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huge shapeless rocks. The scene is in an unusual degree
both pleasing and picturesque ; and numerous spots of
antiquarian interest surround the lake. One of these, at
the foot of Mount Velino, is Alba Fucentia, the St He-
lena of ancient Rome, to whose prisons dethroned kings
were sent to die. A little hamlet covers a portion of its
rocky hills, and among these are still to be seen consid-
erable remains of its very massive polygonal walls, with
many brick fragments of its Roman buildings, a few
ruined tombs, and in the church some good columns of a


temple. Virgil's grove of Angitia seems to have given
name to Luco, not far from Alba. But the most singular
monument of the region, — indeed, one of the most curious
in Italy, — is the great subterranean Canal of Claudius,
which extends from the bank of the lake to the valley of
the Liris. It has recently been cleared out and repaired
by the Neapolitan government, to fit it for its original
purpose of protecting the borders of the lake from those
sudden inundations, to which the want of any visible
outlet for the waters has always exposed them.* The
length of this tunnel is 6917 English yards, or nearly 4
miles ; its breadth in most places is 7 feet 4 inches ; its
height almost throughout is 13 feet 10 inches ; and the
longest of the shafts sunk perpendicularly to the tunnel
from the surface of the earth has a depth of 432 feet.t

The pastoral and beautifully undulating valley of the
Liris, in which stand several obscure ruins, belongs to
the Marsian district as far down as Sora. Eastward
from the lake were the lands of the Peligni, in which,
beyond the Majella, the Neapolitan town of Sulmone,
lying among the roots of the mountain, represents Sul-
mo, the birthplace of Ovid. Corfinium is to be found near
Popoli, on the river Pescara, the Roman Aternus. The
valley of this river, which constituted the territory of
the Vestini, has its left bank formed by the heights of
the Monte Corno or Gran Sasso, near the foot of which
on the west, not far from the interesting modern town
of Aquila, a rurally situated village, called San Vittorino,
contains a theatre and other ruins belonging to Amiter-
num, one of the most ancient Sabine towns. Between

• The ancients believed that this lake supplied by a subterra-
neous passage the springs of the Anio, or at least those of the Aqua
Marcia, There are two places near the border of the lake at which
a part of its waters does seem to disappear. A tradition mentioned
by Pliny (Hist. Nat. lib. iii. cap. 12.), of a town named Archippe,
swallowed up by the lake, was repeated to the writer by some in-
habitants of Avezzano, who call the town Marsiglia, and assert
that its buildings may still be seen under water. They attribute
its disappearance to magic.

■f Official Report in the Biblioteca Italiana of Milan, voL xlvii.
1827, p. 391.


the fruitful valley of the Aternus and the Lake of Celano
extends one of the bleakest tracts of the Apennines, a
bare moorland region, broken up at several points by
savagely wild passes.

The Samnites.

Samnium is chiefly mountainous, and partially woody.
The situation of the Caudine Defile, where the brave
Samnites inflicted so disgraceful a defeat on the Romans,
is strongly controverted. The opinion now prevalent,
fixes this historical event in the valley of Arpaia, be-
tween Arienzo and Benevento ; though other antiquaries
follow the older decision, which places it farther west,
in a ravine near Sant' Agata de' Goti.* At Benevento,
which, under its name of Beneventum, attained in the
dark ages to the rank of a royal residence, are seen a fine
honorary arch of Trajan, a ruined theatre, an obelisk,
and fragments of a bridge.

To the east of that city, about three miles from the
village of Frigento, in a bare volcanic country, are Vir-
gil's tremendous Valley and Lake of Amsanctus, of
whose poetical horrors there still remain its sulphureous
odour and the jets of its waters. t



The quarter of this province wliich lies eastward of
the Apennine, has little that ought to detain us. At
Rimini, the Roman Ariminum, are an imperial bridge,
a triumphal arch, and portions of an ampliitheatre. To
the south of Pesaro, occupying the place of the ancient
Pisaurum, the Metauro falls into the sea ; and the
battle-field, on which the Romans defeated Asdrubal,
may be sought near Urbino, known of old as Urbinum

• Cramer's Ancient Italy, vol. ii. p. 238. Cluverii Italia An-
tiqua, p. 1196. Craven's Tour, Appendix.

■\ Daubeny on Volcanoes. Swinburne's Travels in the Two
Sicilies, sect. 15.


Hortense. The pass of Furlo, formed with great labour
by the Romans, who called it Petra Pertusa, leads
through a striking defile of the Apennine ; and Gubbio,
representing the obscure town of Iguvium, is cele-
brated for possessing the inscribed Eugubian tablets of

On the western side of the mountains, the beauty of
the scenery compensates for the want of remarkable his-
torical monuments, Civita di Castello, not far from the
source of the Tiber, is Pliny's Tifemum Tiberinum ;
and near it must be the site of his secluded Tuscian villa,
which he has so delightfully described."- Farther down
the river, on an abrupt hill, the singularly interesting
monastic town of Assisi, named in the imperial times
Assisium, contains a Roman temple-portico ; and be-
neath the neighbouring Spello lies, near the site of the
old Hispellum, an amphitheatre close to the highway.
Foligno, the ancient Fulginia, still occupies its position
on a beautiful level, and is recovering from the effects
of a severe earthquake which, on the 13th of January
1832, shook the whole of this district.

Southward from Foligno, Virgil's river Clitumnus
bursts from its springs at the foot of a rocky hill, whose
cypresses, commemorated by Pliny, have given place to
ragged coppice. The chill waters still form a full and
wide stream the moment they issue from the clifF ; and
the cream-coloured cattle browse on the rich meadows
that form the banks immediately beyond ; but the
decorated temple, which, from a beautiful rock, now
overlooks the little valley, cannot be that primeval
shrine whose religious simplicity Pliny describes.t Be-
vagna is Mevania, the birthplace of Propertius ; and
Spoleto, celebrated, under its name of Spoletium, for
its repulse of Hannibal, stands on a picturesque hill,
separated by a dell from the higher Apennines, and

* Plinii Epistolarum, lib. v. ep. 6.

-f- Plinii, lib. viii. epist. 8. Of doubters, see Forsyth, " Jour-
ney to Ancona;" of believers, Hobhouse's " Illustrations of Chikle
Harold," p. 35.


exhibits an honorary arch of Drusus, the portico of a
temple, and a Roman gate.

A beautifully wooded ascent of the Apennines carries us
across into the valley of the Nar or Nera, on which, be-
low the conflux of that river with the classical Veli-
nus, stands Terni, on the site of the ancient Interamna,
the birthplace of Tacitus the historian. A romantic
walk of four miles from the town up the valley of the
Nera, among the evergreen ilexes of the open field or
the orange-groves of a modern villa, leads to the tre-
mendous Fall of the Velino, the finest cataract in Europe,
whose " hell of waters," and the colossal grandeur of its
tangled cliffs, Childe Harold has deprived all succeeding
travellers of the right of describing.

In Tuder, now Todi, are remains of walls and of a
fine Doric temple. The primitive ramparts of Amelia
(Ameria), farther down the Tiber, are excellent speci-
mens of the fitted polygonal construction. On a steep
rock overhanging the Nera stands Narni, the ancient
Narnia ; and at the entrance of the romantic ravine be-
neath, between whose wooded rocks the river winds
slowly along,* are seen the marble niins, still very
striking, of a bridge built by Augustus. Numerous but
shapeless fragments, on a plain close to the Tiber, be-
neath the modern Otricoli, indicate the site of Ocriculum,
and have furnished, especially during the pontificate of
Pius VI., many inscriptions and admirable monuments
of sculpture. t


Ancona retains its Grecian name, and its strong posi-
tion on a bluflF headland, up whose side the city rises to
the platform occupied by its singular cathedral. Its
Roman Mole, built by Trajan, forms a part of the modem
harbour, and is suiTQounted by a slender and elegant

* Claudianus, De Sexto Consulatu Honorii, v. 615-519.

•\- For some interesting details on the topographical antiquities of
Umbria, stated to have been derived from inspection of the ground,
see the Quarterly Journal of Education, No. XIV. April 1834.


honorary Arch. Among the numerous towns which
skirt the shore of the March of Ancona, it is sufficient
to notice Fermo, the old Firmum Picenum. The river
Tronto is the ancient Truentus ; and on a wide rocky
platform, inclosed between it and the Castiglione at their
conflux, stands the dismal and decaying town of As-
coli, representing Asculum Picenum. The situation is
infinitely beautiful, among rocks, and woods, and wa-
ters ; and along the upper valley of the Tronto, the
horizon is confined by lofty serrated peaks of the Apen-
nines, running backwards towards the Mountain of the
Sibyl, which perliaps combines the Mounts Severus and
Tetricus of Virgil. Shapeless brick walls and broken
arches, on an eminence within the city, seem to belong
to the Roman times. On the southern bank of the
Tronto commences the luxuriant little plain in which,
on the river Tordino, stands Teramo of the Abruzzo, the
ancient Interamna Praetutiana.

Westward and southward from Teramo, the Apen-
nines swell ujjwards in huge masses, encircling the feet
of their monarch, the Gran Sasso d' Italia. Nearly the
whole of this magnificent mountain is included within
the Picentine frontier. Its southern side ascends in tre-
mendous precipices from the green valley of the Atemus ;
while on the west and north its snowy top sinks more
gradually down upon the wilderness of woody heights,
deep rocky dells, and dashing torrents, Avhich skirts the
plain of Teramo. This solitary and almost inaccessible
tract, here richly grand, and there savagely desolate,
is the very wildest and most picturesque district of the
Neapolitan Abruzzi, and has more of the Alpine char-
acter than any other of the Apennine landscapes.*

• The wild passes which lead over the shoulder of the Gran
Sasso, from Aquila to Teramo, were crossed by the writer in
1834 ; and a short account of the excursion was published in Black-
wood's Magazine for November 1835.




Interesting as this province is, for its majestic land-
scapes and its vicissitudes in the middle ages, no portion
of it is remarkable in the ancient history of Italy.

Genoa has nearly retained its Roman name of Genua,
and borrowed from the town which bore that title its
active commercial industry. NorthAvard from the coast,
the chain of the maritime Alps leads us up towards the
Monte Viso (Mons Vesulus), among whose piny glades
is the source of the classic Padus or Eridanus, equally
celebrated by its modern name, the Po. This moun-
tain, however, belongs to the next range of the Alpf,
whose southern valleys, following some of the classical
geographers, we may consider as included in Liguria.
This group derived its title of Cottian from a chief
of the country, whose town of Segusium, now Susa,
in the beautiful pass leading down from the Mont
Cenis into Piedmont, is stUl ornamented by a triumphal
arch, erected by him m token of his submission to Au-
gustus. Turin has taken its modern name from its old
but obscure title of Augusta Taurinorum ; and a few
leagues north-east from it, near Ven-ua, were disco-
vered, in 1745, ruins and many antiques, belonging to
the equally obscure town of Industria.

Cisalpine Gaul.

The delightful valleys which descend from the Alps
in the whole length of their Italian chain, present few
spots of historical importance ; but the fertile plain,
formed by the Po and its tributaries, was the scene of
many remarkable events.

On the southern side of the Alpine crescent, the hol-
lows are watered by fine rivers forming numerous lakes,
which are better known to modern travellers than they
were to the soldiers and politicians of heathen Rome.


The Lacus Verbanus is merely mentioned by one or
two ancient geographers. Under its modern name of tlie
Lago Maggiore, it is world-renowned for the beauty
of its shores, varying from the softest loveliness of rural
landscape to the stupendous precipices of the Alps ; and
the islands which gem its breast have become the seat
of Italian villas. That on the Isola Bella, with its ter-
raced pyramid of gardens adorned with statues, offends,
indeed, the taste of the fastidious connoisseur, but de-
lights the fancy of those who are willing to give play
to poetical and romantic associations. The Lake of
Lugano, which the topographers call the Lacus Ceresius,
was never named till the middle ages. The magnificent
Lake of Como, however, known to the Romans as the
Lacus Larius, allures both by the ornate grandeur of
its mountain shores, and by its classic recollections of
Virgil and the younger Pliny. Modern country-houses,
convents, and hamlets, scattered among its precipitous
woods, have covered the sites of Pliny's villas ; and even
his two favourite seats, his "Comcedia" and " Tragcedia,"
have entirely disappeared. At the pomt of Torno,
however, is an intermitting fountain, which answers
fairly to the description of such a phenomenon given
in one of his letters ; but Pliny's spring may or may not
have belonged to his own villas, and therefore it cannot
fix the situation of either.* Comum, his native town,
is the modern Como, situated on the western branch
of the lake, at its southern extremity.

Continuing to skirt the lower valleys of the Alps we
reach Bergamo (Bergamum), whose citadel, placed on
one of the extreme eminences of the mountains, over-
looks the beautiful plain of Lombardy ; and a farther
journey through a closely cultivated district leads to
Brescia, formerly Brixia. Antiquities have been found in
both towns ; but the discoveries made at the latter since
1820 have been the most remarkable, embracing, besides
numerous statues and inscriptions, a marble temple of

• Plinii, lib. ix. ep. 7 ; lib. iv. ep. 30.


excellent construction. Eastward from Brescia appears
the noble Lake of Garda, the Benacus of the Georgics,
enclosed by steep mountains, except at its southern end.
The scenery on the lower part of this inland sea pre-
sents much of that fine union of horizontal lines with
sloping elevations, which distinguishes Italian land-
scape ; and the olive plantations and orange gardens of
the Bay of Salo are singularly beautiful. From its
southern shore, Catullus' beloved promontory of Sir-
mio* shoots out a low and reedy slip of land, ending in
a steep rock, which is covered by groves of olives and
wild shrubs twining among the broken arches of a
Roman villa. The Benacus discharges itself into the
slow Mincio, the Mincius of Virgil, whose waters, after
flowing far between cultivated hills gradually sinking,
spread into the marshy lake on which stands the classi-
cal Mantua. Emerging from the gloomy streets of this
decaying to%vn, we may wander among the ditches and
round the outworks of its impregnable fortifications, till,
among the pollarded trees of the swampy plains, about
three miles from the walls, we reach the little hamlet
of Pietola, slightly raised above the morass. This place
offers nothing remarkable in its aspect, but every thing
in its recollections ; since a tradition, which, if not ab-
solutely certain, is at least older than Dante, identifies
it with the Roman village of Andes, the birthplace of
the poet of the ^Eneid.

The celebrated city of Verona is very beautifully and
strongly situated on the lower ridges of those hills which
form the bank of the Adige, the ancient Athesis. Be-
sides the modern interest which attaches to it, its clas-
sical antiquities are numerous. It contains a portion
of a Roman bridge, a well-built gateway in one of its
streets near the citadel, and remains of other arched
gates. Its most remarkable ruin, however, is the famous
Amphitheatre ; an edifice which is supposed to have been
erected at least as early as the reign of Trajan. In the

* Catull. Carmen xsxi.


middle ages, its gladiatorial shows had given place
to judicial duels ; and in place of these, the imperial
walls now echo the declamation of strolling players,
who pace a wooden stage occupying a portion of the
arena. TJie seventy-four arches of its external wall have,
with the exception of four, entu-ely disappeared : mean
shops have been constructed in some parts of its circuit,
hut modem stone-seats enable the interior to present in
some degree its ancient aspect. The position of the edi-
fice, in a large open square, is commanding, and its mass
is exceedingly imposing.*

Returning to the great plain of the Po, we may search
for three celebrated battle-fields. The spot where
Marius defeated the Cimbri has not been identified. t
There is more certainty as to the sites of Hannibal's
two victories, — the one on the Ticinus, and the other
on the Trebia. The former took place on the right
bank of the first river, to the south of Novara, and the
latter on the left bank of the other, a few miles above

Milan stands on the site of Mediolanum, which was
first the cliief seat of the Insubrian tribe of the Gauls,
then a flourishing municipal town of the Romans, and
afterwards, in the reign of Diocletian and Maximian, the
metropolis of the Western Empire. It has been destroyed
twice at least, since the commencement of the dark ages,
and preserves few vestiges of its ancient grandeur. The
very existence of Trajan's palace in the city is apocry-
phal ; § and though sixteen Corinthian columns, at the
church of San Lorenzo, are elegant, the edifice to which

' Dimensions in English feet :— Longitudinal axis, 512; con-
jugate axis, 410; circumference, 1469; height remaining, 100;
longitudinal axis of arena, 249; conjugate axis, 147. Woods,
Letters of an Architect, vol. i. p. 226 ; Maffei Degli Anfiteatri,
in Poleni Thesauro Antiquitat. Roman, tom. v.

•f- Cluverius (Italia Antiqua, lib, i.) hesitatingly places it be-
tween Novara and Vercelli : D'Anville, with equal doubt, on the
other side of the Ticino, ten miles north-west of Milan.

J Cramer's Description of Ancient Italy, vol. i. pp. 54, 80.

§ Alciati Historia Mediolanensis, lib. ii. ap. Graeviuaj, The-
saur. Antiquit. Ital. tom. ii. part. 1. p. 43.


they belonged is unkno^vn. The Roman mmucipium
of Tieinnm is represented by Pavia. Cremona retains
its old poetical name, and that of Placentia is slightly
changed in the Italian Piacenza.

The ^milian Way, on which Piacenza stands, passed
through several other ancient cities, whose modern re-
nown has eclipsed that of their earlier days : — Parma.
Reggio (Regium Lepidi), Modena (Mutina), and Bo-
logna, first known under its Etruscan title of Felsina,
and next by the Romans called Bononia.

In 1760, an exceedingly curious discovery was made,
close to the base of the Apennines, betvreen Parma and
Piacenza. At a village called Macinesso, overshadowed
by steep hills, the finding of a few antiques tempted the
Duke of Pamia to excavate ; and at a depth of many
feet, covered by successive layers of soil and rocks, were
disinterred the remains of an extensive town, to which its
inscriptions gave the name of Velleia. It had perished
by a landslip, supposed to have occurred in the fourth
century ; and the number of skeletons that lay among
the ruins, showed that the catastrophe, which piled the
first strata above the unhappy town, had been sudden
and fatal. But the ancient writers are alike silent on
the history of Velleia, and on its fate ; its antiquities,
also, are mere fragments ; and these causes, joined to
the remoteness of the place from the great roads, have
been the excuse of travellers for generally neglecting it.

On the coast of the Adriatic, on the left bank of the
Po, stood Adria, which gave its name to the gulf, but
sunk into decay on the conquest of the province by
the Romans. Spina, situated at the most southerly
mouth of the great river, encountered a similar fate. In
the imperial times, the only flourishing seaport of Gaul
within the Po (Cispadana), was Ravenna, built on piles
amidst morasses. The interest, however, which attaches
to this renowned city, does not arise till after the classi-
cal period. Proceeding southward from it, we reach the
frontier between Gallia Cisalpina and Umbria, which
in the republican era, though not exactly in the later


ages of the empire, was formed by the celebrated river
Rubicon. For a mile from the sea, a little stream called
Fiumicino is certainly the Rubicon ; and of the several
brooks which unite higher up to form this rivulet, the
prevalent opinion designates the Urgone (otherwise Ri-
gone) as the leading one.


Vicenza, under its Roman name of Vicentia, Avas an
unimportant municipality ; but the ancient Patavium,
now Padua, renowned as the first town of the district, is
still more so for having given birth to Livy, and to the
family of the Pajti, — Csecinna Paetus, whose wife Arria
has immortalized his fate by her heroic affection ; and
Thrasea Petus, the victim of Nero, whose name was
another word for virtue, while his spouse, the younger
Arria, was worthy of her noble mother. "

Patavium, which, in the earliest imperial ages, was
the greatest and most prosperous city of Upper Italy,
noted for its commerce and woollen manufacture, and
numbering, besides 500 Roman knights, 20,000 other
fighting men, was three times destroyed before and dur-
ing the dark ages, — by Attila, Totila, and Agilulf the
Lombard. t Its situation between two small rivers, the
Brenta or Meduacus Major, and Bacchiglione or Me-
duacus Minor, is no way striking, and its academical
arcades and mosque-like churches present no traces of the
classical times. Inscriptions however have been found
without number, several of which relate to the family of
the Livii ; and one sarcophagus of that house, found in
1413, was boldly proclaimed to be the tomb of the his-
torian, and transferred in procession to the town-hall,
where it yet stands. Another sarcophagus, raised on
four columns before the church of San Lorenzo, is an
imposing object ; though it will scarcely receive credit
for being what its inscription (set up in 1298) declares

* Plinii, lib. iii. epist. 16. Taciti Annal. lib. xvi. cap. 21,34.
-f- Scardeonius de Antiquitate Urbis Patavii ; ap. Graevium,
Antiq. Ital. torn. vi. part. 3, p. 27.


it to be, — the grave of the Trojan Antenor, fabled to
have been the founder of the city.

Six miles from Padua are the celebrated oracular and
medicinal springs, which the- Romans called the Aquae
Patavinse. The largest of these, the Pons Aponus, has
given to the spot its modem name of Abano ; and near it
are remains of the ancient Baths, whose repairs can be
traced as low as the time of Theodoric. The hot foun-
tains are still used for their former purpose, the bath
being generally taken in the form of mud ; and another
spring, dedicated to Saint Helen, beautifully situated at
the neighbouring village of Battaglia, at the foot of a
lovely hill adorned by a romantic villa, is a still more
fashionable resort. Este, in the immediate neighbour-
hood, gives its title to a princely house, celebrated in
history from the middle ages till our own days, and
occupies the site of the Roman Ateste.


On the Istrian side of the gulf few places require
notice. Aquileia, which possessed an extensive carrying
trade till the fall of the empire, and was levelled with
the ground by Attila in the year 452, preserves only its
name_, with a few sepulchral cippi and inscriptions. The
inland town of Civita di Friuli is the ancient Forum

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