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'Par cette caverne, un bras de l'Anio se precipite et roule, avec un bruit magnifique, sur des lames de rocher qu'il s'est charge d'aplanir et de creuser a son usage. A deux cents pieds plus haut, il traverse tranquillement la ville et met en mouvement plusieurs usines; mais, tout au beau milieu des maisons et des jardins, il rencontre cette coulee volcanique, s'y engouflre, et vient se briser au bas du grand rocher, sur les debris de son couronnement detache, qui gisent la dans un desordre grandiose.'—George San J, 'La Daniella.'
The small ruins of two Roman bridges were rendered visible when the course of the river was changed. Ascending again the upper road beyond the falls, guides, on no authority whatever, point out some ruins as those of the villa of Volpiscus, a poet of the time of Domitian. That he had a property at Tibur, we know from the verses of Statius, who has left a pleasant account of the villa of his friend : his grounds appears to have extended on both sides of the river.
'Cernere facundi Tibur glaciale Vopisci
Ingenium quam mite solo! quae forma beatis
Hie aeterna quies, nullis hie jura procellis,
We now turn round the base of Monte Catillo to that of Monte Peschiavatore and the point opposite the Cascatelle, which is known to have borne the name of Quintiliolo in
the 10th century, and where a little church is still called La Madonna di Quintiliolo. It is possible this name may be derived from Quintilius Varus, and that his villa, mentioned by Horace 1 as near the town, may have been in this neighbourhood. Remains of a sumptuous villa with inlaid pavements and statues—especially two Fauns now in the Vatican .—have certainly been fjund here.
Nothing can exceed the loveliness of the views from the road which leads from Tivoli by the chapel of S. Antonio
to the Madonna di Quintiliolo. On the opposite height rises the town with its temples, its old houses and churches, clinging to the edge of the cliffs, which are overhung with such a wealth of luxuriant vegetation as is almost indescribable; and beyond, beneath the huge piles of building known as the Villa of Maecenas, the thousand noisy cataracts of the Cascatelle leap forth from the old masonry, and sparkle and dance and foam through the green—and all this is only the foreground to vast distances of dreamy campagna,
1 Ode 1, 18.
seen through the gnarled hoary stems of grand old olivetrees—rainbow-hued with every delicate tint of emerald and amethyst, and melting into sapphire, where the solitary dome of S. Peter's rises, invincible by distance, over the level line of the horizon.
And the beauty is not confined to the views alone. Each turn of the winding road is a picture ; deep ravines of solemn dark-green olives which waken into silver light as the wind shakes their leaves—old convents and chapels buried in shady nooks on the mountain-side—thickets of laurestinus, roses, genista, jessamine, and the lovely Styrax officinale—banks of lilies and hyacinths, anemones and violets—grand masses of grey rock up which white-bearded goats are scrambling to nibble the myrtle and rosemary, and knocking down showers of the red tufa cn their way; and a road, with stone seats and parapets, twisting along the edge of the hill through a perfect diorama of loveliness, and peopled by groups of peasants, in their gay dresses, returning from their work, singing ir. parts wild canzonetti which echo amid the silent hills, or by women washing at the wayside fountains, or returning with brazen conche poised upon their heads, like stately statues of water-goddesses awakened into life.
'The pencil only can describe Tivoli; and though unlike other scenes, the beauty of which is genera'ly exaggerated in pictures, no representation has done justice to it, it is yet impossible that some part i f its peculiar charms should not be transferred upon the canvas. It almost seems as if Nature herself ^ad turned painter when she formed this beautiful and perfect composition.'—Eaton's ' Rome.'
Deep below Quintiliolo, reached by a path winding through grand old olive woods, is the Ponte delF Acqaoria —'the bridge of the golden water,' so called from a beautiful spring which rises near it. It is a fine single arch of travertine, crossed by the Via Tiburtina.
We now cross the Anio by a wooden bridge, and ascend the Clivus Tiburtinus on the other side. Much of the ancient pavement remains. On the right of the road is the curious circular-domed building, somewhat resembling the temple of Minerva Medica at Rome, and called by local antiquaries // Tempio della Tosse, or 'The Temple of Cough,' the fact being that probably it was the sepulchre of the Turcia family, one of the members of which, Lucius Arterius Turcius, is shown by an inscription to have repaired the neighbouring road in the time of Constans. In the interior are some remains of 13th-century frescoes, which indicate that this was then used as a Christian church.
The Via Constantina, which leads into the town from the Ponte Lucano, falls into the Via Tiburtina near this.
On the brow of the hill we may now visit the immense ruins called The Villa of Maecenas, though there is no reason whatever to suppose that it was his villa, or even that he had a villa at Tibur at all. On the other side of the Teverone was the supposed villa of Horace, and the guides (without reason) declare that there was once a bridge between them, by which, as they assured Gray, ' andava il detto signor per trastullarsi coll' istesso Orazio.'1
These ruins are the only remains in Tivoli which at all correspond with the allusions in the poets to the famous Heracleum, or Temple of Hercules, which was of such a size as to be quoted, with the waterfall, by Strabo as characteristics of Tivoli, just as the great Temple of Fortune was the distinguishing feature of Praeneste. It contained a library, and had an oracle, which answered by sortes like that of Praeneste. Augustus, when at Tibur, frequently administered justice in the porticoes of the Temple of Hercules. To trace all the poetical allusions to it would be endless: here are a few of them.
'Curve te in Herculeum deportant esseda Tibur.'
Propertius, 11. 32. 'Tibur in H erculeum migravit nigra Lycoris.'
Martial, iv. 62.
1 Venit in Herculeos colles : quid Tiburis alti
Mart. vii. 12.
1 Gray's Works, Letter xx.
'Net mihi plus Nemee, priscumve habitabitur Argos,
Slat. Sih. iii. I. 182.
'Quosque sub Herculeis taciturno flumine muris
Sil. Hal. iv. 224.
We re-enter the town by a gate with Ghibelline battlements, near which are two curious mediaeval houses, one with a beautiful outside loggia. Passing through the dirty streets almost to the Porta Santa Croce, by which we entered Tivoli, a narrow alley on the right leads us to a little square, one side of which is occupied by the Cathedral of S. .Francesco, a picturesque little building, with a good rose window. Behind the church is a cella of the age of Augustus, which some antiquaries have referred to the Temple of Hercules.
'But it would be difficult to regard these vestiges as forming part of a temple 150 feet in circumference, nor was it usual to erect the principal Christian church on the foundations of a heathen temple. It is pretty certain, however, that the Forum of Tibur was near the cathedral, and occupied the site of the present Piazza dell' Ormo and iis environs, as appears from a Bull of Pope Benedict VI!., in the year 978. The round temple at the cathedral belonged therefore to the Forum, as well as the crypt j-porticus, now called Porto di Erco/e in the street del i'oggio. The exterior of this presents ten closed arches about 200 feet in length, which still retain traces of the red plaster with which they were covered. Each arch has three loop-holes to serve as windows. The interior is divided into two apartments or halls by a row of twenty-eight slender pillars. Traces of arabesque painting on a black ground may still be seen. The mode of building shows it to be of the same period as the circular remains.'—Smith's 'Did. of Greek an J Roman Geography.''
Close to the Cathedral is the door of the famous Villa d' Este, where we are admitted on ringing a bell, and crossing a court-yard, and descending a long vaulted passage, are allowed unaccompanied to enter and wander about in one of the grandest and wildest and most impressive gardens in the world. The villa itself, built in 1549, by Pirro Ligorio, for Cardinal Ippolito d' Este, son of Alfonso II., Duke of