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CHAPTER II.
ALBANO AND LARICCIA.

(The Hotel de Paris (occupying an old palace) at Albano, is perhaps the best, and is comfortable. The Albergo delta Posta, belonging to the same landlord, is an old-established inn in the Italian style, and has a few pleasant rooms towards the Campagna. The Hotel de Rome, on the other side of the street, nearer Lariccia and the country, is comfortable and well-furnished: the upper floor is very cold in winter. The Hotel de Russie, near the Roman gate and the Villa Doria, is an oldfashioned inn, with less pretensions. At all the hotels at Albano the charges are very high in comparison with other places near Rome, and quite unreasonably so. It is necessary on arriving to make a fixed bargain at all of them, and for everything. The charges for carriages are most extortionate and ought to be universally resisted. If no bargain is made at the railway-station, travellers are liable to a charge of I o or even 15 francs for a carriage to take them to their hotel. Places in the open omnibus, without luggage, cost one franc each. It is far more economical as well as pleasanter for a party of people to take a carriage from Rome to Albano (costing 20 francs), than to go by the railway and be at the mercy of the Albano carriages on arriving. Those who stay long in the place will find it much less expensive to walk across the viaduct to Lariccia and take a carriage from thence, or even to order one from Genzano. Donkeys cost four francs by the day, the donkeyman four francs, and the guide seven francs: these prices include the whole excursion by Monte Cavo and Nemi.)

LOOKING across the level reaches of the Campagna as it is seen above the walls of the city from the Porta Maggiore to the Porta S. Paolo, the horizon is bounded by a chain of hills, or rather very low mountains, so varied in outTHE ALB AN HILLS. 51

line, so soft and beautiful in the tender hues of their everchanging colour, that the eye is always returning to rest upon them, and they soon assume the aspect of loved and familiar friends, equally charming in the sapphire and amethyst hues of autumn, under the occasional snow-mantle of mid-winter, or when bursting afresh into ligM and life, from the luxuriant green of early spring. Where they break away from the plain, the buttresses of the hills are clothed with woods of olives or with fruit-trees, then great purple hollows vary their slopes, and towns and villages on the projecting heights gleam and glitter in the sun, towns, each with a name so historical as to awaken a thousand associations. And these centre most of all round the white building on the highest and steepest crest of the chain, which marks the summit of the Alban Mount, and the site of the great temple of Jupiter Latiaris —the famous—the beloved sanctuary of the Latin tribes.

"For those who have not been at Rome I will say, that on looking south-east from the gate of S. John Lateran, after a slightly undulating plain of eleven miles, unbroken by any tree, but only by tombs and broken aqueducts, there rises in the mist of beautiful days, aline of blue hills of noble forms, which, leaving the Sabine country, go leaping on in various and graceful shapes, till they reach the highest point of all, called the Monte Cavo. Hence the chain descends afresh, and with moderate declension, and a line long drawn out, reaches the plain, and is lost there not very far from the sea."—Massimo d'Azcglio.

"Alba, thou findest me still, and, Alba, thou findest me ever,
Now from the Capitol steps, now over Titus's Arch,
Here from the large grassy spaces that spread from the Lateran portal,

Towering o'er aqueduct lines lost in perspective between,
Or from a Vatican window, or bridge, or the high Coliseuni,

Clear by the garlanded line cut of the Flavian ring. Beautiful can I not call thee, and yet thou hast power to o'ermaster. Power of mere beauty; in dreams, Alba, thou hauntest me still."

A. H. ClougU.

Pedestrians will do well to take tne old Appian Way in going to Albano (see Walks in Rome, vol. i.), every step of which is full of interest; but carriages will usually follow the Via Appia Nuova, which emerges from the city walls by the Porta S. Giovanni, and after crossing die Via Latina (Walks in Rome, i. 124), runs between the stately arches of the Claudian Aqueduct on the left, and the ruined tombs of the Appian Way on the right.

[graphic]

Claudian Aqueduct.

"L'aqueduc et la voie (l'Appius marquent un moment d'une grande importance dans la destinee de Rome, ils sont comme une magnifique vignette entre le premier alinea de l'histoire de la republique et les luivantst."—Ampire, Hist. Rom., iv. 49.

"Passing out by the San Giovanni gate, you enter upon those broad wastes that lie to the south-east of the city. Going forward thence, with the aqueducts to your left, and the old Appian Way, lined with crumbling sepulchres, reaching for miles in one unswerving line on your far right, you soon leave Rome behind. Faint patches of vegetation gleam here and there, like streaks of light; and nameless ruins lie scattered broadcast over the bleak slopes of this most desolate region. Sometimes you come upon a primitive bullock-w'aggon, or a peasant driving an ass laden with green boughs ; but these signs of life are rare. Presently you pass the remains of a square temple, with Corinthian pilasters—then a drove of shaggy ponies—then a little truck with a tiny pent-house reared on one side of the seat, to keep the driver from the sun—then a flock of rusty sheep—a stagnant pool—a clump of stunted trees—a conical thatched hut—a round sepulchre, half buried in the soil of ages—a fragment of broken arch; and so on, for miles and miles across the barren plain. By and by you see a drove of buffaloes scouring along towards the aqueducts, followed by a mounted herdsman, buskined and brown, with his lance in his hand, his blue cloak LB FRA TTOCCIIIE. 53

floating behind him, and his sombrero down upon his- brow—the very picture of a Mexican hunter."—Miss Edwards, Barbara's History.

Eleven miles from Rome the Via Appia Nova joins the Via Appia Vecchia at Le Frattocchk. The view from hence, looking down the avenue of mouldering sepulchres, is most desolate and striking. The use of the popular term Strada del Diavolo, which we constantly meet with here as applied to the Via Appia, will call to mind the name of the Devil's Dyke as applied to a well-known Roman work in England.

"One day we walked out, a little party of three, to Albano, fourteen miles distant ; possessed by a great desire to go there by the ancient Appian Way, long since ruined and overgrown. We started at halfpast seven in the morning, and within an hour or so were out upon the - oen Campagna. For twelve miles we went climbing on, over an anbroken succession of mounds, and heaps, and hills, of ruin. Tombs and temples, overthrown and prostrate ; small fragments of columns, friezes, pediments ; great blocks of granite and marble; mouldering arches, grass-grown and decayed ; ruin enough to build a spacious city from. lay strewn about us. Sometimes loose walls, built up from these fragments by the shepherds, came across our path ; sometimes a ditch, between two mounds of broken stones, obstructed our progress ; sometimes the fragments themselves, rolling from beneath our feet, made it a toilsome matter to advance; but it was always ruin. Now, we tracked a piece of the old road above the ground; now traced it underneath a grassy covering, as if that were its grave; but all the way was ruin. In the distance, ruined aqueducts went stalking on their giant course along the plain; and every breath of wind that swept towards us stirred early flowers and grasses, springing up, spontaneously, on miles of ruin. The unseen larks above us, who alone disturbed the awful silence, had their nests in ruin ; and the fierce herdsmen, clad in sheepskins, who now and then scowled upon us from their sleeping nooks, were housed in ruin. The aspect of the desolate Campagna in one direction, where it was most level, reminded me of an American prairie ; but what is the solitude of a region where men have never dwelt, to that of a Desert where a mighty race have left their foot-prints in the earth from which they have vanished; where the resting-places of their Dead have fallen like their Dead ; and the broken hour-glass of Time is but a heap of idle dust! Returning, by the road, at sunset ; and looking, from the distance, on the course we had taken in the morning, I almost felt as if the sun would never rise again, but look its last, that night, upon a ruined world."— Dickens.

Le Frattocchie itself was the scene of the fatal meeting (Jan. 20th, B.c. 52) between Clodius and Milo.

"Clodius était allé à Aricia pour une affaire. Le lendemain, il s'était arrêté dans sa villa, voisine du mont Albain, où il devait coucher. La nouvelle de la mort de son architecte le fit partir assez tard. A peine avait-il commencé à suivre la voie Appienne, qu'il se croisa près de Boville avec Milon; Milon se rendait à Lanuvium, d'où il était originaire, pour y installer dans sa charge un prêtre de la déesse du lieu, Junon Sospita.

"Je crois que les deux ennemis ne s'attendaient pas à se rencontrer. Milon était en voiture avec sa femme; escorté par s^s esclaves, parmi lesquels se trouvaient deux gladiateurs renommés. Dans la situation où il se trouvait vis-à-vis de Clodius, cette escorte n'avait rien d'extraordinaire.

"Clodius était à cheval, suivi de trois amis, et d'une trentaine d'esclaves. Les deux ennemis s'étaient dépassés sans se rien dire. Une querelle s'engagea entre ceux qui formaient leur suite.

"Selon Cicéron, un grand nombre des gens de Clodius attaquèrent Milon d'un lieu qui dominait la route. Son cocher fut tué. Milon sauta à terre pour se défendre; les gens de Clodius coururent vers la voiture pour attaquer Milon, et commencèrent à frapper ses esclaves à coups d'épée. Ce fut alors que le gladiateur Birra, attaquant Clodius par derrière, lui perça l'épaule.

"Les serviteurs de Clodius, beaucoup moins nombreux, s'enfuirent et emportèrent leur maître dans une hôtellerie ; l'hôtellerie fut assiégée par les hommes de Milon, l'hôte tué. Clodius, arraché de cet asile, fut ramené sur la route, et là percé de coups. Milon ne fit rien pour l'empêcher. On dit plus tard qu'après le meurtre il était allé dans la villa de son ennemi, qui était tout proche, pour chercher son enfant et l'égorger; que, ne le trouvant pas, il avait torturé ses esclaves; mais ces accusations n'ont aucune vraisemblance.

"La suite de Clodius s'était dispersée. Un sénateur qui passait par là trouva son corps gisant sur la route et le fit reporter dans sa maison du Palatin."—Ampère, Ifist. Rom., iv. 577.

Some ruins at a short distance to the left are supposed tc

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