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Title: Cathedral Cities of Italy
Author: Collins, William Wiehe
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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[Illustration: image of the book's cover: CATHEDRAL CITIES
OF ITALY
ILLUSTRATED BY
W. W. COLLINS R I]



CATHEDRAL CITIES

OF ITALY


_UNIFORM WITH THIS VOLUME_

CATHEDRAL CITIES OF ENGLAND. By GEORGE GILBERT. With 60
reproductions from water-colours by W. W. COLLINS, R.I. Demy 8vo,
16s. net.

CATHEDRAL CITIES OF FRANCE. By HERBERT and HESTER MARSHALL. With 60
reproductions from water-colours by HERBERT MARSHALL, R.W.S. Demy
8vo, 16s. net. Also large paper edition £2 2s. net.

CATHEDRAL CITIES OF SPAIN. Written and illustrated with 60
reproductions from water-colours by W. W. COLLINS, R.I. Demy 8vo,
16s. net. Also large paper edition (limited) £2 2s. net.


_BOOKS ILLUSTRATED BY JOSEPH PENNELL_

ITALIAN HOURS. By HENRY JAMES. With 32 plates in colour and
numerous illustrations in black-and-white by JOSEPH PENNELL. Large
crown 4to. Price 20s. net.

A LITTLE TOUR IN FRANCE. By HENRY JAMES. With 94 illustrations by
JOSEPH PENNELL. Pott 4to. Price 10s. net.

ENGLISH HOURS. By HENRY JAMES. With 94 illustrations by JOSEPH
PENNELL. Pott 4to. Price 10s. net.

ITALIAN JOURNEYS. By W. D. HOWELLS. With 103 illustrations by
JOSEPH PENNELL. Pott 4to. Price 10s. net.

CASTILIAN DAYS. By the Hon. JOHN HAY. With 111 illustrations by
JOSEPH PENNELL. Pott 4to. Price 10s. net.

London: WILLIAM HEINEMANN
21 Bedford Street, W.C.

[Illustration: S. PETER'S, ROME]



CATHEDRAL CITIES
OF ITALY

WRITTEN AND ILLUSTRATED
BY
W. W. COLLINS, R.I.

[Illustration: colophon]

LONDON: WILLIAM HEINEMANN
NEW YORK: DODD, MEAD AND COMPANY
1911

_All rights reserved

Copyright, London, 1911, by William Heinemann
and Washington, U.S.A., by Dodd, Mead & Co._



PREFACE


The cathedral cities of Italy, the heir of all the ages in art, are as
full of enchantment to the lover of architecture as to the poet, the
painter, and the historian. Side by side with the great churches that
give them their crowning splendour are the public buildings,
universities, palaces, and fountains that tell the story of the glorious
past, and form the best monument of their great creators. These
architectural jewels are often set amidst scenes of great natural
beauty, which relieve and enhance the perfection of their art. Every
traveller in Italy will recall the emotion with which he first saw Rome
rising from the green stretches of the Campagna, recognised the domes
and campaniles of Florence, or lifted up his eyes to one of those
towered "cities set upon an hill, which cannot be hid"--Siena, Perugia,
or Orvieto. Among the many appeals which Italy makes to æsthetic
appreciation is that of infinite variety. In no country are the
different styles and periods so wonderfully exemplified. Here we may
range from Rome and Verona, with their relics of the antique
world--amphitheatres, temples, and thermæ--to the Byzantine glories of
Ravenna and Venice, the Romanesque grandeur that finds typical
expression in the cathedral of Pisa, and thence to the manifestations of
that Gothic art which, though it was alien to the climate and character
of Italy and so struck no deep roots into the soil, intervened between
Romanesque architecture and that of the Renaissance as a brilliant
episode, and finds stupendous expression in the thousand pinnacles of
Milan.

It is with Christian Italy that we have to deal, the Italy of
cathedrals, and it is at Ravenna and at Venice that we may trace the
decline of Roman architectural methods and the gradual merging of these
into Byzantine forms. Though the great Basilica Ursiana of the fourth
century has disappeared, Ravenna has preserved many famous monuments of
the fifth century: the votive church of Galla Placidia, sister of the
Emperor Honorius, the Baptistery, the aulic church of the Gothic
conqueror Theodoric, Sant' Apollinare Nuovo, and the churches of San
Vitale and Sant' Apollinare in Classe. Venice, rising to power and
splendour when Ravenna fell on evil days, secured the heritage of her
glory, and carried on the Byzantine tradition in the cathedral of
Torcello, the church of San Zaccaria, and above all in the incomparable
San Marco. At Pisa the Romanesque evolution culminated in a unique group
of buildings, famous throughout the world, while at Milan and in the
surrounding district the local type of Romanesque became sufficiently
individual to figure as an independent style under the title of Lombard
architecture. Of this subdivision of Romanesque the prototype seems to
have been the great church of Sant' Ambrogio at Milan, while San Michele
at Pavia is another early and important example. Italy's essays in
Gothic are scattered throughout the length and breadth of the peninsula,
from Como to Naples. The Broletto at Como and the monastic buildings at
Vercelli are said to have inaugurated them. Good examples are the
cathedral at Como, the church of San Francesco at Assisi, the cathedral
of Orvieto, San Petronio and San Francesco at Bologna, and San Lorenzo
at Genoa.

But it is to the Renaissance architecture of Italy that many of us will
turn as the most intimate expression of the Italian spirit, to the works
of Brunellesco, Michelozzo, and Cronaca at Florence, of Palladio at
Venice and Vicenza, of Bramante, and, above all, of Michelangelo at
Rome, notably in his great life-work, the church of St. Peter. The
exuberant later style that resulted from a too ardent application of the
principles of Michelangelo and is known as Baroque, though generally
reprobated at present, must not be too sweepingly condemned. It had an
exponent of great talent in Bernini, and it will hardly be denied that
it gave grandiose expression to the tendency of a splendour-loving age,
and that Rome owes to its exponents much of the scenic effectiveness of
her streets and the impressive magnificence of her interiors.



CONTENTS


                                                                    PAGE

COMO                                                                   1

MILAN                                                                  7

PAVIA                                                                 17

BERGAMO                                                               23

BRESCIA                                                               29

VERONA                                                                35

PADUA                                                                 49

VENICE                                                                61

RIMINI                                                                91

FERRARA                                                               99

RAVENNA                                                              107

BOLOGNA                                                              123

PARMA                                                                137

GENOA                                                                145

PISA                                                                 157

LUCCA                                                                169

FLORENCE                                                             179

PERUGIA                                                              199

ASSISI                                                               211

SIENA                                                                217

ORVIETO                                                              229

ROME                                                                 239

NAPLES                                                               265

SALERNO                                                              279

PALERMO                                                              285



ILLUSTRATIONS


                                                               _To face
                                                                   page_

Como. The Brotello and Cathedral                                       2

Milan. The Cathedral                                                  10

Pavia. The Cathedral                                                  18

Bergamo                                                               24

Brescia                                                               32

Verona. The Porch of the Cathedral                                    38

Verona. Interior of S. Zeno                                           42

Verona. The Market Place                                              46

Padua. The Cathedral                                                  50

Padua. S. Antonio                                                     56

Venice. St. Mark's                                                    62

Venice. Interior, St. Mark's                                          70

Venice. The Palazzi Foscari e Giustiniani                             80

Venice. The Lion of S. Mark's                                         84

Torcello. Sta Fosca and Cathedral                                     90

Rimini. Isotta's Tomb in the Cathedral                                96

Ferrara. The Cathedral                                               102

Ravenna                                                              110

Ravenna. S. Apollinare Nuovo                                         116

Bologna. Interior of S. Petronio                                     130

Bologna. S. Domenico                                                 134

Parma. The Cathedral and Baptistery                                  138

Genoa. An Old Street                                                 146

Genoa. Façade of the Cathedral                                       152

Pisa. The Baptistery                                                 162

Pisa. The Campanile and Duomo                                        164

Lucca. The Porch of the Cathedral                                    170

Lucca. From the City Walls                                           174

Lucca. S. Michele                                                    176

Florence. Or S. Michele and the Palazzo dell'Arte di Lana            180

Florence. The Campanile                                              186

Florence. Ponte Vecchio                                              190

Florence. The Duomo, from the Boboli Gardens                         198

Perugia. The Cathedral and Old Town                                  200

Perugia. The Porta Susanna                                           204

Perugia. The Piazza Garibaldi                                        206

Assisi. The Cathedral                                                214

Siena. The Cathedral                                                 218

Siena. Interior of Cathedral                                         222

Siena. The Arco di S. Giuseppe                                       226

Siena. Under the Walls                                               228

Orvieto. La Porta Maggiore                                           230

Orvieto. The Façade of the Cathedral                                 232

Rome. On the Palatine                                                240

Rome. S. Peter's                                            Frontispiece

Rome. The Arch of Titus                                              250

Rome. S.S. Trinità de' Monti                                         256

Rome. The Isle of S. Bartolomeo                                      260

Naples. Interior of the Cathedral                                    268

Naples. S. Domenico Maggiore                                         272

Posillipo. The Bay of Naples from                                    276

Salerno. A Pulpit in the Cathedral                                   282

Palermo. The Cathedral                                               286

Palermo. The Cloisters of S. Giovanni degli Eremiti                  296

Palermo. Mte Pelligrino                                              298

Monreale. The Cloisters                                              302



COMO


On a flat piece of land at the southern extremity of Italy's most
beautiful lake, the ancient Lacus Larius, stands a city whose history
dates back to the days when a Grecian colony nestled at the foot of the
mountains which lie east and west of the modern Como. Numerous relics of
Roman days found at different times, testify to the truth of the younger
Pliny's letters that the Comum Novum of Julius Cæsar was in a
flourishing condition during the writer's life, and enjoyed all the
privileges attached to a _municipium_.

At the present day Como is best known as a starting-point for tourists
who board the steamers at the quay and leave their decks at one of the
many delightful spots which fringe the shores of a lake whose
attractions cannot be overwritten. The sun shines on an endless panorama
which changes every minute as the steamer pants over the blue waters,
breaking up and dispelling the reflections of verdure-clad slopes and
stern crags which lie mirrored on the surface. Hamlets like Nesso cling
to the rocks and bridge the _orriao_ or torrent, as it enters the lake
in a foaming cascade. Monster hotel settlements like Bellagio and
Cadenabbia lie further up the water, opposite to Varenna with its golf
course and English caravanserai. Little is left to remind one of those
bloody sixteenth-century days when Il Medeghino from his stronghold of
Musso ruled the lake, and with his fleet of seven big ships and
countless smaller craft blockaded the City of Como, held for Charles V.
by the Marquis of Pescara, and compelled the Spaniards to come to terms.
Nothing more warlike nowadays ruffles the serenity of the waters than
the evil-looking little _dogana_ craft which flash their light along the
shores, sweeping every tiny bay in search of _contrabbandieri_. Though
much could be written about the internecine wars the mountains have
seen, it is not with Gian Giacomo de' Medici this chapter is concerned,
but with the city itself, which lies away out of sight of the great
corsair's Castle of Musso.

[Illustration: THE BROTELLO AND CATHEDRAL, COMO]

The Cathedral of Como, built entirely of marble, was commenced in 1396
from the plans of Lorenzi de' Spazi. The west façade, begun in 1460, was
finished by Tomaso Rodario in the last few years of that century. It is
Italian Gothic, with the exception of the three doorways, which are rich
Lombard work; and, like all façades of the same style in Italy, has the
appearance of simply facing or being stuck on to the building
itself. Despite the adornment of statues and bas-reliefs, scrolls and
arabesques, it has a very severe and flat look, which is unrelieved by
the recesses containing busts of the two Plinys on either side of the
central doorway, or the deep-set windows and canopied niches above. A
fine wheel window occupies a position above the principal door and
between these is a good Gothic screen with figures in five niches
flanked by a couple of windows on either side.

The north side of the façade adjoins the Brotello, through the arches of
which one reaches the north doorway. This is decidedly good. The porch
is supported by elegant pillars and adorned by arabesques with birds,
animals, and other figures. It was executed from designs by Rodario, and
with the south portal possesses all the merit that good Renaissance work
gives to both. The windows of the aisles are beautifully ornamented with
decoration of the same character, and the slender pinnacles with their
pierced galleries, albeit they remind one in their whiteness of the
superior pieces of an ivory chess set, break the line of the roof in a
most agreeable manner. The dome lacks proportion and is of the over-done
style of French eighteenth-century work.

The interior of the cathedral is Gothic and Renaissance. The nave and
aisles belong to the earlier date. The groining is good, but spoilt, as
is generally found to be the case throughout Italy, by gilded and
coloured bosses which mar the otherwise simple effect of the vaulting.
The transepts and choir are Renaissance, and though the sympathies of
the northman are more with the sterner style, it must be owned that in
Como's cathedral the scheme of decoration found in these is more fitting
and better of its sort than in the Gothic half of the building. At the
west end of the nave stands the circular Baptistery attributed to
Bramante, close by which are a lion and lioness, the former grasping a
deer and the latter suckling her young. They support the two holy water
basins. Among the pictures of interest which the cathedral contains is a
good Bernardino Luini of the Virgin, and two glazed and framed frescoes
of the Nativity and Adoration by the same hand.

The illustration shows the Brotello or old town hall, and the pinnacles
and north walls of the Cathedral. The Brotello is faced with banded
black and white marble, the common device for exterior walls in most
Italian Gothic churches, and in this case justified by the beautiful
colour it has taken on with age. The building stands mellowed by the
hand of Time, a memorial of the days of the old Italian Republics; and
its counterpart existed in every Lombard city. Above the arches, under
which the good citizens were wont to discuss the affairs of their town
while sauntering to and fro in the cool shade, is the great hall wherein
the chief of the municipality assembled. From the window in the centre
access was obtained to the bar, or _ringhiéra_ outside, from which
addresses were delivered to the crowd below, who in constitutional
language formed the _parliamento_ and from whom the powers of government
emanated.

Two of the old city gateways still exist, the latter of which, the Porta
del Torre, leading out on the high road to Milan is to-day but an empty
five-storied shell. The old walls may be traced even now on the three
sides of the city away from the water-front. But for these there is very
little left to show the extent of a place which was once a serious rival
to Milan. The staple industry is stone-working, for which the Comaschi
have for centuries been widely known. In former times Como was justly
celebrated for the products of its looms, excelling in number those at
Lyons. Nowadays it exports the raw silk; the looms have sadly fallen off
and diminished, and small industries have taken the place of those that
brought considerable wealth to the pockets of its merchants.



MILAN


When the great wave of conquest which swept mid-Europe in the fifth
century broke against the walls of Châlons-sur-Marne and the westward
march of Attila and his Huns was checked, the defeated hordes of the
East followed their chief across the Alps and invaded the plain that
stretches away now, just as it did in those far-off days, to the sunny
seas that beat against the southern slopes of the Apennines. In the
centre of this plain stood Mediolanum, a city ranking second only to
Rome, and her greatest colony in the Peninsula. So rich and prosperous a
place became of necessity the object of attack, and the hosts that
looked to "the Scourge of God" as leader, swept into and through the
fair city, sacking it completely. Rebuilt, but once again undergoing the
same fate at the hands of Frederick I. in 1162, there remain but a
colonnade of sixteen Corinthian columns near the Porta Ticinese, a few
tablets and fragments let into the walls of other gateways, and some
relics in the museum, to tell of the past glories of Rome's great
colony.

Milan, as we know it now, is the centre of commercial Italy. Intersected
by an excellent system of tramways, with beautiful public gardens and
magnificent buildings, it is up to date in every way and stands quite
apart from all the other cities with which this book is concerned. The
one thing that, perhaps, above all others places it in this position is,
however, no product of this commercial age, but its world-famous work of
art, the great cathedral, through the lofty aisles of which still
reverberates the grand music of the Ambrosian Ritual. The exterior of
this immense church, next in Italy to St. Peter's in size, is adorned by
a forest of spires, pinnacles, turrets and lace-like tracery. In the
midst of all this rises the central tower with its airy spire, from the
base of which on a clear day the snow-clad peaks of the Alps may be seen
stretching miles on miles away, and bounding the whole of the northern
horizon by a lovely dreamland of colour.

Very few buildings compel one's admiration as this does, an admiration
wrung in my case from a mind out of sympathy with everything that lacks
the dignity of repose; but such is the effect obtained by hundreds of
pinnacles and statues, by the turreted flying buttresses, by the filling
of every available foot of space with ornament, that one cannot but
appreciate the result of the skill and patience so truly Italian, which
has carried out these infinite details and produced the great work that
stands in the Piazza del Duomo. The present fabric, dedicated "Mariæ
Nascenti," is the third cathedral built on the site: the first was
destroyed by Attila in 452, and the second by Barbarossa in 1162. The
foundation-stone was laid in 1387 by Gian' Galeazzo Visconti, who from a
northern clime sought his architect, Heinrich Ahrler, of Gmünden. From
that time down to the present day many have had a hand in its making,
among them Bramante, Leonardo da Vinci, and Giulio Romano, and the
wonder is that the great structure is not far more full of incongruities
than it is. The whole exterior is built of white marble from the
quarries of la Gandoglia on the Simplon Road, given by the founder for
this purpose.

The façade rises with a course of open Gothic work to the gable above,
and is divided into five sections which terminate in clusters of Gothic
turrets surmounted by pinnacles and statues. The central doorway is
surrounded by excellent Renaissance sculpture, the door itself being a
magnificent piece of seventeenth-century bronze work. On each side are
two more portals. The bases of the intervening buttresses contain
splendid panels, and the Caryatides, which support the slender Gothic
shafts right and left, by Rusca and Carabelli, are extremely good in
pose and execution. The great façade designed by Pellegrini for S. Carlo
Borromeo in 1560 was never carried out owing to the saint's death while
Pellegrini was away in Spain working on the Escorial for Philip II. The
east end is the oldest part of the building, and is almost entirely
taken up by three grand Gothic windows. The east window, which is of
most beautiful tracery, was executed from the designs of a Frenchman,
Nicholas Bonaventure. Both the other windows are fine, but the upper
portion or rose pattern, although in itself very delicate, appears
"stuck in," and not part of the design; some of the glass in these is
very rich in colour. The archivolts of the arches are filled with
figures which follow the curve in a rather uncomfortable style, not only
here but in every other window save the fine classical of the façade.

[Illustration: THE CATHEDRAL, MILAN]

The interior is grand, and of immense height, albeit the vaulting with
its admirably painted tracery is evidence of the great skill of the
Italian at "faking." The mellow light from the amber coloured glass of
the octagon and the twilight filtering through the gorgeous hues of the
other windows is remarkably and impressively pleasing. The columns of
the nave, in clusters of eight shafts, are eighty feet high, and carry
narrow capitals of foliage which form the base to eight canopied niches
occupied by figures of saints--a fine feature. The aisles are double,
the outside being lower than that next the nave. The four columns at the
crossing which support the octagon are of larger dimensions than those
in the nave. Two semicircular pulpits covered with bas-reliefs of gilded
bronze stand on either side of the steps leading into the choir, to the
solemn darkness of which the shadows thrown from the sounding-boards
above make pictorially a good foreground introduction. These pulpits are
supported by caryatides representing the Evangelists and four doctors of
the Church.

The choir was designed by Pellegrini, and contains a fine
sixteenth-century tabernacle of gilded bronze. Beneath is the
subterranean church, through which one enters the tiny chapel, under the
central spire, wherein is deposited, in a magnificent silver shrine the
gift of Philip IV. of Spain, the body of S. Carlo Borromeo dressed in
full pontificals. Born in 1538 he was created cardinal by his uncle,
Pius IV., in 1561. After the close of the Council of Trent he assisted
other prelates to draw up the epitome of Catholic doctrine, the
"Catechismus Tridentinus"; but it is more for his good works and great
charity, especially during the plague of 1576, that he lives in the
hearts of the Milanese.

In the north transept is a very good example of the metal work of the
thirteenth century, in the shape of a fine bejewelled bronze
candelabrum. It forms a tree and has many quaint figures in its
intricate design. In a chapel in this aisle is the old wooden crucifix
which S. Carlo carried when barefooted he tramped the streets during the
plague, tending the sick. In the south transept close to the corner near
the staircase leading on to the roof is a monument to Giacomo and
Gabriele de' Medici, brothers of Pius IV., and a bronze statue of S.
Bartolommeo which represents him flayed. The south sacristy door is a
fine specimen of Gothic work. Unlike the exterior effect, nothing
obtrudes inside this great cathedral. The eye on entering looks straight
up to the east, conscious as it travels there, of great pillars rising
into the gloom of the vault above, of fine glass and restful solemnity,
in which even the chapels in the aisles are lost, to be discovered later
on only when searched for.

Next to "Mariæ Nascenti," but taking precedence in archæological
interest, is the church of S. Ambrogio, a basilica dedicated by the
Saint when bishop of Milan in 387 to SS. Gervasius and Protasius. It was
enlarged and rebuilt in 881 and restored by Ricchini in 1631, all the
original features being faithfully preserved. A closed courtyard stands
below the level of the piazza outside and forms the Atrium beyond which
no catechumens were allowed to pass. The capitals of the columns here
have the tendency of early Christian Art and adaptations of Runic and
Byzantine carving. The church is Lombardo Romanesque. Beneath the
gallery over the peristyle is the celebrated door, well guarded by an
iron grille, some of the cypress-wood panels of which formed portions of
the gate of the Basilica Portiana closed by S. Ambrose against the
Emperor Theodosius after his cruel slaughter in Thessalonica. The nave
is entered by two side doors and is composed of eight bays, the columns
of which are slender in proportion for the deep shadows of the dark
aisles. Pilasters run up to the low round vaulting, the large galleries
over the aisles being divided by these. Up a few steps which cross the
nave at the last bay, and behind a low marble balustrade, is the High
Altar, enclosed by one of the finest extant relics of the goldsmith's
art. This magnificent casing bears the name of its German maker,
Wolvinius. Some of the panels, notably that of the Transfiguration, are
very Greek in treatment. The back is almost of better workmanship than
the front and is more interesting, as Wolvinius has here illustrated the
principal events in the life of the founder. The enamelled borders of
these silver-gilt panels are of exquisite design. One of the saint as a
child asleep in his cradle with a swarm of bees hovering around,
considered a presage of future eloquence, is very naïve. The
_baldachino_ above this altar is borne by four grand columns of black
porphyry.

Up twelve steps are the choir and tribune, and at the end of these is
the primitive throne of the Archbishop of Milan, known as the chair of
S. Ambrose. The eighteen seats occupied by the suffragans of the
province no longer exist, having been replaced in the sixteenth century
by carved wooden stalls, and thus has perished a feature identical with
the Cathedral at Torcello. The semi-domed roof of the Tribune is covered
with a fine ninth-century mosaic which represents the seated figure of
the Almighty, beneath whom are SS. Candida, Gervasius, Protasius,
Marcellina and Satirus, and a representation of the cities of Milan and
Tours--Tours because there, when S. Martin was undergoing martyrdom, the
spirit of S. Ambrose went to give him strength. Beneath the choir is the
crypt, and at its termination, exactly under the high altar in the
church above, in a splendid casket of silver and crystal, repose the
remains of three Saints, Ambrose, Gervasius and Protasius. There is a
curious pulpit in the church of very early Lombard work, with an "Agape"
or love feast carved upon its panels. Close by upon a granite pillar
rests a bronze serpent, said to be the brazen serpent of the desert and
presented to Archbishop Arnulphus by the Emperor of Constantinople. S.
Ambrogio was the church in which the Lombard rulers were crowned with
the Iron Crown that is the chief attraction in the neighbouring city of
Monza.

So well known are the art treasures of Milan that it is hardly necessary
to do more than allude to the many works of great interest in the Brera,
formerly a Jesuit college, and in the celebrated Biblioteca Ambrosiana;
or that greatest wonder of all which has drawn so many pilgrims to the
Cenacolo, the refectory near the church of Santa Maria della Grazie--the
much restored Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci. The Castello of Milan
was at one time the residence of the great Visconti family, and at the
death of the last male representative passed by marriage into the hands
of the first duke of the Sforza line. It was during their reign that
Milan took the lead in the fashion of Europe (whence we have the word
"milliner") and it was then that Leonardo wrought his masterpieces,
including that great equestrian statue of Francesco Sforza which was the
wonder of Milan, and of which posterity was so unhappily robbed by the
French invasion.



PAVIA


From its position close to the confluence of the rivers Po and Ticino,
Pavia, the "City of a hundred Towers," was for centuries a point of
strategic importance. It is at present a great artillery station. Of its
hundred towers that stood at intervals around the eleventh-century
walls, hardly one remains, and the old fortifications which had been
reconstructed at a later date, are rapidly being converted into a
spacious and shady boulevard. The celebrated bridge is however still
intact, despite many violent floods, a delight to the eye and a pleasant
promenade on a hot day. This notable structure, which spans the Ticino,
was built by one of the great Visconti family--Gian' Galeozzo--and is
roofed in.

Pavia at one time was rich in noble churches. Many have been demolished,
others have fallen into decay. The cathedral, dedicated to S. Stefano,
stands on the site of one erected in the seventh century. The present
edifice was designed by Bramante and constructed under the direction of
one of his pupils, Cristoforo Rocci. In the original plan the nave,
transepts, and choir were all of one size, but the nave is the only part
in which the great architect's measurements were followed. The façade,
approached by a good flight of steps, is unfinished. On the north, and
adjoining a fine example of a late Romanesque gateway, stands the
_campanile_.

The interior of the main building is grey stone which has not been
spoilt by the application of the whitewash brush. A fine pulpit,
somewhat similar to those at Milan, stands out from one of the massive
piers that support the octagon. It is of singularly large dimensions and
is supported by well-carved wooden figures of the Fathers of the Church.
The octagon, which carries a good dome and tower and is best seen from
the market square, rises well above the roofs of the nave and choir. A
gallery running round the entire cathedral forms a triforium, broken
only by _trasparente_ lights in the apse and side chapels of the choir.
These windows accentuate the bad points of the _barroque_ altars
beneath. The clerestory lights are circular. If it were not for the
magnificent tomb in which repose the remains of S. Augustine, the
greatest of the Fathers of the Latin Church, the cathedral would be,
notwithstanding the fame of its designer, the least interesting
ecclesiastical building in Pavia.

[Illustration: THE CATHEDRAL, PAVIA]

Experts disagree as to who was responsible for the fine monument which
covers S. Augustine's remains. The body of the saint had been removed
from Hippo, a suffragan see of Carthage, to Sardinia during the Arian
persecutions. It rested there until Liutprand, the Lombard king, having
purchased it, placed it in the church of S. Pietro in Cielo d'Oro; and
when this church was destroyed it was conveyed to the cathedral. On
certain festivals the silver casket, portions of which are the original,
that contains the bones of the saint robed in full pontificals is
removed from its usual position and hoisted up behind the tomb, so that
the devout can mount a temporary wooden stair and look on all that is
left of the great father.

A figure of the saint lies stretched on the sepulchral urn that usually
holds the silver casket. This rests on the basement, or lowest, of the
four tiers that compose the monument. Around it are figures of the
lesser saints of his Order. Above are bas-reliefs of the chief events in
his life and the miracles which after his death were performed in
different places through his intercessions. The liberal arts, the
cardinal virtues, and many symbols adorn the tomb, which is also
decorated with statues of saints and angels, two hundred and ninety in
all. They are extremely well executed and enhance the beauty of the
design.

The church of S. Michele is a primitive structure and bears traces of
being the precursor of all ecclesiastical edifices of the Lombard style
of architecture. It was originally a basilica, but short transepts have
been added and the roof, which is groined, is vaulted with stone. The
oldest part of the church is the crypt, which is under the choir. This
is probably the building, or part of it, in which Unulfus sought
sanctuary in 661 when fleeing from King Grimoladus. Four compound piers
in the nave are adorned with an extraordinary series of sphinxes,
symbols, animals and other figures. The façade is decorated with reliefs
in a richly coloured sandstone, and has a gabled gallery that is
continued round the exterior as far as the apse.

The portals are covered with a profusion of very archaic imagery in
which Pagan as well as Christian subjects form most of the decoration.
Sculptured bands of sandstone are placed in courses along the whole
front and medallions let into the walls. These are very massively built
of stone, and though restoration is evident throughout the church it
still bears the impress of great age.

Sta. Maria del Carmine is a fourteenth-century building of Gothic
design, and is one of the very best examples of brickwork in all Italy.
The beautiful rose window of the west front and the three pointed doors
with their well-moulded terra-cotta ornament could hardly be finer.
Seven elegant pinnacles stand on the rather heavy cornice, forming a
good set off to the _campanile_, which, surmounted by a brick spire, is
a landmark in the district. The brick piers of the interior are
exceptionally good; four squares constitute the nave, the arches of each
carry simple groining. Two small lancet-shaped arches, out of all
proportion with the massive brick piers that support them, open into the
aisles. They have double capitals, the upper being of stone, the lower
of carved brick.

In the ruined church of S. Pietro in Cielo d'Oro stood the tomb of
Boethius, who under Theodoric held high office in the state. Boethius
was executed in Pavia after a long and rigorous confinement in the Casa
Malsap ina, during which he wrote his incomparable "Consolations of
Philosophy." This work was translated into many languages and was one of
the most widely known treatises in the Middle Ages. Alfred the Great
translated it into Saxon. Another connection with England exists through
Archbishop Lanfranc who accompanied William the Conqueror across the sea
and was made prelate of Canterbury. The district round Pavia is not
healthy, a condition due probably to the intricate system of irrigation
by which the pastures are kept green with a rank-growing grass. Between
Pavia, Piacenza and Lodi--a triangle with the last-named at the
northern point--lies the country which yields the best Parmesan cheese.
The fields are of three kinds, those nearly always under water, those
irrigated, and those used for rotation crops. The cattle that are
utilised for cheese-making are mostly Swiss bred, and being valuable are
well looked after. They are stalled at sundown in the buildings attached
to the great farms, where farmhouse, cottages, barns and stables are all
enclosed within a high wall. The little rectangular patches of meadow on
which they feed are enclosed by rows of poplars or willows which make
the landscape very monotonous. In winter a dense fog often shrouds the
countryside and a deadly chill pervades the atmosphere, while the
humidity of summer, when the sun draws the moisture from the soaking
earth, is very enervating.



BERGAMO


When October comes in its yearly round and the autumn afternoons close
in, it is sometimes good to sit idly outside a caffè with the pernicious
cigarette and ruminate on the glories of a past summer--better this than
to hustle up the street a sight-seeing. A hot day was ending and the
Bergamo of mediæval times towered above the haze of a sun-baked land and
the smoke that curled upwards in thin wreaths from the city below. "La
Città Alta" thus raised its head proudly against the copper-coloured
sky, thrusting its bulwarks to the edge of one of the last spurs of the
Alps that here creep down on to the plain. What a grand prospect from
the shady boulevard on those ramparts which encircle the old fortress!
The sun has not yet set; beneath lies the Borgo S. Leonardo, the lower
city, a busy place with factory chimneys on its outskirts; beyond, a sea
of verdure, cut by lines of tall poplars and here and there a slender
_campanile_, stretches away over Lombardy until lost in the haze past
the towers and domes of Monza, Cremona, and distant Milan.

There is something very fascinating in the quiet and exclusive old city.
Its streets are steep and narrow, its houses seem to rake the sky, the
rattle of wheels does not often disturb the aristocratic silence, a
silence accentuated tenfold when one has left behind its busy plebeian
partner on the plain below, and whisked upwards by the funicular, found
oneself suddenly amidst high walls. Great spaces of faced stone are
these walls, pierced by tiny windows, almost forbidding in their
austerity; and though glimpses of foliage and flowering creepers break
through, the pervading air is one of mystery and intrigue.

In the wars with Austria, Bergamo was a great rallying-point for
patriots and a continual thorn in the side of that polyglot empire. The
names of heroic Bergamasque who died for their country are inscribed on
sundry tablets on the walls under the old Brotello. This interesting
building stands at one end of the little Piazza Garibaldi, and is
somewhat similar to the one which forms the illustration to Como, with
the difference that here a fine open stairway leads up to the first
floor. The great hall is now occupied as a library. In a corner at the
head of the stairs rises a massive quadrangular belfry, one of the
prominent features in the outline of "La Città Alta."

[Illustration: BERGAMO]

Beyond the Brotello lies the Cathedral, a well-proportioned Renaissance
building, which, by its juxtaposition to the much more ancient church of
Sta Maria Maggiore, looks comparatively of recent date. It is
constructed entirely of white marble and has a good dome. A Madonna by
G. Bellini behind the high altar is its great treasure, and the only
thing in it worthy of notice.

Sta Maria is an early Lombard pile of buildings, with a very lofty tower
and an octagon over the crossing, which rises in four galleried storeys
surmounted by a low spire. Good galleries extend round the exterior of
the apse, and side chapels are thrust out at odd places with no
particular plan. The east porch is by far the most interesting feature,
and is an elaborate piece of work in _breccia_ and white marble. The
supporting pillars rest on the backs of two lions, the old
ecclesiastical symbol of strength, the columns of the portal are
beautifully sculptured, and one of them, encircled with admirable
figures, is very fine. Above is a canopy under which, on his horse, sits
King Lupus with two attendants, while beneath a second canopy on top are
statuettes of the Virgin and Child, and the two Marys. The west porch is
almost similar to this, but of not so intricate a design. It has also no
canopies, but is surmounted by a turret niche, let into the wall of the
main building, in which is the figure of the patroness. The doors of
these two portals are of superbly grained rosewood. They open into the
transepts, which are the finest portions of the interior, the carved
choir stalls and screen by Stefano da Bergamo are considered the best in
Italy.

Adjoining the east porch is the Capella Colleoni, the mausoleum of
Bartolommeo Colleoni the celebrated _condottiere_ of the fifteenth
century, whose equestrian statue in front of the church of SS. Giovanni
e Paolo in Venice is remarkable, not only as a work of art, but as
exemplifying the power and rugged strength of a great man.

The façade is terribly ornate, with chequer work in white and black
marble, red and yellow busts and medallions, twisted pillars and strange
arabesques. The interior contains the tomb of Bartolommeo who sits
astride his horse. It is rather too elaborate to be entirely pleasing.
At the south end is one of the finest examples of _intarsia_, or inlaid
wood-work, in Italy. The subjects of the three panels represent the
entry into Jerusalem, and scenes from the stirring times in which the
great _condottiere_ played so prominent a part. The backgrounds are
evidently of landscape in the neighbourhood. Not only is the spirit and
execution of this fine work extremely good, but the colour surpasses
anything of the sort I have seen. It is kept under lock and key,
enclosed in three rosewood panels of well-selected grain. Not far from
the chapel is the house in which Donizetti died. The Borgo S. Leonardo
is of older date than "La Città Alta," although it is the more modern of
the two. On the base of a damaged Corinthian column standing in the
small piazza of Sta Maria d'Oleono is an old Latin inscription which
tells that the column was erected where once stood a heathen temple, and
that S. Alessandro, standard-bearer to the Theban Legion, overthrew the
heathen pillar by a miracle, the column being erected by members of the
municipality with the alms of the faithful. It is doubtful whether the
Pergamus of ancient writers is the city on the hill or its sister on the
plain; this relic rather points to the latter as the site. In the Borgo
a fair, held for a month from the middle of August, and known as the
Fiera di Sant' Alessandro, has taken place without intermission since
the tenth century--surely a record; and there is no doubt that in the
ancient Italian drama, harlequin, personifying the manners and jargon of
the neighbouring Val Brembana, was a Bergamasque, and originated at this
ancient festival.



BRESCIA


Brescia, like Bergamo, is situated on the fringe of the mountains and
the plains, and like Bergamo played an important part in the wars
against Austria. Its _castello_ stands high above the rest of the city,
but in the face of the power possessed of modern arms it would not be
worth a garrison. So its ramparts and entrenchments have been wisely
converted into a pleasant garden from which wide views of rolling
country and level plain extend.

Many traces of the Roman colony of Brescia remain, but it was due to a
small boy of the virile race that populate the city that the most
interesting was unearthed. When a child, Girolamo Ioli was much
exercised in mind about a Corinthian column that stuck out of the ground
and around which he was wont to play. In maturer years the curiosity of
youth was still the ruling passion, and he made it his business to
agitate. Like many another agitator his demands were in time gratified,
and excavations were commenced which resulted in the unearthing of a
building erected by Vespasian it is supposed in the year 72--the
supposition resting on fragmentary inscriptions. Palace of Justice or
temple, this building is now the museum, and contains one of the finest
bronzes Italy can boast of. Found in 1826, this beautiful winged figure
of Victory, which is six feet high, still bears a trace of the silver
fillet interwoven with a wreath of laurel-leaves that bound her hair.
The last-century additions of a shield, which she was thought to have
held, and a helmet under one of her feet, have been removed, and Victory
stands in the state in which she was discovered. The head and limbs are
finely modelled, and the arrangement of the drapery could not be
excelled.

Down the wide street in front of the Museum a Corinthian column and
heavy frieze, supported by massive brick pillars, have been excavated.
Opposite these relics is the huge Martinengo Palace. In a line due south
is the church of Sta Afra built on the site of a temple to Saturn. Most
of the houses in the vicinity have Roman masonry in their basements and
Roman inscriptions let into their walls. From this one gathers that
ancient Brixia occupied this part of the later city. Write it down to
the credit of Brescia that her citizens passed a law as early as 1480
that all antiquities found should be preserved and given up to the town.

There are two cathedrals in Brescia, La Rotunda and the Duomo Nuovo.
The former is one of the most interesting ecclesiastical buildings in
Italy. Constructed of stone, with a red brick dog-tooth cornice and
twenty-four brick arches, supported by white marble pilasters forming an
arcade into which the exterior is divided, a most pleasing effect is
obtained. In the interior a circular colonnade, composed of eight
extremely massive four-sided piers bearing round arches, supports the
stone dome. It is supposed to be of seventh-century construction, and is
evidently on the site of an earlier Roman building, as fragments of a
mosaic floor exist beneath the present one. This, which is partly
tesselated, is much below the level of the ground outside. Lower still,
beneath the presbytery and choir, down twenty steps, is a very ancient
crypt, in which forty marble columns support the round arches that carry
the weight of the fabric above. None of these columns is more than five
feet high. Half a dozen blocked up lights, with bases not more than
three feet from the floor, are evidence that outside, the level of the
ground was at one time far below where it is at present.

The Duomo Nuovo is a finely proportioned edifice and one of the best
seventeenth-century churches in the country. The façade is immense and
gains by its simplicity. The fine dome is said to be the third in size
in Italy; and the lofty interior of white marble, unspoilt by any colour
or decoration, gains in space from the fact that there is but one bay to
the nave, producing the effect on the senses that one is everywhere
standing under the spacious height of Brescia's greatest landmark. The
houses of the piazza outside are chiefly occupied by metal-workers, and
those who know the incessant din produced by the tapping of their
hammers, will quite understand that it was impossible to make a sketch
of these two churches as they stand together.

[Illustration: BRESCIA]

Adjoining the Duomo Nuovo is the Brotello with its fine Torre del
Popolo, an embattled tower. The inner courtyard is partly of red brick
with a good corridor of the thirteenth century, formed of pointed and
round arches and brick groining. Another fine tower stands in the Piazza
Vecchia, the Torre del' Orologio. Its enormous dial marks the hours from
I to XXIV, the course of the sun and moon, and has the signs of the
Zodiac displayed on its face. Two figures that stand on top of the tower
strike the hours in a similar way to those on the Clock Tower of Venice.
At the west end of the piazza is La Loggia, the town hall, a good
example of an early sixteenth-century building. It was commenced, to be
accurate, by Tornasso Formentone in 1492 and continued from his
designs as far as the first floor. Sansovino was responsible for
the second, and Palladio completed what the other two had begun. The
building, however, as a whole, is superb. Magnificent arches support the
first floor, to which a grand open staircase leads. The medallions and
figures which adorn the exterior are extremely good, and the frieze and
cornice are equally so. The rich colour of the marble employed lends a
beautiful tone to a beautiful building. Unfortunately the interior was
burnt out in January 1575. The fire which consumed it is supposed to
have originated at the instigation of those who wished to destroy
certain ancient charters granting liberties to the inhabitants.

The Torre della Pallata is in a corner of the square--a good specimen of
castellated architecture, which rises from a sloping base of immense
stones and terminates with a projecting turret.

Brescia contains many fine palaces, and from the streets into which they
open one often gets a glimpse, through the iron grille of their portals,
of a charming arcaded court. The splash of a flower embowered fountain
is music to ear and the cool shade under the arches a rest for eye.



VERONA


Those who enter the Brenner Pass, and with faces set towards Italy,
leave Innsbruck behind, may have noticed how, after toilsome puffing and
straining uphill, the train suddenly seems to draw breath and glide
smoothly onwards with increased pace. At the side of the iron road a
little thread of water dances merrily over a pebble bed in its haste to
reach the sunny plains that lie to the south of the great mountain
barrier. Further on the rail and its sparkling attendant part company to
join later, when, from their slender origin, the waters have become a
rushing river--the river Adige. The mountains are behind, to the north;
the character of the landscape has changed, and within a horseshoe bend
of the swift stream, well-nigh enclosed by it, lies Verona.

Verona "La Degna," Verona the Worthy, a city crammed with the history of
past wars, a city of colour, in its bricks, in its stones, in its marble
walls and fresco adorned palaces. Wherever one turns, be it the pale
green of the river on which the wheels of those watermills, so like the
Noah's Ark of childhood's days, for ever turn, or the brilliant and
keen blue of the sky, there is always colour for the eye in Verona.
Colour for the mind too lies concealed in its streets and buildings.
Greek, Roman, Ostrogoth and Frank, Italians and Austrians, have all
ruled here. Ruled and gone and left their trace on this beautiful
city--the key to Alt' Italia--which Italy once more holds and guards
with jealous eye. Long may she keep it.

Verona is connected with two great names in the history of Italian
architecture, Frà Giaconda, the monk who in the early days of
Renaissance was supreme in the north, and Sanmicheli. Many of the fine
palaces the former designed bear evidence of his talent and justify the
summons to Rome, where he went at an advanced age to superintend the
building of St. Peter's. The latter, who evolved the triangular and
pentangular bastion, is more widely known in the science of
fortification than as a builder. Frà Giacondo's finest work in Verona is
undoubtedly the Palazzo del Consiglio, the old town hall called "La
Loggia," which stands on the north side of the Piazza dei Signori, one
of the most architecturally beautiful squares in Italy. The Palazzo
della Ragione, with a courtyard and grand open stairway of the
fourteenth century, is on the south of the square next door to the
Tribunale, and the Prefettura is opposite. The fine portal of the
latter is one of Sanmicheli's works. These magnificent buildings, with
the exception of the first-named, were all at one time or another
palaces of the great family of Scaligeri or Della Scala, and in one of
them Dante, whose statue is in the centre of the Piazza, found refuge
when driven from Florence.

The family of Scaligeri, although settled in Verona as early as 1085,
comes first before the historian at the death of the bloody tyrant
Ezzelino in 1261. Verona, freed from his terrible rule, became at that
date a free town, and Mastino della Scala accepted the office of
Capitano del Popolo. Onwards for over a hundred years the Scaligeri
governed Verona; and during the reign of the most famous of the race,
Francesco, or "Can Grande," Great Dog, it became the gathering-place for
men of note of all sorts, and his palace the home of the great poet. The
family crest, a ladder, is to be seen all over the city, while the
unique group of the Scala tombs is without a parallel.

This wonderful group stands outside the little church of Sta Maria
Antica at the end of a passage leading out of the Piazza dei Signori.

Of these tombs, that of Mastino I. is a simple sarcophagus ornamented
with nothing but a cross. It was at one time covered with a canopy, but
the stones of this, being handy, were used for the restoration of Sta
Maria Antica close by. The tomb of Can Grande forms the canopy over the
portal of this church. Columns support its three storeys. Upon a
sarcophagus lies an effigy of the Great Dog with his good sword at his
side; above is his equestrian statue in full armour. Mastino II, who
succeeded his uncle Can Grande, is likewise represented by a recumbent
figure on the sarcophagus of his tomb, which is also crowned by an
equestrian statue in armour. The visor of his helmet is drawn down, and
thereby hangs the tale that Mastino was ashamed to show his face, even
to his wife, after he had treacherously slain with his own sword his
relative, Bishop Bartolommeo della Scala. Can Signorio's monument,
though not the most elaborate, is decidedly the finest. At the four
corners under beautiful pointed canopies, are the figures of Sigismundo,
Alexius, St. George, and Signorio himself. A great deal of the bronze
work and detail about this tomb is very good, and the equestrian figure
on the top is excellent. There, gathered together, these warrior princes
of the great family repose in their last long sleep. Those who deem the
pen mightier than the sword, may care to reflect that a fame more
universal and lasting than that of all the Delia Scalas has been
attained by a French scholar of the sixteenth century who also bore the
name of Scaliger. Yet even this prince of learning was prouder of his
traditional descent from the noble Veronese house than of all his
achievements in the world of letters.

[Illustration: THE PORCH OF THE CATHEDRAL, VERONA]

And Verona's churches? Tradition says that Charlemagne erected the first
building on the site of the Cathedral. The present edifice, though
almost entirely reconstructed in the fifteenth century, was commenced in
the tenth. The most ancient part that remains, probably a portion of the
first church, is the apse, which on its exterior bears traces of Roman
influence. It is very simply built of a small cut grey freestone, faced
with flat pilasters terminating in Roman capitals, above which is a
frieze of floral pattern. In the remainder of the building Verona marble
and the rich yellow stone of the district are used.

The double-arched west porch of the twelfth century is exceptionally
good. Two colossal gryphons support elegant columns, and still command a
certain amount of awe amongst the smaller children who play about the
Piazza del Duomo. Both arches are round; the lower is supported by four
columns, the upper by eight. Representations on the inner shafts of the
lower arch of the two Paladins, Roland and Oliver, give a semblance to
the tradition that Charlemagne had something to do with the first church
erected here. Oliver holds his celebrated sword, on which is inscribed
_Du-rin-dar-da_. Roland is cross-legged and bears his shield. They are
both seen in the illustration. The colour of this porch and façade is
very beautiful. Great blocks of red marble intermingle with yellow
stone, white and pink marble courses continue the construction above,
and arabesques of a weathered grey stone complete the harmony. The fine
south portal is an earlier erection. Some ancient frescoes decorate the
lunette, and monsters grin at one like a nightmare from above.

The interior is lofty and very striking. Tremendous columns support the
low Gothic roof, the vaulting of which hardly exceeds the height of the
arches between the nave and aisles. Many signs of "giving way" and
cracks in the masonry have necessitated iron girders, which detract
somewhat from a fine effect. The heavy capitals of the nave columns are
rendered rather unsightly by three courses of floral design. The aisles
are pointed, narrow, and very good. Encircling the high altar is a
colonnade screen, which though beautiful in itself and designed by
Sanmicheli, is sadly out of place. The fine bronze crucifix which
surmounts it is by Gianbattista da Verona.

The cloisters lie on the north side of the Cathedral. About half a dozen
feet below the level of the pavement, standing on its base, is a fine
Corinthian column, with a Roman floor around. Between them and the
early Lombard church of S. Giovanni in Fonte is a tortuous corridor
lined with sepulchral slabs of many archbishops and bishops. This little
dark church is formed of four small bays and was formerly the old
baptistery. In the centre of the nave stands a huge octagonal font, with
a smaller one inside, wherein stood the officiating priest. The figures
in bas-relief on these two fonts, which by the way are cut from one
solid block of marble, are well worth studying.

Another Gothic church is Sant' Anastasia, which was commenced by the
Dominicans in the thirteenth century and is still incomplete. The nave
is very fine and has the same low vaulting that is a feature in the
Cathedral; its walls, too, are cracked and held together by iron
girders. Close to the west door in the interior are two humpbacked
figures which hold the Holy Water basins and are of some interest. One
of them was executed by the father of Paolo Veronese and the other by
Alessandro Rossi, who took his cripple son "Gobbino" for his model.

The most interesting ecclesiastical fabric in the city is, however, the
church of San Zenone. It is unspoilt by anything flamboyant or gaudy,
and is a fine example of Romanesque architecture--some consider it the
finest in North Italy. A ninth-century building stood here before the
present structure was begun in 1138. The west façade is marble, the
apse and sides of alternating brick and marble courses. The great portal
is a most elaborate example of early twelfth-century work, on which are
rudely sculptured knights engaging in deadly combat, scriptural subjects
and imitations of Roman bas-reliefs with Latin inscriptions. Theodoric
on horseback, with feet in stirrups--a very early representation of
such--and Roman dress, engages in the chase of the deer with the Devil.
The attendant dogs are evil spirits furnished to the Emperor by the
Arch-fiend. The ninth-century bronze doors are very remarkable and
consist of forty-two square plates fixed on to pine-wood. The subjects
of each panel, which are Biblical, are most interesting; some of the
little figures wear the conical flat-brimmed hat that may still be seen
on the heads of the shepherds in the more remote districts of Venetia.
These doors boast no handles, but two huge grotesque heads do duty
instead, and are the means of opening and closing them. Above the portal
is a wheel-of-fortune window executed by Briolotus. At the top is the
figure of a king, and at the bottom lies a prostrate man; between these
two are many figures climbing up and falling down in their efforts to
reach the best place. The façade terminates in a gable, with a lean-to
on either side.

[Illustration: INTERIOR OF S. ZENO, VERONA]

The interior is very striking, not only in its good proportions but in
its simplicity, which no side-altars mar. As in the cathedral at
Chester, one enters from the west down a flight of steps, held a moment
in admiration by the solemn grandeur of this fine church. The beautiful
larch roof soars away far above the mellowed floor, the warm colour of
the walls and depth of shadow through the arches of the crypt below the
choir, create a harmony of colour from our point of vantage not often
met with in Italy's churches. The aisles are divided from the nave by
alternate piers and red marble pillars, the former with ascending Doric
pilasters, two of which, near the west end, support a flying arch
beneath the roof and are evident traces of an early vaulting. At the end
of the nave, and occupying its last three bays, is the raised choir
reached by two flights of marble steps on either side of those leading
down into the crypt. On the red marble balustrade of the choir are
figures of Christ and the twelve apostles. In a niche on the south side
is a forbidding looking figure of S. Zeno, the patron saint of the city,
who, being an African, is represented with a black face. The apse at the
east end was rebuilt in the fifteenth century and has Gothic windows.

The old Benedictine cloisters of the once attached monastery stand on
the north, and contain amongst other tombs twenty-nine of the Della
Scalas. The cloisters and tombs are admirably preserved. The former
consists of brick arches, pointed on the east and west, and round on the
north and south, supported by coupled columns of red marble. Of Verona's
forty churches these three are the most typical and interesting, and San
Zenone, with its great architectural simplicity and wonderful
_campanile_, holds the palm.

It is a city of shapely bell-towers; every church has one. Some are
high, others low and unpretending; some are flat topped, others
embattled or crowned by the red brick spire which greets one further
west in the lake country. But the most beautiful of all is that which
stands at a corner of the Piazza dei Signori, adjoining the Palazzo
della Ragione, and rears its head over two hundred and fifty feet from
the pavement below. Like a queen, this graceful Campanile del Municipio
stands, dominating her subjects the other towers, with all the tinkling
bells they contain. Across the river from the vantage-ground of the
terrace on the hill beneath the Castello S. Pietro, Verona lies mapped
out. Her dull red and brown roofs remind one of the harmonious colours
of a Bokharan rug. Immediately below, at the foot of the hill, are the
ruins of the Roman theatre, and the green waters of the Adige, rushing
under the arches of the old stone bridge close by. Straight as a line
ran the Roman street to the Porta dei Borsari, erected under the
Emperor Gallienus in 265, and out into the country beyond. Between this
old gateway, which stands athwart the street almost blocking it, and the
river, is mediæval Verona, intersected and crossed by hundreds of
_vicoli_, or lanes, and full of subjects for a painter's brush in the
_cortili_ that fringe them. At the corner of the Vicola Pigna and the
"Alley of the Jutting Stone," is a low marble column with a huge
fir-cone on the top, a reminiscence of Roman days. Near at hand is the
fine palace that Sanmicheli erected for the Miniscalchi family, and in a
lane a few steps away, a crumbling remnant of another fine house with a
beautiful portal and row of windows. These are but a few things in the
secluded byways of old Verona, where one's feet continually led one on
journeys of discovery. Many a silent and deserted courtyard I found,
where the grass shyly thrust its head between the cobblestones, and
where creepers came wantonly trailing down over old walls in a sweet
endeavour to hide the decay of man's handiwork.

From all these it is but a step to the focus of the city's life, the
Piazza delle Erbe, the forum of Roman rule, and the most picturesque
market square in Italy. In the centre--and seen in the sketch--is the
small open tribune which occupies the place of an old building where
the newly elected Capitano del Popolo was invested with the insignia of
his office. The fountain farther up the square was erected by
Berengarius in 916, and supplied with fresh water by Can Signorio. The
figure surmounting it gazes stonily every day over a sea of umbrellas
which shelter the market folk below. Can Signorio beautified his native
city, and erected the tower at the end of the piazza--a tower which can
boast of the first public clock. The Lion of St. Mark stands on an
isolated column, surrounded by vegetable and fruit stalls, in front of
the Palazzo Tresa, a highly ornate specimen of the seventeenth century.
Many of the old houses still bear traces of the frescoes which covered
them, and which at one time must have made Verona's streets veritable
galleries of decorative art. Others retain the marble balconies which
formed so fascinating a feature of the city's architecture.

[Illustration: THE MARKET PLACE, VERONA]

Of earlier days there still remains one of the grandest ruins in
Italy--the celebrated Amphitheatre. It was the night of a hot day; a
blood-red moon, mounting on her upward path in the copper-coloured sky,
left a grim mass of deep shadow beneath. Bats were hawking in and out of
the black shadow, as yet unrelieved by the electric lights, and the
spacious piazza was nearly empty. An ominous feeling, intensified by
the distant hum of the busier parts of the city, unsettled one's
nerves. My thoughts travelled back to the time when, there behind that
gloomy mass, slaves would be cleansing the arena after a scene of cruel
sport, and the distant hum was nothing but the excited throngs
discussing the brutal slaughter. Did the great poet in his twilight
wanderings ever see such a moon and such a sky? It was certainly an
evening that would have enticed him to shun the noisy company of his
fellow men and saunter alone in the shadow of the great Amphitheatre.
Perhaps his spirit was there now. Small wonder that in my dreams that
night the howls of a cruel audience and the gentleness of the lonely
poet were mixed up in inextricable confusion.



PADUA


The quaint old city of Padua lies on the beaten track to Venice. In its
great Basilica repose the remains of St. Anthony. Giotto's frescoes in
the Church of the Madonna are still a glory to behold, its university is
one of the oldest in Europe, and the modern epicure can drink coffee of
the very best at Pedrocchi's, an establishment as well known amongst
Italians as the celebrated Florian's at Venice. The origin of Padua goes
back to Antenor, whose tomb occupies a corner near the Ponte de Lorenzo
close to the house at one time inhabited by Dante. A sarcophagus was
discovered in 1274 during excavations for the building of a foundling
hospital, and when opened, a skeleton of immense size, one hand still
gripping a sword, was seen inside. Who could it be but Antenor? There
was Virgil's authority for it that he had founded Padua--so Antenor it
was who lay there in his stone coffin, and the good folk of Padua
carried the sarcophagus and its contents to the church of S. Lorenzo
amidst great excitement. The church has been demolished but the tomb was
spared.

Padua's tortuous streets are lined with arcades, and although modern
requirements have ordained that some should be altered and the houses
pulled down, it still preserves an air of mediæval antiquity. Situated
on the winding little river Bacchiglione and intersected by other small
streams, it forms in the itinerary of the tourist a sort of prelude to
Venice. Innumerable bridges span these waterways. Some of them are of
Roman construction; and wherever one's footsteps lead one, be it along
the _riviere_--the open streets that run by the side of the streams--or
the narrow ways that may be likened to a rabbit warren, the great charm
of bygone days lingers in them all, and still clings to its old walls
and bridges.

The Cathedral, with an incomplete façade, was not finished till 1754. It
is a vast, ugly structure of brick with a _campanile_ and dome. The
whitewashed interior possesses no redeeming feature; unless it be a
rather pleasing course of grey marble that runs round on a level with
the capitals of the grey columns. A bust of Petrarch, who was a canon
here, and some beautiful twelfth-century MSS. with exquisite miniatures
in the sacristy, are the most interesting things it contains. If there
is but little in the Cathedral worthy of notice there is much in the
other churches of Padua.

[Illustration: THE CATHEDRAL, PADUA]

Sta Giustiana is a very fine building of the sixteenth century,
commenced from designs by Padre Girolamo da Brescia and finished fifty
years later by Andrea Morone. All its altars are decorated with scrolls
and floral patterns, in the inlaid marble work for which Italy has been
famous for many generations.

The church of S. Agostino degli Eremitani is a solemn building of a
single nave three hundred feet in length, which was constructed at the
latter end of the thirteenth century. Its sacristy is used by the
students of the university as their chapel, and many memorials of the
most famous among them cover its walls. The tombs the church contains
are very interesting. One with a magnificent canopy is of the fifth Lord
of Padua, Jacopo di Carrara, a friend of Petrarch's, while other members
of this extinct family lie buried in the church. The Carraras were Lords
of Padua for many generations; the last of the great race with his two
sons held the city in 1405 against the Venetians, but famine so reduced
the garrison that they surrendered themselves to the besiegers and were
conveyed prisoners to Venice. The Council of Ten decreed that they
should be strangled in their cells, and a member of the noble Venetian
family of Priuli performed this disgraceful murder in the dungeons of
the Doge's palace.

Sta Maria dell' Arena, or the church of the Madonna of the Arena,
stands practically in what was the Roman Amphitheatre. About the year
1306, a certain Enrico Scrovengo, who was owner of the Arena and
adjacent land, built within its precincts a chapel of the Annunciation,
known as Sta Maria dell' Arena. Giotto was working in Padua at the time,
and Enrico recognising his talent employed him to build and decorate the
little chapel. It consists of a single nave with a Gothic apse, and tiny
sacristy in which is a monument to the founder, whose tomb is behind the
altar. It is not the province of this book to deal with the pictorial
art of the country, but Giotto's frescoes which cover the walls of this
little church stand far above all else--not excepting Fra Angelico's
beautiful decorations in the monastic cells of S. Marco at Florence--in
the deep piety and tender expression of intense religious feeling they
portray.

The greatest church that Padua possesses is the huge building dedicated
to S. Antonio--"il Santo," as he is called by the Padovanese. This
enormous fabric of marble and brick, stands facing a wide open piazza on
two sides of which are low houses--houses of three storeys are very rare
in the older parts of the city. Opposite the façade is Donatello's grand
equestrian statue of Erasmo da Narni, or Gattamelata, bearing his name,
"Opus Donatelli Flor." In the piazza is the Scuoio del Santo and the
little church of San Giorgio, the sepulchral chapel of the Sograna
family; close by which is the tomb of Rolando Piazzola with a fine
Gothic canopy.

The seven domes of S. Antonio cluster round a heavy central spire, and
two beautiful bell-towers rise elegantly to a height above; from
wherever one sees the church, these domes and spires compose and "pile"
well. Il Santo died in 1231, and Padua decided to erect a suitable
building to hold his sacred remains. Niccolò Pisano was requisitioned
for the task, but was not given a free hand. He was informed that he
must follow the fashion of the day and produce a real Gothic edifice.
His failure to carry out these instructions can be best seen in the
façade, where the three portals are very poor; nevertheless, and despite
his leanings towards other styles, he was able to introduce something of
the Gothic in his bell-towers, in the open galleries round the exterior
of the apse, and the arcading of the west front, with a mixed result
that has produced a really stupendous church. The best decoration of the
exterior is contained in the three west doors of bronze, which are
exceedingly good.

The fine interior is most impressive, but what the result will be when
the present scheme of decoration, already begun in the choir and apse,
is carried out, it is difficult to say. The chapel of Il Santo is half
way up the north aisle. Lights burn day and night before the altar,
beneath which repose the saint's remains. Four fine columns support the
somewhat heavy frieze of the great Renaissance screen by Sansovino,
which separates it from the aisle. Two of these columns have a charming
idea in their capitals, where little sea-horses take the place of the
acanthus leaf. The screen is terminated by two very beautiful pilasters
adorned with exquisite arabesques. The interior of this interesting
chapel is lined with nine reliefs, one of which, by Sansovino, is rather
curious and certainly very gruesome. The sculptor has represented a
suicide with a gaping crowd of women surrounding him in his
self-inflicted death agonies. Two enormous silver candlesticks, partly
of Gothic and partly Renaissance design, stand at the foot of the steps
of the altar, and bronze figures and silver angels are placed upon the
balustrade. In the vestibule between this chapel and the next hang
hundreds of votive offerings of all descriptions, forming a museum of
the tangible homage paid to the saint by his devotees. The next chapel
is the only part left of an ancient fabric which stood here long before
the good Padovanese raised the present magnificent church as a memorial
of their venerated saint.

In the south aisle, opposite to and corresponding with Il Santo's
chapel, is one dedicated to S. Felix, which is fronted by a good screen
decorated with an effective fish-scale pattern of Verona marble. It
contains a good altar, placed high above a flight of steps, and some
interesting fourteenth-century frescoes. A thick coating of paint quite
spoils the well-carved Gothic stalls, and it is to be hoped that when
the scheme of decoration reaches this chapel these fine stalls will be
scraped and then left in their pristine state. In another chapel are the
tombs of Gattamelata and his son; these and two monuments designed by
Sanmicheli on two of the piers of the nave are the best in the church.

The presbytery is cut off from the nave by a low balustrade, in the
centre of which, rising in a bold sweep, is a very fine bronze gate. The
High Altar, impressively placed at the top of some steps, has eight
splendid panels containing bas-reliefs by Donatello. The master was also
responsible for the fine group of the Madonna and Saints, as well as the
huge crucifix, which are placed above it. The magnificent bronze
candelabrum, which stands to the left of the altar, is twelve feet high.
Its maker, Andrea Riccio, spent ten years over the work before he
considered it fit to leave his studio. The figures at the base are
symbolical of Music, History, Destiny, and Astrology, forming with
those above, a paschal candlestick that is one of the finest pieces of
bronze work in any church in the country. The sanctuary beyond the apse
was an addition of the year 1693, and occupies the most eastern dome
seen in the illustration. Great gilded sliding doors hide a wonderful
example of fifteenth-century goldsmith's work, a casket with Il Santo's
tongue inside, and many other sacred relics, as well as Gattamelata's
marshal's baton. The great doors are surrounded by work of the late
seventeenth century, an example of the bad taste and very low ebb
ecclesiastical art had sunk to at that period. Cherubs and nude female
figures playing stringed instruments--angels apparently--circle round S.
Antonio, who is borne aloft by other nudes. The extravagance of the
whole thing is a jarring note amongst much that is extremely fine.

The monks of the brotherhood of S. Antonio still inhabit the conventual
buildings attached to the church, and their dark-robed figures pass
silently to and fro in the cloistered courts of the monastery. The walls
of these three courts are lined with fine tombs and memorial slabs, and
it was from one of these cloisters the illustration was taken. A great
magnolia tree grows on the well-kept grass which covers the ground like
green velvet. No sound from the outside world penetrated this
sequestered nook. The only note to break the silence was the drowsy
hum from a voice at prayer in one of the little green-shuttered rooms
above, and the occasional twittering of a canary in its cage. One worked
undisturbed at those domes and towers which compose so well and seem to
reach up to the very heavens.

[Illustration: S. ANTONIO, PADUA]

Padua's university was founded in 1221 by the Emperor Frederick II. on
the site of the Inn of the Ox, and is still called il Bò. Its handsome
courtyard, attributed to Palladio, is adorned with armorial bearings of
distinguished _alumni_. At the head of the great staircase is a statue
to Elena Piscopia, a poetess, musician, and fluent linguist; she
received a doctor's degree and died a spinster in 1684. The anatomical
theatre is the oldest in Europe. Among other famous men connected with
il Bò the names of Baldus, who taught law, and Galileo, who expounded
mathematics, must be mentioned.

Padua also possesses the oldest Botanical Gardens in Europe, which were
instituted by the Venetian Senate in 1543. Many of the exotics which
grow now all over Europe were first established here, brought from the
East by Venetian traders, and the botanist can spend many interesting
hours in this well cared for and shady retreat.

A vast building with a remarkable history occupies one whole side of the
market square. A much-travelled architect and engineer, Fra Giovanni,
visited Padua in the fourteenth century, bringing with him drawings of
an Indian palace; these so pleased the Padovanese that he was asked to
construct a roof to their great hall, the three divisions of which had
been destroyed by fire. Fra Giovanni set to work, and his vaulted wooden
ceiling, one of the largest in Europe, stands covering the principal
chamber of the Palazzo della Ragione, though the roof above was renewed
in 1857. The paintings on the walls of this magnificent room have by
degrees replaced a series of frescoes by Giotto. They are mostly
mystical and symbolical, the best among them being those representing
Justice and Prudence. The wooden horse which stands in the hall is
supposed to have been the model for Donatello's bronze horse on which
Gattamelata is seated in the famous equestrian statue outside S.
Antonio. The fine _loggia_ on the ground floor of the palazzo is of
later date than the original parts of the building, which were designed
by Pietro Cozzo and constructed in the years 1172 to 1219. In a street
not far off is another beautiful building, the early-Renaissance Loggia
del Consiglio, with its fine stairway and open arcade. In front of this
is an antique column with the Lion of S. Mark, the sign that the city at
one time belonged to the Republic of Venice. Many other houses in this
quaint old town are of great interest, and the windings of its streams
as they meander past rose-covered walls and low roofs, with perhaps a
tapering _campanile_ or a dome towering above, afford a rare field for
endeavours with the pencil and brush.



VENICE


Venice, which has no counterpart in the world, is a city of all others
in which one can linger on in a dream taking no count of time. The days
run into weeks, these spread themselves into months, and it becomes more
and more difficult to tear oneself away from the entrancing "Mistress of
the Seas," from her Cathedral and all her other marvellous buildings;
from her seductive gondolas and silent canals; from her picture
galleries, and alas! from the fragrant coffee we sip idling away the
time under the colonnade outside Florian's in the Piazza.

Well, the seductive cup is drained and while our cigarette is alight let
us look round. Directly opposite to us, on the north side of this grand
square, stretches the long colonnade of the Procuratie Vecchie, built
early in the sixteenth century as a habitation for the procurators of S.
Mark. It is one of the best examples of early Renaissance architecture
in Italy; nobler, simpler than the Procuratie Nuove where we sit, which
was built in the last quarter of the same century. An arcaded building
in the classical style erected by Napoleon in 1810 connects the western
extremities of the two Procuratie. It is a pity that this great
Renaissance Piazza should be completed by an inferior bit of modern work
instead of such a brilliant gem of the Renaissance style as Sansovino's
Libreria Vecchia--at present invisible to us round the corner. To this
building, which faces the Doge's Palace, no higher tribute could be
given than to say that its perfection fairly distracts the admiration of
the onlooker from the wonderful Gothic pile before it.

But all this is _Hamlet_ without the Prince. It is time to leave the
shadow of the arches, to step out into the open, and to surrender
ourselves to the spell of the great church which draws one with an
irresistible fascination from the first moment we set foot in the
Piazza. S. Mark's rises bounding the vision at the eastern end of the
great square with its gorgeous façade and cool grey domes. So rich is
the colouring and so strange the outline that one wonders almost whether
architecture has not passed here into the sister art of painting.

[Illustration: S. MARK'S, VENICE]

Yes, there stands a building surpassingly fascinating, unique and
outside all comparison with any other church in the country. Planned as
a Greek Cross, like S. Sophia at Constantinople, it is reminiscent of
the East far more than any building in the peninsula, or even in
Sicily where some with direct Arab influence still exist. The great
traders of Venice who lavished their wealth on its decoration, and whose
every homeward bound ship brought back from the Orient a choice column,
a rare piece of marble, or some such thing as a contribution towards its
making, helped to raise it bit by bit until the wonderful church grew to
be what we find it to-day, the most seductive ecclesiastical fabric in
Italy.

It was not until the year 1807 that S. Mark's became the Cathedral
church of Venice. Before this date the Patriarchal seat was the church
of S. Pietro di Castello, and S. Mark's simply the chapel attached to
the Doge's Palace. In 828 the body of the Evangelist, stolen from
Alexandria, was brought to Venice and S. Theodore the tutelary saint
deposed to make way for a more important patron. S. Mark's remains were
then placed in a church which was destroyed by fire in 976. The
following year saw the first stone laid of a building which is perhaps
the most interesting in Christendom; but it was not until eighty years
had passed that the walls were finished, and seventy more gone by before
it was consecrated. The interior sustaining walls are brick, and are
lined with marble or covered with mosaics and decorated with every sort
of inlay. The _tout ensemble_ of this is an extraordinarily harmonious
mixture of styles which compels unceasing admiration.

Standing at the west end of the Piazza one sees, almost stretching
across the further side, a marvellous façade of deep shadowed arches;
the tympanums seem to sparkle with jewels; the arches are supported by
what appears to be a forest of columns, orderly in rank, receding into
the shadow. Above, to give quality to this shade, is a flat surface that
runs from end to end of the façade, broken by a central semicircular
window, and crowned with Gothic turrets, crocketed finials and angels
with wings outspread. Then, surmounting all are five wondrous domes,
Oriental in themselves, so overpoweringly Oriental that the eye, unable
at this distance to discriminate, telegraphs to the brain the magic
words--"The East!" Spoils from the East, from Greece, from Syria, from
Egypt; mosaics of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, bronze horses
of Roman origin, Gothic saints under canopied turrets, flag poles with
the crimson banner and golden Lion of S. Mark, all arranged without
disorder, but all succumbing to the majesty of the marvellous domes.
More Eastern than European is the Venetian's love of colour, and this is
the note most deeply impressed on the mind with regard to S.
Mark's--five grey domes, a foil to the brilliant mosaics and many-hued
marble columns and walls below, but blending with them so subtly that
the whole is one gorgeous chromatic scale.

The effect of the blazing sun pouring down on the façade at midday,
casting deep shadows under the arches, is very fine. Again, in the
evening when the domes are alight with the last rays of the dying orb
and the great Piazza is in cool shade, the glories of the wonderful
fabric assume a dramatic effect which becomes almost tragic as the light
disappears and everything subsides into a monotone. Colour begets more
subtlety in grey weather; every note that might jar on the eye is then
diffused among the quieter tones around, and for this reason the pearly
sky of a grey day was chosen to depict S. Mark's. The great _campanile_
which fell to the ground on July 14, 1902, is now in course of
re-erection. For some years past the necessary but hideous hoarding at
its base has interfered with the beauty of the Piazza. The illustration
does not show this but depicts the length of the façade, with the
beautiful Porta della Carta and corner of the Doge's Palace beyond.

The lowest portion of the façade is formed as a vestibule with seven
arches, the last one of which at each end is open through. All the
columns and their capitals (spoils from the East) are of much older date
than the building. Very few of these capitals fit the _abacus_ on which
they rest; most of them are exquisitely carved with foliage free from
all imagery. The central arch is larger than the others. Under it is a
grand door of forty-eight bronze panels inlaid with silver. The
workmanship of the other doors which flank this is also very fine. The
intricate Byzantine carving above these forms a scheme of decoration
wherein figures, birds, beasts and arabesques run in a perfect riot of
fanciful design. The vaulting of the vestibule is covered with mosaics
of different periods. Those of the twelfth century are concerned with
the Creation of the Firmament and the Creation of Life; the story of
Adam and Eve continued on to the Deluge and Noah; the tragedy of Cain
and Abel; Joseph's dream, Pharaoh and the story of Moses. The general
scheme throughout is of white figures, mostly nude, on a green ground.
Although not in any way comparable to the earlier mosaics at Ravenna,
these are far better in style and true feeling for the enrichment of a
flat surface than those of later date in the lunettes above the façade
arches. Here the _raison d'être_ of mosaic has been made subservient to
an attempt to imitate the shades and gradations of an oil painting. The
most important of these later mosaics is that which was executed from a
design by Titian by the brothers Zuccati in the sixteenth century,
wherein S. Mark appears in pontifical robes. It is above the centre
door. On the pavement beneath is a red and white lozenge of marble
marking the spot where Pope Alexander III. and Barbarossa were
reconciled in July 1177, through the intervention of the Venetian
Republic. Many inscribed slabs of marble bearing legends in Greek and
Syriac, and Roman bas-reliefs, are let into the walls of the vestibule,
evidence of offerings towards the building of the fabric. All the
archivolts of the five large arches are decorated with symbolic
carvings; the most interesting being that of the main entrance, where a
charmingly quaint story illustrative of peasant life in the twelve
months of the year tells in a realistic way the labours of those who
till the soil. February with a little figure sitting at a fire warming
his hands is particularly naïve.

On the south, S. Mark's joins the Doge's Palace by means of the Porta
della Carta. At the base of a column which stands in an angle of the
wall are four porphyry figures of knights in chain mail with arms round
one another's necks. This group is supposed to have come from Acre.
Detached from the main building, and not far from its south-west corner,
are two short rectangular columns with Greek inscriptions. They were
brought from the church of S. Saba at Ptolemais in 1256. Amongst other
interesting spoils there is a slab let into the north wall on which
Ceres, holding a torch in each hand, appears drawn in a chariot by two
dragons. It seems to be a very early Persian work. But the best known,
and certainly the finest gift the exterior of the building can boast, is
that of the four bronze horses which stand over the principal entrance.
Sent from Constantinople in 1204 by order of the Doge Dandolo as part of
the spoils of victory when that city fell to the arms of the Venetians
in the fourth Crusade, these horses at one time adorned the triumphal
arch of Nero in Rome. Both Domitian and Trajan transferred them in turn
to arches of their own; and Constantine conveyed them across the seas to
his new capital in the East, where he also put them up over an arch. In
1797, when the Republic of Venice was no more, Napoleon took these
already much-travelled horses from S. Mark's façade to Paris and placed
them on the top of the Arc du Carrousel. After the peace in 1815 the
Austrian Emperor, Francis I. caused them to be returned to their former
position, and there they remain to-day.

Three doors open into the cathedral from the vestibule, and two on the
north side. The interior strikes one at first as being very dark; but
when the eye becomes accustomed to the half-light and is familiar with
everything within, this wears off, and the senses are rather soothed
than otherwise by the mystic gloom. Indeed, it is a great relief to
find oneself inside out of the glare of the Piazza, and, seated in a
corner perhaps, quietly contemplating the grand mosaics which cover the
vaulting from end to end. It is quite impossible to describe these
adequately in a short chapter which deals with other things as well, but
noting them in guide-book fashion one observes that those in the aisles
on either side of the main entrance depict the Acts and Miracles of the
Apostles. On the vaulting of the dome which forms, so to speak, the foot
of the Greek cross, is the Descent of the Holy Ghost. The great central
dome is covered by twelfth-century mosaics of the Ascension, and the
vault between this and the first dome with Christ's Passion and
Resurrection. The vaulting of the two domes which compose the arms of
the cross is decorated by work of later date; that on the north with the
history of S. John, and that on the south with the saints. The chapel of
S. John which is in the north transept was converted in the seventeenth
century into one dedicated to the Miraculous Virgin of Constantinople.
In the south transept also a rededication has taken place; the chapel of
S. Leonard being turned into that of the Holy Sacrament.

Behind the gorgeous marble screen which divides the presbytery from the
body of the church the high altar rises beneath a canopy of _verde
antico_ borne by four columns. Two of these columns are eleventh century
and are elaborately carved in courses of innumerable figures. They came
from Pola when Venice subdued Istria, and are much more interesting than
the other two of a later date; the remains of S. Mark rest within this
magnificent shrine. On the screen itself stand the Evangelist, the
twelve Apostles, and Mary.

At the back of the high altar is the Pala d'Oro, the greatest treasure
the cathedral possesses, and the most celebrated golden altarpiece in
existence. The upper part came from Constantinople in 976, the lower
about the middle of the fourteenth century. It is composed of
eighty-three panels of Greek and Byzantine design filled with enamelled
figures, studded with uncut gems and precious stones, and covered with
Greek and Latin inscriptions. More gorgeous than that of S. Ambrogio in
Milan, this magnificent piece of goldsmith's art glitters and sparkles
in a wonderful manner when lit up by the candles used at high mass, and
is without doubt the most splendid ecclesiastical treasure in Italy.

[Illustration: INTERIOR, S. MARK'S, VENICE]

The fifth or eastern dome which is over the presbytery is covered with
mosaics representing Christ and the Prophets, and one that is hardly
visible of S. Mark is on the walls of the east end. The great figure of
Christ faces the church and in its simplicity is very impressive.

The gallery, which is where the triforium would be in a Gothic building,
runs round the whole cathedral and is pierced on its inner side only.
The walls at the back and above are decorated with more mosaic work
dealing with acts of martyrdom, and the Translation and Recovery of the
Body of the Lord. When stray beams of sunlight find their way through
the openings in the domes and pass along the gold background, lighting
up in odd places small portions of these wonderful _tesseræ_ pictures,
the effect is very beautiful. All the angles of this mosaic work are
rounded off and the travelling rays glinting first on one golden corner,
then on another, are strangely attractive to eyes accustomed to the
greater architectural severity of a northern clime. The well-chosen
slabs that line the lower portions of the cathedral walls have taken to
themselves a sombre, dusky hue, a pale velvety brown, but there can be
no doubt that in their pristine state they realised in their splendour
the Venetian's love of colour.

The strange pulpit, which with part of the rood screen seen in the
illustration stands to the north of the steps leading into the
presbytery, is arranged in a double tier, and is entered by a double
winding stair from the vestibule of the Capella de S. Pietro. Its
curious domed sounding-board is very reminiscent of the East. Mention
has already been made of the chapels of the Miraculous Virgin and S.
Leonard. That dedicated to S. Peter is behind this pulpit on the north
side of the presbytery. It has a door leading out into the piazza. The
corresponding chapel to the south is dedicated to S. Clement. At the end
of the north transept is another to S. Isidore--a dark, solemn little
place. The sacristy is beyond the chapel of S. Peter at the back of the
presbytery. It is a fine apartment with mosaics from designs by Titian
and his pupils, which may be studied as a good example of Renaissance
decoration in _tesseræ_. Sansovino, who executed the beautiful door, is
said to have had it in hand for twenty years.

The baptistery is entered from the south aisle, and with the adjoining
Cappella Zeno is one of the most interesting parts of S. Mark's. In the
former is the monument and sarcophagus of Doge Andrea Dandolo, who died
in 1354. It is a grand specimen of the sculpture of the age. The
recumbent figure of the Doge, who was the last to be buried in S.
Mark's, is very serene in its realisation of the Last Sleep. All the
mosaics the chamber contains were given and paid for by Andrea. Most of
them naturally relate to the Holy Rite. The font is very ancient, and
has a fine bronze cover designed by Sansovino and surmounted by a
statuette of S. John the Baptist. A very beautiful low relief of four
crossed swords which compose a cross, with birds beneath, is let into
one of the walls. On the vaulted roof of the Cappella Zeno, the life of
the Evangelist, whose body at first rested here, is well depicted in a
series of mosaics. The centre of the chapel is occupied by the tomb of
Cardinal Zeno, who left the bulk of his immense fortune to S. Mark's.
The altar stands under a bronze canopy covering figures of Our Lady (who
wears a gilded shoe), S. Peter, and S. John the Baptist. The legend runs
that the Virgin gave her bronze shoe once to a poor votary and it was
immediately turned into gold. From this incident the chapel, which
became the Cardinal's Mausoleum, is also known as that of the Madonna
della Scarpa.

Venice possesses nearly seventy churches, but of these only the two most
celebrated can be mentioned in this chapter. They are SS. Giovanni e
Paolo, and the Frari. The former had its origin in the great preaching
Order of S. Dominic, and the latter in that of S. Francis. These saints,
bound by vows of poverty, went forth preaching humility, and so great a
meed of success did they attain, that we find throughout the country, as
a result of their crusade, huge churches like these built to hold large
congregations. In Venice both Orders had their following among different
patrician families, who were mainly responsible for the monetary
assistance the Orders received, and who therefore acquired a sort of
prescriptive right to burial space within the holy walls they had helped
to raise. For this reason the tombs we find in SS. Giovanni e Paolo and
the Frari are not only an epitome of the rulers of Venice, but in them
can be traced from the earliest Gothic the different styles of Venetian
decorative art as exemplified in her sepulchral monuments.

SS. Giovanni e Paolo is a fine brick building of early Italian Gothic,
which was commenced in 1246 and finished in 1390. Its length is three
hundred and thirty feet, its width at the transepts one hundred and
forty-three, and in the nave ninety-one feet. From this it will be seen
that the transepts are short. The spacious nave has five bays, the
arches of which are supported by single columns of grey stone with
simple floral capitals. The vaulting, as is usual in Italian Gothic, is
low. The galleried triforium has small outlets into the church, and a
clerestory of pointed lights in groups of three has taken the place of
much larger single windows. The aisles are narrow. The apsidal choir is
architecturally very striking. From a few feet above the floor rise the
long narrow windows of the apse reaching up beyond the base of the
vaulting and giving an idea of immense height. The glass they contain
is, however, very crude; and, unfortunately, a terrible pink wash covers
the walls, so pink that the beauty of the architectural features is
considerably marred. The choice of material and the selection of colour
has more to do with the success or failure of a building than is
generally realised. The transepts, nave, and aisles are coloured grey,
and harmonise with the stone columns mentioned above, and with the
monuments of faintly tinted marble which crowd the walls of the aisles.

Among the most notable tombs are those of the Mocenigo family, a family
which possessed the whole of the west wall of the church, and whose
monuments almost cover it. Of the three equestrian tombs that are in the
church, pride of place must be given to the one put there to Niccolo
Orsini, who commanded the Republic's forces in the war against the
League of Cambray. The gilded group of the general and his horse above
the sarcophagus is full of life and vigour. The simple but very
beautiful tomb of Paolo Loudan, on which his recumbent figure in full
chain mail lies stretched, is a fine work of the middle of the
fourteenth century.

The grand monument to Andrea Vendramin, who died in 1478, and who was
the first of the new nobility to be elevated to the position of
sovereign, is the most refined example of a Renaissance tomb in Venice.
The Doge lies, with face turned towards the spectator, on a couch
supported by eagles. Behind him are pages and other attendants. The
carving and arabesques of the canopy and its supports, into which notes
symbolical of naval power are crowded, though extremely intricate, are
very pure in style. In the lunette beneath the arch kneels the Doge, who
is being recommended to Our Lady by S. Mark. Opposite to this beautiful
tomb is the Gothic memorial to Doge Michele Morosini, who died in 1382.
The background of the central portion is a good mosaic of the
Crucifixion, in front of which the aquiline features of the recumbent
Duke are very prominent. The niches on either side are filled with
figures of different saints, and the whole is surmounted by S. Michael
with the Dragon.

The exterior of the church, especially the apse, which rises without a
single buttress, is very impressive. A good Gothic portal occupies the
centre of the unfinished west façade, which is flanked by
thirteenth-century sarcophagi let into niches in the walls. Close by,
and occupying one side of the Campo in which the church stands, is the
Scuola di S. Marco. This building, now a hospital, was erected in 1485
by Martino Lombardi, and is noteworthy for the curiously conceived
façade that faces the square. This is composed of richly coloured marble
divided into panels, on which in low relief different buildings are seen
in acute perspective. They recall the same sort of decoration which
prevails in the frescoes at Pompeii, but so cleverly did Lombardi
arrange his scheme that their absolute falsity in no way detracts from
the general design of the building.

In front of the façade stands the magnificent equestrian statue to that
prince of _condottieri_ whose mausoleum at Bergamo has already been
mentioned, Bartolommeo Colleoni. A man amongst men, stern, defiant and
resourceful, his grand figure embodies all that a leader in troublous
times should be. Firmly gripping his saddle, he sits his horse with head
thrown back and a face which betokens the masterful haughtiness of the
man. The group was designed by Leonardo da Vinci's master, Andrea
Verrocchio, and finished by Alessandro Leopardi. It vies with
Donatello's equestrian group of Gattamelata at Padua in being perhaps
the best Italian Renaissance statue extant.

The Frari is a church which grew out of the accumulated funds of the
Franciscans, whose enormous monastery, now holding the municipal
archives, adjoins it. This great church was commenced in 1250 and
finished in 1338, and contains the monuments and tombs of some of the
city's rulers, as well as many of the Venetian nobility who in bygone
days made their names famous in its annals. The west façade has a simple
Gothic doorway and four round windows, one of which, larger than the
others, is above the figure of Christ that occupies the apex of the
arch. Like SS. Giovanni e Paolo the east end is architecturally the most
interesting part of the fabric. Two flights of lofty windows with
exceedingly good tracery admit light into the apse. This has been
continued south by later additions as far as the wall of the transept.
The transept being thus enlarged has four apsidal chambers that form a
pleasing sequence to the big eastern apse. The exterior of the church,
when viewed from the little Campo S. Rocco outside the east end,
composes extremely well. The four small apses lead up to the big one,
behind which and beyond the roof line one sees the great Campanile
rising over the north transept. The Frari is built of brick with a
simple decorative feature in the form of a course of Venetian Gothic at
the top.

Owing to subsidence of the foundations the interior is now undergoing
extensive repair. The nave is very lofty, with single columns of grey
stone that have floral capitals. The groining ribs of the vault are of
red brick and the arches of the bays are grey stone. Two of the nave
columns are massively constructed of brick, and form with the brick
walls of the aisles and the grey colour of the stone a very charming
scheme. The choir occupies the last two bays of the nave, and as is the
case in the cathedrals of Spain, is cut off from the body of the church
by a rood screen. The portion of this which is in the nave is debased
Renaissance, but that in the aisles is earlier and much better. The
choir stalls are very finely carved and decorated with superb _intarsia_
work. The little door by which the canons enter the choir is
particularly good in this respect, with a beauty much enhanced by the
design on the doorposts. Round these cling vines and grape clusters. The
clerestory consists of round windows with double lights, but there is no
triforium. Among the most interesting monuments are those erected to
Beato Pacifico, the Franciscan architect of the church, which is in the
south transept, and one to Titian in the south aisle. His masterpiece of
the Assumption, now in the Accademia delle Belle Arti, was painted for
the Frari.

The domestic architecture of Venice is far more interesting than that
with which we have just dealt. Peculiar to Venetia, it is the outcome
of that period when, the city's trade being well established in
northern climes, new ideas and fashions travelled back from countries
over the great mountain chain and began to commingle with the older
traditions of the East. Not only on the Grand Canal, but in many of the
quiet byways of the Silent City, one comes across beautiful examples of
that entrancing style of façade, the Venetian Gothic.

As the gondola glides swiftly over the waters of the great highway of
Venice there comes into sight a group of palaces which occupies the only
real angle of the Grand Canal. This group is formed of the celebrated
houses built by the Foscari and Giustiniani families, and is somewhat in
the style of the Doge's Palace, the first-named being contemporary with
it. The flat brick façades are broken by rows of elegant windows, some
with, some without balconies. The deeply-recessed arcading of the
central lights of the first and second storeys gives just the right
amount of shade to an otherwise flat surface, which the windows above
and at either side only slightly relieve. A course of white marble
edging and heavy foundations of enormous blocks of the same give
solidity, and most beautifully frame the pale-red brick of which the
Venetians were so fond. Rows of _pali_, or posts, painted with the
colours of the owner, serve as a dock for waiting gondolas. The
water of the canal, never quiescent, is a puzzle for the painter who
would study reflections. The tide ebbs and flows on the great highway,
the convenient but hideous steamboat rushes by, gondolas groan and creak
against their moorings, and a kaleidoscope of ever-changing shapes and
colours well-nigh drives him to despair.

[Illustration: THE PALAZZI FOSCARI E GIUSTINIANI, VENICE]

Further up the Grand Canal is a very ornate palace, the Ca d'Oro, with
angles softened by three twisted columns instead of the more usual one
in this type of building. Its façade was designed by Giovanni and
Bartolommeo Buon, who built the Piazzetta in front of the Doge's Palace.
At one time it was entirely covered with gilt--hence the name. Down near
the Salute, where the canal opens out to the sea, are the Palazzo da
Mula and the fascinating little Palazzo Contarini-Fasan, with its lovely
traceried balconies. These are all Venetian Gothic. Of other styles the
Byzantine Palazzi, da Mosto and Loudan, the latter Byron's Venetian
home, and the Renaissance Palazzi, Rezzonico, where Browning lived,
Camerlanghi, Manzoni, with a frieze of eagles, Pesaro, and Dario, with
plaques of coloured marble on its façade, are the most celebrated. Most
of them are cracking and bulging, and more than one owes its present
existence to the iron clamps which hold it together. It is much to be
feared that the utilitarian steamboat and ever-increasing motor-boat
traffic will sooner or later be responsible for the destruction of many
a beautiful building, the foundations of which were never intended to
withstand the strain of the great extra wash it creates.

In a safer position than most is the Doge's Palace, that magnificent
construction which almost distracts attention from S. Mark's by its
side.

The first building to be constructed for the rulers of Venice stood on
the site of the Palace and was erected in 813. Fire subsequently
destroyed it and also the edifice which replaced the smoking ruins. The
present building was commenced in 1301 and save for the outer walls was
almost gutted in 1574 and 1577. Palladio, the foremost architect of the
day, contended that it would be dangerous to attempt any reconstruction
unless these walls were demolished, and it speaks volumes for the good
taste of the Senate that his scheme for pulling them down and putting up
another palace in his own hard classic style was not adopted. The
exterior as we see it is almost entirely due to the talented family of
Buon--Giovanni, the father, and his two sons, Pantaleone and
Bartolommeo. It is, however, much to be regretted that while restoring
the façades this celebrated family of _tajapieri_, or stonecutters, did
not adhere to the level and beautiful design of the two windows which
escaped the fire at the east end of the façade that looks over the Riva
degli Schiavoni out to sea. The short massive columns of the lower
colonnade give an idea of immense strength to the great flat space
above. The capitals of these stunted columns are extremely interesting.
The Virtues and Vices find places amidst their foliage, as do the most
famous of Rome's Emperors and Philosophers, the signs of the Zodiac and
many other symbols. Twisted shafts, one of the types of Venetian Gothic,
terminate the three angles of the upper part of the two façades. Their
bases are composed of sculptured groups. The angle nearest to S. Mark's
has the Archangel Michael with the Judgment of Solomon below him. The
next, at the south-west corner, is a group of Adam and Eve with Gabriel
above. In the last, Noah, drunk with wine, is being covered by two of
his sons, and above them is S. Raphael with Tobias, who holds a fish.

A noble window and pierced balcony of early fifteenth-century work
occupies the centre of the upper arcade which faces the sea. This
beautiful window and marble balcony open out from the great Sala
Maggiore Consiglio. Above the moulding of the window is a figure of
Justice, and below in flanking niches are SS. Peter, Paul and Mark;
Faith, Hope and Charity; and the four Cardinal Virtues. A fine loggia,
with cusped arches and quatrefoils above, runs round both the exposed
sides of the Palace. The plan of the building is an irregular square
with a great courtyard inside. The courtyard is Renaissance, the east
side being a particularly good example of a period when the wealth of
Venice was lavished on her buildings.

In the north-east corner of this court and opposite to the Porta della
Carta, is the famous Scala dei Giganti, erected by Rizzio in 1483. At
the head of this magnificent Staircase of the Giants, the Doges were
crowned with the Cap of Authority. From it an open corridor runs right
and left. On the right the Scala d'Oro ascends to the second floor. Only
those whose names were inscribed in the Libro d'Oro were permitted to
use this stairway, which led to that portion of the Palace occupied by
the Doges and their attendant nobles. The continuous suite of
magnificent apartments through which the visitor wanders seem full of
emptiness and sadly want the stately figures and quaint dress, the
sonorous voices and courtly manners of the bygone age that once peopled
them and made them live. The gorgeously gilded and coloured ceilings
become not only oppressive from their magnificence, but wearisome by
their repetition; and despite the great traditions that cling to the
Palace and the remembrance of the history made within these chambers, it
is with a sigh of relief that one steps out on to the balcony where
Justice holds the Scales above our head, and drinks in the balmy air
that floats in over the lagoons keeping Venice pure and sweet.

[Illustration: THE LION OF S. MARK'S, VENICE]

Outside on the Riva at the end of the Piazzetta are two columns of
granite that were brought to Venice in 1180 by Doge Michiel. One came
from Syria, the other from Constantinople. On the capital of one is the
Winged Lion of S. Mark, the emblem of Venice's patron saint; an emblem
which is to be found in every city in the country that owned allegiance
to the Doge's rule. On the other is a figure of S. Theodore, who stands
over a crocodile. S. Theodore, it will be remembered, was the tutelary
saint of Venice before his deposition on the arrival of S. Mark's body;
but this statue was not put up on the monolith until the year 1329.
These two great columns look across the water to the isle of S. Giorgio
Maggiore, where Palladio's great church stands in its chilly splendour.
Beyond are the lagoons and the open sea. The marble-paved landing-stage
on which they stand is from one point of view the most interesting part
of Venice. On it her great traders and merchants gathered when the
long-expected ships from the East came into sight; and as they swept
proudly up the channels and dropped anchor opposite, one can well
imagine the excitement of the thankful owners who would in a few minutes
go on board and learn of the success or failure of the long voyage just
ended.

The oldest part of Venice lies across the Rialto bridge, on the island
of Rivo Alto, where the fish and vegetable markets now are. As this
little town grew more prosperous a wooden bridge, replaced in 1588 by
the present one, was built to connect Rivo Alto with the island
opposite; and by degrees the seventy-two islands on which the city is
built became absorbed within her borders. It must never be forgotten
that Venice, until connected with the mainland by a railway bridge,
always faced the sea, which, as Grant Allen writes, was the front door.

Long before the Venice of Rivo Alto came into being, there was a
flourishing little city not many miles away on the island of Torcello.
At the time when Attila and his Huns descended on the Roman colony of
Aquileia and wrought devastation throughout that flourishing outpost of
the world's greatest city, many of the inhabitants, leaving their
desolate homes to the mercy of the invader, fled to the swamps and
islands at the estuaries of the rivers Po, Adige, and Brenta. Amidst
these dismal surroundings the greater number found refuge on the island
of Torcello. From Torcello the refugees in time pushed out to the
surrounding islands, and an important station was established on Rivo
Alto. Thus began Venice; and from this little island grew that great
Republic, the Mistress of the Seas, which down to the time of the French
Revolution had never seen a conquering host enter its waterways.

As early as 641 Torcello possessed a cathedral. This was rebuilt in 874,
and parts of the structure were later on incorporated into the building
which stands to-day just as it did when finished in the early eleventh
century by Bishop Orseolo. Its architectural interest lies in its being
an Italian church on strict Byzantine lines, and it is one of the
earliest examples of cultivated native art. Its exterior possesses the
simplicity of all early work and stands up like a great barrack, with
its _campanile_ a landmark for miles over the dreary waste of waters.
The interior is very austere and cold. The bays on either side of the
nave separate it from the aisles. The columns that support the round
arches are a light grey marble; the capitals, Corinthianized Byzantine.
The clerestory lights, which are placed just under the roof, are on the
south side only, those on the north having been blocked up at some
remote period. The south aisle is lit by narrow round-headed windows,
each of which has a great marble shutter slab on the outside still
swinging in its marble socket--a reminiscence of Ancient Rome, and one
that exists in the Roman butchers' shops of to-day. A rood-screen shuts
off the choir, the four panels of it facing the nave are particularly
fine examples of the art of the early eleventh century. The two centre
panels have each a couple of peacocks with necks outstretched feeding on
foliage; and in the two outer two lions are sculptured in perspective, a
rather unusual thing for so early a work. These panels support six
elegant columns, which in their turn hold a series of painted panels of
wood of the fourteenth century on which the Madonna and twelve Apostles
are represented. A very fine pulpit, with reading-desk below, is to the
north of the screen. It has an interesting bas-relief at the base,
reconstructed in the twelfth century.

Behind the high altar, under which rest the remains of S. Eliodorus, is
the tribune. This part of the church is unique. The apse is arranged in
eight semicircular rows of seats, occupied at one time by the lesser
clergy, in the centre of which, elevated to a position just under the
small eastern light, is the bishop's throne. The throne is approached by
a dozen steps separated from the rows of seats by a marble wall. The
seats in times gone by were white marble, but have been recently
restored and are now of brick. Despite their present warm colour, the
damp chilliness of this beautiful little church strikes a mournful note
hardly relieved by the flaring red brick, or the gorgeous tone of the
mosaics which cover the vaulting of the choir and apse.

In the semi-dome of the apse a dignified Madonna and Child gaze serenely
below, with white-robed Apostles ranged round. The mosaics, however,
which cover the west wall are of greater artistic interest, being of the
ninth century. They illustrate the narrative of early Christian
tradition and are divided into five bands carrying out its ideas. The
marvellous tessellated floor of the cathedral has withstood, in a
wonderful manner, the damp and ravages of time, but, like that of S.
Mark's, is very uneven. There is an air of decay and long oblivion about
the whole building that nothing can efface.

Outside, and joined to the cathedral by a cloistered walk, is the church
of Sta. Fosca. Originally a basilica of the ninth century, this much
dilapidated little edifice was rebuilt in 1008 in the shape of a Greek
cross. A rotunda occupies the centre, inside which runs a grey pillared
arcade built to support a dome that was never constructed. There are
three apses; the middle one has two rows of blind arcading with
ornamental brickwork above. A brick loggia, covered with whitewash, is
outside, and connects with the cloister and the cathedral. Sta. Fosca
suffered martyrdom at Ravenna her native city, and her remains were
brought here, and this now damp ruinous little church built around them.

On the green grass of the little piazza, which one can hardly realise
was once the focus of a thriving city, stands an ancient stone chair
called "The Throne of Attila." It most probably was used at the
inauguration ceremony of Torcello's chief magistrates. A column of later
date is beside it, and behind them, occupying one side of this deserted
square, is the Palazzo del Commune, a building of the thirteenth
century, now used as the museum wherein are gathered all the relics of
Torcello's ancient glory that time unearths. As the gondola carries one
back to Venice it threads deserted canals, and passes under many a
bridge the voussoirs of which are the only remaining stones of
structures that spanned the water and connected the islands over which a
populous civilisation spread itself. Save for the "quack" of an
occasional duck hidden in the reeds of the marsh and the garrulity of
the gondolier all is silence and solitude. A vast sky above but adds to
the feeling of desolation, as, level with the water's edge, we skim
along. Who can tell whether Venice herself one day may not become what
fascinating though dreary Torcello now is!

[Illustration: S. FOSCA AND CATHEDRAL, TORCELLO]



RIMINI


It is not every visitor to Rome who, passing under the Porta del Popolo
and seeing in front a straight road with a row of squalid dwellings on
one side, knows that that road, the old Via Flaminia, terminates on the
Adriatic coast at far-off Rimini. This, the great highway out of Rome
northwards, enters Rimini under the noble Arch of Augustus, a very fine
gateway built of _travertine_. Passing through the market-place named
the Piazza Giulio Cesare--for here stands a pedestal with the legend
that from it Julius Cæsar harangued his troops after the crossing of the
Rubicon--it runs on and out of the city over the bridge that crosses the
river Marrecchia. This bridge, which was commenced during the reign of
Augustus and finished by Tiberius, is one of the best preserved in
Italy. Of its five arches, that in the centre has the greatest span, and
the two which flank it are a little larger than those at either end.
Traces of pediments may still be seen on its massive buttresses. The
parapet is capped by a rounded stone course. From the two central piers
inwards and over the arch this course is raised to a higher level than
on the remainder of the bridge. In summer a shallow little river
meanders in silvery threads over the pebbles which form the almost dry
bed of the stream, and finds its way under the arches into the harbour
half a mile beyond. In winter a rushing torrent has for centuries beaten
against the piers that the workmen of Augustus' time laid so well. The
road above, no longer the Via Flaminia but now the Via Æmilia, runs out
over the plain in a north-westerly direction to Rome's ancient colonies
in the province from which it derives its name. Many fragments and
columns, let into the walls and forming part of the building material of
the houses of Rimini, are evidence of its importance in the days of the
early emperors. Those were days when it formed with Pesaro, Fano,
Sinigallia and Ancona, the group known as the five "Maritime Cities,"
and was one of the Capital's great Adriatic ports. The sea is but a mile
off and the level sands of Rimini nowadays attract hundreds of summer
visitors who take advantage of their unrivalled bathing facilities.

The first bishop was appointed to Ariminium as early as 260, and
ninety-nine years later the celebrated council of the Arians and
Athanasians met to deliberate over their differences in the city. In
the sixteenth century, when it formed part of Otho III.'s empire, a
Malatesta was appointed viceroy of Le Marche, and the long connection of
this family with Rimini then commenced. The most renowned member of the
"Wrong-heads" was undoubtedly Sigismondo, a man of great ferocity of
disposition and licentious in his habits. Like many another bellicose
noble, Sigismondo had two sides to his nature, and whatever his faults,
it is to his credit that many of his leisure hours were spent in the
company of philosophers and men of pacific tastes. It is due to his
patronage of Art that the genius of Leo Battista Alberti, another
curious and complex product of the age, found scope in the great church
of S. Francesco. We owe to these two men--one the patron, the other the
architect--the best example of transition from Gothic to Renaissance
which Italy possesses.

The cathedral, a Gothic edifice dedicated to S. Francesco, was but one
hundred years old when Sigismondo set Alberti to work on its
transformation. Malatesta undoubtedly intended it to be the mausoleum of
his race, and that is what this most unecclesiastical building, which is
called the Tempio di Malatesta, is. The façade is extremely simple. It
is spaced out into three equal divisions. The centre is occupied by the
portal which has a good pediment and a round arch borne by highly
ornate pilasters. On either side are four Corinthian columns supporting
the three flat-membered arches of the façade. Over them is a broad
frieze. The bases of these columns stand on a very beautiful course
which is continued round the two sides of the Tempio. At intervals,
amidst finely-chiselled heraldic roses and little elephants, are
alternating shields bearing the I and S of Isotta and Sigismondo--initials
that are found in every available place throughout the building--and
the coat of arms of the Malatesta.

On the north and south sides of the building a grand row of seven broad
round arches, on massive rectangular piers, throws a deep shadow on to
the sarcophagi of the men who were Sigismondo's companions in his
peaceful hours. These sarcophagi are placed between the piers, well
above the spectator, on the basement which is built out from the brick
wall of the original Gothic cathedral. Like the façade, this grand
colonnade and its base are lined with white marble. Among the sarcophagi
is one which contains a trophy brought by Sigismondo from the East.

The civilisation of the Middle Ages produced a curious phase of religion
that showed itself not only in the Church, which distributed the bodies
of Christian martyrs all over the country and robbed the catacombs of
Rome for sacred relics in order that they might be adored in other
places, but also in the action of the great nobles, who, to gain a
little immortality, brought back from distant wars all they could lay
hands on that might redound to their heavenly credit. In the case of
Sigismondo it was, let us believe, a love of literature that prompted
the theft of the bones of the great Platonist, Gemisthus Pletho, and
placed them in the stone chest under one of Alberti's arches. There they
rest near those containing the remains of kindred natures whom the
warlike noble claimed as intimate friends.

The interior of the Tempio consists of a nave with side chapels and an
apsidal choir. The roof is good open woodwork. There are four chapels on
either side with the original pointed vault and groining. The Gothic
arches which open on to the nave are covered with classic ornament. The
spandrils are coloured green and are embossed with shields and a
splendid floral design. The wall spaces between each chapel, as well as
the west end, have a wonderful arrangement of very beautiful Corinthian
pilasters that rest on a sculptured frieze with a blue ground on which
are shields bearing the I and S. From this frieze depend floral festoons
on bands of green and red, with medallions of coloured marble beneath.
At the bases of the pilasters are figures holding shields. The whole of
this design is executed in a grey stone of the same colour as that in
the illustration. The piers of the arches of the two first chapels on
either side are enriched by figures of knights and dames; the third by
beautiful panels of nymphs and children carrying garlands, &c., on a
light blue ground reminiscent of the Della Robbia. The fourth chapel on
the south side has figures symbolical of the months of the year and the
signs of the Zodiac; while that on the north has figures of saints on
its piers, to which, instead of the usual classic bases, elephants of
black marble have been substituted. The first chapel south is dedicated
to S. Sigismondo, who sits on two of these great beasts. The Malatesta
crest is above the altar. On one wall are delicately carved figures of
angels drawing aside curtains from a crucifix; repeated on another,
where the angels in even better attitudes part the curtains from a small
closed window that looks into the Sanctuario. So delicately cut are
these beautiful figures that the art which produced them seems almost
plastic. The Sanctuario is closed and contains a fresco of Sigismondo
Malatesta kneeling before his patron saint. The next chapel appears in
the illustration. It is dedicated to S. Michele, whose figure above the
altar is supposed to be a portrait of Isotta. She is interred in the
tomb which the sketch shows. During the life of Sigismondo's two wives
she was his mistress, but at the death of the second he married her and
the record of their wedded life is a happy one. Her tomb is borne by
elephants on brackets and is surmounted by a knight's helm with the
Malatesta crest above.

[Illustration: ISOTTA'S TOMB IN THE CATHEDRAL, RIMINI]

The first chapel on the north side of the nave has a tomb placed high up
on the wall, which contains the remains of as many of Sigismondo's least
famous ancestors as he could lay hands on. The chapel is known as the
Capella dell' Acque from an ancient statue of the Madonna which
represents her as sending down rain. On the base of the pillars of this
chapel are portraits in low relief of Sigismondo. The low brow, hooked
nose, and cruel mouth tell one plainly that the sardonic expression of
the face does not belie the character of this extraordinary man. On the
wall to the right of the west door is his tomb, which, considering the
part he played in the history of his day, must be acknowledged as very
simple and plain.

The other chapels are full of the tombs of the illustrious members, male
and female, of the House of Malatesta.

Along the length of the nave in front of all these chapels runs a
splendid marble screen or balustrade. At every fourth pillar, on the
marble rail, stands a charming little cherub resting on a shield or
holding a bunch of flowers or basket of fruit. The screen of the last
chapel on each side is of red Verona marble and is perforated by the
elephant head of the Malatesta and gorgeously designed arabesques in
circles. From one end to the other the screens stand out from the
chapels into the nave, and are raised two steps above the red-tiled
floor. Such are some of the features which go to make the Tempio di
Malatesta one of the most extraordinary cathedrals in Italy.

There is little else to attract the visitor to Rimini, unless it be to
undertake a visit to the tiny Republic of S. Marino. A pleasant day's
excursion may be taken to this quaint little stretch of territory which
is so picturesquely situated on a spur of the Alban mountains a few
miles from the city.



FERRARA


At the foot of the Euganean hills, those hills which stand like
sentinels detached from the northern ramparts of Venetia, and guarding
the tract of country that stretches eastwards to the sea between Rovigo
and Venice, are the ruins of a castle--the Castello d'Este--whose lords
at one time played a prominent part in the history of Italy. Of Lombard
origin, these Margraves of Este had ruled the surrounding country for
three centuries prior to 1452, in which year Pope Paul III. created
Borso d'Este Duke of Ferrara, and the family, as long as it lasted, was
thenceforth inseparably connected with the subject of this chapter. More
honours were bestowed on Borso when the Emperor Frederick III. gave him
the titles of Duke of Modena and Reggio, and he held the domains of
those places as fiefs for his overlord. Borso's grandson Alphonso
married the notorious Lucrezia Borgia; but to Azzo d'Este, Margrave of
Este in the year 1110, belongs a greater claim to fame. Scion of a
junior branch of the Welfs or Guelphs he succeeded to the Duchy of
Bavaria on the death of his grandfather, the last male representative
of the elder branch of the family, and from his off-spring grew the
Guelph Houses of Hanover and Brunswick, from the former of which is
descended our own Royal line. In the sixteenth century the Court of
Ferrara was second to none in Europe for its patronage of the Arts and
Literature, and the House of Este will always be handed down to
posterity as one that did much to raise the culture of Italy to a very
high pitch.

In the centre of the city, surrounded by a moat and entered by two
bridges which span it, the great pile that Ferrara's rulers erected
stands haughtily four-square, with four immense towers at the corners.
Here in safety dwelt those mighty princes who brought renown to the city
that lay around and beyond; and here in a dungeon below the level of the
water, Duke Niccolo III. caused his wife and her paramour, who was one
of his own natural sons, to be put to death; a tragedy which gave Byron
his subject in the poem "Parisina." This huge fortress, like most of the
other buildings in Ferrara, is constructed of brick. Ferrara's streets
are wide, and though its palaces and houses do not rise to any great
height, the gardens behind them, enclosed by high walls, give an air of
spaciousness and aristocratic bearing that attest its former importance.
Most of these palaces and houses are decorated with beautifully moulded
brick or terra cotta courses; and the well-proportioned windows on their
flat street fronts create the impression of great space, which is the
chief characteristic of Ferrara. There is one important building,
however, which is constructed of stone, the Palazzo de' Diamanti, so
called from the peculiar facets of the material with which it is built.
Ferrara possessed a school of painting of its own, and it is in this
palace that the best examples have been placed. The great palace of the
Bentivoglio family, where many celebrities have lodged, has a heavy
stone cornice and baroque decoration on its vast brick sides. The Casa
di Ariosto, built by the poet himself in the years 1526-28, and in which
he died, with an inscription on its walls he composed, is another fine
house. The hospital of Sta Anna, a most beautiful red brick and terra
cotta building, has cloistered courts; and the cellar which was Tasso's
prison for five months until he was removed, still a prisoner, to a
better room, can be seen. In the _castello_ itself Calvin the reformer
found an asylum, befriended by Renée, the wife of Duke Ercole d'Este,
who paid forfeit for her temerity by being separated from husband and
children by a Papal Bull.

The Cathedral was begun in 1135, and its exterior belongs almost
entirely to that period. The west façade is a very good example of
Lombardo Gothic. It is divided into three equal portions each of which
is surmounted by a gable containing what was at one time a wheel window.
The central part has a good porch somewhat similar in design to the one
at Verona. The semicircular arch is borne by columns supported by two
dwarf figures bent double with the weight of their burden; they squat on
the backs of lions, one of which holds a bull and the other a ram
between its forepaws. Above this is an open gallery with very beautiful
twisted pillars and quatrefoil piercing in the three arches. In the
spandrils of these, and of earlier date, are bas-reliefs of the dead
rising from their tombs, and over them at the base of the canopy above
are reliefs of the Life of Our Saviour, the Virtues, the Vices and Seven
Mortal Sins, as well as the Day of Judgment. The two flanking parts of
the façade, one of which appears in the illustration, have each three
tiers of arcading. The lowest is composed of nine rounded arches with
four-sided columns grouped in triplets, which are enclosed by three
pointed arches. The next tier is of nine pointed arches; and over this
are four pointed arches deeply recessed. Following the line of the gable
is an extremely effective gallery of elegant double columns and pointed
arches, one of the great features of Pisan Gothic so prominent in
the churches of Lucca. Near the base of this wall in a curious pilgrim's
dress with a pleated skirt is the figure of Alberto d'Este.

[Illustration: THE CATHEDRAL, FERRARA]

The whole of the south wall has a double range of arches which very
pleasantly break the monotony of so vast a space of yellow brick. The
grand _campanile_ at the south east-corner was put up by Ercole II., and
is composed of four tiers of round arches on columns with Corinthian
capitals. The alternate bands of red and cream toned marble with which
the exterior is faced give a good decorative effect to this big tower.

The interior of the Cathedral has been modernised and painted to
represent carved stone. Whitewash, generally the alternative to painted
imitation of something substantial in construction, is perhaps
preferable to this form of deception as it does not really interfere
with the proportions of the architect's design. Here, however, the
really fine proportion of the interior is almost destroyed by the
obtrusive colours of the false marble walls, and the representation of
bosses and capitals. The semicircular choir by Rossette was built in
1499 and has a ceiling covered with a fresco of the Last Judgment by
Bastianino, who was one of Michael Angelo's favourite pupils. This
fresco contains portraits of many of the painter's friends who are
depicted in Heaven, while those with whom he was not on good terms are
enduring the tortures of another place.

In the piazza outside the Cathedral a market goes on all day long
throughout the year. It is difficult to analyse the feelings of folk who
in the bitterest of weather unfold their great umbrellas over the fruit
and vegetables exposed for sale. But so it is in Ferrara during November
when the accompanying sketch was made, and every morning sees a thick
coat of ice on the moat surrounding the castle. For although the good
people wrapped themselves in heavy cloaks and thick coats and shivered
over charcoal stoves, they still sat under their umbrellas. Habit breeds
custom and custom lasts for ages.

The old city walls afford a delightful promenade of four miles or more
in length. On one side, the town seems to be right in the middle of a
huge market garden above the trees of which long red roofs and towers
rise upwards. On the other, at this time of year, the last leaves from
rows of poplars and plane trees may be seen gently falling to the ground
in the tranquil frosty air, and when at rest forming a glorious carpet
of russet and orange. Great teams of oxen, six couple to a team, are
straining hard at the plough that cuts deep furrows in the stiff soil.
The trees have long ago been trimmed and the peasants now turn their
hands to the cutting of clay--that stiff clay through which the oxen
toil--for brick-making. Ice covers the water in the fosse, and although
the sun shines brilliantly and the malarial mosquito is no more for at
least eight months, one soon realises that Ferrara is better in the
spring than in late autumn.



RAVENNA


Ravenna is one of those ancient cities the origin of which is lost in
the mist of ages. It is, however, no guess work to say that in the days
before the first unknown settlers found their way to the spot which
became their permanent home, the fertile land in which it now lies
embowered was a vast waste of waters and salt marshes. The first
inhabitants of this dreary region drove piles into the mud, and erected
their dwellings on such foundations as these afforded. Wooden piles will
not last for ever, and the subsequent buildings that were put up, pulled
down and replaced, have accordingly suffered in stability. When the
march of Rome carried her legions north, Ravenna was encircled by a
seagirt wall, and a Roman colony was established which became in
Pompey's day a first-class naval station. Alive to the great strategic
value of the city the Emperor Augustus constructed a new and second
harbour capable of holding two hundred and fifty ships, which he named
Portus Classis. This he connected by a canal with one of the estuaries
of the river Po. Portus Classis lay three miles south of Ravenna, and
between the two there soon sprang up a connecting link, the town of
Cæsarea. The Emperor Honorius made Ravenna the capital of the West, and
both he and his celebrated sister Placidia resided there.

In 493 Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths, who had extended his conquests
southwards over the Alps, captured the city, and Ravenna then became the
capital of the Gothic kingdom. During his reign, a reign marked by
absolute religious toleration, Italy was at peace for thirty years.
Ravenna must have been at that time some miles from the coast. Jordanes,
the historian, has handed down the fact that its celebrated Pineta, or
Pine Forest, was in existence in Theodoric's day. Justinian, who drove
out the Goths with the help of Belisarius and Narses, left the
administration in the hands of the latter, who became the first Exarch.
The Exarchs of Ravenna practically governed the entire Italian kingdom;
even the Popes were subject to a rule which lasted one hundred and
eighty-five years. In 1512 the Italian war that followed the League of
Cambray brought a French army under Gaston le Foix into Romagna, and the
bloodiest battle ever fought on Italian soil took place not far from the
city; Gaston losing his life towards the close of the engagement at a
spot marked by an obelisk.

It is, however, in early Christian Art, nowhere so well exemplified as
in the mosaics of Ravenna, that interest is chiefly centred. More than
fourteen centuries have come and gone since the first of these wonderful
wall decorations were placed where they remain to-day. And though
Ravenna and its celebrated Pine Forest are inseparably connected with
the immortal Dante and the poet Byron, and though the sarcophagus and
tomb of the former, tucked away in a corner of a little piazza, draw
many a pilgrim to worship at his shrine, Ravenna lives in its mosaics
and will continue thus to live as long as the walls last on which they
are encrusted.

Theodoric's great basilica possesses one that is universally accepted as
the finest in the world, but the church of S. Vitale is enriched with
the most splendid of all. Close to S. Vitale is the mausoleum which
Honorius' sister, Galla Placidia, built in the form of a Latin cross for
herself and her husbands. In its way it is one of the most perfect gems
of good taste in mural decoration extant. The interior walls are lined
with rare marbles. The arch over the entrance has a mosaic of the Good
Shepherd and His Sheep in subdued greens and greys. The vault of the
first arm of the cross is covered with a most glorious blue ground out
of which shines a multitude of stars in white and gold; this leads the
eye in a perfect harmony of colour to the blue-green ground of the dome,
whereon the four Evangelists and their symbols are portrayed in white
and a dull red. The sarcophagus of the Empress still remains in the
recess beyond, and in the lateral arms of the cross are those of her
brother Honorius and her second husband Constantius III. These three
stand exactly in the same places as they did fourteen hundred years ago.
The mosaic above Placidia's tomb represents Our Lord with an open book
in one hand and a cross in the other. In the centre is a gridiron
towards which He proceeds. On the left side a sort of tomb or cupboard
stands open disclosing on its shelves the bodies of the four
Evangelists, their names being written beneath each body.

In the other recesses stags are seen drinking at fountains, and birds
and arabesques cover the beautiful _tesseræ_ groundwork. The soffits of
all the windows, which are filled with thin slabs of alabaster, are
adorned by a deep red, and a black and white pattern on a gold ground.

[Illustration: RAVENNA]

S. Vitale, the building to the right in the sketch, was erected in the
reign of Justinian by Archbishop Ecclesius on the spot where S. Vitalis
suffered martyrdom. Like most of the early buildings of Ravenna it has
suffered from the nature of the ground on which it stands, and is
buttressed up and held together by great iron ties and clamps. The
interior is a vast circle with a domed roof supported by eight arches
and the same number of piers, between which are semicircular two-storied
recesses. These are divided by three arches with plain columns that have
double capitals. A circular aisle extends round the lower part of the
church carrying a gallery above. The brick walls, against which are
placed many ancient sarcophagi, were originally covered with slabs of
marble, and as S. Vitale and most of Ravenna's other churches are now
_monumentali nazionale_ it is to be hoped that marble may some day once
more line this effective interior.

The superb mosaics on the vault of the Choir and Tribune are of the
sixth century, and as fresh to-day as when first put up. The semi-dome
of the apse has a fine gold ground on which the Almighty is enthroned on
a globe with Archangels around. Above them float crimson and blue
clouds. He gives to S. Vitalis, who stands at His right hand, the crown
of martyrdom; on His left is S. Eutychius offering a model of the
church. The vault of the Tribune itself is decorated with one of the
most gorgeous arrangements of colour in arabesques and birds that could
be imagined. On one wall is a fine mosaic of Justinian surrounded by
courtiers, and S. Maximianus with two accompanying priests. The
Emperor's robe is deep purple embroidered with gold and mother-of-pearl,
those that the others wear are white and gold with coloured edging. On
the opposite wall is the Empress Theodora attended by the ladies of her
court. Here again the costumes give a fine colour note, and the
expressions on the different faces, which are very Eastern in type, are
remarkable. A curtain forms part of the background of this mosaic, and
is, curiously enough, green, white and red, the Italian colours of the
present day. On the arch are half-lengths of our Saviour and the twelve
Apostles, and the two martyred sons of S. Vitalis, SS. Gervasius and
Protasius whose remains rest in the church of S. Ambrogio in Milan.

All the angles of the mosaics are rounded off as in S. Mark's at Venice
and elsewhere. But in S. Vitale they are patterned with bands of
distinct colours, and do not interfere with the general effect as they
do in S. Mark's, where the brilliant gold catches the light and
accentuates the angle. The whole colour scheme of the decoration is
green and white relieved by a dull purple, black and deep red set on a
rich dull golden ground. However much one admires the later mosaics of
Venice and Torcello, Palermo and Monreale, the palm for beautiful colour
must be awarded to the glorious art of Ravenna.

At the bases of the columns in the Choir stand the celebrated pagan
bas-reliefs called the "Throne of Neptune." In both, a sea-monster lies
extended beneath the throne of the god. That on the right has a winged
figure holding a trident; in the other, two figures bear a huge conch
shell. Sea-horses, dolphins and shells, crowded in between Corinthian
pilasters, form the lower panels which two nude boys bear on their
shoulders staggering under the heavy weight.

Ravenna's cathedral contains nothing of any architectural interest, as
it was rebuilt in the bad period of the eighteenth century. The original
edifice, which was erected by S. Ursus in the fourth century, was known
as the "Basilica Ursiana." The Archbishop's Palace adjoins the east end,
and in it is one of Ravenna's earliest places of Christian worship. The
little chapel to which we refer was probably built about 430 and was the
work of Peter Chrysologos. With the exception of painted restorations to
some of its frescoes it is to-day just as it was when the decorators
left it more than fourteen hundred years ago. In the vestibule leading
to the chapel one may see the ivory throne of S. Maximianus. This fine
specimen of sixth-century art is covered with little ivory panels on
which bas-reliefs tell the history of Joseph. In front of the seat are
the Saint's monogram, the panels beneath representing the favourite
theme of our Lord as a shepherd amidst his sheep, with the four
Evangelists attendant. The four legs of the throne appear to be solid
ivory; those at the back go right up to the top and must at one time
have been splendid tusks.

To the north of the Cathedral is the Baptistery. The mosaics of the
fifth century which line the interior are in a very light key of colour,
the scheme employed being light blue, white and gold. Situated between
the eight arches of the octagon are sixteen bas-reliefs of the prophets
executed in a cream-coloured marble. The arches themselves are composed
of two members, one within the other, the outer of which is gold edged
with white; and the inner has a remarkably fine quality of blue
_tesseræ_. In the centre of the dome S. John is seen baptizing our
Saviour, who stands in the waters of Jordan surrounded by the twelve
Apostles. The font, which stands on a fine inverted Corinthian capital,
was at one time a vase in the Temple of Jupiter. This Temple was
situated on the site of the Baptistery, and eight of its columns form
the support of the octagon arches.

The cathedral, which is the church with a dome in the illustration,
possesses one of the round towers peculiar to Ravenna. The date of these
towers is uncertain, but is probably the eleventh or twelfth century.
Insecure foundations have caused most of them to tilt to one side--note
the angle of the Torre del Pubblico in the sketch--and necessitated a
great deal of restoration.

Theodoric erected his palace and the basilica which adjoins, in the wide
thoroughfare that runs north and south from the Porta Serrata to the
Porta Nuova. Very little, if anything, remains of the first-named
building. And judging from the Romanesque features of a brick colonnade
and the portion of a sometime large dwelling that stands behind it, it
is very doubtful whether any of the original palace exists. We have it
on record, too, that Charles the Great carried off the marble columns of
Theodoric's building to adorn his own palace in Aachen; and, as he did
this, there is every probability that he took other material as well.
But, if we have nothing left of the Gothic king's residence, we have his
grand Arian basilica intact. Theodoric dedicated his church to S.
Martin, but when the body of S. Apollinaris was deposited in it, a
rededication to him took place. S. Apollinare Nuovo, as it has since
been called in contradistinction to the other basilica at Classis, is
famous throughout Christendom; famous for the finest mosaic in the
world. On the north wall, in the blank space where the triforium might
be, facing the sun, the Virgin is seen seated on an orange coloured
cushion which rests upon a throne. She holds in her lap the Child. Two
angels stand on either side. Their robes are white, hers is deep purple
fringed with gold and sparkling jewels. Advancing towards her are the
Three Kings of the East, whose names appear above each, Melchior, Gaspar
and Balthassar. In their hands are silver vessels. The first angel holds
his out to receive them. Beyond the kings, in a row, twenty-two virgins
come bearing crowns. They are garbed in light purple with white veils;
round their waists are bejewelled belts. The expression on the face of
each is different, and each is in a slightly different attitude; one is
accompanied by a little white dog. They tread lightly on the green sward
from which many little flowers lift their humble heads. Between each a
palm-tree grows with spreading leaves and clustering dates. It is a
wonderful procession. The eagerness and haste of the Three Kings, the
dignified and stately rhythm of the slowly pacing Virgins are so well
realised, that, although there is no idea of anything but flat
decoration in the rendering, a feeling of continuous motion holds one
throughout. In the darkened corner at the west end of the mosaic
are the walls of the City of Classis. The golden _tesseræ_ of these
walls are so dark and frowning that they might almost be called brown.
Brown they appear to be, but this is because, through an arched opening,
three ships with white sails come gliding into port over the cærulean
blue of the sea. The eye is thus carried along the whole length of the
mosaic without a single jarring note. From the white angels at one end
to the white sails at the other, it travels along with a consciousness
of repose, and one feels instinctively that one is in the presence of a
masterpiece.

[Illustration: S. APOLLINARE NUOVO, RAVENNA]

On the opposite wall, occupying the same position as Classis, are the
city of Ravenna and the palace of Theodoric. Corresponding with the two
and twenty virgins are figures of twenty-five saints clad in white--save
one--and all bearing crowns. Our Saviour, seated between four angels,
gives His benediction to the saints, who advance towards Him. The first,
in a violet robe, is S. Martinus, the patron of the Church when the
sound of the Arian creed filled its aisles. Above both these mosaics are
round-headed clerestory windows with saints and prophets in the panels
between. The ancient marble throne of the Arian bishops still exists in
a little chapel in the north aisle; and here also are some relics of S.
Apollinaris.

One of the architectural features of Ravenna's churches may be seen in
the double capitals of the columns, which give them a sort of stilt, a
peculiarity which does not prevail in churches elsewhere of the same
date--the fifth and sixth centuries. Into these two centuries were
crowded the great architectural works and their interior decorations
that have made Ravenna famous. But it is sad to think that the names of
those whose genius found scope on their walls, if ever recorded, have
been lost.

The other great basilica, dedicated to S. Apollinaris, S. Apollinare in
Classe, stands in solemn loneliness some three miles south of the city.
Of Augustus' great port this church, emblem of stability, alone remains.
Its round _campanile_ towers up over the swampy meadows and uninhabited
district that seem given up entirely to the sky and winds. An atrium,
now reduced to a portico, stood at one time in front of the façade, but
there is nothing to attract one in the barn-like exterior of the
building save the glamour attached to its history, which is accentuated
by the dreary desolation around.

Inside, the nave is divided by twelve round arches on each side; these
are supported by columns of _cipollino_ marble. The Byzantine capitals,
as in S. Apollinare in Nuovo, are surmounted by an impost with a cross
in relief. A fine flight of steps leads up to the High Altar, Choir and
Tribune. The crypt is beneath. The floor of the nave, which slopes
upwards towards the east, is four feet above the original, which was
partly covered with mosaic. A temple of Apollo stood on the site before
the church was erected in the year 534, and this older floor may be part
of the pagan building.

The mosaics of the Choir and Tribune were undergoing restoration at the
time when this was written, but although partly covered up enough was
visible to show that in the semi-dome of the apse a large golden cross,
with a representation of the Almighty's Head in the centre, occupied the
middle of a very brilliant blue circle. The soffit of the arch of the
Choir has a blue ground covered with multi-coloured birds and
arabesques.

Amongst other of Ravenna's churches the modernised basilica of S.
Francesco, the church contiguous to Dante's tomb, contains some ancient
sarcophagi and the finest tomb slab in Italy. This is now out of danger
and has been placed on the west wall of the nave. It originally covered
the remains of Ostasio da Polenta, Lord of Ravenna. He is represented in
the garb of a Franciscan friar and lies outstretched, with beautifully
modelled hands and face, under a very rich Gothic canopy. The Polenta
family were the first to befriend the great poet when he sought refuge
here from Florence.

Adjoining the back premises of one of the hotels is the old Arian
baptistery, now the oratory of Sta. Maria in Cosmedin. It was here that
the first Christian baptism in Ravenna took place. The church of S.
Spirito built by Theodoric opens on to the same courtyard; but, next to
the Gothic king's great basilica, the most interesting building
connected with his name is that which is situated half a mile outside
the Porta Serrata.

A pleasant avenue with well-kept rose beds leads one on towards a
circular building of grey Istrian limestone, which is covered with a
dome of the same material, and we are in the presence of the tomb which
Theodoric erected as the resting-place for his mortal remains. We do not
see it now as it was when the great king's bones reposed in a
sarcophagus within. To the Church of Rome Theodoric was a heretic, and
when the Goths were driven out of Ravenna and the Arian ritual was heard
no more, the Church ordered the sarcophagus to be broken up, and the
ashes of him who was tolerant to all creeds to be scattered to the
winds. The tomb was despoiled of its ornaments, and consecrated and used
as a chapel. Even now it is sublime in its simplicity, and grand in its
massive construction. Its plan is a rotunda resting on a decagonal lower
chamber, each side of which is recessed and arched by great blocks of
limestone set as the Etruscans set the roofs of their tombs. Rising in
two storeys from the ground, which is six feet below the present level
of the surrounding orchards, its dome is barely visible above the tops
of the fruit trees. The lower storey rests on a platform of stone. Its
pavement is always under a few inches of water. The upper storey is
reached by two flights of steps which, built outside, give entrance to
the sepulchral chamber from a gallery or platform that circulates round
the exterior. This gallery formed at one time a portico. The shafts and
bases of the colonnade were found buried in the ground when the last
restoration took place in 1857. A massive cornice with a circular
pattern is on the wall above, and the empty sockets placed at regular
intervals, which one sees below it, presumably held the stone that
formed the roof. The dome is one huge block of stone estimated to weigh
two hundred tons. On its exterior, close to the edge, are a dozen
perforated projections. It is thought that these were used as handles
when the mass was put into position. The summit is flat, and on it at
one time a statue may have stood. Simplicity is almost always one of the
characteristics of the great, and the mausoleum which he erected was
worthy, in its strength and plainness, of Theodoric the Goth.



BOLOGNA


The traveller in Italy must often have noticed the difference in the
shape of the battlements that nowadays add so much to the
picturesqueness of old towers and half-ruined fortress walls. No doubt
he has heard the term "Guelph" or "Ghibelline" applied to them. It is
supposed that "Welf" and "Waiblingen" were first used in Germany as
battle-cries at the conflict of Weinsberg in 1140. When the struggle for
the imperial throne between Philip of Swabia and Otto of Brunswick was
hanging in the balance, the sympathies of Brescia, Milan, and other
Lombard cities were enlisted on the side of Otto the Welf. In the
subsequent feuds between the Pope's party and the Emperor's it became a
necessity for the inhabitants of the cities of the northern part of the
peninsula, if they wished to exist at all, to favour either one side or
the other. The Guelph party were for the Pope, and the Ghibelline were
partisans of the Emperor. And thus we find in the history of most of
these towns an espousal, as policy dictated, of the Pope's cause at one
time, and of the Emperor's some decades later. This apparent
inconsistency was the outcome of family feuds within the city walls. For
a term of years the Guelphic nobles might be in the ascendant, until, on
the death or murder of a leading member, they succumbed to the prowess
of the imperial party. The great families that pinned their faith to the
ascendency of the latter adopted the swallow-tailed battlement on the
towers of their castle walls, to distinguish them from the square-shaped
that were already in existence. Italy throughout the middle ages was
torn by internecine strife which was reflected throughout every class of
society, and the subject of this chapter was no exception. Owning
allegiance to the Pope, the Bolognese overran Romagna and forced the
towns of that province to declare for the Church. In 1249 they defeated
the Modenese at Fossalto and took King Enzio prisoner. For
two-and-twenty years--in fact, for the rest of his life--they kept the
unhappy man confined in the Palace of the Podestà, treated however, as
we should treat a first-class misdemeanant, and according to his rank.
The long-drawn-out feuds of the Lambertazzi and Gieremei families, and
later on those between the great Visconti and Bentivoglio, kept the
Bolognese in a perpetual state of faction fights, which lasted until the
warlike Pontiff Julius II. annexed the city to the States of the
Church.

To go back to its earliest days, we learn that the Etruscan king,
Felsina, founded a city in 984 B.C. where Bologna now stands. He gave it
his own name, and made it the chief of his twelve Etruscan cities.
Bologna can thus, with legitimate pride, point to a history approaching
three thousand years. We find it to-day a typical modern place, with
just enough of the middle ages left to make it one of the most desirable
of all North Italian cities. It possesses hardly a street which is not
arcaded; and the thought arises: "How admirably adapted for street
fighting were these sheltered walks in the days when one half of the
town was at strife with the other!" In the oldest parts of the city the
streets are tortuous and narrow. Arcades in such streets would be just
the very best cover for raiders to steal along at night; and such must
have been the terror of the inhabitants during centuries of discord that
there is scarcely a house which has any windows opening into the
arcades, and those that do are heavily barred. Walking through these
streets, silent witnesses of bloody feuds and severe fights, one cannot
suppress the feeling that the old quarters of Bologna are full of
mystery, and it does not require much imagination to see the Visconti
party creeping along in the shadowed ways for an attack on their
hereditary foes, the Bentivoglio.

So much for the thoughts awakened by Bologna's narrow thoroughfares.
Its chief open square is the Piazza Maggiore, as fine an old Italian
square as can be found anywhere. The celebrated Fontana de Nettuno is in
the centre. A nude bronze statue of the god by Giovanni da Bologna
stands eight feet high, in a somewhat repellent attitude, above the
pedestal and basin. It is always the centre of a lounging crowd which
throngs the square throughout the day. On the west side of the Piazza is
the Palazzo Pubblico, with a façade that still retains, despite
restoration, traces of eight elegant pointed windows. A figure of the
Virgin in terra-cotta, once gilded, stands under a good canopy high up
on the empty space of the great wall of the façade. These comparatively
empty wall spaces are a feature of Bolognese architecture of the
thirteenth century. Pierced by a few windows, they give a great idea of
solidity and strength; and though one finds the same character in the
palaces of Tuscan cities, it is not so prominent there as in the big
buildings of Bologna. An immense entrance gateway opens into a
courtyard, and from this a very fine staircase by Bramante leads up to
the interior. In a smaller court beyond is a very beautiful cistern by
Terribilia. The Hall of Hercules, so called from the colossal statue by
Alfonso Lombardo, vies with the Sala Farnese in splendour. Up to the
year 1848 the palace was the residence of the Legate and the Senator.
The lower portion is now the chief post office of the city.

On the north side of the Piazza is the Palazzo del Podestà. It is a
building that was begun at the commencement of the thirteenth century,
but not until the year 1485 was the façade erected. Of magnificent
proportions, it is chiefly famous as the prison of King Enzio. The great
saloon is still called the Sala del Re Enzio, and among other
vicissitudes was at one time a theatre, and at another the court in
which the national game of _pallone_ was played. A solid-looking and
lofty tower, the Torrazzo dell' Aringo, rises at one end of the façade
above the arcades. On the piers which carry the arches of these may
still be seen the huge wrought-iron brackets, the rings, and the sockets
for supporting banner poles and holding lighted torches.

Along the east side of this part of the Piazza which is =L=-shaped, is the
Portico de' Banchi, a continuous arcade, extending beyond the limits of
the square the whole length of Bologna's great church. This, the church
that the Bolognese in their pride intended should be the largest in
Italy, has not been completed beyond the commencement of the transepts.
The nave and aisles alone are finished; they are three hundred and
eighty-four feet long, and the width, including the chapels, measures
one hundred and fifty. The building is proportionately high, and, as
will be seen in the illustration, is very spacious. It was commenced in
1390 and dedicated to S. Petronio. The architect, Antonio Vincenzi, was
one of the celebrated _Riformati_, and went as ambassador to the
Venetian Republic in 1396.

The Piazza Maggiore slopes downwards from the south. S. Petronio is
situated at its southern end, and orientates south by west. The façade
therefore faces north-east, and for the construction of a level floor
the great church is placed at this end some dozen steps above the
sloping Piazza. In the museum attached to S. Petronio there may be seen
the original designs, elevations, and a model of the finished structure.
Had funds permitted, this façade, placed so well, and with such
magnificent buildings surrounding it, would have been one of the best
Italian attempts to realise a Gothic church. As it is, it is a grand
scheme unfulfilled.

The lower portion of the façade is extremely good, the three canopied
doorways being pure Italian Gothic. They are adorned with bas-reliefs
which represent different scriptural events from the Creation onwards.
Tribolo, an intimate friend of Benvenuto Cellini, was responsible for
the beautiful angels and sibyls round the arch of that on the left
hand. The fine bas-relief of the Resurrection in the lunette, where
Christ is seen among sleeping soldiers, is by Alfonso Lombardi. The
central portal is considered the masterpiece of Jacopo della Quercia,
who was not overpaid by the three thousand golden florins he received
for the work, considering that it took him twelve years to complete. His
noble figure of the Almighty, surrounded by thirty-two patriarchs and
prophets, is extremely fine. The right-hand doorway is another example
of Tribolo's purity of style. The brickwork of the exterior is covered,
round the whole church at the base, by a very fine base-table of white
marble with good mouldings. In the model the entire brick surface is
hidden by the same material. The buttresses are good, and so are the
pointed windows of the aisles, some of which, by the way, contain good
glass.

The interior is very lofty and expansive. Twelve immense piers carry the
arches of the nave, twenty-four smaller ones those of the aisles. The
height of all these may be judged from the illustration, wherein also
the peculiar Italian Gothic capital is seen. Milan's great cathedral and
S. Anastasia in Verona are other specimens of the same style of capital.
They appear to be stuck on to the columns, of which they seem to form a
part, rather than a separate cap for the arches to rest on. One hardly
knows how this particular style grew or where it emanated, but it is not
unlike the palm-leaf capital of an Egyptian column. The aisles are
rather shallow for the width of the nave. The side chapels are shut off
from them by good metal grilles or beautiful marble screens. Four very
ancient black pillars with crosses engraved stand against four of the
aisle piers. They are supposed to have been placed at the gates of old
Bologna by S. Petronio himself, and are much venerated by the Bolognese.
On the floor of the church is traced the celebrated meridian line of
Gian Domenico Cassini. Under the immense canopy which stands over the
high altar Charles V. was crowned in 1530 by Pope Clement VII. The
Emperor had been invited to Italy by the last of the Ducal House of
Sforza, and with his coronation commenced the foreign occupation of
North Italy.

Bologna's cathedral is dedicated to S. Pietro. It is situated in the Via
dell' Indipendenza, but is so wedged in between the high buildings which
adjoin it on both sides that it is difficult to find. S. Pietro is a
huge barn-like edifice commenced in the bad period of 1605. It is a very
ancient foundation with no redeeming architectural features. The most
interesting thing it contains is Ludovico Carracci's celebrated
"Annunciation." After the scaffolding had been removed on the
completion of the work which is over the arch above the high altar,
Carracci discovered some bad drawing in one of the figures. He died soon
after this--from grief, so the story goes, as the authorities would not
permit him to re-erect it at his own cost and remedy the defect.

[Illustration: INTERIOR OF S. PETRONIO, BOLOGNA]

The church of S. Stefano, or rather the seven different edifices which
are thus named, occupies the site of a temple of Isis. It stands below
the level of the little Piazza de S. Stefano, and on its exterior wall
is one of the open-air pulpits not uncommon in Italy. The first church,
called Il Crocifisso, is of the sixteenth century and not interesting.
From a door in the north wall one goes down half a dozen steps into the
second church of the Santo Sepolcro. This is a circular building,
supposed to have been the old baptistery. Twelve columns, brick and
marble alternating, support a good Romanesque gallery under the dome.
The six marble shafts came from the pagan temple. In the centre is a
grand altar-pulpit, which has a stairway leading up on either side.
Under the altar is an urn which at one time held the remains of S.
Petronio. On the stone floor a shutter of iron covers the well that
possesses miraculous properties, these having been imparted to it by the
saint. The church dates from the tenth century. An iron grille in one of
the walls shuts off the oldest church of all, a basilica of the fourth
century. It is dedicated to SS. Paolo e Pietro. Forty-eight columns with
Byzantine and Greek capitals support the brick barrel vault of the nave.
This is dimly lighted by small round clerestory windows. The altar
stands in the tribune at the top of much-worn limestone steps. This also
has a brick vault. At the end of the narrow aisles are the sarcophagi of
S. Agricola and S. Vitalis--Bologna's S. Vitalis. The next church, if it
may be so called, is formed by the small court known as the Atrio di
Pilato. It has never been touched since the eleventh century, and
contains a very ancient font. Down more steps is the church of the
Confessio. This old crypt must be a good twenty feet below the level
outside. The quadripartite vaulting is borne by thick stunted columns
that are barely five feet high, though one is said to be the exact
height of Christ. It is very dark, and dates from the tenth century. The
sixth church is the passage which leads to the seventh and last, that of
the Trinity. Four rows of columns with Byzantine and Romanesque capitals
support the roof of this square building. In one of the chapels, in a
galleried niche, there is an extraordinary life-sized wooden group of
the Adoration of the Magi. Mary wears a crown of brass studded with
uncut stones. On the Child's head is a mitre of the same. The
expressive faces of the Three Kings, who bring offerings, are extremely
naïve. The first wears the conical hat of the ancient shepherds of the
hills of Venetia that one still comes across in out-of-the-way
districts.

The adjoining cloisters of the suppressed Celestine monastery are
remarkable in the solidity of the short pillars, not four feet high,
which form the lower colonnade. These are in absolute contradistinction
to the elegant double shafts of the upper gallery. The brickwork
throughout the whole of S. Stefano is very good. Concentric patterns,
squares, chequer work where small squares of marble and glazed tiles
have been introduced, diamonds, and oblongs are arranged in a perfect
harmony of design the like of which one cannot find in Italy. The
exterior of S. Sepolcro is, in this respect, unsurpassed.

Bologna's university is one of the oldest in Italy, and the first in
which academical degrees were conferred. It was founded in 1119 by
Irnerius. Numerous schools were established in the West after Byzantine
authority had faded away. Among the first was that of Bologna, where
Pepo began to expound the law in 1075. Irnerius followed him
five-and-twenty years later and introduced the Justinian code. His
followers became known as Glossatori, a word derived from the Greek
γλὡσσα, originally meaning a _tongue_. The last of these
glossators was Accursius, who compiled the _glossæ_ known as the "Glossa
ordinaria," a work which soon became the acknowledged authority. The
visitor who wanders through the city and finds himself in the
market-square will there see outside the church of S. Francesco three
canopied tombs. The sarcophagi which rest on a platform borne by pillars
are those of three Glossatori, and one of them contains the remains of
Accursius. The canopies of these tombs are covered with green tiles. S.
Francesco is a fine Gothic church with two elegant _campanili_. It is
undergoing extensive restoration, and, though of some architectural
interest, does not compare in other ways with that of S. Domenico.

This church, wherein repose the remains of the founder of the Order of
Preaching Friars or Dominicans, was begun with the intention of
following the prevailing fashion of the day and constructing another
Gothic fabric. Except for the pointed windows in some of the chapels, S.
Domenico bears no traces of this intention. The interior of white
marble, in a medley of styles in which poor Renaissance predominates, is
very cold. The exterior has a very heavy frieze of white marble; the
commencement of its outer covering carried no further than this. It is
seen in the sketch, which also shows the canopied tomb of the
learned jurist, Rolandino Passageri, who was selected by the city to
frame the reply to the letter in which the Emperor Frederick II.
demanded the release of his illegitimate son Enzio. In the church lie
Guido Reni, whose tomb is in the chapel shown with the heavy frieze, and
his talented fellow-artist Elisabetta Sirani, King Enzio, Taddeo Pepoli,
Captain of the People in 1334, and the great S. Dominick.

[Illustration: S. DOMENICO, BOLOGNA]

Born in Old Castile in 1170, S. Dominick was ordained priest in 1198.
His fiery zeal against "heretics" and his extraordinary preaching powers
soon brought him into great prominence. He was instrumental in
establishing courts for trial and punishment of obstinate "heretics."
The commissioners, who were invested with a jurisdiction that gave them
powers of torture, and life and death, were known as "Inquisitors," and
their conclaves paved the way for the dreaded Inquisition. S. Dominick's
tomb is one of the finest in North Italy. It is one of the earliest
works that the genius of Niccolò Pisano produced, having been completed
thirty years before his masterpiece at Pisa was begun. A magnificent
iron grille separates the chapel from the nave. On the top rail are four
very charming little figures in bronze of saints. The tomb is adorned by
bas-reliefs illustrating the chief events in the life of the saint.
Below these is a very delicately carved set of smaller ones by Alfonso
Lombardi, which form a sort of _predella_, and are nearly three hundred
years later. The urn which contains the saint's remains is behind the
upper set. A small statue of S. Petronio in front is by Michael Angelo,
and the best of the beautiful little angels at the corners claims the
same hand as its sculptor. Cherubs at the top of the monument hold two
very heavy festoons of flowers, which somewhat mar the fine composition
of the whole. From this it is evident that the exuberance of Pisano's
youth had yet to learn the reticence which comes with age.

No description of Bologna would be complete without mention of its
wonderful towers. The graceful Torre Asinelli rises to a height of three
hundred and twenty-one feet, and, although nearly four feet out of the
perpendicular, tapers upwards so imperceptibly that the inclination is
not noticeable. Close by it stands the Torre Garisenda, built by the two
brothers Garisenda. It leans ten feet in one direction and three in
another, and rises to a height of one hundred and sixty feet. Although
the guide-books tell one it was thus constructed, it has undoubtedly
sunk into its position, as the different stages inside slope with the
inclination of the tower. These two are not the only towers of Bologna,
but, being situated in the centre of the oldest quarters of the city,
are those that are best known.



PARMA


Parma is very much like any other of the smaller cities of Italy. It can
however boast of a prehistoric lake-dwelling settlement, unearthed in
1864, and a still later, though very early origin as an Etruscan colony.
To-day it is a bright little place pleasantly situated on the broad
stream that gave it its name. If it were not, however, for its
cathedral, its ancient baptistery, and its inseparable connection with
the art of Correggio, there would be but little to interest the stranger
or even call for a halt at its railway station. Four bridges span the
river Parma, and from each the blue line of the Apennines may be seen
stretching away over the tops of the orchards until lost in the distant
haze. The old Roman road, the Via Æmilia, which we have already seen
started out of Rimini, bisects Parma from east to west, and crosses the
river by a fine old bridge, the Ponte de Mezzo. This is the only
structure of the four which can lay claim to any age. It has a narrow
roadway inclining up to the centre with high parapets on either side,
and partakes very much of the character of a Roman edifice. Except for
a few inscribed slabs there is nothing of any consequence left to remind
one that the pleasant little city of to-day was once a flourishing
colony of Imperial Rome. In the Guelph and Ghibelline feuds it espoused
the Pope's cause and successfully withstood a siege by Frederick II. In
1341 it came into the hands of the Visconti, Dukes of Milan, and was
associated with that duchy for two hundred years. Pope Julius II.
incorporated it with the Papal States, and thirty years after this the
reigning Pope, Paul III., gave it to his natural son Pietro Luigi
Farnese. This family supplied seven dukes to Parma where they reigned
until the male line became extinct in the year 1731. The Bourbons came
into possession of the duchy through Marie Louise, and with the
assassination in the public thoroughfare of Duke Charles III., its
history may be said to have come to an end.

The cathedral and baptistery, with the ecclesiastical buildings which
form the square in which they stand, make a group of much interest. The
first named is a very fine example of Romanesque work. It was commenced
in 1058, but not consecrated until fifty years later, nor really
completed till the middle of the thirteenth century. The façade is
however entirely the original design.

[Illustration: THE CATHEDRAL AND BAPTISTERY, PARMA]

Two rows of arcades traverse its length; the lower is on a level with
and carried through the upper portion of the central porch. A third
follows the line of the gable under a heavy cornice. The porch is
similar to the one illustrated of Verona's cathedral. Two colossal lions
bear the burden of the double canopies and were the work of Bono da
Bisone. The sun is sculptured on the keystone of the arch, and in the
soffits the months are illustrated by a series of reliefs of
agricultural pursuits, as in S. Mark's at Venice. A good many Roman
tablets have been used as decoration and for building material along the
whole façade. Two other doors, as well as the central portal, give
entrance to the church. The only other feature of the exterior worth
mention is the beautiful red brick _campanile_ with its green tiled
spire.

The first impression one receives of the interior is that of extreme
solemnity and great majesty. It never wears off. The high altar, a blaze
of silver and gilt, stands well placed eighteen steps above the nave.
The transepts also are thus situated, and there is enough length in the
seven bays that separate the aisles from the nave to put the choir well
back from the spectator as he enters at the west door. From the high
altar the eye instinctively travels upwards to the spandrils in the drum
of the dome where part of Correggio's grand frescoes are seen. The
fourteen fluted columns of the nave are quadrangular. Seven have
Corinthian capitals and seven are Romanesque with traces of Byzantine
origin in the figures, beasts and birds which form the volutes. Some of
these are peacocks with curling outstretched necks; others are the heads
and upper limbs of human figures. The triforium gallery has elegant
pillars in pairs, that support round arches. The clerestory is placed
very high. The vaulting of the nave is peculiar, it is elliptical. The
whole of the walls are covered with frescoes by Lattanzio Gambara and
Girolamo Mazzuola, who was a pupil of Parmigianino. A frieze is above
the capitals of the fluted pilasters that support the arch of the choir
and runs on into the transepts. It is symbolical of the strength of the
Church. Lions are seen here hunting antelopes, deer, and other animals;
that is, the Church is chasing away all evil doers.

The crypt under the choir is architecturally interesting, as it shows in
some of the capitals of its thirty-eight columns the evolution from pure
Byzantine to Lombardo-Romanesque work. But perhaps it will be the
frescoes in the dome that draw visitors to this fine church rather than
its architectural features. In the decoration of this Correggio
surpassed himself in his mastery of _chiaroscuro_ and the foreshortening
of the human figure. The "Assumption of the Virgin," though very
adversely criticised when finished, and now greatly injured by damp and
neglect, is still one of the grandest paintings of its sort extant.

Almost adjoining the south-west corner of the cathedral, and built on
sloping ground, stands Parma's celebrated baptistery. It was begun in
the year 1196, from designs by Benedetto Antelami. The construction was
for many years very spasmodic, and wholly ceased when the bloodthirsty
Ezzelino da Romana governed North Italy for Frederick II. in the
thirteenth century, and forbade the inhabitants to quarry any more
marble. At his death it was pushed on, and in the end finished towards
the close of that century, a date which accounts for the pointed arches
at the top of the interior. It is built of Verona marble, and is an
octagon with three arched portals, on which are some very interesting
sculptures of Old Testament history. Jacob, out of whom grows a tree in
the branches of which are his brothers with Moses at the top, is on one
side of the north door. Another tree, with David and Solomon and the
Prophets, is a pendant on the other. The south doorway is decorated in a
similar style, but the trees are full of all the birds apparently then
known. Barn-door fowls, storks, parrots, eagles, ducks, and peacocks,
&c. &c., find a place in this extraordinary aviary in stone. Signs of
the Zodiac form a sort of frieze on the lower portions of the eight
sides of the exterior. Four tiers of columns forming open galleries
support a continuous architrave, which, whatever the architectural
merits, is not artistically a pleasing arrangement. The interior is
sixteen-sided. Between each division a long marble shaft is carried from
its base on the floor right up to the converging ribs of the pointed
vaulting. The whole of the walls and vault are covered with frescoes.
The upper are early, and appear to be almost contemporaneous with the
finishing of the building. The lower bear the names of Niccolo da Reggio
and Bartolino da Piacenza, and are of fourteenth-century date. The Life
of John the Baptist naturally takes precedence in these interesting
examples of mural decoration. The huge font in the centre of the
baptistery is cut out of a single block of marble. It has a centre
compartment like that already described in S. Giovanni in Fonte, in
Verona. The registers of the baptistery go back as far as the year 1459,
since when it is known that all the babies born in Parma have been
received into the Faith within its walls.

The church of S. Lodovico, also called S. Paolo, was formerly attached
to a Benedictine nunnery. Correggio's celebrated series of pagan
frescoes cover the walls of the "parlour" of the nunnery. They were
executed to the order of the abbess, Giovanna da Piacenza, and are more
fitted for a "Trianon" than a convent. Minerva, Juno, Bacchus, and other
heathen gods and goddesses, with Cupids, and such-like profanities, are
most charmingly arranged amidst a lattice pattern of flowers and
foliage. At the period, the beginning of the sixteenth century, when
this dainty scheme was painted, great licence and irregularities
prevailed in some of these conventual establishments. The abbess and her
nuns often entered into all the gaieties of the outside world and
indulged in the vices pertaining to it. In this case the wrath of the
austere Adrian VI. was visited on Giovanna and her flock, and S. Paolo
was closed, the abbess dying within a month after this humiliation.



GENOA


The poet Tasso in his "Jerusalem Delivered" sings of the exploits of the
great commander of the First Crusade; and although Godfrey de Bouillon
had little to do with Genoa, it was from its port that his fleet spread
sail in 1096 and disappeared over the southern horizon on its way to the
Holy Land. Nearly three years had passed in hard fighting before Godfrey
and his army found themselves before the walls of Jerusalem. Meanwhile
the Second Crusade had started from Genoa, under the command of
Guglielmo Embrianco. He joined forces with De Bouillon, and the Holy
City fell to their arms on July 15, 1099. Embrianco covered himself with
glory; and on his return, among other treasures, brought home the
celebrated Sacro Catino, which he presented to his native city. This
dish of green glass is in the Cathedral. For centuries it was supposed
to have been fashioned from a single emerald, and tradition has it as
the very dish, the Holy Grail, which held the Paschal Lamb at the Last
Supper.

The port of Genoa is very different now to what it was in those early
days. Ships of all nationalities and every sort of build find refuge
behind the numerous breakwaters which protect them from every gale that
blows. The Molo Vecchio is the oldest of these shelters, and built upon
half its length is an old quarter that is one of the fast-vanishing
slums of the city. On the sea-ward side of this mole the Mura della
Malapaga frowns on incoming craft, just as when in days gone by it bid
defiance to the enemies of Genoa whose temerity had led them thus far in
attacks on the city. It is terminated by a grand sea-gateway of very
massive construction. At the end of a subsequent extension the old
lighthouse rises, now well within the port. The house still stands in
the old quarter in which Marco Polo was imprisoned after the defeat of
the Pisans at the battle of Curzola, when he was taken captive. The Molo
Nuovo stretches from the west side of the port near the tall Pharo, and,
running outwards, bends back and covers the Molo Vecchio from the
southerly gales.

[Illustration: AN OLD STREET, RAVENNA]

Genoa's quays present a busy picture with the endless traffic that makes
her the premier port of Italy. Strings of heavily laden carts drawn by
teams of great mules are continually passing to and fro. Cabs rattle on
the pavements, their drivers cracking their whips, the horses'
heads decorated with the long tail feathers of the Amherst pheasant that
dance about to the music of the harness-bells. Groups of boys play pitch
and toss with coins, and still cry "Croce e Griffo" ("Cross or
Gryphon"), a cry as old as the wars with Pisa. Itinerant pedlars pester
folk to buy what no one seems to want. Under the arcades that face the
sea-front shops of all sorts exhibit everything the seafarer can
possibly require, and a lively business goes on in restuffing the
emigrants' mattresses with dry sea-weed or hay. Up, behind all this,
narrow streets wind through the old parts of the city and form an
intricate maze wherein it is not difficult to miss one's way. Many of
the houses here are seven, eight, or nine storeys high. All the day's
washing--and every day is washing day--hangs out from the windows on
long bamboos, or flutters from a cord stretched across the confined
thoroughfares. Fowls, in their inquisitive endeavours to find food, try
to satiate an appetite which is never satisfied. They are all scraggy.
Dark courtyards at the bottom of these tall dwellings teem with
screaming children and scolding women who are engaged at the fountain
troughs with the washing. The ear-splitting cries of hawkers hasten
one's footsteps down the steep descents, and one dodges out of their way
only to lose oneself in vain attempts to leave the picturesque but
squalid quarters of old Genoa.

However fascinating these slums may be--and they can hold their own from
the painter's point of view with those in any other Mediterranean
port--it must be acknowledged that the palaces for which Genoa is justly
famous have hardly a rival. Historically the most interesting is the
Palazzo di S. Giorgio, which stands close to the quayside at the east
end of the Piazza Caricamento. It was erected in 1261 by Guglielmo
Boccanegra, Captain of the People, for his own residence. At his death
it was taken over as the government office for the registration of
public loans, or _compere_, and named the Palazzo della Compere. In 1407
the Banking Company which practically ruled commercial Genoa acquired it
as their headquarters, and its name was changed to that of the city's
patron saint. This bank was the oldest in the world. It originated after
the Genoese had driven the Venetians out of Constantinople, and so
crippled the trade of their great Adriatic rival that for a time they
were masters of nearly all the Eastern commerce that flowed westwards.
This increase in prosperity was to a great extent the cause of the
formation of a trading company, which accepted deposits and advanced
loans to others than its own members. Thus was founded a bank that
carried on its business successfully until the last Doge of Genoa was
unseated and the mushroom Republic of Liguria proclaimed. The bank's
property was then confiscated, and Genoa, governed by time-servers and
place-hunters, fell upon evil days.

The Palazzo has been much altered and restored, but retains some of the
original Genoese Gothic of Boccanegra's building. The Grand Hall on the
first floor contains many statues of the city's benefactors and
prominent men, and is an interesting epitome of their charities, which
are commemorated on tablets attached to each. Some of these statues are
seated, others are standing. The former are of men who purchased their
niche in this Temple of Fame by payment of one hundred thousand livres
to the state; while those who wished to be handed down to posterity at a
cheaper rate had to content themselves with effigies that for ever are
on two legs. The building is now the Customs House, and so once more
money passes through different hands within its walls.

There are no other streets in Italy which can boast such an array of
noble houses as the renamed Strada Nuova, now the Via Garibaldi, and the
Via Balbi. The Palazzo Rosso has a magnificent _sala_ that has a roof
decorated with the armorial bearings of the Brignole family and those
they intermarried with. The Municipality is now lodged in the Palazzo
Doria Tursi. It has a grand façade flanked by open arcades with gardens
on top, and was built for one of the Grimaldi by Rocco Lurago, a Como
architect. Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa, and a bust of him
stands in the great hall of the palace, the Sala della Giunta. In its
pedestal are some of his autograph letters to the Banco di S. Giorgio.
His family came from Piacenza, but at the time of his birth his father
was warden of the Porto dell' Olivella, one of the city gates. The
Palazzo Ducale, a huge building of mixed styles, was begun in the
thirteenth century but not finished until the sixteenth. The Palazzo
Durazzo has a grand vestibule and the finest staircase of all. The
Palazzo Doria, standing alone in a delightful garden which extends
towards the harbour, is beautified by a good _loggia_ with arcades. Many
are the palaces built by the great families of Genoa, the Spinola,
Pallavicini, Balbi, Fieschi, Cambiasco, and others, as well as those
already mentioned. They all contain large collections of pictures and
other treasures, and it can certainly be said that the old nobility have
left a hall-mark on their city. The earlier buildings all possessed
towers, and during the Guelph and Ghibelline feuds, when street
fighting was ever recurrent, these vantage positions were of immense
strategic value--it was so pleasant to put the opposing faction _hors de
combat_ by pouring boiling pitch and molten lead on to the heads below!
Street fighting became at length such a nuisance to the peaceable
inhabitants that the order went forth that all towers were to be
demolished, with one exception, the tower that Guglielmo Embrianco
attached to his house. This alone was spared. And it is due to the
veneration in which his name was held that it stands to-day the solitary
defensive relic of Genoa's family feuds. It will be noticed that some of
these palaces are faced, like the Cathedral, with bands of black and
white marble. This distinction was granted to the four noble houses of
Doria and Spinola, who were adherents of the Pope, and Fieschi and
Grimaldi, who took the Emperor's side in all wars.

The Cathedral is a good example of what may be termed Genoese Gothic. It
is dedicated to S. Lorenzo, and was consecrated by Pope Gelasius II. in
1118. The façade, separated into three unequal parts, is a good example
of thirteenth-century Gothic. The _piazza_ on to which it faces slopes
sharply downhill--all Genoa is up and down hill--and the Cathedral rises
well on its tier of steps. Bands of black and white form the exterior
wall of the whole building, and are effectively carried through the
recesses of the portals. The centre porch has twisted columns, which are
carried round the splay of the arch. The columns themselves alternate
with others that are circular. The bases and pedestals are covered
either with carving or inlaid chequer and lozenge patterns. The two
flanking porches are similar, and assist very greatly to increase the
pleasing effect of this somewhat elaborate treatment, which is
heightened by the two detached spiral columns on either side and those
that terminate the façade at each end. In the tympanum over the central
doorway is a figure of S. Lawrence lying nude on a gridiron. The fire
beneath is stoked and kept alive by bellows handled by those who
assisted at his martyrdom. Above is a figure of the Almighty surrounded
by an angel, a lion, a peacock, and a deer. The detached column at the
south-west angle of the façade, seen in the illustration, carries a
figure of the patron saint under a canopy. It rests on the back of a
lion; four smaller beasts of the same species encircle the base. The two
huge _couchant_ lions at either end of the steps are of much later date
than these. From the south-west angle a fine turreted tower rises
upwards from the square, and with its copper dome forms a great feature
of the Cathedral as one walks up the Strada Carlo Felice. This
street is narrow and full of traffic, so much so that it is with
difficulty one makes out the many mutilated tablets with Roman
inscriptions, built haphazard into the south wall of the Cathedral, and
the canopied mediæval tombs let in above.

[Illustration: FAÇADE OF THE CATHEDRAL, GENOA]

The interior of the building is disappointing. One expects to find more
space. A gallery at the west end, under which you find yourself directly
upon entering, forms a sort of atrium. It is supported by very massive
clustered columns which carry a good groined vault with heavy ribs. This
was originally the _cantoria_, or organ-loft. Nine small bays on either
side separate the nave from the aisles. The single columns of the arches
are of red and purple marble from the renowned quarries at Tortosa, in
Spain. At each corner of the black marble bases, and touching the
_torus_ of the column, the head of a bird or animal has been carved. The
arches of the bays are pointed. Above them is an open triforium formed
by rows of small stunted arches that are carried by single and clustered
columns in banded black and white. The clerestory is of small narrow
single lights. The transepts are Renaissance, and the choir a mixture of
styles.

The chapel of St. John the Baptist in the north aisle bears a
resemblance to that of "Il Santo" at Padua. Four slender carved pillars
support the entablature of good Renaissance design, on which are
exceptionally well arranged panels illustrating the saint's life.
Filippo Doria erected the canopy borne by porphyry columns which stands
over the altar. Under this, enclosed in an iron casket within a marble
ark, on which are sculptured reliefs, are the remains of St. John.

Genoa's fleet was homeward bound after one of the crusades, when,
through stress of weather, it took shelter in the port of Myrra, in
Lycia. Hearing that a monastery close by contained the sacred remains of
the saint, some of the bolder spirits of the fleet entered the church
attached, and, despite the protests of their co-religionists, carried
off in triumph all that remained of St. John. The relics were presented
to their own Cathedral of S. Lorenzo on arriving home. Here they have
rested ever since. No women are admitted into the chapel--a prohibition
imposed by Pope Innocent VIII. in remembrance of the guilt of Herodias.
The Treasury holds many things of value and interest besides the Sacro
Catino already described. Among them is a fine piece of Byzantine
much-bejewelled metal work known as the Cross of Zaccaria. It was
carried off from Phocea by Ticino Zaccaria at the capture of that place.

The church of S. Bartolommeo degli Armeni contains the celebrated
picture on a cloth of the head of Christ. It was given to one of the
Montaldi, a noble Genoese family, by John Paleologus, Emperor of
Constantinople, in return for important services rendered. The legend
runs that Agbarus, King of Edessa, sent an artist, Annanias by name, to
paint our Lord's portrait. Annanias was no portrait painter, and failed
in the attempt. Our Lord then took a cloth, pressed it to His face, and
sent the impression back to the King. Leonardo Montaldo bequeathed it to
the church in 1382.

The church of S. Donato, with its Romanesque tower that was built into
the walls of Genoa forming one of its defences, dates from the eleventh
century. There are many other ecclesiastical fabrics in a place which is
fast losing all traces of old associations. Of the three sets of walls
built at different times as the city slowly enlarged itself, the outer
alone bears any semblance of its pristine state, and modern Genoa, with
up-to-date improvements, is encroaching on these. But for all this its
situation is superb, and it is in every way a bright and charming place.
To those who enter by rail it is impossible to grasp the incomparable
position the city occupies. Coming in along the Cornice road from the
west, or that from the east, it can be better realised. But the best
approach is by sea. The long line of distant mountains that first
appears on the horizon gradually opens up, peak rises beyond peak, the
nearer hills become detached, valleys are revealed, and soon white
houses may be discerned dotting the dark grey slopes. A long, broken
array of villages fringes the blue waters, gathering closer together as
land is approached. The mass of warm yellowish tint scintillating in the
brilliancy of a Mediterranean sun takes shape, and the eye by degrees
separates long terraced rows of buildings, church towers and domes from
one another. The colour changes, and a heterogeneous combination of
pink, white, yellow, and grey discloses the far-famed city rising tier
above tier from the busy port that lies at its base. A whistle sounds,
the rattling cable rushes out, the anchor plunges into the water, and
our ship is at rest. We are in the historic port from which the First
Crusade started, and from which not so long ago the patriot Garibaldi,
with the friendly aid of Rubattino, sailed with his devoted thousand for
Sicily.



PISA


You will not find in all Italy anything that is placed quite so well
with an eye to effective grouping as the Baptistery, Cathedral, and
Campanile of Pisa. Nowhere does anything approach so near to the
ecclesiastical exclusiveness of an English cathedral close as the great
square of level green sward in which these three remarkable fabrics
stand. From one corner of the Piazza del Duomo part of the university
buildings looks over the turf to the Baptistery. Hard by the seat of
learning is the Porta Nuova, a fine gateway that pierces the old walls
of the city--walls of an almost unpaintable red. Within the walls, on
the other side of the Cathedral--that is, to the north--the Campo Santo
stands with bare façade and domed tower. Adjoining it on the east,
conventual buildings and the Palace of the Archbishop occupy the angle
of the Piazza. They face the Campanile. The one or two establishments
which come next as we continue our _giro_ are full of little marble
"Leaning Towers" and other souvenirs which the tourist delights in. Save
for the intrusiveness of these shops, there is nothing else in the
surroundings of the vast square that detracts from the fascination of
the wonderful group in the centre.

The Pisa of to-day cannot have changed much from the Pisa of two hundred
years ago. It is true that, outside the old walls which encircle her, a
straggling suburb is growing up, but within them noble palaces still
front the River Arno, and others occupy the best positions in the city.
Dwellings of the poorer classes line the narrow streets that connect the
wider and more spacious thoroughfares; they crowd thickly together, and
the life of the pavements is the life of Italy as the tourist loves to
find it--the life of days gone by.

It has been said that all roads lead to Rome; in Pisa all roads lead to
the Piazza del Duomo. In the centre stands the Cathedral; to the west of
it, the Baptistery; to the east rises the Campanile, or Leaning Tower.
Pisa had well-nigh reached the zenith of her power when in 1063 her
people resolved to commemorate a great victory over the Saracens by
building a new cathedral. Ninety years later, having destroyed their
Southern rival Amalfi, the Pisans commenced the Baptistery. The year
1174 saw the first stone of the Campanile laid. Thus in a little over
one hundred years these three buildings, which mark so important an
epoch in Italian ecclesiastical architecture, were under construction.
The advent of a man of unknown origin, Busketus, who designed the
Cathedral, and whose epitaph is on one of its walls, heralded a new
phase in the art of the country. And although he adapted something from
the Romanesque, this grand church of his was the precursor of a style
that we find amplified, but not improved upon, in Ferrara, Pavia, Parma,
and, most notably of all, in the neighbouring city of Lucca. In the
history of Italian ecclesiastical architecture Pisa stands pre-eminent.

The façade of the Cathedral is very striking. The seven round arches of
the blind arcade that form the lowest tier or base are continued round
the entire fabric. The pedestals from which the columns of this arcade
spring rest on a bold but simple base-table that also encircles the
building. These columns are round on the façade, the eastern apse, and
the apse at the end of each transept, but become pilasters elsewhere.
This extremely good arrangement does not break up the flat walls by too
many obtrusive perpendicular lines. On the contrary, it enhances their
noble length, and at the same time improves the semicircle of the apses.
Three bronze doors occupy three arches of the façade arcade. They are
good examples of the seventeenth century. Crude mosaics in the tympanums
above are a jarring colour note which one would willingly suppress. It
is otherwise, however, with the wonderful patterns of inlaid marble and
the rich ornamentation of vine-leaves and floral forms, human heads and
animals, that embellish the whole façade--a character of decoration that
finds a fitting terminal in the crockets on the gables and the figures
at their ends. Above the arcade four deeply recessed galleries fill the
whole space of the façade. The lowest of these is on a level with the
clerestory lights in the aisles. The next is cut off at either end by
the angle of the gable; the columns diminish in size with the slope of
the aisle roof. The third is in a line with the clerestory of the nave,
and the topmost diminishes with the gable, which is carried beyond and
above the ridge of the roof of the nave. The slender pillars that
support the arches of these galleries have wonderfully carved capitals,
and stand out in the brilliant afternoon sun from the deep shadow behind
with marvellous effect.

One enters the Cathedral by the south and only door which escaped the
great conflagration of 1596. Its bronze panels are by Bonannus, who has
handed down twenty-four episodes of Gospel history in the very ingenuous
style of his time. A lead-covered penthouse wards off the inclemency of
the weather. The fine cupola which rises above the crossing is rather
dwarfed by the Gothic arcade and finials which surround its base. The
grand effect of the Cathedral is due in a measure to the mellowing of
the white marble, which the sun has seemingly baked to a beautiful warm
yellow and light red. On the north side, which is exposed to the bitter
_tramontana_ wind from the Monti Pisani, the marble is blistered and
scored, and has acquired an ashen white that in this sunny land is not
pleasant.

The interior is lofty. The effect obtained by the bands of black and
white marble of which the walls are composed is not so embarrassing to
the eye as in Siena's holy fane. The nave is divided into ten bays; the
columns that support the round arches are magnificent monoliths of
granite. These bays are carried in a continuous colonnade across the
transepts and along their east and west walls. The aisles are double. As
a consequence the forest of columns and arches is almost bewildering;
and if it were not for the fine proportions of the nave, the eye would
have but little rest from a multiplicity of shadows and disturbing spots
of light. The pointed triforium, that is borne by the arches of the
nave, is continued across the transepts into the choir. The base of the
cupola at the crossing is elliptical, the length being east and west and
the narrow sides north and south. The interior of the dome is covered
with frescoes. The design of the six altars in each aisle is attributed
to Michael Angelo. The transepts are terminated by two apsidal chapels
with mosaics in the semi-domes said to be designed by Cimabue. The same
origin can be more justly claimed by that which decorates the vault of
the choir apse, and in which the great artist has depicted our Lord in
Glory, and S. John. The pavements of the choir and crossing are
exceptionally fine _opus Alexandrinum_. The huge bronze lamp that hangs,
swinging slightly, from the coffered and gilded roof of the nave is
supposed to have suggested to Galileo the idea of the principle of the
pendulum.

To the west of the Cathedral is Pisa's beautiful Baptistery. This
building was commenced by Diotisalvi in 1153, and continued later on in
1278. The lowest storey is of the first mentioned date, and, like the
Cathedral, is composed of a blind arcade, pierced in this case with
small round-headed windows. An open gallery circulates round the whole
edifice above this. Its columns support round arches that are surmounted
in piers by crocketed gables, pierced and cusped. A figure stands on the
apex of each, while between every pair small open turrets thrust their
pinnacles upwards. Above this gallery a series of windows with a similar
arrangement breaks the base-line of the somewhat ugly pear-shaped
dome. As a prevention against the corroding influence of the salt sea
winds, this dome is tiled on its south-west surface. The other portion
is covered with lead.

[Illustration: THE BAPTISTERY, PISA]

In the centre of the interior, generally entered by the door opposite
the west façade of the Cathedral, stands the font in which baby Pisans
have for many generations been baptized. Like others, it is made for
total immersion. The walls which surround the appropriately "waved"
black-and-white pattern of its floor are extremely beautiful. A
delicately carved framework of marble encloses wonderful panels of
inlaid mosaic somewhat in the style of the pulpit in the illustration to
"Salerno." Six small basins are let into the walls of the font and are
used now for the Holy Rite. Near the altar stands Niccolò Pisano's
masterpiece. This hexagonal pulpit rests on seven slender columns of
marble and granite. Some of these columns rise from their bases on the
backs of lions, gryphons, and crouching human figures, thus in a way
representing the dominion of the Word of God over creation. The
rectangular panels of the pulpit stage are beautifully carved in high
relief. Niccolò Pisano's art, which bears evident traces of pagan
influence, is seen at its best in these panels of the Nativity,
Adoration of the Magi, Presentation in the Temple, the Crucifixion, and
Last Judgment. On the steps is a red marble pillar standing on the back
of a lion. It supports a small marble book-rest from which the Epistle
was read. The desk on the pulpit itself is placed on an eagle, and was
used for the reading of the Gospel. Eight marble piers and eight granite
columns support the gallery beneath the dome. The whole of this noble
interior is very light and airy, and Pisan mothers should have more
cause to hope for a bright future for their babes than their sisters in
Parma, if a comparison is permissible between the bright cheeriness of
the one place and the mystical gloom of the other.

The Campanile stands to the east of the Cathedral. Its base is some feet
below the restful green of the grass that covers the whole of the
Piazza. Four different architects carried out its erection during a
period that extended over nearly two hundred years. The base, another
blind arcade, was begun in 1174 by Bonannus; the fourth gallery was
added by Benenato, the next two by William of Innsbrück, and the topmost
by Tommaso. The foundations were unfortunately laid in sea-sand, and the
tower settled at an angle that causes it to lean towards the south
thirteen feet out of the perpendicular. Galileo utilised this feature
for experiments on the velocity of falling bodies.

[Illustration: THE CAMPANILE AND DUOMO, PISA]

The Campo Santo, the dome of which is seen in the illustration to the
right of the Cathedral, is a quiet cloistered court on the walls of
which are an extraordinary series of frescoes. Those on the north wall,
by the Florentine, Benozzo Gozzoli, who was a pupil of Fra Angelico, are
the most interesting. The Gothic arches and slender columns of the
cloister, and the well-kept garden-plot in the centre, out of which tall
cypress-trees rear themselves in ordered array, add much to the dignity
of this quiet spot.

The old Dominican basilica of Sta Caterina stands in a corner of the
piazza of the same name. Great plane-trees almost hide from view its
beautiful façade, which, like that of the Cathedral, is gabled and
arranged in galleries. Here, however, these are Gothic, with trefoil
cusped arches, developing in the topmost to cinquefoil, and giving an
air of elegance to the whole that is lacking in the Cathedral. A
comparison of the two façades ends with the opinion that while in Sta
Caterina there is more grace, the Cathedral possesses more architectural
fitness for the design and proportions of the outline. Diotisalvi built
the little octagonal church of S. Sepolcro for the Knights Templars, and
Niccolò Pisano erected the fine _campanile_ attached to the church of S.
Francesco. This tower is partly supported by consoles, or brackets,
within the church. The staircase runs up both inside and outside its
walls.

S. Stefano, which contains a S. George by Donatello, is close to the
Carovana in the Piazza dei Cavalieri. The piazza is thought to be the
old Roman forum. The Carovana was the Palace of the Knights of S.
Stephen, and was another of Niccolò Pisano's works, and, although
altered later on by Vasari, is a fine example of Domestic architecture.
A double flight of steps leads up to the entrance-door, on either side
of which are tall windows. The façade is covered with frescoes and
adorned by six busts in niches of the first half-dozen Grand Dukes,
Masters of the Order. The roof projects far out, and the eaves,
supported by well-carved cantilevers, throw a deep shadow down the front
of the palace. The Order of S. Stefano was founded in 1561 by Cosimo I.,
but never distinguished itself amidst the Orders of Chivalry, and was
dissolved in 1869. A statue of the founder stands over a fountain in
front of the steps.

Among the buildings that face the Arno, the Palazzo Lanfreducci, with
the words "alla Giornata" and a chain pendant over the doorway, the
Palazzo Lanfranchi, where Byron lived, and the fine old fortress-tower,
the Torre Guelfa, are the most notable in a city that at one time
disputed with the mighty Genoa the rule of the Mediterranean. The
rivalry between these two maritime powers ended only when, after the
disastrous battle of Meloria, the Genoese filled up the harbour of Pisa,
and she became no longer of any account as a naval base.



LUCCA


Lucca is one of the most delightful little cities in the peninsula, and
its seventy-two churches, taken as a whole, the most interesting in
Italy. In matters ecclesiastical it is one of the oldest foundations in
the country, and is reputed to have been the first place to have
embraced Christianity. The first bishop of Lucca, a disciple of S.
Peter, was S. Paulinus, and the long line of prelates who followed him
were elevated to the higher dignity of Archbishop in 1726. The canons of
Lucca are mitred, and the prelate has the privilege of wearing the
insignia of a cardinal. It was always a Ghibelline city; even in the
days of the Countess Matilda its inhabitants sided with the imperial
party. When the attempt of Francesco Burlammachi to confederate the
Tuscan cities failed, the Luchesi formulated the _Martiniana_ Law, which
permitted only a few of the leading families to participate in the
government. The result of this was a peace that prevailed for many
years. But perhaps the most important historical event that occurred
within its walls took place in far earlier days than the sixteenth
century. The first triumvirate was formed when Julius Cæsar, Pompey, and
the wealthy Crassus met and entered into an agreement whereby the power
was divided between the three. More tangible relics of Roman occupation
are to be found where the amphitheatre once stood. The oval form of this
is well preserved in the extremely picturesque Piazza Mercato--the
Market Place. The wooden stalls of the market folk are practically
little huts with tiled roofs, that follow the lines of the amphitheatre
seats in gracefully curved alleys. In the Pinacoteca may be seen a print
dated 1785, in which the space is enclosed by a high wall. In the centre
is a tastefully laid out garden adorned with statues and rose bushes,
around which a horse race is in progress. Many columns used in the
erection of churches, and fragments of all sorts built into the walls,
are evidences of Lucca's importance among the colonies of ancient Rome.

[Illustration: THE PORCH OF THE CATHEDRAL, LUCCA]

The cathedral was founded as early as 573 by S. Frediano. The first
building was close to the present Duomo, and was erected on the site of
the church of S. Giovanni--a very interesting Lombard edifice. The
square baptistery attached to S. Giovanni, with its original waved black
and white pavement and ancient square font, is well worthy of study.
Pope Alexander II., who supplied William of Normandy with a holy banner
to assist in the invasion of England, consecrated the cathedral,
which, although much altered in the fourteenth century, still bears the
impress of the architectural vogue of the tenth. The façade was added in
1204 by Giudetto. A portico of three unequal arches supports three tiers
of small arches. These form galleries diminishing in length as they rise
one above the other to the horizontal cornice at the top. A magnificent
square _campanile_ rises at the south end of the portico. Huge iron
braziers stick out under its battlements at the four corners. It seems
to crush the arch that springs from one side of its base, out of all
proportion with the other two. This is very apparent from a distance,
and produces an uncomfortable feeling. But, when one makes the intimate
acquaintance of the portico and begins to examine the exquisitely
designed arabesques, &c., that decorate its arches, there is nothing but
admiration for a mind that could play with stone as Giudetto has done in
this case. The piers which support the three round arches have each four
slender columns. These are beautifully carved with all manner of
intricate patterns. On the central pier Eve is seen tempting Adam to eat
of the Forbidden Fruit. They are at the base of a tree, which growing
upwards spreads out branches whereon rest the early Kings of Israel and
the Prophets. The exterior members of the arches are covered with
finely cut foliage. The capitals are formed by the semi-Gothic classical
acanthus leaves of the period. Above the _abaci_ of the capitals three
lions, crouching on consoles or brackets, grip in their thin claws a
snake, a dragon, and a demon. Between two of the arches there is a good
stone group of S. Martin dividing his coat with a beggar by the use of a
bronze sword. The interior wall of the portico has a flat arcade of red
marble columns and arches. Three doors give entrance into the cathedral.
Their tympanums are decorated by well-executed reliefs. A double frieze
runs along the wall. On the lower portion figures, engaged in
agricultural pursuits, and the Signs of the Zodiac are cut; on the
upper, the life of S. Martin depicted in a series of panels. Some
excellent examples of _graffiti_ work decorate part of the wall. The
galleries of the façade are like those that appear in the illustration
of the church of S. Michele.

The chief feature of the interior of the Duomo is a fine Gothic
triforium. As in Pisa's Cathedral, this goes round the whole nave,
transepts, which it also crosses, and choir, stopping short only at the
apse. It is formed of double divisions of three pointed and cusped
arches, which on the west wall are increased to groups of four each. The
transepts are double. A massive pier in each carries the triforium
across in a most effective manner. The nine bays on either side of the
nave have round arches. The fine roof, which is vaulted and groined, is
unfortunately spoilt by a very _bizarre_ scheme of colour that is not
redeemed by the beautiful glass in the windows of the apse. Half up the
north aisle is an octagonal chapel built of marble, but almost entirely
covered with gilt. It is known as the Tempieto, and contains the
venerated relic of the Vólto Santo, or Holy Face. It is supposed to be
an image of Our Lord, executed by Nicodemus, but is evidently a work of
the eleventh century carved in two different species of wood. A much
finer work of art is the beautiful tomb of Ilaria Caretti in the north
transept. With her little dog, emblem of fidelity, at her feet, the
figure of this gracious lady lies extended on a noble sarcophagus.
Little winged _putti_ surround its base, and it ranks among the best
productions of the accomplished Jacopo della Quercia.

One of the most perfect Gothic arcades in all Italy is to be found in
the church of Sta Maria della Rosa. It is situated close to the
Archbishop's palace at the east end of the cathedral. The spaces between
the pointed arches and the top lights of the church are filled with
exquisitely carved cherubs peeping out from a mass of foliage. In the
Piazza dei Servi stands another small church, that possesses a carved
wooden roof not in any way inferior to the marvellous one that adorns
the Badia in Florence. It was erected during the days when Lucca was a
republic, and one panel has the coat of arms of the city, with two great
leopards as supporters and "Libertas" for a legend.

The church of S. Frediano is close to the city walls. Its fine tower is
seen on the right in the illustration. Frediano, or "Fair Hair," was a
son of a King of Ulster. Trained in Galloway, he travelled to Rome,
where he was well received by Pelagius I., and housed in the Lateran. He
became Bishop of Lucca in 565, and after the destruction of the first
cathedral by the Lombards commenced the erection of the present
archi-episcopal edifice. The church is full of interest, and contains
the huge rectangular block of stone, computed to weigh three tons, which
the saint lifted into a cart drawn by oxen, and which was to be used in
the building of his cathedral. There is a fine circular font in the
church, with the Passage of the Red Sea carved on its panels by the
unknown Magister Robertus. Close to this, in the chapel dedicated to the
patroness of domestic servants, Sta Zita, is a good example of Giovanni
Della Robbia's work. Most of the church is built from the stones of the
Roman Amphitheatre. The altar is placed at the west end. The façade
is a very dignified composition, in which an Ionic colonnade and a good
mosaic of our Lord in glory play an important part. The grand
_campanile_, however, is its glory. This rises with tiers of open
arches; but here they depart from the usual plan and increase in pairs.
One tier of a single pair is the lowest; above are two of three arches,
and the next two of four arches. Two sides of this splendid tower are of
greater width than the others.

[Illustration: LUCCA FROM THE CITY WALLS]

In the sketch a distant tower can be seen on which is growing a clump of
trees. It is attached to the beautiful, red-brick Palazzo Borghi, one of
the two fine palaces in Lucca built in the Venetian Gothic style. The
story goes that the tower was built by Paolo Guigni, and that on its top
he planted trees, under which he gave a series of banquets to show his
indifference for the enemy who were then besieging the city. A very
pleasant walk leads us along under the grand limes and elm trees that
compose the shady boulevards on Lucca's old walls. Many a good study of
roofs and distant mountains, in which the bare crags and rugged peaks of
the Carrara range form a fine background, can be obtained from these
walls; and many a beautiful peep through the foliage on to gardens below
will reward the painter who strays out of the accepted route and makes a
sojourn in the bright little city.

The church of S. Michele has the most striking façade of any so-called
Pisan-Gothic building. It is another work of Giudetto's, but is anterior
to that which he added to the cathedral. It is interesting to note how
the fine colonnade at the base of S. Michele's façade was amplified in
the later work of the cathedral by the portico which takes its place.
Between the columns of this colonnade the closed lozenge-shaped lights,
a familiar feature in the churches of the Pisan style, give a certain
amount of solidity by their deep shadows. Above is an open gallery,
under which is a marvellously intricate frieze of arabesques. Some of
the pillars of this gallery are covered with inlaid marble, others are
twisted or decorated with chevrons. On two of them repulsive-looking
dragons, snakes, and demons crawl downwards in high relief. At each end
is a cluster of four slender columns bound by knots. The capitals are
boldly cut, with heavy square _abaci_, from which bosses and floral work
protrude. The corbels of the round-headed arches are composed of heads
of animals and demons, and the arches themselves are beautifully inlaid
with geometrical designs. The frieze above is divided into panels of
_graffiti_, wherein lions, goats and birds, &c., are depicted in all
sorts of attitudes. The gallery above this is very similar, but with
even better pillars supporting its arches. It slopes upwards from
the gable ends. Then comes the strange and airy feature of this
remarkable façade--a false gable with two galleries ending in a pointed
apex. Standing on canopied turrets at each end of the gable are angels
blowing bronze horns. Their robes are embroidered with inlaid marble and
their outspread wings are of bronze. On the _acroteria_, or pedestal, at
the top, is a colossal statue of S. Michael with vestments adorned by a
gilded pattern. His wings are formed of separate bronze plates to
diminish wind pressure, and make a good note of colour against a blue
sky. At the back of this false gable a flight of steps ascends from the
roof to the statue. As will be seen in the illustration, the colonnade
is carried along the other walls of the church and _campanile_. This
again is a grand tower and like that of S. Frediano has two sides
greater than the others. The interior of S. Michele is very simple, very
beautiful and dignified, and quite unspoilt by any whitewash or colour.

[Illustration: S. MICHELE, LUCCA]

There are many other churches worthy of description if space allowed,
but passing mention must be made of the earliest known work of Niccolò
Pisano. This is a relief of the "Deposition from the Cross" in the
tympanum of the arch of a side door at S. Martino. There is much else
to see in the compact and well-ordered little city that is situated so
beautifully in a great bowl with mountains on every side. Much, too, to
wonder at in the legend S.P.Q.L. that the _municipio_ still writes up on
public notices as a reminder of the days when its inhabitants made the
laws that governed the Republic of Lucca.



FLORENCE


Although Florence has no doubt an Etruscan origin, her first historical
record dates from the time of Tiberius. During his reign the inhabitants
presented a petition to the august presence praying him to prevent the
diversion of the River Clanis into the Arno. Through many subsequent
vicissitudes she rose from an obscure beginning to be the centre of the
Art of the civilised world. This was accomplished in the days when
Florentines were not ashamed of "soiling the fingers with trade," and
was due to the good taste and patronage of her wealthy merchant
citizens, who took the keenest interest in the development of their city
as the home of all things cultured. The Florence of to-day is rapidly
becoming as cosmopolitan as London, and as a consequence has a growing
trade in the manufacture of "antiques." But so great is the charm of
this wonderful city that every year sees an addition to the long list of
those, who coming from other lands, either rent a flat within the walls
or occupy a villa outside. It is a charm that never dies--indeed,
becomes intensified. Bitter winds may whistle through the draughty
streets, and tearing down the Arno from the mountains howl across its
bridges; the end of the "merrie" month may still see deep snow on the
hilltops, yet no one who has once been in Florence, even under these
undesirable conditions, but wishes to come again. And this charm--what
is it? Is it that the city stands in the midst of a garden, a veritable
bed of roses? Does it lie in her classic river along the banks of which
Dante oftentimes wandered? Is it because Cimabue, Giotto, Leonardo,
Michael Angelo, Raphael, the della Robbias, Fra Angelico, and Donatello,
all were at their zenith in Florence? Go to the Pitti and Uffizi and
marvel at their powers. Is it in her glorious buildings, her magnificent
palaces, and the traditions of her great families--the Medici,
Buondelmonti, Uberti? In all of these surely lies a charm that nothing
can dissipate! Yes, in all these; but still there is a something beyond
them, a subtle, indefinable spell that enwraps the senses and captures
one body and soul in this Queen of cities.

[Illustration: OR S. MICHELE AND THE PALAZZO DELL' ARTE DI LANA,
FLORENCE]

Of all the great Florentine trade-guilds, the Wool-weavers were the
richest, and the illustration shows a restored corner of their Hall with
the redecorated altar behind the iron grille. On the opposite side is
the Gothic church of Or S. Michele. Originally the site was
occupied by a corn market, in the _loggia_ of which stood the figure of
a much-worshipped Madonna. Walls were built round the _loggia_ and the
market removed to the storey above. The niches on the exterior of the
church contain statues of the patron saints of the numerous
trade-guilds. Among them was a fine S. George, the patron saint of the
Armourers Guild, by Donatello. This is now in the Bargello, having been
replaced by a cast. The figures of SS. Mark and Peter were gifts from
the linen merchants and the butchers, and are by the same master-hand.
The best stained glass in Florence decorates the fine Gothic windows of
the church. Their very elaborate tracery is cleverly designed to get the
greatest effect from the top light--so necessary in the narrow and dark
street. The _Misericordia_ Brethren may be seen in the sketch carrying
out one of the self-imposed tasks for which they receive no payment
whatever. The Compagnia della Misericordia was founded by Pier di Luca
Borsi in the year 1240. Men of all grades of society belong to the
Order, and once a year attend a service in the cathedral, when they take
a pledge to abstain from profane language. They nurse the sick, carry
patients to the hospitals, and the dead to their last home. Every one
who knows Florence is familiar with the hurrying footsteps of the
black-robed figures as they proceed on their errands of mercy. The
headquarters of this noble self-sacrificing Order are on the left in the
illustration of the Campanile.

Those who recollect Florence in the eighties will remember that the
picturesque old quarter, the Mercato Vecchio, occupied the site of the
fine Piazza Vittorio Emmanuele. This pestilential plague spot, into
which it was hardly safe to venture, was done away with in the years
1890-95. When the work of demolition was begun it was found to be so
foul and insanitary that no house-breakers were allowed to touch a
single stone until three months of stringent disinfection had elapsed.
This is one of the very few clearances that have taken place in the
heart of the city since the fifteenth century, and the thought of it
carries one back to the days when that great reformer, Fra Girolamo
Savonarola, set Florence on fire with his fierce disputations. A great
bronze disc with a medallion portrait of the ascetic monk marks the spot
in the Piazza della Signoria where he ended his days at the stake with
two brave companions. In his little cell in the monastery of S. Marco
there are two pictures which present us with the details of the tragedy.
Save for the flight of steps that has taken the place of the platform
where his judges are seen sitting, the Palazzo Vecchio, wherein he was
condemned, is the same to-day as it was then. It is the grandest secular
building in Florence, and this is saying a great deal. Built of huge
blocks of rough stone, it was commenced in 1299 by Arnolfo di Cambio,
and is a testimony to the splendid construction of the fourteenth
century. The top storey projects on brackets from the walls, which stand
four-square. Under these brackets are the Ghibelline and Guelph arms;
the former is a white lily on a red ground, the latter a red lily on a
white ground, quartered with the crescent of Fiesole. The present arms
of Florence, so familiar all over the city, are a red fleur-de-lys with
two sprays on a white ground. The battlements that surmount this storey
are square-shaped Guelph, while those of the great tower which dominates
this part of the city are the swallow-tailed Ghibelline. This fine
landmark is three hundred and seven feet high, and has a projecting
gallery underneath the _loggia_ with which it terminates. The palace was
built to accommodate the eight Priori, who, under the presidency of the
Gonfaloniere, ruled Florence. It remained the seat of government for
over three hundred years until Cosimo de Medici, having usurped the
power, removed his court to the Pitti Palace.

From Michelozzo's beautiful _cortile_, which one enters first, a noble
staircase ascends to the Salone dei Cinquecento. It was in this
magnificent hall, where a statue of Savonarola is now placed, that he
was tried and condemned. There are other fine rooms in the Palazzo
Vecchio, but nothing approaches the beauty of the little _cortile_
below. Nine columns of grand proportions bearing round arches support
the arcade that forms part of the courtyard. Each column has a different
design above the fluting which runs half-way up them all. The delicate
low relief of these exquisitely modelled devices, some of which are
grape clusters, others children with garlands, heads, and classic
ornamentation, is so slight, that the effect on every column obtained by
the light which pours down from high above makes each one seem a simple
mass of half-tone thrown strongly out against the deep shade of the
arcade beyond. It is an architectural masterpiece of what the painter
calls "values." A delightful fountain in the centre of the _cortile_, by
Verrochio, adds to the sense of repose that one experiences when the
glare and noise of the piazza are left behind.

The south side of the Piazza dei Signoria is taken up by the Loggia dei
Lanzi--a good specimen of the domestic Gothic style of Italy. Three
arches form the base that supports the lower storey. A rich balustrade
and projecting cornice adorn the top. Benvenuto Cellini's "Perseus,"
and "Judith and Holofernes" by Donatello, are among the statuary placed
in the _loggia_. The building was erected for the use of the Priori, and
from it they witnessed all great spectacles that took place in the
square. It derives its name from the guard of foreign soldiers that
Cosimo I. established in quarters hard by. To the east and running south
is the great Ufizzi Palace, which contains some of the finest art
treasures that Florence possesses.

Dante's house stands in the Via Dante, to reach which one leaves the
piazza at the north-east corner, passing the back of the Badia on the
way thither. The Badia was the Church of the Benedictines, and is built
in the shape of a Greek cross. It is notable for the grandest coffered
wooden roof in Italy. Just above the frieze which runs round the top of
the walls, a fine series of well-carved brackets carries the first
portion of the roof--a flat space beautifully ornate with good
arabesques. Deep-set bosses in recesses circulate round the carving
beyond this, until they centre in a recess so deeply set that it almost
becomes a miniature dome. Heavy brackets support and carry the outward
thrust. The miniature dome takes the form of a Greek cross, and from it
the whole design springs in a very symmetrical manner. Such a massive
wooden ceiling speaks volumes for the constructive art of the day.

Opposite the Badia stands the Bargello, or Palazzo del Podestà. In its
courtyard is the well-known outside staircase that, sketched "to death,"
is to be seen represented in almost every shop in Florence. The palace
is the national museum, and among its grand collections the work of the
della Robbia family can best be studied. Florence is such a
treasure-house in every way that one might wander on from church to
palace, and museum to gallery for a year, and then be barely acquainted
with what lies behind its walls.

Florence, too, was the home of the Renaissance, and although Giotto
preceded the great master of early Renaissance, Brunelleschi, his famous
Campanile is more classic in style than Gothic. The accompanying sketch
was made towards twilight when a day's heavy rain had cleared off. The
general impression one carries away of the beautiful bell tower is that
of a white mass rising majestically above the congested traffic of the
noisy street below. The year 1334 saw the commencement of Giotto's
design. His death, however, took place when the work had but reached the
first storey of the five. Taddeo Gaddi and Francesco Talenti carried it
on, and to the latter are due the windows of the upper storeys. Small
lozenges in the lowest depict the Development of Civilised Man from the
Creation. Above these is a series of sculptures, and in niches yet
higher up are the Prophets, Evangelists, Patriarchs and Sibyls. Giotto
intended to add a spire to the heavy balcony which projects from the top
of the last storey. The whole structure is cased in white, pink and
green marble, and thus harmonises with the exterior of the Duomo which
it adjoins. Had the spire been added, the _campanile_ would not have the
rather top-heavy appearance it has when seen from some distance away.

[Illustration: THE CAMPANILE, FLORENCE]

The cathedral is a building that stands on the site of a very early
church dedicated to S. Salvadore. Appropriately named Sta Maria del
Fiore, the construction was commenced in 1298 from the designs of
Arnolfo di Cambio. Many hands worked for nearly two centuries at
Arnolfo's designs, and continually altered them. On the whole, whatever
its merits, the building cannot be said to be an architectural success.
The façade, completed as recently as 1887 by Emilio di Fabris, is
perhaps the most fortunate feature. The Gothic windows on the north side
are certainly very beautiful. The mass of the huge dome seen from the
corner of the Via del Orviolo piles extremely well above the domes of
the apse and south transept. But most of the good points of the exterior
are lost in the "noisy" pattern of the different coloured marble panels,
which, like those in Giotto's _campanile_, encase the whole building.

The interior is vast and empty, and the dull grey colour that covers the
walls is almost worse than whitewash. Four immense bays constitute
either side of the nave. The heavy piers that support the arches would
be better without the ugly caps above the capitals. There is a gallery
above with pointed arches, and four circular windows on each side form
the clerestory. The best portions of the interior are the two aisles.
The glass in the windows of these, although almost obscured by dust and
cobwebs, is very lovely. The interior of the great dome was painted by
Vasari and Zuccaro, but reveals no beauties of design. The High Altar is
situated beneath this, and the choir stalls which are around are
enclosed by a high marble screen. Under the altar, in a fine bronze
casket, lie the remains of S. Zenobius, who was bishop of Florence at
the end of the fourth century. The apse of the cathedral consists of
five chapels; the middle one is dedicated to the saint. Behind the High
Altar is a fine, though unfinished _Pietà_, the last work commenced by
Michael Angelo. He intended it for his own tomb, but died before it was
completed. There are many things of value in both the Sagrestia della
Mese, the beautiful bronze doors of which are by Michelozzo, and the
Sagrestia Vecchia, over the door of which is one of Lucca della Robbia's
very best works. It is true that with oft-repeated visits the vast
building grows on one, but, however much its size may impress, it cannot
be called a landmark in Italian architecture.

Close by these two structures and due west of the cathedral façade, in
the middle of the Piazza del Duomo, stands the Baptistery. Its eight
walls were covered with marble by Arnolfo di Cambio some time after the
west door had been removed and the rectangular space for the altar
constructed inside. The three doors that remain are, with the lintels,
superb examples in bronze of the Renaissance period. The twenty panels
which depict the life of S. John the Baptist on the south door are the
work of Andrea Pisano. At the base of one lintel two nude male figures
carry children at a vintage festival; at the base of the other are two
female figures, amidst a cluster of corn stalks. Andrea Pisano has
almost excelled himself in the exquisite foliage which grows up both
posts. Above the door is a bronze group in which S. John kneels to
receive the stroke from the executioner's sword, while an angel holds up
a hand shielding the sight from her eyes. The East door by Ghiberti
contains prophets and sibyls in niches between the ten panels that
illustrate episodes of the Old Testament. The third door is by the same
hand. Its twenty panels of Gospel history are surrounded by exquisite
foliage, amidst which snails and beetles crawl and bees suck honey,
while here and there the fascinating head of an impudent little frog
peeps out.

The interior does not compare with Pisa's Baptistery. Granite columns
with gilt Corinthian capitals support a triforium gallery composed of
round arches with Ionic pillars. The square lights of the clerestory,
which alternate with mosaic panels, are behind another gallery that
leans inwards. From this springs the mosaic-covered dome. Up to the year
1571 a large font stood in the centre, directly under the opening in the
middle of the dome, which until then had no cupola. It was moved in that
year by Francesco I. for the baptism of his son! An act of sacrilege
which speaks volumes for the absolute power of the autocratic grand
dukes of those days.

[Illustration: PONTE VECCHIO, FLORENCE]

It is very interesting to examine the almost interminable series of
portraits that hang on the walls of the long passage connecting the
Ufizzi and Pitti Palaces. This passage crosses the river, and may be
seen in the illustration of the Ponte Vecchio, with its square barred
windows looking up the river. It is above the jewellers' shops--a
favourite haunt of the tourist--that hang so airily like spiders over
the water and crowd the old bridge. Amongst this extraordinary
collection of portraits of the Medici and their collaterals, may be
seen one of our own Charles II., Eleanor of Toledo, wife of Cosimo I.,
and Catherine de Medici, whose sly eyes, cunning and cruel mouth in no
way belie her character. All the reigning grand dukes are here, and not
one of them can be said, if these are faithful portraits, to have a
really open honest countenance. To judge by their physiognomies, they
ruled by brute force and craft. However, there are bronze figures of two
of the race who in metal appear more like noblemen than these travesties
in paint. Indeed when one sees the gilded figures of Ferdinand I. and
Cosimo II. standing over their tombs in the Capella Medicea, we feel
they were men of the great race that made Florence famous throughout the
civilised world.

The Capella Medicea stands at the back of the fine church of S. Lorenzo.
It is a gloomy octagonal building with a dome, and lined throughout in a
dull and heavy scheme, with most costly marble. The interior of the dome
is painted and gilded. Six members of the great family lie here in their
sarcophagi. The remains of two more rest in the Sacristy. But it is not
in connection with any reverence for the scions of the Medicean House
that our footsteps are drawn hither. No, the little sacristy is crowded
all day with those who come to see the work of Michael Angelo. Beneath
the statue on the tomb of Giuliano de Medici are the colossal figures of
Day and Night. These two wonderful creations are surpassed by Dawn and
Twilight on the tomb of Lorenzo, a grandson of Lorenzo the Magnificent,
and father of Catherine de Medici. His well-known seated figure is on
the tomb. More simple than these is the beautiful, but unfinished, group
of the Virgin and Child. The little altar, too, is a masterpiece of
simplicity by the same great hand.

To the church of S. Lorenzo is attached the celebrated Laurentian
Library, which contains the most valuable collection of MSS. in Italy,
the Vatican alone excepted. Among these is the seventh-century MS. of
the Vulgate Bible, written by Ceolfrid Abbot of Jarrow. At the corner of
the Piazza de S. Lorenzo is a fountain surmounted by a statue of
Giovanni delle Bande Nere, leader of the "Black Hand," whose son became
the Grand Duke Cosimo I. Opposite this fountain is the magnificent
palace of the Medici, the Palazzo Riccardi. From its beautiful
_cortile_, with reliefs by Donatello, a fine staircase leads up to the
big hall that has a ceiling painted by Luca Giordano. The palace was
built by Michelozzo for Cosimo, who lavished his wealth to such an
extent that the title he acquired of _Pater Patriæ_ was perhaps no
misnomer. By the same profuse expenditure his grandson Lorenzo became
known as Lorenzo il Magnifico. The family of Medici appears in the
chronicles of Florence towards the end of the twelfth century; but the
first member to lay claim to any distinction was Salvestro, who took a
prominent part in the revolt of the _Ciompi_ in 1378. The leader of this
insurrection was Michele di Landi, a _ciompo_ or wool-carder. Giovanni,
the banker, amassed the great wealth which enabled his son Cosimo to
carry out his ambitions.

Apart from the Capella Medicea the church of S. Croce may be looked upon
as the Westminster Abbey of Florence. In it is the tomb of the great
master who created "Dawn and Twilight." The monument to Michael Angelo
Buonarotti is the work of Vasari. Alas! one cannot but lament that the
irony of Fate has ordained the resting-place of genius should stand
against a wall on which are painted red curtains! Not only red curtains,
but a hideous red canopy with gold tassels drawn aside by vulgar little
abominations in the shape of fat cherubs. For once, one longs for the
whitewash brush. The cenotaph of Dante is placed close to the beautiful
Renaissance tomb of Leonardo Bruni. The recumbent figure of the
diplomatist lies stretched out on a slab borne by eagles, and represents
real repose in a marvellous manner. The red brick floor of the church
is almost covered with tomb slabs, some still in good relief, others
worn flat. Among them is that of John Ketterick, Bishop of Exeter, who
died in Florence in 1419 when on an embassy for his sovereign.

The airy interior of S. Croce is very fine. Slender octagonal columns of
a russet hue bear pointed arches with Italian-Gothic capitals. The
aisles have wooden roofs. The glass in the windows is good; and the
chapels at the east end and in the transepts are covered with most
interesting frescoes by Giotto, Taddeo and Agnolo Gaddi and others. S.
Croce is still served by the Black Conventuals, a sub-order of S.
Francis. The cloisters attached to the monastery were designed by
Arnolfo di Cambio, and through them one reaches the Capella Pazzi, one
of Brunelleschi's best buildings. The fine portico with its colonnade of
Ionic columns has a frieze of cherubs attributed to Donatello. The
entrance to the cloisters is from the Piazza S. Croce, the buildings on
the south side of which are typical of old Florence. The upper storeys
of these grey-brown walls overhang and are supported by huge wooden
cantilevers. One house, the Palazzo di Niccolo dell' Antela, is covered
with allegorical paintings by Giovanni da S. Giovanni, and on it is a
white marble disc that marked the goal in the game of _calcio_. The
Piazza, which is one of the largest in the city, was in bygone days the
public games-ground.

Another fine church of one of the great preaching Orders is S. Maria
Novella, which stands in the piazza of the same name, not far from the
railway station. The façade is a very clever adaptation by the genius
who planned the transformation of "Il Tempio" in Rimini, Leo Battista
Alberti. In S. Maria Novella he fitted Renaissance ideas to the earlier
Gothic construction of the arcades and lower portions of the buildings.
Like all Dominican churches the nave is disproportionately large, built
always thus to accommodate the great congregations who flocked to hear
the sermon; and so that all could hear, the pulpit was placed nearer the
west than the east end. In the sixteenth century Vasari altered the
interior and took away the marble screen that divided the conventual
from the public part of the church. It stood where a couple of steps run
right across the church at the fourth bay of the nave. This is lofty,
with a groined vault and pointed arches. The transepts have lateral
chapels and the choir is very shallow. One of these chapels is that of
the Rucellai family, whose coat of arms with an inflated sail has been
used with as good an effect by Alberti in the decoration of the façade
as the Malatesta coat at Rimini, where it will be remembered the little
elephants play so important a part in his scheme. In this chapel is the
famous panel, the so-called Cimabue's "Madonna," which some critics
attribute to Duccio da Siena. Speaking personally, however, I failed to
discover the greenish undertones that are a feature in Duccio's work.
The story tells us that when the picture left Cimabue's studio it was
hailed by the people in the streets with great admiration and holy
fervour. Attached to the west wall of the church are the cloisters. The
Chiostro Verde, so called from the greenish colour of its frescoes,
contains the Spanish chapel. One can here spend a very instructive
morning examining the fine mural decorations that cover the walls. The
Chiostro Grande is now a military gymnasium; but the upper part is
devoted to the Institution for Deaf Mutes and the Society for Repressing
Beggars. Many useful articles can here be purchased that are made by the
very poor. Tourists, make a note!

There is another useful institution, and one perhaps that is much better
known. The Spedale degli Innocenti, or Foundling Hospital, which admits
infants without any inquiry, and when the children are old enough boards
them out in peasant families, where they are trained to earn a
livelihood. The hospital is the work of Brunelleschi. In the spandrils
of the _loggia_ are the medallions of infants in blue and white by
Andrea della Robbia, reproductions of which hang on many a wall
throughout the civilised world.

Not far off is the monastery of S. Marco, the cloistered courts of which
once ran red with the blood of the monks. Fra Angelico's intensely
religious frescoes in the monastic cells surely helped to inspire the
brethren to defend their home by force of arms against those who were
determined to eradicate every vestige of their beloved Savonarola. A few
relics of this great democrat are still to be seen in his cell. The
writing-desk he used, a book of commentaries in his own minute hand, his
crucifix and other personal objects, remain as silent witnesses of the
fierce struggles in a mind brought to the lowest depths of despair and
well-nigh prostrate when the last act was accomplished in the Piazza
della Signoria.

Of the many great Florentine palaces the two that hold the incomparable
collections of pictures are the best known. The Uffizi stands on one
side of the river, the Pitti on the other. Emulating the lavish
expenditure of their rivals, the Medici, the Pitti family employed
Brunelleschi and Fancelli to erect a building which should outshine all
the Medicean palaces in Florence. So much was spent on it that
eventually the family were ruined, and Fate, that so often plays with
the over-ambitious, ordained that their rivals should step in and
purchase the huge building. The Grand-dukes of the Medici took up their
residence in the building, part of which is now the Royal Palace. From
the beautiful Boboli Gardens at the back, a very good view is obtained
of the cathedral and Giotto's Campanile, with Fiesole and the mountains
in the north rising beyond. But if we wish for a comprehensive
impression of Florence as she lies in the valley of the Arno, we must
ascend the hill on the top of which the church of S. Miniato al Monte
stands. Beneath the cypress trees at our feet the classic stream,
crossed by its famous bridges, winds away in the direction of the Monti
Pisani. The great dome of the Cathedral seems almost out of proportion
with the lesser landmarks around it. More than ever does one wish to see
the spire that Giotto designed to finish his grand bell-tower. And as
the eye wanders over roofs and embattled walls, the mind goes back to
Medicean days, ignoring for once the utilitarian vandalism that has
carried the noisy tramcar through the intricacies of the maze below us
in desecration of the memorials of a great age.

[Illustration: THE DUOMO, FLORENCE, FROM THE BOBOLI GARDENS]



PERUGIA


In the vicinity of Perugia many remains of Etruscan civilisation have
come to light, and part of the old Etruscan city walls still stand. On
top of the huge blocks of stone of which they are composed one may also
see the defensive superstructure added by the Romans, and above this the
red brick of a later date. Wandering in the older parts of the city,
where the houses are terraced on the steep hill-slopes and the narrow
streets, often burrowing under them, wind sinuously in and out, one is
carried right back without an effort into mediæval times. Neither does
it require any effort to picture the sanguinary faction fights between
the great Perugian families, the Oddi and Baglioni. Niccolò Pisano's
last work, the figures on the fountain by the steps of the Cathedral,
and the unfinished wall of the building itself, are to-day just as they
were in the fifteenth century when these same steps ran red with blood
in the accomplishment of the diabolical plot which wiped out a whole
family, save one. So tired of these conflicts were the more law-abiding
Perugians after this deed, or so surfeited with blood, that the might
of the Church Militant was called in to put an end to all distracting
feuds. The advent of Pope Paul III. was looked upon at the time as a
real deliverance; but the crafty Pontiff, knowing the hornet's nest he
came into, was sagacious enough to build for himself a fortress-palace
in an impregnable position. This, the Rocca Paolina, stood partly on the
ground at the end of the Corso Vannucci where a big hotel is now, and on
the garden space in front of it. The visitor to Perugia can never forget
the incomparable view from the wall of this garden; nor wonder, when he
looks over the veritable precipice beneath it, that the Baglioni, whose
palace was demolished to make way for Paul's fortress, could hold in
terror the rest of Perugia from the security afforded by their own
walls. Perugia is like an octopus, with a central hill on which the
Cathedral is situated, and from which long feelers stretch out in all
directions. A statue in a public garden at the end of one of these
feelers, or, more correctly speaking, promontories, commemorates the
expulsion of the Swiss Papal Guard by General Fanti in 1860. The city
then joined the newly formed kingdom of Italy and made an end of the
Church's supremacy by demolishing the Rocca Paolina.

[Illustration: THE CATHEDRAL AND OLD TOWN, PERUGIA]

It is rather extraordinary that when the strife between the nobles of
Perugia was at its height art was in the most flourishing condition.
Fashion, or perhaps the hall-mark of the "gentleman" of those days,
dictated that he should patronise art. We see this in the records of all
the great families of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries; and
however bloodthirsty and revengeful they were amongst themselves, they
had this one great merit. And so we find that while the Oddi were
slaying the Baglioni, Perugino, Pinturicchio, Raphael, and Signorelli
were all at work in Umbria, where one half of the people seem to have
given up their lives to bloodshed and the other half to the
contemplation of sweet-faced Madonnas and paintings of religious
fervour.

In the middle of this ancient city stands its Cathedral, but, alas! with
no redeeming architectural feature, either outside or within. The
exterior reminds one of the tale of the man who, having made a little
money, built a house like a cube with windows, telling his friends that
when he could afford it he would have the architecture put on. All that
can be said about its outer walls is that if the design of pink marble
quatrefoil slabs had been carried out and finished, it would have looked
even worse than it does now.

The bronze statue of Pope Julius III. on the south façade was erected by
the subscriptions of the people to show their appreciation for the
restitution of those privileges of which they had been deprived by the
builder of the Rocca Paolina. It is placed on one side of a door, and on
the other side the pulpit, put up for the use of S. Bernardino of Siena,
who came to Perugia to preach peace and allay the feuds of the nobles,
is a sort of pendant.

Ten octagonal columns, painted to represent marble, stand in the nave
and support the Gothic groined vaulting which springs from gilded
Corinthian capitals. The first bay on the south side is enclosed by a
good iron grille. Within is the Capella del S. Anello, containing
Perugia's most sacred relic, the wedding-ring of the Blessed Virgin.
This was filched one day from Chiusi, the pleasant little town where one
so often changes trains on the way from Rome. To prevent a repetition of
the theft it has, since its arrival in Perugia, been enclosed in a
reliquary that can be opened only by fifteen different keys kept by
fifteen different citizens. The Capella de S. Bernardino occupies the
opposite bay of the north aisle. The choir is a five-sided apse, round
which are the canons' stalls of good _intarsia_ work. The central of the
three windows is almost filled by the organ loft, and the choir gallery
is above the stalls. In the north transept a little door in an almost
hidden angle of the wall opens out into the cloisters. Of the two
courts the inner, with two galleries, is a very picturesque and quiet
spot. Creepers come trailing down the walls, flowers in boxes add a
touch of colour, and the cooing of doves gave one the idea that here at
any rate, in the precincts of a sanctuary, was a haven of rest from the
brawling world outside. The Cathedral library has a great treasure in
the possession of the Codex of St. Luke of the sixth century. It is
bound in silver and written in letters of gold on purple-coloured
vellum--a splendid combination.

Not many of Perugia's churches can rejoice to-day in the preservation of
their original state. Those attached to the disendowed monasteries are
now mostly barracks, and others have been restored or propped up as a
consequence of intermittent earthquakes that developed great cracks in
their walls. Coming through the Porta Susanna, the lowest part of which
is Etruscan masonry put together without any cement, one leaves the
ancient city behind, and, turning to the right, sees across the vacant
Piazza de S. Francesco the gem of Perugia's ecclesiastical architecture.
The little oratory of S. Bernardino stands adjoining the ruined church
of St. Francis. The lovely façade of this tiny building is by Agostino
Ducci, who built it in marble and terra-cotta. Its two doors are
enclosed by a rounded archway, in the tympanum of which is a figure of
our Lord in Glory with two archangels. S. Bernardino is beneath. Around
him are many angels who sing to the accompaniment of the musical
instruments on which they play. Beyond the angels are two rows of
cherubims with heavenly faces. The ground colour of the tympanum on
which all these delicately modelled bas-reliefs stand was evidently at
one time a gorgeous blue and gold. It has faded to a beautiful "broken"
cerulean. The jambs of the portal are green serpentine, and contain
three figures of angels on each side. They carry implements of husbandry
and agriculture. Six panels on the façade have more angels with musical
instruments. Arabesques cover the posts of the portal, and laurel is
carved on them as well. Four terra-cotta saints occupy niches; under
these are scenes in higher relief illustrating events in the life of S.
Bernardino. In one he is depicted saving a boy from a watery grave. The
delicate pink and warm opaque yellow of the terra-cotta, the white
marble and green serpentine, and the exquisite note of blue, with traces
over all of faded and half-obliterated gilding, make this gem one of the
best pieces of external colouring to be met with in Italy.

[Illustration: THE PORTA SUSANNA, PERUGIA]

One finds a church situated at the extremity of each of Perugia's
promontories. The Romanesque church just outside the S. Costanza Gate is
well worth a visit, if it be only to look at its eastern portal.
Slender, twisted pillars of marble support the architrave, on which is a
central figure of Christ seated in a circle. On either side are the
saint with a dove, and a lion with a gryphon. Elegant pilasters are
carried from the steps up above the architrave. They are carved with
quaint trees growing out of monsters, and support goats and other
animals. Leo XIII., when Bishop of Perugia, restored the façade, but
very judiciously left this portal alone. Crosses and other Christian
symbols in terra-cotta are the fruit of the restoration. On to all
these--in fact, wherever they could find a purchase--the mason-bees have
settled and built their nests. The drowsy hum from the busy little
colony adds much to the pleasure of a reverie as one sits on the steps
of the doorway and looks across the vale to Assisi, baking in the sun,
and to the scarred mountains beyond.

The never-completed church of S. Domenico, which Giovanni Pisano
designed as a Gothic building, contains a grand Gothic monument by that
master. The figure of Pope Benedict XI., who died by eating poisoned
figs, lies on his sarcophagus behind curtains which two charming figures
draw aside. The fine Gothic canopy of the tomb is supported by twisted
columns inlaid with _tesseræ_ in the same style as the pillars in the
portico of Lucca's cathedral.

The Benedictine church of S. Pietro would have been a very impressive
basilica had not every inch of its walls been covered by poor frescoes
and huge canvases of mediocre paintings. The nave is simple, with a good
coffered roof. In one of the aisle chapels there is a very beautiful
altar by that delightful artist, Mino da Fiesole; and the tabernacle
over the high altar is a good example of marble work. It is surmounted
by bronze figures standing at the angles round the base of its little
cupola. The magnificent reading-desk is also worthy of note. It rests on
a table with good carved panels illustrating events in S. Peter's life.

[Illustration: THE PIAZZA GARIBALDI, PERUGIA]

One of the finest Domestic Gothic façades in Italy is that of the
Palazzo Pubblico. A grand doorway of clustered and twisted columns
ornamented with arabesques gives on to the Corso Vannucci. Above the
portal are the city's three protectors, SS. Lorenzo, Ercolano, and
Costanza. By their sides and overhanging the pavement, on brackets, are
two huge gryphons holding a sheep and a calf. Within the building are
the Municipal Offices, and on the third floor the _pinacoteca_, on the
walls of which hang some of Perugino's best work. The façade, which
faces the Piazza del Duomo, has a fine flight of steps leading to
an entrance on the first floor. Above this are two more gryphons in
bronze and a lion. Depending from the gryphons is the great chain and
bar which were captured from the Sienese. Three fine arches support a
_loggia_, outside which is a pulpit, removed hither from the demolished
church of S. Salvatore. This side of the Palazzo is the oldest part of
the building, preceding in construction that which is in the Corso
Vanucci by fifty years. A third part, that was added in 1429 for the
Bankers' Guild, is known as the Collegio del Cambio. The great hall
inside is decorated with very good examples of Perugino's brush, and has
a marvellous ceiling covered with arabesques and medallions by his
pupils. Carved stalls and benches of walnut wood with _intarsia_ work,
and fine doors, complete an _ensemble_ which is one of the best examples
of an early Renaissance interior.

The old Piazza del Sopra Mura, so called because the buildings on one
side were erected on the Etruscan walls, has been renamed the Piazza
Garibaldi. A statue of the hero may be seen in the illustration. On the
right of the sketch, built on the walls, is the Palazzo del Capitano del
Popolo, at present the Assize Court. Its Gothic façade has a good porch
and a _ringheria_, or balcony. The _piazza_ is one of the best "bits" in
this quaint old city, and when filled with market folk haggling over
bargains under their umbrellas is a typical Italian scene in a typical
Italian setting.

There are not many places in Italy that boast so fine a view as Perugia
can from the garden where once stood the Baglioni's palace. In winding
lines directly beneath one a road, buttressed up by great blocks of
masonry, now leads downhill to the station. To our left is a mat of
grey-brown roofs, out of which rise hundreds of curiously shaped
chimneys. Heavy stones keep some of the roof tiles in place. A necessary
precaution, for, although these are laid three deep, a storm of extra
violence is apt to whisk them away by scores. Glimpses of delicious
walled-in gardens and old conventual courtyards nestling behind high
walls break the colour of our brown mat with relieving patches of green.
Bell towers and a spire or two rear themselves out of the harmoniously
coloured network and catch the early sun like beacons. Tortuous alleys
appear and disappear amidst this delightful chaos, and little figures
like ants may be seen labouring up the steep slopes. A sudden jump in
colour from brown to green and the eye has leapt a thousand feet or more
to the vast and fertile plain beyond. Shadows thrown by fleecy clouds,
with which from our height, we seem to be on a level, chase one another
over the emerald carpet. Little hills, covered with trees, appear as
flat as the plain below. Dark cypresses and pines cluster round the
farms and homesteads that punctuate the landscape with white dots. Long
thin ribbons of the same colour tell where the main roads run to Assisi,
to Foligno, to Rome or Orvieto. As the eye travels on, the emerald
merges imperceptibly into green of a blueish tinge. Hills twenty miles
away rise in a purple mass under the shadow of the clouds above. But
what a perfect canopy the sky is! The sun pierces the well-ordered
battalions that are moving across it from the west, and with long,
straight rays strikes the windings of the river that runs on to the
Eternal City and flows out to sea. Far away, through the yellow haze
that throws the purple hills into such bold relief, are shadowed forms
rising tier above tier in the mystery of distant sunlight. The snowy
crests of Italy's central chain toss themselves up to heaven, hardly
distinguishable from the farthest mass of the marching hosts of the sky.
Yes, truly an unforgettable view, and one which the Baglioni of old,
from their castle windows, must have drunk in with pride. Well nigh as
far as their eye reached the country owed them allegiance.



ASSISI


Of all the wonderful hill towns of Italy, Assisi can claim a kind of
pre-eminence in saintship and monasticism. The delicate finger of time
has touched lightly and lovingly the little mediæval fortress which gave
to the world S. Francis and S. Chiara. One might say that every stone in
the place is saturated with the memory of the former and sweetened by
the recollection of the saintly woman who outlived him many years. The
life of S. Francis of Assisi is one of the most enthralling tales in the
history of the saints. He, who was the son of a rich cloth merchant, and
up to the age of twenty-four had led a gay and vicious life, has left to
humanity one of the greatest examples of charity, humility and chastity
that the world has ever seen.

As one approaches the quiet little place, the first thing to attract is
the great church of S. Maria degli Angeli, built over the Porziuncula.
This, a small chapel, was presented to S. Francis by the Benedictines of
Mte Subacio, and is the scene of the closing years of his life and his
death. A fine altarpiece by Andrea della Robbia in the north transept
shows the saint receiving the _stigmata_, or wounds of our Lord's
Passion. Pope Pius V. raised the cupola that is directly over the spot
where S. Francis expired. The charming little garden where the saint
cultivated his plants and medicinal herbs adjoins the sacristy; and
there still flourish in it the thornless roses of the legend. Two years
after the death of S. Francis, the immense building that rises on a
massive substructure was commenced by Gregory IX. The great convent and
two churches, one above the other, that seem from below as solid as the
rocks beyond, were erected over the saint's grave. S. Francis, when
dying, expressed a wish to be interred outside the city walls; but his
disciples, so we are led to believe, carried his body up secretly two
years later, and placed it in a sarcophagus, which was found imbedded in
the rock in the year 1818. It had lain there inviolate for six hundred
years.

The lower church, which one enters by a Gothic porch, is very dark. This
is emphasised if the sun happens to be very brilliant. By degrees,
however, the wonderful ultramarine used in the decoration of the groined
roof asserts itself, and what at first seemed utter blackness unfolds
imperceptibly into an extraordinary scheme of colour. The costly blue
was presented by Hecuba, Queen of Cyprus, whose tomb is in the church.
The great porphyry vase in which it was brought thither is there too.
Chapels raised six steps above the floor of the nave take the place of
aisles; and their windows, filled with stained glass, do not help to
mitigate the darkness. The High Altar stands at the inter-section of the
nave and transepts. Immediately beneath is the rock containing the
saint's remains. The altar itself is a huge slab of stone brought from
Constantinople. It rests on twenty slender columns that form a sort of
arcade with trefoils and mosaic spandrils. The tour compartments of the
vault above are adorned with some of the finest of Giotto's work. They
are known as the Poverty series, and Chastity, Obedience, and S. Francis
in Glory.

A fine vestibule at the west end of the nave fronts the Piazza
Superiore, and carries the façade of the upper church. This is smaller
than the lower church by the width of the side chapels, and consists of
a nave, short transepts, and apse. The nave is decorated by a once noble
series of frescoes by Giotto of the life of S. Francis. They are much
damaged by injudicious restoration, and comparing them with other works
by the same master-hand, it is open to question whether much of the
colour from his brush is now on the walls. Above them is the almost
ruined work of Cimabue. Alas! that such masterpieces should have been
so neglected.

On the way to the upper town one passes through the old Roman Forum, now
the Piazza Grande. In the square stands the Palazzo del Capitano, to
which a fine tower is attached. Further on, as one climbs the ascent,
the street opens out into the Piazza Rufino, at the end of which the
cathedral is situated. Dedicated to the first bishop of Assisi, who
suffered martyrdom in the year 286, the building was commenced in 1140.
The fine façade has three portals, elaborately carved in low relief, and
three very good round windows. Grotesque figures of birds and beasts are
set on brackets near the centre window, and occupy other places on the
façade. The interior was restored and altered at the end of the
sixteenth century, and is in no way remarkable. It contains, however,
the font in which S. Francis was baptized, and two good statues of white
marble, one of S. Francis, the other of S. Chiara.

[Illustration: THE CATHEDRAL, ASSISI]

Assisi is distinctly a sun-baked city; and built of local warm-coloured
stone, it looks almost on fire when the rays of the setting sun light up
its walls, its roofs, and its towers. Thus does the illustration depict
the cathedral's façade and Romanesque _campanile_. In the piazza stands,
on a pedestal, the bronze statue of the saint which replaced that
which is inside the building. The street under the houses on the
left leads to the Roman theatre, and on the right one proceeds to the
church of S. Chiara. The mummified body of S. Clare still rests in the
crypt; and the Crucifix which spoke to Giovanni Bernardone in the church
of S. Damiano is in the north transept. To this crucifix was due the
change which transfigured the life of the young man, and gave to the
world one of its greatest saints. Giovanni was nicknamed Francesco by
his father, who had an extensive trade connection with France, and a
name given in jest has become one of the most remarkable in the history
of the Church. The country round Assisi is full of beautiful subjects
for pen and pencil; and long meditative rambles are within reach of the
poorest pedestrian. The spirit of S. Francis dominates all. It is not
far to the _carceri_, the little dug-out rock chambers that he at first
inhabited with his few followers; and the gorge through which one climbs
to reach them is that where he was one night attacked by robbers, who
finding their victim clad only in a hair shirt, beat him and left him
for dead in a drift of snow. The life of S. Francis has ever been an all
absorbing one for the painter's art. One of the favourite subjects
connected with it is his marriage with the Lady Poverty. The vows he
took of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience were demanded from all his
followers. His rule once established, his disciples were known as the
Frati Minori. When preaching to the poor he often exposed to view a
representation of the birth of Christ which he carried about, and it was
over this _presépio_, or manger, that the first Christmas carols were
sung.



SIENA


Siena, the Ghibelline, at one time always at war with Florence the
Guelph, no longer disputes with her ancient rival the glory of being the
foremost of Tuscan cities. But, though she no longer does this, pride in
her Roman origin has never ceased. She still retains the S. P. Q. S. as
the head-line of municipal notices; and the she-wolf and twins are to be
found sculptured on many a column that adorns some of her little
courtyards as well as on odd corners about her walls. Nine gates, one of
which boasts a barbican, admit the stranger to her dark up-and-down-hill
streets. She possesses many fine palaces. She might have possessed the
grandest Gothic cathedral in all Italy had funds permitted its
completion. As it is, it is one of the most remarkable and is adjoined
by one of the most beautiful _campanile_ in the country. If the visitor
braves the heat of August, she can show him the very best survival of
mediæval times in her celebrated _Palio_, or horse-race, that takes
place every year in the great piazza. In her streets you will hear the
purest Italian spoken. Her women, as the month of May comes round, don
the most becoming of straw hats, and her people are justly famed for
their courtesy. Fortunately for some of us, the tourist hurries on to
Florence or Rome. But for him who loves the repose and personal charm of
an old-world city, Siena will always open her arms and gather him in an
embrace that will hold him for ever enchanted by the fascination of a
delightful memory.

Almost in the centre of the city and occupying a space on the top of the
highest hill, Siena's cathedral is to-day a fragment only of what its
builders hoped to erect. The west end of the original nave is away at
the end of the piazza to the south of the present south transept. The
present nave was built as one of the transepts, and when its size is
realised the grand scheme that was never completed can be judged. The
building was begun in 1229 and the dome over the crossing finished
thirty years later. About sixty years after this the scheme to construct
the huge nave was commenced. It was only owing to a terrible plague
which carried off, it is said, eighty thousand people, that this was
abandoned. The tracery of a very beautiful Gothic window remains at the
unfinished west end, to make one marvel at the splendid proportions of
the intended fabric.

[Illustration: THE CATHEDRAL, SIENA]

The cathedral, of which a fine view is obtained from the church of S.
Domenico on the opposite hill, is approached from the Piazza del Duomo
by twelve marble steps. The topmost which forms the platform in front of
the façade is inlaid with _graffiti_ designs in black and other colours.
Three crocketed gables crown Giovanni Pisano's façade. Their surface is
covered with modern mosaics. Under the centre gable, surrounded by a
square frame of Gothic niches filled with half-length figures of saints,
is an immense round window devoid of all tracery, but filled with good
glass. A flat black band of marble frames the niches. Elegant turrets
with crocketed pinnacles surmounted by saints are on either side of this
gable. The two other gables are flanked by towers, each with a solid
turret. The purest piece of architecture is the gallery which is between
the centre and these two side gables. Below runs a classic frieze
separating the upper from the lower part of the façade. The columns and
pilasters of the three portals are of white and red marble; they are so
heavily laden with elaborate sculpture of beasts, birds, and foliage
that they seem to lose their _raison d'être_ and no longer support
anything. The capitals of all these are formed of elongated acanthus
leaves, and might be likened to a field of waving maize. It is very
interesting to note, by the classic work which Pisano introduced
everywhere on the façade, how difficult it apparently was for him to get
away from the tradition of his country's classic architecture when
designing a Gothic façade.

The whole front is covered with white marble statues perched on every
available place. Gargoyles, like _chevaux de frise_, protrude from every
angle and corner. On the brackets over the four main columns of the
porches are two horses, a winged lion, and a lion _regardant_. The whole
of the front lacks repose, a condition which is intensified by the black
and white inlay of the flat surfaces. The centre gable overlaps the
portal beneath, and the apexes of the two side gables are beyond the
middle of the two side portals. This is a good arrangement, and assists
the balance of the composition, which is well restrained by the deep-set
gallery and dark shade of the flanking towers.

The pointed windows of the south aisle and transept are canopied. On top
of each of the buttresses between them is a white marble figure. The
magnificent _campanile_ rises above the chapel close to the south door.
Like the rest of the cathedral it is banded in black and white marble.
The lowest of its seven courses is constructed with a solid exterior,
the next is pierced by an arch, the third by two arches, and so on,
increasing until at the top stage there are six arches. Four turrets
with slender spires finish off the corners at the top, and a good
hexagonal spire rises from the centre. The dome is supported by an open
gallery. The idea of a central tower never seems to have appealed to the
Italian in his Gothic work; even at Milan the spire of the cathedral can
hardly be said to rise from a tower.

The interior of the cathedral, by reason of the very decided black and
white bands of marble, although mellowed with age, is not restful to the
eye. The nave consists of five bays on each side. The aisles have round
arches. The transepts are double and of unequal length. All the windows
are pointed with the exception of the two round ones at the east and
west ends. The clustered columns of the nave are of very good
proportion; above them is a heavy frieze. Between the numerous consoles
of this is a series of terra cotta busts of all the Popes. Executed at
one time, they are, like the medallion portraits of the Pontiffs in S.
Paolo fuori at Rome, not authentic likenesses. What gilding there is, is
away up in the roof and on the bosses in the soffits of the arches, but
it is old and not really obtrusive. The same may be said for the
star-spangled blue vault. The illustration shows the cold light from the
north transept window striking Niccolò Pisano's beautiful pulpit, in
contradistinction to the warm rays that penetrate this noble fabric
through the clerestory windows of the nave. Arnolfo di Cambio and
Niccolò's son Giovanni had a share in the execution of this splendid
work, which may be ranked next to the pulpit in the Baptistery at Pisa.
The pavement of the whole cathedral is composed of _graffiti_ in
coloured marble pictures. To preserve this unique pavement the
authorities have wisely covered the nave and aisles with a wooden floor;
and except during the month of August and on great festivals, when this
covering is taken away, the only portion in the lower part of the church
exposed to view is that under the dome. This is railed off.

The six niches at the top of the clustered columns that support the
cupola are filled with colossal metal figures. On bronze brackets, fixed
to each pier of the choir, are thirteenth-century bronze figures of
angels holding lamps. One admires the good taste that has always left
these bronzes ungilded. The same praise may be accorded in the case of
the grand bronze candlesticks on the high altar, and the magnificent
tabernacle by Lorenzo di Pietro which rests on it. The only note which
really jars is the crescent of hideous gilded cherubims that partially
surround the east window. The choir stalls, which were exchanged for
those in the convent of Mont' Oliveto Maggiore, nineteen miles out of
Siena, have extremely good _intarsia_ work of architectural and
"still-life" panels.

[Illustration: INTERIOR OF SIENA CATHEDRAL]

In the north aisle is the Piccolomini chapel, with a very fine
Renaissance wall of carved arabesques. In niches stand statuettes, in
the execution of which Michael Angelo had a hand. The celebrated
Libreria Piccolomini adjoins this. Its walls are decorated with the
frescoes of the life of Pius II., a scion of this noble House. In the
centre of the library stands the beautiful group of the Three Graces, a
Græco-Roman work which Raphael drew from and studied.

The baptistery, S. Giovanni Battista, is below the east end of the
cathedral on a steep hill-side. Its exceptionally good Gothic front by
Giacomo di Mino was never completed, and for this reason, as will be
seen in the illustration, the roof of the cathedral has a barn-like
termination at this end. The interior is a sort of transverse nave with
two piers supporting a groined and vaulted roof. The frescoes of the
apse, though much faded, still retain some of the rich colouring with
which two Brescian painters decorated them. The font is a very beautiful
example of Giacomo della Quercia's work, and is adorned with six bronze
gilt panels, one of which is by Donatello. Small figures occupy the
corners, and are by the same master-craftsman.

Among the many great names on Siena's roll of fame, the two saints
Catherine and Bernardino are perhaps the best known. A little way beyond
the margin of the first picture of this chapter, to the left, is the
house where the former first saw light. The last of twenty-five children
born to Giacomo Beninsca and his wife, her childhood was marked by an
extraordinary ascetic devotion overwhelming all other feelings, so that
at the age of sixteen she entered the Order of S. Dominic. The series of
chapels which the Casa Beninsca is now turned into will be for some,
from their sacred associations, the most interesting spots in all the
city. The house has a charming _loggia_ and _cortile_, but otherwise no
architectural features worthy of note. On the hill above, and behind the
spot from which the sketch was made, is the church of S. Domenico, in
which S. Catherine worshipped; it is a huge building in the style of all
Dominican churches, with a great nave, no aisles, a shallow choir and
transepts. Her life was one replete with visions. In the chapel at the
west end S. Catherine took the veil. Little could she have known at the
time, that she was ordained some future day to be the prime factor in
recalling Pope Gregory XI. from Avignon to Rome.

S. Bernardino was the son of the Governor of Massa Maritima, a Sienese
town not far from the coast opposite the Isle of Elba. He joined the
preaching Order of S. Francis at the age of twenty-two, and was one of
those who always drew immense crowds to listen to his eloquent words.
When in Florence he made a bonfire of evil books and vanities, thus
forestalling one of Savonarola's great revolutionary acts. So great was
his influence considered to be that, while in Perugia, the great bell
was always tolled during his occupation of the pulpit. Care of the poor
was one of his chief aims, and he established the "Monte di Pietà," for
lending money on small pledges, to save those in want from the heavy
hand of the usurer.

Of all the palaces in Siena that which stands on the south side of the
Campo, the Palazzo Pubblico, is the most famous. Nearly every one who
reads these lines must be familiar, through photographs or otherwise,
with the magnificent _campanile_ "del Mangia"--a title that originated
with a figure, nicknamed the "Glutton," that at one time struck the
hours on its bells. The illustration gives a view of the tower seen
through the Arco di S. Guiseppe. It is three hundred and thirty-four
feet high, and is built of brick with a machicolated stone cap and
bell-turret above. At its base stands the Cappella della Piazza, a very
beautiful open _loggia_, built to commemorate the city's deliverance
from the great plague that was instrumental in causing the proposed
enlargement of the cathedral to be given up. The Palazzo itself consists
of a huge central square block with Sienese battlements--square with
hatched mouldings. A couple of turrets rise in three storeys above the
two side wings of the block. The lowest storey of the building is of
stone, the others of that delightful red brick which charms the
painter's eye, and is peculiar to Siena. All the windows of the palace
are pointed, with a flat containing-member outside the three lights of
each. Two good courtyards give entrance by stairways to the upper floors
of the building, which is now used for judicial business. Almost
opposite, across the Campo, is the Palazzo del Governo, formerly the
palace of the great Piccolomini family. It contains the treasures of
Siena, the state archives; and in front of it stands the Font Gaia.

In the Via del Capitano, leading into the Piazza del Duomo, is the
Palazzo Squarcialupi. This thirteenth-century building was, in the old
days, the official residence of the Judges of Appeal and the Captains of
War. The Loggia dei Mercanti was built in the fifteenth century for the
use of the City Fathers who assembled here in their business capacity of
merchants to judge trade disputes. So widespread was the fame of this
impartial tribunal that foreigners often brought their differences
before it for adjustment. The palace is now known as the Casino dei
Nobili. Many fine residences line the tortuous and shady thoroughfares,
and others form parts of the different squares. Most of them have iron
rings and brackets let into their walls similar to many of the
Florentine palaces and those already mentioned in the chapter on
Bologna.

[Illustration: THE ARCO DI S. GIUSEPPE, SIENA]

It is not, however, so much in the individual buildings that the charm
of Siena lies, nor in the long line of painters whose works are on the
walls of the Spedale in the Piazza del Duomo, in the Accademia delle
Belle Arti, and elsewhere. Rather is it in the personal and intimate
note of the beautiful old city taken as a whole. For even the sojourn of
a single week will captivate and make one feel as if he belonged to
Siena, and Siena to him. It may be that the wheeled traffic, which can
follow but two or three distinct lines through her streets, shuts off in
silence large areas of the city, and that the visitor is left more to
himself and his reveries than is the case in most Italian towns.
Whatever it be, it is difficult to define, but the more one knows Siena
the more whole-heartedly does one give oneself up to her charm.

Is there anything quite the same, quite so peaceful, and yet so full of
history's wars, as the view from the pleasant gardens of La Lizza? Pass
on to the walls of the Fortessa at the end of "the Lists," or old
tilting-ground, and what a beautiful landscape unfolds itself!
Undulating ground, covered with vines and orchards, carries us into a
middle distance of cypress and pine-clad hills. These stretch away into
an opalescent haze, out of which to the north and east rise the peaks of
far-distant mountains. To the west but one great mass soars above the
sea of golden mist--Mte. Amiata, always different yet always the same. A
solitary mountain, once seen ever remembered; a mountain one can love.
What a land of sunshine and pastoral beauty it is! Always at its best in
springtime before the summer's sun has laid its grip on the red earth
and scorched it sere, and when the showers of April freshen and draw
from the warm soil that scent of Mother Earth, which nothing man has
ever made can equal and which no money can buy.

[Illustration: UNDER THE WALLS, SIENA]



ORVIETO


Orvieto, yet another of the wonderful hill towns of Italy, is quite
unlike any of those with which this book has hitherto dealt. It has an
absolutely insular position, due to its situation on top of an isolated
crag of dark volcanic rock which rises out of the wide valley of the
river Paglia. The rock, which crowns the steep slopes of a hill, goes
upwards a sheer precipice on three sides. On the fourth, the old road
circles and winds in and out of olive groves and orchards, until, having
climbed the ascent, it finally enters the city in a bold curve close to
where the funicular rail from the station terminates. The principal
entrance is the Porta Maggiore at the other end of the rock. It is a
gateway hewn out of the solid _tufa_ and built across a very narrow
natural gorge. Two other gates pierce the walls. One, at the east end,
is close to the old Fortessa--now converted into a charming garden. Like
an old eagle that in his declining years cannot trust his wings for far
flight, this grim old city, built of black lava, broods over the sweep
of country below. Very few places in the country occupied so
impregnable a position.

On the northern slopes of the hill there has been unearthed in a
peasant's garden one of the most complete Etruscan _necropoli_ in Italy.
One tomb is left exactly as it was found, with the contents--vases,
jars, utensils of bronze, &c.--in their original position.

[Illustration: LA PORTA MAGGIORE, ORVIETO]

In the troublous times that so often overtook Papal Rome no fewer than
thirty-two different Pontiffs found refuge in Orvieto from incipient
revolutions. The impregnable situation of the city rendered it safe and
immune from attack. Pope Clement VII., who fled here after the sack of
Rome by the Emperor Charles V., caused the Pozzo di S. Patrizio to be
made. This extremely cleverly constructed well is hewn out of the solid
rock for a depth of one hundred-and-eighty feet, and has a double spiral
staircase outside the water shaft. The Papal Court naturally followed
the Pope, and Orvieto in the days which have gone must have worn a more
human air than it does now. One can understand that then its dark,
solemn streets resounded with a little gaiety, and its palaces had a
greater show of life than they have at the present time. True, the
owners now spend most of the year in Rome, and reside in their fortress
homes for the summer months only. But even their advent does not,
to the stranger, bring much more life into this solemn place. No
other word describes the palaces of Orvieto better than the above.
Nearly every one of these fortress palaces has a tower of defence, the
walls of which are from eight to ten feet thick. Many of them are
connected with one another by underground passages, and none have any
windows at all accessible from the outside. The lower class of
inhabitants are quiet and sad-looking. They appear even to this day to
live under some heavy mental weight. Maybe generations of suppression
and the dominance of an intriguing Court has had an influence that is
inbred into the children born now. Then, too, it was so far down hill
and up across the opposite slopes to the world beyond! So toilsome a
climb to return home! You feel this to-day when you live in
Orvieto--feel that this silent city is an island. Can you be surprised,
when you think of these adverse influences, that the poorer Orvietans
have not quite the gay and friendly air of the peasantry of the plains?
But whatever the people may be, they live in a wonderful old city, and
they live under the shadow of a grand Gothic cathedral.

Standing in a fine open piazza with the Palazzo del Papa on one side,
the Hospital on another, and the Bishop's palace on a third, this fine
church occupies the vantage ground of Orvieto. In the Vatican, one of
Raphael's well-known frescoes illustrates the miracle of Bolsena. It
was to commemorate this that Pope Urban IV. founded the cathedral. The
magnificent façade has three porches. The centre one has round arches,
and the other two are pointed. Four flat panels are at the bases of the
shafts that divide the façade. These shafts end in crocketed pinnacles
surrounding the Gothic turrets, which soar upwards beyond the three
gables at the top of the façade. The gables themselves rise above the
roofs of the nave and aisles. The only fault one can find with this
beautiful building, and it is one common to most Italian Gothic
churches, is that the façade is "stuck on," and does not really form
part of the architectural composition of the building. A glance at the
illustration will explain what is meant.

The four panels are justly placed among the masterpieces of Italian
sculpture of the thirteenth century. Vasari attributes the designs to
Niccolò Pisano. This may be, but it is known that Giovanni Pisano and
others were the artists who executed them. The first in order begins at
the lowest left-hand corner of the north panel, and records the Creation
of the World and all beasts and birds. Then follow the histories of Adam
and Eve, Cain and Abel, Jubal--making bells, and Tubal-Cain measuring on
a scroll with a compass.

[Illustration: THE FAÇADE OF THE CATHEDRAL, ORVIETO]

This completes the first and best panel of the four. Each incident is
enclosed by a very beautifully cut and intricate pattern of the vine.
The second panel depicts scenes from the Old Testament; the third, the
Tree of Jesse, the Nativity and Life of Christ, with classic foliage
intervening. The fourth is very good and represents the Resurrection;
here figures of a very Greek type rise from Greek sarcophagi. Saints,
Virgins, and the Saviour in Glory surrounded by Apostles also find
places on this panel. It finishes in the lowest right-hand corner with a
most realistic scene in Hell. Raphael, it is said, came to Orvieto to
study these wonderful works.

Immediately above and at the bases of the four shafts are the huge
bronze symbols of the four Evangelists. They rest on the _abaci_ of the
pilasters which form a sort of drip-course right along the façade. Over
the centre porch is a bronze tent, the curtains of which Angels draw
aside revealing the Virgin and Child seated. The lights, forming the
tympanums of the porches, are thin sheets of alabaster. The columns are
spiral and twisted, octagonal and quadrangular. Each is set against a
different coloured background of black lava, red, white, or grey marble;
and each is covered with geometrical mosaic. The wheel window of the
façade is beautified with exceptionally good tracing. It is framed by
quatrefoils in panels, with the head of a saint in each. On two sides of
these, in recessed rectangular niches, are statues of the Twelve
Apostles.

At the top of the frame are canopied niches with a row of saints. The
whole of this wonderful front is covered by modern mosaics which do not
quite fit in with the severe lines of the architecture. Neither does the
scheme of colour in which they are executed take its place with the
warmth of the marble as well as it might.

The whole of the main building is constructed in bands of black lava and
white marble. Semicircular chapels in the aisles break the monotony of
the lower portion of the exterior; while the upper is rendered less
severe by the pointed clerestory windows, a dripstone and string-course,
and a good cornice.

The interior is one of the best in Italy. It was greatly improved when
the colossal statues which stood at the bases of the piers were removed,
and the side chapels cleared of their altars and rather meretricious
adornments. The massive columns of the nave, eight of which are round,
four clustered, and two engaged, have capitals that partake of a style
far more classic than Gothic. Above the round arches they support runs a
triforium gallery. This is open in the nave, and covered at the west
end, where it follows the slope upwards of the gables of the aisles. At
the east end it is carried over the window, being also covered in here.
The windows of the aisles are all filled, or partly filled, with thin
slabs of alabaster. The effect of light produced through this thick but
comparatively translucent medium is extremely mellow and beautiful.

The short transepts are raised three steps above the nave, and the choir
five. A fine red marble balustrade separates the latter from the rest of
the church. The open stalls in the choir have some extremely good
_intarsia_ work. The wooden screen that shuts them off from the nave is
a carved mass of most intricate geometrical design. Under the east
window is the bishop's throne, backed and surrounded with more good
_intarsia_, in which saints and sainted bishops with their symbols most
effectively figure. The walls above and around are covered with
fourteenth-century frescoes by Pietro di Puccio and Ugolino, both native
artists. In their present faded state they harmonise beautifully with
their surroundings, to which the colour of the well-worn red marble
floor of the cathedral adds a pleasant note.

The work of Luca Signorelli can be better studied in the Cappella della
Madonna di S. Brizio than anywhere else in Italy. This chapel
practically forms the shallow south transept. In the magnificent
frescoes which adorn its walls one can trace the possible influence of
this great painter on the works of Michael Angelo. Two panels of the
ceiling came from the brush of Fra Angelico. The north transept is
almost entirely occupied by the Cappella del S.S. Corporale. The
reliquary containing the "Corporal," or linen cloth of the Miracle of
Bolsena, is kept over the altar. This reliquary is a fine piece of
silver-gilt work, with two dozen beautiful panels of blue enamel. It was
on to this linen cloth that the Blood dropped from the broken Host, and
convinced the officiating priest of the Real Presence. Pope Urban IV.
had it brought from Bolsena, and commenced to build this magnificent
cathedral as a great shrine in which the sacred relic should rest for
ever.

Behind the cathedral, that is to the east, Orvieto, not many years ago,
was a ruined, broken-down mass of insanitary buildings. Gardens now take
the place of what was a plague-spot, and the houses of the city as we
find it now occupy barely one-half of the area contained within the
walls. In this respect modern ideas have decidedly improved Orvieto.
What is left of the old streets is well looked after from the sanitary
point of view; and from the artistic, there are not many places in Italy
where subjects are to be found in such plenty. The massive Torre del
Moro is close to the Piazza del Popolo, where stands the ruined church
of S. Domenico. This fine Romanesque structure is entered by a flight of
steps at the west end; it is built over a massively constructed crypt,
now used as a granary. The mighty arches of this crypt sustain part of
the church, but it does not extend beneath the whole of the fabric. One
of the numerous arched gateways which are to be found throughout the
city intervenes between it and the little buttressed dwelling underneath
the east end. From this rises the solid _campanile_. An arcade runs
round the whole church. This good feature is composed of round arches,
containing small round-headed lights. The outer member of each arch is
finished by a broad, flat, square billet, the inner has a cable pattern.
Above is a dripstone and string-course.

Saturday sees the piazza crowded with country folk, and it then presents
a busy scene. All the rest of the week it is silent and deserted. I was
there with my sketch-book one afternoon. A thunderstorm was rolling
about in the hills. The air was charged with disturbing electricity.
Swifts flew screaming round the ruined church. A kestrel up in the
battered old tower cried to her young. The storm crept nearer. Grand
cumuli clouds piled themselves higher and higher above the
lightning-riven mass of rain-sodden blackness below. A beautiful
swallow-tail butterfly, brilliant against the deep purple background,
came gracefully sailing across the square into the sunshine. It hovered,
now here, now there, like a spirit from another world seeking rest but
finding none. Little puffs of wind stirred odd bits of straw and paper
about the piazza. Dust began to eddy round and round. A drop of rain
fell on to the open leaves of my sketch-book. It was the writing on the
wall; so I closed the book and hurried home. For half an hour the
heavens emptied themselves on Orvieto. To me a stage-play of some scene
in her past was re-enacted in the sky; the passing storm seemed so
appropriate to the rugged old city.



ROME


With pen in hand one approaches the subject of the Eternal City with
great diffidence. The more one's acquaintance with her has ripened, the
more does the attempt to write a chapter seem a hopeless task. There are
so many Romes--Republican Rome, Imperial Rome, Rome of the Papal
supremacy, Christian Rome, Pagan Rome; and then Modern Rome, with a
municipality that is fast changing the face of everything. Catering for
the tourist in these days of cheap transit does much to alter things. In
the end it will defeat its own object, and history will be contained in
libraries and museums only. Rome, like London, is fast becoming
cosmopolitan. The _perícolo giallo_, or "yellow peril," as the motor
post 'bus is facetiously called, rushes through streets where not so
long ago solemn processions of the Mother Church wended their way.
Building is going on at present with feverish haste. The "boom" of 1880,
which ruined many of the wealthy families who speculated in it, does not
seem to have acted as a deterrent to others. The great boulevard
projected by the powers that be, slowly grows in length. Despite the
outcry against such vandalism, an area that might disclose and yield up
unknown archæological treasures if properly excavated is being levelled
in the sacred names of sanitation and opportunism! The picturesque
dwellings that lined the banks of Rome's famous river have disappeared,
and the yellow waters of the historic Tiber rush along between massive
walls of stone.

Is it possible amid all these rapid changes to realise what Rome has
been and is still? No, not on any of her seven hills, not in her
streets, nor on her river embankments, not even in her churches, can
this now be done. No: to realise the power and majesty of Ancient Rome
one must go out into the Campagna, that desolate plain in which she
lies. There, where the stupendous ruins of her great aqueducts stretch
away in utter loneliness to the distant hills; there, where once a
prosperous people dwelt in plenty, and where the only living things
likely to be seen now are a statuesque goatherd and his nibbling
flock--there, one may gather an idea of the might of ancient Rome. By
Hadrian's Wall, which cuts the Borderland of England, one may do the
same; and there are none of her ruined outposts, east or west, where her
majesty is not more apparent than in the Eternal City herself.

[Illustration: ON THE PALATINE, ROME]

Up on the Palatine, close to the trees that are seen in the sketch of
the Clovis Victoriæ, the Etruscan wall of the first Rome is now in
course of excavation. Up there, too, are the remains of the first wall
of the Roman city built by Servius Tullius. In the Via Merulana part of
a great earthwork with a moat outside can still be seen. Long after
Carthage had been practically obliterated by her rival, Rome had
extended so far, and attacks from outside became of so great a danger to
the inhabitants, that Aurelian found it necessary to build a line of
defence which the present walls might be said to occupy. From that time
onwards the city grew steadily to a magnificence and power which has
never been equalled. She ruled the known world. But it was not until
Constantine the Great transferred himself and the seat of empire to
Byzantium that the turning-point in her fortunes was reached. Well has
the great emperor earned that proud title! From Milan he issued the
decree which gave to the much persecuted Christians equal rights with
other religions; and even went further, embracing the faith he had
befriended.

Many churches lay claim to be the oldest foundation in Rome. S.
Pudenziana is said to be the church S. Paul founded in the house of his
Senator friend Pudens. Recent excavations under S. Clemente have brought
to light early-Christian masonry beneath the Republican and Imperial
remains, over which the present edifice stands. S. Prisca is another
ancient church; and tradition attributes S. Giovanni in Laterano, S.
Pietro, S. Paolo, S. Lorenzo, S. Croce in Gerusalemene, S. Agnese, and
SS. Pietro e Marcellino to Constantine's era. The first four of these,
with S. Maria Maggiore, were afterwards known as the Patriarchal
Churches over which the Pope presided. With S. Croce and S. Sebastiano,
they became the seven churches of Rome. In them the Pontiff celebrated
High Mass; and they were the principal churches which drew pilgrims from
throughout Christendom. In these seven the high altar presents its back
to the congregation, for His Holiness celebrates Mass with his face to
the worshippers. The Papal supremacy really owed its foundation to
Gregory the Great. But it was not until two hundred years after his
decease, when on Christmas Day of the year 800, Charlemagne was crowned
by Leo III., that the "Holy Roman Empire" became an accomplished fact.
Unfortunately for Ancient Rome the Carlovingian period was one of
demolition and plunder. Christian zeal cared nought for the beauty of
pagan buildings, and many an one was pulled down and a church erected
with the material. It was later on however, in the time of the
Renaissance, that columns and marble of every sort were used for the
adornment of the numerous sacred edifices which sprang up. What was not
wanted in construction was ground down to make lime. Banding iron,
clamps, bronzes, and every description of metal that was found were
thrown into furnaces and melted down. Nothing that could be made use of
for building material was spared. The Church could never forget the
persecution she had undergone, nor the thousands of martyrs who had died
for the Faith. Is it a matter for surprise then--a surprise one must add
mingled with great regret--that the glorious buildings of ancient Rome
have almost disappeared?

Whichever of all Rome's churches was founded first, there is no
disputing the fact that the huge fabric which occupies one side of the
Piazza di S. Pietro is the most famous Christian edifice in the world.
Bernini's best work, the grand colonnades on two sides of the square
lead up in splendid curves to the great façade of S. Peter's. But, so
great is the size of the building, so far set back the dome, that it is
impossible to realise the immensity of either from any point of view in
the piazza. The first church was founded in the year 90 at the place
where so many martyrs had suffered death during the time of the tyrant
Nero. The Emperor Constantine commenced afterwards the erection of a
basilica on this spot, the façade of which Raphael has handed down in
his fresco of the Incendio del Borgo. When Julian della Rovere became
Pope Julius II., he wantonly ordered the destruction of the church as it
then stood. This was done to make way for a greater with which his own
name would be for ever connected; and he employed Bramante to design the
new cathedral. Hands once more were laid on the buildings of ancient
Rome and the construction was begun from its ruins. Except for some of
the columns, the whole of the marble work of S. Peter's was, up to the
commencement of last century, abstracted from the same source.
Bramante's designs were never carried out. The many alterations to which
they were subjected after his death led to great dissatisfaction, and in
the end Michael Angelo was consulted. All he could do was to reserve as
much as possible of the great architect's ground plan, and this is,
except for the lengthening of the nave and the addition of the façade,
as the great cathedral stands to-day.

The immense _travertine_ columns of the façade form part of a portico
which is over two hundred feet in length. Above the columns runs an
inscription recording that it was put up by the Borghese Pontiff, Paul
V. A balustrade, broken by pedestals, surmounts the _cymatium_; on the
pedestals are extra-colossal figures of the Saviour (in the centre) and
the Twelve Apostles. At either end are groups of _barroque_ angels
surrounding a circle over which is the Papal Mitre. In one of these
circles there is a timepiece. The ceiling of the portico is a fine
example of stucco work.

There are five doors which open into the building. The central is of
bronze and one of the few things spared by the destroyer Julius when he
demolished the old basilica. The doors next to this are those by which
one enters the church. In March 1910 the old and very unhygienic leather
flaps were removed, and glazed swing-doors have taken their place. The
Porta Santa, or door at the north end of the portico, is walled up. It
was only opened for the purpose of celebrating a Jubilee, and has been
closed since 1825.

Many and repeated visits are necessary to S. Peter's before the size of
the vast interior can be in any way grasped. It is only when one is
accustomed to the scale of the little human figures walking about and
their insignificance in proportion to the whole, that the immense height
of even the Corinthian pilasters of the piers becomes apparent. The roof
is vaulted, coffered and gilded. It is supported by four piers on each
side of the nave. The floor is of coloured marble, and has the
measurements of the great churches of Christendom let in with brass at
the spot where each would end if measured from the east. Just inside the
central bronze door is a slab of porphyry upon which the emperors were
crowned. At the base of each pier, as well as in other parts of the
church, the colossal statues of the founders of different religious
Orders find a place. The last pier on the right has a bronze figure of
S. Peter seated, one foot of which is partially worn away by the lips of
devotees.

The dome grows upwards from four massive buttresses. Niches above their
bases contain figures of SS. Longinus, Andrew, Helena, and Veronica, who
holds the napkin with the impress of the Saviour's Face. Under the dome
is the _Confessio_ of S. Peter, to reach which a double flight of steps
leads down. Eighty-nine lamps for ever burn on the balustrade which
encloses the well of the entrance; and doors of gilded bronze shut off
the niche in which the sarcophagus of the Apostle rests. Soaring high up
on four bronze columns ninety-four feet from the floor, the great
_baldacchino_ rises above all. But so immense is the space under the
dome that one has no idea of the height it attains. It was designed by
Bernini, and is made partly of the bronze which covered the roof of the
Pantheon.

Nothing at all can be said in praise of Bernini's design. The high
altar, at which only the Pope celebrates mass, is above the _Confessio_
and directly under the cross which forms the apex of this somewhat
unsightly mass of metal. The interior decoration of the dome is not in
any way striking. Above the four statues of the already enumerated
saints are the _loggie_, containing the sacred relics of the lance which
pierced the crucified Saviour's side, the head of S. Andrew, a portion
of the Cross, and the "Volto-Santo"--the napkin or handkerchief of S.
Veronica, which wiped the Lord's brow on the way to Calvary. Four
mosaics of the Evangelists are beneath the frieze which carries the drum
of the dome; and a series of four each are between the sixteen gilded
ribs of the vaulting. In the tribune at the east end of the cathedral is
the ancient wooden episcopal chair of S. Peter.

Amongst other celebrated things which S. Peter's contains is the Pietà
of Michael Angelo in the Capella della Pietà. The great sculptor has
inscribed his name on the girdle of the Virgin--the only occasion on
which he has done so. Opening out from this chapel is another, in which
is a column, said to be that against which Christ leaned when preaching
in the Temple at Jerusalem. Adjacent to this is the tomb of the great
Countess Matilda by Bernini. The tombs and monuments of many Popes are
to be found in other chapels, but none of them possess any real artistic
merit. The best is that of Alessandro Farnese, Pope Paul III. It is by
Guglielmo della Porta, and was one of the most expensive to erect. In
the crypt, which is divided into two parts, the Grotte Vecchie, and the
Grotto Nuovo, are the sarcophagi and fragments of sarcophagi of many
other Popes, among them being that of Nicholas Breakspeare, the only
Englishman who ever attained the dignity. The sarcophagus of S. Peter,
already mentioned, is in the _Confessio_, or shrine of SS. Peter and
Paul, which is richly ornamented with gold and studded with jewels.

In the Stanza Capitolare, which is part of the sacristy, are some
remnants from the brush of Giotto that at one time adorned the walls of
the old _Confessio_. The treasury contains a wonderful collection of
jewelled crucifixes and candelabra. Among the latter is to be found the
work of Cellini and Michael Angelo. The famous sacerdotal robe known as
the Dalmatica di Papa San Leone, and said to be that used at the
coronation of Charlemagne, is also kept here. Apart from its sacred
interest, the great cathedral of S. Peter's cannot be said to raise any
feelings other than wonderment at its size and admiration for its grand
proportions. The exterior is disappointing, and many and many a visit
must be paid to the interior before wonderment reaches admiration. Just
as it is possible to gain the best impression of the power of ancient
Rome outside Rome itself, so does one grasp the size of the mighty
fabric only when some miles away in the country beyond the walls. Climb
the lower slopes of the hills near Tivoli or Frascati, and what does one
see? Apparently a level plain, out of which rises far away a marvellous
dome. From Tivoli, especially, one sees nothing of the city on the Seven
Hills. The line of fir-trees beyond Monte Mario is visible, and maybe,
the afternoon sun shining on the distant Mediterranean. But save for the
great dome there is nothing to indicate to the eye that the Eternal City
lies well within the range of vision. Yet in Rome itself, though it is
paradoxical to say so, the dome of S. Peter's in no way dominates
anything, albeit that it rises above everything else. The enormous
monument in course of erection on the Capitoline appears bigger. Each of
the seven hills seems to be of greater altitude. But the former is not
so large, and the latter do not reach the same height. Thus, the great
church holds her own--but, physically as well as spiritually, one must
go outside Rome to realise this.

To return to ancient times, we find an absorbingly interesting link with
pre-Christian days sculptured on one of the panels which decorate the
interior of the Arch of Titus. The Via Sacra passed under this arch,
which was erected to commemorate the taking of Jerusalem. The panel in
question has figured on it in bas-relief a procession bearing the
seven-branched candlestick and tabernacle which were spoils from the
Jewish Temple. This is the only known material proof existing of the
former object, and may therefore be justly said to be of surpassing
ecclesiastical interest. Through the archway one sees the half-ruined
walls of the Colosseum, the greatest amphitheatre in the world. This,
too, is of intense religious interest. In the arena hundreds of
Christian martyrs were torn to pieces by wild beasts, or butchered to
fill the passing hours with amusement for the Roman populace. Pope
Benedict XIV. consecrated the interior after erecting gates outside to
preserve it from the demolition which up to his day had been going on
for centuries. Small chapels were also formed amongst the lower
structural arches, and services held where once the walls resounded to
the shouts of bloodthirsty spectators. Close by the Colosseum is another
fine archway, the Arch of Constantine. This likewise, has an interest
apart from its design. It was put up when the great emperor declared
himself in favour of the Christian faith. The devout may ponder over the
fact that these two arches, so closely connected with Christianity, are
still standing, while nearly every other has long since been razed to
the ground.

[Illustration: THE ARCH OF TITUS, ROME]

Away to the south-east of these three buildings the Mother Church of
Rome is situated close to the city walls. Here, on rising ground,
overlooking the vast Campagna, stands S. Giovanni in Laterano, "omnium
urbis et orbis ecclesiarum mater et caput." Dedicated originally to
Christ the Saviour, and afterwards in the sixth century to S. John, this
fine basilica is of much greater, archæological interest than S.
Peter's. The present building dates from the seventeenth century. All
that remains of the once attached Benedictine monastery is to be found
in the very beautiful cloisters, which are a transition between
Romanesque and Gothic. The church itself has a fine eastern façade--it
orientates to the west--of five arches with an intervening gallery. In
the _atrium_ is a statue of Constantine found in his _Thermæ_. The
interior of the basilica is simple, with a very good _opus Alexandrinum_
floor. The aisles are double, and are separated from the nave by eleven
bays on each side. Colossal statues of Apostles and Prophets find places
at the bases of the pillars. The transepts and tribune are raised above
the body of the church. In the centre, the high altar is situated under
an ornate Gothic canopy. This contains a tabernacle, erected partly at
the expense of Charles V. of France, to receive the busts of SS. Peter
and Paul which were found amidst the ruins of the older church. A few
years ago the tribune was extended and beautifully inlaid with mosaic
carrying out a design of the thirteenth century. Michael Angelo is said
to have designed the flat ceiling of the nave, and there is a wooden
figure of S. John by Donatello in the sacristy.

In the Piazza di S. Giovanni in Laterano stands a building that contains
the Scala Santa, a flight of steps from Pilate's palace in Jerusalem,
which Christ is said to have ascended. They are covered with wood, and
may only be ascended on the knees. Light enters through barred windows,
and partly illumines the solemn gloom of this deeply interesting place.
At the top of the stairs is the Sancta Sanctorum, on the architrave
above which is engraved in Latin: "There is not a place in the whole
world more holy." This was the old chapel of the Popes and the only part
of the Pontifical palace that the fire of 1308 did not consume. The
present Palazzo del Laterano was built on part of the site of that which
this fire destroyed. The old palace was the residence of the Popes from
the time of Constantine until their migration to Avignon. The building
that now enjoys the above title is a museum, wherein are many fine
pieces of pagan sculpture as well as other interesting antiquities. The
baptistery of the Lateran stands to the west of the basilica. The
interior of this octagonal building is simple but not well lighted.
Eight porphyry columns support an antique architrave; and eight smaller
columns of marble rise from this and support the dome. The font is in
the centre of the floor, which is lower than the pavement near the
walls. It is of green basalt, and is supposed to be that in which the
Anglo-Saxon king Caedwalla was baptised in the year 689. Rienzi bathed
in it the night before he summoned the Pope and the Electors of Germany
to appear before him for judgment.

Another and more magnificent basilica is that of S. Paolo fuori, which
is situated two miles out of Rome on the Via Ostia. It is the grandest
of the many basilicas Rome possesses. Constantine erected a _tropæum_,
or sepulchral monument over the spot where Lucina buried the apostle's
body; and in 386 the Consul Sallustrius by the Emperor's order began to
build the church, which was known as the Basilica Ostiensis. The little
town that arose around this sacred spot was on the banks of the Tiber,
and from its position was subject to raids from the Saracens and other
marauders who sailed up the stream. John VIII. in the ninth century
enclosed the basilica and most of the surrounding buildings within a
fortified wall. For fifteen hundred years this grand church has had as
venerated a shrine as S. Peter's. The kings of England were its
protectors until the Reformation severed their connection with the Roman
creed; and sovereigns from all parts of Christendom came here to
worship. On July 17, 1823, the pine roof caught fire and fell into the
nave. The heat from the smouldering mass was so great that some of the
columns split and the whole fabric was almost entirely destroyed. Pius
IX. presided at a great function in 1854, when prelates from all over
the world assisted at the consecration of the restored building. Eighty
monoliths of Simplon granite, brought down Lake Maggiore to the river Po
and then by sea up the Tiber, sustain the roof of the nave and aisles. A
series of Papal portraits form a frieze above them. Magnificent columns
of Egyptian alabaster presented by Mehemet Ali, Viceroy of Egypt,
support the _baldacchino_ over the high altar. The bases of these
columns are malachite, and were given by the Czar Nicholas of Russia.
Many other portions of this noble church were given by other princes.
The dismay and regret at its destruction were universal. The body of S.
Paul rests in the _Confessio_ beneath the altar. The very beautiful
cloisters of the old Benedictine monastery, now a barrack, vie with
those at Monreale in Sicily, which are illustrated in another chapter.
The noble _atrium_ at the west end of the basilica is almost complete,
and when it is finished and opened out to the river, S. Paolo fuori will
once more take rank as one of the grandest ecclesiastical edifices in
Italy. Among the other basilicas of Rome, S. Maria Maggiore, or the
Basilica Liberiana, is the largest, and commands a fine position on the
Esquiline. S. Sabina on the Aventine, that hill which is still almost
entirely covered by gardens, is connected with the Dominican monastery
that adjoins it. The church possesses a wonderfully carved wooden door
and an orange tree in its court which grew from an orange pip that S.
Dominic planted. S. Agnese fuori is close to one of the entrances to the
numerous catacombs. Into this church every twenty-first day of January
two lambs are brought to be blessed. After the ceremony is over they are
presented to his holiness at the Vatican, and then sent to the convent
of S. Cecilia-Trastevere. Here the good nuns weave their wool into
_palliums_, which are subsequently worn by different metropolitans of
the church.

The only Gothic church in Rome is that of S. Maria sopra Minerva. It
contains the tomb-slab of Fra Angelico, whose face, rendered in marble,
has a very sad and rather austere look. The interior of the church is
marble, and it cannot be said that this polished shining surface is
desirable for the lines of a Gothic building. Not far from S. Maria is
the most perfect pagan edifice in all Rome--the Pantheon. Here again we
have a heathen fabric that afterwards became a Christian church.
Boniface IV. consecrated the temple, that Marcus Agrippa had built more
than six hundred years previously, to S. Maria ad Martyres. Sixteen huge
columns of oriental granite form the portico, and the ancient bronze
doors still remain. The interior is a magnificent rotunda lighted by a
circular aperture in the centre of the coffered dome. Against the walls,
in recesses, rest the sarcophagi of Raphael and other painters. Here
too, sleeping his last long sleep, lies King Victor Emmanuel II., to
whom all Italians owe so much.

[Illustration: S.S. TRINITÀ DE' MONTI, ROME]

The church best known to foreigners is undoubtedly that which figures in
the illustration, S. Trinità de' Monti. There is nothing about the
church itself to call for comment; but its fine position, above the
beautifully arranged steps, in the middle of what may be called the
"foreign quarter," makes it worthy of note. Close by is the Villa
Medici, the French Academy of Rome. At the base of the steps is the
flower market. Until recently Italians had a great objection to cut
flowers in their rooms--they were supposed to be unhealthy. Through
foreign influence this is slowly giving way, and the market is as
much patronised by the Romans as by the residents of other
nationalities. Not many years ago the foot of these steps used to be
thronged every morning by artists' models, who, in the picturesque garb
of their native districts, sat here waiting for a day's hire. The few
who still do this have moved off to the steps of the Greek church in the
Via del Babuino, and the flavour of the Campagna and the mountains they
gave to the Piazza di Spagna is now a thing of the past. Everything
changes, everything passes away. The gaily coloured costumes of the
_ciociare_, the peasants from the districts between Rome and
Naples--so-called from the _cioce_ or sandal they wear--is now never
seen. The exaggerated dress of the flower sellers, who pester the
foreigner to buy little faded nosegays, is simply worn for the purpose
of extracting _soldi_ and as a subterfuge for begging. Away up in the
mountains beyond Tivoli are two villages, Saracenesco and Articoli.
Though they are adjacent the dialect of the inhabitants is different.
There is a deadly feud between them. They both provide the artist in
Rome with models. Those who come from the last named pose for the
figure, but those from Sarecenesco will only sit draped. They still
provide the wet-nurses for Roman babies; for the physique of these
Sabine villagers is very fine, as fine perhaps as in the days when the
Sabine women were carried off by Roman youths.

Beyond the Villa Medici lie the beautiful gardens of the Pincio. From
the terrace at the end, on the brow of the hill, one gets the famous
view of Rome. The shady walks and well-kept drives of these noted
gardens, and those of the adjoining Villa Borghese, are the favourite
rendezvous in the evening for Roman society. We must leave this
beautiful _pleasaunce_ and dive down into the labyrinth of streets
below. Nothing probably strikes one so much on a first visit to the
Eternal City as the number of fountains and obelisks that are to be
found in whichever direction a morning's walk takes one. Rome is the
best supplied of any capital in the world with water, and though she has
not the thirteen thousand odd fountains recorded by Cardinal Mai in the
year 1540, those that remain still flow unceasingly. The Aqua Virgo
brought into Rome by Agrippa to supply his _thermæ_ at the back of the
Pantheon rushes a never-failing supply into the huge Fontana di Trevi.
One may sometimes see a Roman of the poorer class drinking furtively
from the basin into which the water runs, drinking because he is leaving
his native city and wishes to assure a safe return. The Fontana del
Tritone is formed by dolphins, whose tails meet to support the
coat-of-arms of the Barberini--the fine Palazzo Barberini is close
by--and is surmounted by a Triton holding a conch shell to his mouth. In
quite another district, down by the river hidden away amidst the narrow
streets of the Ghetto, is the little Piazza Tartaruga. In the middle of
this charming little square stands the Fontana delle Tartaruga. The
design of this beautiful "Fountain of the Tortoises" has been attributed
to Raphael. It is certainly worthy of his great name. The bronze figures
of the four youths supporting the basin of the fountain are
exceptionally good. With one hand each grasps the tail of a dolphin, the
other is raised above their heads to assist the struggles of the little
bronze tortoises that are endeavouring to crawl over the slippery wet
lip of the bowl. The Fontana La Barcassia, in the Piazza di Spagna, a
corner of which is seen in the sketch of S. Trinità de' Monti, is no
doubt better known than the last named, but there is no public fountain
in Rome that approaches in any way the artistic merit of "The
Tortoises."

It is but a step from this to the gloomy looking Palazzo Cenci, which
recalls the tragedy of Beatrice of that name. Another pace further on
and we find ourselves in a recently cleared space with the new Jewish
Synagogue standing close to the river Embankment. Here was situated the
old Ghetto of Rome, a quarter which is being fast demolished. One
certainly cannot regret the disappearance of some of the abominable
slums that not so long ago stood where the housebreaker's pick and
shovel have been at work. It was but a few yards from the synagogue that
the sketch of the Isle of S. Bartholomew and the old Roman Pons
Fabricius was made. S. Bartolommeo is the only island on the Tiber in
its course through Rome; and the picturesque buildings of the old
monastery are the only buildings left, which the yellow river washes, of
all those that less than thirty years ago lined its banks. There is a
different air about the Trastevere district across the water. It is
another city altogether than the one left behind on the other bank. The
foreigner is not so much in evidence, we are once again in Italy. Mount
the steep ascent of the Janiculum, and from the wide space in front of
the colossal equestrian statue of Garibaldi you will get a grand view of
Rome, with the Campagna and Alban mountains beyond. From the top of the
hill, as one turns northwards, we seem on a level with S. Peter's great
dome. One is puzzled once again, when remembering how it really towers
above all, to find that it is not of much significance in the view.
Nothing of course is seen of the Vatican, which is situated on the other
side of S. Peter's. In the illustration of the Cathedral, however, there
is just visible the corner which adjoins it.

[Illustration: THE ISLE OF S. BARTOLOMEO, ROME]

The Vatican is the largest Palace in the world and contains the vastest
and most heterogeneous collection of all. It is quite impossible to
enumerate a tenth of the treasures hidden behind its ochre-coloured
walls. Neither can one enter here into any description of the Sistine
chapel with Michael Angelo's masterpiece, or Raphael's magnificent
frescoes in the Stanze and Loggie. We must pass over the famous picture
gallery and the antiquities in the Museo Pio-Clementino and the Museo
Chiaramonti, simply remarking that the Vatican Museums hold the finest
collections in the world. There is one antique in the square outside
which deserves a passing notice, and that is the great monolith of
granite standing in the centre of the Piazza di S. Pietro. If Rome is a
city of fountains, it is also a city of obelisks. This enormous block of
stone was brought by Caligula from Heliopolis and placed in the circus
of Nero, which occupied so much of the ground on which the great
basilica was afterwards erected. Eight hundred men, besides many horses
and over forty cranes, were requisitioned to elevate it in its present
position. Turning away from the Vatican and diving into the squalid
quarters of the Borgo, one comes on to the covered passage which John
XXIII. commenced to build in order to afford a safe mode of retreat
from the palace to the Castle of S. Angelo. The fortress of S. Angelo
was erected by the Emperor Hadrian as his family tomb; and, as such, its
exterior was perhaps decorated with statues. The Emperor died in his
villa at Baiæ on the Bay of Naples, but his body was brought here, to be
joined, as time went on, by the mortal remains of Marcus Aurelius,
Caracalla, and others.

The history of the castle is the history of Rome in the Middle Ages. It
has many times withstood a siege, and among other vicissitudes fell
before the prowess of Totila and his Goths. The sarcophagus of its
founder was used as the tomb for Innocent II., and its inverted lid now
forms the font in the baptistery of S. Peter's. The streets in the
neighbourhood of the castle have undergone an absolute change. Wide
thoroughfares and huge blocks of flats cover the ground that a few years
ago was a huge slum. The new Courts of Justice face the river, and the
embankment in front is now a fine boulevard. We cross the water once
more, by the Ponte Margherita, the bridge which is highest up the Tiber,
and find ourselves in that fine square the Piazza del Popolo. Above the
beautiful terraces that form the precipitous slope of the Pincio, the
trees that adorn the gardens stand out against the blue of the sky. At
the foot of the terraces is the church of S. Maria del Popolo, erected
on the site of the Domitii tombs, the ghost-haunted burial place of the
cruel Nero. Adjoining the church is a grand gateway, the Porta del
Popolo. Under its arches on the straight road that runs north, the Via
Flaminia, marched out of Rome all those legions that went forth to
conquer and to extend the bounds of an Empire that has seen no rival.



NAPLES


The old Greek colony of Parthenope was founded by settlers from Cumæ,
and when the islanders of Pithecusæ (Ischia) built their adjoining town
of Neapolis, it became known as Palæopolis. Its port was where the
harbour of S. Lucia existed up to twenty years ago. Neapolis occupied
that part of the present Naples which lies to the east of this. About
400 B.C. the Republic, formed by these two then united towns, allied
itself with Rome; and during the height of the Empire's power, her
rulers, statesmen, and poets built themselves residences on the shores
of the beautiful bay. Augustus did much for Neapolis, and Tiberius
sought refuge in that entrancing island, Capri, where to this day his
infamies are a byword. Claudius, Nero, Titus, and Hadrian, whose palace
can be seen under the waters of the blue Mediterranean near Pozzuoli,
have all left traces of some sort or other in and about Naples. Lombards
and Normans, Swabians and Spaniards were each in turn drawn hither,
allured by the beauty of the situation. Colossal figures in marble of
the most famous rulers of Naples occupy niches on the façade of the
Royal Palace, and here Roger the Norman, Frederick II., the Swabian, who
founded the university, Charles of Anjou, Alfonso of Arragon, Charles
III., Joachim Murat, and Victor Emmanuel II. gaze stonily from their
retreats at the noisy tram and rushing motor-car.

The Spanish Bourbons were the last to rule in Naples before Italy was
united towards the close of the last century. They did much to improve
the city but nothing to help its people. Twenty years ago there were
still left members of the aristocracy who every year journeyed to Paris
to pay their court to Francis II., the last of that race of kings whose
reign had ended at the disastrous battle of Gaeta.

Naples, like Rome, changes every year. Modern improvements bring
sanitation, but do away with all that is picturesque. All over the world
hotels are becoming a great factor in the life of the folk who have
spare cash, and Naples, with her splendid water supply and unrivalled
position, is not behind in her eagerness to catch the foreigner's gold.
Tourists by the thousand reach her by sea, and the enterprising agents
who arrange the itinerary pop them into cabs, drive them through the
streets, and deposit them at the far-famed Museum, where they are
hustled from one gallery to another by the anything but intelligent
guide. However, the Museum alone is worth a visit to Naples. The ashes
from Mte Somma which smothered Pompeii, preserved for subsequent ages
objects in bronze, in earthenware, and in glass, which lie in their
cases--an open book of the domestic life of the Roman for every one to
read. The great Farnese Hercules, brought by Caracalla from Athens to
adorn his baths in Rome, is in one of the lower galleries. It is without
exception the finest illustration of mighty strength in repose that
exists. In the days when Glycon the Athenian evolved and produced this
masterpiece, art was of more account in the lives of the people than it
is now, and so much was his Hercules appreciated and admired that it was
impressed on the money of Athens and the coins of Caracalla. Among the
many small statuettes that the excavator's shovel has been the means of
bringing to light is a very beautiful little winged figure of Victory.
Nothing can exceed the grace of the composition and the floating-in-air
quality this small treasure possesses. One of the best specimens of
Greek bronze work is the so-called Narcissus. A row of bronze statues
from the theatre at Pompeii place vividly before one the actors of the
Greek stage, just as the armour and magnificent helmets of the
gladiators bring the arena and its gory triumphs in front of one's
eyes.

But, like the tourist, we must hurry on to the cathedral. The façade,
approached by steps from the narrow street, is not in any way
noticeable. The interior retains some of the original Gothic, but, owing
to earthquakes, has been altered and restored, and now presents itself
as a great incongruity to the eye. The illustration will make this
apparent. Gothic arches form the bays of the nave. The aisles are also
Gothic, and so is the arch over the tribune at the east end. Corinthian
shafts and dark marble pilasters run up the square piers of the nave. At
the base of the shafts, under classic canopies, are the busts of
numerous archbishops, and between the piers are the confessionals. These
latter give a rich note of brown, which, with the gilded candelabra on
either side of the busts, finds an echo in the heavy and richly coloured
ceiling. The vista of the north aisle is the best architectural feature
in the building. The south aisle is marred by the obtruding classic
columns of its side chapels. At the high altar, which the illustration
shows, the blood of S. Januarius liquefies every year on the anniversary
of the saint's martyrdom in September. The whole cathedral is then
crowded, and the intense fervour and excitement of the immense
congregation when the blood, in a phial held aloft by the
officiating priest, begins to liquefy, is a sight that once seen can
never be forgotten.

[Illustration: INTERIOR OF THE CATHEDRAL, NAPLES]

Immediately under the high altar in the crypt is the Confessio of S.
Gennario. Its marble roof is supported by ten Ionic columns. The richly
sculptured decoration of the chapel is very fine. The figure of Cardinal
Caraffa, who built it, kneels beside the altar under which repose the
saint's remains. One other thing of architectural note is the
Archbishop's throne in the nave. This good specimen of Gothic work is
upheld by most elaborately sculptured pillars, and arches with extremely
beautiful tracery.

The most interesting part of Naples lies round the cathedral. Narrow
streets, darkened by the clothes that hang from balcony and pole, form a
maze which it is easy to wander into, but very difficult to escape from.
Some of the finest of the old palaces stand in these dirty
thoroughfares. One may pass them a dozen times and still be quite
unaware of their existence. The moving crowd that throngs these narrow
streets does not show any particular regard for the sightseer, and the
careless Jehu who drives whither he will is absolutely unmindful of the
pedestrian. So if you would explore old Naples you must look after
yourself, and--as a caution too--look after your pockets. It is unwise
to display a watch chain, or to carry anything that may be easily
snatched from the hand. Remember you are in the midst of expert thieves
and among the most heterogeneous race on the face of the globe, a race
without the slightest idea of morals of any sort whatever. In the
tortuous Via S. Biagio stands a thirteenth-century palace built by one
of the Caraffa family, and since known as the Palazzo Santangelo. Some
of the best objects in the Museum first found a home in this fine old
house. Pope, Paul IV. and the great Neapolitan cardinal, Caraffa, were
born in the Palazzo Caraffa in the same street. The central post-office
is now housed in the Palazzo Gravina, built in the fifteenth century by
one of the Orsini; and the great dwelling of the Monticelli is one of
the best specimens of the domestic architecture of the same century.

Not far from the post-office is the church of S. Chiara. Despite the
hideous scheme of decoration which has transformed an otherwise fine
concert hall--for S. Chiara is more like one than a church--into a
curiosity of bad taste, there is a great deal of interest within the
fabric. Founded at the commencement of the fourteenth century by Robert
the Wise, the church contains his monument and also others of the royal
house of Anjou. The frescoes with which Giotto adorned the walls have
long ago disappeared, and if it were not for the royal tombs S. Chiara
would not be worth a visit. Behind the high altar, at the back of which
stairs lead up to a platform enabling one to examine it, is the
magnificent tomb of King Robert. The royal sarcophagus rests on Gothic
pillars and is adorned by sculptures of the king and his children. His
recumbent figure lies extended in the garb of a Franciscan, which Order
he entered a few days before his death. Above this, under a canopy, is
his figure seated on a throne and clad in royal robes. The beautiful
Gothic canopy is supported by slender clustered columns, with five rows
of saints in niches carried up to the base of the crocketed pinnacles
that surround the canopy. Robert's son Charles, Duke of Calabria, and
Mary of Valois, his second wife, lie in sarcophagi that are upheld by
figures of angels. These two splendid tombs are to the south of the
great king's. To the north are those of Mary, Empress of Constantinople,
and of her third husband, Philip of Taranto. Two of her children, Agnese
and Clementia, lie also near by; the former, who was married twice,
espoused firstly one of the Scaligeri, or della Scala, of Verona. To the
right of the high altar is a chapel adorned with fleur-de-lys, the
burial place of the royal house of Bourbon. This little chapel and the
tombs in it lose greatly in historical sentiment by their hideous and
garish surroundings.

S. Domenico Maggiore, the curious exterior of which is illustrated, was
originally a noble Gothic edifice. The restorer, unfortunately, has
altered and added to this, and although the interior plan is much the
same as when first erected, the terrible colours with which it is
covered detract in no small measure from its very fine proportions. The
sketch shows the exterior of the five-sided apse. The dull yellow tufa
with which it is faced and the embattled cornice and buttresses give it
a decidedly eastern appearance. S. Domenico may be entered by the door
just visible on the left, to reach which one toils up a long flight of
moss-grown steps. Push aside the heavy leather flap, and the noisy
little piazza, with all Naples beyond, are immediately things of the
remote past. You are in a beautiful little twelfth-century chapel. Its
walls are lined with most interesting tomb slabs. Note the short figures
on each. The Neapolitan is very low of stature, and these short figures,
although the tombs are of the twelfth and two succeeding centuries,
point to the surmise that the men of the south were never tall. From
this chapel one enters the great church at the south transept.
Immediately on our left is the sacristy. Here in the gallery which
occupies one wall are forty-five burial chests, among which ten
hold the remains of ten princes and princesses of the royal line of
Aragon. Those which have been identified are Ferdinand I. and II., one
of the Dukes of Montalto and his Duchess, and Cardinal Louis d'Aragona.
Another contains the husband of the celebrated Vittoria Colonna, the
Marquis of Pescara who defeated Francis I. at Pavia. There is something
of interest to be found in every chapel in the church. In one of them is
the crucifix which conversed with S. Thomas Aquinas while he was
composing his _Summa Theologiæ_. The saint's cell may still be seen, and
also the room in which he gave his addresses when lecturer in the
university that was within the walls of the adjoining monastery. The
high altar, raised well above the steps of the choir, is one of the most
remarkable specimens of Florentine inlay in the country. It has the
curious adjuncts of a recessed seat on either side, and two very fine
marble candelabra.

[Illustration: S. DOMENICO MAGGIORE, NAPLES]

These are but three of the three hundred churches Naples possesses.
Climb the hill of the Mte Calvari crowned by the Castel Sant' Elmo and
look out from the Belvedere in the suppressed Carthusian monastery of S.
Martino. Try to count the towers, domes, and spires standing out from
the carpet of roofs below. You will be fatigued before you have reached
the second hundred. Perhaps the magnificent prospect over the blue bay,
with Isola da Capri and the Punta Campanella in the distance, the
Sorrentine peninsula and the wonderful shape of Vesuvius on the left,
will distract your arithmetic. At any rate the counting of the churches
is not worth the trouble when such a glorious view lies before one.
Beyond the garden--the old monastic garden, how the monks must have
revelled in it!--and beyond the roofs below, the Castel dell' Ovo juts
out into the bay. To the left of it, shipping of all nationalities rides
the water along the quays near the Arsenal and royal palace. The funnels
of huge liners stand up amidst a forest of masts beyond the
Immacolatella in a fine sweep to the Rione Margherita di Savoia.
Coasting boats with sails like butterflies skim the water. Down in the
harbour all is animation; but so far are we above it that not a sound
breaks through the distant hum to enable us to distinguish any one
particular note.

The cloisters of S. Martino are very beautiful. Sixteen white marble
Doric columns form the arcade on each of the four sides. The cells of
the departed monks are shut now and the holes through which their food
was passed, bricked up. The walls are white; the classic well-head in
the centre of the garden is white and so are its steps. The little
burial ground in one corner of the court has a white marble balustrade
on which are very realistic white marble skulls. Everything gleams white
in this quiet court, and the deep blue of the southern sky intensifies
it all. For a painter it is a rare study, but perhaps not so fine an one
as I once saw years ago. It was in January, snow had fallen for two or
three days--even Capri was covered--when with a friend I walked up to
the Carthusian monastery of Camaldoli. We reached it just as the fall
which had been going on all day ceased. A thick white carpet of fresh
untrodden snow lay round us. The white monastery walls looked dull. We
rang at the gate, a white garbed monk opened it. We were in a white
courtyard surrounded by white walls, and a line of white monks moved
slowly towards the chapel. Everything was white. But what a subtlety in
the distinction of the colour! Only the sky was grey, and that such a
beautiful pearly tone. I question if pigment even in a master's hand
could have faithfully reproduced the scene.

Naples was very different in those days. S. Lucia existed then. Now the
old harbour is filled up and modern hotels stand where frail wooden
piers ran out into the water. From these spider-like structures oysters
hung down in baskets fructifying in the outlet of the main sewer! S.
Lucia was surpassingly picturesque and gay with the life of the lowest
class, but--surpassingly odoriferous. Stalls lined the pavements. Fish
of all sorts, cooling drinks, lemons, oranges, every description of
fruit, were displayed in the shade of multi-coloured awnings.
_Lazzaroni_ lay stretched all day long on the sea wall, or slept on the
foot-ways propped against the houses. Domestic toilettes performed out
of doors in the street never excited remark. And the houses themselves,
what a blaze of shifting colour when the wind stirred the sheets and
clothing hung out to dry from a hundred balconies! All is changed. The
sewage is carried out to sea right away at Cumæ. There are no more
oysters at S. Lucia; there is no longer a S. Lucia, but with its
disappearance Naples has lost its most unique attraction.

Away at the end of the Chiaia, past the celebrated Marine Aquarium, the
hill of Posillipo rises above the little fishing harbour of Mergellina.
A tram will carry you swiftly round the corner and along an uphill road
from which you will obtain many delightful views. There is nothing on
the Riviera to equal the position of some of the fine villas which line
this road. Beautiful grounds run down to the sea. Exotic plants grow and
flourish, sheltered from the bitter _tramontana_ wind. Great pine trees
rise solemnly above the tops of their Bay, such as is illustrated,
lead one up the steep slopes. Wherever one wanders, it is always the
blue sea that is below, and always the wonderful outline of the
peninsula across the Bay in the distance or the graceful curves on the
flanks of Mount Vesuvius, or, most beautiful of all, the lovely outline
of the enchanting Isola da Capri.

[Illustration: THE BAY OF NAPLES FROM POSILLIPO]



SALERNO


In the Middle Ages the subject of this chapter was famous throughout
Christendom for its school of medicine. S. Thomas Aquinas tells us that
in the medical world Salerno ranked where Bologna did in law and Paris
in science. Had its fame on this account not been so great, Robert, the
son of William the Conqueror, would not have delayed his homeward
journey, and stopped there to consult its medical men for a wound he had
received in the Holy Land. In consequence of his absence from England,
Henry stepped on to the throne which had meanwhile become vacant by the
death of Rufus, and the rightful heir never reigned. Salerno was in many
other ways connected with the powerful race of Northmen. Robert Guiscard
received his mortal wound before the walls of the city as his troops
swept over the ramparts at the first assault after an eight months'
siege. Roger the Norman was here declared king of Naples and Sicily at a
meeting of the barons in 1130, and for many years Salerno was the seat
of the Norman government in South Italy. Like many another city which
has in the past enjoyed a famous reputation and been of great
importance, there is now practically nothing left to tell of its great
days. On a crag at the end of the old city walls, some nine hundred feet
above the sea, the ruins of the Northmen's stronghold, in the attack on
which Robert Guiscard was wounded, still remain, buffeted by the storms
that rush up the mountain slopes. The harbour which Manfred commenced to
build, and which in old days held the Norman fleet, lies below the
Marina, but it silted up many years ago, and is now almost useless for
trade. The great days of Salerno have gone, just as the great days of
her famous neighbour, Amalfi. The exigencies of modern trade routes and
the facilities of the railway have robbed her of all the power and glory
she once possessed.

There is, however, something left to remind one of her past wealth and
power. Closely hemmed in by its surroundings, the cathedral is not by
any means easy to find. Tortuous uphill streets lead to the piazza,
where, on a steep incline, a fine double flight of steps with a marble
balustrade give on to the spacious cloistered court or atrium beyond
which it stands. Robert Guiscard dedicated his cathedral to S. Matteo,
and, so that it should be worthy of the great race of de Hauteville,
plundered the old Greek city of Pæstum for the building of it. Nearly
every one of the pillars of these cloisters came from there. Most of
them are so massive that the capitals of native workmanship, probably
hewn while the plundering was going on, are too small. The arches above
are stilted; they support a gallery whereon a row of statues of
different archbishops appear in a now much delapidated condition. The
same state of partial ruin greets the eye as one looks around. Fourteen
ancient sarcophagi, nearly all of them Greek, stand in the cloisters of
the court. They were used by the Normans for Christian burial, but,
alas! are mutilated and chipped at the corners, and their fine
bas-reliefs, one of a hunting scene, another with centaurs and nymphs on
the panels, are almost completely ruined by the ill-treatment they have
received. In the centre of the court is a fountain. Water still splashes
in its Greek basin, but decay and neglect have robbed this otherwise
beautiful atrium of most of its charm.

The cathedral adjoins the courtyard. The bronze doors of the central
porch were at one time inlaid with silver. The precious metal has
disappeared, but small figures of the Apostles and Christian symbols
bear evidence that when these doors came fresh from Constantinople in
the eleventh century they were of very fine craftsmanship. The interior
of the great church is whitewashed. The floor slopes up towards the
east end, and is a good example of a well arranged marble pattern. The
most interesting things, if we except the tombs that are in the
building, are the two _ambones_, or pulpits. That which appears in the
illustration is a wonderful example of the work of John of Procida. The
other, as well as the archbishop's throne, is by the same great
designer. All three are masterpieces of the Græco-Byzantine style of
inlaid _tesseræ_. In the illustration will be seen a fine Paschal
candelabrum, with most intricate inlay, as fine in its way as that
described in the next chapter. These pulpits are approached by steps
from inside the choir. One is supported by four columns of rare porphyry
and the other by twelve of granite from Pæstum. Age has toned the white
marble panels to a light grey, which gives a wonderfully fine note to
the white of the cathedral walls as one looks up the nave from the west
end. The choir is encircled with a most beautiful inlaid marble screen,
in decoration similar to the two pulpits. The floor is a grand example
of _opus Alexandrinum_ inlay, and is as good in this respect as the best
in Italy.

[Illustration: A PULPIT IN THE CATHEDRAL, SALERNO]

Under the high altar, in the crypt, is a monument to S. Matthew, with a
seated bronze figure of the saint. Below this, in a casket, repose the
remains of the Evangelist, which were brought here in the year 930. The
crypt itself is not interesting. To find what is, we must return to the
church above, where some of the tombs are well worthy of study. Pope
Gregory VII., Hildebrand, who died in Salerno, lies in a sarcophagus in
one of the side chapels. The remains of Margaret of Anjou, mother of
King Ladislaus, rest under the canopy of a fine tomb, on which in relief
the queen is depicted surrounded by her children and her maids of
honour. Angels form the support to the canopy, which is decorated with
gold fleur-de-lys on a blue ground. Archbishop Caraffa's remains are in
a fine Greek sarcophagus with Medusa heads at its corners. On another is
a fine bas-relief of the Triumph of Bacchus, and many more, like those
in the cloisters, have been transferred from Pagan use to Christian. The
chapel in which is Hildebrand's tomb belongs to the family of John of
Precida, who decorated it himself.

In the sacristy is a very interesting _Palla_ of ivory, the thirty
panels of which represent scenes in the Old and New Testaments. This
eleventh-century work is one of the few things which can with truth be
said to be in excellent preservation. The cathedral, like its
surroundings, is sadly in need of repair. Its fine _campanile_ is
buttressed up, or would long ago have toppled into the street below. The
two lowest storeys of this grand tower are the original Norman work of
Roger's day. At their angles are marble and granite columns, no doubt
from Pæstum. The two upper storeys are not like the lower, built of
stone, but have been constructed in a very beautifully coloured brick.
They are pierced by Norman arches, above which is the belfry surmounted
by a dome. Were it not for the few things we have noted, Salerno would
not be worth a visit. But if only to see the magnificent pulpits and
stand silently in the crypt by the remains of the Evangelist, the
tourist in his hurry should never omit to spend at least a few hours in
this once famous city.



PALERMO


Phœnicians, Carthaginians, Greeks and Romans, Goths, Byzantines,
Normans and Spaniards, have all ruled in Sicily; and those whose
curiosity takes them to the museum of Palermo may there see many
antiquities of great interest in the history of each period. The man who
observes may also see much in her streets. There are distinct quarters
in Palermo where the different races and their descendants have kept
themselves to themselves from time immemorial. It takes no special
knowledge of racial physiognomy to single out among other types the
Berber or the Greek, as one saunters along watching the ever-changing
crowd in the lively thoroughfares. The Norman occupation is recalled in
the vivid decoration of the panels of the peasants' carts. On them one
sees the gallant Norman slaying the truculent Infidel--slaying them by
dozens! Quite archaic is the execution of these panels--the handiwork of
a long line of painters, whose progenitors hundreds of years ago were
painting the same scenes on the vehicles of their day. The colours are
crude. Every inch of the car is painted. The spokes of the wheels are
notched and carved. The body of the cart is firmly fixed, high above the
axle bar, by well-arranged ironwork of floral design. There are no other
carts in existence like them; and when the feathered plume of
ultramarine and red which always adorns the donkey's headgear, and the
tinselled harness worked with gold and silver thread, are new, not many
chariots or state coaches make a braver show.

Palermo is divided into four quarters by the two streets that, running
east and west, north and south, bisect one another at the circular space
in the centre of the city called the Quattro Canti--the Four Corners.
Standing in this busy spot and looking downhill northwards, the deep
blue of the Mediterranean bounds the horizon. South the view is
partially stopped by the great city gateway, the arch of the Porta Nuova
which crosses the street by the Royal Palace nearly a mile away. East
and west, high over the heads of the crowd and the congested traffic,
grand mountains rise up with a puff of white cloud above their summits.
In whichever direction one gazes the vista ends, far beyond the lines of
tall houses, with the blue sea or the blue sky.

[Illustration: THE CATHEDRAL. PALERMO]

If one walks towards the Royal Palace up the hill, one passes through
the fine Piazza del Duomo. It is a large square enclosed on three sides
by a marble balustrade, on which stand, at intervals, colossal statues
of bishops and saints. On the fourth side is the great cathedral. This
fine specimen of pointed Sicilian work is dedicated to S. Maria Assunta,
and was commenced in the twelfth century when Gualterio Offamilio,
Walter of the Mill, was the English archbishop of Palermo. The curious
architectural style of the building is due to the fact that it was
designed by a Norman and carried out by Moorish workmen. The Moor found
it impossible to leave out his native arcades and his battlements; and
the diaper pattern on the west façade recalls in design the decoration
of the east. The Saracenic capitals of the beautifully carved pillars of
the three doors of this façade are exceptionally good. Norman zig-zag
moulding embellishes the arches above. Niches filled with saints add to
the harmonious incongruity so subtly arranged by infidel workmen. A
noble tower at each corner rises in eight tiers, the three topmost being
open. Throughout these towers small arches are supported by little
marble columns with their corners rounded off in a bold way by ringed
pillars. They terminate in little turrets and pinnacles, which have
flames at their bases. To break all the flat surfaces of these, the
Eastern mind was constrained to put some sort of decoration, thus
carrying off the appearance of great weightiness; and so, square,
billet, lozenge, and nail-head patterns have been most admirably
introduced. The lower portion of the great tower across the street and
opposite the façade, and which forms part of the archbishop's palace, is
Saracenic, and was erected before the Northman's advent in Sicily. The
upper stages are the belfry. Despite the spires which all these towers
possess, there is something decidedly more Eastern than Northern in
their appearance. The arches that cross the street--so bold a feature in
the sketch--were put up in the twelfth century to sustain the palace and
cathedral whenever earthquake shocks occurred.

The cathedral is entered by the south porch. This is flanked by
twelfth-century towers, on the top of which are ugly white marble
figures, executed at a bad period. Three stilted arches of Moorish
design with cable mouldings, the central arch larger than the other two,
support a rather low gable. The face of this gable is covered with a
good scheme of decoration. The cornice is deeply cut with animals and
foliage, a porcupine and a hare being among the former. Four grotesque
Norman waterspouts break the string course between the cornice and a
beautiful flat arcade under the arches, on which are half-length figures
of saints and bishops. The wall beneath this and above the three arches
of the porch was evidently at one time covered with Arab designs in
black and red. Four grey marble pillars with their eastern capitals
support the arches; they came from the mosque which stood on the spot
where the cathedral was erected. The portal of the door itself is a real
masterpiece of intricate Moorish carving. Here pomegranates and palm
leaves occupy a prominent place. In the eighteenth century many
alterations occurred, and this grand and, from an architectural point of
view, deeply interesting church, was disfigured to a large extent. The
porch has suffered almost as much as the interior of the building. But
one tablet worth recording still exists in the former:

    PRIM . SEDES . CORONA . REGIS . ET . REGNI . CAPUT

Thus runs the proud title of the city in the days when the kings of
Sicily were crowned in Palermo's cathedral. A row of white marble
figures stands on the exterior of the side chapels of the aisles. They
are bad. Little domes with glazed tiles also remind one of a later
period. These, with the big central dome over the crossing, were the
work of Fuga, a Neapolitan architect. In the alterations he carried out,
the battlements and the corbel tables under them were spared. The latter
are a very curious study in the physiognomy of the different races known
to the Normans when the cathedral was built. Executed by Arab workmen,
whose faith forbade them to portray the handiwork of Allah, their
accuracy is not unimpeachable. The east end is partly covered with flat
arcading, most elaborately carved with Arabic design, and partly with a
black and red pattern of the same character. The apse is not pierced by
any lights.

The white-washed classic interior is a great disappointment after the
rich brown and yellow stone of the exterior. But if, architecturally, it
fails to interest, historically it is concerned with the most brilliant
and prosperous period the city enjoyed. Turning to the left on entering
the cathedral by the south porch are the two chapels wherein stand in
solemn grandeur the mighty sarcophagi of the Norman and Swabian kings.
The remains of Roger, the first Norman ruler of Sicily, rest in a
porphyry sarcophagus supported by marble feet composed of four crouching
Saracens. The fine canopy above is incrusted with mosaic. Its pillars
are gilded and inlaid. The next tomb is that of Constantia, who was the
last of the royal line of Normans. She was the wife of the Emperor Henry
VI., and mother of Frederick II. By the side of this is the sarcophagus
of Henry VI. Very elaborately adorned is that which contains the remains
of Frederick II., and the body of Peter II. of Aragon. The lid of this
is carved with medallions of Christ, and the Virgin and child. All that
is left of Constance, wife of Frederick II., is in a Roman sarcophagus
which is recessed in a wall of the chapel. It is beautifully decorated
with a hunting scene in bas-relief. Standing against another wall is a
mediæval tomb, with a cowled figure between two shields, on which are
displayed the eagles of Aragon. It holds the ashes of William, Duke of
Athens, who was a son of Frederick of Aragon. All these tombs are not
only full of archæological interest in themselves, but when one reviews
the origin and history of the Norman occupation of the island, the
chapel in which they rest becomes one of the most historically absorbing
spots in the world.

The Saracens were in possession of Sicily when Roger, the youngest of
the twelve sons of Tancred de Hauteville, came over from Apulia, where
his brothers, by force of arms, had established themselves as reigning
Counts. Roger found all the civilisation, culture, and well-ordered
bureaucracy of the Moor firmly established. And with this he was too
wise to interfere. Changing nothing of the mode of life of those he
conquered, but simply adding to it the strength of arm and vitality of a
northern race, he became--and those who followed him were--by far the
richest and most magnificent sovereigns of their time in all Europe.

The crypt is architecturally the most interesting part of the interior
of the cathedral. It contains the tombs of twenty-four of Palermo's
archbishops, including that of Walter of the Mill. Among the treasures
in the sacristy is the cap of Constance of Aragon, which was found in
her tomb, when, by order of Ferdinand I., the royal sarcophagi were
opened. On one of the rough gems with which the cap is studded, is
written in Arabic, "In Christ, God, I put my hope." Here, again, is
evidence that the Moor and Christian lived amicably side by side.
Theodoric in Ravenna, and the Norman in Palermo, brought peace to the
land they conquered; and the greatest prosperity that both cities
enjoyed was a consequence of their wisdom, and of their religious
tolerance.

In the fine open square which one reaches at the end of the seemingly
interminable Corso, a Roman house and other very interesting remains are
now being unearthed. The Royal Palace occupies one side of the piazza,
and, being the highest part of the city, is on the site of the old Roman
palace. There is a magnificent view from the observatory situated on the
roof of the building. It is, however, with the beautiful chapel built by
Roger II. in the early part of the twelfth century that we are
concerned. The Cappella Palatina is a perfect gem, and no one who has
once visited it in the morning can ever forget the marvellous effect of
dim light passing through its narrow windows, and illuminating its
wonderful marble and mosaic walls. Three of the bays of the nave are
formed by columns of Egyptian granite which alternate with three of
fluted Greek marble. The composite capitals of the arches are Byzantine
and Corinthian. These arches are stilted and covered in an extremely
rich manner with gorgeous mosaic, and their soffits inlaid with
_tesseræ_ arranged in Moorish designs. The walls of the aisles are lined
with the richest marble slabs, beneath which a beautiful dado of inlaid
Eastern pattern runs round the chapel. The wooden roof of the nave is
honeycombed, and like that of the Alhambra at Granada is arranged with
splendidly coloured and gilded pendentives. Cufic inscriptions find a
place amongst these hanging clusters. The ceilings of the aisles are
coffered and sustain heavy gold bosses, which enrich the gorgeous effect
of their strong colour.

The choir is raised five steps above the nave, from which it is shut off
by a very beautiful marble screen. The stalls are carved perpendicular
work. The fine wooden lectern of very late Gothic design has well-carved
angels kneeling on the four supporting legs. Above these angels four
kings stand around the centre column. On the book-rest repose the old
black-letter parchment psalters. At the top of all, the Virgin and Child
finish off this exceedingly well-designed and executed reading-desk.
Beyond the choir the apse rises four steps. The risers of these steps
and those of the choir are most beautifully inlaid. The colossal mosaic
figure in the semi-dome of the apse is the only mosaic of a late date;
and, aiming at the qualities of a painting, like those on the exterior
of S. Mark's and the cathedral at Orvieto, somewhat mars the uniformity
and simplicity of the _tesseræ_ decoration of the chapel. The floor of
the building is entirely _opus Alexandrinum_. At the west end, a raised
dais for the exclusive use of royalty is railed off, and a portrait of
the reigning sovereign let into the marble panels of the wall. By the
pulpit stands a Byzantine candelabrum. Four lions rending their prey are
at its base. Other animals and birds and figures of men, all fighting
one another, encircle, in orderly confusion, the beautiful inlaid
central column. Above them is a figure of the Almighty, serenely
quiescent. Children, symbolical of innocence and freedom from sin, are
carved round the bowl into which is stuck the huge Easter candle. It is
very difficult to describe the effect of sudden calm that steals over
one when, entering this dark church, with the glare of the sun and the
noise of the streets outside, one is conscious of a very restful gloom,
full of the richest colour, and a silence soothing to the senses. One
somehow feels the gorgeousness of the east combined with the solemnity
of a well-planned sacred interior, and this despite the sudden
transition from light to darkness. There is no other building of like
dimensions which grips one as does the wonderful Cappella Palatina of
Palermo.

La Martorana, away down in the city, may have been as beautiful, but
unfortunately in the year 1590 the nuns of the attached convent ordered
most of the precious mosaics to be stripped from the walls, and a
hideous choir added when these were demolished. Some few are left on the
roof to tell us what a glorious thing this finely proportioned chapel
must have been before religious zeal got the better of artistic taste.
The central apse was likewise taken down a hundred years later, and with
it more priceless mosaic destroyed. The inlaid marble on the walls was
done away with in the eighteenth century. If anything better could have
been found to take the place of the grand mosaics that covered the
interior there might have been an excuse for these acts of vandalism but
when one sees the hideous stucco and wretched mural paintings of bad
design and colour, that have no religious fervour or tendency and
nothing whatever to recommend them in any way, one stands aghast at the
ignorance and stupidity which in the name of religious expediency
destroyed such priceless treasures. Among the little that remains are
two curious mosaics wherein King Roger is crowned by Christ, and the
High Admiral, who founded the church, is dedicating it to the Virgin.
The king is wearing the dalmatic. This he received, together with the
mitre, from the Pope, who found it more diplomatic to confer
ecclesiastical office upon the Norman king than to oppose him in useless
wars.

A little to the south of the Royal Palace, and almost abutting on the
old walls of the city, is S. Giovanni degli Eremiti. The beautiful
cloistered garden, which is adjacent, forms an illustration to this
chapter. The little church is a very early specimen of Norman work on
the plan of the letter T with three apses. On its south side is a tiny
mosque, incorporated with the building and utilised in the old days as a
chapel. The monastery, which existed here in the time of Gregory the
Great, had fallen into disuse when the Normans came to Sicily, and King
Roger restored the old buildings. The interior now is absolutely bare
and the windows unglazed. The Moorish domes give the little church a
very eastern appearance, to which the flat members of the rustic stones
of the cloister arches in no small measure add. It is a peaceful spot
where exotic plants flourish luxuriantly, and vie with all sorts of
flowers in wanton growth.

[Illustration: THE CLOISTERS OF S. GIOVANNI DEGLI EREMITI, PALERMO]

The traveller who has been in Spain will find in the old quarter of
Palermo many palaces that will remind him of Seville, Salamanca, and
other places in the Iberian peninsula. The tawny colour of the South
predominates here, and the two or three courtyards possessed by many of
these palaces will add to his reminiscences. This is not so strange as
it may seem when one considers that from the year 1282, when Pedro of
Aragon was crowned king, to 1713, when Victor Amadeus, Duke of Savoy,
ascended the throne, Sicily was under the rule of the Spaniard. The
great square block of yellow stone in the Piazza Marina, the Palazzo
Chiaramonte, served as the palace of the Spanish Viceroys and
headquarters of the Inquisition. Now known as the Palazzo de' Tribunali,
it is used as the law courts. The ante-chamber of the court room has a
magnificent wooden ceiling. Hunting about in the narrow streets in this
quarter one chances on many a piece of architecture and decorative
sculpture in the grandiose style of the great days of Spain. One or two
good fountains and fine portals add much to the historical charm of a
part of the city which is now occupied by humble folk. The church of S.
Agostino, difficult to find in the slums, has a remarkable façade with a
beautiful wheel window. Delicate white marble pillars radiate from the
Paschal Lamb, which is the hub of the wheel, and three rows of tiny but
beautifully-carved arches interlace and form the tracery of the window.
The chevroned arches of the portal are decorated with acanthus leaves
and arabesques. The capitals of the supporting columns are pomegranates,
and a flat canopy with dripstone of acanthus leaves, beneath which are
almost obliterated frescoes, completes one of the most fascinating
relics of bygone days to be found anywhere in Palermo. It is in the old
quarters, too, that the life of the _cittadini_ is seen in its most
picturesque garb. Fruit shops, full of golden oranges and pale lemons,
prickly pears and great citrons, make gay patches of colour in the
street vista. Glazed tiles, earthenware, and vividly coloured cotton
goods displayed outside the shop fronts or hanging from the walls add to
the variety of the scene. Cookshops, with _pizzi_ and _scaglozzi_, and
olive oil in the frying pan, excite the olfactory nerves in a pleasanter
degree than those in which a particularly strong-flavoured cheese finds
ready purchasers. Excellent wine may be drunk at a very small cost at
the drinking bars, where a jet of clear water is for ever playing over
the marble slabs of the cistern-like counter. Fowls scurry about in
the midst of the throng, and hungry dogs scent a meal in the refuse
heaps of the gutters. All is animation, and all has a touch of the South
that is something more than Italian. It is almost worth while going to
Palermo in order to perambulate her fascinating streets and observe the
ever-changing crowd that peoples them.

[Illustration: MTE. PELLIGRINO, PALERMO]

It is certainly worth the voyage to enter the harbour when the sun is
well up and from the ship's deck watch the splendid panorama unfold
itself as the vessel glides into port. At the foot of Mte Pelligrino,
and where the famous valley of the Conca d'Oro, or Golden Shell, touches
the blue waters of the Mediterranean, lies Palermo. Beyond, with an
inclination upwards to the lower slopes of Mte Cuccio in the distance,
stretches the triangular shaped valley, Mte Cuccio forming the apex of
the triangle. Mountains hem the landscape in on two sides. The whole of
the country between them and the sea is one vast grove of orange and
lemon trees. On the edge of the receding wall of mountains to the right
of the valley in the middle distance, a stately building stands above
the brow of a steep hill. Round it cluster roofs and walls in irregular
lines. This is Monreale. To Monreale we go to study the mosaics. For
though its cathedral boasts of grand twelfth-century bronze doors, and a
very fine portico, the magnificent mosaics that cover the walls of the
interior are its pride and glory.

The decoration of this fine basilica may be described as a coherent mass
of superb mosaics and well selected slabs of grey and white marble
inlaid with panels of Moorish design. Here more than in any other church
in the world has architecture been subordinated to a scheme of
gorgeously coloured decoration. Its Mosaics are Greek in style, with
Greek inscriptions. Moorish designs and arabesques also rival in colour
the extraordinarily intricate gold pattern which sets off the beauty of
the marble walls. On the semi-dome of the central apse is a very
impressive colossal half-length mosaic of the Saviour holding an open
book. Below, are figures of the archangels, Gabriel and Michael, and the
twelve apostles. The vault of the south apse contains a gigantic figure
of S. Peter, and in the corresponding one in the north apse, one of S.
Paul. These two figures are robed in white, and light up the dark
recesses of the deep-toned gold background of the apses in a remarkable
manner. In the choir there is a mosaic over the royal throne very
similar to that in La Martorana, wherein King Roger is being crowned. In
this case Christ places the crown on the head of William the Good. Over
the Archbishop's throne William is represented offering the church to
the Virgin. Sicily was never a fief of the Popes, and these two mosaics
no doubt express the idea that the sovereigns derived their authority
from God alone.

Round the whole of the nave two sets or series of mosaics are arranged
which, beginning at the Flood, illustrate different episodes in biblical
history. Forty-two scenes are depicted in the nave and ten in each aisle
which deal with our Lord's life as well as themes from the Old
Testament. At the west end is a mosaic of S. Castrense, Monreale's
tutelar saint, casting out a devil, and also walking on the sea.

Comparing these wonderful decorations with those at Ravenna and in S.
Mark's, one may at first be more impressed with the apparent
magnificence of the scheme which we find here. The cathedral is larger
than any of Ravenna's churches, and has this advantage over S. Mark's,
that one is better able here to grasp at once the whole idea of the
colour scheme. In S. Mark's one sits and quietly discovers things at
leisure. At Monreale one enters and is immediately overpowered by the
magnificence of the dull gold _tesseræ_ and the gorgeous arrangement of
the sequence of figures which, like a flash, strike one at first sight.
Ravenna can show us better schemes of colour, subtler and more refined.
Ravenna gives us earlier work, and work more naïve, and is for this
reason more attractive and interesting. But it must be admitted that in
no other building of the kind is one impelled to stop suddenly and catch
one's breath, as when first entering Monreale's great basilica.

Eight bays divide the nave from the aisles. Their stilted arches are
supported by granite monoliths. The capitals of these are pure
Corinthian, and Corinthian with cornucopiæ volutes and medallion heads.
Above the abacus of each capital is the simple Norman bowl capital
inlaid with rich mosaic. It is from these that the glorious
colour-scheme springs--above and around, the eye finds nothing but
mosaic. The lower portion of the walls of the aisles is composed of
marble slabs separated from one another by inlay of Moorish design. In
the north chancel aisle are the tombs of Roger, Duke of Apulia, and
Henry, Prince of Capua, two sons of William the Bad. In the south
chancel aisle are the tombs of William the Good and William II. Just as
Palermo's cathedral is a fit resting-place for the remains of some of
the Norman kings, so is this grand fabric for the bodies of those of the
same royal line who here repose in peace.

[Illustration: THE CLOISTERS, MONREALE]

Adjoining the cathedral, on the south side, is all that is left of the
original Benedictine monastery. The celebrated cloisters, of which we
speak, are more Arab than Norman, and more infidel than Christian in
their architecture. The two flat members of the Moorish arches are
decorated with black _tufa_ lozenges and spearheads. The coupled columns
are nowhere approached in beauty and delicacy, save in S. Paolo fuori at
Rome. Arabesques cover some of them; all were at one time richly inlaid
with mosaic. Some are chevroned, others of lozenge pattern, or billeted,
or twisted and spiral. Their capitals are one and all of extreme
interest. One shows on its carved surface Norman knights in chain mail
engaged in combat with Saracens; another, Roman gladiators slaying
Christian victims. Birds, beasts, and subjects from the Old Testament,
intricate foliage and vines add to a variety which is not to be found
anywhere else in the cloistered courts of Italy. The illustration gives
a corner of this beautiful spot where a fountain splashes and plays,
adding to the delights of a well-kept garden and the sweet scent of
flowers.



INDEX


Ahrler, Heinrich, 9

Alberti, Leo Battista, 93, 195

Alexander II, 170

Alexander III., 67

Alfred the Great, 21

Amalfi, 280

Ambrose, S., 13

Angelico, Fra, 197, 236, 255

Angelo, Michael, 136, 188, 191-3, 223, 236, 244, 247-8, 252

Antelami, Benedetto, 141

Antenor, 49

Anthony, S., 49

Ariosto, 101

Arnulphus, 15

Assisi, Church of S. Maria, 211-13;
  cathedral, 214;
  general description, 214-15

Attila, 7

Augustine, S., 18-19

Augustus, 107


Baldus, 57

Bank of Genoa, 148-9

Barbarossa, Frederick, 67

Bastianino, 103

Bellagio, 2

Bellini, 25

Benedict XI., 205

Benedict XIV., 250

Benenato, 164

Bergamo, cathedral, 24-26;
  other buildings, 23-24, 27

Bernardino, S., 202, 204, 224

Bernardone, Giovanni, 215

Bernini, 243, 246-7

Bisone, Bono da, 139

Boethius, 21

Bologna, Giovanni da, 126

Bologna, history, 123-5;
  cathedral, 130-1;
  other buildings, 125-9, 131-6;
  university, 133

Bonannus, 160, 164

Bonaventure, Nicholas, 10

Borromeo, S. Charles, 10-12

Borsi, Pier, 181

Bouillon, Godfrey de, 145

Bramante, 4, 9, 17, 126, 244

Breakspeare, Nicholas, 248

Brescia, Roman remains, 29-30;
  la Rotunda, 30-31;
  Duomo Nuovo, 31-32;
  other buildings, 32-33

Browning, Robert, 81

Brunelleschi, 186, 194, 196

Bruni, Leonardo, 193

Burlammachi, Francesco, 169

Busketus, 159

Byron, 109, 166


Cadenabbia, 2

Caedwalla, 253

Cæsar, Julius, 91, 170

Caligula, 261

Calvin, 101

Camaldoli, 275

Cambio, Arnolfo di, 183, 187, 189, 194, 222

Capri, 265, 277

Carabelli, 9

Caretti, Ilaria, 173

Carracci, 130-1

Carrara family, 51

Catherine, S., 224

Cellini, Benvenuto, 184, 248

Ceolfrid, 192

Charlemagne, 39, 115, 242

Charles V., 130, 230

Chiusi, 202

Cimabue, 196, 213

Clement VII., 230

Colleoni, 26

Columbus, 150

Como, history, 1-2;
  cathedral, 2-4;
  town hall, 4-5;
  industries, 5

Constantine the Great, 241, 243, 250, 253

Correggio, 137, 139, 140, 142


Dante, 37, 49, 109, 180, 185, 193

Diotisalvi, 162, 165

Dominic, S., 134-5

Donatello, 52, 55, 58, 77, 166, 181, 185, 194, 223, 252

Donizetti, 27

Doria, Filippo, 154

Ducci, Agostino, 203

Duccio da Siena, 196


Embrianco, Guglielmo, 145, 151

Enzio, 124, 127, 135

Este family, 99-101


Fabris, Emilie di, 187

Fanti, General, 200

Farnese family, 138

Felsina, 125

Ferrara, history, 99-100;
  cathedral, 101-4

Florence, general description, 179-82;
  Palazzo Vecchio, 182-4;
  Campanile, 186-7;
  cathedral, 187-9;
  Baptistery, 189-90;
  other buildings, 184-186, 190-8

Fiesole, Mino da, 206

Foix, Gaston de, 108

Francis of Assisi, S., 211-2, 215-6

Francis II., King of Naples, 266

Frederick II., Emperor, 57

Frediano, S., 170, 174

Fuga, 289


Gaddi, Agnolo, 194

Gaddi, Taddeo, 186

Galileo, 57, 164

Gambara, 140

Garibaldi, 156, 207

Genoa, history, 145;
  general description, 146-8;
  cathedral, 151-4;
  churches, 154-6;
  palaces, 148-51;
  rivalry with Pisa, 166

Ghiberti, 189

Giaconda, Fra, 36

Giotto, 49, 52, 58, 186, 194, 198, 213, 248

Giovanni, Fra, 58

Giudetto, 171, 176

Giugni, 175

Glycon, 267

Gozzoli, 165

Grail, Holy, 145

Gregory the Great, 283

Guiscard, Robert, 279-80


Hadrian, 262

Hauteville, Roger de, 291

Hecuba, Queen of Cyprus, 212


Januarius, S., 268-9

Julius II., 244-5

Julius III., 201


Ketterick, John, 194


Lanfranc, 21

Leo XIII., 205

Leopardi, Alessandro, 77

Lombardi, Martino, 77

Lombards, 126, 129, 136

Lucca, history, 169-70;
  cathedral, 170-3;
  other buildings, 173-8

Luini, Bernardino, 4

Lurago, Rocco, 150


Malatesta family, 93-98

Matthew, S., 282

Mazzuola, 140

Medici family, 12, 183, 190-3, 197-8

Mehemet Ali, 254

Michelozzo, 183

Milan, history, 7, 15;
  cathedral, 8-12;
  Church of S. Ambrose, 12-15

Mino, Giacomo di, 223

Misericordia, Compagnia della, 181-2

Monreale, 299-303

Montaldo, Leonardo, 155

Morone, Andrea, 51

Myrra, 154


Naples, history, 265-6;
  museum, 267;
  cathedral, 268-269;
  other buildings, 270-5;
  general description, 275-7

Nero, 263

Nesso, 1

Nicodemus, 173


Offamilio, Gualterio, 287

Orsini, Niccolo, 75

Orvieto, general description, 229-31, 236-8;
  cathedral, 231-6


Pacifico, Beato, 79

Padua, history, 49;
  cathedral, 50;
  university, 57;
  other buildings, 50-59

Palermo, general description, 285-8, 299;
  cathedral, 288-292;
  Cappella Palatina, 292-295;
  other buildings, 295-303

Palladio, 33, 82

Parma, history, 138;
  cathedral, 138-141;
  Baptistery, 141-2

Parmesan cheese, 22

Paul III., 200

Pavia, history, 17;
  cathedral, 17-19;
  other buildings, 20-21

Pellegrini, 10, 11

Pepo, 133

Perugia, general description, 199, 208-9;
  cathedral, 200-3;
  churches, 203-6;
  other buildings, 206-8

Perugino, 206-7

Petrarch, 50

Piacenza, Bartolino da, 142

Piacenza, Giovanni da, 143

Pietro, Lorenzo di, 222

Pisa, general description, 157;
  cathedral, 158-62;
  Baptistery, 162-4;
  other buildings, 164-7

Pisano, Andrea, 189

Pisano, Giovanni, 205, 219-20, 222, 232

Pisano, Niccolo, 53, 135-6;
  163, 165-6, 177, 199, 221-2, 232

Piscopia, Elena, 57

Pius IV., 11

Polo, Marco, 146

Porta, Guglielmo della, 248

Procida, John of, 282

Puccio, Pietro di, 235


Quercia, Jacopo della, 129

Quercia, Giacomo della, 223


Raphael, 231, 256

Ravenna, history, 107-8;
  mosaics, 109-13, 115-7;
  cathedral, 113-5;
  other buildings, 118-21

Reggio, Niccolo da, 142

Reni, Guido, 135

Ricchini, 12

Riccio, Andrea, 55

Rienzi, 253

Rimini, history, 91-3;
  cathedral, 93-8

Robbia, Della, 174, 186, 188, 197

Rocci, Cristoforo, 17

Rodario, 2-3

Romana, Ezzelino da, 141

Romano, Giulio, 9

Rome, general description, 239-41;
  S. Peter's, 243-9;
  Colosseum, 250;
  S. John Lateran, 251-3;
  other buildings, 241-3, 253-63

Rossi, Alessandro, 41

Rusca, 9


Salerno, history, 279-80;
  cathedral, 280-4

San Marino, 98

Sanmicheli, 36, 40, 45, 55

Sansovino, 33, 54, 62

Savonarola, 182, 184, 197

Scaligeri, 37-9

Siena, general description, 217, 227-8;
  cathedral, 218-23;
  other buildings, 223-7

Signorelli, Luca, 235-6

Spazi, 2


Talenti, Francesco, 186

Tasso, 101, 145

Terribilia, 126

Theodoric, 108, 120

Thomas Aquinas, S., 273, 279

Tiberius, 179, 265

Titian, 66

Tivoli, 249

Torcello, 86-90

Tours, 14

Trent, Council of, 11

Tribolo, 128-9


Ugolino, 235


Varenna, 2

Vasari, 166, 188, 193

Venice, S. Mark's, 62-73;
  Church of SS. Giovanni and Paolo, 73-7;
  of the Frari, 77-9;
  Doge's palace, 82-5;
  other buildings, 61-2, 79-82, 85-6

Verona, history, 35-7;
  cathedral, 39-41;
  other buildings, 36-38, 41-7

Verrochio, Andrea, 77, 184

Vinci, L. da, 9, 77

Visconti, Gian Galeazzo, 9, 17


Wolvinius, 13


Zeno, S., 43

Zenobius, St., 188

Zuccaro, 188


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