The day of Malwida's 'small colony' (as she described it) began when everyone rose at 6.30 and went – at Nietzsche's insistence – for a brisk walk. 'One can do things in a "barracks"', Brenner wrote home, 'that would be unbearable if one were alone'. (Since he was an insomniac, Nietzsche's day often began much earlier – he kept a slate tablet at his bedside to record thoughts that came to him during the night.) Breakfast was taken cummunally at 7.30. From 9.00 until 10.00 Nietzsche would dictate to Brenner – his eyesight was so bad at this time that his normally voluminous letter-output was reduced to a few postcards. After a communal lunch, there would be more walks and excursions in the surrounding area. Sometimes they wound their way up the hills behind the house to farmhouses where, Malwida recollects, 'comely girls' danced the tarantella. Sometimes they rode on donkeys, occasions on which Brenner's poor riding and long legs scraping the ground caused general merriment. Sometimes there would be longer excursions: three-hour walks over the hills to the Gulf of Sorrento to Pompeii ('inoffensive vulgarity', Nietzsche calls it in The Gay Science, referring to its Roman inhabitans rather than modern visitors). Or they would take a boat to Capri of Ischia. After dinner, the evening would be devoted to discussing the 'colonists'' various projects of to readings from, inter alia, Voltaire, Montaigne, Diderot, Burckhardt, Ranke, Thucydides, Herodotus, Calderon, Cervantes, Michelet, Turgenev, Renan, the Bible, La Rochefoucauld, Stendhal, Plato's Laws or from Adolf Baumgartner's notes taken from Burckhardt's lectures on the Greeks, on which Nietzsche, as the resident classicist, would then give a commentary. (The murderer of evenings such as this, television has a lot to answer for.)

Julian Young Friedrich Nietzsche. A Philosophical Biography, 232

Robert Alott (1850-1910)
Scene near Sorrento (1881)