September 14 Saturday – Sam was awakened at 3 AM by a braying jackass in front of the hotel. The party left Geneva for Italy, stopping at Chambéry, France for a break. More from his notebook:
One dreads going into Italy because of its reputation. What small & frivolous countries there are over here. Italy the home of art & swindling; home of religion & moral rottenness... We were four hours going from Geneva to Chambery, & had infinite difficulty to get seats with 1 er class tickets.– Changed cars once, were herded like cattle through a douain & had a long wait & as much trouble as ever to secure seats. On arrival I felt like the man whose oxen ran away over a stumpy road—if I ever have to go to h— I want to go by the Chambery railway, I’ll be so glad to get there.
See Chambery to Turin for the remander of trip into Italy.
From pages 265-6 The Life of Mark Twain - The Middle Years 1871-1891:
After ‘Twichell left them, Sam led his family on a tour of Italy despite his mixed feelings about revisiting “the home of art & swindling” and of “religion & moral rottenness,” He noted his ambivalence in his notebook: “One dreads going into Italy because of its reputation. What small & frivolous & trivial countries these are over here.” Livy's mother was concerned for the Clemenses safety, especially given the threat of cholera in late summer. “We shall make enquiries and if it does not seem entirely safe we shall not go until winter, Livy assured Olivia Lewis Langdon in mid-August, “I would not dream of running any risk, that I knew to be a risk” that might endanger her daughters. “We only planned to go to Venice in September and not that until the middle of the month then Florence and not Rome until the 1st of Nov. and not at all if there had not been frost so that it should seem entirely safe.” She reiterated a month later that “we shall of course be very carefull in every way” while in Italy. On September 14 they railed sixty miles in four hours—“the Swiss trains go upward of three miles an hour,” Sam grumbled—from Geneva to Chambéry, France, “the quaintest old town out of Heilbronn.” They paused there an extra day “to break our journey into Italy,” Livy explained. She was still recovering from “the accumulation of weariness" following her hasty trip to Chamonix.