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The Route from the South: the Way Back from Rome

Strada da Roma a Firenze in una carta settecentesca di Antonio Giachi

Sometimes the visit to the capital of the grand duchy might be deferred until the traveler was on his way back from Rome or Naples (as Bergeret did in 1774). More rarely, it provided an opportunity to return to a place already visited on the way out. The intention, often, was to stay for a rest before resuming the journey: while there the traveler would go to see what he had previously missed or take the chance to investigate the city more thoroughly.

This is what Borel did, in 1823-24, passing through Florence on his way south but putting off his visit to the city until later, after he had satisfied his desire to see Rome. In fact he returned there the year following his arrival in Italy, arriving through Siena and Poggibonsi. Even Duclos, who landed in Tuscany (at Viareggio) on December 27, 1766, only visited Florence on his return journey from Rome, passing through Siena on April 24, 1767, and staying there for three days (April 25-28, 1767) before setting off for Bologna, with a stop to see the fires of Pietramala on the way.

It was not just Siena that was a frequent leg on the journey to Florence, but Arezzo too. Often those who had taken the road through Siena on their way out chose the route that ran through Umbria and entered Tuscany not far from Arezzo on their way back. Smollett (1765), for example, notes that this diversion had been suggested by his banker in Rome, Barazzi.


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