Italian Journey is Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German writer, pictorial artist, biologist, theoretical physicist, and polymath. He is considered the supreme genius of modern German literature. His works span the fields of poetry, drama, prose, philosophy, and science. His Faust has been called the greatest long...
's report on his travels to Italy from 1786–7, published in 1816–7. The book is based on Goethe's diaries
A diary is a record with discrete entries arranged by date reporting on what has happened over the course of a day or other period. A personal diary may include a person's experiences, and/or thoughts or feelings, including comment on current events outside the writer's direct experience. Someone...
. It is, however, smoothed in style, lacking the actual spontaneity of his diary report, and augmented with the addition of afterthoughts and reminiscences.
In 1786, Goethe had travelled to Italy via Innsbruck
- Main sights :- Buildings :*Golden Roof*Kaiserliche Hofburg *Hofkirche with the cenotaph of Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor*Altes Landhaus...
and the Brenner Pass
- Roadways :The motorway E45 leading from Innsbruck via Bolzano to Verona and Modena uses this pass, and is one of the most important north-south connections in Europe...
. He visited Lake Garda
Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy. It is located in Northern Italy, about half-way between Brescia and Verona, and between Venice and Milan. Glaciers formed this alpine region at the end of the last ice age...
Verona ; German Bern, Dietrichsbern or Welschbern) is a city in the Veneto, northern Italy, with approx. 265,000 inhabitants and one of the seven chef-lieus of the region. It is the second largest city municipality in the region and the third of North-Eastern Italy. The metropolitan area of Verona...
Vicenza , a city in north-eastern Italy, is the capital of the eponymous province in the Veneto region, at the northern base of the Monte Berico, straddling the Bacchiglione...
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...
Bologna is the capital city of Emilia-Romagna, in the Po Valley of Northern Italy. The city lies between the Po River and the Apennine Mountains, more specifically, between the Reno River and the Savena River. Bologna is a lively and cosmopolitan Italian college city, with spectacular history,...
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...
and Alban Hills
The Alban Hills are the site of a quiescent volcanic complex in Italy, located southeast of Rome and about north of Anzio.The dominant peak is Monte Cavo. There are two small calderas which contain lakes, Lago Albano and Lake Nemi...
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...
. He wrote many letters to a number of friends in Germany, which he later used as the basis for Italian Journey.
While in Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...
, Goethe aspired to witness and to breathe the conditions and milieu of a once highly — and in certain respects still — cultured area endowed with many significant works of art. Apart from the impetus to study the Mediterranean's natural qualities, he was first and foremost interested in the remains of classical antiquity
Classical antiquity is a broad term for a long period of cultural history centered on the Mediterranean Sea, comprising the interlocking civilizations of ancient Greece and ancient Rome, collectively known as the Greco-Roman world...
and in contemporary art. During his stay in Assisi
- Churches :* The Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi is a World Heritage Site. The Franciscan monastery, il Sacro Convento, and the lower and upper church of St Francis were begun immediately after his canonization in 1228, and completed in 1253...
, he did not visit the famous Giotto frescoes in the Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi
Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi
The Papal Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Order of Friars Minor—commonly known as the Franciscan Order—in Assisi, Italy, the city where St. Francis was born and died. The basilica is one of the most important places of Christian pilgrimage in Italy...
, but only visited the Church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva, a converted Roman temple there. Many critics have questioned this strange choice. In Verona, where he enthusiastically commends the harmony and fine proportions of the city amphitheater; he asserts this is the first true piece of Classical art he has witnessed. Venice, too, holds treasures for his artistic education, and he soon becomes fascinated by the Italian style of living. After a short stay in Florence, he arrives in Rome. It was here that he met several respected German artists, and made friends with Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein
Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein
Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein, also known as Goethe-Tischbein was a German painter. He was a descendant of the Tischbein family of painters, and a pupil of his uncle Johann Jacob Tischbein....
and notable Neoclassical painter, Angelica Kauffmann
Maria Anna Angelika/Angelica Katharina Kauffman was a Swiss-Austrian Neoclassical painter. Kauffman is the preferred spelling of her name; it is the form she herself used most in signing her correspondence, documents and paintings.- Early years :She was born at Chur in Graubünden, Switzerland,...
. Tischbein painted one of the most famous portraits of Goethe, Goethe in the Roman Campagna, and accompanied him to Naples. During the journey, the two later separated due to their "incompatible" interests. After leaving Rome and entering Palermo
Palermo is a city in Southern Italy, the capital of both the autonomous region of Sicily and the Province of Palermo. The city is noted for its history, culture, architecture and gastronomy, playing an important role throughout much of its existence; it is over 2,700 years old...
, Goethe searched for what he called "Urpflanze", a plant that would be the archetype
An archetype is a universally understood symbol or term or pattern of behavior, a prototype upon which others are copied, patterned, or emulated...
of all plants.
In his journal, Goethe shows a marked interest in the geology of Europe's southern regions. He demonstrates a depth and breadth of knowledge in each subject. Most frequently, he pens descriptions of mineral and rock samples that he retrieves from the mountains, crags, and riverbeds of Italy. He also undertakes several dangerous hikes to the summit of Mount Vesuvius
Mount Vesuvius is a stratovolcano in the Gulf of Naples, Italy, about east of Naples and a short distance from the shore. It is the only volcano on the European mainland to have erupted within the last hundred years, although it is not currently erupting...
, where he catalogues the nature and qualities of various lava flows and tephra
200px|thumb|right|Tephra horizons in south-central [[Iceland]]. The thick and light coloured layer at center of the photo is [[rhyolitic]] tephra from [[Hekla]]....
. He is similarly adept at recognizing species of plant and flora, which stimulate thought and research into his botanical theories.
While more credibility can be attributed to his scientific investigations, Goethe maintains a thoughtful and admiring interest in art. Using Palladio and Johann Joachim Winkelmann as touchstones for his artistic growth, Goethe expands his scope of thought in regards to Classical concepts of beauty and the characteristics of good architecture. Indeed, in his letters he periodically comments on the growth and good that Rome has caused in him. The profusion of high-quality objects of art proves critical in his transformation during these two years away from his hometown in Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...
- Italienische Reise, vol. 1
- Italienische Reise, vol. 2
- Italienische Reise
- Wiedergeburt in Italien
- Scarabocchio (2008), a novel by Grace AndreacchiGrace AndreacchiGrace Andreacchi is a U.S.-born author known for her blend of poetic language and modernism with a post-modernist sensibility. Andreacchi is active as a novelist, poet and playwright.-Biography:...
, based on Goethe's Italian Journey.
- Goethe, his love rivals and evidence of a generalized anxiety disorder. Humane Medicine, 2008. An issue by Giuseppe Paolo Mazzarello, MD.