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it and the pine-wood, to find in Castel Fusano an absolute climax of poetical loveliness. The peasants do all their field labour here in gangs, men and women together, and most picturesque they look, for the costumes which are dying out in Rome are universally worn here, and all the women have their heads shaded by white panni, and are dressed in bright pink and blue petticoats and laced bodices. They have hard work to fight against the deep-rooted asphodels, which overrun whole pastures and destroy the grass, and they have also the constantly recurring malaria to struggle against, borne up every night by the poisonous vapours of the marsh, which renders Ostia almost uninhabitable even to the natives in summer, and death to the stranger who attempts to pass the night there.
A bridge, decorated with the arms of the Chigis, takes us across the last arm of the Stagno, with a huge avenue of pines ending on a green lawn, in the midst of which stands the mysterious, desolate Chigi palace, occupying the site of the beloved Laurentine villa of Pliny. No road, no path even, leads to its portal; but all around is green turf, and it looks like the house where the enchanted princess went to sleep with all her attendants for five hundred years, and where she must be asleep still. Round the house, at intervals, stand gigantic red vases, like Morgiana's oil-jars, filled with yuccas and aloes. Over the parapet wall stone figures look down, set there to scare away the Saracens, it is said, but for centuries they have seen nothing but a fewstranger tourists or sportsmen, and the wains of beautiful meek-eyed oxen drawing timber from the forest. All beyond is a vast expanse of wood, huge pines stretching out their immense green umbrellas over the lower trees; stupendous ilexes contorted by time into a thousand strange vagaries; bay-trees bowed with age, and cork-trees grey with lichen— patriarchs even in this patriarchal forest. And beneath these greater potentates such a wealth of beautiful shrubs as is almost indescribable—arbutus, lentisc, phillyrea; tall Mediterranean heath, waving vast plumes of white blossom far overhead, sweet daphne, scenting all around with its pale pink blossoms; myrtle growing in thickets of its own; smilax and honeysuckle, leaping from tree to tree, and forming themselves into a thousand lovely wreaths, and, beneath all, such a carpet of pink cyclamen, that the air is heavy with its perfume, and we may sit down and fill our hands and baskets with the flowers without moving from a single spot. A road, a mile long, paved with blocks of lava plundered from the Via Severiana, leads from the back of the palace to the sea, and we must follow it, partly to see the famous rosemary which Pliny describes, and which still grows close to the shore in such abundance, and partly for the sake of a glimpse of the grand Mediterranean itself (so
refreshing after the close air of Roman streets), which rolls in here with long .waves upon a heavy sandy shore, where a few fishermen have their huts, built of myrtle from the wood, and bound together with the reeds of the Stagno. But all the forest is delightful, and one cannot wander enough into its deep recesses, where some giant of the wood is reflected in a solitary pool, or where the trees reach overhead into long aisles like a vast cathedral of Nature. If time can be given, it is well worth while to follow on horseback the heavy road which leads continuously through the forest to Porto d'Anzio, by Ardea and Pratica ; but in this case it will be necessary to have permission to sleep at Castel Fusano. Such an excursion will give leisure to dwell upon the beauties which are generally seen so hurriedly. Virgil should be taken as a companion, who describes the very pines, which cast such long shadows, in his "^Eneid,"—
"Evertunt actas ad sidera pinus,"*
and with the poet as a fellow-traveller, perhaps the very desertion and solitude will act as a charm, and the intense silence, only broken by the songs of the birds and the chirp of the cicala.
* xi. 136.
ALBANO AND LARICCIA
(The Hotel tie Paris (occupying an old palace) at Albano, is perhaps the best, and is comfortable. The Albergo della Posta, belonging to the same landlord, is an old-established inn in the Italian style, and has a few pleasant rooms towards the Campagna. The Hotel de Rome, on the other side of the street, nearer Lariccia and the country, is comfortable and well-furnished: the upper floor is very cold in winter. The Hotel de Russie, near the Roman gate and the Villa Doria, is an oldfashioned inn, with less pretensions. At all the hotels at Albano the charges are very high in comparison with other places near Rome, and quite unreasonably so. It is necessary on arriving to make a fixed bargain at all of them, and for everything. The charges for carriages are most extortionate and ought to be universally resisted. If no bargain is made at the railway-station, travellers are liable to a charge of 10 or even 15 francs for a carriage to take them to their hotel. Places in the open omnibus, without luggage, cost one franc each. It is far more economical as well as pleasanter for a party of people to take a carriage from Rome to Albano (costing 20 francs), than to go by the railway and be at the mercy of the Albano carriages on arriving. Those who stay long in the place will find it much less expensive to walk across the viaduct to Lariccia and take a carriage from thence, or even to order one from Genzano. Donkeys cost four francs by the day, the donkeyman four francs, and the guide seven francs: these prices include the whole excursion by Monte Cavo and Nemi.)
LOOKING across the level reaches of the Campagna as it is seen above the walls of the city from the Porta Maggiore to the Porta S. Paolo, the horizon is bounded by a chain of hills, or rather very low mountains, so varied in outTHE ALB AN HILLS.
line, so soft and beautiful in the tender hues of their everchanging colour, that the eye is always returning to rest upon them, and they soon assume the aspect of loved and familiar friends, equally charming in the sapphire and amethyst hues of autumn, under the occasional snow-mantle of mid-winter, or when bursting afresh into light and life, from the luxuriant green of early spring. Where they break away from the plain, the buttresses of the hills are clothed with woods of olives or with fruit-trees, then great purple hollows vary their slopes, and towns and villages on the projecting heights gleam and glitter in the sun, towns, each with a name so historical as to awaken a thousand associations. And these centre most of all round the white building on the highest and steepest crest of the chain, which marks the summit of the Alban Mount, and the site of the great temple of Jupiter Latiaris —the famous—the beloved sanctuary of the Latin tribes.
"For those who have not been at Rome I will say, that on looking south-east from the gate of S. John Lateran, after a slightly undulating plain of eleven miles, unbroken by any tree, but only by tombs and broken aqueducts, there rises in the mist of beautiful days, a line of blue hills of noble forms, which, leaving the Sabine country, go leaping on in various and graceful shapes, till they reach the highest point of all, called the Monte Cavo. Hence the chain descends afresh, and with moderate declension, and a line long drawn out, reaches the plain, and is lost there not very far from the sea."—Massimo d'Azeglio.
"Alba, thou findest me still, and, Alba, thou findest me ever,
Towering o'er aqueduct lines lost in perspective between,
Clear by the garlanded line cut of the Flavian ring. Beautiful can I not call thee, and yet thou hast power to o'ermaster, Power of mere beauty; in dreams, Alba, thou hauntest me still."
A. H. dough.
Pedestrians will do well to take tne old Appian Way in