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(Tivoli, 18 miles distant, is the most attractive of all the places in the neighbourhood of Rome, and the one excursion which none should omit, even if they are only at Rome for a week. A carriage with two horses ought not to cost more than 25 frs. for the day; but the excursion is now rendered pleasanter and less fatiguing by the tram railway from the Porta S. Lorenzo, by which there are four trains each way daily in an hour and three-quarters. The line follows the high road, so that everything is as well seen as from a carriage, but there is very little beauty on the way to Tivoli. Those who wish to visit Adrian's villa may be set down by one train and go on by the next. The railway terminus is close to the castle of Tivoli and the Villa d' Este. Guides are quite unnecessary. It is best to proceed straight through the town to the Temple of the Sibyl, and then see the cascades, the exquisite view of the Cascatelle, and finally the Villa d' Este. Those who are not strong enough for the whole round should see the Cascatelle and the Villa d' Este. The circuit which Tivoli guides and donkey-men take strangers, through the woods and underneath the waterfalls, is very long and fatiguing. There are two hotels at Tivoli, La Regina (in the town), which is comfortable, clean, and well furnished, but where it is necessary to come to a very strict agreement as to prices on arriving, and La Sibylla, far humbler, but not uncomfortable, and in the most glorious situation. In the former, guest: are received en pension at 8 francs, at the latter at 6 francs a day. Those who stay long will find endless points of interest both in the place itself and the excursions which may be made from it. Visitors who are pressed for time may omit the Villa Adriana, but on no account the Villa d' Este.)
THE road to Tivoli follows the ancient Via Tiburtina for the greater part of its course, and leads through one of the most desolate and least interesting parts of the Campagna. Issuing from the Porta S. Lorenzo, we pass the great basilica of the same name, and descending into the valley of the Anio, cross the river by a modern bridge, near the ancient Ponte Mammolo, which took its name (Pons Mammaeus) from Mammaea, mother of Alexander Severus.
The little river Teverone, or Anio, in which Silvia the mother of Romulus and Remus exchanged her earthly life fpr that of a goddess, adds greatly to the charm of the Campagna. It rises near Treba, in the Simbrivian hills, and flows through the gorges of Subiaco and the country of the Aequians till it forms the glorious falls of Tivoli. After this stormy beginning it assumes a most peaceful character, gliding gently between deep banks, and usually marked along the brown reaches of the burnt-up Campagna by its fringe of green willows. Silius calls it 'sulphureus,' from the sulphuretted hydrogen which is poured into it by the springs of Albula.
'Sulphureis gelidus qua serpit leniter undis
Sil. Ital. xii. 539.
On its way through the plain a whole succession of historical brooks pour their waters into the Anio. Of these, the most remarkable, as we ascend it, are (on the left) the torrent Le Molette (the Ulmanus), the Magliano, the Tutia, and the Albula; and (on the right) the Marrana, and the Osa, which flows beneath the walls of Collatia. Nibby says that 'anciently the Anio was navigable from the Ponte Lucano to its mouth.' Strabo mentions 'that the blocks of travertine from the quarries near Tibur, and of Lapis Gabinus from Gabii, were brought to Rome by means of it. But in the dark ages the channel was neglected, and the navigation interrupted and abandoned.
When we reach the dismal farm-buildings, which encircle the Osteria del Fornaccio, the caves of Cervara and the mediaeval towers of Rustica and Cervara are visible at no great distance, rising above the Campagna on the opposite bank of the Anio. There is nothing more of interest, except, here and there, the pavement of the ancient road, till we pass, on the left, the ruins of the mediaeval Castel Arcione, Across the Campagna, on the left, near the Sabine mountains, the picturesque little hills called Montes Corniculani may be seen, their three summits occupied by the villages of S. Angelo, Colle Cesi, and Monticelli ; on the right we overlook the distant sites of Collatia and Gabii, with many other cities of the plain, whose exact positions are unknown. After crossing the brook Tuzia, the ancient Tutia on whose banks Hannibal encamped,1 and leaving to the left the nowdrained Lago de' Tartari, a terrible smell of sulphur announces the neighbourhood, about a mile distant on the left, of the lakes of the Solfatara, the Aquae Albulae, from which a canal, cut in 1549 by Cardinal d' Este, to take the place of the ancient Albula, carries their rushing milk-white waters under the road towards the Anio. Here, near ' the hoary Albula,' was the hallowed grove of the Muses mentioned by Martial:—
'Itur ad Herculei gelidas qua Tiburis arces,
There are now three lakes. On the largest, the Lago delle /sole Natanti, are some floating islands formed by matted weeds. The ruins near it, called Bagni della Regina, are supposed to have been the baths of Queen Zenobia during her semi-captivity at Tibur. The two smaller lakes have the names of Lago di S. Giovanni and Lago delle Colonelle. There is no reason for supposing the temple of Faunus ('Aen.'vii.), sometimes described as on this site, to have been in this neighbourhood. It was more probably at Ta Solfatara in the great Laurentine wood sacred to Picus and Faunus, whither, and not hither, the king of Laurentum would naturally go to consult the oracle.2
Two miles beyond the canal is the Ponte Lucano, well known by engravings from the beautiful picture by G. Poussin in the Doria Palace. Close beyond the bridge, rises,
1 Livy, xxvi. 10.
a But two inscriptions have been found which show that there was once a temple of Cybele nere, and that the waters themselves were honoured as 1 Acquae Albuiae Sanctissimae.'
embattled into a tower by Pius II., the massive round tomb of the Plautii, built by M. Plautius Silvanus in B.c. I, and long used by his descendants. At Barco, near this, were the principal quarries for the travertine used in the buildings of ancient Rome.
About half a mile beyond the bridge, a lane to the left leads to the gates of the Villa Adriana, which is said once to have been from 8 to 10 miles in extent. It is believed to have been ruined during the siege of Tibur by Totila. The chief interest of the ruins arises from their vast extent, and they formerly received a charm from the lovely carpet of shrubs and flowers with -which Nature had surrounded them. In spring nothing could exceed the beauty of the violets and anemones here, but all this has been destroyed by the stupidity and ignorance of the present authorities, and the villa, from being one of the most enchanting spots in Italy, is now a series of bare brick walls in an ugly naked country. Successive generations of antiquaries have occupied themselves with the nomenclature of the different masses of ruin, and they always disagree; most travellers will consider such discussions of little consequence, and, finding them exceedingly fatiguing, will rest satisfied in the knowledge that the so-called villa was once a most stupendous conglomeration of unnecessary buildings.
'I went down to Adrian's villa with exalted ideas of its extent, variety, and magnificence. On approaching it, I saw ruins overgrown with trees and bushes; I saw mixt-reticular walls stretching along the side of a hill, in all the confusion of a demolished town; but I saw no grandeur of elevation, no correspondence in the parts. I went on. The extent and its variety opened before me—baths, academies, porticos, a library, a palestra, a hippodrome, a menagerie, a naumachia, an aqueduct, theatres both Greek and Latin, temples for different rites, and every appurtenance suitable to an imperial seat. But its magnificence is gone : it is removed to the Vatican, it is scattered over Italy, it may be traced in France. Anywhere but at Tivoli you may look for the statues and caryatides, the columns, the oriental marbles, and the mosaics, with which the villa was once acorned, or supported, or wainscoted, or floored.'—Forsyth.
'Autour de moi, a travers les arcades des ruines, s'ouvraient des II. E E
points de vue sur la campagne romaine : des buissons de sureau remplissaient les salles désertes, où venaient se réfugier quelques merles solitaires; les fragments de maçonnerie étaient tapissés de feuilles de scolopendre, dont la verdure satinée se dessinait comme un travail en mosaïque sur la blancheur des marbres. Çà et là de hauts cyprès remplaçaient les col mnes tombées dans ces palais de la mort. L'acanthe sauvage rampait à leurs pieds sur des débris, comme si la nature s'était plu à reproduire sur ces chefs-d'œuvre inutiles de l'architecture l'ornement de leur beauté passée; les salles diverses, et les sommets des ruines, ressemblaient à des corbeilles et à des bouquets de verdure; le vent en agitait les guirlandes humides, et les plantes s'inclinaient sous la pluie du ciel.'—Chateaubriand.*
The villa formed part of a large estate purchased by Pius VI. It is now the property of his representative, Duke BraschL
On Monte Affliano, which rises behind the Villa Adriana, to the south of Tivoli, most authorities place the site of the Latin city Aesula. The mountain of Tivoli is divided into three positions : Ripoli, towards the town; Spaccato, in the centre; and Monte Affliano, at the southern extremity. Porphyrion (says Gell) has accurately described the position of Aesula as on this southern extremity of the mountain of Tibur.
'Udum Tibur propter aquarum copiam Aesula, nonien
urbis, alterius in latere montis constitutae.'
There are remains which tell of a city having stood here.
'Aesulae Declive contempleris arvum.'
Horace, 'Od.' iii. 29.
It was probably deserted en account of its inconvenient situation, and the temple of Bona Dea or Ops was its representative in later times.2
A winding road, constructed by the Braschi, leads up the hill to Tivoli, through magnificent olive-groves, the silvery trunks of the old trees caverned, loop-holed, and twisted in every possible contortion.
'The powerful description of Chateaubriand cannot be realised new, but is inserted, in the hope that the time will come when Nature will be permitted to restore the ruins of the Villa Adriana to their former beauty.
■ See Gell's Topography of Rome and its Vicinity.