Clarence Bicknell: Italy and by steamer up the Nile River, 1889-1890
Excerpts from Clarence's diary, no.2
Thurs. Dec 5th, 1889
Ancona is a picturesque town partly built on steep hills close to the sea and partly at their base: with a fine harbour, and a great many colliers discharging coal, and little fishing boats landing soles, mackerel, shrimps, cuttlefish, a kind of white lobster and many small crabs and various sea creatures. There are some broad new streets with fine houses & poor shops, a great many narrow ones, a curious cathedral with beautiful Italian gothic porch crowning one of the heights, and a white marble arch built by Trojan on the old mole.
C and D spent the morning exploring the town but it was very cold, windy and rainy. B nursed A who had naturally suffered from the land journey. In the afternoon B C and D went up to the cathedral and spent a couple of hours seeing the chief sights of the place. There is a squat campanile some way from the Duomo; and from the headland a fine view of the bay and port of the town. If A were not lying down I doubt she would have drawn in perspective the porch of the Duomo, one of the most graceful I have ever seen. The lions, the 2 columns of the roof of the porch are of read marble. The slender columns on either side of the doorway white and red alternately. The façade faced with white marble.
We dined in grand style in one of the ladies’ rooms, but by 9 o’clock were all in bed, congratulating ourselves on not having gone to hear Rigoletto at the Politeama . Our hotel, the Albergo de la Pace, is an old-fashioned house with large and lofty rooms, very comfortably furnished and close to the sea.
(The image is of Ancona and the Arches of Trajan, Italy. Scene from 1890)