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Milan, 26 January 1770
Herr Troger has passed on to me your letter of the 12th. We arrived in Milan at midday on the 23rd, and your letter arrived on the 24th and with it your first note footnote1 which, at my request, Herr Anton von Gummer had gone to fetch from the post office in Botzen and which he had sent on to me. You complain that you`ve received no letters from me for 3 weeks, and yet I wrote to you from Verona and Mantua. You should by now have received my first letter from Verona as I posted it there on 7 January. footnote2 The 2nd can`t have reached Salzb. yet as it wasn`t posted in Mantua until the 15th. We left Verona at noon on the 10th and arrived in Mantua that same evening, but I think I`ve already told you this. I wish you could have seen the place where the concert was held, namely, what`s called the Theatrino della Academia Philarmonica. footnote3 Never in my whole life have I seen anything more beautiful of its kind; and as I hope that you are assiduously keeping all my letters, I shall describe it to you in due course. It`s not a theatre but a hall with boxes, like an opera house; where the stage should be there is a raised section for the orchestra, and behind the orchestra is another gallery, like boxes, for the audience. The crowd of people – – the shouting, clapping, noise and the bravo upon bravo – in short, the general shouting and the admiration shown by the listeners is something I can`t begin to describe to you.
I don`t doubt that in the meantime reports will have reached you in Salzb. both from Roveredo and from Verona and Mantova. footnote4 Please give my most humble good wishes to Their Excellencies Count and Countess Arco and tell them that we were received with all manner of kindnesses and courtesies at the home of Count Eugenio Arco footnote5 in Mantua. Conversely we did not have the good fortune to obtain an audience with Prince von Taxis. I already wrote to you from Mantua that she had some letters to write. We returned there the next morning, but they`d both gone to church: we went to the church in turn and followed their carriage home at a distance of some 50 paces, so that the coachman would have no choice but to see us when he turned round in the courtyard. But when we announced our visit, we were told that the prince had important business to attend to – – and that he was unable to speak to us, so that we`d have to return on another occasion. The servant`s expression, his trembling voice and half-broken words showed me at once that the prince had no wish to see us; God preserve me from ever disturbing anyone from going about his business, especially when it also means walking great distances or having to hire a carriage. Fortunately we both lost nothing by not seeing each other at close quarters |: for we saw each other in the distance at the opera :|, in addition to which I saved myself the expense of going there and saved His Excellency from the fear of being in our debt and having to extend to us any small courtesies for the honours shown to him at the Salzb. court and by the Salz. nobility. I`m writing this simply so that you know what happened, not because it grieves me, for I wouldn`t want anyone in Salzb. to think that I lacked the good manners to visit the prince.
I`m enclosing another poem, this one by a lady by the name of Sigra. Sartoretti,   Read More   who entertained us in Mantua. Her servant came the next day and brought us an uncommonly beautiful bouquet of flowers on a beautiful plate, with red ribbons beneath it and 4 ducats entwined in the middle of the ribbons; on top was the poem, a copy of which I am appending.
I can assure you that everywhere I have found the most delightful people and that everywhere we have had our particular favourites who have remained with us until the very last moment of our departure and done everything in their power to make our stay agreeable. So it was, for example, with Count Spaur`s household in Insprugg, Baron Pizzini, Counts Lodron, Cristani, Cosmi etc in Roveredo and Count Carlo Emilij, Marchese Carlotti, Count Justi, the Luggiatti household and especially Herr Locatelli in Verona. Then in Mantua Count Arco`s household and especially a Sigr. Bettinelli who, together with his brother and his brother`s wife, was entirely at our service. The wife was really like a mother to Wolfgangl and we left with tears in our eyes. I`m also enclosing the newspaper from Mantua,   Read More   which we received only after we`d already arrived here in Milan . Among other things you`ll find in it the printed programme of the music performed at the concert,   Read More   but I should add that neither the concert in Mantua nor the one in Verona was given for money, for everyone is admitted free of charge. In Verona only the nobility can attend as it`s they who run it, but in Mantua it`s the nobility, the armed forces and the most prominent members of the community as it`s a foundation set up by Her Majesty the Empress. You`ll easily gather from this that we shan`t grow rich in Italy and that we`ll do well to recover our travelling expenses. These I`ve always recovered: and you can be assured that although there are only 2 of us, our travelling expenses are not small, as we`ve already spent about 70 ducats. But |: as I write this :| we`ve already been away from Salzb. for 6 weeks, and if you live à pasto footnote6 and, moreover, even if you often, or rather mostly, don`t lunch at home, then supper, rooms, wood etc. are all so expensive that after 9 to 11 days at an inn you rarely get away with paying less than 6 ducats. I often thank God that I left the two of you at home. First, you`d not have been able to stand the cold. Secondly, it would have cost an incredible amount of money, and we`d not have been free to live as we do, as we`re now staying at the Augustinian monastery of San Marco; not that it`s free here, no! but we can live here comfortably, in safety and in close proximity to His Excellency Count Firmian. We have 3 large guest rooms. In the first we have lit a fire and dine and receive visitors; I sleep in the second, and it`s here that we`ve put our trunk; and Wolfg. sleeps in the third, where we keep the rest of our smaller items of luggage etc.
We each sleep on 4 good mattresses, and every night the bed is warmed, so that Wolfg. always goes to bed happy. We have our own monk, Brother Alphonso, to wait on us and are being very well looked after. How long we`ll remain here, I can`t say. His Excellency the Count has a cold but was very keen to give a concert in his house and invite the Duke of Modena, footnote7 so I`ve not yet been able to hand over the other letters, as this has to take place first. I think the concert will be next Tuesday or Wednesday as His Excellency is already feeling rather better. I told you that Wolfg. has got red hands and a red face from the cold and fire, but all is now well again. Madame Sartoretti in Mantua gave him a pomade to rub on his hands every evening and in 3 days he was better: he now looks just as he did before. Otherwise we`ve kept well, thank God, and the change of air gave Wolfg. only a cold that he got over long ago. I very much doubt if we`ll hear Herr Meissner performing in Florence for not only shall we be staying here for some time, but because Turin is so close, we`ll undoubtedly be popping over there. We`ll also be staying briefly in Parma and Bologna, and so I don`t think we`ll be in Florence before the start of Lent.
As for the horse, you can sell it or raffle it or give it away, for all I care, I just want it out of His Grace`s stables. The old saddle etc. is in the stables, the court stabler must know where things are. If it can be sold with the new saddle and bridle, you may get a better price for it. You can also sell my carriage. It`s not getting any better: and we shan`t be going on any more long journeys. Sell it as best you can, it`s done good service. footnote8 The harness is still in good condition – when I bought it, it cost only 23 ducats. Talk to people who understand these things. I don`t mind what you do: but before you sell it, it needs cleaning. All the letters that you write in future should be addressed to Monsieur Troger, as you did last time.
Every good wish to all our friends at home and abroad. I am your old honest

L. Mzt

We kiss you both 1000 times
Please use the following reference when citing this website:
Eisen, Cliff et al. In Mozart's Words, Letter 157 <http://letters.mozartways.com>. Version 1.0, published by HRI Online, 2011. ISBN 9780955787676.
In Mozart's Words. Version 1.0, published by HRI Online, 2011. ISBN 9780955787676.