網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

addresses of his young lord, hastened her marriage with one Cristoforo, a vassal of the Savelli. But the young count continued to persecute her with his attentions, took a house immediately opposite to the married pair, and wrote constantly in the hope of softening the object of his love. She remained faithful to her husband, to whom she showed all the letters of the count: but Cristoforo constantly mistrusted her, and was full of jealousies. One day he borrowed her flounced petticoat (guardinfante) and other attire, and forced her to write a letter to Savelli appointing an assignation, persuading her that he only intended to humiliate him by a disappointment.

Savelli arrived at the rendezvous and was received by Cristoforo in his wife's dress, who shot him through the heart, cut his throat, and dragged the corpse to the front of the Savelli palace, where he left it weltering in its blood. On the discovery of the murder all the inhabitants of Albano were shut up in their houses to prevent flight. Cristoforo had made good his escape, but his innocent wife and all her family were arrested and frequently put to the torture, in the hope of extorting the whereabouts of the fugitive, of which they were really ignorant. After six months' imprisonment, the relatives were set at liberty, but the wife was condemned to death, and was only saved by the intervention of the Duchess of Parma, who received her into her service, from whence she was transferred to that of the Duchess of Modena.

The bereaved father never recovered the shock of his son's murder, and died in a lunatic asylum, and the only survivor of the Savelli having no heir, all the property of that ancient race passed to the family of Chigi.

CHAPTER III.

MONTE CAVO, NEMI, AND CIVITA LAVINIA.

(Donkeys should be taken for the excursion from Albano to Monte Cavo and Nemi, except by very good walkers—price, four francs each, the donkey-man four francs, the guide seven francs, for the day. Civita Lavinia will form a pleasant separate drive for the afternoon from Albano—a carriage ought not to cost more than seven or eight francs.

Those who ascend Monte Cavo from Rome, and return thither in the same day, may take the morning train to Frascati, or, still better, drive thither, and send on their carriages to the Hotel de Russie at Albano (as being the hotel nearest to the "galleries" and the Roman gate). They may then take donkeys at Frascati (price, five francs for the day), and ascend Monte Cavo by Rocca di Papa. After passing some time at the temple, they may descend by the Madonna del Tufo, Palazzuola, and skirting the Alban Lake, visit Castel Gandolfo, and ride through the "galleries" to Albano. Good walkers may also see Nemi the same day, but this is too great a hurry to be commended. The rest is an easy day's work, and allows time for returning to Rome in the evening from Albano, where the horses will have rested for many hours. Those who do not bring a carriage from Rome, and intend returning by the railway, must recollect that the Albano station is 2\ miles distant from the town, and that fatigue and distance, as well as expense, are thus greatly increased.)

ASCENDING the stony path which leads from Albano to the Cappuccini, and reaching the corner whence we overlook the glassy lake, sleeping in its deep wooded hollow, let us turn to the right by the tempting path which winds through the woods and rocks, between banks which in spring

are quite carpeted with cyclamen, violets, hepaticas, and every Vol. i. 6

shade of anemone, while higher up, amid the richly flowering laurestinus and genista, patches of brilliant pink " honesty" glow in the sunshine. At every turn the flowers become lovelier, and the fore-grounds more as if they were waiting for an artist to paint them, till, passing between some jagged masses of rock, which have fallen down from the higher cliffs long ago, but have been half buried for centuries under luxuriant drapery of ferns and moss, we reach, above the southern end of the lake, the Franciscan monastery of Palazzuola.

Here we may allow our donkeys to rest for a few minutes on the little rounded platform which so beautifully overlooks the lake, and stop to examine a Consular Tomb cut in the rock, which overhangs the garden of the convent, and which resembles in style many of the tombs in Etruria. It is attributed to Caius Cornelius Scipio Hispallus, consul and pontifex-maximus, though he died at Cumae, on the very slight ground that he was first attacked with his fatal illness, paralysis, while on a pilgrimage to the temple of the Alban Mount, in B.C. 176.

A path winding upwards through the woods leads from hence to the little sanctuary of the Madonna del Tufo, much frequented by the country people, whence a beautiful terrace fringed with ilexes extends to the picturesque village of Rocca di Papa, which occupies an isolated sugar-loaf rock standing out from the rest of the mountain-side and crowned by the ruins of a castle, which for two centuries was a stronghold of the Colonnas, but afterwards (1487) passed into the hands of the Orsini.

"All know that, in those ages, the poor and weak had the choice uf being assassinated in two ways, but they were obliged to choose; either ROCCA DI PAPA. %l

assassinated by casual wandering brigands, or by established brigands, settled in the fortresses. Generally the preference was given to the second, and thus around the fortresses was formed a trembling settlement of hovels and huts of contadini, which were afterwards changed into villages, towns, and cities, a preference which speaks to the praise of those poor calumniated barons of the middle-ages."—Massimo <T'Azeglio.

"Rocca di Papa est un cône volcanique couvert de maisons superposées jusqu'au faîte, qui se termine par un vieux fort ruiné. Les caves d'une zone d'habitations s'appuient sur les greniers de l'autre; les maisons se tombent continuellement sur le dos; le moindre vent fait pleuvoir des tuiles et craquer des supports. Les rues, peu à peu verticales, finissent par des escaliers qui finissent eux-mêmes par des blocs de lave supportant une ruine difficile à aborder, et flanquée d'un vieil arbre qui se penche sur la ville, comme une bannière à la pointe d'un clocher.

"Tout cela est vieux, crevassé, déjeté et noir comme la lave dont est sorti ce réceptacle de misère et de malpropreté. Mais, vous savez, tout cela est superbe pour un peintre. Le soleil et l'ombre se heurtent vivement sur des angles de rochers qui percent de toutes parts à travers les maisons, sur des façades qui se penchent l'une contre l'autre, et tout à coup se tournent le dos pour obéir aux mouvements du sol, âpre et tourmenté, qui les supporte, les presse et les sépare. Comme dans les faubourgs de Gènes, des arceaux rampants relient de temps en temps les deux côtés de la ruelle étroite, et ces ponts servent eux-mêmes de rues aux habitants du quartier supérieur.

"Tout donc est précipice dans cette ville folle, refuge désesperé des temps de guerre, cherché dans le lieu le plus incommode et le plus impossible qui se puisse imaginer. Les confins de la steppe de Rome sont bordés, en plusieurs endroits, de ces petits cratères pointus, qui ont tous leur petit fort démantelé et leur petite ville en pain de sucre, s'écroulant et se relevant sans cesse, grâce à l'acharnement de l'habitude et à l'amour du clocher.

"Cette obstination s'explique par le bon air et la belle vue. Mais cette vue est achetée au prix d'un vertige perpétuel, et cet air est vicié par l'excès de saleté des habitations. Femmes, enfants, vieillards, cochons et poules grouillent pêle-mêle sur le fumier. Cela fait des groupes bien pittoresques, et ces pauvres enfants, nus au vent et au soleil, sont souvent beaux comme des amours. Mais cela serre le cœur quand-même. Je crois d'ailleurs que je m'habituerais jamais à les voir courir sur ces abîmes. L'incurie des mères, qui laissent leurs petits, à peine âgés d'un an, marcher et rouler comme ils peuvent sur ces talus effrayants, est quelque chose d'inoui qui m'a semblé horrible. J'ai demandé s'il n'arrivait pas souvent des accidents.

"'Oui,' m'a-t-on repondu avec tranquillity, 'il se tue beaucoup d'enfants et meme de grandes personnes. Que voulez-vous, la ville est dangereuse !'"—George Sand, La Daniella.

Rocca di Papa is frequently used as a summer residence by English who are detained all the year round in the neighbourhood of Rome: but it is not desirable, being so exposed to the sun, with very little shade. The place derives its present name from the residence here of the anti-pope John, in A.d. 1190.

By the steep path which scrambles up the rocks above the house-tops of Rocca di Papa, we reach a wide grassy plain known as the Campo di Annibale from a tradition that Hannibal encamped there when marching against Rome.* In spring it is covered with snow-drops, pan-di-ncve the Italians call them. Hence we enter the forest, and under the green boughs and gnarled stems of the over-arching trees, in the hollow way lined with violets and fumitory, we find the great lava blocks of the pavement of the Via Triumphalis still entire.

"Quaque iter est Latiis ad summam fascibus Albam:
Excelsa de rupe procul jam conspicit urbem."

Lucan. iii. 87.

The marks of chariot-wheels still remain. Pope Alexander VII. was the last person who enjoyed a triumph here in the footsteps of Julius Caesar, and he was drawn up in a carriage. The stones are frequently marked V. N., signifying Via Numinis.

"Le lac d'Albano etait entoure d'une foret. Ovide est sur ce point d'accord avec Tite Live (v. 15), et la tradition qui donne a plusieurs rois fabuleux d'Alba le nom de Sylvius, Homme des bois, semble confirmer par les témoignages les plus anciens la verite de ce double temoignage.

"Aujourd'hui, on ne trouve un bout de foret que plus liaut, en

* Sec Livy, xxri. cap. 10.

« 上一頁繼續 »