite de toutes les matieres connues, exposee a toutes les vitres, cauchemar inevitable et torturant." Tired of comparing the Eiffel Tower with the leaning Tower of Pisa, Guy de Maupassant complained that "aujourd'hui l'emotion seductrice et puissante des siecles artistes semble eteinte," and simply concluded: "J'ai senti qu'il me serait agreable de revoir Florence, et je suis parti" (Maupassant, La Vie errante. Paris: Ollendorf, 1889, in Hersant 230).

(34.) See my essay "Crime and the Road: A Survey of Sixteenth-Century Travel Journals," Renaissance and Reformation/Renaissance et Reforme, forthcoming.

(35.) Louise Colet, Les Pays lumineux; Voyage en Orient (Paris: Dentu, 1879).

(36.) "Deus inprimis invocandus, quod nullus possit itineris esse comes expeditior et securior; atque piae huic devotioni inter alia precesque plurimum inservient Psalmi 91, 126, 127, et 139" (Paul Hentzer's Itineraria Germaniae, Galliae, Angliae, Italiae. Noribergae: A. Wagenmann, 1592). Nathan Cytraeus began in 1565 his Iter Parisiense with a solemn prayer: "Longum iter incipio, nec quo mea rata reducant / Tempore, quaeque meos maneat fortuna labores,/Praevideo: dux Christe, meos tu dirige gressus" (Voyages en Europe, ed. M. Bastiaensens. Brussels: Peeters, 1994, p. 74).

(37.) Some of them are collected in the Sacramentarium Gelasianum (Liber Sacramentorum Romanae Ecclesiae ordinis anni circuli. Roma: Herder, 1960). Travel in the Sacramentarium is an obvious metaphor for the regressus ad Deum. Hence, the faithful asks God to direct the itinerary "in voluntate tua, ut te protectore et te perduce per iustitiae semitas sine offensione gradiat" (p. 191) so that the traveler, "tua opitulatione defensus, iustorum desideriorum potiatur effectibus" (p. 192). For Muslim prayers and sacrifices before and during sea traveling, see The Travels of Ibn Battuta [1325-1354] (Cambridge: The University Press/Hakluyt Society, 1958), I, 25-27; see also Diego de Haedo, Topografia e historia general de Argel [1612]. Madrid: Sociedad de bibliofilos espanoles, 1927, pp. 154-155. Bouchard has a detailed description of the daily prayers aboard the Mediterranean galleys (I, 99-101).

(38.) Dante had already noted the frequence of his fellow citizens' transalpine travels, underscoring the happy time when "ancor nulla [donna] / era per Francia nel letto diserta" (Parad. XV, 119-120). Boccaccio's Decameron, with numerous novelle related to travelers, reflects a society of merchants constantly on the road between Italy, France; and the northern countries, while Petrarch's journeys abroad are well documented in his epistolary.

(39.) Seafaring, in particular, put travelers, literally, "two inches away from death" ("cosi vicini al pericolo della morte, il quale e tanto propinquo (dicea Anacarsi scita) che due dita solamente, o poco piu, ti puoi chiamar discosto dalla morte," Garzoni, II, 1403).

(40.) "Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road / Healthy, free, the world before me, leading wherever I choose" ("Song of the Open Road").

(41.) Paul Fussel, Abroad: British Literary Traveling between Wars. New York, Oxford University Press, 1980 (in Leed 52).

(42.) "Le Spleen de Paris," XXXI. This fondness is a commonplace in contemporary poetry, for, as Baudelaire confessed, "les vrais voyageurs sont ceux-la seuls qui partent / Pour partir" ("Le Voyage"). Gabriel Miro and Fernando Pessoa have expressed this idea in famous images (Monga 18).

(43.) On the Road (New York: New American Library, 1957).

(44.) Baltasar Gracian, El discreto, ch. XXV.

(45.) "Je me feray scavant en la philosophie, / En la mathematique et medecine aussi; / Je me feray legiste, et d'un plus hault souci / Apprendray les secrets de la theologie; / Du luth et du pinceau j'esbateray ma vie, / De l'escrime et du bal ... (Regrets, XXXII).

(46.) H. Kirchner, "Oration on Travel," in Coryate, I, 129.

(47.) "Je me plais a etudier l'homme en voyageant" (Giacomo Casanova, Histoire de ma vie, VI, X. Paris: Plon, 1960, III, 227).

(48.) La Pologne du XVIIIe siecle vue par un precepteur francais (Paris: Calmann-Levy, 1966), p. 171, quoted in Hafid-Martin 13. Northern travelers considered Southern countries as the roots of their culture and their faith; they were also excited to find there sunshine, flowers, fountains, and luscious fruits (see my essay "Viaggiatori di lingua inglese a Napoli" in E. Kanceff, L. Monga, et al., Napoli e il Regno dei grandi viaggiatori. Roma: Abete, 1994, pp. 39-63).

(49.) William Woodsworth, "The Preludes," in Poetical Works (Oxford: Clarendon, 1968), III, 1213. But Montaigne had expressed the same carefree spirit two and a half centuries earlier: "Ayje laisse quelque chose a voir derriere moi? J'y retourne; c'est toujours mon chemin. Je ne trace aucune ligne certaine, ny droicte ny courbe" (Essais, III, 9).

(50.) It is rare to encounter in 16th-century hodoeporics an aesthetic interest in natural beauty; for a colorful exception see my essay "L'Hodoeporicum de Jacques Sirmond, s.j.: Journal poetique d'un voyage de Paris a Rome en 1590," Humanistica lovanensia, 43 (1993): 301-322. Even in 1795 Ann Radcliffe confessed that it was hard to express to her readers "a repetition of the same images of rock, wood and water, and the same epithets of grand, vast and sublime, which necessarily occur," since they appear "tautologous on paper, though their archetypes in nature [...] exhibit new visions to the eye and produce new shades of effect on the mind" (A Journey Made in the Summer of 1794 through Holland and the Western Frontiers of Germany, quoted in Batten 102). The problem in 18th-century travel journals, with the clash between the "philosophical" sensitivity and the tendency to include chatty personal and anecdotal material, is well discussed in Batten 9-19.

(51.) The Idler [no. 97; February 23, 1760] (New York: W. Durell, 1811), pp. 339-340.

(52.) Letter to Jacques Batt (n. 119, February 1500) in Opus epistolarum Desiderii Erasmi Roterodami, ed. P. S. Allen (Oxford: Clarendon, 1906), I, 277. In 1506, during a journey to Italy, Erasmus wrote a "carmen alpestre," a long poem "De senectute" for "Gulielmus Copus medicorum eruditissimus." The trend, which followed the example of Horace (Sat. I, 9, 1-2), caught on: a Jesuit scholar, Jacques Sirmond, wrote a "Hodoeporicum" during a trip from Paris to Rome in 1590 (see my essay "L'Hodoeporicum de Jacques Sirmond," cit.) and Thomas Jones's Memoirs (43-36, 50).

(53.) "Viaggio in Alamagna" in Scritti storici e politici, ed. E. Nicolini (Bari: Laterza, 1972), pp. 122-123. Only two days after leaving Paris (August, 23, 1663), Jean de la Fontaine naively wrote from Clamart to his wife: "En verite, c'est un plaisir que de voyager; on rencontre toujours quelque chose de remarquable. Vous ne sauriez croire combien est excellent le beurre que nous mangeons" (Oeuvres diverses., ed. P. Clarac. Paris: Gallimard, 1948, p. 534). And Stendhal, who defined himself a "Milanese" and absorbed so well the Italian lifestyle, followed: "Je voyage non pour connaitre l'Italie, mais pour me faire plaisir" (Stendhal 501). As for the knowledge acquired by traveling, the "Ulysses syndrome," Homer described his travails: "Many were the men whose cities he saw and whose minds he learned" (Odyssey, I, 3-4).

(54.) Pliny, Epist.. III, xix, 4. As a typical response to this maxim, another one, "Coelum non animum muto, dum trans mare curro" (Horace, Sat. I, i, 30), was a favorite of Milton, who inscribed it on the album of Count Camillus Cardouin (10 June 1639), in Works (New York: Columbia University Press, 1938), XVIII, 271.

(55.) Plato's idea that only mature individuals should be allowed to travel in order to acquire knowledge (Monga 17-18) continues to the end of the 18th century: "L'age du voyageur est celui ou le jugement est forme et la tete meublee des connaissances requises. Sans ces deux conditions, ou l'on ne rapportera rien de ses voyages ou l'on aura fait bien du chemin et depense beaucoup d'argent pour ne rapporter que des erreurs et des vices" (Denis Diderot,Voyage en Hollande [1775]. Paris: Maspero, 1982, p. 23).

(56.) As Robert Louis Stevenson wrote, "To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive" (Virginibus puerisque, and Other Papers. New York: Co-operative Publication Society, 1881).

(57.) The Traveiler (London: W. How for A. Veale, 1575), p. 5 (reprint: Gainesville, FL: Scholars' Facsimiles and Reprints, 1951).

(58.) See also Erasmus's amusing dialogue "Diversoria" (1523) for a detailed description of the dangers of the road and the inconveniences of inns.

(59.) James Boswell, [Dr. Samuel Johnson's] Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides [1774]. London: G. Bell, 1884 V, 249).

(60.) See L. Monga, Galee toscane e corsari barbareschi: il diario di Aurelio Scetti, galeotto fiorentino (1565-1577) (Pisa: CLD, 1999), pp. 96-101.

(61.) Letter to William Congrave from Paris [August 1699] in Addison's The Letters, ed. W. Graham (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1941), p. 4.

(62.) See note n. 17.

(63.) Stendhal's excitement continues long after his arrival in Italy: "Il m'arrive de me dire, a propos de rien: 'Mon Dieu! Que j'ai bien fait de venir en Italie!" (May 24 1817: Stendhal 99).

(64.) "Memory," what the youthful traveler recalls, is also an aspect of the discovery of one's self in a foreign environment, for one's homeland (patrie) is also the place where, according to Stendhal, "l'on rencontre le plus de gens qui nous ressemblent"(98).

(65.) Cours familier de litterature, quoted in Hersant 426.

(66.) Eugene TeSelle, Living in Two Cities: Augustinian Trajectories in Political Thought (Scranton: University of Scranton Press, 1998), p. 68.

(67.) "... multoque prius nichil aliud quasi quam illius Rome veteris argumentum aut imago quedam esset, ruinisque presentibus preteritam magnitudinem testaretur (Petrarch, Senil. X, 2)..

(68.) Ciceronianus, LB 1016. So did Du Bellay: "Nouveau venu, qui cherches Rome en Rome / Et rien de Rome en Rome n'apercois" (Les Antiquitez de Rome, sonnet III).

(69.) And this reminds us of Du Bellay's deep unhappiness, expressed in Petrarchan terms (Rime, XLVII): "Malheureux l'an, le mois, le jour, l'heure, et le poinct, / Et malheureuse soit la flateuse esperance, / Quand pour venir ici j'abandonnay la France" (Regrets, XXV). The disappointment of finding Rome an ugly likeness of what the traveler had expected is a commonplace among visitors of any century. Nathaniel Hawthorne, for example, remarked in his travel journals that the Eternal City offered "cold, nastiness, evil smells, [...] sour bread, pavement most uncomfortable to the feet, enormous prices for poor living, beggars, pickpockets, ancient temples and broken monuments with filth at the base and clothes hanging to dry about them, French soldiers, monks, priests of every degree, a shabby population smoking bad cigars" (Passages from French and Italian Note-books. Boston, New York: Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1892, p. 54).

(70.) This term was coined by the German physician Johannes Hofer in his Dissertatio medica de nostalgia, oder Heimwehe (Basel: Bertsch, 1678). J. Lieutaud accepted it in his Precis de medecine pratique (Paris: Vincent, 1759) as a form of the "desir melancolique [...] qu'on appelle communement la maladie du pays" and made it a household term.

(71.) Stendhal mentioned with surprise the repugnance of a French lady companion for the climate of Italy: "Ce soleil toujours sans nuages me brule les yeux; cette mer si bleue me fait regretter les bords de notre ocean de Normandie" (p. 1081). Nostalgia takes many forms, and the dream of one's home obfuscates even the most splendid scenery.

(72.) Rom; eine Munchner Pilgefahrt im Jubeljahr 1575, ed. K. Schottenloher (Munich: Munchner Drucke, 1925), p. 136. After his tour of Germany, Michelet acknowledged the same syndrome in his Journal: "Combien j'ai voyage en Jules Michelet, plus qu'en Allemagne!" (Journal, ed. P. Villaneix. Paris: Gallimard, 1957, I, 457).

(73.) See his letter to Cardinal Raffaele Riario (no 333, 15 May 1515) and no 2328, 14 June 1530) in Monga 23.

(74.) Carleton's letter to the young man's father, Lord Salisbury (23 November 1610) is quoted by Howard (p. 160).

(75.) A Romantic curiosity excites the traveler looking for the pittoresque and the couleur locale. While passing by Verona, Theophile Gautier would have liked to stop and see a public execution, "cette execution qui dans notre pays nous eut fait fuir, car en voyage la curiosite va quelquefois jusqu'a la Barbarie, et les yeux qui cherchent le nouveau ne se detournent pas d'un supplice si le bourreau est pittoresque et si le patient est d'une bonne couleur locale" (Voyage en Italie 62).

(76.) In fact, the return home can also be quite dramatic: Agamemnon is killed by his wife's lover, Diomedes finds that his wife has taken a lover, Idomeneus's wife is killed by her lover. Only Ulysses can finally rest, but only after killing Penelope's suitors in a bloodbath. There is "a set of gender determinations: ... the domestic(ated) woman, Penelope, maintains the property of the home against would-be usurpers while her husband wanders about" (G. Van Den Abbeele, Travel as a Metaphor: From Montaigne to Rousseau. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1992), p. XXV (Monga 29-33).

(77.) In several of his poems Antonio Machado underscored that no travel exists per se ("Caminante, no hay camino, / se hace camino al andar," CXXVI, 29).

(78.) There is an extensive literature dealing with the relationship between travel and writing. I am not interested, however, in some post-modern attempts to identify essentially different activities such as writing, reading, and traveling. Therefore, in this essay I will refrain from pursuing the line of thought which has been developed by Gerard Genette and Michel Butor, among other theoreticians, "l'affirmation qu'ecrire, lire et voyager procedent de la meme activite, au point de pouvoir s'identifier dans tous les sens" (Philippe Dubois, "Le voyage et le livre" in Ch. Jacob and F. Lestringant, eds., Arts et legendes d'espace: Figures du voyage et rhetorique du monde. Paris: PENS, 1981, pp. 149-201). Discussing the real travel (le parcours reel) of our eyes on the itinerary written in the book (ces mouvements litteraux de la lecture dans l'objet-livre) would lead us astray from our goal. I would prefer to insist that the writer, like the seafarer on the surface of the ocean, can choose on the blank page a virtually infinite number of paths.

(79.) Ilaria Luzzana Caraci emphasizes that by and large Renaissance travel writers are interested in their self-improvement, "il desiderio di emergere dalla mediocrita e il bisogno di affermare la propria personalita."(Scopritori e viaggiatori del Cinquecento e Seicento. Milano-Napoli: Ricciardi, 1991, p. IX).

(80.) Jean Potocki, Voyages en Turquie et en Egypte, au Maroc et en Hollande, ed. D. Beauvois (Paris: Fayard, 1980), 151; cf. Hafid-Martin 57. But writing a journal is also a means of self-analysis that will help keep score of one's thoughts and better understand what surrounds the traveler. Regretting the fact that he kept no journal of his youthful trip, Rousseau acknowledged: "La chose que je regrette le plus dans les details de ma vie dont j'ai perdu la memoire est de n'avoir pas fait des journaux de mes voyages. Jamais je n'ai tant pense, tant existe, tant vecu, tant ete moi, [...] que dans ceux que j'ai faits seul et a pied" (Confessions, IV in Oeuvres completes, ed. B. Gagnebin and M. Raymond. Paris: Gallimard, 1959, I, 162).

(81.) In most cases, however, this cycle starts in the course of the journey itself, when the traveler writes daily of the events he has witnessed, as Johann Heinrich Pflaumern reported in his Mercurius italicus: "Ferme institutum tenui ut in itinere obvia referrem in pugillares, dein, ubi commodum esset, saepe etiam in hospitio, dum prandium coenamve hospes appararet, excriberem observationes meas, tandem laxiore otio, horis subsecivis, conferrem cum melioribis rerum italicarum auctoribus" (n.p.).

(82.) See in Umberto Eco's L'isola del giorno prima the writer's effort to recount and/or re-create what he has experienced (Milan: Bompiani, 1994, pp. 10, 462; cf. Monga 43).

(83.) Hilarius Pyrckmair strongly suggests a daily activity of note-taking: "Ad haec requiritur tabella quaedam ad excipiendum ea quae in itinere obiter soleant. Hominum enim memoria numquam tam stabilis tamque firma est ut illa omnia comprehendere et semper tenere valeant" (21-22). See a humorous account of the writing habits of fastidious German travelers in SaintEvremond's comedy Sir Politick Would Be (Monga 46).

(84.) Erasmus offered a poignant, yet amusing, description of the interior of German inns in "Diversoria" [1523] (Opera omnia. Amsterdam: North Holland, 1972, I, iii, 334-337). Cf. my introduction to Discours viatiques, with a reproduction of a hardly legible page written, we could assume, under similar peculiar circ*mstances. On his way to Naples, Stendhal claims to have witnessed Gioacchino Rossini laboriously writing his music in an inn in Terracina: "il ecrit sur une mauvaise table, au bruit de la cuisine de l'auberge, et avec l'encre boueuse qu'on lui apporte dans un vieux pot de pommade" (Rome, Naples et Florence, 510).

(85.) Andreas Gartner in his collection of proverbs, Proverbialia dicteria (Frankfurt am Main: Engenholph, 1578).

(86.) Even Saint Paul, who is not a suspect witness of the truthfulness of his adventures, insisted on the difficulties he encountered; cf. the above-mentioned passage of 2Cor 11:26. In any case, the writer is forced to make a selection among the farrago of his memories: "Voila ce qui m'a semble plus digne d'etre mis pas ecrit" (Thevet 29).

(87.) Francesco Vettori felt the need to enhance his narrative of the bare facts and their unexciting repetitiousness, otherwise "in questi miei scritti non sia altro che giunsi, venni, arrivai, parti', cavalcai, cenai, udi', risposi e simil cose le quali, replicate spesso, a il lettore danno fastidio" (Scritti storici e politici, cit., p. 60). On Stendhal's "pretendue manie de la mystification," cf. Stendhal 1311-1312.

(88.) Venice, Rome, and Naples have been described in so many details by Renaissance travelers and guidebooks that often the writers left several pages blank in their journals, hoping to fill them after returning home. Two travel journals I have edited seem to indicate the writer's uselessness to describe these cities (Discours viatiques, p. 86; Basire's Travels, pp. 90n, 100n). A 17th-century British visitor, Thomas Abdy, who spent months in Rome and Venice between 1634 and 1635, gave no reasons for his total silence about their monuments, but I suspect that he purchased guidebooks to use eventually in his final travel report (cf. my above-mentioned essay "Thomas Abdy's Unpublished Travel Journal through France and Italy," pp. 86-88).

(89.) Francesco Belli, Osservazioni nel viaggio (Venice: Pinelli, 1632), pp. 1-2. I owe this quotation to Nathalie Hesther of the University of Chicago.

(90.) William Combe, Dr. Syntax's Tour in Search of the Picturesque, of Consolation, and of a Wife (London: Chatto & Windus, 1890?), pp. 4-5.

(91.) With false modesty, Francesco Carletti, like many other travel writers, claimed that, because of his "poca di memoria travagliata," he will try "meglio che mi sara possibile [...] di riscorrere e d'andarmi rammemorando solo di quelle cose che ho fatte e viste in detti mia viaggi" (31). The writer of Ambassador Tiepolo's travel journey to Spain mentioned the care he took in measuring the two whales he saw on the beach of Bayonne, well knowing that his readers would have a hard time believing him: "Volsi nondimeno io, montato in una barchetta, accostarmici et prendere quelle misure che mi parvero piu importanti, che per la verita non saranno intese con gran meraviglia" (L. Monga, Due ambasciatori veneziani nella Spagna di fine Cinquecento. Moncalieri: CIRVI, 2000, p. 98).

(92.) This is the weak link of hodoeporics (as well as history). Giovambattista Ramusio's preface to Marco Polo's book, facing the presence of "molte cose che pareno fabulose e incredibili," suggests Polo's lame acceptance of "quello che gli veniva detto" (Navigazioni e viaggi, ed. M. Milanesi. Torino: Einaudi, 1980, III, 23; cf. also Monga 46).

(93.) Voyages au Caucase et en Chine, ed. D. Beauvais (Paris: Fayard, 1980), 31; cf. Hafid-Martin 58.

(94.) See Claude Pichois's discussion of the bibliographical background of this problem in his edition of Nerval's Oeuvres completes (Paris: Gallimard, 1984), II, 1376-1382.

(95.) In the preface of his Voyages (Paris: C. de Montr'oeil and J. Richer, 1600). Lodovico Guicciardini's remarked to his reader: "Vedrai [...], senza uscir di casa, in poco spatio et in poche hore, il sito, la grandezza, la bellezza, la potenza et la nobilta di questi egregii et mirabili paesi; potrai conoscere la natura et la qualita dell'aria et della terra, quel che ella produce et non produce, sapere quante regioni, quante citta et altre terre, [...] quanti fiumi et quanto mare [...], quante selve et quanti boschi d'ogni intorno li adornano; potrai haver notitia della natura et qualita delle genti che li habitano" (130). Whether a true travel journal or a description of a site, the explicit statement of the writer underscores his personal experience, "non havendo io perdonato a fatica ne a tempo ne a cosa alcuna [...] per vedere et investigare personalmente le cose occorrenti, comunicandole per tutto con huomini dotti et esperti del paese, acciocche l'opera venisse piu purgata et approvata dall'universale" (Ibid.). This commonplace goes beyond the author's concern with the marketing of his book; it emphasizes the power of the written word and the frugal "chariot that bears the human soul," for "there is no frigate like a book / To take us lands away / Nor any coursers - like a page / Of prancing poetry - [...]," carrying readers to far-away realms, regardless of wealth and health, as in Emily Dickinson's poem (no. 1286).

(96.) As Charles L. Batten, Jr. observed for 18th-century English hodoeporic literature, Addison's casual Remarks on Italy creep into the letters and private journals of such travelers as James Boswell, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Horace Walpole, and Edward Gibbon, as well as in other travel books whose titles are often modeled after Addison's own title (Breval, Drummond, Johann Georg Keyssler, Samuel Sharp, Tobias Smollett, Anna Riggs Miller, Thomas Nugent, Hester Lynch Thrale Piozzi, et al., in Batten 11-12).

(97.) Thomas Nash, Pierce Pennilesse, in Works, ed. A. B. Grosart (London: The Huth Library, 1883-1885), II, 27. Shakespeare chastised the "base imitation" of Italian manners that "tardy apish Englishmen" followed (Richard II, II, II, 1). The affectation of these Grand Tourists back in England hides not only their pretentiousness to show off an exotic traveling experience, but also a real hardship of readapting to a world left behind and, perhaps, the impossibility of becoming fully English again (Cf. Loredana Polezzi, "Thomas Jones: Autobiografia e viaggio nelle memorie di un paesaggista gallese in Italia," Intersezioni, 17, 1 [1998]: 67-84).

(98.) Even more recent military campaigns in Europe must be considered in terms of collective pedagogy. Joe Young's 1919 song, "How'ya gonna keep'em down on the farm (after they've seen Paree)," shows the effect that travel and war have had on the psychology of a generation of young farmers, unable to return to the stillness of their home life after the excitement of their wartime experience in a large foreign city.

(99.) "He travels and expatiates, as the bee / From flow'r to flow'r, so he from land to land. [...] / He sucks intelligence in ev'ry clime, / And spreads the honey of his deep research / At his return-a rich repast for me" (William Cowper, The Task [1785], IV, 107-108, 111-113).

(100.) Jeremy Black, The British Abroad: The Grand Tour in the Eighteenth Century (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1992); Gervase Jackson-Stops (ed.), The Treasure Houses of Britain: Five Hundred Years of Private Patronage and Art Collecting (Washington: National Gallery of Art, 1985); William L. Vance, America's Rome (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989), 2 vol.; Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr., The Lure of Italy: American Artists and the Italian Experience, 1760-1914 (New York: Abrams, 1992).

(101.) Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Marble Faun (New York: New American Library, 1961), p. 47.

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Cycles of early modern hodoeporics. (2024)


What does hodoeporics mean? ›

Borrowed from Ancient Greek ὁδοιπορῐκόν (hodoiporikón, “a guide-book”, noun), from ὁδοιπορῐκός (hodoiporikós, “of or for a traveller”, adjective).

What is the meaning of hydroponically? ›

Meaning of hydroponically in English

using hydroponics (= a method of growing plants in water, sand, or gravel (= very small stones) to which liquid chemical plant foods are added, rather than growing them in earth): If astronauts grow their own food on a space station, they'll do it hydroponically.

What is the meaning of the word ponics? ›

Hydroponics comes from the ancient Greek words “hydro,” meaning water, and “ponics,” meaning labor. Water does the work here, enabling the fast growth of plants.

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