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is now a radiant garden. Through it we were taken to the church, which was built in 1211 by Innocent III., but restored in 1768. It is covered internally with marbles, jaspers, and alabasters, in the style of the Certosa of Pavia. In the Sacristy is an admirable picture by the CavaJiere tf Arpino, and on either side of the church are two large pictures by the modern artist Balbi of Alatri, one representing Moses striking the rock, the other the same miracle as performed by S. Bruno. Over the high-altar is a fresco of the sending forth of the first Carthusian monks to colonize Trisulti.
Just within the gate of the monastery is a little garden enclosed by walls, and ornamented with box clipped into most fantastic shapes. The terrace beyond it leads to the Spezeria, also decorated by Balbi, where many herbal medicines, and excellent liqueurs and perfumes are made by the monks. The country people come hither constantly and from a great distance for medicine and advice, and receive it without any payment.
"I had greater pleasure in going through the various rooms of the monastery than in looking at the modern pictures, to which one at last becomes indifferent. The Refectory is a large room, suitably ornamented with a painting of the miracle of the loaves and fishes. Here the brethren all assemble on feast days at a common repast, but on other days, solitary meals in the cells are ordered by the Rules. I was shown the clean kitchen and the bakehouse, where they make good bread of finer and coarser qualities, not only to supply the food of the monks, but also of the numerous servants. A pond, from which flows a canal, supplies a mill in the neighbouring yard. But the object the most worthy of notice, and which was shown to me with just pride, is the Dispensary ; and I entered it with a feeling of deeper devotion than I had felt on entering the church. The combination of medicinal cures with the care of the soul, is a natural and very ancient task of these monastic institutions in lonely places: the monks who study medicine exercise an activity which is truly praiseworthy and efficacious. The nature of these
mountains invites them to uninterrupted study of the medicinal herbs which grow here in great quantities; and what more pleasing occupation can there be than botanizing in these mountains among rocks and rivers, collecting these wonder-working balsamic plants, or preparing
them medicinally At midnight the bell rings for matins, and the
Excitator goes from cell to cell to rouse the monks. They pray in the four first penitential psalms; then they go into the church, where for three hours they chant matins. Having returned to their cells they continue their prayers, and then a short interval of sleep is again permitted." —Gregorvvius.
A little path which turns off to the left outside the gateway of Trisulti gives the best view of the monastic buildings, and continues through the forest to the Gothic chapel and cell of S. Domenico Loricato, who first collected a number of hermits around him on this spot, and built a chapel which he dedicated to S. Bartholomew. A spring which rises near S. Domenico supplies the fountains of the convent, and popular tradition declares that it comes by channels from the Lago di Celano, and that it used occasionally to bring up fragments of fishing-nets from thence.
Having feasted on the convent fare we returned to Collcpardo to visit its famous grottos. We left our horses at the top of the rock, whence a stony path winds down by zigzags into the abyss of the Cosa. Here the scenery is magnificent, the gorge is very narrow, only wide enough to contain the stream and the path by its side, and on the left rises a tremendous precipice, in the face of which yawns the mouth of the cavern. We had taken the precaution of asking for what is called an "illumination" on our way to Trisulti—and had ordered one of five francs, knowing by experience that the light which is enough to show, but not to annihilate the effect of darkness, is far the most effective. When we arrived, all was ready, and a troop of boys, and of peasant women from the village, had arrived to take part in the spectacle. We descended into the earth by a wide path like a hill-side, and then ascended by a narrower rocky path through the darkness, lighted by glaring torches. Suddenly we found ourselves on the edge of a chasm, something like the Pozzo di Santulla, a fearful pit, with a kind of rock-altar rising in the midst, blazing with fire, and throwing a ghastly glare on the wondering faces looking over the edge of the abyss, and on the sides of the tremendous columns of stalactites which rose from the ground to the roof like a vast natural cathedral, and seemed to fall again in showers of petrified fountains. Sir R. C. Hoare says that "the large vaulted roofs, spacious halls, fantastic columns and pyramids, imitating rustic yet unequalled architecture, present a fairy palace which rivals the most gorgeous descriptions of romance." Yet this does not give a sufficiently impressive idea of Collepardo. It must be seen to be realized:—seen, with its vast stalactite halls opening one beyond another, not level, but broken by rugged cliffs with winding pathlets along their edges; seen, with its flamebearing pinnacles sending volumes of bright smoke into the upper darkness: seen, with its groups of wondering people clambering along the rocks, with their flashing torches, shouting to one another as they go, and startling the bats and owls which add by their shrieks to the hideous confusion. Collepardo is the crowning feature of the tour.
"The very entrance promises something extraordinary. A black abyss yawns from between dark masses of rock, and a stream of cold air seems to rise up from the deepest depths. We wrapped up carefully before going down. The guides with the torches went on before, and soon light clouds of smoke, issuing from the clefts of the outer wall, showed that they were within. I have seen many mountain grottos, and
am no longer on the whole susceptible to these freaks of nature; so I did not think much of the grotto of Collepardo when I entered. Yet it made an impression on me by its great size. It consists of two principal parts, like two enormous halls, separated in the middle by a low broken wall. The colour of the sides and the ground is black or golden-brown; great rocks lie about, some of which must be climbed over, and from the irregular vaultings of the roof depend stalactites of various shapes, great and small, while others in the strangest forms and groups seem to rise to meet them from the ground.
"The most singular formations are in the back part of the grotto. In order to see it perfectly, we waited in the front space until it was completely lighted up. Not only had many men and boys with torches placed themselves here and there, but they had lighted great heaps of tow in different places. When I looked into the magic hall thus illuminated, it was certainly a wonderful sight. We now seemed to enter an Egyptian temple with black pillars, between which stood statues of sphinxes and gods, now we roamed througha forest of stone palm-trees and other fantastic plants, and again lances and swords bristled here, or armour of dwarfs and giants hung from the walls. All this seemed to live in the flickering light of the torches, which here brought out the dazzling masses, and there threw yet blacker shadows. No representation can be made of such a cave, for the imagination of each one sees it in a particular way, and peoples it with phantoms.
"Of course names are not wanting for particularly prominent stalactite formations, and I was called upon to acknowledge the likeness of this and that, but the only ones I remember are the so called 'Trophies of the Romans,' some strongly-marked forms which may easily recall the trophies on the ascent to the Capitol at Rome."—Gregorovius.
It is possible to reach Rome in the evening after visiting Trisulti and Collepardo. We only went to the excellent country inn at Frosinone, and spent a delightful morning in the enjoyment of its invigorating air, and the lovely view from our windows. The town is most picturesque, and is full of quaint mediaeval bits, with some insignificant remains of a Roman amphitheatre. It occupies the site of the Volscian city Frusino.
"Fert concitus inde
Per juga celsa gradum, duris qua rupibus hoeret
Bellator Frusino."—Sil. Ital. xii. 530.
(The only way of reaching Farfa and returning to Rome the same day —and there is no satisfactory sleeping-place—is to take the train at 6.40 A.m. to Montorso. If carriages are waiting at the station, the direct road to Farfa may be taken; if not, there is a humble diligence to Poggio Mirteto, whence a two-horse carriage—25 francs—may be taken to Farfa, about five miles distant, and kept to go on to Montorso to meet the evening train. Rather more than 1 \ hour must be allowed for the return drive to Montorso. There is no inn at Montorso, so those who are late for the last train must go on to sleep at Temi or Spoleto.)
THE excursion to Farfa should be kept till the spring. In the latter part of April, or still better in May, it is quite impossible to visit a place of more radiant loveliness. It is the ideal Italy,—the most fertile part of the beautiful Sabina, and no transition can be more complete than that from the desolate Campagna, with its ruined tombs and aqueducts speaking only of the past, to these exquisite woods and deep shady valleys amid the purple mountains, filled with life and in the richest cultivation, and watered by the rushing stream of the Farfarus.
One can scarcely open a page of Italian history in the middle ages, without meeting the name of Farfa. Doubly founded by saints, its monastery rose to the utmost height of ecclesiastical importance. Its Benedictine monks were looked upon as the centre of Italian learning, and the