1_100 15/5/38

15 May 1838
Describes her stay in Venice, the canals and the gondolas; they left Florence on the 25th April; describes the ceremony of the Grand Duke and Duchess washing the feet of twelve old men and twelve old women, which is performed on the Thursday before Easter; other religious services, and then the fireworks and rejoicings on the Saturday; description of a court ball after Easter; they spent a week coming from Florence, and left their carriage on the mainland about eight miles away, and mate the rest of the journey by gondola; describes some of the palaces; the Austrian administrationl; great kindness shown them by the Contessa Crivelli; Italians' love of tea parties in the English manner; nightly receptions of the Austrian Governor; Parthe's dra ing lessons; coronation at Milan of the Emperor of Austria 2 is to take place in September, but she is afraid they will not see it, and they will also miss their own Coronation which would be very much prettier, with their own little Queen3; refers to letters from Hilary and others.
1. Austria ruled the Kingdom of Lombardy Venetia through an Austrian Viceroy under the settlement reached in 1815 at the Congress of Vienna. Under the Viceroy - the Archduke Rainer - the provinces of Lombardy and Venetia were governed from their respective capitals of Milan and Venice by Austrian Governors. By 1838 the Austrian bureaucracy was already breaking down, and the first stirrings of the national and liberal novement which were to lead to Italian unification were being felt.
2. Ferdinand (1793-1875) Emperor of Austria-Hungary; succeeded Francis 1 1835; abdicated in favour of Franz Josef in 1848.
3. Victoria succeeded to the throne on 20th June 1837 on the death of her uncle William IV. She was crowned at Westminster on June 28th, 1838.

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