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ALBA LONGA. 75
ceeding discovery has curiously confirmed the opinion that it is the true site of Alba.
"The characteristics of the city of Alba, says Dionysius of Halicarnassus, were, 'that it was so built, with regard to the mountain and the lake, that it occupied a space between them, each seeming like a wall of defence to the city.' . . . Livy (Lib. i. c. 3) has a passage, which is too descriptive of Alba Longa to be omitted: 'Ascanius, abundante Lavinii multitudine . . . novum ipse aliam sub Albano moute condidit; quae ab situ porrectce in dorso urbis, Longa Alba adpellata.' Dionysius also (Lib. i.) informs us that the name Longa was added 'on account of the shape (rov <rx>;fi«roc) of its ground plan ;' Varro, chat it was called Longa, 'propter loci naturam;' and Aurelius Victor, 'eamque ex forma, quod ita in longum porrecta est, Longam cognominavit."
. . . "There is a tradition, that the palace of the kings of Alba stood on a rock, and so near the edge of the precipice, that when the impiety of one of its monarchs provoked Jupiter to strike it with his lightning, a part of the mass was precipitated into the lake, carrying the impious king along with the ruins of his habitation. Now this tradition is apparently confirmed by a singular feature in a part of the remains of this city; for directly under the rock of the citadel towards the lake, and where the palace, both for security and prospect, would have been placed, is a cavern about fifty feet in depth, and more than one hundred in width, a part of the roof of which has evidently fallen in, and some of its blocks remain on the spot. This may be visited from below without difficulty, by a small path used by goat-herds and wood-cutters, leading across four deep ravines to Palazzuola."—Sir W. Gell.
It is a beautiful walk or drive back to Albano, through the
Galleria di Sotto, shaded by huge ilexes which were planted
by Urban VIII., or are even of older date. These gigantic
trees, acquainted for centuries, often lean together against
the walls as if in earnest conversation; often, faint from old
age, are propped on stone pillars, supported by which, they
hang out towards the Campagna. At the end of the avenue
we come upon Pompey's Tomb, beneath which are some of
the Capanne or shepherds' huts of reeds, described by
Virgil. On the opposite side of the Via Appia stands the Villa Altieri, consecrated now to the Italian heart as having
Galleria di Sotto, Albano.
been the residence of the noble and self-devoted cardinal, who died a martyr to his self-sacrifice in the cholera of 1867.
The disease appeared quite suddenly during the first week in August. At that time Albano was especially crowded with visitors of high and low degree, from the Royal Family of Naples and the principal members of the Roman aristocracy, to the thrifty Jewish salesman from the Ghetto, intent on combining a stroke of business with change of air. On a beautiful Monday afternoon various parties were given in the gardens of tile principal villas, and as Albano had always hitherto been exempt from attacks of pestilence, no alarm was felt, though there were already cases of cholera at Rome. Suddenly a cloud, bringing a strange chill, seemed to rise out of the Campagna; cloaks and wraps were brought out for those who were feasting in the gardens, but the chill passed away as quickly as it had come, and was succeeded by great heat. Almost immediately the pestilence began. People were attacked on the garden-seats as they sat. Before morning there were 115 cases and 15 deaths. All who could, fled to Rome and the neighbouring towns. "The prevailing features of the scene were the processions of priests with the consecrated host, litters conveying the sick to the hospital, ami carts conveying the dead to the cemetery. The usual agents in the latter operation, being by no means adequate in number to the amount of doleful work thus devolved upon them, were aided by the soldier of a company of Zouaves, who had been sent to Albano for change of air after recovery from fever, and who arrived opportunely on the very morning when their aid was so much needed. Telegraphic messages were sent to Rome repeatedly in the course of the day, requesting THE CHOLERA AT ALB A NO. 77
medical aid, instructions, and vehicles. Cardinal Altieri, being bishop of Albano, came out from the capital to encourage the towns-people by his presence, and take the direction of affairs. In the course of the afternoon many people arrived from Rome in a state of great anxiety about their families or relatives, whom they had left at Albano, and whom they were desirous of conveying elsewhere as soon as possible. Means of transport to the capital by the high road became suddenly scarce, and the drivers of omnibuses down to the station availed themself of the opportunity of exacting double fare from the panic-stricken fugitives who surrounded the vehicles." At the entrance of the Olmata of Genzano, a cordon was established, and no one was allowed to pass without undergoing fumigation. On the same day the Royal Family of Naples was attacked, some of the servants died, and one of the princes was taken ill.
On the second morning '' the dead-carts rolled drearily about the town, stopping here and there to take up rude wooden boxes, rather than coffins, for conveyance to the cemetery of the Madonna della Stella. Many of the shops were shut up, their owners having either died or emigrated. Fruit-stalls were abolished." All who could, endeavoured to reach a purer air if possible, but it was already difficult, as "the authorities of Ariccia had placed guardiani with guns to prevent any one crossing the great viaduct from Albano, and all the neighbouring towns, except Rome, had drawn the same inextricable cordon." The attacks of the disease were so sudden that if a carriage containing five fugitives took the way towards Rome, three were frequently dead before it reached the walls of the city.
By the third morning 120 deaths from cholera had occurred in the village of Albano. People fled in every direction. "Along the road were families migrating in all sorts of waggons and vehicles : the countiy farm-houses were resorted to all round, though it was the fever season, and it seemed as if there would soon be none left to kill in Albano. But unfortunately most of the fugitives took away the germ of the malady with them, and died wherever they might chance to have taken refuge." On the evening of the 8th, the Queen-Dowager of Naples died, after an illness of only four hours' duration, and on the same day the Princess Colonna, having fled to Genzano to the palace of Duke Cesarini, to whom her eldest daughter was engaged, was seized with cholera at luncheon, and died in a few hours.
Meanwhile Cardinal Altieri was unremitting in his attentions to the sick and dying, giving himself too little rest either by night or day, but on the Friday he was himself seized with the malady, and died on Sunday the nth. On the same day Mr John Macdonald, brother of the wellknown sculptor, died soon after effecting his escape to Rome. Frightful mortality began amongst the regiment of Zouaves who had so courageously devoted themselves to the dead, and almost all of them perished —chiefly, it is said, because, owing to the rapid succession of deaths, and the impossibility of finding grave-diggers, the corpses buried on the first day in one large grave had to be packed to give more space!
On the 13th the cholera catastrophe at Albano had reached such a degree that the most necessary relations of social existence might be said to be annihilated. With the exception of the Gonfaloniere, who took flight early, all the local authorities were either ill or dead, and the Pope had sent out Monsignor Apolloni, as special commissary, to assume the government of the town. The last of the bakers who had the courage to remain in Albano and carry on his trade died on the I2th, so that to prevent the surviving inhabitants from starving, bread and other provisions had to be sent out from Rome.
After the 14th the cholera began to abate, having carried off more than one-tenth of the population.—From the Letters of the " Times Correspondent."
The monument of Cardinal Altieri is the only object of interest in the Cathedral, which stands in a small square behind the principal street. It is inscribed :—
Ludovicus de Alteriis, Card. S.E.R. Episc. Albanus, Pastor bonus cum in medium gregem dira s»viente lue advolasset, praeclarum vita cursum morte magnanima consummavit sanctissime,
III Id. Aug. MDCCCLXVII. Vixit annos LXII.
Celebrated among the bishops of Albano was Pietro Aldobrandini (S. Pietro Igneo), who walked through fire at Settimo in 1067, to prove a charge of simony against Pietro di Pavia, bishop of Florence.
The festa of S. Pancrazio—the patron of Albano—is kept here with great solemnity.
"From the cathedral issued, at an early hour, a procession whose length almost corresponded to that of the town itself. There were little girls in tinsel finery, with butterfly-wings, intended to represent angels, and chubby little boys who toddled along in the disguise of Carmelite friars, curiously contrasting with the gravity of friars full grown, bearded CASTELLO SAVELLI. 79
capuchins, venerable canons, and full-armed soldiers. There was the Gonfaloniere with his two councillors; the local magistracy, in long robes of black silk and velvet lined with silver tissue, with flat black caps, looking not unlike some of Titian's portraits; and another conspicuous group, very different, formed by young girls in long white satin dresses, with veils covering not only the head but the lower part of the face, each attended by a buxom matron in the gayest local costume—a brightcoloured bodice, white linen veil folded square over the brow, and ample folds of muslin round the largely-developed bust, their full-blown charms further set off by a profusion of gold ornaments chiselled in a style resembling those in Etruscan museums — precisely such figures as Pinelli and many other artists have delighted to introduce in genre pictures illustrative of Italian life and scenery. The younger females were those selected to receive small dowries out of a fund appropriated to charity, such donations being annually conferred at the religious seasons in Albano. Next to the female group came about a hundred members of a lay fraternity in their peculiar costume with hoods, carrying large crucifixes and banners painted on both sides with sacred figures life-size, and, finally, the principal group of clergy, the first in dignity supporting under a crimson canopy a bust of silver-gilt containing the skull of S. Pancrazio."—//emans' Catholic Italy.
On the right of the main street, on entering the Roman gate, is the Villa Doria, whose grounds, abounding in ancient ilex groves, and in fragments of ruin of imperial date, are of the most extreme beauty.
About a mile below the town the ruins of the Castello Savelli crown a conical hill above the plain, and form a pleasant object for a short excursion. The great family of the Savelli continued to be lords of Albano till the middle of the sixteenth century, when tragical circumstances led to their extinction. The young and handsome heir of the house was betrothed to the daughter of the Marchese del Vasto of Naples, who had a dowry of 800,000 crowns. But while waiting for his bride to attain her thirteenth year, when the marriage was to be solemnized, he became passionately in love with a beautiful young girl of Albano, of humble but respectable parentage. Her father, fearing the