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NLY about one traveller in five hundred of those who
cross the Alps ever sees Italy. Those who go to Milan, Venice, Florence, Rome, and Naples, and who stay at the hotels of New York, Washington, Brighton, Paris, or Londres, dining daily on a well-cooked English or French dinner, at hot tables cThdte amid a vociferous throng of their own countrymen, attended by obsequious waiters who talk bad English; visiting hackneyed sights, led in tow by haughty couriers or ignorant ciceroni; driving out to meets in the Campagna, making parties for illuminations in the Coliseum, or devouring chickens and champagne on the slopes at Veii:—these do not see Italy. They lead a pleasant life and pass very agreeable days; but the life they are leading is not Italian, the land which they allow to be doled out for them, or dole out for themselves, is not Italy: and as regards the real, true, un-Anglicized, un-Americanized country, they might just as well, on their return home, have been attending an admirable series of panoramas and dioramas in Leicester Square.
In order, however, to enjoy the Eden of sights which couriers guard with their two-edged swords, a very different line of conduct, a very different phase of character, must be assumed by our countrymen, to those which they usually indulge in. It is no use to look for French cookery in the Abruzzi, or to hope to find tea and toast amid the sepulchral cities of Etruria, neither need any one expect to be treated with great deference, to be placed on a mental pedestal and regarded as a superior being, in these unconventional places. Travellers will certainly meet with nothing of the kind. They will learn that the only way to have what you like, is to like what you have; they will find that they are treated with just as much courtesy and deference as they are willing to bes'tow; that if they regard the natives as their equals, are genial, frank, modest, and unsuspicious, they will receive a boundless amount of small kindnesses in return, and that if they are only open-hearted, their being open-handed is a matter of comparative indifference. There is no greater mistake than that of supposing the Italian character to be extortionate and avaricious; except in the old kingdom of Naples, it is neither. In the beaten track, couriers have raised the prices, or travellers have done it for themselves, to an English and American standard, and the constant habit of bargaining recommended in guide-books, has led to extortionate demands, and thus become a necessity; but in Italian inns, any overcharge is exceedingly unusual, and is only suggested by suspicion. The more distant the place and the more difficult of attainment, the greater is usually the attention shown to strangers, and the warmer a disinterested welcome. Their wants are sometimes little understood, often a cause of great surprise and amusement, but every effort is made to supply them, and little is expected from those whom some misfor
tune alone, it is supposed, can have driven from the delights of the capital into such desolate places. But if travellers give themselves airs, if they are too exacting in their demands, heedless of passing salutations, especially of the Abruzzi peasant, who always meets you with, "May God accompany you—may your return be happy:" above all, if they always act in the inns as if they were being cheated, and chatter in the churches during mass as if they were at a London party, they must expect to be laughed at, despised, insulted, and occasionally robbed. "Non sono Cristiani, come noi altri," is the national comment upon strangers who do not know how to behave themselves, and they are sure to be treated with contempt^ for they deserve nothing better^
It is strange how wonderfully little the country around Rome has been investigated, even by those who are not usually daunted by little difficulties and discomforts. Such attention as has not been expended upon the interest of the capital, has been almost entirely devoted to the "Campagna" in its narrowest sense of the plain girdled in by the hills which may be seen from the walls of Eome, but into, and beyond those hills, travellers scarcely ever penetrate, and they generally have not an idea of the glories which lie concealed there. It is, therefore, as an invitation and a companion into these unknown regions that these volumes are intended.
"The country which is described by the name of the Roman Campagna, has a narrower or a wider circumference, in proportion as one regards its geographical limits. Taken in the narrower sense, the Campagna is that grand and desolate district, which spreads around the walls of Rome, and is enclosed by the Tiber and the Anio. Its circumference might be marked hv a series of well-knowii points: Civita