Sardinian, Count Broglia di Monbello; Mr. Abercrombie, son of the Speaker of the House of Commons; the Duke de Dino, Talleyrand's nephew and heir; and two or three other persons. . . . . Mr. Abercrombie, who was formerly at Berlin, talked about the private dislikes of Ancillon and Humboldt in a very amusing manner.
On first leaving Florence
for the North
and Mrs. Ticknor
made a visit of one night to the Marchea Lenzoni
, at her villa at Certaldo
Just before entering the last [the modern village of Certaldo], the Medici arms, over rather an imposing gateway, informed us that we had reached the villa of the Marchioness Lenzoni, who had invited us to come and pass a day with her, and see whatever remained of Boccaccio's time, all of it being on her estates.
She received us very kindly, and settled us at once in excellent and comfortable rooms.
She then sent for her fattore,—or man of business,—for the priest of the place, and for a Florence lawyer, and put us into their hands to show us what we wanted to see in Certaldo, being herself a little indisposed.
We passed through the lower village, . . . . and then, climbing a precipitous hill, entered the little nest of stone houses where Boccaccio's fathers lived, and where he himself died and was buried.
Everything seemed still to belong to the Middle Ages, so primitive was the look of the houses and the people.
Of Boccaccio's house,—which belongs to Mad. Lenzoni,—there is now remaining a tower, and a series of small rooms running up three stories on each side of it, all most cheerless and uncomfortable, --according to our present standard of comfort,—but truly marking his times.
Mad. Lenzoni has put some old furniture in it, the fragments of his tombstone, the early editions of his works, and a very good fresco of Boccaccio himself, by Benvenuti, the best of the living Florentine artists.
The whole is in excellent taste, and cared for as such a spot ought to be; Mad. Lenzoni's intention being to fill the principal room with whatever may best serve to recall the memory of the great man who died in it. We went to the church where he lies buried, and where is the tablet he erected to his father; to the vicar's house, which is just as it was in the fourteenth century; and, indeed, walked over most of the little town, and through its precipitous streets, finding everything curious, and very little to remind us of days less recent than Boccaccio's. The views from the top of the tower and from all the heights about are fine.