Felix Fabri describes the town of Feltre, Italy in the account of his second pilgrimage to Jerusalem. In his writing, Fabri explains that his party only wanted to pass through Feltre, but ended up being detained for a day due to the weather. Most of the account of Feltre focuses on the effects of the weather on their travel, the people of the inn Fabri’s party stayed in, and the general layout of and a brief explanation of the history of the town.
Fabri’s party experienced heavy rains on their journey and planned to stop at Felte for a few hours, or until the rain stopped. Fabri recounts with annoyance, however, that the rain instead grew worse, and they had no choice but to stay. Even now, it is undesirable to drive through heavy rain, so it makes sense that the weather would be such a cause of delay in their plans. Upon a break in the storm, Fabri’s party left Feltre and rode on despite the “rising waters,” “swift rivers,” and overflowing torrent beds that made travel extremely dangerous. Their insistence to travel despite the overwhelming danger of post-storm conditions reflects the serious nature of their purpose for journey; Fabri’s party was willing to risk dangerous conditions to complete their pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
Fabri writes that staying in the inn in Feltre longer than absolutely necessary was “disagreeable” due to the landlord, landlady, and household. As it was an inn in Italy, everyone except Fabri’s party only spoke Italian. His annoyance at the language barrier seems strange because all of the blame is placed on the local people. He does not place the blame on his party for not knowing Italian when they knew they would be traveling through Italy for a while, but focuses on the fact that the local people do not speak his foreign language that they have little reason to know. This misplaced annoyance reveals the Fabri’s ego; he expects to be accommodated. This annoyance is not only placed on the language barrier, but also on the landlord, landlady, and household’s lack of knowledge on how to serve nobility and the proper materials to serve them “with proper respect.” Again, the people of the inn should not be expected to know how to serve German nobility property since they are not German and it is assumed that they do not serve nobility in general often, if at all. Fabri puts himself on a pedestal as a compassionate and understanding man because he realized that they were “good, simple people, and did all that they could” and wrote that because of this, he was more considerate than the lordships’ servants. Through these comments, Fabri’s demonstrates his condescending and ‘holier than thou’ attitude towards both the people of the inn and the lordships’ servants, which tells us more about his mentality and personality.
During their stay in Feltre, Fabri’s party attended Mass at the local church. Their insistence to brave the continued bad weather for their religion again shows their dedication to it. After Mass, they viewed the town of Feltre. Fabri tells of its history as a town built by Antenor to defend the mountain country, telling a short story in his usual romanticized fashion, and comments on the town’s geographical layout. In regards to the contents of the city, Fabri only wrote that it has old buildings, a bishop, and monasteries, which fits with the theme of his focus on religion.
Felix Fabri’s account of the town of Feltre reveals how he thinks about himself in relation to others, his dedication to his religious purpose, and the effect of weather on medieval travelers.