« 上一頁繼續 »
Vecchia, Tolfa, Ronciglione, Soracte, Tivoli, Palestrina, Albano, and Ostia. But in its wider sense the Campagna extends almost to the former kingdom of Naples and its boundary is the Liris or Garigliano.
"The Campagna of Rome is nothing else than the land of Latium, which is separated from Tuscany by the Tiber. From the time of Constantine the Great the name of Latium has fallen into disuse, and. *hat of Campania has been used in its place, and in the middle ages this name indicated a great part of the so-called 'Ducatus Romanus.'
"Since the middle ages this district has been divided into two parts, the Campagna, which comprises the inland district, and the Maritima, which extends along the sea-coast as far as Terracina. Nature herself has separated it by mountains and plains into distinct compartments. It is divided into three plains; first, the Campagna around the city, watered by the Tiber and the Anio, and hemmed in by the Alban and Sabine mountains, the hills above Ronciglione, and the sea-coast: secondly, the great plain in which the Pontine Marshes are situated, bounded on one side by the Alban and Volscian Hills and on the other by the sea; and lastly, the valley of the Sacco which runs between the Volscian and the Equian and Hernican Hills, and falls into the Liris near Isoletta below Ceprano."—Gngoromus.
The more distant excursions described in these volumes are perhaps the most interesting, but cannot generally be recommended for aged or delicate persons. There are, however, some even of these which may be undertaken without the slightest inconvenience or discomfort, and which form a delightful change from Rome in the Spring. The most advisable of these easy tours is that by the southern railway, making the excursions (separately) to Cori and Ninfa from Velletri, ascending the valley of the Liris from Rocca Secca to Sora, and, while there, visiting Arpino and its neighbourhood, and staying at the inn at S. Germano and thence seeing Aquino. Subiaco, Olevano, and Palestrina may be comfortably visited from Rome in a carriage. Orvieto is now easily accessible by railway. The neighbourhood of the Pontine Marshes always presents a certain amount of risk from fevers. The Abruzzi will only delight those who
can enjoy the savagest moods of nature. In the Ciminian Hills, which, combined with Caprarola, afford in Spring perhaps the most delightful of the excursions from Rome, the accommodation is indifferent, though much may be seen in drives from Viterbo, a central situation, where a week may be passed most agreeably.
There is no town in the world whence such a variety of excursions may be made as from Rome. They are so entirely different from one another. The phase of the scenery, the architecture of the towns, the costume, the habits, the songs (and this means so much to Italian peasants), even the language, is changed, according to the direction you take on leaving the capital. And whether tourists confine themselves to the inner circle of sights usually known to strangers and roughly indicated in " Murray's Handbook," which is hemmed in by the hills which encircle the Campagna; or whether they are induced to penetrate into the glorious heights of the Volscian and Hernican Mountains, the deep recesses of the Sabina, or amid the lost cities of Etruria, they will find that the small disagreeables and the occasional difficulties, which must frequently be endured at the time, weigh as nothing in the balance against the store of beautiful mental pictures, of instructive recollections of people and character, and of heart-stirring associations, which will be laid up for the rest of life. And they will come to feel that it is just because there were not good roads, not easy carriages, not comfortable inns, that it was all so interesting, because thus, not only the places themselves remained the same, but the simple poetical character of the people was unspoilt. The comparative stagnation of life under the Papal govern
merit did even more to preserve the mediaeval character of the distant towns in the Papal States than of Rome itself. And in Rome now the ancient characteristics have entirely perished, having been swept away in three years in a manner which sounds incredible, and which would have seemed impossible beforehand. And, while acknowledging certain beneficial changes introduced by the present Government, it is not only the artist who will recognize that much of the interest, and as much as- possible of the beauty, of the "Eternal City" has been destroyed. Not only has all trace of costume perished, together with the mediaeval figures and splendid dresses which belonged to the Papal Court, and walked in the footsteps of crimson cardinals; but all the gorgeous religious ceremonies, all the processions, and benedictions, and sermons preached by the shrines of martyrs, have ceased to exist./ Even the time-honoured Pifferari have been chased from Rome by the present Government as a public nuisance. The closing of so many convents and the robbery of the dowries of so many nuns (given on their entrance in the same sense in which a marriage portion is given), has not only been an act of crying injustice in itself, which even the strongest Protestant must feel, but while it has flooded the streets with starving, helpless, or infirm persons, who subsisted on the daily con- vent dole of coarse bread and soup, it has thrown thousands of helpless ladies, who believed themselves provided for during their lives (and by their own families), into a state of utter destitution, for the relief of which the miserable and irregularly paid pension of a few pence a day appointed by the Government sounds merely like a mockery. Many famous antiquarian memorials have disappeared, together
with other well-known buildings, of which the interest was confined to Papal times. The Agger of Servius Tullius and the ruined Ponte Salara have been swept away. The incomparable view from the Ponte Rotto has been blocked out, the trees on the Aventine and the woods of Monte Mario have been cut down. The Villa Negroni-Massimo, the most beautiful of Roman gardens, with the grandest of old orange avenues, and glorious groves of cypresses amid which Horace was buried,—a villa whose terraces dated from the time when it belonged to Maecenas, and which was replete with recollections of the romantic story of Vittoria Accorambuoni, of Donna Camilla Perretti, and of Alfieri, has been ruthlessly and utterly ploughed up, so that not a trace of it is left. Even this, however, is as nothing compared with the entire destruction of the beauty and charm of the grandest of the buildings which remain. The Baths of Caracalla, stripped of all their verdure and shrubs, and deprived alike of the tufted foliage amid which Shelley wrote, and of the flowery carpet which so greatly enhanced their lonely solemnity, are now a series of bare featureless walls standing in a gravelly waste, and possess no more attraction than the ruins of a London warehouse. The Coliseum, no longer "a garlanded ring," is bereaved of everything which made it so lovely and so picturesque, while botanists must for ever deplore the incomparable and strangely unique "Flora of the Coliseum," which Signor Rosa has caused to be carefully annihilated, even the roots of the shrubs having been extracted by the firemen, though, in pulling them out, more of the building has come down than five hundred years of time would have injured. In the Basilica Constantine, the whole of the beautiful covering of shrub
with which Nature had protected the vast arches, has been removed, and the rain, soaking into the unprotected upper surface, will soon bring them down. I Nor has the work of the destroyer been confined to the Pagan antiquities; the early Christian porches of S. Prassede and S. Pudenziana, with their valuable terra-cotta ornaments, have been so smeared with paint and yellow-wash as to be irrecognisable; many smaller but precious Christian antiquities, such as the lion of the Santi Apostoli, have disappeared altogether. And in return for these destructions and abductions, Rome has been given . . what? Quantities of hideous false rock-work painted brown in all the public gardens; a Swiss cottage and a clock which goes by water forced in amid the statues and sarcophagi of the Pincio; and the having the passages of the Capitol painted all over with the most flaring scarlet and biue, so as utterly to destroy the repose and splendour of its ancient statues.
Should tb« present state of things continue much longer, and especially should Signor Rosa remain in power, the whole beauty of Rome will have disappeared, except that which the Princes guard in their villas, and that which the everlasting hills and the glowing Campagna can never fail to display. It is to the environs that poets must turn for their inspiration and artists for their pictures, and as the destroying hand advances, they must wander further away, for though the Villa Adriana, which was like a historical Idyll of Nature, has already fallen, and the amphitheatre of Sutri is threatened, Cori and Ninfa, Alatri and Anagni, Aquino, Subiaco, Narni, Soracte, and Caprarola must long remain unspoilt.
On the immediate neighbourhood of Rome much has