Mark Twain’s visit to Venice in 1868 inspired his best-selling book Innocents Abroad which might almost be described as a comic low-life counterpart to the experiences of plutocratic Americans on the Grand Tour.  Whereas the diaries of Helen Frick and Amelia Morgan provide rather conventional accounts of the experiences of the gilded age travellers, punctuated by the occasional fulsome passage called forth by moonlight or the singing of the gondoliers, Mark Twain took a determinedly critical and unromantic attitude to La Serenissima refusing to be impressed by the beauty of the city before eventually succumbing to the effect of moonlight on the Grand Canal: