September 17 Tuesday – The family spent the day in Turin, shopping and enjoying the sights.
September 18 Wednesday – The family left Turin at 9:15 AM and arrived at Milan at 1:30 PM.
Sam’s notebook is full of things they saw in Milan, and observations on a host of items and situations. Some favorites:
I think the arcade system is borrowed from Turin.
Saw a starchy suit of clothes marked $9—doorway full of dummies dressed—stepped in to order one like the $9—nothing inside! The old man hauled in the dummy, stripped him & I ordered the clothes sent to the hotel.
Omnibuses have a sign “Completo” when they are full.—I wish we had such laws.
Saw 6 Italians go into a furious quarrel, with terrific gesticulations. Turned back my sleeves & prepared to cord up the dead. By & by they embraced & all was over.
The same old door frame of the Cathedral still fascinates me...It must be very bad art.
Saw a vast pyramid of furniture on two almost invisible wheels—went around to hunt for the moving impulse & found a donkey the size of a rabbit—the driver was riding.
Bædeker provides a description of the journey, in the other direction, in his 1904 travel guide:
From Milan via Novara to Turin
To Turin, 93 M., express in 3-3 1/ 4 hrs. (fares 19 fr. 15, 13 fr. 10 c.); ordinary trains in 4 1/2-7 1/4 hrs. (17 fr. 40, 12 fr. 20), 7 fr. 85 c). From Turin' to Genoa, 103 M., mail-train in ca. 3 1/4 hrs., express in 3 1/4-3 1/2hrs. (21 fr. 20, 14 fr. 85 c); ordinary trains in 7'/ 2 -8 1 / 2 hrs. (19 fr. 30, 13 fr. 50, 8 fr. 70 c).
Milan, see p. 23. The line intersects numerous rice-fields, which are kept under water for two months every year. From (9 M.) Rhò a branch-line runs to Arona (p. 17). 17 1/2 M. Magenta. On a hill opposite the station are a bronze statue of Marshal Macmahon (1895) and a chapel, surrounded by numerous graves of those who fell in the battle of June 4th, 1859. Farther on, to the left, is a monument to Napoleon III.
The train crosses the Naviglio Grande and the Ticino; the former is a navigable canal which connects Milan with the Ticino and the Lago Maggiore. 25 M. Trecate.
31 M. Novara (490 ft. Rail. Restaurant), a town of 17,631 inhab., formerly a fortress, with a fine cathedral and the church of San Gaudenzio, built by P. Tibaldi. The dome, added by Antonelli (p. 45), is 396 ft. high. At Novara, on March 23rd, 1840, Radetzky overcame the Piedmontese under King Charles Albert. Our railway is crossed here by the line from Bellinzona to Genoa (p. 11).
42 M. Borgo Vercelli. The Monte Rosa group towers above the Alps to the right.
45 M. Vercelli (430 ft. pop. 17,922). The church of Sunt' Andrea, founded in 1219, with a dome and two W. towers, is visible from the station. Branch-lines run hence to Alessandria (35 M. p. 47) and to Mortara and Pavia (42 M. p. 47).
To the S. of Vercelli lie the Campi Raudii where Marius defeated the Cimbri in B.C. 101. — 57 M. Santhia (branch line to Biclla). 64 ½ M. Livorno Vercellese. — Beyond (69 M.) Saluggia we cross the impetuous stream of the Dora Baltea, which descends from Mont Blanc.
75 1/2 M. Chivasso (600 ft.), not far from the confluence of the Oreo and the Po. We cross the Oreo. Between (83 M.) Settimo Torinese and (88 1/2 M.) Torino Succursale we cross the Stura. A bridge over the Dora Riparia brings us to (90 M.) Torino Porta Susa (see below).
93 M. Turin (Porta Nuova), see below.