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BIANCO NOE, Viaggio da Venetia al Santo Sepolcro, et al monte Sina. Col dissegno delle Città, Castelli, Ville, Chiese, Monasterij, Isole, Porti, & Fiumi..., Lucca, Salvatore e Giandomenico Marescandoli, 1600.

Franciscan friar Noe Bianco made his pilgrimage to the Holy Land around 1527 and died in Peruggia in 1568. He followed the usual pilgrim route without unforessen events that would cause him to modify his itinerary. Thus, he sailed out from Venice and reached Palestine after stopping over at the Venetian cities on the Adriatic, the Ionian islands and the islands of the southern Aegean. Bianco toured Jerusalem and the nearby holy sites and returned to Venice by way of Cyprus, Crete and Corfu in November 1527.

His chronicle was published in 1566 and republished many times (1570, 1585, 1638, 1738). In 1600, a very well-known although anonymous pilgrim account in Italian began to circulate as authored by Bianco, probably an editorial strategy to ensure success with the reading public. To date, scholarship has not reached a conclusion as to the authorship of the work’s various editions, and great confusion continues to dominate on this question. Probably a crucial difference as to content is that probably the extracts signed by Bianco are marked by a more personal tone.

The first part of the chronicle contains a list of necessary provisions for the journey to the Holy Land, and advice on the preparation of the journey. The 1600 edition is illustrated with wood engravings that depict mainly ports, locations and pilgrim sites in the Holy Land, something original for pilgrim chronicles of the time.

Written by Ioli Vingopoulou

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