This page contains advice to Turner on travelling in Italy in preparation for the artist’s first tour of the country in 1819. The author of the inscription is James Hakewill (1778–1843), with whom Turner collaborated on the engraved print project, Picturesque Tour of Italy, published 1820 (see the introduction to the sketchbook). The text was first transcribed by Finberg,1 and is repeated here with minor variations:
At Milan – . Go to the Albergo Reale | in the Street, tre Re (sounded tra ra) | The inn kept by Baccala – | A few doors higher up lives a printseller | who talks English well, and will be | civil,
by buying of him the Maps &c. which | you may want. perhaps he will remember | my name – . | See – the Academy formerly called
Hakewill had himself visited Milan in 1816–17, and several views can be found amidst his drawings from this time (British School at Rome Library).2 Despite deviating from Hakewill’s suggested itinerary and entering Italy via the Pass of Mont Cenis, Turner’s chosen route also took him to the city, where these recommendations may have come in useful, see the Milan to Venice sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CLXXV). Ian Warrell has identified a watercolour in the Como to Venice for example as a view of the tower of San Giovanni in Conca with Sant’Alessandro in Zebedia, taken from the Hotel Tre Re (see Tate D15253; Turner Bequest CLXXXI 3).3 Hakewill’s notes continue on folio 6 (D13869).