«3 September 1786
I slipped out of Carlsbad at three in the morning; otherwise, I would not have been allowed to leave. Perhaps my friends, who had so kindly celebrated my birthday on 28 August, had thereby acquired the right to detain me, but I could wait no longer. I packed a single portmanteau and a valise, jumped into the mail-coach, and arrived in Zwota at 7.30. The morning was misty, calm and beautiful, and this seemed a good omen. The upper clouds were like streeked wool, the lower heavy. After such a wretched summer, I looked forward to enjoying a fine autumn. At noon I arrived in Eger. The sun was hot, and it occurred to me that this place lay on the same latitude as my native town, I felt very happy to be taking my midday meal under a cloudless sky on the fiftieth parallel.»
© Penguin Classics, 1982
From this journey, which Goethe undertakes incognito as "Filippo Miller, Tedesco (German), Pittore (Painter)", he returns in June 1788 as one, who found "Arcadia" and himself.
But only thirty years later he publishes in a worked form the travel diary originally dedicated to Charlotte von Stein. The "Italian Journey" finally got its title in the last hand edition from 1829, now completed with the report about his second staying in Rome.
… I'm off to Italy myself as well. I'll be back tomorrow.