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Ferrara, is stately and imposing in its vast forms, bold outlines, and deeply-projecting cornices. Beneath it runs a broad terrace (rather too much grown up now), ending in an archway, which none but the most consummate artist would have placed where it stands, in glorious relief against the soft distances of the mahy-hued Campagna. Beneath the twisted staircases which lead down from this terrace, fountains send up jets of silvery spray on every succeeding level against the dark green of the gigantic cypresses, which line the main avenue of the garden, and which also, interspersed with the richer verdure of acacias and Judas trees, snowy or crimson with flowers in spring, stand in groups on the hill-side, with the old churches of Tivoli and the heights of Monte Catillo seen between them. The fountains at the sides of the garden are colossal, like everything else here, and overgrown with maiden-hair fern, and water glitters everywhere in stone channels through the dark arcades of thick foliage. Flowers there are few, except the masses of roses, guelder roses, and lilacs, which grow and blossom where they will. The villa now belongs to the Duke of Modena, the direct descendant of its founder.
Outside the Porta Santa Croce are the old Jesuits' College, with its charming terrace called La Veduta, and the Villa Braschi, in whose cellar the aqueduct of the Anio Novus may be seen. Some disappointment will doubtless be felt at the uncertainty which hangs over the different homes of the poets at Tivoli, especially over that of Horace, which was near the grove of Tiburnus ;1 but then, though the actual ruins pointed out to us may not have belonged to them, there is so much of which they tell us that remains unchanged, the luxuriant woods, the resounding Anio, the thymy uplands, that the very atmosphere is alive with their verses; and amid such soul-inspiring loveliness, one cannot wonder that Tibur was beloved by them.
'Mihi jam non regia Roma, Sed vacuum Tibur placet.'—Horace, Ep. 1. 7.
1 Suet. Vit. Hor.
'Vester, Camoenae, vester in arduos
Seu liquidae placuere Baiae. '—Carm. iii. 4.
'. . Ego, apis Matinae
Carmina fingo. '—Carm. iv. 2.
'Sed quae Tibur aquae fertile praefluunt,
Fingent Aeolio carmine nobilem.'—Carm. iv. 3.
'Que de vers charmants dans Horace, consacrés à peindre ce Tibur tant aimé, ce délicieux Tivoli dont il est si doux de goûter après lui, je dirai presque avec lui, les impérissables enchantements! Comment ne pas y murmurer cette ode ravissante dans laquelle, après avoir énuméré les beiux lieux qu'il avait admirés dans son voyage de Grèce, revenant à son cher Tibur, il s'écrie, comme d'autres pourraient le faire aussi: "Rien ne m'a frappé autant que la demeure retentissante d'Albunée, l'Anio qui tombe, le bois sacré de Tiburnus, et les vergers qu'arrosent les eaux vagabondes!"
"Quam domus Albuneae resonantis, Et praeceps Anio, ac Tiburni lucus, et uda Mobilibus pomaria rivis."—Carm. i.
Est-il rien de plus gracieux, de plus sonore, et de plus frais? Malheureusement il ne reste d'Horace à Tivoli que les cascatelles, dont le murmure semble un écho de ses vers. Les ruines qu'on montre au voyageur, comme celles de la maison d'Horace, ne lui ont jamais appartenu, bien que déjà du temps de Suétone à Tibur on fît voir au curieux la maison du poëte.'—Ampère, 'Emp. Rom.' I. 360.
Catullus had a villa here on the boundary between the Sabine and Tiburtine territories, but which he chose to consider in the latter, while his friends, if they wished to tease him, said it was Sabine :—
'O funde noster, seu Sabine, seu Tiburs
Sed seu Sabine sive verius Tiburs,
Villa, malamque pectore expuli tossim.'—Carm. xliv.
Here also lived 'Cynthia,' whose real name was Hostia, the beloved of Propertius, who did not hesitate to test his devotion by summoning him to face the dangers of the road from Rome to Tibur at midnight.
'Nox media, et dominae mihi venit epistola nostrae,
Et cadit in patulos lympha Aniena lacus.'—Prop. iv. 16.
And here she died and was buried, and her spirit, appearing to her lover, besought him to take care of her grave.
'Pelle hederam tumulo, mihi quae pugnante corymbo
Mollia contortis alligat ossa comis.
Et nunquam Herculeo numine pallet ebur.
Sed breve, quod currens vector ab urbe legat,
Accessit ripae laus, Aniene, tuae.'—V. 7.
Beyond the Porta Santa Croce is the suburb Carciano, a corruption from Cassianum, its name in the 10th century, from the villa of the gens Cassia, of which there are considerable remains beneath the Greek College. From the excavations made here in the reign of Pius VI. many of the finest statues in the Vatican were obtained, especially those in the Hall of the Muses.
(The excursion to Licenza and Monte Gennaro is one of the most interesting which can be made from Tivoli. A carriage may be taken from Tivoli to the farm of Horace itself, or good walkers may take the morning diligence to Subiaco as far as S. Cosimato, and walk from thence to Licenza, returning to meet the diligence in the evening. For the excursion to Monte Gennaro, horses must be ordered beforehand. )
Soon after leaving Tivoli some magnificent arches of the Claudian Aqueduct are seen crossing a ravine on the left, through which a road leads to Ampiglione (probably the ancient Empulum), where some of the ancient walls remain. Then, also on the left, rises the most picturesque village of Castd Madama crowning a ridge of hills. Then the road passes close to some ruins supposed to be those of the tomb of C. Maenius Bassus, of the time of Caligula.
Seven miles from Tivoli we reach Vicvvaro, the Varia of Horace. Some of the ancient walls remain, of huge blocks of travertine. The place now belongs to Count Bolognetti Cenci, who has a dismal palace here. At one end of a piazza facing the principal church in the upper town is the beautiful Chapel of S. Giacoma, built for one of the Orsini, Count of Tagliacozzo, by Simone, a pupil of Brunelleschi, who (says Vasari) died when he was employed upon it. It is octagonal, with a dome crowned by the figure of a saint. The Italian-Gothic is very peculiar. The principal door is richly adorned with saints: above are angels floating over the Virgin and Child, their attitude of adoration very beautiful. S. Severa is buried here as well as at Anagni! Pope Pius II. in his 'Commentaria' (LVI) speaks of this church as 1 nobile sacellum ex marmore candidissimo,' and as adorned with 'statuis egregiis.' Of late years it has become important as a place of pilgrimage from 'the miraculous picture' which it contains.
A short distance beyond Vicovaro, almost opposite the convent of S. Cosimato (see 'Southern Italy'), a road to the left turns up the valley of Licenza. On the right'is the castle of the Marchese del Gallo. About two miles up the valley, on the left, the castle of Rocca Giovane is seen rising above its little town. Here was a temple of Vacuna, the Victoria of the Sabines.
The scenery is now classical, for
'where yon bar
The village upon the right, Bardella, is Mandela. Between us and it flows the brook Licenza, the Digentia of Horace; the hill in front, Monte Libretti, is the famous Mons Lucretilis.
'Me quoties reficit gelidus Digentia rivus,
'Velox amoenum saepe Lucretilem
Usque meis pluviosque ventos.'—' Carm.' i. 17.
The Sabine farm was presented to Horace by Maecenas,
C. B.C. 33.
'To the munificence of Maecenas we owe that peculiar charm of the Horaiian poetry, that it represents both the town and country life of the Romans of that age; the country life, not only in the rich and luxurious villa of the wealthy at Tivoli, or at Baiae; but in the secluded retreat and among the simple manners of the peasantry. It might seem as if the wholesome air which the poet breathed, during his retirement on his farm, re-invigorated his natural manliness of mind. There, notwithstanding his love of convivial enjoyment in the palace of Maecenas and other wealthy friends, he delighted to revert to his own sober and frugal way of living.'—Milman.
The road comes to an end on the margin of the clear brook Digentia, which is here sometimes swollen into a broad river by the winter rains. On the further side of the wide stony bed it has made for itself rises Licenza, cresting a high hill and approached by a steep rocky path through the olives. Further up the valley is the 'Fonte Blandusino,' still pointed out as the spring of Horace. Just where the road ends, a steep bank covered with chestnuts rises on the left. Passing through the wood (only a few steps from the road) to a garden, we find a contadino, who shovels up the rich loam with his spade, exposes a bit of tesselated pavement, and says 'Ecco la villa d' Orazio.'
'The Sabine farm was situated in the valley of Ustica, thirty miles from Rome, and twelve miles from Tivoli. It possessed the attraction, II. F F