Born in Northamptonshire, Robert Dallington (1561-1637) was a writer, traveler and courtier who lived in 16th-century England. Of his five publications, two guidebooks, The View of France (1604) and A Survey of the Great Dukes State of Tuscany (1605) are well- known. He made the Grand Tour through Europe with Roger Manners, 5th Earl of Rutland, acting as his tutor and secretary. This book is based on Dallington’s stay in Tuscany in 1596. At first it was intended only for private circulation but was later commercially printed, enabling a wider readership. The book contains a detailed history of Florence and accounts of different cities in Tuscany.  The fascination with Florentine culture and the Medici found in this book had a broad impact on contemporary English society: the book served to promote an attractive image of Italy and Florence in particular became a destination for English travelers who appreciated art. Dallington also writes briefly about Pisa and the Camposanto as one of the major monuments of the city. That the legend about the holy earth is included in the description of the Camposanto suggests that it was considered essential information. / DJ

Dallington_A Survey of_1605

Source: Robert Dallington, A Survey of the Great Dukes State of Tuscany. In the Yeare of Our Lord 1596 (London: Edward Blount, 1605), 23.

“On the North of this Church [the Cathedral] is the Campo Santo, as they call it, their Golgetha or place of burial, the earth whereof was brought in ships from the Terra santa, as their Histories record: & as they affirme, the dead consume there in foure and twenty houres. Not farre from this place is an old ruinous Tower, called by them (Torre di fame) […].”