0Wednesday. 1st September [1897]—Salce, Belluno
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1 September 1897 — Salce, Belluno
Wednesday. 1st September [1897]. Drew in morning. Still scirocco. Carrie & I drove after tea to Belluno & I registered a letter to Rawlinson sending money for the servants’ journey out to Venice. We went on to the baths of Vena d’oro where Carry wanted to call on her friend Signora Rocca. It is a bathing place built over a spring of icy cold water which rushes out of the lime rock just behind the house. It is the property of an old Italian Cavalliere                who was there at that moment & as soon as we sat down under the trees with Signora Rocca joined our party & began to chatter. He sat next to me & proceeded to confide to me all he had spent on making the place—& how his Dr had made him spend 20,000l in arranging the baths & then lowering his voice so that I could scarcely hear what he said he unfolded another scheme & ended by asking me to lend money for it! This was so Italian & so comic that it amused me vastly. He showed us the baths which are really admirably arranged & Mrs Eden says they are as well done as those at Aix les Bain—all the taps, baths, douches are made of nickel. The whole place has the appearance of the scene in a play– On one side a hut with “Barbere” written up—on another “Calzolaigo”—a small avenue of trees—a fountain– People setting at small round tables & the Italian sunshine over all. The Cavalliere showed us round with pride & then said aside to me that he wanted 2 millions more to make it the best baths in Italy. On my remarking that it was a large sum he said there ought to be a “Societa” formed for it. He evidently thinks I am an immensely rich English woman & would like to exploit me accordingly. It was past 6.30 when we started to return to Salce & we got there a few minutes after 7.30 & found dinner waiting.

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