« 上一頁繼續 »
Owing to various errors in its construction, the Emissary of Claudius continued to be practically a failure, and though Hadrian and Trajan attempted to improve it, it soon became choked up. Frederick II. vainly attempted to re-open it. In 1852 the lake was granted by the government to a Swiss company, on condition that they would undertake to drain it, and their rights were purchased by Prince Torlonia, who at his sole cost—about 400,000—has carried out the work. One engineer after another has perished from fever while employed in its construction, and the expense has been so enormous, that it has become a popular saying, "O Torlonia secca il Fucino, o il Fucino secca Torlonia."
After all, the work may still in one sense be esteemed a failure. Though the redeemed land is wonderfully rich, it is considered that the profits of a thousand years will not repay the Torlonias for the expenses they have undergone; the inhabitants of the towns along the lake, who formerly gained an abundant livelihood as fishermen, are reduced to the utmost poverty; and, while the air was formerly extremely salubrious, the natives are now a constant prey to fevers from the exhalations of the marshy land. It is hoped that this experience may preserve the beautiful lakes of Thrasymene and Bolsena.
About two miles from Avezzano, at the spot called Incile, we pass the works of tlu Emissario. The modern work has destroyed the whole of the interesting remains of the time of Claudius, and though the mountains cannot be spoilt, there is little else to remind us of the scene of a few years ago, which Lear has beautifully described:
"The plain of Avezzano; the clear blue lake; Alba, and Velino, with its fine peaks, alternately in bright light, or shaded by passing S. MARIA Dl LUCO.
clouds ; the far snow-covered mountains beyond Solmona ; the bare pass of Forca Carusa; the precipitous crag of Celano,—all these at once, brilliant with the splendour of Italian morning, form a scene not to be slightly gazed at, or lightly forgotten—the utter quiet of all around ! the character of undisturbed beauty which threw a spell of enchantment over the whole!
"A herd of white goats blinking and sneezing lazily in the early sun; their goatherd piping on a little reed ; two or three large falcons soaring above the lake; the watchful cormorant sitting motionless on its shining surface; and a host of merry flies sporting in the fragrant air,—these are the only signs of life in the very spot where the thrones of Claudius and his Empress were placed on the crowd-blackened hill: a few fishingboats dotted the lake where, eighteen centuries ago, the cries of combat rent the air, and the glitter of contending galleys delighted the Roman multitude.
"The solitary character of the place is most striking; no link between the gay populous past, and the lonely present; no work of any intermediate century breaks its desolate and poetical feeling."—Excursions in Italy.
About miles from Avezzano we reach Lnco. There is nothing to see in the town, except a miraculous Madonna in the principal church. But on the right, just before reaching the town, we pass the Church of S. Maria di Luco which occupies the site and looks down upon the walls of the ancient city of Angutia, identified by inscriptions. Here also, at an earlier time, was the sacred grove (the Lucus Angutice of Virgil) of Angutia, the sister of Circe and Medea.
The church, which rises on the ancient walls, is of great age, having been given to the Benedictines, by Doda, Contessa de' Marsi, in A. D. 930. It is a very interesting building with round-headed doorways. The interior has been used as a Campo Santo, and there is a chapel filled with skulls and human bones. The situation, surrounded by oak-trees, is lovely, and must have been surpassingly so, when it looked out upon the vast expanse of lake-waters. Lear mentions how the rope of the church bell was carried through the window of the sacristan's house, so that he might ring it without leaving his room, and it is so still.
About three miles beyond Luco is Trasacco (formerly Transaqua) built on the site of the palace of Claudius, afterwards inhabited by Trajan. Here the Church of S. Hufine is said to have been built in A. a. 237, by the first Bishop of the Marsi, who suffered martyrdom, with S. Cesidio, under Maximin.
Beyond, on the former shore, are several other villages, Ortucchio, with an old castle, standing near the supposed site of Archippe, which Pliny describes as having been swallowed up by the lake; Pescina, the see of the bishop still called "II vescovo de' Marsi;" and San Benedetto, occupying the site of Marruvium, the capital of the Marsi:
"Marruvium, veteris celebratum nomine Marri,
Silius ltal. viii. 507.
Many remains of ancient buildings may be seen, and during the drought of 1752, several statues of Roman emperors, now in the museum at Naples, were discovered here in the lake.
SORA, AND THE LAND OF CICERO.
(An uncomfortable and frequently crowded diligence leaves Avezzano at 8 P. M., arriving at Sora about I A. M.
Sora is easily reached from Rome, by the station of Rocca-Secca, from which it is a pleasant drive of about 3 hours, and a railway will shortly bring it within the range of an even easier excursion from the capital.
The Albergo di Roma at Sora is an admirable country inn, with exceedingly moderate prices. Carriages may be obtained at Sora for the day. To Arpino and Isola with S. Domenico, 12 francs: to Isola alone 2ji francs: to S. Germano, staying some hours at Atina, 20 francs: to Rocca-Secca, from 12 to 15 francs.)
ON leaving Avezzano the road immediately begins the ascent of the Monte Salvidno, so called from the wild sage with which it is covered. The views are beautiful, of the valley, and the opposite heights of Monte Velino. Crossing the mountain, we reach, in a savage situation on the right, Capistrello, beneath which is the mouth of the Emissary of the Lago Fucino. About three miles beyond the village of Civita di Roveto, a road on the left leads (2 miles) to Civita d'Antino, cresting a hill, and occupying the site of the ancient Antinum of which some polygonal walls remain. Near this is the waterfall of La Schioppo, a beautiful cascade of the river Romito.
Un the left, four miles before reaching Sora, we pass beneath the town of Balzorano, crowned by a grand old castle of the Piccolomini. It is a glorious subject for an artist.
Sora, a bright well-paved town on the river Liris, was originally a Volscian city colonized by the Romans. In modern times it was the birthplace of Cardinal Baronius. It lias a ruined castle, which, after having passed through the hands of the Cantelmi'and Tomacelli, now gives a ducal title to the Buoncompagni.
"During the earlier portion of the middle ages Sora is often mentioned as a frontier town, which the Lombard dukes of Benevento attacked and plundered. It may have been then Byzantine. From time to time governed by counts of Lombard race (for the whole region near the Liris was once filled with Lombards), it fell into the hands of the emperor Frederick IX, who destroyed it. Afterwards it belonged to the powerful counts of Aquino, who possessed almost all the land between the Vulturnus and the Liris. Then Charles of Anjou made the Cantelmi, relations of the Stuarts, counts of Sora, and Alfonso of Arragon raised Sora to a duchy, of which Nicolo Cantelmi was the first duke. The Popes had long coveted the possession of the beautiful border-land, and they obtained it under Pius II., whose captain Napoleone Orsini conquered Sora. Ferdinand I. of Naples confirmed the possession; but Sixtus IV. separated it from the church in 1471, when he married his nephew Leonardo della Rovere to the king's niece, who received the duchy of Sora as a dowry. Afterwards Gregory XIII. bought Sora, in 1580, from the duke of Urbino for his son Don Giacomo Buoncompagni, and seldom has a Roman 'nipote' had a more charming possession. This property remained in the hands of the Buoncompagni-Ludovisi till the end of the 18th century, when it returned to Naples, and of the splendour of that Roman nepotism there only remains in Rome the Palazzo di Sora and the title of Duke of Sora, which is now bome by the eldest son of Prince LudovisnPiombino."—Gregorovius.
The present interest of Sora arises entirely from the fact that here Italian costume reaches its climax. The dress is purely Greek, and so are the ornaments, and so, indeed, is