Imago Dalmatiae. Itinerari di viaggio dal Medioevo al Novecento

The Eastern Shores of the Adriatic in 1863. With a Visit to Montenegro

London, Richard Bentley, 1864, Bodleian Library, British Library

Il volume descrive il viaggio compiuto dalla viscontessa Strangford tra il maggio e l'agosto 1863, con partenza da Corfù, lungo le coste di Albania, Dalmazia e Istria. Vi sono inoltre un capitolo dedicato a un'escursione in Montenegro - la quale fece nascere non pochi sospetti al console prussiano (cfr. tappa di Ragusa) - e un altro dal titolo "Chaos", contenente un compendio politico sulla questione degli Slavi del Sud, probabilmente redatto dal marito dell'autrice.

La nobildonna giunge in Dalmazia - "the narrowest country in the world" (p. 92) - alla fine di giugno a bordo del vecchio Lloyd austriaco "Arciduca Ludovico". Inizia così la sua narrazione a partire delle Bocche di Cattaro per concluderla con la poco amata capitale Zara, passando per Ragusa, Lesina, Spalato, Traù, Almissa, Sebenico. L'interesse delle sue descrizioni risiede nell'analisi degli aspetti economici di una regione che si ritiene mal governata dalla corona austriaca, nella personale lettura della politica locale, ma anche nell'attenzione rivolta all'alta società e ai costumi che restituisce indirettamente le dinamiche di un paese vissuto come completamente diverso dal proprio. 

Itinerari del libro di viaggio
"[From Budua] Two hours' quiet run along a very pretty coast brought us into the jaws of three huge fortresses - Santa Rosa and Punto d'Ostro on each side, Rondone on an islet, with distant glimpses of others close at hand; this is the entrance to th... leggi tutto
Bocche di Cattaro
"We ran straight across to the centre of the first bend, in which lies a pretty place bowered in trees, called Castel Nuovo, and stopped a little farther on at the bright-looking village of Megline, lying off which we dined. Megline and Castel Nuovo ... leggi tutto
"Of the villages on the shores, perhaps Perasto is the prettiest, or rather was so: for, on account of some inexplicable freak of fashion, Perasto has dropped out of favour with the Cattarese, and scarcely anyone will live there, even if paid to do s... leggi tutto
"As we turned away from Perasto a heavy black storm was gathering over Cattaro: it veiled the grey whiteness of the mountains, added much to their frowning sternness, threw the narrow waters at the bottom into inky blackness, and altogether increased... leggi tutto
"A proud and noble city is that of Ragusa; and truly she has a right to glory in her history, though alas! It is now all gone into the past. […]. She is the only city in Dalmatia where no Lion of St. Mark is to be seen, and to this day it is imposs... leggi tutto
"We were leaving Sabioncello behind and passing between Lésina and Torcola when I went on deck at five o'clock the next morning; and in another hour we had run into the harbour of Lésina. […]. The Loggia at Lésina is the handsomest of all. The ... leggi tutto
"The moment we left Milnà we began to see all the coast of the mainland, with the Vellebich mountains rising behind the shore and towering over the islands; and in a short time the city of Spálato became visible. We arrived alongside of the fine ne... leggi tutto
"Spálato stands on a long and wide promontory of rising ground, which forms one side of the deep gulf within which Salona was placed; the carriage-road crossing this promontory comes down upon the bank of the ancient river Iader (now Jadera), very n... leggi tutto
"One morning I started, after a good breakfast at the café, at 5.30, on my way to Traù. The drive takes just three hours, along a wide, smooth road, as admirably made as all the roads I saw in Dalmatia - they are certainly, in every respect, excell... leggi tutto
Sette Castelli
"The town of Traù stands, one-half on an island which it completely covers, and the other half on the island of Bua. It is connected on each side by bridges, but that between Bua and Traù opens for the passage of ships. Traù is old and picturesque... leggi tutto
"The next expedition I made was to Almissa, a place at about the same distance as Traù from Spalato, but to the south. The road was equally excellent, but the scenery was infinitely more attractive, and I enjoyed beyond everything the early mornin... leggi tutto
"Signor Bajamonte had provided me with letters to all the places in the country that I wished to see, but he said the heat was so extraordinary, that he was not at all surprised at the man's [who has a monopoly of all the horses and carriages of Spal... leggi tutto
"Our drive across this uncultivated tableland had lasted two hours, when we found ourselves standing at the mouth of the Kerka, where it falls into the Gulf of Sebenico. On the other side of the gulf was Scardona - an unhealthy place on the borders o... leggi tutto
Cascate di Kerka
"The maestral had gone, and a pleasant south wind was blowing in its place; the day was serene, and the sky blue; the steamer was excessively crowded with gay and noisy pleasure parties enjoying a Sunday trip, when - with a suddenness that is quite i... leggi tutto