The author of this inscription is James Hakewill (1778–1843), with whom Turner collaborated on the engraved print project, Picturesque Tour of Italy, published 1820. He filled this sketchbook with advice to Turner on travelling in Italy in preparation for the artist’s first tour of the country in 1819 (see the introduction to the sketchbook). The text was first transcribed by Finberg,1 and is repeated here with minor variations:
At Parma | See the Theatre, & Palace for | the Corregios. | At Mantua. see the Palazzo T. | On the Lago di Garda, a good | Inn at
These suggestions are based upon Hakewill’s own Italian travels in 1816–17 and he naturally advocated the same itinerary to Turner. This included a return journey from Rome via Ancona, Florence, Bologna and Venice, the latter stage encompassing Parma, Mantua, Lake Garda, Verona and Padua. Views of Lake Garda from Desenzano can be found amidst his own drawings from the time (British School at Rome Library).2 He has highlighted key points of interest along the way including the Palazzo Te designed by Giulio Romano (circa 1499–1546) at Mantua, and the work of the Renaissance painter, Correggio (circa 1489–1534) at Parma. Despite his friend’s recommendations however, Turner ultimately adopted a different route. He saw Lake Garda, Verona and Padua on the outward journey to Rome via Venice, see the Milan to Venice sketchbook (Tate D14356; Turner Bequest CLXXV 21a), and Parma on the return leg via Florence and Milan, see the Return from Rome sketchbook (Tate D16650; Turner Bequest CXCII 5a). However, he never took the road directly between Parma and Verona, and therefore missed experiencing Mantua altogether.