The Voyage of Italy
Over the centuries, Italy has attracted an array of travellers including religious pilgrims, grand tourists, scholars of antiquity, merchants, artists, architects, exiles and poets. As travel in Europe became increasingly common among the European elite, guidebooks describing Italy — its towns, cities, regions, art and antiquities — multiplied. These books were consulted by an array of readers from armchair travellers to scholars of antiquities and young men on the Grand Tour.
Such travel guides from the past serve as indispensable research resources. Not only do they record the changing streetscapes of significant towns and cities, but they also offer insights into specific categories of taste through their descriptions of admired works of art and architecture. Many of these valuable texts are also rich with provenance data: detailing, describing and cataloguing works of art held in prominent collections of the time.