« 上一頁繼續 »
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 misforINTRODUCTORY. it
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 hi- a series of well-known points: Civita Vecchia, Tolfa, Ronciglione, Soracte, Tivoli, Palestrina, Albano, and Ostia. But in its wider sense the Campagna extends almost to the former kingdom of Naples and its boundary is the Liris or Garigliano.
"The Campagna of Rome is nothing else than the land of Latium, which is separated from Tuscany by the Tiber. From the time of Constantine the Great the name of Latium has fallen into disuse, and that of Campania has been used in its place, and in the middle ages this name indicated a great part of the so-called 'Ducatus Romanus.'
"Since the middle ages this district has been divided into two parts, the Campagna, which comprises the inland district, and the Maritima, which extends along the sea-coast as far as Terracina. Nature herself has separated it by mountains and plains into distinct compartments. It is divided into three plains; first, the Campagna around the city, watered by the Tiber and the Anio, and hemmed in by the Alban and Sabine mountains, the hills above Ronciglione, and the sea-coast: secondly, the great plain in which the Pontine Marshes are situated, bounded on one side by the Alban and Volscian Hills and on the other by the sea; and lastly, the valley of the Sacco which runs between the Volscian and the Equian and Hernican Hills, and falls into the Liris near Isoletta below Ceprano."—Gregorovius.
The more distant excursions described in these volumes are perhaps the most interesting, but cannot generally be recommended for aged or delicate persons. There are, however, some even of these which may be undertaken without the slightest inconvenience or discomfort, and which form a delightful change from Rome in the Spring. The most advisable of these easy tours is that by the southern railway, making the excursions (separately) to Cori and Ninfa from Velletri, ascending the valley of the Liris from Rocca Secca to Sora, and, while there, visiting Arpino and its neighbourhood, and staying at the inn at S. Germano and thence seeing Aquino. Subiaco, Olevano, and Palestrina may be comfortably visited from Rome in a carriage. Orvieto is now easily accessible by railway. The neighbourhood of the Pontine Marshes always presents a certain amount of risk from fevers. The Abruzzi will only delight those who INTRODUCTORY. 13
cm enjoy the savagest moods of nature. In the Ciminian Hills, which, combined with Caprarola, afford in Spring perhaps the most delightful of the excursions from Rome, the accommodation is indifferent, though much may be seen in drives from Viterbo. a central situation, where a week may be passed most agreeably.
There is no town in the world whence such a variety of excursions may be made as from Rome. They are so entirely different from one another. The phase of the scenery, the architecture of the towns, the costume, the habits, the songs (and this means so much to Italian peasants), even the language, is changed, according to the direction you take on leaving the capital. And whether tourists confine themselves to the inner circle of sights usually known to strangers and visited by ordinary travellers, which is hemmed in by the hills which encircle the Campagna; or whether they are induced to penetrate into the glorious heights of the Volscian and Hernican Mountains, the deep recesses of the Sabina, or amid the lost cities of Etruria, they will find that the small disagreeables and the occasional difficulties, which must frequently be endured at the time, weigh as nothing in the balance against the store of beautiful mental pictures, of instructive recollections of people and character, and of heart-stirring associations, which will be laid up for the rest of life. And they will come to feel that it is just because there were not good roads, not easy carriages, not comfortable inns, that it was all so interesting, because thus, not only the places themselves remained the same, but the simple poetical character of the people was unspoilt.
The comparative stagnation of life under the Papal govern
merit did even more to preserve the mediaeval character of the distant towns in the Papal States than of Rome itself. And in Rome now the ancient characteristics have entirely perished, having been swept away in three years in a manner which sounds incredible, and which would have seemed impossible beforehand. And, while acknowledging certain beneficial changes introduced by the present Government, it is not only the artist who will recognize that much of the interest, and as much as possible of the beauty, of the "Eternal City " has been destroyed. Not only has all trace of costume perished, together with the mediaeval figures and splendid dresses which belonged to the Papal Court, and walked in the footsteps of crimson cardinals; but all the gorgeous religious ceremonies, all the processions, and benedictions, and sermons preached by the shrines of martyrs, have ceased to exist. Even the time-honoured Pifferari have been chased Irom Rome by the present Government as a public nuisance. The closing of so many convents and the robbery of the dowries of so many nuns (given on their entrance in the same sense in which a marriage portion is given), has not only been an act of crying injustice in itself, which even the strongest Protestant must feel, but while it has flooded the streets with starving, helpless, or infirm persons, who subsisted on the daily convent dole of coarse bread and soup, it has thrown thousands of helpless ladies, who believed themselves provided for during their lives (and by their own families), into a state of utter destitution, for the relief of which the miserable and irregularly paid pension of a few pence a day appointed by the Government sounds merely like a mockery. Many famous antiquarian memorials have disappeared, together