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    Poles at the Venetian carnival

    The “delicacies of the Italian land” attracted the First Polish Republic inhabitants, who traveled to Italy passionately and for various reasons for centuries. Students went to the famous University of Padua, pilgrims visited Rome, diplomats spent their time at the Sforza court in Milan or the Venetian doges.

    In the 17th century, it was Venice that especially appealed to our ancestors, who were fascinated not only by the picturesque location but also by the independence and the system of Serenissima.

    In 1677, Teodor Billewicz, accompanying the retinue of the Lithuanian Deputy Chancellor, Prince Michał Kazimierz Radziwił and Katarzyna Sobieski, extended his stay to see the Venetian carnival “because there is a lot to see at that time”. But at the same time, he described Venice, not very, fortunately, “in seawater floating like a duck.”

    In turn, the sons of Hetman Jabłonowski noted in their diary that the city was extraordinary, built on the sea and crisscrossed by canals. The guardian of the youths added poetically that Venice “on Neptune’s salty ridge has established its foundation”.

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