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after descending 2 angular terraces, turns off to the left, and from this point is carried almost in one gradual slope to the village of Campo Dolcino. This alteration, by which nearly 33 miles of distance are saved, was rendered necessary on account of the injury done to the old line by the storm of 1834, and also by the great dangers from avalanches to which that part of the route, between Isola and the Cascade of the Medessimo, was exposed from avalanches which fall regularly into the savage glen of the Lira, below Pianazzo, producing an almost annual loss of life. In 1835 five peasants and eight horses were overwhelmed by the snow in this glen, as they were returning from conducting the diligence on a sledge over the mountain. The postilion being nearest the rock, which fortunately somewhat overhung the road, drew the horse he rode under the cliff as soon as he heard the crash; to this circumstance he and the animal owed their preservation. Although buried, like the rest who perished, they were rescued and dug out after an imprisonment of some hours.

Pianazzo stands at the same height above the sea as the bridge over the Rhine at Splügen. The road, after passing through it, crosses the little stream of the Medessimo, within a few yards of the verge of the precipice over which it throws itself in a beautiful fali 800 feet high. The only thing to be regretted in the dew line of road is, that by carrying the traveller above this fall, it deprives him of the view he choose to return by the old road from Campo Dolcino, lo visit it. After crossing the bridge the road traverses a new gallery, 25 metres long, and thence gradually descends upon

2 Campo Dolcino, which, in spite of its sweet-sounding Italian name, is but a poor village, with a poor inn (Post), on a small dreary grassy plain, on the borders of the Lira.

A further improvement has been made in the continuation of the road, which, on quitting the plain, threads the gorge of St. Giacomo; an inscription, by the road side, commemorates its completion by Carlo Donegani, in the reign of the Emperor Francis II. The sight of the tourniquets of the old road, painfully zigzagging out of the gorge below, which a heavy carriage could surmount only by the strength of 8 horses, will convince the spectator how great this improvement really is. It has been effected at considerable labour and expense, by cutting through the rock. The vale of the Lira presents a singular aspect of desolation, from the quantity and size of the masses of fallen rock which entirely fill the lower part of it. They are fragments of the neighbouring mountains, which are composed of a species of white gneiss, exceedingly brittle, and which, after exposure to the weather, assumes a red colour. It must have been a difficult task Lo carry a road through such a wilderness, .between such a

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labyrinth of detached blocks; and it is, accordingly, in many places narrow, the lurpings very sharp, and the terraces too short. The aspect of desolation in this (ractured valley would be greater were it not for the rich dark foliage of the walnuttrees, which now begin to sprout out from among the rocks, so as to mask their barrenness. The tall white Italian campanile of the church of Madonna di Gallivaggio, amid such a group of foliage, contrasting with the tall precipices around. forms an agreeable picture. Near it, at the village St. Giacomo, whence the valley is named, the Lira is spanned by a bold bridge.

A mile or two farther on, the valley opens out, and Chiavenna expands to view, a picturesque town beautifully situated, under an Italian sun, surrounded by hills clothed with the richest vegetation, with vines, figs, and pomegranates.

1 Chiavenna (Germ. Clefen)-- Inn : Conradi's, very good; Post.

Chiavenna (Clavenna of the ancients), a thriving town of 3040 inhabitants, is charmingly situated close under the mountains, which appear to impend over it, at the junction of the valley of St. Giacomo with that of the Meira, called BregagliaBeyond this beauty of situation there is very little here to interest the passing traveller. The town derives much benefit from its position on the Splügen road, and maintains several spinning mills for silk and cotton. An ingenious manufacturer, named Vanossi, at one time wove here a fire-proof cloth of asbestus, a mineral, which abounds in the mountains of the neighbourhood. Opposite the inn is a picturesque ruined Castle, on the top of a ruck, which once belonged to the Salis family: the present owners deny strangers all access to it. The principal Church of St. Laurence has a tall campanile standing within a square inclosure, surrounded by a cloister. On one side are two bone-houses, filled with skulls, and, adjoining them, in the octagonal Baptiste

rious ancient stone font, sculptured with rude bas-reliefs which will interest the antiquary. The citizens keep their Valteline wine in natural groitoes, at the foot of the mountains, which form excellent cool cellars, and are called Ventorali.

Near Pleurs, about 3 miles up the Val Bregaglia, memorable for the fate of its inhabitants, who were buried by the fall of a mountain (see p. 299), is a peculiar manufacture of a coarse ware for culinary purposes, made out of potstone llapis ollaris). This stone is easily cut, or turned in a lathe, and is able to endure heat. Pliny calls it lapis Comensis, from its being exported from the lake of Como : the manufacture has greatly dwindled down at present.

The road up the Val Bregaglia and over the pass of the

Maloja, and the description of Pleurs, are given in Route 89.

Chiavenna belonged to the Dukes of Milan down to the 15th century, when the Swiss became possessed of it, and it formed, with the Valteline and Bormio, a state subject to the canton of the Grisons. Napoleon added it to the kingdom of Italy, as lying on the S. side of the Alps; and the Congress of Vienna, by the same rule, transferred it to the Emperor of Austria.

The lower valley of the Meira, from Chiavenna to the Lake of Riva, is by no means pleasing in its scenery, and the low ground is occupied by marsh rather than meadow; so that it is at the same time very unwholesome.

Travellers should not stop for the night any where between Chiavenna and Colico. Malaria hangs over the district around the embouchures of the Meira and Adda, and the stranger who neglects this warning (S 12) may pay for his temerity by: a sever. Varenna, on the E. shore of the lake, where the Post is a good inn; Bellaggio, on the point of the promontory between the lakes of Lecco and Como, or Cadenabbia on the .. W. shore of the lake, are all safe and capital quarters, and the traveller ought not to stop to sleep till he reaches one of them.,

1 Novate, a small village, to which the post station has recently been removed from the Riva, stands near the N. extremity of the Lago Mezzola, called also Lago di Riva. It is a most picturesque small lake, so walled in by mountains that, until a few years, there was no road by the side of it, and travellers were carried across it by a tedious navigation in flat barges; rendered difficult and intricate by the annually increasing deposits of mud, which form shoals between this lake and that of Como, and prevent the steam-boat ascending to Riva. The naked and savage mountains around have a very peculiar outline. Their sides are furrowed with ravines, down which furious torrents precipitate themselves at some seasons, strewing the margin of the lake with wreck. The engineers who constructed the capital new road, finished in 1835, experienced the greatest obstacles in crossing the debris at the mouth of these rayines. The Codera, one of the most furious torrents, spreads out its waste of rocks and gravel in the shape of a fan, for a breadth of at least half a mile. This river at ordinary times trickles through the stones in 3 or 4 paltry driblets, crossed by wooden bridges, under which the water is turned by the construction of artificial canals, danked by wedge-shaped dams and dykes. After traversing this desolate space, the road is carried through two galleries excavated in the rock, and soon after emerges upon the delta

of the river Adda, flowing from the E. out of the Valteline into the lake of Como. There can be little doubt that the lake originally bathed the feet of the mountain on this side ; but in the course of ages, the deposits brought down by the Adda and Meira have so far encroached on it as to form an extensive plain of swamp and morass breathing pestilence, through which the Adda now winds in a serpentine course. The new causeway stretches in a straight line across this morass, passing the Adda upon a long wooden bridge, too narrow for more than one carriage at a time, Near the centre of the plain the great road to the Stelvio branches off on the 1. (See Handbook for South Germany.) The Spanish Fort Fuentes, built 1603, as the key of the Valteline, on a rock, once, perhaps, an island near the mouth of the Adda, is left on the rt., and the margin of the lake of Como is reached at

1 Colico, a village situated under the Monte Legnone, immediately S. of the embouchure of the Adda. It is less unwholesome than formerly, owing to the drainage of a large portion of the marsh-land. It is not, however, a good halting-place; there is no tolerable inn here.

The steam-boat from Como arrives off Colico every day about noon, and immediately returns. It will touch here to embark or disembark a carriage, if notice be sent to Domaso, otherwise it brings to at Domaso, on the opposite shore, and passengers are conveyed thither in boats. Boats may at all times be hired here to cross or descend the lake. The magnificent carriage-road of the Stelvio is carried along the Ě. shore of the lake, traversing several remarkably long tunnels excavated in the solid rock; it is well worth exploring, at least, as far as Varenna, the next post station from Colico.

A diligence goes once a week from Milan over the Stelvio to Innsbruck.

ROUTE 89.

CHIAVENNA TO ST. MAURITZ AND THE SOURCE OF THE INN, BY

THE VAL BREGAGLIA AND THE PASS OF THE MALOJA.

8 1/4 Stunden = 27 Eng. miles.

A carriage-road up the Val Bregaglia and over the Maloja has been many years in progress, but remains down to the present time (1838) incomplete.' At the point of departure from Chiavenna, a large bridge requires to be built, which is not yet begun; but after a mile or two the new road commences, and continues practicable for 2 horse carriages as far as Castasegna. Thence to Casaccia will probably be Macadamized in the course of 1838. Even now, the journey is

practicable in a char. The inns in the Val Bregaglia are bad; the best is probably that at Vicosoprano.

The road ascends by the rt. bank of the Maira, and about 3 miles above Chiavenna passes on the opposite side of the river (in face of a pretty cascade formed by the Acqua Fraggia descending from the N.) the grave of the village of Pleurs, buried with its 2430 inhabitants, by the fall of Monte Corto, on the night of the 4th September 1618. It was a bealtiful and thriving place, peopled by industrious inhabitants, and contained numerous villas, the summer resort of the citizens of Chiavenna. It now lies beneath a heap of rocks and rubbish, 60 ft. deep. Every soul within it perished, and the long continued excavations of all the labourers that could be collected from far and near failed in rescuing anything, alive or dead, from the ruins. All traces of the catastrophe are now nearly obliterated, and the spot is grown over with a wood of chestnuts. The inhabitants received many previous warnings, which were unfortunately despised. Masses of rock sell the day before, rents and crevices were formed in the mountain, and the shepherds had observed their cattie fly from the spot with marks of extreme terror. For many hours after, the course of the Maira was dammed up by the fallen debris. The Val Bregaglia (

Germ. Bergell) is fertile and picturesque; it is shut in by high mountains. Many of its inhabitants emigrate, and adopt the profession of chimney-sweepers, which they exercise in some of the large towns of the continent. After passing through Santa Croce, and Villa (Pontella), the road reaches the Swiss frontier at

2 Castasegna. Above this, the white mulberry no longer flourishes, and this is therefore the limit of the culture of the silkworm. The ruined castle of Castelmur on the l. bank of the Maira is conspicuous by reason of its tall donjon, 100 ft. high, from which 2 walls, 15 ft. high and 10 thick, descend into the gorge to the river side. The valley was for- . merly closed here by a gate, and the castle formed the key of the valley.

2 1/4 Vico Soprano (Vespran), a village of 504 inhabitants on the I. bank of the Maira.“

Casaccia (has an inn said to be tolerable), a village situated at the S. side of the Septimer, and on the W. of the Maloja, over both of which mountains the Romans conducted high ways in the age of Augustus.

The path over the Septimer 7360 st. high, leads by the valley of Oberhalbstein to Coire, and was the ordinary highway between Italy and Switzerland, until the formation of the carriage-road over the Splügen, which being a lower pass, and 10 miles shorter, is of course preferred to it. On thé

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