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but is now greatly mutilated; and most especially the Arco di Pino, a very picturesque arch in the tufa, whether natural or artificial is unknown, on the east of the city near the large tumulus called La Vaccareccia* Many other remains are doubtless still waiting to be discovered, but the place has never been fully investigated. None of the dangers now await travellers which are described by Mrs Hamilton Gray.
"Isola is a sweet quiet-looking hamlet, but about three weeks after our visit forty of the inhabitants were taken up as leagued banditti, and brought to Rome. The master of the inn was one of their leaders, and said at times to have given his guests human flesh to eat—detected by a young surgeon, who found afinger in his plate."—Sepulchres ofEtruria.
The rock of Isola itself is perforated with tombs, and was probably the necropolis of the city.
"Such, then, is Veii—once the most powerful, the most wealthy city of Etruria, renowned for its beauty, its arts, and refinement, which in size equalled Athens and Rome, in military force was not inferior to the latter, and which for its size, strong by nature and almost impregnable by art, and for the magnificence of its buildings and the superior extent and fertility of its territory, was preferred by the Romans to the Eternal City itself, even before the destruction of the latter by the Gauls,—now void and desolate, without one house or inhabitant, its temples and palaces level with the dust, and nothing beyond a few fragments of walls, and some empty sepulchres, remaining to tell the traveller that here Veii was. The plough passes over its bosom, and the shepherd pastures his flock on the waste within it. Such must it have been in the earlier years of Augustus, for Propertius pictures a similar scene of decay and desolation.
'Et Veii veteres, et vos tum regna fuistis;
* Those who ride may visit this on the way to or from Rome.
MONTE MUSINO. 141
"Veii, thou hadst a royal crown of old,
How are we to account for this neglect? The city was certainly not destroyed by Camillus, for the superior magnificence of its public and private buildings were temptations to the Romans to desert the Seven Hills. But after the destruction of Rome by the Gauls Veii was abandoned, in consequence of the decree of the senate threatening with the severest punishment the Roman citizens who should remain within its walls; and Niebuhr's conjecture is not perhaps incorrect, that it was demolished to supply materials for the rebuilding of Rome, though the distance would preclude the transport of more than the architectural ornaments. Its desolation must have been owing either to the policy of Rome which proscribed its habitation, or to malaria; otherwise a city which presented so many advantages as almost to have tempted the Romans to desert the hearths and the sepulchres of their fathers would scarcely have been suffered to fall into utter decay, and remain so for nearly four centuries."—Dennis.
A leading feature in all the views from Veii, is the conical hill called Monte Musino, six miles distant. This curious place may be reached by following the Via Cassia as far as the posthouse of Baccano, the ancient " Ad Baccanas," 18 miles from Rome. It is situated in the crater of a volcano, afterwards a lake, which was drained in very early times. Two miles further north lies Campagnano, a village with a few insignificant Etruscan and Roman remains. Hence a path runs eastward for five miles to Scrofano, which has many Etruscan tombs and lies at the foot of Monte Musino, which is most easily ascended from thence. The hill is conical, and is cut into a series of artificial terraces whose origin cannot be satisfactorily explained, unless this is the "Oscum " mentioned by Festus, the sacred country retreat of the Roman augurs. Near the summit is a cave. The whole is crested by a wood which has been preserved intact by the superstition of the inhabitants of Scrofano, who believe that the felling of the trees would be followed by the death of the head of each family. On the top of the hill a treasure is supposed to be buried, and protected by demons, who would arouse a tempest, were any attempt made to discover it. The view is very striking.
Twenty-two miles from Rome on the Via Cassia is the large inn of Le Sette Vene, near which there is a small Etruscan bridge in good preservation.
GALERA AND BRACCiANO.
(There is a public conveyance daily from Rome to Bracciano, which toils along the road in five hours. Two good horses will take a light carriage containing four persons thither in three hours. Though it is said to be 26 miles distant, Bracciano is within an easy day's excursion from Rome. There are two tolerably decent inns at Bracciano, which has a population of above 2000.)
STORMS were sweeping over the Janiculan, and occasionally shrouding S. Peter's in a white mist, while the Campagna beyond the Aventine seemed blotted with ink, but as we had settled to go to Bracciano, and an excursion of more than 20 miles is very difficult to re-arrange, we determined not to be deterred by weather, and, as usual in such cases, things turned out better than we anticipated.
It was again the Via Cassia, which had led us to Veii; but, beyond La Storta, the road to Bracciano turns" to the left, over a most-dreary thistle-grown part of the Campagna, with here and there a deep cutting in the tufa, and banks covered with violets and crowned with golden genista. A bridle road, turning off on the right, one mile from La Storta, leads to the picturesque and lonely convent of La Madonna del Sorbo (about seven or eight miles distant), founded in 1400 by the Orsini.
On the main road there is little interest, till the tiny rivulet Arrone, an outlet of the lake of Bracciano, crosses the road, and tumbles in a waterfall over a cliff into one of those deep glens which suggest the sites of so many Etruscan cities, and which here encircles that of the forgotten Etruscan fortress of Galeria, afterwards occupied by the mediaeval town of Galera. Those who pass along the high road catch glimpses of its tall tower and ivy-grown walls, but the)' must cross the fields, and descend into its ravine (leaving their carriage at the farm-house called Santa Maria di Galera) to realize that the whole place is absolutely deserted except by bats and serpents, and that it is one of the most striking of " the lost cities of the Campagna."
The situation is wonderfully picturesque, the walls rising from the very edge of a steep lava precipice, round which