John Chetwode Eustace.

A classical tour through Italy, an. MDCCCII (Volume 1) online

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and professors.

From the Instituto we naturally pass to the
University the glory of Bologna, and equal, if not
as the Bolognese pretend, superior in antiquity,
and once in reputation, to the most celebrated
academies in Europe. The honors, titles, and



CK VII. THROUGH ITALY. 269

privileges conferred upon it by kings and empe-
rors, by synods and pontiffs, the deference paid to
its opinions, and the reverence that waited upon
its graduates, prove the high estimation in which
it was once held ; and the names of Gratian and
Aldrovandus, ofMalpighi and Guglielmini, o^ Ferres
and Cassini, are alone sufficient to shew that this
high estimation was not unmerited. The Scuole
publiche (public schools), or halls of the university,
form a very noble building ; seventy professors
are employed, and the endowments are very con-
siderable. The number of students, however, is
not adequate to the fame and splendor of such an
establishment, as it scarce amounts to five hun-
dred, while anciently it exceeded twice as many
thousands. The decrease here, as at Padua, is to
be ascribed to the multiplication of similar esta-
blishments in all Christian countries.

Besides the Listituto and the University, two
Academies of inferior lustre and celebrity watch
over the interests of literature, and endeavor to
extend the empire of the Muses. They are entitled,
by a playful opposition, the Inquieti (Restless) and
the Oziosi (Idle), and abandoning the higher re-
gions of science to the speculations of their bre-
thren of the two great seminaries of learning, they
range at large through the fields of fancy, and
amuse themselves in collecting its flowers. The
youth, whom I mentioned above as founder of



270 CLASSICAL TOUR Ch. VIL

the Academy of Sciences, Eustachio Manfredi, did
honor to these societies, by his poetical effusions,
and is ranked for tenderness and delicacy among
the first Italian poets, in light airy composi-
tions. Za?2otii, Scarselli, Roberti, and Sanseverino,
have acquired considerable reputation in the same
line. In short, the two grand features of the
Bolognese character, are formed by the two most
honorable passions that can animate the human
son! — ^the love of Knowledge, and the love of
Liberty ; passions which predominate through the
whole series of their history, and are justly ex-
pressed on their standard, where " Libertas "
(Liberty) blazes in golden letters in the centre,
while "Bouonia docet" (Bologna distributes know-
ledge) waves in embroidery down the borders.

The fountain in the great square is much cele-
brated, but more, I think, than it deserves. The
statues are good, particularly that of Neptune; but
the figures are crowded into a space too small for
such a group, and Neptune, " the earth-shaking
god," armed with that trident which controuls the
ocean,

" Et vastas aperit syrtes et temperat aequor*,"



* And opes the deep, and spreads the moving sands.

Dryden,



li



Ch. VII. THROUGH ITALY. «7l

seems employed to little purpose, in superintending
a few nymphs and dolphins squirting mere threads
of water from their breasts and nostrils. The god
should have stood upon a rock, a river should have
burst from under his feet, and the mermaids and
dolphins, instead of being perched on the narrow
cornice of his pedestal, should have appeared sport-
ing in the waves. Such should be the attitude, and
such the accompaniments of the God of the Ocean;
and such is the Fontana di Trevi, in Rome.

On the 30th of March, we set out from Bologna,
and still rolling along the Via Emilia, through a
beautiful country, arrived about two o'clock at
Imola, twenty miles from Bologna. This neat
little town stands on or near the site of Forum
Cornelii ruined in the wars between the Greek
emperors and the Longobardi. It was the See of
the present Pope, before his elevation to the pon-
tifical throne. It contains little worth notice : its
Corinthian cathedral was never finished without,
nor completely furnished within, and of course
scarce deserves a visit. Imola has its academy
called the Industriosi, and can boast of several men
of eminence in literature, particularly poets; among
these, Zappi and Zampieri are much esteemed for
a certain graceful refinement, and delicacy of sen-
timent and expression. Imola, though situated
in the commencement of the great plain of Milan,
derives from the neighboring Apennines a con-



272 CLASSICAL TOUR Ch. VIL

siderable portion of the beauty of mountainous
landscape, of which Monte Batailla seen from the
ramparts, westward, presents a striking instance.
The river that bathes its walls, has changed its
Roman name Vatrenus, into the more sonorous
appellation of Santerno.

From Imola to Faenza (Faventia) is about ten
miles. This ancient town is spacious and well
built : its great square, with a fine range of porti-
cos on either side, and a Corinthian church be-
longing to the Dominicans, deserve attention. Its
cathedral is Gothic, and not remarkable. We
could discover within the vicinity of this city, few
traces of the pine groves, which seem anciently to
have formed one of the most conspicuous features
of its territory.

Undique solers
Arva coronantem nutrire Faventia pinum*. Sil. viii.

Nine miles from Faetiza^ beyond the river
Moiitone, anciently the Ufens, stands Fork (Forum
Livii) a long well-built town, with a very spacious
and handsome square. The cathedral not remark-
able in itself, contains a very beautiful chapel lined
with the finest marble adorned with paintings,



* Faventia, that with care
Breeds the tall pine, that crowns her spacious fields.



O. VII. THROUGH ITALY. ^fS

and surmounted with a well-proportioned dome.
This chapel bears the title of Ver^gme del Fuoco.
The tabernacle in the chapel of the sacrament, is
the work of Michael Angelo. The Benedictine
Abbey of St. Mercuriale is a grand edifice, and
deserves attention on account of its antiquity.
Foiii has an academy under the title of Filargyri,
and has produced several men of literary merit,
among others, the Abbate Pelegrino Gaudenzi, who
might be styled the Italian Klnpstock, if the laws
of euphony would allow names of such opposite
sound, to be brought into contact.

From Fork to Forlimpopoli is four miles. This
latter town, anciently Forum Popilii, is small but
neat. Hence to Cesena is a distance of seven
miles. We arrived there late in the evening.

In leaving Bologna we turned our backs upon
the fertile and most extensive plains of Milan,
and began gradually to approach the Adriatic, on
one side, and the Apennines on the other. The
road, however, still continues to give the traveller
all the advantages of the plain, as scarce an emi-
nence rises to retard his course, before he reaches
Ancona; while he enjoys all the beauties of a
mountainous country, in the hills on the right,
that sometimes advance, and sometimes retire,
varying their forms and landscape almost at every
step. Mountains crowned with towers, castles or
towns, a striking feature of Italian, and particularly

VOL. I. T



274 CLASSICAL TOUR Ch. VIL

of Apennine scenery, had often attracted our at-
tention during onr progress, and increasing upon
us from Faenza, in number, boldness and beauty,
repeatedly forced on our recollection Virgil's de-
scriptive verse,

Tot


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Online LibraryJohn Chetwode EustaceA classical tour through Italy, an. MDCCCII (Volume 1) → online text (page 18 of 27)