Baba’s First World Tour, 1932
By Kitty Davy
from Volume 12 Number 3 Page 21
After the hectic trip across the Pacific, and the stay in Shanghai, Baba wished to visit Italy, especially Assisi because of its associations with St. Francis. Quentin Tod, arriving ahead of the others, had made arrangements for Baba and party to stay at the Villa Fiorenza in Santa Margherita. I quote from his diary:
"On July 25th, Margaret, Mabel, and Audrey arrived; July 28th, Delia and Aminta arrived; on July 30th, Baba arrived at Santa Margherita from Marseilles with Chanji, Kaka, Herbert, and Kitty. Wishing to surprise us, he sent no telegram and walked from the station. He reached Fiorenza at 8:3O A.M. We were all in the sea or on the beach dressing when we saw Baba suddenly on the road in front of the hotel, and we all rushed headlong to greet him. It was a joyful reunion after all the travelling and vicissitudes we had passed through.
"The next three weeks we spent as a perfect summer holiday. The weather was cloudless day after day. All of our meals were taken on the terrace and Baba had his on his balcony.
Each morning we went to the rocks at Galto Pedale. Baba did not bathe but sat with his feet in the water. This promontory where we used to go juts out near the point between Cervara and Santa Margherita. Soon Baba's fame spread and boats used to row backwards and forwards in front of us. Many Italians from the villas around us used to come and sit quietly near Baba, delighting to be in his presence.
"Baba's great wish was to go to Assisi and retire for twenty-four hour seclusion. He chose Assisi on account of its associations and his love for St. Francis. So, Herbert was instructed to go to Assisi and find suitable cave for Baba who was to arrive at the end of the week.
"Herbert left Monday, August 1st. That week we had a quiet and happy time going to Rapallo and Portofino and various other excursions.
"On the following Saturday at 2:30 A.M., Baba, Chanji, Kaka and myself left Fiorenza in a car driven by Signor Pavese. We were to have left at midnight, but Baba was not well, suffering a good deal of pain in his solar plexus. Very often before he does some great spiritual work, he suffers in this way.