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"It is like a great and beautiful but serious masked procession which passes over one of the most beautiful scenes of nature, always with fresh dresses and colours, and with different faces. One sees the people of
Frosinone, of Anagni, the inhabitants ofVeroli, of Arpino, of Anticoli, of Ceprano, and the Neapolitans from Sora.
"See the groups from Sora! dark olive complexions and beautiful oval faces. The women look fantastic, like the Arab women ; they are adorned with strings of coral or golden chains round their necks, and heavy gold earrings ; their heads are covered with white or brown kerchiefs, with long fringes, which hang down upon the neck like a madonna's veil: they wear white chemisettes quite loose though folded in
innumerable plaits, and over these a low, dark red bodice. The skirt is short, of a bright red or blue colour, with a yellow border. And what large dark eyes, under black, strongly marked eyebrows 1
"The pilgrims of Ceccano! The women wearing red bodices with long aprons of the same colour, white kerchiefs on their heads with long THE GENAZZANO PILGRIMAGE. 287
ends hanging down behind, and sandals. The men in pointed hats, with red jackets, and a girdle round the waist, twisted of bright ribbon.
"Pilgrims from Pontecorvo! The women in dark red dresses beautifully ornamented; with a red head-dress; beautiful and majestic.
"Pilgrims from Filettino : black velvet bodices, a most simple dress, quiet and graceful.
"Ciociari! The men and women of the sandal land! Perhaps from some place near Ferentino, or farther away, from the Neapolitan boundaries of the Liris and the Melfa. It is a land of beautiful and wild mountains, which extends from Ferentino far into the Neapolitan territory. There the people wear the Ciocia, a very simple covering for the foot, from which the country is called Ciociaria. I found this covering for the foot in use near Anagni. One more primitive certainly cannot be found, perhaps one might also say there is none more comfortable. It certainly made me envy the Ciociari. The shoe is simply formed of a square piece of ass or horse skin. Holes are made in this skin, through which a string is passed, and this parchment is so tied round the foot that it forms itself to the shape of the foot. The leg is swathed up to the knee with coarse grey linen, bound round many times with string or thread. Thus the Ciociaro moves freely and comfortably across the fields, and over the rocks, whenever he goes to dig the ground ('zappar la terra'), or drives his sheep and goats, as a shepherd with bag-pipes, dressed in a short grey cloak, or clothed in skins. These sandals are classical, and Diogenes would have worn them if he had not gone barefoot; and Chrysippus or Epictetus might have praised them in a treatise on the few needs of wise men. If these shoes are well arranged, and the linen leggings new, they look well, but very bad and beggarly when they are old and ragged; and as this is generally the case, it has given the sandal folk a character of ragged poverty, and their name is despised and even used as a word of reproach. One day, when a man of San Vito was showing me the beautiful panorama of the Campagna, he said to me, 'See, sir, there lies the Ciociaria!' and he smiled with a look of lofty contempt.
"The Ciociari wear bright red vests, and pointed black felt hats, which seldom lack a gay feather, a bow, or a flower. I found among them, especially in the Campagna of Rome, a remarkable number of men with fair hair and blue eyes; they wear their hair cut short behind, like the Prussian Landwehr, but let it hang down in long locks from the temples. Hang a ragged grey waterproof cloak or a black or white sheepskin on the Ciociaro, and we have our sandal man complete; but we will not give him a gun in his hand, or he will fall upon us as a robber in the pass of Ceprano, crying out, 'faccia in terra,' and will empty our pockets with astonishing agility. The women also wear the sandals, a short gay skirt, a bright striped apron, a white or a red woollen kerchief on the head, and lastly the busto, the principal article of female dress throughout the whole of Latium. This is the bodice of stifflyquilted linen, hard as a saddle, broad and high, with epaulets resting on the shoulders. It forms a support to the breast, it seems like a bulwark to shield virtue; like a firm breast-plate it surrounds the bosom; yet it is loose, and stands out, so that it serves at the same time as a pocket." .— Gregorovius.
The town of Genazzano was long a fortress of the Colonnas, and was the place where Stefano Colonna was murdered in 1438. The only pope given by the great Colonna family to Rome was born at Genazzano. This was Oddone Colonna, elected at Constance in 1417 as Martin V. while two other popes were already in existence. As sovereign he continued to be devoted to his native place, where he built churches and enlarged the palace of his family, which is now neglected and fast falling into decay. In its decline it is very picturesque, and is supplied with water by a half-ruined aqueduct, along which there is a walk leading to the deserted convent of San Pio. The whole population is occupied in the cultivation of the hill-side vineyards.
Continuing our way along the valley, we see that a hilltop in front of us is occupied by a mountain-town, surrounded with strong, sixteenth-century fortifications. This is Paliano, another important stronghold of the Colonnas. Prospero Colonna defended it against Sixtus IV. In 1556 Paul IV. took it away from the Colonnas, and gave it to his own nephew Giovanni Caraffa, for whom it was raised into a principality.
"Declaring that the Colonnas, 'those incorrigible rebels against God and the Church,' however frequently deprived of their castles, had OLEVANO. 289
always managed to regain them, Paul IV. resolved that this should be amended; he would give those fortresses to vassals who would know how to hold them. Thereupon he divided the possessions of the house of Colonna among his nephews, making the elder Duke of Paliano, and the younger Marquis of Montebello. The cardinals remained silent when he announced these purposes in the assembly; they bent down their heads and fixed their eyes to the earth."—Ranks's History 0/ the Popes.
Only fifteen years after, however, upon the victory of MarcAntonio Colonna over the Turks at Lepanto, Paliano was restored to its original owners, and has since given the title of Duca di Paliano to the head of their house.
A long ascent now brings us to Olevano, of the beauty of which one has no idea till one really arrives, but it is perhaps the most picturesque place of this wonderful district. Passing from the rough stone houses with their crumbling staircases of rock, and from the stony ways full of pigs and children, a gate admits us to a high olive garden, full of beans and corn, where a winding path leads to a kind of large farm-house at the top of the hill, with an outside loggia and staircase. And this is the famous inn of Olevano, the Albergo degli Artisti. It is a perfect artist's paradise. Its rooms are homely, but are cleanliness itself. They all debouch from a common sitting-room, surrounded by queer old portraits and with a grand old chair, which may have been that of Cardinal Scipio Borghese, whose picture hangs over the fire-place. The pleasant honest mistress, Pepina Baldi, with her husband Nino, are really charming specimens of respectable well-to-do Italians of the lower orders, full of simple kindnesses and courtesies, and frankness and openness itself. Their handsome boys and girls have served as voluntary models to half the artists in Vol. 1. 19