Thursday 6th November
With Col Rocke called on General Diaz, the Italian Commander in Chief. He was delighted with his reception in England, during his recent visit and had a most interesting talk with me concerning the future of Italy and England. Both he said are Maritime Nations, and he hoped that Italy and England would ever remain close friends and allies. The problems of war said he were as nothing as compared with the problems of peace. Later called on Sir George Buchanan, the British Ambassador in Rome and our late Ambassador in Russia, in which country he has lost his home and all its contents. Had a most interesting and instructive conversation with him concerning the future of Russia.
Arranged sleeping berths for tonight.
After lunch attended Army Equestrian sports, and here met the Minister of War, Lieut General Albricci who commanded a corps in France in 1918 and was associated with Gen Godley. Also met Gen Johnston the American Military Attache who earlier had commanded an American Division on the Western Front. Called on the Roumanian Minister, and had Passport Visad by the British Consul.
Left Rome at 8.50pm for Verona, accompanied by Lt Magistrati, who is to go with us around the Italian front. He speaks English modestly well.
Friday 7th November.
In early morning passed through Florence and Bologna, reaching Padua about 9.30 AM, a half hour late. The town was, during the latter phases of Italian fighting, the HQrs of the Commando Supremo and also of General [indecipherable]. Walked round this interesting old town and inspected the two principal churches. Much arcading along the streets. Had breakfast at an old historical CafÃ© named "Pedrocchi". Lunched at Hotel Stella B'Oro and caught train at 1.21pm for Verona, which we reached via Vicenza at about 3.40.
At once made our way to HQrs of Army Corps stationed here. Met Chief of Staff who had received intimation of our visit from War office in Rome. He has placed a car and Col Varizetti at our disposal and we leave tomorrow at 7 am to see the Trentum, Asiago and Piave fronts, later visiting Udine, Gorizia and Trieste.
Col Varizezzi this evening showed us round Verona. Full of interest. Here is a miniature Colliseum in an excellent state of preservation. Enemy bombing both here and Padua caused many casualties.