Italian Journey

Italian Journey (in the German original: "Italienische Reise") is Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's report on a his 1786/87 travels to Italy, published in 1816/17. The book is based on Goethe's diaries. It, however, is smoothed in style, lacking the actual spontaneity of his diary report, with the addition of afterthoughts and various reminiscences.

In 1786, Goethe had travelled to Italy via Innsbruck and the Brenner Pass. He visited Lake Garda, Verona, Venice, Rome and Alban Hills, Naples and Sicily, he wrote many letters, which he later used as the basis for "Italian Journey".

Within Italy, Goethe aspired to witness and to breathe the conditions and milieu of a once highly—and in certain respects still—cultured area endowed with many significant works of art. Apart from the impetus to study the Mediterranean's natural qualities, he was first and foremost interested in the remains of classical antiquity and in contemporary art. In fact, he did not visit the famous Giotto frescoes in Assisi, but only visited a Roman temple there. In Rome, he met German artists and made friends with Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein. Tischbein accompanied him to Naples and painted one of the most famous portraits of Goethe, "Goethe in the Roman Campagna", which was never completed. During the journey, the two later separated to pursue their different interests.

In the Botanic Gardens of Palermo, Goethe searched for what he called "Urpflanze", a plant that would be the archetype of all plants.

External links

* [http://www.gutenberg.net/etext/2404 Italienische Reise, vol. 1] De icon
* [http://www.gutenberg.net/etext/2405 Italienische Reise, vol. 2] De icon
* [http://gutenberg.spiegel.de/goethe/italien/italien.htm Italienische Reise] De icon
* [http://www.goethezeitportal.de/index.php?id=805 Wiedergeburt in Italien] De icon
* " [http://graceandreacchi.googlepages.com/scarabocchio Scarabocchio] " (2007), a novel by Grace Andreacchi, based on Goethe's 'Italian Journey'.


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