John Chetwode Eustace.

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

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empty shelves, and numberless cases, only afford
the treasurer an opportunitj of enlarging on its
immensity, and a tolerable pretext for cursing the
banditti that plundered it. " Galli,'^ said he,
*' semper rapaces, crudeles, harharorum omnium It alls
infestmmi'\' :^* he added, in a style of compliment,
" Angli, justi, moderati, continent es^'' I hope our
countrymen will endeavour to verify the compli-
ment, by their conduct towards the degraded
Greeks, and the oppressed Italians !

* And awe-struck by the venerable majesty of the place,
t The French are always rapacious and cruel, of all the
barbarians the most hostile to the Italians.

X The English are just, moderate, and continent.



But though we condemned the sacrilegious
rapine of the French^ we could not share the
deep regret of the good father. Treasures buried
in the sacristies of the churches, are as useless,
as if still slumbering in their native mines ; and
though they may contribute to the splendor of an
altar, or to the celebrity of a convent, they can be
considered only as withheld from the purposes for
which Providence designed thera, and as draw-
backs upon that industry which they are made to
encourage. The altar ought certainly to be pro-
vided with a sufficient quantity of plate for the
decency, and even for the splendor of divine ser-
vice : snch was the opinion of the Christian church
even in the second century ; but it is the duty of
government not to allow it to accumulate: and it
is much to be lamented, that the immense wealth
deposited in the churches in Italy, had not been
employed, as anciently was the custom in times
of public distress, for public relief. " Ad divos
adeunto casth: pietatem adhibento: opes amo-

The church of Loretto is a magnificent esta-
blishment. It consists of twenty prebendaries
or resident canons : twenty chaplains or minor

* Let them approach the gods with purity ; let them carry
piety with them to the altar, but let them remove superfluous
riches. Cic. de Legibus, ii. 8.



canons ; and twenty penitentiaries, to hear the
confessions of the pilgrims, and to administer^to
them advice and spiritual consolation. These
penitentiaries are selected from various countries,
that every pilgrim may find a director, who can
discourse with him in his own language. The
number of pilgrims seem at present to be very
small ; indeed they have long ceased to be of any
advantage to the town, as they are generally of
the lowest class, beg their bread on the road,
and are supported at the expence of the church
while at Loretto. We visited the fathers, and
were treated by them with much kindness and

The traveller would do well, while his head-
quarters are at Loretto, to visit Osimo, Humana,
Monte Santo, and as much of the coast and country
southward as possible. These places are all of
ancient fame, and the whole region around is both
beautiful and classical.

From Loretto the road turns directly to Rome,
passes under a noble gateway, descends the hill of
Loretto, with an aqueduct running on the left, and
then rising traverses Recanati a neat but deserted
episcopal town. Again descending, it winds
through a delicious plain watered by the Potenza,
adorned with all the beauty of cultivation, and
with all the exuberance of fertility, producing corn
and beans, clover and flax, vines and mulberries.


in profusion ; and when we passed through it, all
lighted up and exhilarated by tlie beams of a vernal
evening sun.

A little beyond the post Sambucheto, and on
the banks of the river He the ruins of an am-
phitheatre, or rather of a town, supposed by some
antiquaries to have been Recina; though others
conclude, from the distance of fourteen miles
marked by the Itineraries, between Auximum and
Recina, that the latter stood on or near the site of
the modern Macerata, that is, about two miles
and a half farther on.

Mucerata is an episcopal see, a town of some
population, activity, and even magnificence. It is
situated on a high hill, and commands an exten-
sive view of the lovely country which we had
traversed terminating in the distant Adriatic. The
gate is a sort of modern triumphal arch not re-
markable either for materials or for proportion.
The same beautiful scenery continues to delight
the traveller till he reaches Tolkntino.

Tollentino an episcopal see and very ancient,
contains nothing remarkable. Its principal church
is dedicated to St. Nicolas a native saint, and of
course in high veneration. The bust of a cele-
brated philosopher of the fifteenth century, Phi-
lelphus, is placed over the entrance of the Town-
hall ; a circumstance, which I mention merely as
an instance of the respect which the Italians are




wont to shew to the memory of their great men
of every description. The gate towards Loretto is
double, of Gothic architecture, and of a singular
form*. The situation of the town is extremely
pleasing, on a gentle eminence on the banks of
the Ckienti, in a fertile plain lined on either side
with wooded hills.

A little beyond Tollentino we began to enter
the defiles of the Apennines ; the hills closing
and swelling into mountains, the river roughening
into a torrent, and the rocks breaking here and
there into huge precipices. The road runs along
the sides of the hills, with the Chienti rolling below
on the left. A little beyond Belforte, a view opens

* As we sat on a heap of stones contemplating the Gothic
structure of the gate, and its antique accompaniments, a
Pilgrim made his appearance under the archway. He was
dressed in a russet cloak, his beads hung from his girdle,
his hat was turned up with a scollop shell in front, his beard
played on his breast, and he bore in his hand a staff with
a gourd suspended. Never did Pilgrim appear in costume
more accurate, or in more appropriate scenery. With the
Gothic gate through which he was slowly moving, he formed
a picture of the thirteenth century. We entered into conver-
sation with him, and found that he was a German, and had
been, as Kings and Princes were wont to go in ancient times,
to the Threshold of the Apostles {ad liinina Apostolorum) and
had oftered up his orisons at the shrine of St. Peter. He did
not ask for alms, but accepted a trifle with gratitude, and
with an humble bow promised to remember us in his prayefs,
and proceeded on his journey.


over the precipice towards a bridge, and presents
a landscape of very bold features. Belforte is an
old fortress perched on the side of a rock in a
very menacing situation, and well calculated to
command the deBle. A village on the opposite
side of the river adds not a little to its picturesque

The grandeur of the scenery increased as we
advanced ; beyond the stage Valcimara, the moun-
tains are naked, rocky, and wild for some miles ;
on a sudden they assume a milder aspect, sink in
height, clothe their sides with sylvan scenery, and
present on their wooded summits, churches, cas-
tles, and ruins, the usual ornaments of Italian
mountains. The landscape continued to improve
in softness and in milder beauty till we arrived at
Ponte de la Tram, so called from a bridge over the
Chienti. Here, though we had travelled two stages
or eighteen miles only, and it was still early, we
determined to remain during the night ; partly
from a just apprehension of danger in passing the
steep and lonely fastnesses of Seraxialle in the dark,
and partly from an unwillingness to traverse the
majestic solitudes of the Apennines, when incapable
of enjoying the prospect. The inn, it is true, was
indifferent, but the surrounding scenery extremely
pleasing. The river rolling rapidly along close to
the road ; a convent seated in the middle of a
vineyard ; groves wavine: on the sides of the hills ;


the fields painted with the lively green of vernal
vegetation ; fruit-trees in full blossom on all sides ;
farm-houses interspersed in the groves and mea-
dows ; and broken crags surmounted with churches
and towers in distant perspective, formed on the
whole a scene, rich, varied, tranquil and exhilarat-
ing. One would imagine that Addison, who tra-
velled this road, had this delicious valley in view,
when in imitation of Virgil, he exclaims,

Bear me, some God, to Baiee's gentle seats.
Or cover me in Umbria's green retreats ;
Where western gales eternaHy reside,
And all the seasons lavish all their pride :
Blossoms and fruits and flowers together rise.
And the whole year in gay confusion lies.

Letter from Italy.



C7». IX.


Passage of the Apennines — Foligno — Lnprovisa-
tore — The Clitumniis, its Temple and Vale —
Spoleto — Monte Somma — Terni — Falls of the
Velino, Addiso?is opinion refuted — The Nar^
Narni — The Tiller — Otricoli — Civita Castel-
lana — Montes Cimini — Nepi — Campagna — First
View of Rome.

Feom Po7ite de Trave, the road runs for some
time over a comitry enclosed, cultivated, and
wooded, with much variety; but the scenery
gradually roughens as you ascend the Apennines ;
the mountains swell and close upon you, assume
a savage aspect, and though on the banks of the
river which still attends you and winds through
the defile, yet the scenery is rocky, naked, and
barren. Sera Valle is in a deep dell, where the
river rolls tumbling along shaded by oaks, pop-
lars, and vines. A rocky mountain rises imme-
diately to the west of the town. From its foot
close to the road, through various crevices gushes


a vast source of the purest water, which may
justly be considered as one of the heads of the
Potentia. On the steep side of the hill stands an
old ruined Gothic castle, whose fortifications run
in different compartments, down to the road side.
In the nearest is an aperture in a vault formed
over a large and deep spring. This rocky moun-
tain appears to be a vast reservoir of waters, as a
little higher up towards the summit, about one
hundred yards from the first source of the river
Potentia, another bursts out at the bottom of a
cavern finely shaded with bushes, shrubs, and fruit

A little farther on, you enter a plain spreading
in the midst of the Apennines, whose summits
rise in various shapes around, and form a ma-
jestic amphitheatre. It is not however to be un-
derstood, that the summits to which I allude,
are the highest points of the whole ridge : this is
not true, as the pinnacles of the Apennines are
covered with snow almost all the year, while the
mountains which we passed over, only exhibited
a i'ew detached sheets of snow, and were in ge-
neral green. I mean therefore that above Sera-
valle, you reach the highest point of the mountains
that intersect the Via Flaminia, and the road from
Ancona to Rome, On the sides of the mountains
you' see villages and cottages, the greatest part of
which look bleak and miserable, and in the midst


of the plain, graze numerous flocks of sheep, and
herds of cattle. There is, however, an appearance
of loneliness about the place, that excites in the
traveller's mind, ideas of danger, which are con-
siderably increased by accounts of murders and
robberies, said to have been committed in this
remote region.

While we were gliding over this elevated plain,
with silence and dreariness around us, I began
to reflect on the descriptions which the ancient
poets have left us of the Apennines, a ridge of
mountains which the Romans beheld with fond-
ness and veneration, as contributing so much both
to the beauty and to the security of their country.
In reality, they had reason to thank Providence
for having placed such a tremendous barrier be-
tween them and their victorious enemy, after the
disastrous engagement on the banks of the Trebia.
The attempt of Annibal to pass the Apennines,
is eloquently described by Titus Livius*: upon
that occasion one u'ould suppose that the Genius
of Rome, enveloped in tempests, and armed with
thunder, had stood on the summit to arrest the
invader ; — " Turn vero ingenti sono ccekim strepere
et inter horrendos fragores micare ignes'\-'' After

* Liv. xxi. 58.

t Then the heavens thundered with a mighty noise, and
lightnings flashed amid the tremendous peals.



repeated, but useless exertions, Annibal returned
to the plain, and Rome had time to arm her youth
and to call forth all her energies, to meet the
approaching tempest.

Lucan, in his description of the Apennines, in-
dulges as usual his vein of hyperbolical exaggera-
tion ; but as he is accurate in his representation
of the bearing of this immense ridge, and of the
rivers that roll from its sides, it may not be amiss
to insert his lines. ,

Mons inter gerainas medius se porrigit undas
Inferni, superiqiie maris : coUesque coercent
Hinc Tyrrhena vado frangentes aequora Pisae,
Illinc Dalmaticis obnoxia, fluctibus Ancon.
Fontibus hie vastis immensos concipit amnes,
Fluminaque in gemini spargit divortia ponti.
In Izevum cecidere latus veloxque Metaurus,
Crustumiumque rapax, et junctus Isapis Isauro,
Semnaque, et Adriacas, qui verberat Aufidus undas :
Quoque magis nullum tellus se solvit in amnem,
Eridanus, fractasque evolvit in aequora silvas ....
Dexteriora petens mentis declivia Tybrim
Unde facit, Rutubamque cavum ; delabitur inde
Vulturnusque celer, nocturnaeque editor aurae
Sarnus, et umbrosae Liris per regna Maricas
Vestinis impulsus aquis, radensque Salerni
Culta Siler, nullasque vado qui Macra moratus
Alnos, vicinze procurrit in gequora Lunae.
Longior educto qua surgit in aera dorso,
Gallica rura videt, devexasque excipit Alpes.
Tunc Umbris Marsisque ferax, domitusque Sabello
Vomere, piniferis amplexus rupibus omnes
Indigenas Latii populos, non deserit ante


Hesperiam, quam cum Scylljeis clauditur undis,
Extenditque suas in templa Lacinia rupes *. Lib. ii.


* Between the higher and inferior sea.
The long extended mountain takes his way ;
Pisa and Ancon bound his sloping sides,
Wash'd by the Tyrrhene and Dalmatic tides ;
Rich in the treasure of his wat'ry stores,
A thousand living springs and streams he pours.
And seeks the difFrent seas by difFrent shores.
From his left, falls Crustumium's rapid flood.
And swift Metaurus, red with Punic blood ;
There gentle Sapis with Isaurus joins.
And Sena there the Senones confines ;
Rough Aufidus the meeting Ocean braves.
And lashes on the lazy Adria's waves ;
Hence vast Eridanus, with matchless force
Prince of the streams, directs his regal course ;
Proud with the spoils of fields and woods he flows.
And drains Hesperia's rivers as he goes ....

These from the left ; while from the right there come
The Rutuba, and Tiber dear to Rome ;
Thence slides Vulturnus' swift descending flood.
And Sarnus, hid beneath a misty cloud :
Thence Liris, whom the Vestiu fountains aid
Winds to the sea through close Marica's shade ;
Thence Siler through Salernian pastures falls.
And shallow Macra creeps by Luna's walls.
Bord'ring on Gaul the loftiest ridges rise.
And the low Alps from cloudy heights despise;
Thence his long back the fruitful mountain bows.
Beneath the Umbrian and the Sabine ploughs ;
The race primaeval, natives all of old,
His woody rocks within their circuit hold ;
Far as Hesperia's utmost limits pass,
The hilly father runs his mighty mass,
Where Juno rears her high Laciniau fane.
And Scylla's raging dogs molest the main. Rowe.


This poet delighted in details, and loved to dis-
play his knowledge, whether connected with his
subject or not. Others have been more correct,
and have selected such particular features only as
suited the circumstance. Thus Petronius Arbiter
alludes merely to height, as an extensive view only
was requisite for the Fury, whom he represents as
perched upon its summit.

Haec ut Cocyti tenebras, & Tartara liquit,
Alta petit gradieiis iuga nobilis Apenniui,
Unde omnes terras, atque omnia littora posset
Adspicere, ac toto fluitantes orbe catervas *.

Silius ItalicHs enlarges upon the deep expanse of
driven snow, and the vast sheets of solid ice,
which when Annibal attempted the passage, buried
the forests, and wrapped up the pinnacles of the
Apennines in impenetrable winter.

Horrebat glacie saxa inter lubrica, summo
Piniferum coelo niiscens caput Apenninus ;
Condiderat nix alta trabes et vertice celso
Canus apex struct^ surgebat ad astra pruina !•

Sil. Ital. ix. 741.

* She left the darkness of the realms below.
And sought great Apennine's aspiring brow,
Whence ev'ry realm was seen, and ev'ry shore.
And ev'ry tribe, dispers'd Earth's surface o'er.

t Thick glaz'd with solid ice, and shagg'd with pine,
Rear'd his tall cliffs the lofty Apennine :
Deep snow the forests hid, and rising high.
His cloud-envelop'd summit pierc'd the sky.


In fine, Virgil, whose masterly hand generally
gives a perfect picture in a single line, to close one
of his noblest comparisons with the grandest
image, presents the Apennine in all its glory,
with its evergreen forests waving on its sides, and
a veil of snow thrown over its majestic summit.

Quautus Athos aut quantus Eryx, aut ipse, coruscis
Cum fremit ilicibus, quantus, gaudetque nivali
Vertice se attolleiis pater Apenninus ad auras*.

Fir. xii. 701.

On quitting the plain you wind along the
mountain with a lake on your right, and passing
an eminence, begin to descend the declivity of
Colfiorito represented more dangerous than it
really is, because, though the precipice be steep
and abrupt, the road is good, and winding along
the side of the hill descends on an easy slope.
Through the deep dell that borders the road, a
streamlet murmurs along, and gradually increas-
ing becomes a river, which, in the plain below,
falls into the Clitumnus. The little post of Case
nouve forms the first stage of the descent, which
continues with little or no intermission to the

Like Eryx, or like Athos, great he shews,
Or father Apennine, when white with snows,
His head divine, obscure in clouds he hides,
And shakes the sounding forest on his sides.

Dry den.



neighborhood of Foligno. About three miles from
this town, the mountains open and give the tra-
veller a delightful view through the deep wooded
defile into the adjoining vale, a view, which, when
we passed, was considerably improved by the
splendid coloring of the evening sun.

At the village situate in the dell below amidst
woods and rocks, the river pent up between the
closing crag, works its way through several little
chasms, and tumbles in seven or eight cascades
down the steep through tufts of box and ilex,
amidst houses and fragments of rocks inter-
mingled, into the plain below, where turning two
or three mills as it passes, it hurries along to join
the neighboring Clitumnus.

I should advise the traveller to alight, order his
carriage to wait for him at the foot of the hill,
and going down to the village, visit a very curious
grotto formed by the waters while confined within
the caverns of the mountain. It is entirely under
ground, may be about five-and-twenty feet high,
is hollowed into several little niches supported by
stalactite pillars, and ornamented on all sides
with natural fretwork. He may then pass through
the rows of olive trees that cover the opposite
rocks, observe the singular situation of the village
between two mountains, one of naked rock, the
other covered with brush-wood ; examine as he
descends, the picturesque effect of the several


hills barsting through masses of wall and verdnre,
and then he may follow the road that runs along
the foot of the hill, and mount his carriage within
a mile of Foligfio.

While at supper, we were amused by the ap-
pearance of an Lnprovisatore*, who, after having
sung an ode of his own composition, in honor of
England, poured forth his unpremeditated verse
with great harmony of tones, strength of voice,
and rapidity of utterance. He' asked for a sub-
ject, and we gave the prosperity of Italy, which
he enlarged upon with some enthusiasm, asking
emphatically at the conclusion of each stanza, how
Italy, open as it was to two barbarous nations,
such as the French and the Germans, could ever
expect prosperity ? His extemporary effusions
generally ended in the praises of England : and
after some bumpers and a suitable present, he
retired with much apparent satisfaction. These
characters, in their wandering habits, precarious
mode of living, and interested exertions, so much
like the bards of ancient days, have, it is said,
decreased in number since the French invasion,
owing partly to the depression of the national
spirit, and partly to the poverty of their former
patrons, and to the absence of wealthy foreigners.

A maker of extempore verses.


The exhibition was perfectly new to us, and while
we enjoyed it, we could not but agree that such an
ease and versatility of talent, might if properly
managed be directed to very great and very useful

Foligno, the ancient Fulginia, though a large,
is yet a very indifferent town. Its cathedral un-
finished without is neat within, of handsome Ionic,
and contains two pretty side altars. In reality,
there are few Italian churches which do not pre-
sent something interesting to an attentive travel-
ler, so generally is taste diffused over this classic
country. But the situation of Foligno compen-
sates all its internal defects. At the foot of the
Apennines, in a delightful plain that winds be-
tween the mountains, extending ten miles in
breadth and about forty in length, adorned with
rows of vines, corn fields, and villages, it enjoys
the breezes and the wild scenery of the mountains
with the luxuriance and warmth of the valley.
This its site, is alluded to by Silius.

patuloque jacens sine moeiiibus arvo

Fulginia *, Sil. viii. 459.

About three miles distant rises Be'vagna, the
ancient Mevania ; and through the same valley the

* And rising in a spacious plain

The unwall'd Fulginia.

VOL. I. y


CHtumnus rolls his " sacred streams," and glories
in the beauty and fertility of his banks. At Fo-
ligno, the traveller from Loretto again re-enters
the Via Flaminia.

The first stage from Foligno terminates at a
place called Le Vem *. Almost close to the post-
house on the northern side, rises on a steep bank
an ancient temple ; and a little to the south of it,
from various narrow vents or vei?is, gushes out a
most plentiful stream of clear limpid water, form-
ing one of the sources of the Clitumnus. From
these sources the place takes its name, and the
temple on the bank was once sacred to the river-
god, under the appellation of Jupiter Clitumnus.
The younger Pliny has given a lively and accurate
description of this fountain, which the reader will
prefer, no doubt, to the best modern picture.

C. Plinius Romano Sue. S.

" Vidistine aliquando, Clitumnum, fontem? Si nondum
(et puto nondum alioqui narrasses mihi) vide : quem ego,
pcenitet tarditatis, proxime vidi. Modicus coUis assurgit,
antiqua cupressu nemorosus et opacus : hunc subter fons
exit, et exprimitur pluribus venis, sed imparibus, eluctatus-
que facit gurgitem, qui lato gremio patescit purus et vitreus,
ut numerare jactas stipes et relucentes calculos possis.
Inde, non loci devexitate, sed ipsA suicopi&et quasi pondere
impellitur. Fons adhuc, et jam amplissimum flumen atque

The veins, or the springs.


etiam navium patiens, quas obvias quoque et coiitrario nisu

in diversa tendentes, transmittit et perfert : adeo validus ut

ilia qua properat, ipse tanquam per solum planum remis non

adjuvetur : idem aegerrime remis contisque superetur adversus.

Jucundum utrumque per jocum ludumque fluitantibus, ut

flexerint cursum, laborem ocio, ocium labore variare. Kipse

fraxino multa, multa populo vestiuntur : quas perspicuus

aranis, velut mersas viridi imagine annumerat. Kigor aquse

certaverit nivibus, nee color cedit, Adjacet templum pris-

cum et religiosum. Stat Clitumnus ipse amictus, ornatusque

praetextA. Praesens numen atque etiam fatidicum, indicant

sortes. Sparsa sunt circa sacella complura, totidemque Dei

simulacra : sua cuique veneratio, suum numen : quibusdam

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