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besides dogs or pigs, and at times sheep or goats, also privileged to enjoy its warmth and shelter. Here (it may be within sight of S. Peter's and the Lateran basilica) does this rude servant of the soil spend the long seasons of his monotonous existence, till the summer sultriness obliges him to migrate with his dogs and sheep. The usu-il food of these outcast-looking beings is black bread and ricotta (ewe's-milk cheese).'— Heman*, 'Story of Monuments in Rome.'
In this vast undulating plain, sometimes occupying some green knoll, washed by a brook at its base, are the sites of many an ancient Latin town which was alternately the enemy and the ally of Rome. Sometimes, as in the case of Ostia, a whole city, with its paved streets, its narrow shops, and its temples, has been laid bare. Sometimes, as at Veii, Gabii, and Tusculum, only a fragment of rain, rising here and there above ground, marks one of the principal buildings—a theatre, a temple, or walls. Often, as at Antemnae, Fidenae, Crustumerium, and Collatia, only cuttings, or the undulations of the turf, or caves in the cliff, attest where the town has been.
As we advance into the hills, where they were more easily protected, the ancient towns are far more perfect; at Tivoli are the beautiful temples and villas of ancient Tibur; at Sutri is its wonderful rock-hewn amphitheatre of the time of Augustus; at Cori are the threefold polygonal walls which girdle, and the rock temples which crown, its noble ridge.
Further still from the capital, where the classical buildings were usually less magnificent, mediaeval remains attest the doings of Popes who made some of the hill-towns fortified residences during their troubled reigns. The massive remains of the Papal palaces of Anagni and Viterbo, with the churches of those towns; the gothic palace of Cardinal Vitelleschi at Corneto; the convents of Subiaco, Farfa, Grotta Ferrata, Trisulti, Casamari, and Fossanova; the castles and towers of Tivoli, Borghetto, Ostia, Braociano, and Bolsena; the churches of Toscanella; the walls of Civita Lavinia and Nepi—attest the love and knowledge of art and beauty which flourished in those feudal days. An especial archaeological interest is afforded by the polygonal walls at Palestrina, Cori, Norba, Segni, Alatri, and Ferentino; and yet another by the marvellous Etruscan remains at Cervetri, Corneto, Vulci, Norchia, and Bieda.
'The excursions in the neighbourhood of Rome are charming, and would be full of interest if it were only for the changing views they afford of the wild Campagna. But every inch of ground, in every direction, is rich in associations, and in natural beauties. There is Albano, with its lovely lake and wooded shore, and with its wine, that certainly has not improved since the days of Horace, and in these times hardly justifies his panegyric. There is squalid Tivoli, with the river Anio, diverted from its course, and plunging down, headlong, some eighty feet in search of it; with its picturesque Temple of the Sibyl, perched high on a crag; its minor waterfalls glancing and sparkling in the sun ; and one good cavern yawning darkly, where the river takes a fearful plunge and shoots on, low down under beetling rocks.'— Dickens.
'Nothing can be more rich and varied, with every kind of beauty, than the Campagna of Rome—sometimes, as around Ostia, flat as an American prairie, with miles of canne and reeds rustling in the wind, fields of exquisite feathery "rssses wavin" to and fro, and forests of tall golden-trunked stone-pines poising their spreading umbrellas of rich green high in the air, and weaving a murmurous roof against the sun; sometimes drear, mysterious, and melancholy, as in the desolate stretches between Civita Vecchia and Rome, with lonely hollows and hills without a habitation, where sheep and oxen feed, and the wind roams over treeless and deserted slopes, and silence makes its home; sometimes rolling like an inland sea whose waves have suddenly been checked and stiffened, green with grass, golden with grain, and gracious with myriads of wild flowers, where scarlet poppies blaze over acres and acres, and pink-frilled daisies cover the vast meadows, and pendant vines shroud the picturesque ruins of antique villas, aqueducts, and tombs, or droop from mediaeval towers and fortresses.
'Such is the aspect of the Agro Romano, or southern portion of the Campagna extending between Rome and Albano. It is a picture wherever you go. The land, which is of deep rich loam that repays a hundred-fold the least toil of the farmer, does not wait for the help of man, but bursts into spontaneous vegetation and everywhere laugh's into flowers. Here is pasturage for millions of cattle, and grain fields for a continent, that now in wild untutored beauty bask in the Italian sun, crying shame on their neglectful owners. Over these long unfenced slopes one may gallop on horseback for miles without let or hindrance, through meadows of green smoothness on fire with scarlet poppies—over hills crowned with ruins that insist on being painted, so exquisite are they in form and colour, with their background of purple mountains—down valleys of pastoral quiet, where great tvfa caves open into subterranean galleries leading beyond human ken; or one may linger in lovely secluded groves of ilexes and pines, or track the course of swift streams overhung by dipping willows, and swerving here and there through broken arches of antique bridges smothered in green; or wander through hedges heaped and toppling over with rich luxuriant foliage, twined together by wild vetches, honeysuckles, morning-glories, and every species of flowering vine; or sit beneath the sun-looped shadows of ivy-covered aqueducts, listening to the song of hundreds of larks far up in the air, and gazing through the lofty arches into wondrous deeps of violet-hued distances, or lazily watching flocks of white sheep as they cross the smooth slopes guarded by the faithful watch-dog. Everywhere are deep brown banks of pozzolana earth which makes the strong Roman cement, and quarries of tufa and travertine with unexplored galleries and catacombs honey-combing for miles the whole Campagna. Dead generations lie under your feet wherever you tread. The place is haunted by ghosts that outnumber by myriads the living, and the air is filled with a tender sentiment and sadness which makes the beauty of the world about you more touching. You pick up among the ruins on every slope fragments of rich marbles that once encased the walls of luxurious villas. The contadino or shepherd offers you an old worn coin, on which you read the name of Caesar, or a scarabaeus which once adorned the finger of an Etruscan king, in whose dust he now grows his beans, or the broken head of an ancient jar in marble or terra-cotta, or a lacrymatory of a martyred Christian, or a vase with the Etrurian red that now is lost, or an intaglio that perhaps has sealed a love-letter a thousand years ago.'—Story, 'Rooa di Roma,' i. 313.
From the nature of the Campagna and the paucity of inhabitants, the ancient landmarks are sometimes more easily traced here than in other parts of Italy. But cultivation born of modern Italian prosperity, which is no friend to old sites and remains, is moving apace. Every year some disappear, and inscriptions are destroyed.
'The hills of Rome are such as we rarely see in England, low in height but with steep and rocky sides. In early times the natural wood still remained in patches amidst the buildings, as at this day it still grows here and there on the green sides of the Monte Testaccio. Across the Tiber the ground rises to a greater height than that of the Roman hills, but its summit is a level unbroken line, while the heights opposite to Rome itself rise immediately from the river, under the names of Janiculus and Vatican us, then sweep away to some distance from it, and return in their highest and boldest form at the Monte Mario, just above the Milvian bridge and the Flaminian road. Thus to the west the view is immediately bounded; but to the north and north-east the eye ranges over the low ground of the Campagna to the nearest line of Apennines, which closes up, as with a gigantic wall, all the Sabine, Latin, and Volscian lowlands, while over it are still distinctly to be seen the high summits of the central Apennines, covered with snow, even at this day, for more than six months in the year. South and south-west lies the wide plain of the Campagna; its level line succeeded by the equally level line of the sea, which can only be distinguished from it by the brighter light reflected from its waters. Eastward, after ten miles of plain, the view is bounded by the Alban Hills, a cluster of high bold points rising out of the Campagna, like Arran from the sea, on the highest of which, at nearly the same height with the summit of Helvellyn, stood the Temple of Jupiter Latiaris, the scene of the common worship of all the people of the Latin name. Immediately under this highest point lies the crater-like basin of the Alban lake ; and on its nearer rim might be seen the trees of the grove of Ferentia, where the Latins held the great civil assemblies of their nation. Further to the north, on the edge of the Alban Hills looking towards Rome, was the town and citadel of Tusculum ; and beyond this, a lower summit crowned with the walls and towers of Labicum seems to connect the Alban hills with the line of the Apennines just at the spot where the citadel of Praeneste, high up on the mountain side, marks the opening into the country of the Heruicans, and into the valleys of the streams that feed the Liris.
'Returning nearer to Rome, the lowland country of the Campagna is broken by long green swelling ridges, the ground rising and falling, as in the heath country of Surrey and Berkshire. The streams are dull and sluggish, but the hill-sides above them constantly break away into little rocky cliffs, where on every ledge the wild fig now strikes out its branches, and tufts of broom are clustering, but which in old times formed the natural strength of the citadels of the numerous cities of Latium. Except in these narrow dells, the present aspect of the country is all bare and desolate, with no trees nor any human habitation. But anciently, in the time of the early kings of Rome, it was full of independent cities, and in its population and the careful cultivation of its little garden-like farms, must have resembled the most flourishing parts of Normandy or the Netherlands.'—Arnold, 'History of Rome* vol. i. ch. 3.
Excursions from Rome have hitherto been usually limited to the Alban Hills and Tivoli, or at most Subiaco. Thus foreigners have forgone not only enjoyment of much that is worth seeing, but the benefit of occasional draughts of pure mountain air, which would do much to keep off the feverish colds, to which too many, who strictly confine themselves to the city-sights, and heated hotelrooms, are apt to fall victims.
Owing to the rapidly increasing prosperity of agriculture, malaria is little to be feared now in localities where but a few years ago one ran no little risk of taking it.
'Strabo particularises the sites on the Campagna notoriously dangerous to inhabit:—Ardea, Saetia (now Sezza), Terracina, &c. In reference to this does Cicero complain of the fevers prevailing in its low districts; and Livy laments the fate of the retired soldiers doomed to reside on this soil—" So militando fessos in pestilenti atque arido, circa urbem, solo luctari." '—Hemans, 'Story of Monuments in Rome.'
But malaria does not penetrate into the hills, and nothing can be more healthy and invigorating than the air in the mountain towns. The middle of winter, when light is wanting and nights are long, should be devoted to the city, and to the nearer Campagna drives, so as to leave spring days for the excursions, which will then have a charm none who have not felt them here can ever realise.
'About your feet the myrtles will be set,
Of love-pale labyrinthine violet;
The golden jonquil and starred asphodel
And hyacinth their speechless tales will tell.
The nightingales for you their tremulous song
Of wild acacia bowers, and all night long
Soothing your sense with odours sweet as sleep,
While wind-stirred cypresses low music keep.'
—J. A. Symonds.
'The Campagna glowed under the midday sun, like a Persian carpet—one wilderness of poppies and harebells, buttercups, daisies, wild convolvuli, and purple hyacinths. Every crumbling ruin burst into blossom, like a garden. Every cultivated patch within the city walls ran over, as it were, spontaneously, with the delicious products of the spring. Every stall at the shady corner of every quiet piazza was piled high with early fruits: and the flowergirls sat all day long on the steps of the Trinita de' Monti. Even the sullen pulses of the Tiber seemed stirred by a more genial current, as they eddied round the broken piers of the Ponte Rotto. Even the solemn sepulchres of the Appian Way put forth long feathery grasses from each mouldering cranny, and the wild eglantine struck root among the shattered urns of the roadside columbarium ; and the nightingales s;ing as if inspired, among the cypresses of the Protestant burial-ground.'—Miss Edwards,'Barbara's History.'
The spring in Italy is the time for active, the summer for passive, enjoyment.
In the mountain-towns, living is exceedingly economical Even at the hotels there are few places where the charges for pension including everything would be more than 4J, or at most 5 lire a day, while in lodgings one may live quite handsomely for 25 lire a week. All prices are proportionately small. For instance, in the Abruzzi a whole day's journey by diligence seldom costs more than 6 or 8 lire. Of course this tariff does not apply to Albano, where the price of everything has been raised by fashion, but rather to places which are not much frequented, or which are resorted to by Italians of the lower-upper or mezzo-ceto classes, who simply laugh down any overcharge. In some of these places there are charming, happy summer colonies, which migrate to the fresher air like the swallows, as regularly as the hot months come round. To L'Ariccia especially artists flock forth, and there and at Olevano they make their summer societies, leading an innocent, merry enough life, and, though rivals in their art, are filled with kindnesses for one another; the companionship and good-fellowship of the Via Margutta being carried on equally in these country villages.
He who remains for a time in one of these country places will have an experience of Italian character which no town residence will give; and will be astonished at the amount of quaint folk-lore and historical tradition which is handed down orally among a population that can seldom read, and is ignorant of the most ordinary principles of modern information. They rarely go beyond the limits of their own castelli, except that in former days all probably paid one visit to Rome in their lifetime, to receive the Easter Benediction from the Holy Father. Their animals are generally like friends to them, and are trained in a wonderfully human way — especially their pigs, which often live in the houses, and are the companions of their daily life. A pig at Subiaco danced the tarantella like a human being. If an Italian peasant were told that there was no future state for his domestic animals he would be very incredulous. 'S. Antonio abbia pieta dell' anima sua,' cried Madame de StaeTs Italian coachman, as his horse fell down dead; and the Intendente of the Duke of Sermoneta, writing to announce that a number of his pigs had died in the country, said simply, 'Sono andati in Paradise'
The men are generally far more instructed than the women, whose ideas are for the most part confined to what they hear in the churches, and to the stories of their own village or of the saints.
'Among us, and in many places, the contadina is neither more nor less than the wife, the female of the contadino, as the hen is the female of the cock; with which, except in sex, it has life, nourishment, habits, all in common. This equality, on the contrary, in certain places becomes destruction and loss to the poor woman. Here, for example, if a faggot of wood and a bunch of chickens have to be carried down to the shore from one of the villages halfway up the mountain, the labour is thus distributed in the family : the wife loads herself with the faggot of wood which weighs half a hundredweight, and the husband will take the chickens which weigh a mere nothing. In mountainous places it is generally thus. It is curious to hear the contadini, when they are trying to lift a weight, if they find it heavy, say, as they quickly put it down again, " It is woman's work !" '—Massimo d'Azeglio.
* From a people so original and so ignorant we may expect many quaint superstitions. Accordingly besides ghosts and haunted houses we hear of the lupo-manaro, a kind of were-wolf, most dangerous on rainy nights; of witches whom you may keep out of the house by hanging a broom at the window. The Roman witch seizes eagerly on her favourite steed, and with the muttered charm,
"Sopr' acqua e sopra veuto Portami alia noce di Beuevento,"
she is off in a trice to join her Samnite sisters. If a Roman housewife has lost anything, she will repeat Psalm xci., "Qui habitat" quite sure that at the words "from the snare of the hunter" (" de laqueo venantium"—she reads it "acqua di Venanzio") the truant will re-appear. Then she has her famous "Rimedii Simpatici." To cure a wart you must tie the finger round with crimson silk ribbon; for a sty, pretend to sew it up with needle and thread; for a boil, get a poor neighbour to beat a frying-pan at your door. Their faith in the lottery and the libro delV arte is too well known for comment; a similar reverence is paid to the weather-prophecies of the almanac. The hook must be true, they argue, for it has the Imprimatur.'—Claude Delaval Cobham, ' Essay on Belli.'
'Can we believe that amid the abundant produce of the land the peasants are poor? Looking at the region, it appears to be an Eldorado of happy inhabitants; but living with them in the paradise of Nature we meet too often with starvation. All these fruits (twenty figs or twenty walnuts may be bought here for one bajocco, and in good years a bottle of wine for the same price) do not feed the peasant; he would starve if he had not the meal of the