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PREFACE.

TN submitting these volumes to the public, I would earnestly apologize to my readers for their imperfections. The ground, in many instances, had been almost untrodden; several of the places described are difficult of access, and have never before been visited by foreigners; and, in most cases, published descriptions either do not exist at all already, or are so inaccurate and untrustworthy as to be only misguiding. A great field for discovery still remains, even within a day's journey of Rome; and if, in opening the way to others, I lead them to enjoy half the pleasure I have received from my own researches, I shall be more than rewarded.

Some of the chapters of this book have already appeared, in a condensed form, as Magazine Articles in "Good Words."

The illustrations of buildings and scenery are from my own sketches, taken on the spot; the figures I owe to the kindness of friends; for their transference to wood I am indebted to the skill of Mr. T. Sulman. The subjects chosen are purposely selected where verbal descriptions may fail to delineate the character of the places visited.

Augustus J. C. Hare.

Holmhurst, Sept., 1874.

INTRODUCTORY.

ONLY about one traveller in five hundred of those who cross the Alps ever sees Italy. Those who go to Milan, Venice, Florence, Rome, and Naples, and who stay at the hotels of New York, Washington, Brighton, Paris, or Londres, dining daily on a well-cooked English or French dinner, at hot tables d'hote amid a vociferous throng of their own countrymen, attended by obsequious waiters who talk bad English; visiting hackneyed sights, led in tow by haughty couriers or ignorant ciceroni; driving out to meets in the Campagna, making parties for illuminations in the Coliseum, or devouring chickens and champagne on the slopes at Veii:—these do not see Italy. They lead a pleasant life and pass very agreeable days; but the life they are leading is not Italian, the land which they allow to be doled out for them, or dole out for themselves, is not Italy: and as regards the real, true, un-Anglicized, un-Americanized country, they might just as well, on their return home, have been attending an admirable series of panoramas and dioramas in Leicester Square.

In order, however, to enjoy the Eden of sights which couriers guard with their two-edged swords, a very different

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