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Title: Italian Highways and Byways from a Motor Car
Author: Mansfield, M. F. (Milburg Francisco), 1871-
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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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Every attempt has been made to replicate the original book as printed.
Some typographical errors have been corrected. A list follows the
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accentuation or spelling of French and Italian names or words. Some
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    Italian Highways and Byways From a Motor Car


                 _WORKS OF_

              _FRANCIS MILTOUN_

_Rambles on the Riviera_                       $2.50

_Rambles in Normandy_                           2.50

_Rambles in Brittany_                           2.50

_The Cathedrals and Churches of the Rhine_      2.50

_The Cathedrals of Northern France_             2.50

_The Cathedrals of Southern France_             2.50

_In the Land of Mosques and Minarets_           3.00

_Castles and Chateaux of Old Touraine and
the Loire Country_                              3.00

_Castles and Chateaux of Old Navarre and
the Basque Provinces_                           3.00

_Italian Highways and Byways from a
Motor Car_                                      3.00

_The Automobilist Abroad_                 _net_ 3.00

                                      _Postage Extra_

        _L. C. PAGE & COMPANY_

  _New England Building, Boston, Mass._

[Illustration: In Bologna]



                          Italian Highways and
                        Byways from a Motor Car

                           BY FRANCIS MILTOUN

                               _O. N. I._

     Author of "Castles and Chateaux of Old Touraine," "Castles and
         Chateaux of Old Navarre," "In the Land of Mosques and
                            Minarets," etc.

                            _With Pictures_

                           BY BLANCHE MCMANUS

                             [Illustration]

                                 BOSTON
                          L. C. PAGE & COMPANY
                                  1909

                           _Copyright, 1909_
                        BY L. C. PAGE & COMPANY
                             (INCORPORATED)

                         _All rights reserved_

                      First Impression, May, 1909

                      Electrotyped and Printed at
                          THE COLONIAL PRESS:
                  C. H. Simonds & Co., Boston, U.S.A.



[Illustration: _Contents_]


CHAPTER                                      PAGE

I. THE WAY ABOUT ITALY                          1

II. OF ITALIAN MEN AND MANNERS                 23

III. CHIANTI AND MACARONI                      41

IV. ITALIAN ROADS AND ROUTES                   60

V. IN LIGURIA                                  81

VI. THE RIVIERA DI LEVANTE                    108

VII. ON TUSCAN ROADS                          124

VIII. FLORENTINE BACKGROUNDS                  144

IX. THE ROAD TO ROME                          164

X. THE CAMPAGNA AND BEYOND                    181

XI. LA BELLA NAPOLI                           196

XII. THE BEAUTIFUL BAY OF NAPLES              207

XIII. ACROSS UMBRIA TO THE ADRIATIC           225

XIV. BY ADRIATIC'S SHORE                      237

XV. ON THE VIA ÆMILIA                         260

XVI. I VENETIA                                277

XVII. THROUGH ITALIAN LAKELAND                309

XVIII. MILAN AND THE PLAINS OF LOMBARDY       333

XIX. TURIN AND THE ALPINE GATEWAYS            346

XX. FROM THE ITALIAN LAKES TO THE RIVIERA     360

INDEX                                         371



[Illustration: _List of_ Illustrations]


                                                      PAGE

IN BOLOGNA (_See page_ 266)                  _Frontispiece_

MAP OF ITALY                                    _facing_ 2

ITALY IN THE XVIII CENTURY (map)                        24

BARBERINO DI MUGELLO                           _facing_ 26

A CHIANTI SELLER                               _facing_ 32

A WAYSIDE TRATTORIA                            _facing_ 42

ROAD MAP OF NORTH ITALY                        _facing_ 72

ITALIAN ROAD SIGNS                                      77

PROFILE ROAD MAP, BOLOGNA--FLORENCE                     79

PALAZZO DORIA, GENOA                          _facing_ 100

GENOA (map)                                            101

SUN DIAL, GENOA                                        106

RAPALLO                                       _facing_ 110

RAPALLO AND ITS GULF (map)                             111

LUCCA (arms)                                           122

ON A TUSCAN HIGHWAY                           _facing_ 124

FLORENCE AND ITS PALACES (map)                         134

TORCH-HOLDERS, PALAZZO STROZZI, FLORENCE               136

PALAZZO VECCHIO, FLORENCE                     _facing_ 136

A LANTERN, PALAZZO STROZZI, FLORENCE                   137

SAN GIMIGNANO                                 _facing_ 138

VOLTERRA (map)                                         140

VILLA PALMIERI (diagram)                               148

FIESOLE                                                150

PALAZZO DELLA SIGNORIA, SIENA                 _facing_ 164

ORVIETO                                       _facing_ 168

ARMS OF VARIOUS PAPAL FAMILIES                         172

CASTLE OF SANT'ANGELO, ROME                   _facing_ 174

PALAZZO VATICANO (diagram)                             175

THE BORGIA WINDOW, ROME                       _facing_ 176

PAPAL ARMS OF CAESAR BORGIA                            177

ARMS OF A MEDICIS PRELATE                              178

VILLA MEDICI, ROME                            _facing_ 178

SUBIACO                                       _facing_ 190

VILLA D'ESTE, TIVOLI                          _facing_ 192

HADRIAN'S VILLA (diagram)                              194

NAPLES (diagram)                                       196

CASTELLO DELL'OVO, NAPLES                     _facing_ 202

THE BAY OF NAPLES (map)                                208

ISCHIA                                        _facing_ 212

LAVA BEDS OF VESUVIAS (map)                            213

THE EXCAVATIONS OF POMPEII (diagram)                   216

THE ENVIRONS OF POMPEII                       _facing_ 218

ASSISI (arms)                                          228

ASSISI: ITS WALLS, CASTLE, AND CHURCH (diagram)        229

ARCHITECTURAL DETAIL, PERUGIA                 _facing_ 230

PALAZZO DUCALE, URBINO                        _facing_ 232

BRINDISI; THE TERMINAL COLUMN OF THE APPIAN WAY        240

TRAJAN'S ARCH, ANCONA                         _facing_ 242

CASTEL MALATESTA, RIMINI                      _facing_ 244

PALAZZO DI TEODORICO, RAVENNA                 _facing_ 248

COLUMN TO GASTON DE FOIX, RAVENNA                      249

THE MADONNA OF CHIOGGIA                                252

BORGIA ARMS                                            254

FERRARA                                       _facing_ 254

CASA DEL PETRARCA, ARQUA                               259

BOLOGNA (diagram)                                      267

THE LEANING TOWERS OF BOLOGNA                 _facing_ 268

PARMA (arms)                                           272

PIACENZA (diagram)                                     275

PADUA (arms)                                           278

IN PADUA                                      _facing_ 280

PALACES OF THE GRAND CANAL, VENICE (diagram)           289

THE SO-CALLED "HOUSE OF DESDEMONA," VENICE    _facing_ 290

ASOLO                                                  296

VICENZA (diagram)                                      300

VICENZA                                       _facing_ 302

SEAL OF VERONA                                         304

PALLAZZO DUCAL, MANTUA                                 311

ON THE LAGO DI GARDA                          _facing_ 314

CASTLE OF BRESCIA                             _facing_ 316

BERGAMO                                       _facing_ 318

THE ITALIAN LAKES (map)                                319

ON THE LAGO DI COMO                           _facing_ 322

CADENABBIA                                             324

ON THE LAGO DI MAGGIORE                       _facing_ 326

ORTA                                          _facing_ 330

A LOMBARD FÊTE                                _facing_ 334

THE ANCIENT CASTLE OF MILAN                   _facing_ 338

THE IRON CROWN OF LOMBARDY                             345

PALAZZO MADONNA, TURIN                        _facing_ 346

ON THE STRADA, MONCENISIO                     _facing_ 350

CASTLE OF FÉNIS                               _facing_ 358



                      Italian Highways and Byways

                            From a Motor Car



CHAPTER I

THE WAY ABOUT ITALY


One travels in Italy chiefly in search of the picturesque, but in
Florence, Rome, Naples, Venice or Milan, and in the larger towns lying
between, there is, in spite of the romantic association of great names,
little that appeals to one in a personal sense. One admires what Ruskin,
Hare or Symonds tells one to admire, gets a smattering of the romantic
history of the great families of the palaces and villas of Rome and
Florence, but absorbs little or nothing of the genuine feudal traditions
of the background regions away from the well-worn roads.

Along the highways and byways runs the itinerary of the author and
illustrator of this book, and they have thus been able to view many of
the beauties and charms of the countryside which have been unknown to
most travellers in Italy in these days of the modern railway.

_Alla Campagna_ was our watchword as we set out to pass as many of our
Italian days and nights as possible in places little celebrated in
popular annals, a better way of knowing Italy than one will ever know it
when viewed simply from the Vatican steps or Frascati's gardens.

The palaces and villas of Rome, Florence and Venice are known to most
European travellers--as they know Capri, Vesuvius or Amalfi; but of the
grim castles of Ancona, of Rimini and Ravenna, and of the classic charms
of Taormina or of Sarazza they know considerably less; and still less of
Monte Cristo's Island, of Elba, of Otranto, and of the little
hidden-away mountain towns of the Alps of Piedmont and the Val d'Aoste.

The automobile, as a means of getting about, has opened up many old and
half-used byways, and the automobile traveller of to-day may confidently
assert that he has come to know the countryside of a beloved land as it
was not even possible for his grandfathers to know it.

The Italian tour may be made as a conducted tour, as an educative tour,
as a mere butterfly tour (as it often has been), or as a honeymoon
trip, but the reason for its making is always the same; the fact that
Italy is a soft, fair, romantic land where many things have existed, and
still exist, that may be found nowhere else on earth.

The romance of travel and the process of gathering legends and tales of
local manners and customs is in no way spoiled because of modern means
of travel. Many a hitherto unexploited locality, with as worthy a
monumental shrine as many more celebrated, will now become accessible,
perhaps even well known.

The pilgrim goes to Italy because of his devotion to religion, or to art
or architecture, and, since this is the reason for his going, it is this
reason, too, which has caused the making of more travel books on Italy
than on all other continental countries combined. There are some who
affect only "old masters" or literary shrines, others who crave palaces
or villas, and yet others who haunt the roulette tables of Monte Carlo,
Biarritz, or some exclusive Club in the "Eternal City." European travel
is all things to all men.

The pilgrims that come to Italy in increasing numbers each year are not
all born and bred of artistic tastes, but the expedition soon brings a
glimmer of it to the most sordid soul that ever took his amusements
apart from his edification, and therein lies the secret of pleasurable
travel for all classes. The automobilist should bear this in mind and
not eat up the roadway through Æmilia at sixty miles an hour simply
because it is possible. There are things to see en route, though none of
your speeding friends have ever mentioned them. Get acquainted with them
yourself and pass the information on to the next. That is what the
automobile is doing for modern travel--more than the stage or the
railway ever did, and more than the aeroplane ever will!

One does not forget the American who went home to the "Far West" and
recalled Rome as the city where he bought an alleged panama hat (made
probably at Leghorn). He is no myth. One sees his like every day. He who
hurried his daughter away from the dim outlined aisles of Milan's Gothic
wonder to see the new electric light works and the model tramway station
was one of these, but he was the better for having done a round of the
cathedrals of Italy, even if he did get a hazy idea of them mixed up
with his practical observations on street-lighting and transportation.

Superficial Italian itineraries have been made often, and their
chronicles set down. They are still being made, and chronicled, but the
makers of guide books have, as yet, catered but little to the class of
leisurely travellers, a class who would like to know where some of these
unexploited monuments exist; where these unfamiliar histories and
legends may be heard, and how they may all be arrived at, absorbed and
digested. The people of the countryside, too, are usually more
interesting than those of the towns. One has only to compare the Italian
peasant and his picturesque life with the top-hatted and frock-coated
Roman of to-day to arrive quickly to a conclusion as to which is typical
of his surroundings. The Medicis, the Borgias, and the Colonnas have
gone, and to find the real romantic Italian and his manner of life one
has to hunt him in the small towns.

The modern traveller in Italy by road will do well to recall the
conditions which met the traveller of past days. The mere recollection
of a few names and dates will enable the automobilist to classify his
impressions on the road in a more definite and satisfying manner than if
he took no cognizance of the pilgrims who have gone before.

Chaucer set out ostensibly for Genoa in 1373 and incidentally met
Petrarch at Padua and talked shop. A monk named Felix, from Ulm on the
banks of the Danube, en route for Jerusalem, stopped off at Venice and
wrote things down about it in his diary, which he called a "faithful
description." Albrecht Durer visited Venice in 1505 and made friends
with many there, and from Venice went to Bologna and Ferrara. An English
crusading knight in the same century "took in" Italy en route to the
Holy Land, entering the country via Chambéry and Aiguebelle--the most
delightful gateway even to-day. Automobilists should work this itinerary
out on some diagrammatic road map. Martin Luther, "with some business to
transact with the Pope's Vicar," passed through Milan, Pavia, Bologna
and Florence on his way to Rome, and Rabelais in 1532 followed in the
train of Cardinal du Bellay, and his account of how he "saw the Pope" is
interesting reading in these days when even personally-conducted
tourists look forward to the same thing. Joachim du Bellay's "visions of
Rome" are good poetry, but as he was partisan to his own beloved _Loire
gaulois_, to the disparagement of the _Tiber latin_, their topographical
worth is somewhat discounted.

Sir Philip Sidney was in Padua and Venice in 1573, and he brought back a
portrait of himself painted in the latter city by Paul Veronese, as
tourists to-day carry away wine glasses with their initials embossed on
them. The sentiment is the same, but taste was better in the old days.

Rubens was at Venice in 1600, and there are those who say that
Shakespeare got his local colour "on the spot." Mr. Sidney Lee says no!

Back to the land, as Dante, Petrarch, even Horace and Virgil, have said.
Dante the wayfarer was a mighty traveller, and so was Petrach. Horace
and Virgil took their viewpoints from the Roman capital, but they penned
faithful pictures which in setting and colouring have, in but few
instances, changed unto this day.

Dante is believed to have been in Rome when the first sentence was
passed upon him, and from the Eternal City one can follow his
journeyings northward by easy stages to Siena and Arezzo, to the Alps,
to Padua, on the Aemilian Way, his wandering on Roman roads, his flight
by sea to Marseilles, again at Verona and finally at Ravenna, the last
refuge.

This was an Italian itinerary worth the doing. Why should we modern
travellers not take some historical personage and follow his (or her)
footsteps from the cradle to the grave? To follow in the footsteps of
Jeanne d'Arc, of Dante Alighieri, or of Petrarch and his Laura--though
their ways were widely divergent--or of Henri IV, François I, or Charles
V, would add a zest and reason for being to an automobile tour of Europe
which no twenty-four hour record from London to Monte Carlo, or eighteen
hours from Naples to Geneva could possibly have.

There is another class of travellers who will prefer to wax solemn over
the notorious journey to Italy of Alfred de Musset and Georges Sand. It
was a most romantic trip, as the world knows. De Musset even had to ask
his mother's consent to make it. The past mistress of eloquence appeared
at once on the maternal threshold and promised to look after the young
man--like a mother.

De Musset's brother saw the pair off "on a misty melancholy evening,"
and noted amongst other dark omens, that "the coach in which the
travellers took their seats was the thirteenth to leave the yard," but
for the life of us we cannot share his solemnity. The travellers met
Stendhal at Lyons. After supper "he was very merry, got rather drunk and
danced round the table in his big topboots." In Florence they could not
make up their minds whether to go to Rome or to Venice, and settled the
matter by the toss of a coin. Is it possible to care much for the
fortunes of two such heedless cynics?

It is such itineraries as have here been outlined, the picking up of
more or less indistinct trails and following them a while, that gives
that peculiar charm to Italian travel. Not the dreamy, idling mood that
the sentimentalists would have us adopt, but a burning feverishness that
hardly allows one to linger before any individual shrine. Rather one is
pushed from behind and drawn from in front to an ever unreachable goal.
One never finishes his Italian travels. Once the habit is formed, it
becomes a disease. We care not that Cimabue is no longer considered to
be throned the painter of the celebrated Madonna in Santa Maria Novella,
or that Andrea del Sarto and his wife are no longer Andrea del Sarto and
his wife, so long as we can weave together a fabric which pleases us,
regardless of the new criticism,--or the old, for that matter.

We used to go to the places marked on our railway tickets, and "stopped
off" only as the regulations allowed. Now we go where fancy wills and
stop off where the vagaries of our automobile force us to. And we get
more notions of Italy into our heads in six weeks than could otherwise
be acquired in six months.

One need not go so very far afield to get away from the conventional in
Italy. Even that strip of coastline running from Menton in France to
Reggio in Calabria is replete with unknown, or at least unexploited,
little corners, which have a wealth of picturesque and romantic charm,
and as noble and impressive architectural monuments as one may find in
the peninsula.

_Com è bella_, say the French honeymoon couples as they enter Italy via
the Milan Express over the Simplon; _com è bella_, say one and all who
have trod or ridden the highways and byways up and down and across
Italy; _com è bella_ is the pæan of every one who has made the Italian
round, whether they have been frequenters of the great cities and towns,
or have struck out across country for themselves and found some
creeper-clad ruin, or a villa in some ideally romantic situation which
the makers of guide-books never heard of, or have failed to mention. All
this is possible to the traveller by road in Italy, and one's only
unpleasant memories are of the _buona mano_ of the brigands of hotel
servants which infest the large cities and towns--about the only
brigands one meets in Italy to-day.

The real Italy, the old Italy, still exists, though half hidden by the
wall of progress built up by young liberty-loving Italy since the days
of Garibaldi; but one has to step aside and look for the old régime. It
cannot always be discovered from the window of a railway carriage or a
hotel omnibus, though it is often brought into much plainer view from
the cushions of an automobile. "Motor Cars and the Genus Loci" was a
very good title indeed for an article which recently appeared in a
quarterly review. The writer ingeniously discovered--as some of the rest
of us have also--the real mission of the automobile. It takes us into
the heart of the life of a country instead of forcing us to travel in a
prison van on iron rails.

Let the tourist in Italy "do"--and "do" as thoroughly as he likes--the
galleries of Rome, Florence, Siena, and Venice, but let him not neglect
the more appealing and far more natural uncontaminated beauties of the
countryside and the smaller towns, such as Caserta, Arezzo, Lucca,
Montepulciana, Barberino in Mugello and Ancona, and as many others as
fit well into his itinerary from the Alps to Ætna or from Reggio to
Ragusa. They lack much of the popular renown that the great centres
possess, but they still have an aspect of the reality of the life of
mediævalism which is difficult to trace when surrounded by all the
up-to-date and supposedly necessitous things which are burying Rome's
ruins deeper than they have ever yet been buried. It is difficult indeed
to imagine what old Rome was like, with Frascati given over to "hunt
parties" and the hotel drawing rooms replete with Hungarian orchestras.
It is difficult, indeed!

Italy is a vast kinetoscope of heterogeneous sights and scenes and
memories and traditions such as exist on no other part of the earth's
surface. Of this there is no doubt, and yet each for himself may find
something new, whether it is a supposed "secret of the Vatican" or an
unheard of or forgotten romance of an Italian villa. This is the _genus
loci_ of Italy, the charm of Italy, the unresistible lodestone which
draws tens of thousands and perhaps hundreds of thousands thither each
year, from England and America. Italy is the most romantic touring
ground in all the world, and, though its highways and byways are not the
equal in surface of the "good roads" of France, they are, _in good
weather_, considerably better than the automobilist from overseas is
used to at home. At one place we found fifty kilometres of the worst
road we had ever seen in Italy immediately followed by a like stretch
of the best. The writer does not profess to be able to explain the
anomaly. In general the roads in the mountains are better than those at
low level, so one should plan his itineraries accordingly.

The towns and cities of Italy are very well known to all well-read
persons, but of the countryside and its manners and customs this is not
so true. Modern painters have limned the outlines of San Marco at Venice
and the Castle of St. Angelo at Rome, on countless canvases, and
pictures of the "Grand Canal" and of "Vesuvius in Eruption" are familiar
enough; but paintings of the little hill towns, the wayside shrines, the
olive and orange groves, and vineyards, or a sketch of some quaint
roadside albergo made whilst the automobile was temporarily held up by a
tire blow out, is quite as interesting and not so common. There is many
a pine-clad slope, convent-crowned hill-top and castled crag in Italy as
interesting as the more famous, historic sites.

To appreciate Italy one must know it from all sides and in all its
moods. The hurried itinerary which comprises getting off the ship at
Naples, doing the satellite resorts and "sights" which fringe Naples
Bay, and so on to Rome, Florence and Venice, and thence across
Switzerland, France and home is too frequently a reality. The
automobilist may have a better time of it if he will but be rational;
but, for the hurried flight above outlined, he should leave his
automobile at home and make the trip by "train de luxe." It would be
less costly and he would see quite as much of Italy--perhaps more. The
leisurely automobile traveller who rolls gently in and out of hitherto
unheard of little towns and villages is in another class and learns
something of a beloved land and the life of the people that the hurried
tourist will never suspect.

The genuine vagabond traveller, even though he may be a lover of art and
architecture, and knows just how bad Canova's lions really are, is quite
as much concerned with the question as to why Italians drink wine red
instead of white, or why the sunny Sicilian will do more quarrelling and
less shovelling of dirt on a railroad or a canal job than his northern
brother. It is interesting, too, to learn something--by stumbling upon
it as we did--about Carrara marble, Leghorn hats and macaroni, which
used to form the bulk of the cargoes of ships sailing from Italian ports
to those of the United States. The Canovas, like the Botticellis, are
always there--it is forbidden to export art treasures from Italy, so
one can always return to confirm his suspicions--but the marble has
found its competitor elsewhere, Leghorn hats are now made in far larger
quantities in Philadelphia, and the macaroni sent out from Brooklyn in a
month would keep all Italy from starvation for a year.

The Italian picture and its framing is like no other, whether one
commences with the snow-crested Alps of Piedmont and finishes with Bella
Napoli and its dazzling blue, or whether he finishes with the Queen of
the Adriatic and begins with Capri. It is always Italy. The same is not
true of France. Provence might, at times, and in parts, be taken for
Spain, Algeria or Corsica; Brittany for Ireland and Lorraine for
Germany. On the contrary Piedmont, in Italy, is nothing at all like
neighbouring Dauphiné or Savoie, nor is Liguria like Nice.

As for the disadvantages of Italian travel, they do undoubtedly exist,
as well for the automobilist as for him who travels by rail. In the
first place, in spite of the picturesque charm of the Italian
countryside, the roads are, as a whole, not by any means the equal of
those of the rest of Europe--always, of course, excepting Spain. They
are far better indeed in Algeria and Tunisia. Hotel expenses are double
what they are in France for the same sort of accommodation--for the
automobilist at any rate. Garage accommodation is seldom, if ever, to be
found in the hotel, at least not of a satisfactory kind, and when found
costs anywhere from two to three, or even five, francs a night. Gasoline
and oil are held at inflated figures, though no one seems to know who
gets all the profit that comes from the fourteen to eighteen francs
which the Italian garage keeper or grocer or druggist takes for the
usual five gallons.

With this information as a forewarning the stranger automobilist in
Italy will meet with no undue surprises except that bad weather, if he
happens to strike a spell, will considerably affect a journey that would
otherwise have proved enjoyable.

The climate of Italy is far from being uniform. It is not all orange
groves and palm trees. Throughout Piedmont and Lombardy snow and frost
are the frequent accompaniments of winter. On the other hand the summers
are hot and prolific in thunder storms. In Venetia, thanks to the
influence of the Adriatic, the climate is more equable. In the centre,
Tuscany has a more nearly regular climate. From Naples south, one
encounters almost a North African temperature, and the south wind of the
desert, the _sirocco_, here blows as it does in Algeria and Tunisia,
though tempered somewhat by having crossed the Mediterranean.

There are a hundred and twenty-five varieties of mosquitoes in Italy,
but with most of them their singing is worse than their stinging. The
Pontine Marches have long been the worst breeding places for mosquitoes
known to a suffering world. The mosquitoes of this region were supposed
to have been transmitters of malaria, so one day some Italian physicians
caught a good round batch of them and sent them up into a little village
in the Apennines whose inhabitants had never known malaria. Straightway
the whole population began to shake with the ague. That settled it, the
mosquito was a breeder of disease.

The topography of Italy is of an extraordinary variety. The plains and
wastes of Calabria are the very antitheses of that semi-circular
mountain rampart of the Alps which defines the northern frontier or of
the great solid mass of the Apennines in Central Italy. Italy by no
means covers the vast extent of territory that the stranger at first
presupposes. From the northern frontier of Lombardy to the toe of the
Calabrian boot is considerable of a stretch to be sure, but for all that
the actual area is quite restricted, when compared with that of other
great continental powers. This is all the more reason for the
automobilist to go comfortably along and not speed up at every town and
village he comes to.

The automobilist in Italy should make three vows before crossing the
frontier. The first not to attempt to see everything; the second to
review some of the things he has already seen or heard of; and the third
to leave the beaten track at least once and launch out for himself and
try to discover something that none of his friends have ever seen.

The beaten track in Italy is not by any means an uninteresting
itinerary, and there is no really unbeaten track any more. What one can
do, and does, if he is imbued with the proper spirit of travel, is to
cover as much little-travelled ground as his instincts prompt him.
Between Florence and Rome and between Rome and Naples there is quite as
much to interest even the conventional traveller as in those cities
themselves, if he only knows where to look for it and knows the purport
of all the remarkable and frequent historical monuments continually
springing into view. Obscure villages, with good country inns where the
arrival of foreigners is an event, are quite as likely to offer
pleasurable sensations as those to be had at the six, eight or ten franc
a day pension of the cities.

The landscape motives for the artist, to be found in Italy, are the most
varied of any country on earth. It is a wide range indeed from the
vineyard covered hillsides of Vicenza to the more grandiose country
around Bologna, to the dead-water lagoons before Venice is reached, to
the rocky coasts of Calabria, or to the chestnut groves of Ætna and the
Roman Campagna.

The travelling American or Englishman is himself responsible for many of
the inconveniences to which he is subjected in Italy. The Italian may
know how to read his own class distinctions, but all Americans are alike
to him. Englishmen, as a rule, know the language better and they get on
better--very little. The Frenchman and the German have very little
trouble. They have less false pride than we.

The American who comes to Italy in an automobile represents untold
wealth to the simple Italian; those who drive in two horse carriages and
stop at big hotels are classed in the same category. One may scarcely
buy anything in a decent shop, or enter an ambitious looking café, but
that the hangers-on outside mark him for a millionaire, while, if he is
so foolish as to fling handfuls of _soldi_ to an indiscriminate crowd of
ragamuffins from the balcony of his hotel, he will be pestered half to
death as long as he stays in the neighbourhood. And he deserves what he
gets! There is a way to counteract all this but each must learn it for
himself. There is no set formula.

Beggars are importunate in certain places in Italy be-ridden of
tourists, but after all no more so than elsewhere, and the travelling
public, as much as anything else, conduces to the continued existence of
the plague. If Italy had to choose between suppressing beggars or
foregoing the privilege of having strangers from overseas coming to view
her monuments she would very soon choose the former. If the beggars
could not make a living at their little game they too would stop of
their own accord. The question resolves itself into a strictly personal
one. If it pleases you to throw pennies from your balcony, your carriage
or your automobile to a gathered assembly of curious, do so! It is the
chief means of proving, to many, that they are superior to "foreigners!"
The little-travelled person does this everywhere,--on the terrace of
Shepheard's at Cairo, on the boulevard café terraces at Algiers, from
the deck of his ship at Port Said, from the tables even of the Café de
la Paix;--so why should he not do it at Naples, at Venice, at Rome? For
no reason in the world, except that it's a nuisance to other travellers,
decidedly an objectionable practice to hotel, restaurant and shop
keepers, and a cause of great annoyance and trouble to police and civic
authorities. The following pages have been written and illustrated as a
truthful record of what two indefatigable automobile travellers have
seen and felt.

We were dutifully ravished by the splendours of the Venetian palaces,
and duly impressed by the massiveness of Sant'Angelo; but we were more
pleased by far in coming unexpectedly upon the Castle of Fénis in the
Valle d'Aoste, one of the finest of all feudal fortresses; or the Castle
of Rimini sitting grim and sad in the Adriatic plain; or the Villa
Cesarini outside of Perugia, which no one has ever reckoned as a
wonder-work of architecture, but which all the same shows all of the
best of Italian villa elements.

Our taste has been catholic, and the impressions set forth herein are
our own. Others might have preferred to admire some splendid church
whilst we were speculating as to some great barbican gateway or watch
tower. A saintly shrine might have for some more appeal than a hillside
fortified _Rocca_; and again some convent nunnery might have a
fascination that a rare old Renaissance house, now turned into a
macaroni factory, or a wine press, might not.



CHAPTER II

OF ITALIAN MEN AND MANNERS


Italian politics have ever been a game of intrigue, and of the
exploiting of personal ambition. It was so in the days of the Popes; it
is so in these days of premiers. The pilots of the ships of state have
never had a more perilous passage to navigate than when manoeuvring in
the waters of Italian politics.

There is great and jealous rivalry between the cities of Italy. The
Roman hates the Piedmontese and the Neapolitan and the Bolognese, and
they all hate the Roman,--capital though Rome is of Church and State.

[Illustration: ITALY In The XVIII Century]

The Evolution of Nationality has ever been an interesting subject to the
stranger in a strange land. When the national spirit at last arose Italy
had reached modern times and become modern instead of mediæval. National
character is born of environment, but nationalism is born only of
unassailable unity, a thorough absorbing of a love of country. The
inhabitant of Rouen, the ancient Norman capital, is first, last and all
the time a Norman, but he is also French; and the dweller in Rome or
Milan is as much an Italian as the Neapolitan, though one and all
jealously put the Campagna, Piedmont, or the Kingdom of Naples before
the Italian boot as a geographical division. Sometimes the same idea is
carried into politics, but not often. Political warfare in Italy is
mostly confined to the unquenchable prejudices existing between the
Quirinal and the Vatican, a sort of _inter urban_ warfare, which has
very little of the aspect of an international question, except as some
new-come diplomat disturbs the existing order of things. The Italian has
a fondness for the Frenchman, and the French nation. At least the
Italian politician has, or professes to have, when he says to his
constituency: "I wish always for happy peaceful relations with France
... but I don't forget Magenta and Solferino."

The Italians of the north are the emigrating Italians, and make one of
the best classes of labourers, when transplanted to a foreign soil. The
steamship recruiting agents placard every little background village of
Tuscany and Lombardy with the attractions of New York, Chicago, New
Orleans and Buenos Ayres, and a hundred or so _lire_ paid into the
agent's coffers does the rest.

Calabria and Sicily are less productive. The sunny Sicilian always wants
to take his gaudily-painted farm cart with him, and as there is no
economic place for such a useless thing in America, he contents himself
with a twenty-hour sea voyage to Tunisia where he can easily get back
home again with his cart, if he doesn't like it.

Every Italian peasant, man, woman and child, knows America. You may not
pass the night at Barberino di Mugello, may not stop for a glass of wine
at the _Osteria_ on the Futa Pass, or for a repast at some classically
named _borgo_ on the Voie Æmilia but that you will set up longings in
the heart of the natives who stand around in shoals and gaze at your
automobile.

They all have relatives in America, in New York, New Orleans or Cripple
Creek, or perhaps Brazil or the Argentine, and, since money comes
regularly once or twice a year, and since thousands of touring Americans
climb about the rocks at Capri or drive fire-spouting automobiles up
through the Casentino, they know the new world as a land of dollars, and
dream of the day when they will be able to pick them up in the streets
paved with gold. That is a fairy-tale of America that still lives in
Italy.

[Illustration: Barberino di Mugello]

Besides emigrating to foreign lands, the Italian peasant moves about his
own country to an astonishing extent, often working in the country in
summer, and in the towns the rest of the time as a labourer, or artisan.
The typical Italian of the poorer class is of course the peasant of the
countryside, for it is a notable fact that the labourer of the cities is
as likely to be of one nationality as another. Different sections of
Italy have each their distinct classes of country folk. There are
landowners, tenants, others who work their land on shares, mere
labourers and again simple farming folk who hire others to aid them in
their work.

The _braccianti_, or farm labourers, are worthy fellows and seemingly as
intelligent workers as their class elsewhere. In Calabria they are
probably less accomplished than in the region of the great areas of
worked land in central Italy and the valley of the Po.

The _mezzadria_ system of working land on shares is found all over
Italy. On a certain prearranged basis of working, the landlord and
tenant divide the produce of the farm. There are, accordingly, no
starving Italians, a living seemingly being assured the worker in the
soil. In Ireland where it is rental pure and simple, and foreclosure and
eviction if the rent is not promptly paid, the reverse is the case.
Landlordism of even the paternal kind--if there is such a thing--is
bad, but co-operation between landlord and tenant seems to work well in
Italy. It probably would elsewhere.

The average Italian small farm, or _podere_, worked only by the family,
is a very unambitious affair, but it produces a livelihood. The house is
nothing of the vine-clad Kent or Surrey order, and the principal
apartment is the kitchen. One or two bedrooms complete its appointments,
with a stone terrace in front of the door as it sits cosily backed up
against some pleasant hillside.

There are few gimcracks and dust-harbouring rubbish within, and what
simple furniture there is is clean--above all the bed-linen. The stable
is a building apart, and there is usually some sort of an out-house
devoted to wine-pressing and the like.

A kitchen garden and an orchard are near by, and farther afield the
larger area of workable land. A thousand or twelve hundred lire a year
of ready money passing through the hands of the head of the family will
keep father, mother and two children going, besides which there is the
"living," the major part of the eatables and drinkables coming off the
property itself.

The Italians are as cleanly in their mode of life as the people of any
other nation in similar walks. Let us not be prejudiced against the
Italian, but make some allowance for surrounding conditions. In the
twelfth century in Italy the grossness and uncleanliness were
incredible, and the manners laid down for behaviour at table make us
thankful that we have forks, pocket-handkerchiefs, soap and other
blessings! But then, where were we in the twelfth century!

No branch of Italian farming is carried on on a very magnificent scale.
In America the harvests are worked with mechanical reapers; in England
it is done with sickle and flail or out of date patterns of American
machines, but in Italy the peasant still works with the agricultural
implements of Bible times, and works as hard to raise and harvest one
bushel of wheat as a Kansas farmer does to grow, harvest and market six.
The American farmer has become a financier; the Italian is still in the
bread-winning stage. Five hundred labourers in Dakota, of all
nationalities under the sun, be it remarked, on the Dalrymple farm, cut
more wheat than any five thousand peasants in Europe. The peasant of
Europe is chiefly in the stage of begging the Lord for his daily bread,
but as soon as he gets out west in America, he buys store things,
automatic pianos and automobile buggies. No wonder he emigrates!

The Italian peasant doesn't live so badly as many think, though true it
is that meat is rare enough on his table. He eats something more than a
greasy rag and an olive, as the well-fed Briton would have us believe;
and something more than macaroni, as the American fondly thinks. For one
thing, he has his eternal _minestra_, a good, thick soup of many things
which Anglo-Saxons would hardly know how to turn into as wholesome and
nourishing a broth; meat of any kind, always what the French call _pate
d'Italie_, and herbs of the field. The macaroni, the olives, the cheese
and the wine--always the wine--come after. Not bad that; considerably
better than corned beef and pie, and far, far better than boiled mutton
and cauliflower as a steady diet! Britons and Americans should wake up
and learn something about gastronomy.

The general expenses of middle-class domestic town life in Italy are
lower than in most other countries, and the necessities for outlay are
smaller. The Italian, even comfortably off in the working class, is less
inclined to spend money on luxurious trivialities than most of us. He
prefers to save or invest his surplus. One takes central Italy as
typical because, if it is not the most prosperous, considered from an
industrial point of view, it is still the region endowed with the
greatest natural wealth. By this is meant that the conditions of life
are there the easiest and most comfortable.

A middle class town family with an income of six or seven thousand lire
spends very little on rent to begin with; pretence based upon the size
of the front door knob cuts no figure in the Italian code of pride. This
family will live in a flat, not in a _villini_ as separate town houses
are called. One sixth of the family income will go for rent, and though
the apartment may be bare and grim and lack actual luxury it will
possess amplitude, ten or twelve rooms, and be near the centre of the
town. This applies in the smaller cities of from twenty to fifty
thousand inhabitants. With very little modification the same will apply
in Rome or Naples, and, with perhaps none at all, at Florence.

The all important servant question would seem to be more easily solved
in Italy than elsewhere, but it is commonly the custom to treat Italian
servants as one of the family--so far as certain intimacies and
affections go--though, perhaps this of itself has some unanticipated
objections. The Italian servants have the reputation of becoming like
feudal retainers; that is, they "stay on the job," and from eight to
twenty-five lire a month pays their wages. In reality they become almost
personal or body servants, for in few Italian cities, and certainly not
in Italian towns, are they obliged to occupy themselves with the
slogging work of the London slavey, or the New York chore-woman. An
Italian servant, be she young or old, however, has a seeming disregard
for a uniform or badge of servitude, and is often rather sloppy in
appearance. She is, for that, all the more picturesque since, if untidy,
she is not apt to be loathsomely dirty in her apparel or her manner of
working.

[Illustration: A Chianti Seller]

The Italian of all ranks is content with two meals a day, as indeed we
all ought to be. The continental morning coffee and roll, or more likely
a sweet cake, is universal here, though sometimes the roll is omitted.
Lunch is comparatively a light meal, and dinner at six or seven is
simply an amplified lunch. The chianti of Tuscany is the usual wine
drunk at all meals, or a substitute for it less good, though all red
wine in Italy seems to be good, cheap and pure. Adulteration is
apparently too costly a process. Wine and biscuits take the place of
afternoon tea--and with advantage. The wine commonly used _en
famille_ is seldom bought at more than 1.50 lira the flagon of two and a
half litres, and can be had for half that price. Sugar and salt are
heavily taxed, and though that may be a small matter with regard to salt
it is something of an item with sugar.

Wood is almost entirely the fuel for cooking and heating, and the latter
is very inefficient coming often from simple braziers or _scaldini_
filled with embers and set about where they are supposed to do the most
good. If one does not expire from the cold before the last spark has
departed from the already dying embers when they are brought in, he
orders another and keeps it warm by enveloping it as much as possible
with his person. Italian heating arrangements are certainly more
economical than those in Britain, but are even less efficient, as most
of the caloric value of wood and coal goes up the chimney with the
smoke. The American system of steam heat--on the "_chauffage centrale_"
plan--will some day strike Europe, and then the householder will buy his
heat on the water, gas and electric light plan. Till then southern
Europe will freeze in winter.

In Rome and Florence it is a very difficult proceeding to be able to
control enough heat--by any means whatever--to properly warm an
apartment in winter. If the apartment has no chimney, and many haven't
in the living rooms, one perforce falls back again on the classic
_scaldini_ placed in the middle of the room and fired up with charcoal.
Then you huddle around it like Indians in a wigwam and, if you don't
take a short route into eternity by asphyxiation, your extremities
ultimately begin to warm up; when they begin to get chilly again you
recommence the firing up. This is more than difficult; it is
inconvenient and annoying.

The manners and customs of the Italians of the great cities differ
greatly from those of the towns and villages, and those of the Romans
differ greatly from those of the inhabitants of Milan, Turin or Genoa.
The Roman, for instance, hates rain--and he has his share of it too--and
accordingly is more often seen with an umbrella than without one.
Brigands are supposedly the only Italians who don't own an umbrella,
though why the distinction is so apparent a mere dweller beyond the
frontier cannot answer.

In Rome, in Naples, and in all the cities and large towns of Italy, the
population rises early, but they don't get down to business as speedily
as they might. The Italian has not, however, a prejudice against new
ideas, and the Italian cities and large towns are certainly very much
up-to-date. Italians are at heart democrats, and rank and title have
little effect upon them.

The Italian government still gives scant consideration to savings banks,
but legalizes, authorizes and sometimes backs up lotteries. At all times
it controls them. This is one of the inconsistencies of the tunes played
by the political machine in modern Italy. Anglo-Saxons may bribe and
graft; but they do not countenance lotteries, which are the greatest
thieving institutions ever invented by the ingenuity of man, in that
they _do_ rob the _poor_. It is the _poor_ almost entirely who support
them. The rich have bridge, baccarat, Monte Carlo and the Stock
Exchange.

It may be bad for the public, this legalized gambling, but all gambling
is bad, and certainly state-controlled lotteries are no worse than
licensed or unlicensed pool-rooms and bucket shops, winked-at
dice-throwing in bar rooms, or crap games on every corner.

The Italian administration received the enormous total of 74,400,000
lire for lottery tickets in 1906, and of this sum 35,000,000 lire were
returned in prizes, and 6,500,000 went for expenses. A fine net profit
of 33,000,000 lire, all of which, save what stuck to the fingers of the
bureaucracy in passing through, went to reduce taxation which would
otherwise be levied.

The Italian plays the lottery with the enthusiastic excitement of a too
shallow and too confident brain.

Various combinations of figures seem possible of success to the Italian
who at the weekend puts some bauble in pawn with the hope that something
will come his way. After the drawing, before the Sunday dawns, he is
quite another person, considerably less confident of anything to happen
in the future, and as downcast as a sunny Italian can be.

This passion for drawing lots is something born in him; even if
lotteries were not legalized, he would still play _lotto_ in secret, for
in enthusiasm for games of chance, he rivals the Spaniard.

But Italy is not the country of illiterates that the stranger
presupposes. Campania is the province where one finds the largest number
of lettered, and Basilicate the least.

Military service begins and is compulsory for all male Italians at the
age of twenty. It lasts for nineteen years, of which three only are in
active service. The next five or six in the reserve, the next three or
four in the Militia and the next seven in the "territorial" Militia, or
landguard.

Conscription also applies to the naval service for the term of twelve
years.

The military element, which one meets all over Italy, is astonishingly
resplendent in colours and plentiful in numbers. At most, among
hundreds, perhaps thousands, of officers of all ranks, there can hardly
be more than a few score of privates. It is either this or the officers
keep continually on the move in order to create an illusion of numbers!

Class distinctions, in all military grades, and in all lands, are very
marked, but in Italy the obeisance of a private before the slightest
loose end of gold braid is very marked. The Italian private doesn't seem
to mark distinctions among the official world beyond the sight of gold
braid. A steamboat captain, or a hall porter in some palatial hotel
would quite stun him.

The Italian gendarmes are a picturesque and resplendent detail of every
gathering of folk in city, town or village. On a _festa_ they shine more
grandly than at other times, and the privilege of being arrested by such
a gorgeous policeman must be accounted as something of a social
distinction. The holding up of an automobilist by one of these gentry
is an affair which is regulated with as much pomp and circumstance as
the crowning of a king. The writer knows!!

Just how far the Italian's criminal instincts are more developed than
those of other races and climes has no place here, but is it not fair to
suppose that the half a million of Italians--mostly of the lower
classes--who form a part of the population of cosmopolitan New York are
of a baser instinct than any half million living together on the
peninsula? Probably they are; the Italian on his native shore does not
strike us as a very villainous individual.

But he is usually a lively person; there is nothing calm and sedentary
about him; though he has neither the grace of the Gascon, the joy of the
Kelt, or the pretence of the Provençal, he does not seem wicked or
criminal, and those who habitually carry dirks and daggers and play in
Black Hand dramas live for the most part across the seas.

The Italian secret societies are supposed hot beds of crime, and many of
them certainly exist, though they do not practise their rites in the
full limelight of publicity as they do in America.

The Neapolitan Camarra is the best organized of all the Italian secret
societies. It is divided, military-like, into companies, and is
recruited, also in military fashion, to make up for those who have died
or been "replaced."

The origin of secret societies will probably never be known. Italy was
badly prepared to gather the fruits to be derived from the French
Revolution, and it is possible that then the activity of the Carbonari,
Italy's most popular secret society, began. The Mafia is more ancient
and has a direct ancestry for nearly a thousand years.

A hundred and twenty-five years ago the seed of secret dissatisfaction
had already been spread for years through Italy. The names of the
societies were many. Some of them were called the Protectori
Republicani, the Adelfi, the Spilla Nera, the Fortezza, the Speranza,
the Fratelli, and a dozen other names. On the surface the code of the
Carbonari reads fairly enough, but there is nothing to show that any
attempt was made to stamp out perhaps the most generally honoured of the
traditions of Naples--that of homicide.

The long political blight of the centuries, the curse of feudalism, the
rottenness of ignorance and superstition, had eaten out nearly every
vestige of political and self-respecting spirit. After the restoration
of the Bourbons the influences of the secret societies in Southern Italy
were manifested by the large increase of murders.



CHAPTER III

CHIANTI AND MACARONI

_A Chapter for Travellers by Road or Rail_


The hotels of Italy are dear or not, according to whether one patronizes
a certain class of establishment. At Trouville, at Aix-les-Bains in
France, at Cernobbio in the Italian Lake region, or on the Quai
Parthenope at Naples, there is little difference in price or quality,
and the cuisine is always French.

The automobilist who demands garage accommodation as well will not
always find it in the big city hotel in Italy. He may patronize the F.
I. A. T. Garages in Rome, Naples, Genoa, Milan, Florence, Venice, Turin
and Padua and find the best of accommodation and fair prices. For a
demonstration of this he may compare what he gets and what he pays for
it at Pisa--where a F. I. A. T. garage is wanting--and note the
difference.

The real Italian hotel, outside the great centres, has less of a
clientèle of snobs and _malades imaginaires_ than one finds in
France--in the Pyrenees or on the Riviera, or in Switzerland among the
Alps, and accordingly there is always accommodation to be found that is
in a class between the resplendent gold-lace and silver-gilt
establishments of the resorts and working-men's lodging houses. True
there is the same class of establishment existing in the smaller cities
in France, but the small towns of France are not yet as much "travelled"
by strangers as are those of Italy, and hence the difference to be
remarked.

The real Italian hotels, not the tourist establishments, will cater for
one at about one half the price demanded by even the second order of
tourist hotels, and the Italian landlord shows no disrespect towards a
client who would know his price beforehand--and he will usually make it
favourable at the first demand, for fear you will "shop around" and
finally go elsewhere.

[Illustration: A Wayside Trattoria]

The automobile here, as everywhere, tends to elevate prices, but much
depends on the individual attitude of the traveller. A convincing air of
independence and knowledge on the part of the automobilist, _as he
arrives_, will speedily put him en rapport with the Italian landlord.
Look as wise as possible and always ask the price beforehand--even
while your motor is still chugging away. That never fails to bring
things to a just and proper relation.

It is at Florence, and in the environs of Naples, of all the great
tourist centres, that one finds the best fare at the most favourable
prices, but certainly at Rome and Venice, in the great hotels, it is far
less attractive and a great deal dearer, delightful though it may be to
sojourn in a palace of other days.

The Italian wayside inns, or _trattoria_, are not all bad; neither are
they all good. The average is better than it has usually been given the
credit of being, and the automobile is doing much here, as in France,
towards a general improvement. A dozen automobiles, with a score or more
of people aboard, may come and go in a day to a little inn in some
picturesque framing on a main road, say that between Siena and Rome via
Orvieto, or to Finale Marina or Varazze in Liguria, to one carriage and
pair with two persons and a driver. Accordingly, this means increased
prosperity for the inn-holder, and he would be a dull wit indeed if he
didn't see it. He does see it in France, with a very clear vision; in
Italy, with a point of view very little dimmed; in Switzerland, when the
governmental authorities will let him; and in England, when the country
boniface comes anywhere near to being the intelligent person that his
continental compeer finds himself. This is truth, plain, unvarnished
truth, just as the writer has found it. Others may have their own ideas
about the subject, but this is the record of one man's experiences, and
presumably of some others.

The chief disadvantages of the hotel of the small Italian town are its
often crowded and incomplete accessories, and its proximity to a stable
of braying donkeys, bellowing cows, or an industrious blacksmith who
begins before sun-up to pound out the same metallic ring that his
confrères do all over the world. There is nothing especially Italian
about a blacksmith's shop in Italy. All blacksmith interiors are the
same whether painted by "Old Crome," Eastman Johnson or Jean François
Millet.

The idiosyncrasies of the inns of the small Italian towns do not
necessarily preclude their offering good wholesome fare to the
traveller, and this in spite of the fact that not every one likes his
salad with garlic in liberal doses or his macaroni smothered in oil.
Each, however, is better than steak smothered in onions or potatoes
fried in lard; any "hygienist" will tell you that.

The trouble with most foreigners in Italy, when they begin to talk about
the rancid oil and other strange tasting native products, is that they
have not previously known the real thing. Olive oil, real olive oil,
tastes like--well, like olive oil. The other kinds, those we are mostly
used to elsewhere, taste like cotton seed or peanut oil, which is
probably what they are. One need not blame the Italian for this, though
when he himself eats of it, or gives it you to eat, it is the genuine
article. You may eat it or not, according as you may like it or not, but
the Italian isn't trying to poison you or work off anything on your
stomach half so bad as the rancid bacon one sometimes gets in Germany or
the kippers of two seasons ago that appear all over England in the small
towns.

As before intimated, the chief trouble with the small hotels in Italy is
their deficiencies, but the Touring Club Italiano in Italy, like the
Touring Club de France in France, is doing heroic work in educating the
country inn-keeper. Why should not some similar institution do the same
thing in England and America? How many American country hotels, in towns
of three or five thousand people, in say Georgia or Missouri, would get
up, for the chance traveller who dropped in on them unexpectedly, a
satisfactory meal? Not many, the writer fancies.

There is, all over Europe, a desire on the part of the small or large
hotel keeper to furnish meals out of hours, and often at no increase in
price. The automobilist appreciates this, and has come to learn in Italy
that the old Italian proverb "_chi tardi arriva mal alloggia_" is
entirely a myth of the guide books of a couple of generations ago. A
cold bird, a dish of macaroni, a salad and a flask of wine will try no
inn-keeper's capabilities, even with no notice beforehand. The Italian
would seemingly prefer to serve meals in this fashion than at the
_tavola rotonda_, which is the Italian's way of referring to a _table
d'hôte_. If you have doubts as to your Italian Boniface treating you
right as to price (after you have eaten of his fare) arrange things
beforehand a _prezzo fisso_ and you will be safe.

As for wine, the cheapest is often as good as the best in the small
towns, and is commonly included in the _prezzo fisso_, or should be.
It's for you to see that you get it on that basis of reckoning.

The _padrona_ of an Italian country inn is very democratic; he believes
in equality and fraternity, and whether you come in a sixty-horse
Mercédès or on donkey-back he sits you down in a room with a mixed crew
of his countrymen and pays no more attention to you than if you were one
of them. That is, he doesn't exploit you as does the Swiss, he doesn't
overcharge you, and he doesn't try to tempt your palate with poor
imitation of the bacon and eggs of old England, or the tenderloins of
America. He gives you simply the fare of the country and lets it go at
that.

Of Italian inns, it may be truly said the day has passed when the
traveller wished he was a horse in order that he might eat their food;
oats being good everywhere.

The fare of the great Italian cities, at least that of the hotels
frequented by tourists, has very little that is _national_ about it. To
find these one has to go elsewhere, to the small Italian hotels in the
large towns, along with the priests and the soldiers, or keep to the
byways.

The _polenta_, or corn-meal bread, and the _companatico_, sardines,
anchovies or herrings which are worked over into a paste and spread on
it butter-wise, is everywhere found, and it is good. No _osteria_ or
_trattoria_ by the roadside, but will give you this on short order if
you do not seek anything more substantial. The _minestra_, or cabbage
soup--it may not be cabbage at all, but it looks it--a sort of "_omnium
gatherum_" soup--is warming and filling. _Polenta_, _companatico_,
_minestra_ and a salad, with _fromaggio_ to wind up with, and red wine
to drink, ought not to cost more than a lira, or a lira and a half at
the most wherever found. You won't want to continue the same fare for
dinner the same day, perhaps, but it works well for luncheon.

Pay no charges for attendance. No one does anyway, but tourists of
convention. Let the _buono mano_ to the waiter who serves you be the
sole largess that you distribute, save to the man-of-all-work who brings
you water for the thirsty maw of your automobile, or to the amiable,
sunshiny individual who lugs your baggage up and down to and from your
room. This is quite enough, heaven knows, according to our democratic
ideas. At any rate, pay only those who serve you, in Italy, as
elsewhere, and don't merely tip to impress the waiter with your
importance. He won't see it that way.

The Italian _albergo_, or hotel of the small town, is apt to be poorly
and meanly furnished, even in what may be called "public rooms," though,
indeed, there are frequently no public rooms in many more or less
pretentious Italian inns. If there ever is a salon or reception room it
is furnished scantily with a rough, uncomfortable sofa covered with a
gunny sack, a small square of fibre carpeting (if indeed it has any
covering whatever to its chilly tile or stone floor), and a few rush
covered chairs. Usually there is no chimney, but there is always a
stuffy lambrequined curtain at each window, almost obliterating any rays
of light which may filter feebly through. In general the average
reception room of any Italian albergo (except those great joint-stock
affairs of the large cities which adopt the word hotel) is an
uncomfortable and unwholesome apartment. One regrets to say this but it
is so.

Beds in Italian hotels are often "queer," but they are surprisingly and
comfortably clean, considering their antiquity. Every one who has
observed the Italian in his home, in Italy or in some stranger land,
even in a crowded New York tenement, knows that the Italian sets great
store by his sleeping arrangements and their proper care. It is an
ever-to-be-praised and emulated fact that the common people of
continental Europe are more frequently "luxurious" with regard to their
beds and bed linen than is commonly supposed. They may eat off of an
oilcloth (which by some vague conjecture they call "American cloth")
covered table, may dip their fingers deep in the _polenta_ and throw
bones on the tile or brick floor to the dogs and cats edging about their
feet, but the _draps_ of their beds are real, rough old linen, not the
ninety-nine-cent-store kind of the complete house-furnishing
establishments.

The tiled floor of the average Italian house, and of the kitchens and
dining room of many an Italian inn, is the ever at hand receptacle of
much refuse food that elsewhere is relegated to the garbage barrel.
Between meals, and bright and early in the morning, everything is
flushed out with as generous a supply of water as is used by the Dutch
_housvrou_ in washing down the front steps. Result: the microbes don't
rest behind, as they do on our own carpeted dining rooms, a despicable
custom which is "growing" with the hotel keepers of England and America.
Another idol shattered!

What you don't find in the small Italian hotels are baths, nor in many
large ones either. When you do find a _baignoir_ in Europe (except those
of the very latest fashion) it is a poor, shallow affair with a plug
that pulls up to let the water out, but with no means of getting it in
except to pour it in from buckets. This is a fault, sure enough, and
it's not the American's idea of a bath tub at all, though it seems to
suit well enough the Englishman en tour.

France is, undoubtedly, the land of good cooks _par excellence_, but the
Italian of all ranks is more of a gourmet than he is usually accounted.
There may be some of his tribe that live on bread and cheese, but if he
isn't outrageously poor he usually eats well, devotes much time to the
preparing and cooking of his meals, and considerably more to the eating
of them. The Italian's cooking utensils are many and varied and above
all picturesque, and his table ware invariably well conditioned and
cleanly. Let this opinion (one man's only, again let it be remembered)
be recorded as a protest against the universally condemned _dirty_
Italian, who _supposedly_ eats cats and dogs, as the Chinaman
_supposedly_ eats rats and mice. We are not above reproach ourselves; we
eat mushrooms, frog legs and some other things besides which are
certainly not cleanly or healthful.

More than one Italian inn owes its present day prosperity to the travel
by road which frequently stops before its doors. Twenty-five years ago,
indeed much less, the _vetturino_ deposited his load of sentimental
travellers, accompanied perhaps by a courier, at many a miserable
wayside _osteria_, which fell far short of what it should be. To-day
this has all changed for the better.

Tourists of all nationalities and all ranks make Italy their playground
to-day, as indeed they have for generations. There is no diminution in
their numbers. English minor dignitaries of the church jostle Pa and Ma
and the girls from the Far West, and Germans, fiercely and wondrously
clad, peer around corners and across lagoons with field glasses of a
size and power suited to a Polar Expedition. Everybody is "doing"
everything, as though their very lives depended upon their absorbing as
much as possible of local colour, and that as speedily as possible. It
will all be down in the bill, and they mean to have what they are paying
for. This is one phase of Italian travel that is unlovely, but it is the
phase that one sees in the great tourist hotels and in the chief tourist
cities, not elsewhere.

To best know Italian fare as also Italian manners and customs, one must
avoid the restaurants and trattoria asterisked by Baedeker and search
others out for himself; they will most likely be as good, much cheaper,
more characteristic of the country and one will not be eternally
pestered to eat beefsteak, ham and saurkraut, or to drink _paleale_ or
whiskey. Instead, he will get macaroni in all shapes and sizes, and
tomato sauce and cheese over everything, to say nothing of rice,
artichokes and onions now and again, and oil, of the olive brand, in
nearly every _plat_. If you don't like these things, of course, there is
no need going where they are. Stick to the beefsteak and _paleale_ then!
Romantic, sentimental Italy is disappearing, the Italians are becoming
practical and matter of fact; it is only those with memories of
Browning, Byron, Shelley, Leopold Robert and Boeklin that would have
Italy sentimental anyway.

Maximilien Mission, a Protestant refugee from France in 1688, had
something to say of the inns at Venice, which is interesting reading
to-day. He says:--"There are some good inns at Venice; the 'Louvre,' the
'White Lyon,' the 'Arms of France;' the first entertains you for eight
livres (lire) per day, the other two somewhat cheaper, but you must
always remember to bargain for everything that you have. A gondola costs
something less than a livre (lire) an hour, or for a superior looking
craft seven or eight livres a day."

This is about the price of the Venetian water craft when hired to-day,
two centuries and more after. The hotel prices too are about what one
pays to-day in the smaller inns of the cities and in those of the towns.
All over Italy, even on the shores of the Bay of Naples, crowded as they
are with tourists of all nationalities and all ranks, one finds isolated
little Italian inns, backed up against a hillside or crowning some rocky
promontory, where one may live in peace and plenitude for six or seven
francs a day. And one is not condemned to eating only the national
macaroni either. Frankly, the Neapolitan restaurateur often scruples as
much to put macaroni before his stranger guests as does the Bavarian
inn-keeper to offer sausage at each repast. Some of us regret that this
is so, but since macaroni in some form or other can always be had in
Italy, and sausages in Germany, for the asking, no great inconvenience
is caused.

Macaroni is the national dish of Italy, and very good it is too, though
by no means does one have to live off it as many suppose.
Notwithstanding, macaroni goes with Italy, as do crackers with cheese.
There are more shapes and sizes of macaroni than there are beggars in
Naples.

The long, hollow pipe stem, known as Neapolitan, and the vermicelli,
which isn't hollow, but is as long as a shoe string, are the leading
varieties. Tiny grains, stars, letters of the alphabet and extraordinary
animals that never came out of any ark are also fashioned out of the
same _pasta_, or again you get it in sheets as big as a good sized
handkerchief, or in piping of a diameter of an inch, or more.

The Romans kneaded their flour by means of a stone cylinder called a
_maccaro_. The name macaroni is supposed to have been derived from this
origin.

Naples is the centre of the macaroni industry, but it is made all over
the world. That made in Brooklyn would be as good as that made in Naples
if it was made of Russian wheat instead of that from Dakota. As it is
now made it is decidedly inferior to the Italian variety. By contrast,
that made in Tunis is as good as the Naples variety. Russian wheat
again!

A macaroni factory looks, from the outside, like a place devoted to
making rope. Inside it feels like an inferno. It doesn't pay to get too
well acquainted with the process of making macaroni.

The flour paste is run out of little tubes, or rolled out by big
rollers, or cut out by little dies, thus taking its desired forms. The
long, stringy macaroni is taken outside and hung up to dry like clothes
on a line, except that it is hung on poles. The workmen are lightly and
innocently clad, and the workshops themselves are kept at as high a
temperature as the stoke-room of a liner. Whether this is really
necessary or not, the writer does not know, but he feels sure that some
genius will, some day, evolve a process which will do away with hand
labour in the making of macaroni. It will be mixed by machinery, baked
by electricity and loaded up on cars and steamships by the same power.

The street macaroni merchants of Naples sell the long ropy kind to all
comers, and at a very small price one can get a "filling" meal. You get
it served on a dish, but without knives, forks or chop sticks. You eat
it with your fingers and your mouth.

The meat is tough in Italy, often enough. There is no doubt about that.
But it is usually a great deal better than it is given credit for being.
The day is past, if it ever existed, when the Anglo-Saxon traveller was
forced to quit Italy "because he could not live without good meat." This
was the classic complaint of the innocents abroad of other days, whether
they hailed from Kensington or Kalamazoo. They should never have left
those superlatively excellent places. The food and Mazzini were the
sole topics of travel talk once, but to-day it is more a question of
whether one can get his railway connection at some hitherto unheard of
little junction, or whether the road via this river valley or that
mountain pass is as good as the main road. These are the things that
really matter to the traveller, not whether he has got to sleep in a
four poster in a bedroom with a tile or marble floor, or eat macaroni
and ravioli when he might have--if he were at home--his beloved "ham"
and blood-red beefsteaks.

The Italian waiter is usually a sunny, confiding person, something after
the style of the negro, and, like his dark-skinned brother, often
incompetent beyond a certain point. You like him for what he is though,
almost as good a thing in his line as the French garçon, in that he is
obliging and a great deal better than the mutton-chopped, bewhiskered
nonentity who shuffles about behind your chair in England with his
expectant palm forever outstretched.

The Italian _camerière_, or waiter, takes a pride in his profession--as
far as he knows it, and quite loses sight of its commercial
possibilities in the technicalities of his craft, and his seeming desire
only to please. _Subito momento_ is his ever ready phrase, though often
it seems as though he might have replied _never_.

Seated in some roadside or seashore _trattoria_ one pounds on the bare
table for the _camerière_, orders another "Torino," pays his reckoning
and is off again. Nothing extraordinarily amusing has happened the
while, but the mere lolling about on a terrace of a café overlooking the
lapping Mediterranean waves at one's feet is one of the things that one
comes to Italy for, and one is content for the nonce never to recur to
palazzos, villas, cathedrals, or picture galleries. There have been too
many travellers in past times--and they exist to-day--who do not seek to
fill the gaps between a round of churches and art galleries, save to
rush back to some palace hotel and eat the same kind of a dinner that
they would in London, Paris or New York--a little worse cooked and
served to be sure. It's the country and its people that impress one most
in a land not his own. Why do so many omit these "attractions?"

The _buona mano_ is everywhere in evidence in Italy, but the Italian
himself seems to understand how to handle the question better than
strangers. The Italian guest at a hotel is fairly lavish with the
quantity of his tips, but each is minute, and for a small service he
pays a small fee. We who like to impress the waiter--for we all do,
though we fancy we don't--will often pay as much to a waiter for
bringing us a drink as the price of the drink. Not so the Italian; and
that's the difference.

Ten per cent, on the bill at a hotel is always a lavish fee, and five
would be ample, though now and again the head waiter may look askance at
his share. Follow the Italian's own system then, give everybody who
serves you something, however little, and give to those only, and then
their little jealousies between each other will take the odium off
you--if you really care what a waiter thinks about you anyway, which of
course you shouldn't.

These little disbursements are everywhere present in Italy. One pays a
franc to enter a museum, a picture gallery or a great library, and one
tips his cabman as he does elsewhere, and a dozen francs spent in riding
about on Venetian gondolas for a day incurs the implied liability for
another two francs as well.



CHAPTER IV

ITALIAN ROADS AND ROUTES


The cordiality of the Italian for the stranger within his gates is
undeniable, but the automobilist would appreciate this more if the Latin
would keep his great highways (a tradition left by the Romans of old,
the finest road-builders the world has ever known) in better condition.

Italy, next to France, is an ideal touring ground for the automobilist.
The Italian population everywhere seems to understand the tourist and
his general wants and, above all, his motive for coming thither, and
whether one journeys by the railway, by automobile or by the more humble
bicycle, he finds a genial reception everywhere, though coupled with it
is always an abounding curiosity which is at times annoying. The native
is lenient with you and painstaking to the extreme if you do not speak
his language, and will struggle with lean scraps of English, French and
German in his effort to understand your wants.

Admirably surveyed and usually very well graded, some of the most
important of the north and south thoroughfares in Italy have been lately
so sadly neglected that the briefest spell of bad weather makes them all
but impassable.

There is one stretch between Bologna and Imola of thirty-two kilometres,
straightaway and perfectly flat. It is a good road or a bad road,
according as one sees it after six weeks of good weather or after a ten
days' rainy spell. It is at once the best and worst of its kind, but it
is badly kept up and for that reason may be taken as a representative
Italian road. The mountain roads up back of the lake region and over the
Alpine passes, in time of snow and ice and rain--if they are not
actually buried under--are thoroughly good roads. They are built on
different lines. Road-building is a national affair in Italy as it is in
France, but the central power does not ramify its forces in all
directions as it does across the border. There is only one kind of
road-building worth taking into consideration, and that is national
road-building. It is not enough that Massachusetts should build good
roads and have them degenerate into mere wagon tracks when they get to
the State border, or that the good roads of Middlesex should become mere
sloughs as soon as they come within the domain of the London County
Council. Italy is slack and incompetent with regard to her
road-building, but England and America are considerably worse at the
present writing.

Entering Italy by the Riviera gateway one leaves the good roads of
France behind him at Menton and, between Grimaldi, where he passes the
Italian dogana and its formalities, and Ventimiglia, or at least San
Remo, twenty-five kilometres away, punctures his tires one, three or
five times over a kilometre stretch of unrolled stone bristling with
flints, whereas in France a side path would have been left on which the
automobilist might pass comfortably.

It isn't the Italian's inability to handle the good roads question as
successfully as the French; it is his woefully incompetent, careless,
unthinking way of doing things. This is not saying that good roads do
not exist in Italy. Far from it. But the good road in Italy suddenly
descends into a bad road for a dozen kilometres and as abruptly becomes
a good road again, and this without apparent reason. Lack of unity of
purpose on the part of individual road-building bodies is what does it.

Road-building throughout Italy never rose to the height that it did in
France. The Romans were great exploiters beyond the frontiers and often
left things at home to shuffle along as best they might whilst their
greatest energies were spent abroad.

One well defined Roman road of antiquity (aside from the tracings of the
great trunk lines like the Appian or Æmilian Ways) is well known to all
automobilists entering Naples via Posilippo. It runs through a tunnel,
alongside a hooting, puffing tram and loose-wheeled iron-tired carts all
in a deafening uproar.

This marvellous tunnelled road by the sea, with glimpses of daylight now
and then, but mostly as dark as the cavern through which flowed the
Styx, is the legitimate successor of an engineering work of the time of
Augustus. In Nero's reign, Seneca, the historian, wrote of it as a
narrow, gloomy pass, and mediæval superstition claimed it as the work of
necromancy, since the hand of man never could have achieved it. The
foundation of the roadway is well authenticated by history however. In
1442 Alphonso I, the Spaniard, widened and heightened the gallery, and
Don Pedro of Toledo a century later paved it with good solid blocks of
granite which were renewed again by Charles III in 1754. Here is a good
road that has endured for centuries. We should do as well to-day.

There are, of course, countless other short lengths of highway, coming
down from historic times, left in Italy, but the Roman _viae_ with which
we have become familiar in the classical geographies and histories of
our schooldays are now replaced by modern thoroughfares which, however,
in many cases, follow, or frequently cut in on, the old itineraries. Of
these old Roman Ways that most readily traced, and of the greatest
possible interest to the automobilist who would do something a little
different from what his fellows have done, is the Via Æmilia.

With Bologna as its central station, the ancient Via Æmilia, begun by
the Consul Marcus Æmilius Lepidus, continues towards Cisalpine Gaul the
Via Flamina leading out from Rome. It is a delightfully varied itinerary
that one covers in following up this old Roman road from Placentia
(Piacenza) to Ariminum (Rimini), and should indeed be followed leisurely
from end to end if one would experience something of the spirit of olden
times, which one can hardly do if travelling by schedule and stopping
only at the places lettered large on the maps.

The following are the ancient and modern place-names on this itinerary:

  Placentia (Piacenza)
  Florentia (Firenzuola)
  Fidentia (Borgo S. Donnino)
  Parma (Parma)
  Tannetum (Taneto)
  Regium Lepidi (Reggio)
  Mutina (Modena)
  Forum Gallorum (near Castel Franco)
  Bononia (Bologna)
  Claterna (Quaderna)
  Forum Cornelii (Imola)
  Faventia (Faenza)
  Forum Livii (Forli)
  Forum Populii (Forlimpopoli)
  Caesena (Cesena)
  Ad Confluentes (near Savignamo)
  Ariminum (Rimini)

Connecting with the Via Æmilia another important Roman road ran from the
valley of the Casentino across the Apennines to Piacenza. It was the
route traced by a part of the itinerary of Dante in the "Divina
Commedia," and as such it is a historic highway with which the least
sentimentally inclined might be glad to make acquaintance.

Another itinerary, perhaps better known to the automobilist, is that
which follows the Ligurian coast from Nice to Spezia, continuing thence
to Rome by the Via Aurelia. This coast road of Liguria passed through
Nice to Luna on the Gulf of Spezia, the towns en route being as
follows:--

  Varium fl.                  The Var (river)
  Nicæ                        Nice
  Cemenelium                  Cimiez, back of Nice
  Portus Herculis Monoeci     Monaco
  Albium Intermelium          Ventimiglia
  Albium Ingaunum             Albenga
  Vada Sabbata                Vado, near Savona
  Genua                       Genoa
  Portus Delphini             Portofino
  Tigullia                    Tregesco, near Sestri
  Segesta                     Sestri
  Portus Veneris              Porto Venere
  Portus Erici                Lerici

The chief of these great Roman roadways of old whose itineraries can be
traced to-day are:

  Via Æmilia            The most celebrated of N. Italy
  Via Æmilia-Scauri     Built long after the original Via Æmelia
  Via Ameria            From Rome to Amelia
  Via Appia             Of which the main trunk line ran from Rome to Capua
  Via Aquilla
  Via Ardentina
  Via Aurelia           From Rome to Pisa
  Via Cassia
  Via Flaminia          The Great North Road of the Romans
  Via Latina            One of the most ancient of Roman roads
  Via Laurentia
  Via Ostiensis         From Rome to Ostia
  Via Salaria           Leading from Rome through the valley of the Tiber
  Via Valeria           From the Tiber to the Adriatic at Ancona

These ancient Roman roads were at their best in Campania and Etruria.
Campania was traversed by the Appian Way, the greatest highway of the
Romans, though indeed its original construction by Appius Claudius only
extended to Capua. The great highroads proceeding from Rome crossed
Etruria almost to the full extent; the Via Aurelia, from Rome to Pisa
and Luna; the Via Cassia and the Via Clodia.

The great Roman roads were marked with division stones or bornes every
thousand paces, practically a kilometre and a half, a little more than
our own mile. These mile-stones of Roman times, many of which are still
above ground (_milliarii lapides_), were sometimes round and sometimes
square, and were entirely bare of capitals, being mere stone posts
usually standing on a squared base of a somewhat larger area.

A graven inscription bore in Latin the name of the Consul or Emperor
under whom each stone was set up and a numerical indication as well.

Caius Gracchus, away back in the second century before Christ, was the
inventor of these aids to travel. The automobilist appreciates the
development of this accessory next to good roads themselves, and if he
stops to think a minute he will see that the old Romans were the
inventors of many things which he fondly thinks are modern.

The automobilist in Italy has, it will be inferred, cause to regret the
absence of the fine roads of France once and again, and he will regret
it whenever he wallows into a six inch deep rut and finds himself not
able to pull up or out, whilst the drivers of ten yoke ox-teams, drawing
a block of Carrara marble as big as a house, call down the imprecations
of all the saints in the calendar on his head. It's not the
automobilist's fault, such an occurrence, nor the ox-driver's either;
but for fifty kilometres after leaving Spezia, and until Lucca and
Livorno are reached, this is what may happen every half hour, and you
have no recourse except to accept the situation with fortitude and
revile the administration for allowing a roadway to wear down to such a
state, or for not providing a parallel thoroughfare so as to divide the
different classes of traffic. There is no such disgracefully used and
kept highway in Europe as this stretch between Spezia and Lucca, and
one must of necessity pass over it going from Genoa to Pisa unless he
strikes inland through the mountainous country just beyond Spezia, by
the Strada di Reggio for a détour of a hundred kilometres or more,
coming back to the sea level road at Lucca.

Throughout the peninsula the inland roads are better as to surface than
those by the coast, though by no means are they more attractive to the
tourist by road. This is best exemplified by a comparison of the inland
and shore roads, each of them more or less direct, between Florence and
Rome.

The great Strada di grande Communicazione from Florence to Rome
(something less than three hundred kilometres all told, a mere mouthful
for a modern automobile) runs straight through the heart of old Siena,
entering the city by the Porta Camollia and leaving by the Porta Romana,
two kilometres of treacherous, narrow thoroughfare, though readily
enough traced because it is in a bee-line. The details are here given as
being typical of what the automobilist may expect to find in the smaller
Italian cities. There are, in Italy, none of those unexpected
right-angle turns that one comes upon so often in French towns, at least
not so many of them, and there are no cork-screw thoroughfares though
many have the "rainbow curve," to borrow Mark Twain's expression.

On through Chiusi, Orvieto and Viterbo runs the highroad direct to the
gates of Rome, for the most part a fair road, but rising and falling
from one level to another in trying fashion to one who would set a
steady pace.

It is with respect to the grades on Italian roads, too, that one remarks
a falling off from French standards. North of Florence, in the valley of
the Mugello, we, having left the well-worn roads in search of something
out of the common, found a bit of seventeen per cent. grade. This was
negotiated readily enough, since it was of brief extent, but another
rise of twenty-five per cent. (it looked forty-five from the cushions of
a low-hung car) followed and on this we could do nothing. Fortunately
there was a way around, as there usually is in Europe, so nothing was
lost but time, and we benefited by the acquisition of some knowledge
concerning various things which we did not before possess. And we were
content, for that was what we came for anyway.

From Florence south, by the less direct road via Arezzo, Perugia and
Terni, there is another surprisingly sudden rise but likewise brief. It
is on this same road that one remarks from a great distance the towers
of Spoleto piercing the sky at a seemingly enormous height, while the
background mountain road over the Passo della Somma rises six hundred
and thirty metres and tries the courage of every automobilist passing
this way.

To achieve many of these Italian hill-towns one does not often rise
abruptly but rather almost imperceptibly, but here, in ten kilometres,
say half a dozen miles, the Strada di grande Communicazione rises a
thousand feet, and that is considerable for a road supposedly laid out
by military strategists.

As a contrast to these hilly, switch-back roads running inland from the
north to the south may be compared that running from Rome to Naples, not
the route usually followed via Vallombrosa and Frosinone, but that via
Velletri, Terracina and Gaeta. Here the highroad is nearly flat, though
truth to tell of none too good surface, all the way to Naples.
Practically it is as good a road as that which runs inland and offers to
any who choose to pass that way certain delights that most other
travellers in Italy know not of.

At Cisterna di Roma, forty-eight kilometres from Rome, one is in the
midst of the Pontine Marshes it is true, and it is also more or less of
a marvel that a decent road could have been built here at all. From this
point of view it is interesting to the automobilist who has a hobby of
studying the road-building systems of the countries through which he
travels. Of the Pontine Marshes themselves it is certain that they are
not salubrious, and malaria is most prevalent near them. Appius
Claudius, in 312 B. C., tried to drain the marsh and so did Cæsar,
Augustus and Theodoric after him, and the Popes Boniface VIII, Martinus
V and Sixtus V, but the morass is still there in spite of the fact that
a company calling itself Ufficio della Bonificazione delle Paludi
Pontine is to-day working continuously at the same problem.

Putting these various classes of Italian roads aside for the moment
there remains but one other variety to consider, that of the mountain
roads of the high Alpine valleys and those crossing the Oberland and,
further east, those in communication with the Austrian Tyrol. On the
west these converge on Milan and Turin via the region of the lakes and
the valleys of Aosta and Susa, and in the centre and east give
communication from Brescia, Verona and Venice with West Germany and
Austria.

[Illustration: Road Map of North Italy]

These are the best planned and best kept roads in Italy, take them by
and large. The most celebrated are those leading from Turin into France;
via Susa and the Col du Mont Genevre to Briançon, and via Mont Cenis to
Modane and Grenoble; via the Val d'Aosta and the Petit Saint Bernard to
Albertville in France, or via the Grand Saint Bernard to Switzerland.

Just north of the Lago di Maggiore, accessible either from Como or from
Milan direct via Arona, is the famous road over the Simplon Pass, at an
elevation of 2,008 metres above the sea. By this road, the best road in
all Italy, without question, one enters or leaves the kingdom by the
gateway of Domodossola.

On entering Italy by this route one passes the last rock-cut gallery
near Crevola and, by a high-built viaduct, thirty metres or more above
the bed of the river, it crosses the Diveria. Soon the vineyards and all
the signs of the insect life of the southland meet the eye. Italy has at
last been reached, no more eternal snow and ice, no more peaked
rooftops, the whole region now flattens out into the Lombard plain.
Domodossola has all the ear-marks of the Italian's manner of life and
building of houses, albeit that the town itself has no splendid
monuments.

Another entrance to the Italian lake region through the mountain barrier
beyond is by the road over the San Bernardino Pass and Bellinzona. The
San Bernardino Pass is not to be confounded with those of the Grand and
Petit Saint Bernard. The present roadway dates from 1822, when it was
built by the engineer Pocobelle, at the joint expense of the Sardinian
and Grisons governments. Its chief object was to connect Genoa and Turin
directly with Switzerland and west Germany. The pass crosses the
Rheinwald at a height of 2,063 metres.

This passage across the Alps was known to the ancient Romans, and down
to the fifteenth century it was known as the Vogelberg. A mission
brother, Bernardino of Siena, preaching the gospel in the high valleys,
erected a chapel here which gave the pass the name which it bears
to-day.

In part the road tunnels through the hillsides, in part runs along a
shelf beside the precipice, and here and there crosses a mountain
torrent by some massive bridge of masonry.

Like most of the mountain roads leading into Italy from Switzerland and
Germany the southern slope descends more abruptly than that on the
north. The coach driver may trot his horses down hill, though, so well
has the descent been engineered, and the automobilist may rush things
with considerably more safety here than on the better known routes.

Another celebrated gateway into Italy is that over the Splugen Pass from
Coire (in Italian nomenclature: Colmo dell'Orso). It was completed by
the Austrian government in 1823 to compete with the new-made road a few
kilometres to the west over the Bernardino which favoured Switzerland
and Germany and took no consideration whatever of the interests of
Austria. The summit of the Splugen Pass is 2,117 metres above sea-level
and on a narrow ridge near by runs for six kilometres the boundary
between Switzerland and Italy.

Entering Italy by the Splugen Pass one finds the _dogana_ a dull, ugly
group of buildings just below the first series of facets which drop down
from the crest. It is as lonesome and gloomy a place of residence as one
can possibly conceive as existing on the earth's surface. One forgets
entirely that it is very nearly the heart of civilized Europe; there is
nothing within view to suggest it in the least, not a scrap of
vegetation, not a silvery streak of water, not a habitation even that
might not be as appropriately set upon a shelf of rock by the side of
Hecla.

The French army under Maréchal Macdonald crossed the pass in 1800 when
but a mere trail existed, but with a loss of a hundred men and as many
horses.

Of late years the passage of the Col has been rendered the easier by the
cutting of two long galleries. Another engineering work of note is met a
little farther on in the Gorge of San Giacomo, a work completed by Carlo
Donegani in the reign of the Emperor Francis II, and, just beyond, the
boiling torrent of the Liro is spanned by a daring bridge of masonry.

Road signs in Italy are not as good or as frequent as one finds in
France, but where they exist they are at least serviceable. The Roman
milestone of old has ceased to serve its purpose, though solitary
examples still exist, and their place is taken by the governmental
"bornes" and the placards posted at the initiation of the Touring Club
and various automobile organizations in certain parts, particularly in
the north.

The signboards of the Touring Club Italiano are distinctly good as far
as they go, but they are infrequent.

All hotels and garages affiliated with the club hang out a
characteristic and ever welcome sign, and there one is sure of finding
the best welcome and the best accommodations for man and his modern
beast of burden, the mechanical horses of iron and bronze harnessed to
his luxurious tonneau or limousine.

[Illustration: Italian Road Signs]

With regard to road maps for Italy there exist certain governmental maps
like those of the Ordnance Survey in England or of the État Major in
France, but they are practically useless for the automobilist, and are
only interesting from a topographic sense.

Taride, the French map publisher, issues a cheap series of Italian road
maps, covering the entire peninsula in three sheets printed in three
colours, with main roads marked plainly in red. They are easily read and
clear and have the advantage of being cheap, the three sheets costing
but a franc each, but one suspects that they were not composed entirely
from first hand, well-authenticated, recent sources of information.
Little discrepancies such as just where a railway crosses a road, etc.,
etc., are frequently to be noted. This is perhaps a small matter, but
the genuine vagabond tourist, whether he is plodding along on foot or
rolling smoothly on his five inch pneumatics, likes to know his exact
whereabouts at every step of the way. On the whole the Italian "Taride"
maps are fairly satisfactory, and they are much more easily read than
the more elaborate series in fifty-six sheets on a scale of 1-1,250,000
issued by the Touring Club Italiano, or the thirty-five sheets of the
Carta Stradale d'Italia Sistema Becherel-Marieni, which by reason of the
number of sheets alone are in no way as convenient as the three sheet
map.

The Becherel-Marieni maps are, however, beautifully printed and have a
system of marking localities where one finds supplies of gasoline, a
mechanician or a garage which is very useful to the automobilist,
besides giving warning of all hills and, with some attempt at precision,
also marking the good, mediocre and bad roads. This is important but, as
the writer has so often found that a good road of yesterday has become a
bad road of to-day, and will be perhaps a worse one to-morrow, he
realizes that the fluctuating quality of Italian roads prevents any
genius of a map-maker from doing his best. These maps in seven colours
are perhaps the best works of their kind in Italy, at least ranking with
the Touring Club maps, and completely cover the country, whereas the
other series is not as yet wholly complete.

[Illustration: Profile Road Map, Bologna--Florence]

Membership in the great Touring Club Italiano is almost a necessity for
one who would enjoy his Italian tour to the full. The "Annuario," giving
information as to hotels and garages and miniature plans of all the
cities and principal towns--presented gratis to members--is all but
indispensable, while the three pocket volumes entitled Strade di Grande
Communicazione, with the kilometric distances between all Italian places
except the merest hamlets and the profile elevations (miniature maps,
hundreds of them) of the great highways are a boon and a blessing to one
who would know the easiest and least hilly road between two points. The
accompanying diagram explains this better than words.



CHAPTER V

IN LIGURIA


The most ravishingly beautiful entrance into Italy is by the road along
the Mediterranean shore. The French Riviera and its gilded pleasures,
its great hotels, its _chic_ resorts and its entrancing combination of
seascape and landscape are known to all classes of travellers, but at
Menton, almost on the frontier, one is within arm's reach of things
Italian, where life is less feverish, in strong contrast to the French
atmosphere which envelops everything to the west of the great white
triangle painted on the cliff above the Pont Saint Louis and marking the
boundary between the two great Latin countries.

The "Route Internationale," leading from France to Italy, crosses a deep
ravine by the Pont Saint Louis with the railway running close beside.

Not so very long ago there was a unity of speech and manners among the
inhabitants of Menton and the neighbouring Italian towns of Grimaldi,
Mortola and Ventimiglia, but little by little the Ravine of Saint Louis
has become a hostile frontier, where the custom house officials of
France and Italy regard each other, if not as enemies, at least as
aliens. The two peoples are, however, of the same race and have the same
historic traditions.

It was just here, on passing the frontier, that we asked a deep-eyed,
sun-burnt young girl of eighteen or twenty if she was an Italian,
thinking perhaps she might be a Niçoise, who, among the world's
beautiful women, occupy a very high place. She replied in
French-Italian: "Oui, aussi bien Venitienne!" This was strange, for most
Venetians, since Titian set the style for them, have been blondes.

A château of the Grimaldi family crowns the porphyry height just to the
eastward of the Italian frontier, and below is the Italian _Dogana_,
where the automobilist and other travellers by road go through the
formalities made necessary by governmental red tape. Red tape is all
right in the right place, but it should be cut off in proper lengths, so
that officials need not be obliged to quibble over a few soldi while
individuals lose a dozen francs or more in valuable time.

This matter of customs formalities at Grimaldi is only an incident. The
automobilist's troubles really commence at a little shack in Menton, on
French soil, just before the Pont Saint Louis is crossed. Here he has
his "passavant" made out, an official taking a lot of valuable time to
decide whether the cushions of your automobile are red, orange or brown.
You stick out for orange because they were that colour when you bought
the outfit, but the representative of the law sticks out too--he for
red. The result is, you compromise on brown, and hope that the other
customs guardian on duty at the frontier post by which you will enter
France again will be blessed with the same sense of colour-blindness as
was his fellow of Menton. Once this formality gone through--and you pay
only two sous for the documents--you have no trouble getting back into
France again by whichever frontier town you pass. There are no duties to
pay and no disputes, so really one cannot complain. It is for his
benefit anyway that the "passavant" describing the peculiarities of
automobile is issued.

At the Grimaldi _Dogana_ on entering Italy you are made to pay duty on
what little gasoline you may have in your tanks, even for as little as a
litre. Presumably you pass your machine through the Italian customs
with one of the "triptyches" issued by any of the great automobile clubs
or touring associations, as otherwise you have to put down gold, and a
thousand or fifteen hundred francs in gold one does not usually carry
around loose in his pocket. We passed through readily enough, but a poor
non-French, non-Italian speaking American who followed in our
wheel-tracks had not made his preparations beforehand, and French
banknotes didn't look good enough to the Italian customs official, and a
day was lost accordingly while the poor unfortunate rolled back down
hill to Menton and sought to turn the notes into gold. The banks having
just closed he was not able to do this as readily as he thought he
might, and it was well on after sunrise that he followed our trail--and
never caught up with us all the way to Grosetto.

Mortola is the first town of note that one passes on entering Italian
soil, but beyond its aspect, so alien to that of the small town in
France, it is not worthy of remark.

Ventimiglia comes next, where the traveller by rail goes through equally
annoying customs formalities to those experienced by the traveller by
road at Grimaldi. These are not apt to be so costly, as the customs
officials take him at his word, graciously chalk his luggage and pass
him on. The Guardie-Finanze, or customs officer, of Italy is a genteel
looking young person with a bowler hat, topped with a feather cockade.
He is even as gay and picturesque as the "carabinieri reales," though he
is a mere plebeian among the noblesse of soldierdom.

The Vintimille of the French, or the Ventimiglia of the Italians, was
the ancient Intemilium of the Romans. To-day, on the left bank of the
Roja, is a new city made up of the attributes of a great railway and
frontier station and a numerous assemblage of alberghi, hotels,
restaurants and the like.

Ventimiglia is not unlovely, neither is it lovely in a picturesque
romantic sense. Its site is charming, on the banks of the tumbling Roja
at the base of the Alps of Piedmont, just where they plunge, from a
height of a thousand or twelve hundred metres, down into the lapping
Mediterranean waves.

Ventimiglia is, practically, the frontier town of Piedmont, and it was
fought for by all the warring houses of these parts in the middle ages.
The Genoese held it for a time, then the Counts of Provence and the Duke
of Savoy. It was a game of give-and-take all round, and in the mêlée
most of the town's mediæval monuments have disappeared.

Across the Nervia, to the north, is Monte Appio, one of the chief spurs
of the Maritime Alps in Italy. On a jutting crag of rock, in plain view
from the town below, is an ancient Roman _castellum_. Two fragmentary
towers alone remain, and as a ruin, even, it is beneath consideration.
One only notices it in passing and recalls the more magnificent Tower of
Augustus at La Turbie, high above Monte Carlo's rock, and still in plain
view of Ventimiglia--with a good glass.

A fine relic of the Dorias--that great family of great Genoese--is still
to be seen in picturesque ruin at Dolce Acqua, a few miles further up
the valley of the torrent.

Bordighera is the first of the Italian Riviera winter stations for
invalids. That describes it perfectly. Its surroundings are delightful
enough, but there is little that is attractive about the place itself.
The automobilist will have no trouble finding his way through the town
if he keeps straight on but drives carefully and avoids the invalids and
baby carriages.

It was a sailor of Bordighera who gave the order to "wet the ropes"--an
old seafaring trick, known the world over--when the obelisk on the
Piazza san Pietro at Rome, erected by Sixte-Quint, was tottering on its
base. In return for the service he asked the favour of the Pope that his
native town should have the honour of supplying the churches of Rome
with their greenery on Palm Sunday. The supplying of palm branches and
the exploiting of semi-invalids are the chief industries of Bordighera.

San Remo is very like Bordighera, except that it is an improvement on
it. The quarter where the great hotels are found looks like all towns of
its class, but the old town with its narrow canyon-like streets, its
buttressed roofs and walls, still breathes of the mediæval spirit. It is
as crowded a quarter, where dwell men, women and children,--seemingly
children mostly,--as can be found east of Grand, Canal or Hester
Streets, in down-town New York. The automobile tourist will not care
much for San Remo unless he is hungry, in which case the Hotel de Paris
will cater for him a little better than any other of the town's resort
hotels.

The road continues close beside the sea, as it has since Fréjus in the
Var was passed, sweeping around bold promontories on a shelf of rock,
tunnelling through some mountain spur, dipping down to sea-level here
and rising three or five hundred metres ten kilometres further on.

This delightfully disposed road by the sea may well be reviled by the
automobilist because of the fact that every half dozen kilometres or so
it crosses the railway at the same level. These level crossings are
about as dangerous as the American variety; in a way more so. They are
barred simply by a great swinging tree-trunk, which, of all things,
swings outwards and across the road when not in use. Even when closed
this bar is so placed that an automobile at speed could well enough slip
beneath it, and the passengers who were not thrown out and killed by
this operation surely would be by the train which would probably come
along before they could pick themselves up.

These railway barriers are almost always closed, whether a train is due
or not, and it is commonly said that they are only opened for the
automobilist on the payment of a few soldi. This, the writer knows to be
calumny. It is conceivable that the circumstance has been met with, and
it is conceivable that, in many more instances, stranger automobilists
have scattered coin in their wake which led to the development of the
practice, but all the same one need not, should not, in fact,
countenance any such practice of blackmail. The mere fact that these
obstructions are there is enough of a penance for the automobilist, who
in ten hours of running will certainly lose one or two hours waiting for
the gates to be opened.

These Italian coast line vistas are quite the most savagely beautiful of
any along the Mediterranean. We rave over the strip dominated by La
Turbie and Monte Carlo's rock, and over the Corniche d'Or of the Estérel
in France, but really there is nothing quite so primitive and unspoiled
in its beauty as this less-known itinerary. The background mountains
rise, grim, behind, and beneath. At the bottom of the cliff, a hundred
metres below the road on which you ride, break the soapy waves of the
sea. Gulls circle about uttering their shrill cries, an eagle soars
above, and far below a fisherman pushes lazily at his oar in the
conventional stand-up Mediterranean fashion, or a red-brown
latteen-rigged fishing boat darts in or out of some half-hidden bay or
_calanque_. The whole poetic ensemble is hard to beat, and yet this part
of the average Italian journey is usually rolled off in express trains,
with never a stop between the frontier and Genoa, most of the time
passing through the fifty rock-cut tunnels which allow the railway
access to these parts. To see this wonderful strip of coast line at its
best it must be seen from the highroad.

At Arma, as the road runs along at the water's very edge, is an old
square donjon tower, reminding one of those great keeps of England and
of Foulque's Nerra in Normandy. Its history is lost in oblivion, but it
is a landmark to be noted.

Porto Maurizio is the very ideal of a small Mediterranean sea-port. It
is a hill-top town too, in that it crowns a promontory jutting seawards,
forming a sheltering harbour for its busy coming and going of small-fry
shipping.

Olive oil and a sweet white wine, like that of Cyprus, grown on the
hillsides roundabout, form the chief of the merchandise sent out from
the little port; but the whole town bears a prosperous well-kept air
that makes one regret that it had not a battery of "sights," in order
that one might linger a while in so pleasant a place. Porto Maurizio's
church is a remarkably vast and handsome building.

Oneglia, the birthplace of the great Genoese admiral, Andrea Doria, lies
just beyond. Wine in skins, hung up on rafters to mellow, seems to be
Oneglia's substitute for wine cellars, but otherwise the hurried
traveller at Oneglia remarks nothing but that it is a "resort" with big
hotels and big gardens and many guests lolling about killing time. The
older part of the town, with the wine skins, is decidedly the most
interesting feature.

At Marina-Andora is the ruin of an old castle with a ghostly legend to
it to add an attraction it might not otherwise have. A Papal Nuncio was
one day murdered here within its walls and "in extremis" the prelate
called down curses upon the surrounding country, praying that it might
wither and dry up. It must have been an efficacious imprecation as the
country roundabout looks like a desert waste. Not an olive nor an orange
grove is in sight and only a few scrubby vineyards dot the landscape.

At the Capo delle Melle, a dozen kilometres beyond, it all changes and
the land blossoms again, though truth to tell both the wine and olive
products have the reputation of falling off in quality as one goes
further east.

Alassio is a now well-developed Italian seaside resort. The Italians and
the Germans fill it to overflowing at all seasons of the year, and
prices are mounting skywards with a rapidity which would do credit to
Monte Carlo itself. There is a considerable fishing and coastwise trade
at Alassio which along the quais endows it with a certain
picturesqueness, and the chief hotel is quartered in a seventeenth
century palazzo, formerly belonging to the Marchese Durante. Alassio
took its name from Alassia, a daughter of Otho the Great, who, fleeing
from the paternal roof, came here with her lover long years ago. This
was the beginning of the development of Alassio as a Mediterranean
resort. And the Germans have been coming in increasing numbers ever
since.

Off shore is the isle of Gallinaria. It has a circular tower on it, and
a legend goes with it that the name of the island is derived from a
species of hens and chickens which were bred here. The connection seems
a little vague, but for the sake of variation, it is here given.

Here and there as the road winds along the coast some vine-clad ruin of
a castle tower is passed, and the background foot-hills of the Alps are
peopled with toy villages and towns like Switzerland itself.

Albenga is primarily a great big overgrown coast town of to-day, but was
formerly the ancient metropolis of a minor political division of
Liguria, and the one time ally of Carthage. Evidences of this fallen
pride of place are not wanting in Albenga to-day. There are innumerable
great brick and stone towers, now often built into some surrounding
structure. Three may be remarked as landmarks of the town's great civic
and military glory of the past: the Torre de Marchese Malespina, the
Torre dei Guelfi, and another, unnamed, built up into the present Casa
del Commune.

Albenga is not a resort, since it has the reputation of being an
unhealthful place, but probably this is not so as there is no particular
squalidness to be noticed, save that incident to the workaday affairs of
factories, workshops and shipping. The inhabitants of the neighbouring
towns profess to recognize the native of Albenga at a glance when they
hail him with the remark: "Hai faccia di Albenga."--"You have the
Albenga face." This is probably local jealousy only, and is not really
contempt.

A short way out from Albenga is the Ponte Lungo, an old Roman bridge of
the time of the Emperor Honorius. Savona, the largest place between the
frontier and Genoa, is still fifty kilometres to the eastward, but
midway between it and Albenga is Finale Marina, a town of one main
street, two enormous painted churches, an imposing fortification wall, a
palm-planted promenade and a municipal palace bearing, over its portal,
the arms of a visiting Spanish monarch who ruled here temporarily in the
fifteenth century.

The Castello Gavone, on a hillside above the town and back from the
coast, is a ruin, but its picturesque outer walls, with diamond-cut
stone facets, like those of the great round tower of Milan or of
Tantallon Castle in Scotland, are quite remarkable.

Finale Marina's Albergo Grimaldi is housed in an old château of some
noble of the days when the town was the capital of a Marquisate. Not
much changed is the old château, except to put new wine in the old
bottles and new linen on the antique beds. To be sure there are electric
push-buttons in the chambers, but as they are useless they can hardly be
taken into consideration.

The Albergo Grimaldi has scant accommodation for automobiles. Three
might range themselves along the wall in the lower corridor, and would
indeed be well enough housed, though in no sense is there the least
semblance of a garage. You pay nothing additional for this, and that's
something in Italy where automobiles--in the small towns--are still
regarded as mechanical curiosities and their occupants as fanatics with
more money than good sense. The Italian country population is by no
means hostile to the automobilist, but their good nature, even, is often
exasperating.

Finale Marina is the best stopping place between Menton and Genoa if one
is travelling by road, and would avoid the resorts.

Noli, just beyond the Capo di Noli, is an unimportant small town;
nevertheless it is the proud possessor of a collection of ruined walls
and towers which would be a pride to any mediæval "borgo." Noli, like
Albenga, was once the chief town of a little political division; but
to-day it is a complete nonentity.

In bright sunshine, from the road winding over the Capo di Noli, one may
see the smoke of Genoa's chimneys and shipping rising, cloud-like, on
the horizon far away to the eastward, and may even descry that classic
landmark, the great lighthouse called "La Lanterna" at the end of the
mole jutting out between San Pier d'Arena and Genoa.

A castle-crowned rocky islet, the Isola dei Bergeggi, lies close off
shore beneath the Capo di Vado, itself crowned with a seventeenth
century fortress cut out of the very rock.

Still following the rocky coastline, one draws slowly up on Savona.
Savona is backed up by olive gardens and pine-clad hills, while above,
away from the coast, roll the first foot-hills of the Apennines, their
nearby slopes and crests dotted, here and there, with some grim fortress
of to-day or a watch tower of mediæval times. The Alps are now dwindling
into the Apennines, but the change is hardly perceptible.

Above the roofs and chimneys of the town itself rises an old tower of
masonry on which is perched a colossal madonna, a venerated shrine of
the Ligurian sailor-folk. It bears an inscription which seems to scan
equally well in school-book Latin or colloquial Italian.

    "In mare irato, in subita procella
     Invoco te, nostra benigna stella."

Mago, the Carthaginian, made Savona a refuge after his sack of Genoa.
The Genoese, in turn, came along and blocked up the port out of sheer
jealousy, lest it might become a commercial rival of Genoa itself.

The bay of Savona is delightful, even Wordsworth, who mostly sang of
lakes and larks, remarked it, though in no way is it superior in beauty
to a score of other indentations in the Mediterranean coastline from
Marseilles around to Naples.

The automobilist will best remember Savona for its exceedingly bad
exits and entrances, and the clean and unencumbered streets in the town
itself. Here are great wide park-like thoroughfares flagged with flat
smooth stones which are a dream to the automobilist. There never were
such superbly laid paving blocks as one finds in Savona.

As one leaves Savona he actually begins to sense the smoke and
activities of Genoa in his nostrils, albeit they are a good fifty
kilometres away as yet; around a half a dozen jutting barrier capes, and
across innumerable railway tracks.

Varazze is not a stopping point on many travellers' Italian journeyings
and, to state it frankly, perhaps, for the majority, it is not worth
visiting. It is a sort of overflow Sunday resort for the people of
Genoa, in that each of its two hotels have dining accommodation for a
hundred people or more. Aside from this it is endowed with a certain
quaint picturesqueness. It has a palm-tree-lined quay which borders a
string of ship-building yards where the wooden walls of Genoa's
commerce-carrying craft were formerly built in large numbers, and where,
to-day, a remnant of this industry is still carried on. Great
long-horned white oxen haul timber through the crooked streets and
along the quays, and there is ever a smell of tar and the sound of
sawing and hammering. An artist with pen or brush will like Varazze
better than any other class of traveller. The automobilist will have all
he can manage in dodging the ox teams and their great trundling loads of
timber.

There is a fragment of a ruined castle near by on the outskirts of the
town, and farther away, back in the hills, is a monastery called "Il
Deserto," and properly enough named it is. It was founded by a lady of
the Pallavicini family who as a recompense--it is to be
presumed--insisted on being represented in the painted altar-piece as
the Madonna, though clad in mediæval Genoese dress. What vanity!

Cogoletto, practically a Genoese suburb, claims to be the birth place of
Columbus. Perhaps indeed it is so, as his father Dominico was known to
be a property owner near Genoa. Savona, Oneglia and Genoa itself all
have memories of the family, so the discoverer was of Ligurian parentage
without doubt.

"Sestri-Ponente! Cornigliano-Ligure! San Pier d'Arena!" (with its Villa
Serra and its Babylonian-like gardens) cry out the railway employees at
each stop of the Genoa-bound train; and the same names roll up on the
automobilist's road map with a like persistency. Each class of
traveller wonders why Genoa is not reached more quickly, and the
automobilist, for the last dozen kilometres, has been cursed with a most
exasperating, always-in-the-way tramway, with innumerable carts, badly
paved roads and much mud. The approaches to almost all great cities are
equally vile; Genoa is no exception and the traffic in the city--and in
all the built up suburbs--_keeps to the left_, a local custom which is
inexplicable since in the open country it goes to the right.

Voltri is a long drawn-out, uninteresting, waterside town with more
chimneys belching smoke and cinders in strong contrast to the pine-clad
background hills, in which nestle the suburban villas of the Doria, the
Galliera and the Brignole families of other days.

Pegli is but a continuation of Voltri, Genoa La Superba is still a dozen
kilometres away. Pegli is a resort of some importance and its chief
attraction is the Villa Pallavicini, with a labyrinth of grottoes,
subterranean lakes, cement moulded rocks, Chinese pagodas and the like.
It is not lovely, but is commonly reckoned a sight worth stopping off to
see. The Italians call this hodge podge "a ferocity of invention." The
phrase is worthy of perpetuation.

The Palazzo Pallavicini was the suburban residence of the banker of the
Court of Rome, but he was a sort of renegade financier, for he went off
to England with the churchly funds and became an English country
gentleman, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. His "past" was known, for
some poet-historian of the time branded him with the following
couplet:--

          "Sir Horatio Palvasene,
    Who robbed the Pope to pay the Queen."

The Villa Doria at Pegli was a work of Canzio built for one of the
richest merchants of Genoa in the days of Charles V. It was, like its
contemporaries, a gorgeous establishment, but in popular fancy it enjoys
not a whit of the enthusiasm bestowed upon the stagy, tricky bric-à-brac
and stucco Villa Pallavicini.

The entrance to "Genoa la Superba" by road from the west is a sorry
spectacle, a grim, crowded thoroughfare decidedly workaday and none too
cleanly. From San Pier d'Arena one comes immediately within the confines
of Genoa itself, just after circling the western port and passing the
sky-piercing "La Lanterna," one of the most ancient lighthouses extant,
dating from 1547.

[Illustration: _Palazzo Doria, Genoa_]

Genoa is neglected or ignored by most travellers and searchers after the
picturesque in Italy. This is a mistake, for Genoa's park of Acquasola,
the gardens of the Villa Rosazza and of the Villa de Negroni, and the
terraces of the Palazzo Doria offer as enchanting a series of panoramas
as those of Rome or Florence, and quite different, in that they have
always the vista of the blue Mediterranean as a background.

[Illustration: Map Genoa]

Genoa is a bizarre combination of the old and the new, of the mountain
and the plain, of great docks and wharves, and of streets of stairs
rising almost vertically.

The general effect of Genoa is as if everything in it had been piled one
on top of another until finally it had to spread out at the base.
Enormous caserns fringe the heights and great barracks line the wharves,
while in between, and here, there and everywhere, are great and
venerable palaces and churches of marble, many of them built in layers
of black and white stone, indicating that they were built by the commune
in mediæval days, or by one of the four great families of Doria,
Grimaldi, Spinola or Fieschi, the only ones who had the privilege of
using it.

Genoa's labyrinth of twisting, climbing streets and alleys are all but
impracticable for wheeled traffic, and, for that reason, strangers, who
do not walk "en tour" as much as they ought, save in the corridors of
picture galleries and the aisles of churches, know not Genoa save its
main arteries--nor ever will, unless they change their tactics.

The automobile is only useful in Genoa in getting in and out of town,
and even that is accomplished with fear and trembling by the most
cold-blooded chauffeur that ever lived. What with the vile roads, the
magnificent distances and the ceaseless irresponsible traffic of carts
and drays, tramways and what not, Genoa is indeed, of all other cities
on earth, in need of a boulevard for the new traffic. To get to your
hotel at the further end of the town as you make your entrance by the
road circling the base of "La Lanterna," can only be likened to a trip
down Broadway in New York at four o'clock in the afternoon. That would
not be pleasure; neither is getting in and out of Genoa at any time
between five in the morning and seven at night.

To what degenerate depths these great palaces of the Genoa of other days
have fallen only the curious and inquisitive are likely to know. One
into which we penetrated--looking for something which wasn't there--was
a veritable hive of industry, and as cosmopolitan as Babylon. It was
near the Bourse and one entered marble halls by a marble staircase,
flanked by a marble balustrade and finished off with newel posts
supported by marble lions. The great entrance hall was surrounded by a
colonnade of svelt marble columns, and in the centre ascended a
monumental marble staircase. Two marble fountains played in an inner
courtyard, which was paved with marble flags, and a statue, also marble,
in a niche faced the great doorway.

On the first floor were more marble columns and a frescoed vaulting.
From the corridors opened a battery of doors into offices of all sorts
of industrial enterprises, from one given to exploiting a new
combustible to another which was financing a rubber plantation in
Abyssinia. A chestnut-roaster was perambulating the corridors with his
stock in trade, furnace all alight, and a brown-robed monk was begging
his daily bread.

On the next floor, up another marble staircase, were still other
business offices,--shipping firms, wine-factors and one Guiseppe
Bellini, representing an American factory, whose output of agricultural
machinery is found in all four quarters of the globe. Breakfast foods
were there, too, and there was a big lithograph of a Fall River Line
Steamer on the walls. A whole city of merchants and agents were
cloistered here in the five stories of this one-time ducal abode.

Up under the roof was a photographer and an artist's studio, where a
long-haired Italian (Signor something or other, the sign read) painted
the bluest of blue sky pictures, and the most fiery Vesuvian eruptions,
to sell to tourists through the medium of the hotel porters of the town
below.

Thus it was that an antique shrine of gallantry and romance had become
the temple of twentieth century commerce. The noble arms, with a
heraldic angel still to be seen over the entrance doorway, count for
nothing to-day, but exist as a vivid reminder of a glorious past. In
1500 the palace was the shrine of an artistic nobility; to-day it is a
temple of chicanery.

The new part of Genoa imitates Milan, as Milan imitates Paris. The
galleries or arcades of Milan, Genoa and Naples, full of shops, cafés
and restaurants, would be admirable institutions in a more northerly
clime, where the sun is less strong and rain more frequent. Here their
glass roofs radiate an insufferable heat, which only in the coldest and
most intemperate months is at all bearable. Nevertheless these arcades
are an amusing and characteristic feature of the large Italian cities.

Hotels in Genoa for the automobilist are of all ranks and at all prices.
Bertolini's has garage accommodation for twenty-five automobiles, and
charges two francs and a half to four francs a night for the
accommodation, which is dear or not accordingly as you may feel.

The Albergo Unione, on the Palazzo Campetto, has no garage (you will
have to seek out the F. I. A. T. garage a mile or more away), but you
get something that is thoroughly Italian and very well appointed too,
at most reasonable prices.

The Genoese suburban villas are a part of Genoa itself, in that they
were built and inhabited by nobles of the city.

[Illustration: Sun Dial, Genoa]

To the east of Genoa, at Albaro, is a collection of villas which comes
upon one as a great surprise.

In reality they are suburban palaces, with here and there more modest
villas, and again mere modest dwellings. All are surrounded with hedges
of aloes, vines, olive and orange groves, and the effect is of the
country.

In the Villa del Paradiso Lord Byron was once a guest. Its loggia was a
favourite lounging place, and the whole aspect of the villa and its
grounds is as paradisal as one has any right to expect to find on earth.

The Villa Cambiaso was built in 1557 by Alessi from designs, it is
commonly said, of the great Michael Angelo. The ancient Sardinian
Palazzo Imperiali is also here, and is popularly known as the Albero
d'Oro.

A dozen miles to the east the gardens of the Villa de Franchi extend
down, stair by stair, and fountain by fountain, to the Mediterranean
rocks. The villa is a typical terrace-house, long, and almost dwarfish
on the front, where the "piano nobile" is also the ground floor; but on
the side facing the sea it is a story higher, and of stately
proportions, and is flanked by widely extending wings. It is the typical
Ligurian coast villa, one of a species which has set the copy for many
other seacoast villas and grounds.



CHAPTER VI

THE RIVIERA DI LEVANTE


The gorgeous panorama of coast scenery continues east of Genoa as it has
obtained for some three hundred kilometres to the west. In fact the road
through Nervi and Recco is finer, if anything, and more hilly, though
less precipitous, than that portion immediately to the westward of
Genoa.

Between Genoa and Spezia the railway passes through fifty tunnels. The
traveller by the high road has decidedly the best of it, but there are
always those level crossings to take into consideration though fewer of
them.

Nervi is a place of German hotels, much beer and an unaccommodating tram
line. The Grand Hotel gives access to the gardens of the villa of the
Marchese Gropollo, and this of itself is an attraction that Nervi's
other rather tawdry inns lack.

Recco is an attractive and populous town, but has no monuments of note.

The highroad here climbs up the mountain of Portofino where the
promontory joins the mainland, and drops down the other side to Rapallo,
Santa Margherita, Cervara and Portofino. High up on the mountain cape is
the Monastery of San Fruttoso, a picturesque and solitary conventual
establishment in whose chapel are many tombs of the Dorias, all with
good Gothic sculptures. In the convent of Cervara, en route to the
village of Portofino on the east side of the cape, François I, just
after he lost "all save honour" at the battle of Pavia, was imprisoned
previous to his voyage to Spain in the galleys which were to carry him a
captive to the domain of Charles Quint.

The roads along here are quite the best of the whole extent of the
eastern and western Italian Rivieras. They are encumbered with a new
class of traffic not met with further west. Up over the mountain of
Portofino winds the road in genuine mountain fashion though beautifully
graded and kept. At almost any turning one is likely to meet a great
lumbering char-a-banc crowded with tourists, with five, six or eight
horses caparisoned like a circus pageant, with bells around their necks,
pheasants' feathers bobbing in their top-knots, and a lusty Ligurian on
the hindermost seat blowing a coaching horn for all he is worth. This
is the Italian and German pleasure seeker's way of amusing himself. He
likes it, the rest of us don't!

Santa Margherita is now a full-blown resort with great hotels,
bathing-machines and all the usual attributes of a place of its class.
Lace-making and coral-fishing are the occupations of the inhabitants who
do not live off of exploiting the tourists. Both products are made here
(and in Belgium and Birmingham) in the imitation varieties, so one had
best beware.

If one doesn't speak Italian, German will answer in all these resorts of
the Levantine Riviera, quite as well as French or English. The
"Tea-Shop" and "American Bar" signs here give way to those of "Munich"
and "Pilsner."

The village of Portofino itself is delightful; a quaint little fishing
port surrounded by tree-clad hills running to the water's edge. There is
a Hôtel Splendide, once a villa of the accepted Ligurian order, and a
less pretentious, more characteristic, Albergo Delfino lower down on the
quay. The arms of the little port are a spouting dolphin as befits its
seafaring aspect, so the Albergo Delfino certainly ought to have the
preference for this reason if no other.

[Illustration: Rapallo]

On the cliff road running around the promontory from Portofino to
Rapallo are a half a dozen more or less modern villas of questionable
architecture, but of imposing proportions, and one and all delightfully
disposed.

[Illustration: Map Rapallo and its Gulf]

The Villa Pagana is the property of the Marchese Spinola, and the Castel
Paraggi, the property of a gentleman prosaically named Brown, is
theatrically and delightfully disposed, though bizarre in form.

Rapallo, at the head of the bay, is a continuation of what has gone
before. There are great hotels and pensions, and many of them. Its
campaniles and church towers set off the framing of Rapallo
delightfully. The Hôtel de l'Europe has more than once been the abode
of Queen Margherita of Italy, and most of the notables who pass this
way. The hotel curiously enough seems none the worse for it; it is good,
reasonable in price and conveniently situated on the quay, overlooking a
picturesque granite tower built up from a foundation sunk in the waters
of the Mediterranean. The Corsair Dragutte, a buccaneer of romantic
days, came along and plundered these Ligurian towns as often as he felt
like it. Frequently they paid no attention to his visits, save to give
up what blackmail and tribute he demanded; but Rapallo built this tower
as a sort of watch tower or fortress. It is an admirable example of a
sentinel watch tower, and might well be classed as a diminutive
fortress-château.

From Rapallo to Chiavari the coast road winds and rises and falls with
wonderful variety between villa gardens and vineyards. On the slopes
above are dotted tiny dwellings, and church towers point skywards in
most unexpected places.

The chief architectural attributes of Chiavari are its arcaded house
fronts, a queer blend of round and pointed arches, and columns of all
orders. The effect is undeniably good. The town was one of the most
important in the old Genoese Republic, save the capital itself.

The towers scattered here and there through the town and in the
neighbourhood are all feudal relics, albeit they are fragmentary. The
Castle which the native points out with pride is neither very
magnificent nor very elegant, but is indicative of the style of building
of the feudal time in these parts. Decidedly the best things of Chiavari
are its house fronts, and some crazy old streets running back from the
main thoroughfares. There are some slate quarries in the neighbourhood
and a ten foot slab, larger than the top of a billiard table, can be cut
if occasion requires. The church of San Salvatore near Lavagna, where
the quarries are, was founded by Pope Innocent IV in 1243.

Lavagna, near by, has a Palazzo Rosso, in that it is built of a reddish
stone, though that is not its official name. It was an appanage of the
Fieschi family, who owned to Popes, Cardinals and soldiers in the
gallant days of the Genoese Republic. Sestri-Levante, a half a dozen
kilometres beyond Chiavari, is the last of the Riviera resorts. It is a
mere strip of villa and hotel-lined roadway with a delightful water
front and a charming and idyllic background.

Spezia is reached only by climbing a lengthy mountain road up over the
Pass of the Bracco; sixty kilometres in all from Sestri to Spezia. The
highroad now leaves the coast to wind around inland over the lower
slopes of the Apennines. The railway itself follows the shore.

It is a finely graded road with entrancing far-away vistas of the sea,
the distant snow-capped summits of the mountains to the north and, off
southward, the more gently rising Tuscan hills.

After having climbed some twenty-one hundred feet above the sea, the
highroad runs down through the valley of the Vara, until finally at
Spezia, Italy's great marine arsenal, one comes again to the
Mediterranean shore.

Just before Spezia is reached, snuggled close in a little bay, is
Vernazza--where the wine comes from, at least, the wine the praises of
which were sung by Boccaccio "as the paragon of wines." Wine is still a
product of the region, but its quality may not be what it once was.

Spezia is a snug, conservative and exclusive military and naval town.
The gold-lace and blue-cloth individuals of the "service" dominate
everything, even to the waiters in the hotels and cafés. No one else has
a show.

The Hotel Croix de Malte (with a French name be it observed) is the
chic hotel of Spezia, with prices on a corresponding scale, and no
garage. The Albergo Italia, equally well situated, a typical Italian
house of its class, is more modest in its prices and better as to its
food. It has no garage either, but under the circumstances, that of
itself is no drawback. Across the street, in a vacant store, you may
lodge your automobile for two francs a night, or for one franc if you
tell the ambitious and obliging little man who runs it that he demands
too much. He is really the best thing we found in Spezia. We had run out
of gasoline in entering the city, the long run down hill flattened out
into a plain just before the town was reached, but he accommodatingly
sent out a five gallon tin ("original package" goods from Philadelphia)
and would take no increase in price for his trouble. Such a thing in the
automobile line ought to be encouraged. We pay "through the nose," as
the French say, often enough as it is.

Spezia's suburban villas are a natural outcome of its environment, but
they are all modern and have, none of them, the flavour of historic
romanticism about them.

An ancient castle tower on the hills above Spezia is about the only
feudal ruin near by. The viper, the device of the Viscontis, is still
graven above its entrance door to recall the fact that the device of the
Milanese nobles was a viper, and that their natures, too, took after
that of the unlovely thing. The Viper of Milan and the Viscontis is a
worthy cage companion to the hedgehog of François I.

Spezia's gulf is all that Spezia is not; romantic, lovely and varied. It
was described in ancient times by Strabo, the geographer, and by
Persius. Little of its topographical surroundings or climatic attributes
have changed since that day.

The road down the coast from Spezia is marked on the maps as perfectly
flat, but within a dozen kilometres, before Arcola is reached, is as
stiff a couple of hair-pin turns as one will remember ever having come
across suddenly in his travels. They are not formidable hills, perhaps,
but they are surprising, and since one has to drop down again
immediately to sea level they seem entirely unnecessary.

The river Magra which enters the sea just east of Spezia divided the
Genoese territory from that of Tuscany.

    "Macra che per cammin corto
     Lo Gonovese parta dal Toscano."
      --_Dante_, "Paradisio."

Sarzana is not a tourist point, but the traveller by road will not be in
a hurry to pass it by. It has, curiously enough, an Albergo della Nuova
York, built on the fortification walls of feudal days. It is not for
this, though, that one lingers at Sarzana. The Bonapartes were
originally descended from Sarzana ancestry. It was proven by
contemporary documents that a certain Buonaparte, a notary, lived here
in 1264. Supposedly, it was this limb of the law who became the chief of
the Corsican family.

The old feudal castle of Sarzana, with its round tower, its moat and its
later Renaissance gateway is the very ideal of mouldy mediævalism.

From Sarzana, it is, figuratively speaking, but a step to Carrara and
Massa, the centres of the marble industry. Of all the materials the
artist requires, none is so much sought after as the pure white marble
of Carrara. The sculptured marble of Carrara goes out into the world
from thousands of ateliers to thousands of resting places but it all
comes from this great white mountainside in the Apennines which has made
the region famous and rich. This little Tuscan town of Carrara owes its
all to its, seemingly, inexhaustible stores of milk-white, fine-grained
marbles. More especially is the marble of Carrara in demand for
statuary; but in all the finer forms of carven stone it finds its place
supreme.

Men and beasts, oxen, horses and mules, and carts of all shapes and
sizes, make the vicinity of Carrara the centre of an uproar that would
be maddening if one had to live in it; but it is all very interesting to
the stranger, and speaks more loudly than words of the importance of the
great industry of the neighbourhood.

All around are great heaps--mountains almost--of broken, splintered
marble; the débris merely of the great blocks which have, in times past,
been quarried and sent to all quarters of the earth.

The quarries of Carrara have been worked ever since the Roman epoch, and
the tufted hillsides round about have been burrowed to their bowels in
taking out this untold wealth which, without exaggeration, has been as
great as that of many mines of gold.

Quite twenty per cent. of the population work at the industry, and five
hundred men are actually engaged in hewing out and slicing off the great
blocks. Ten thousand, at least, find their livelihood dependent upon the
industry, and two hundred thousand tons is a normal annual output; in
price, valued at from 150 to 1,500 francs the cubic metre.

At Massa one joins the main road again running south by the shore. One
never hears of the conventional tourist stopping at Massa; but we found
the Hotel Massa and its dinner in the garden worth the taking and agreed
that the Château, in base rococo style, (now the public administrative
buildings), a curiosity worth seeing. Massa has a Napoleonic memory
hanging over it, too, in that it was once the residence of the Little
Corporal's sister. Massa's Castello, high above all else in the town, is
grim, lofty and spectacular though to be viewed only from without. Massa
is worth making a note of, even by the hurried traveller.

Since leaving Sarzana the high road has become worse and worse, until in
the vicinity of Carrara and Massa it is almost indescribably bad. There
is no such stretch of bad road in Europe as this awful fifty kilometres,
for it continues all the way to Lucca and Livorno. The vast amount of
traffic drawn by ten head of oxen at a time is what does it of course,
and as there is no way around one has to go through it, though it's a
heart-breaking job to one that cares anything for his automobile.

Pietrasanta, eight kilometres farther on, was, for us, an undiscovered
beauty spot and historic shrine; at least, none of us had ever heard of
it till we passed the portals. Now we know that the walls, through which
we passed, were the same that the blood-thirsty, battling Lorenzo di
Medici besieged in 1482; and that the ancient bronze font in the
Baptistery was the work of Donatello. We were glad that Massa and
Pietrasanta were counted in, as they should be by everyone passing this
way, even though they did take up half a day's time--all on account of
the awful road--part of which time, however, you are eating that
excellent lunch in the garden of the Hotel Massa. That time will not be
lost anyway, one must eat somewhere.

Eight kilometres beyond Massa is Viareggio, an unlovely, incipient
seaside resort for dwellers in the Tuscan towns; but a historic spot
nevertheless, and interesting from that viewpoint at any rate.

Viareggio has no villas or palaces of note, and its chief associations
for the traveller lie in its memories of Shelley and Ouida, the Marquise
de la Ramée. There is a monument, erected to Shelley in 1894,
commemorating the fact that he was drowned here, in the Tyrrhenian Sea,
and his body consumed by fire, on the shore.

It was in the village of Massarosa, near Viareggio, that that
much-abused and very abusive old lady, Ouida, the Marquis de la Ramée,
died in January, 1908. Since 1877 she had made Italy her home, and for
years she had lived here alone, not in poverty or misery, for she had a
"civil pension" which was more than sufficient to keep the wolf from the
door. She died miserable and alone however. Ouida was a more real, more
charitable person than she was given credit for being. She didn't like
the English, and Americans she liked still less, but she loved the
Italians. Whose business was it then if she chose to live among them,
with her unkempt and unwholesome-looking dogs and her slatternly
maid-of-all-work? Ouida, as she herself said, did not hate humanity; she
hated society; and she had more courage than some of the rest of us in
that she would have nothing to do with it.

The vineyards lying back of Viareggio may not be the most luxuriant in
Italy, but they blossom abundantly enough.

Lucca is thirty-five kilometres from Viareggio and the road still
bad--on to Livorno, turning to the right instead of the left at
Viareggio, it is worse.

Lucca has a right to its claim as one of the most ancient cities of
Tuscany, for it is one of the least up-to-date of Italian cities. When
Florence was still sunk in its marsh Lucca was already old, and filled
with a commercial importance which to-day finds its echo in the
distribution of the Lucca olive oil of trade which one may buy at
Vancouver, Johannesburg or Rio. Indeed the label on the bottle of olive
oil is the only reminiscence many have of Lucca.

[Illustration: LUCCA]

The decadence came to Lucca in due time and it degenerated sadly, about
its last magnificent ray being that shot out when Napoleon gave the
city to his sister Eliza Bacciochi, with the title of Princess of Lucca.
She was a real benefactress to the country, but with the fall of
Napoleon all his satellites were snuffed out, too, and then the benign
influences of the Princess Eliza were forgotten and ignored.

Southwest from Lucca, with Pisa lying between, is the great port of
Leghorn, whence are shipped the marbles of Carrara, the oil of Lucca,
the wines of Chianti and the Leghorn hats and braids of all Tuscany.
These four things keep Livorno going.

Leghorn is as modern as Lucca is antiquated and is the most cosmopolitan
of all Italian cities.

When Philip III expelled the Moors from Spain Cosmo II, Duke of Livorno,
invited two thousand of them to come to his Dukedom.

Montesquieu remarked upon this conglomerate population, and approved of
it apparently, as he called the founding and populating of the city the
master work of the Medici dynasty.



CHAPTER VII

ON TUSCAN ROADS


The valley of the Arno, as the river flows through the heart of Tuscany
from its source high in the hills just south of Monte Falterona, is the
most romantic region in all Italy. It is the borderland between the
south and the north, and, as it was a battle-ground between Guelph and
Ghibellines, so too is it the common ground where the blood of the
northerner and southerner mingles to-day.

As great rivers go, the Arno is neither grand nor magnificent, but,
though its proportions are not great, its banks are lined with historic
and artistic ruins, from the old fortress at Marina di Pisa to Poppi,
the ancient capital of the Casentino, perched so quaintly upon its
river-washed rock.

Pisa, Leghorn and Lucca are a triumvirate of Tuscan towns which should
be viewed and considered collectively. One should not be included in
an itinerary without the others, though indeed they have little in
common, save the memories of the past.

[Illustration: ON A TUSCAN HIGHWAY

Blanche McManus

1908]

Pisa is another of these dead cities of Europe, like Bruges, Leyden, and
Rothenburg. Once ardent and lively in every activity of life, its
population now has sunk into a state of lethargy. Industry and commerce,
and the men who should busy themselves therewith, are in the background,
hidden behind a barrier of bureaucracy. Pisa, a town of twenty-six
thousand inhabitants, has a tribunal of nine civil judges, a criminal
court presided over by sixty-three more, and a "roll" of more than half
a hundred notaries. Then there is a service of Domains, of Registry and
of Public Debt; besides an array of functionaries in charge of
seminaries, orphan asylums, schools and colleges. All these belong to
the state.

Pisa, sitting distant and proud on the banks of the Arno, enjoys a
softer climate than most of the coast cities or interior towns of
central Italy. The Tyrrhenian Sea is but a gulf of the Mediterranean,
but just where it bathes the shore about the mouth of the Arno, it has a
higher temperature than most northern Mediterranean waters.

Pisa is more of a sanitarium than it is a gay watering place however.
The city is, in fact, like its celebrated leaning tower, half tottering
on the brink of its grave. Commerce and industry are far from active and
its streets are half deserted; many of them are literally grass-grown
and all the others are paved with great flat clean-swept flags, a
delight for the automobilist, whose chief experience of pavements has
been in France and Belgium.

The entrance to Pisa by road from the north is one of the most pleasing
of that of any Italian city. For the last half dozen kilometres the road
steadily improves until it becomes one of the best as it circles around
that wonderful triumvirate of architectural splendours, the Duomo, the
Baptistery and the tottering Torre. The group is one of the scenic
surprises of Italy, and the automobilist has decidedly the best
opportunity of experiencing the emotions it awakes, for he does not have
to come out from town (for the monuments are some ways from the centre)
to see it. It is the first impression that the traveller by road gets of
Pisa and of its architectural wonders, as he draws suddenly upon it from
the slough-like road through which he has literally ploughed his way for
many kilometres. And it is an impression he will never forget.

All along the banks of the Arno, as it flows through Pisa, are dotted
here and there palaces of Renaissance days. One is now a dependence of a
hotel; another has been appropriated by the post office; others are
turned into banks and offices; but there are still some as well ordered
and livable as in their best days.

The Palazzo Agostini on the Lung' Arno, its façade ornamented with terra
cotta medallions, is now a part of the Hotel Nettuno which, as well as
any other of Pisa's hotels, cares for the automobilist in a satisfactory
manner. Its garage accommodations are abominably confined, and to get in
and out one takes a considerable risk of damaging his mud-guards,
otherwise they are satisfactory, though one pays two francs a night for
them, which one should not be obliged to do. Here is another point where
France is superior to Italy as an automobile touring ground.

Pisa and its palaces are a delight from every point of view, though
indeed none of the edifices are very grand, or even luxurious. They
strike a middle course however, and are indicative of the solid comfort
and content in which their original owners must have lived at Pisa in
latter Renaissance times.

Pisa's Campo Santo is the most famous example of graveyard design and
building in all the world. It is calm and dignified, but stupendous and
startling in its immensity.

From Pisa to Florence by road, following the valley of the Arno, one
passes through the typical Tuscan countryside, although the hill-country
lies either to one side or the other. It is the accessible route
however, and the one usually claimed by the local garage and hotel
keepers to be one of the best of Italian roads. It is and it isn't; it
all depends upon the time of the year, the fact that the road may
recently have been repaired or not, and the state of the weather. We
went over it in a rain which had been falling steadily for three days
and found it very bad, though unquestionably it would have been much
more comfortable going in dry weather. It is the approved route between
the two cities however, and unless one is going directly down the coast
to Rome, via Grosseto, Pisa is the best place from which to commence the
inland détour.

Cascina, a dozen kilometres away, was the scene of a sanguinary defeat
of the Pisans by the Florentines on the feast of San Vittorio in 1364,
and each year the event is celebrated by the inhabitants. It seems
singular that a people should seek to perpetuate the memory of a
defeat, but perhaps the original inhabitants sympathized with Florence
rather than with Pisa.

Pontedera is a big country town at the juncture of the Era and the Arno.
It has no monuments and no history worth remarking, but is indicative of
the prosperity of the country round about. Pontedera has no hotel with
garage accommodations, and if you get caught in a thunder storm, as we
did, you will have to grin and bear it and plug along.

San Miniato de Tedeschi rises on its hill top a few kilometres farther
on in an imposing manner. It is the most conspicuous thing in the
landscape for a wide radius. Francesco Sforza was born here, and
Frederic II made it the seat of the Imperial vicarage. San Miniato is a
hill town of the very first rank, and like others of the same
class--Fiesole, Colle and Volterra--(though its hill-top site may have
nothing to do with this) it had the privilege of conferring nobility on
plebeians. The Grand Duke of Tuscany in the nineteenth century
accordingly made "an English gentleman of Hebrew extraction"--so history
reads--the Marquis of San Miniato. At any rate it was probably as good a
title as is usually conferred on any one, and served its soi-disant
owner well enough for a crest for his note paper or automobile door.
One wonders what the gentleman took for his motto. History does not say.

Empoli is a thriving town, engaged principally in killing fowls and
sending them to the Florence market, plaiting straw to be made into
hats, and covering chianti bottles with the same material.

The Ghibellines would have made Empoli their capital in 1260, after
their meeting or "parliament" here. It was proposed too, that Florence
should be razed. One man only, Farinata degli Uberti, opposed it.
"Never," said he, "will I consent that our beloved city, which our
enemies have spared, shall be destroyed or insulted by our own hands."

The old palace in which the Ghibelline parliament met still stands on
the Piazza del Mercato.

No automobilist who "happens" on Empoli will ever want to see it again,
on account of the indignities which will be heaped on his automobile,
though the Albergo Guippone, run by a mother and son in most competent,
but astonishing, fashion, is the real thing. The food and cooking are
extraordinarily good, and the house itself new and cleanly. You eat at a
big round table, with a great long-necked bottle of chianti swung on a
balance in the centre. It must hold at least two gallons, and, without
the well-sweep arrangement for pouring out its contents, you would go
dry. The wine served is as good as the rest of the fare offered. The
fault with Empoli's hotel is that there is no garage and the proprietors
recommend no one as competent to house your automobile, saying you can
take your choice of any one of a half a dozen renters of _stallagio_
near by. They are all bad doubtless; but the one we tried, who permitted
us to put the automobile in an uncovered dirty hole with horses, donkeys
and pigs, took--yes, took, that's the word--two lire for the service! If
you do go to Empoli keep away from this ignorant, unprogressive
individual.

North of Empoli, on the direct road from Lucca to Florence, are Pistoja
and Prato.

Pistoja is one of the daintiest of Tuscan cities, but not many of the
habitués of Florence know it, at least not as they know Pisa or Siena.

Its past is closely intermingled with Florentine and Italian history,
and indeed has been most interesting. Practically it is a little
mountain city, though lying quite at the base of the Apennines, just
before they flatten out into the seashore plain. Its country people, in
town for a market-day, are chiefly people of the hills, shepherds and
the like, but their speech is Tuscan, the purest speech of Italy, the
nearest that is left us to the speech of Boccaccio's day.

Pistoja's old walls and ramparts are not the least of its crumbling
glories. They are a relic of the Medicis and the arms and crests of this
family are still seen carved over several of the entrance gates. One has
only to glance upward as he drives his automobile noisily through some
mediæval gateway to have memories of the days when cavalcades of lords
and ladies passed over the same road on horseback or in state coaches.

All is primitive and unworldly at Pistoja, but there is no ruinous
decay, though here and there a transformed or rebuilt palace has been
turned into some institution or even a workshop.

Prato, a near neighbour of Pistoja on the road to Florence, is also a
fine relic of an old walled Tuscan town. Aside from this its specialty
is churches, which are numerous, curious and beautiful, but except for
the opportunity for viewing them the lover of the romantic and
picturesque will not want to linger long within the city.

Between Empoli and Florence is seen at a distance the Villa Ambrogiana;
a transformation by Ferdinand I of an old castle of the Ardinghelli;
its towers and pinnacles still well preserved, but the whole forming a
hybrid, uncouth structure.

Further on at Montelupo there is a castle, now in ruins, built and
fortified by the Florentines in 1203. It owes its name, Montelupo, to
the adoption of the word _lupo_, wolf, by the Florentines when they
sought to destroy a neighbouring clan called the Capraja (_capra_,
goat).

Signa is reached after crossing the Arno for the first time. The city
walls, towers and pinnacles, with their battlements and machicolations,
are still as they were when the Florentines caused them to be erected to
guard the high road leading to their city.

Suburban sights, in the shape of modern villas, market gardens and what
not, announce the approach to Florence, which is entered by a broad
straight road, the Strada Pisana, running beneath the Porta S. Frediano.
Instinctively one asks for the Lung' Arno that he may get his bearings,
and then straightway makes for his hotel or pension.

[Illustration: FLORENCE and its PALACES]

Hotels for the automobilist in Florence are numerous. The Automobile
Club de France vouches for the Palace Hotel, where you pay two francs
and a half for garage, and for the Grand Hotel de la Ville with no
garage. The writer prefers the Hotel Helvetia, or better yet the Hotel
Porta Rossa, a genuine Italian _albergo_, patronized only by such
strangers as come upon it unawares. It is very good, reasonable in
price, and you may put your automobile in the _remissa_, which houses
the hotel omnibus, for a franc a night. It is convenient to have your
automobile close at hand instead of at the F. I. A. T. garage a mile or
more away, and the hotel itself is most central, directly to the rear of
the Strozzi Palace.

"What sort of city is this Florence?" asked Boniface VIII, amazed at the
splendour of the Florentine procession sent to Rome to honour his
jubilee. No one was found ready with an answer, but at last a Cardinal
timidly remarked, "Your Holiness, the City of Florence is a good city."
"Nonsense," replied the Pope, "she is far away the greatest of all
cities! She feeds, clothes and governs us all.... She and her people are
the fifth element of the universe."

One comes to Florence for pictures and palaces, and, for as long or
short a time as fancy suggests, the automobile and the chauffeur, if you
have one, take a needed repose. Your automobile safely housed, your
chauffeur will most likely be found, when wanted, at the Reininghaus on
the Piazza Vittorio-Emanuel drinking German beer and reading "Puck" or
"Judge" or "Punch" or "Le Rire." This is a café with more foreign
papers, one thinks, than any other on earth.

[Illustration: TORCH-HOLDERS PALAZZO STROZZI]

[Illustration: A LANTERN PALAZZO STROZZI]

[Illustration: Palazzo Vecchio, Florence]

Down through the heart of Tuscany, and through the Chianti district,
runs the highroad from Florence to Rome, via Siena. It is a delightful
itinerary, whether made by road or rail, and, whether one's motive is
the admiration and contemplation of art or architecture, or the sampling
of the chianti, en route, the journey through the Tuscan Apennines will
ever remain as a most fragrant memory. It is a lovely country of
vineyards and wheatfields, intermingled, and, here and there, clumps of
mulberry trees, and always great yoked oxen and _contadini_ working,
walking or sleeping.

These, indeed, are the general characteristics of all the countryside of
central Italy, but here they are superlatively idyllic. The simple life
must be very nearly at its best here, for the almost unalterable fare of
bread and cheese and wine, which the peasants, by the roadside, seem
always to be munching and drinking, is not conducive to grossness of
thought or action.

From Florence to Rome there are three principal roads favoured by
automobilists: that via Siena and Grosseto, 332 kilometres; via Siena,
Orvieto and Viterbo, 325 kilometres; and via Arezzo, Perugia and Terni,
308 kilometres. They are all equally interesting, but the latter two are
hilly throughout and the former, in rainy weather, is apt to be bad as
to surface.

The towers of Tuscany might well be made the interesting subject of an
entire book. Some of them, existing to-day, date from the Etruscans,
many centuries before Christ, and Dionysius wrote that the Etruscans
were called Tyrrhene or Turreno because they inhabited towers, or strong
places--_Typeie_.

In the twelfth century, local laws, throughout Tuscany, reduced all
towers to a height of fifty _braccia_. Pisa, Siena and Florence in
the past had several hundred towers, but Volterra and San Gimignano
in the Val d'Elsa are the only remarkable collections still grouped
after the original manner. "San Gimignano delle belle Torri" is a
classic phrase and has inspired many chapters in books and many magazine
articles.

[Illustration: _San Gimignano_]

Massimo d'Azeglio, whose opinions most people who write books on Italy
exploit as their own, said, with reason, that San Gimignano was as
extraordinary a relic of the past as Pompeii. Of all the fifty odd
towers of the city, none is more imposing than that of the Palazzo
Publico, rising up above the very apartment, where, in the thirteenth
century, Dante was received when he was sent from Florence to parley
with the Guelphs of San Gimignano.

San Gimignano's Palazzo del Commune dates from 1298, but its tower was
an afterthought, built a century later. This tower of the Palazzo del
Commune is, perhaps, the best preserved of all the "belle torri" of the
city.

[Illustration: VOLTERRA]

San Gimignano and Volterra are much alike, though the latter's strong
point lies more in its fortification walls. Volterra and its Etruscan
lore and pottery have ever been a source of pride among Italian
antiquarians. The Etruscans of old must have been passionately fond of
pottery, for, so plentifully were the environs of Volterra strewn with
broken pitchers, that one suspects that each square yard must have
contained a well. Some one called the Etruscans lunatics, who were shut
up in Volterra and allowed to pursue their craze for pottery in peace;
but they were harmless lunatics, who devoted themselves to the arts of
peace, rather than those of war. The alabaster bric-à-brac trade and
traffic still exists, and provides a livelihood for a large part of the
population of the city; but thousands of Tuscans, many of them from
Volterra, doubtless, have deserted their former arts for the pleasure
of dragging a hand organ from street to street, in London and New York,
and gathering soldi by ministering to the pleasures of the populace. It
is easy for the superior person to sneer at the hand organ, as he
sneers, by the way, at the phonograph and the pianola, but dull alleys
and mean streets are brightened by the music of the itinerant Italian.

"It is a vision of the moyen-age," wrote Paul Bourget when he first saw
Volterra's Etruscan walls. High up on its rocky plateau sits Volterra,
protected by its walls and gorges and ravines, in almost impregnable
fashion.

With this incentive no automobilist north or southbound should omit San
Gimignano or Volterra from his itinerary. They are but a few kilometres
off the main road, from Poggibonzi via Val d'Elsa between Siena and
Florence.

On a height overlooking Volterra, just over the Romitorio, and almost
within sight of San Gimignano's towers, Campanello, the celebrated
brigand, was captured, a quarter of a century ago. He had quartered
himself upon an unsuspecting, though unwilling, peasant, as was the
fashion with brigands of the time, and, through a "faux pas," offended a
youth who was in love with one of his host's daughters. This was his
undoing. The youth informed the local authorities; and Campanello led
away himself by the blind passion of love, fell precipitately into the
trap which the injured youth had helped to set.

Thus ended another brigand's tale, which in these days are growing fewer
and fewer. One has to go to Corsica or Sardinia to experience the
sensation of being held up, or to the Paris boulevards where _apaches_
still reign, or to the east end of London.

Going south from Florence by this road the automobilist has simply to
ask his way via the "Strada per Siena;" after Siena it is the "Strada
per Roma;" and so on from one great town to another. In finding one's
way out of town the plan is simple, easily remembered and efficient;
there are no false and confusing directions such as one frequently gets
in France. You are either on the Via This or That which ultimately leads
to the Strada of the same name, or you are not. Start right and you
can't miss the road in Italy.

Among all the secondary cities of Italy, none equals Siena in romantic
appeal. Its site is most picturesque, its climate is salubrious, and it
has an entirely mediæval stamp so far as the arrangement of its palaces
is concerned. Siena possesses something unique in church architecture,
as might be expected of a city which once contained sixty places of
worship, a special patois, and women of surpassing beauty. More than by
anything else, Siena is brought to mind by the recollection of that
Saint Catherine, who, according to Pope Pius II, made all who approached
her better for her presence.

The railway and its appurtenances, automobiles and their belongings, the
electric light and the telegraph, are almost the only signs of modernity
in Siena to-day. The rest is of the middle ages, and the chief
characters who stand out to-day are not the political personages of our
time; but Bianca Capello and Marie de Medici and Charles V, who of all
other aliens is best remembered of Siena, because of the Holbein
reproduction of his face and figure which he presented to its citizens.



CHAPTER VIII

FLORENTINE BACKGROUNDS


The hills and valleys around Florence offer delightful promenades by
road to the automobilist as well as to those who have not the means at
hand of going so far afield. A commercial enterprise is exploiting them
by means of a great _char-a-banc_, or "sightseeing" automobile, which
detracts from the sentiments and emotions which might otherwise be
evoked, and at the same time annoys the driver of a private automobile,
for the reason that this public conveyance often crowds him on a narrow
road and prevents his passing. However, this is better than being
obstructed, as in former days, by a string of forty lazy cabs and their
drivers.

The round to Fiesole, San Miniato, Vallombrosa, and on through the
Casentino of romantic memory is delightful and may be made in a day or a
week, as one's fancy dictates.

The new road from Florence to Fiesole, that is the road made in the
mid-nineteenth century, was not a piece of jobbery or graft, but was
paid for by patents of nobility given by the municipality of Fiesole to
those who furnished the means. This was in the days when a Grand Duke
ruled Tuscany and monarchical institutions found favour.

Fiesole had its Libro d'Oro, and inscribed thereon as noble any
individual who would pay the required price. From fifteen hundred lire
upward was the price for which marquises, counts and barons were created
in Florence's patrician suburb.

Coming out from Florence by another gateway, through the Porta San
Gallo, runs the Fiesole highway. A landmark, which can be readily
pointed out by anyone, is the villa once possessed by Walter Savage
Landor and inhabited by him for nearly thirty years. Here the famous men
of letters of the middle years of the last century visited him. Here he
revelled amid memories of Boccaccio and wrote the Pentameron. There is
talk of buying the place and consecrating it to his memory.

All the way from Florence to Fiesole the roads are lined with typical
Florentine villas and country houses. The Villa at Poggio Cajano was
built by Lorenzo the Magnificent, who employed Giuliano da San Gallo as
his architect. In 1587 Francesco I died within its walls, and the
profligate Bianca Capello, whose history had best stay buried, also died
here on the following day. Their brother Ferdinand was responsible for
their taking off, as they had already prepared to put him out of the way
by the administration of a dose of poison. He stood over them, with
dagger drawn, and made them eat their own poisoned viands.

The Villa Petraja was a strong-hold of the Brunelleschi family which
defended itself ably against the Pisans and the marauders of Sir John
Hawkwood in 1364, when that rollicking rascal sold his services to the
enemies of Florence. The old tower of the castle, as it then was, still
remains, but the major portion of the present structure dates from quite
modern times.

The Villa Medici in Careggi was built by Cosimo Pater from the designs
of Michelozzi, and though no longer royal it is to-day practically
unchanged in general outline. It, too, was one of the favourite
residences of Lorenzo the Magnificent, and the conclaves of the famous
Platonic Academy were held here on the seventh of November, the
anniversary of the date of the birth and death of Plato. Here died both
Cosimo and Lorenzo, the latter on the eighth of April, 1492, just after
his celebrated interview with Savonarola. The Orsi family came into
possession of the villa later on, then "an English gentleman" and then a
certain Signor Segré.

Between Careggi and Fiesole, and on towards Vallombrosa, the villas and
palatial country houses of the Florentines are scattered as thickly as
the leaves of the famous vale itself.

The Villa Salviati is a fine sixteenth century work with a blood-red
memory of the middle ages, at one time the property of the singer Mario,
remembered by a former generation. The Villa Rinuccini has its grounds
laid out in the style of an English formal garden, and the Villa
Guadagni was once the home of the historian, Bartolommeo della Scala.

Of all the Florentine suburban villas none has a tithe of the popular
romantic interest possessed by the Villa Palmieri. The Villa Palmieri is
best seen from its approach by the highroad, up hill, from Florence. At
the right of the iron gate, the _cancello_, runs the old road to
Fiesole. Upward still the road runs, through the _cancello_, through a
wind-break of trees and around to the north façade by which one enters.
The entire south side of the house is in the form of a loggia, with a
great wide terrace in front, below which is the sloping garden with its
palm trees and azaleas.

[Illustration: VILLA PALMIERI]

The Villa Palmieri and its gardens are somewhat the worse for stress of
time; and the wind and the hot sun have burned up the shrubs and trees
since the days when Zocchi the draughtsman made that series of formal
drawings of Italian gardens, that of the Villa Palmieri among the
number, which are so useful to the compilers of books on Italian villas
and gardens.

Fiesole sits proudly on its height a thousand feet above the level of
the sea. The following anonymous lines--"newspaper verse" they may be
contemptuously described by some--make as admirable a pen picture of
the little town as it were possible to reproduce.

    "A little town on a far off hill--
         (Fiesole, Fiesole!)
     Mossy walls that defy Time's will,
     Olive groves in the sun a-thrill
     Thickets of roses where thrushes trill
     Winds that quiver and then are still--
         Fiesole, Fiesole!"

Fiesole forms an irregular ground plan, rising and falling on the
unequal ground upon which it is built. The long and almost unbroken line
of Cyclopean walls towards the north is the portion which has suffered
least from time or violence. The huge stones of which the Etruscan wall
is composed are somewhat irregular in shape and unequal in size, seldom
assuming a polygonal form. This Cyclopean construction varies with the
geological nature of the rock employed. In all the Etruscan and Pelasgic
towns it is found that, when sandstone was used, the form of the stones
has been that of the parallelopipedon or nearly so, as at Fiesole and
Cortona; whereas, when limestone was the subjacent rock, the polygonal
construction alone is found, as at Cosa and Segni. This same observation
will be found to apply to every part of the world, and in a marked
degree to the Cyclopean constructions of Greece and Asia Minor, and
even to the far-distant edifices raised by the Peruvian Incas. Sometimes
the pieces of rock are dovetailed into each other; others stand joint
above joint; but, however placed, the face, or outward front, is
perfectly smooth. No projection, or work advancing beyond the line of
the wall, appears in the remains of the original structure.

[Illustration: FIESOLE]

Fiesole is a built-up fabric in all its parts; its foundation is
architecture, and its churches, palaces and villas are mere
protuberances extending out from a concrete whole. Fiesole is one of the
most remarkably built towns above ground.

Fiesole's great charm lies in its surrounding and ingredient elements;
in the palaces and villas of the hilltops always in plain view, and in
its massive construction of walls, rather than in its specific
monuments, though indeed its Duomo possesses a crudity and rudeness of
constructive and decorative elements which marks it as a distinct, if
barbarous, Romanesque style.

The views from Fiesole's height are peculiarly fine. On the north is the
valley of the Mugello, and just below is the Villa of Scipione Ammirato,
the Florentine historian. Towards the south, the view commands the
central Val d'Arno, from its eastern extremity to the gorge of the
Gonfolina, by which it communicates with the Val d'Arno di Sotto, with
Florence as the main object in the rich landscape below.

The following is a mediæval point of view as conceived by a Renaissance
historian. He wrote it of Lorenzo the Magnificent, but the emotions it
describes may as well become the possession of plebeian travellers of
to-day.

"Lorenzo ever retained a predilection for his country house just below
Fiesole, and the terrace still remains which was his favourite walk.
Pleasant gardens and walks bordered by cypresses add to the beauty of
the spot, from which a splendid view of Florence encircled by its
amphitheatre of mountains is obtained."

"In a villa overhanging the towers of Florence, on the steep slopes of
that lofty hill crowned by the mother city, the ancient Fiesole, in
gardens which Tully might have envied, with Ficino, Landino, and
Politian at his side, he delighted his hours of leisure with the
beautiful visions of Platonic philosophy, for which the summer stillness
of an Italian sky appears the most congenial accompaniment."

This is the twentieth century, but those of mood and mind may experience
the same as did Lorenzo di Medici four hundred years ago. The hills and
vales, the Arno and the City of the Lily, with its domes and towers,
have little changed during the many passing years.

Out from Florence by the Porta alla Croce runs the road to Vallombrosa,
which may be reached also from Fiesole without entering Florence by
taking the road leading over the Ponte a Mensola. Just beyond
Pontassieve, some twenty kilometres distant, the road to Vallombrosa
leaves the Arezzo highway and plunges boldly into the heart of the
Apennines.

Of Vallombrosa Lamartine said: "Abbey monumental, the Grande Chartreuse
of Italy built on the summit of the Apennines behind a rocky rampart,
protected by precipices at every turn, by torrents of rushing water and
by dark, dank forests of fir-pines." The description is good to-day,
and, while the ways of access are many, including even a _funiculaire_
from Pontassieve to Vallombrosa, to approach the sainted pile in the
true and reverend spirit of the pilgrim one should make his way by the
winding mountain road--even if he has to walk. Indeed, walking is the
way to do it; the horses hereabouts are more inert than vigorous; they
mislead one; they start out bravely, but, if they don't fall by the
wayside, they come home limping. But for the fact that the road uphill
to Vallombrosa is none too good as to surface and the turns are many and
sharp, it is accessible enough by automobile.

Various granges, hermitages and convent walls are passed en route. At
Sant'Ellero was a Benedictine nunnery belonging to the monks of
Vallombrosa in the thirteenth century, and in its donjon tower--a queer
adjunct for a nunnery by the way--a band of fleeing Ghibellines were
besieged by a horde of Guelphs in 1267.

Domini and Saltino mark various stages in the ascent from the valley. Up
to this latter point indeed one may come by the _funiculaire_, but that
is not the true pilgrim way.

Up to within a couple of kilometres of the summit chestnuts, oaks, and
beech are seen, justifying Milton's simile, the accuracy of which has
been called in question on the ground that the forest consisted entirely
of fir.

    "Thick as autumnal leaves that strew the brooks
     In Vallombrosa, where the Etrurian shades,
     High overarch'd, embower."

Four miles beyond Paterno, after passing through a fine forest of pines,
the traveller arrives at the Santuario of Vallombrosa:

    "Cosi fu nominata una badia,
     Ricca e bella ne men religiosa
     E cortese a chiunque vi venia."
        --_Orl. Fur. can. 22, st. 36._

Among the remarkable men who have been monks of Vallombrosa, was Guido
Aretino, who was a member of this house when he first became known as a
writer upon music (about A. D. 1020). After having visited Rome twice,
upon the invitation of two succeeding popes, he was prevailed upon by
the abbot of a monastery at Ferrara to settle there. Some writers have
ascribed to this Guido the invention of counterpoint, which is scarcely
less absurd than ascribing the invention of a language to any
individual. However, it is pretty certain that he was the first person
to use, or to recommend the use of "lines" and "spaces" for musical
notation.

High above the convent of Vallombrosa itself rises Il Paradisino (1,036
metres) with a small hermitage, while Monte Secchieta is higher still,
1,447 metres. Vallombrosa, its convent and its hermitages are in the
midst of solitude, as indeed a retreat, pious or otherwise, should be.
If only some of us who are more worldly than a monk would go into a
retreat occasionally and commune with solitude awhile, what a
clarifying of ideas one would experience!

Back of Vallombrosa and the Paradisino the upper valley of the Arno
circles around through Arezzo, Bibbiena and Poppi and rises just under
the brow of Monte Falterona which, in its very uppermost reaches, forms
a part of the Casentino.

From Pontassieve where one branches off for Vallombrosa one may descend
on Arezzo either by Poppi-Bibbiena or Montevarchi, say seventy
kilometres either way.

The Casentino and the Valley of the Arno form one of the most
romantically unspoiled tracts in Italy, although modern civilization is
crowding in on all sides. The memories of Saint Francis, La Verna, Saint
Romuald the Camaldoli and Dante and the great array of Renaissance
splendours of its towns and villages, will live for ever.

Here took place some of the severest conflicts in the civil wars of the
Guelphs and Ghibellines, and in numerous ruins of castles and hill-forts
are retained memorials of the many struggles.

Just where the Arno traverses the plain of Campaldino was the scene of a
celebrated battle on the 11th of June, 1289. The Aretines, who formed
the chief portion of the Ghibelline party, were routed with a loss of
1,700 men killed, and 2,000 taken prisoners. Among the former was the
celebrated Guglielmino Ubertini, Bishop of Arezzo, who fell fighting
desperately in the thickest of the fray, having rallied his troops upon
the bridge at Poppi, half a mile further on. Dante was present at this
battle, being then twenty-four years old, and serving in the Guelph
cavalry.

The Casentino is the most opulent district in all the region of the
Apennines. Six centuries ago the Counts Palatine of Tuscany held it;
then came the Popes, and then Dante and his followers. The chronicles of
the Casentino are most fascinating reading, particularly those concerned
with the Counts of Guidi.

Guidoguerra IV, Count Palatine of Tuscany in the early thirteenth
century, was a sort of Robin Hood, except that he was not an outlaw. He
made a road near the home of the monks of Camaldoli, and intruded armed
men into their solitude, "and worse still, play actors and women," where
all women had been forbidden: moreover, he had all the oxen of the monks
driven off. He played pranks on the minstrels and buffoons who came to
his palace. One minstrel, named Malanotte, he compelled to spend a bad
night on the rooftop in the snow; another, Maldecorpo, had to lie and
sizzle between two fires; while a third, Abbas, he tonsured by pulling
out his hair.

Literally translated Casentino means "the valley enclosed." It is a most
romantic region, and the praises of its mountain walls and chestnut
woods have been sung by all sojourners there, ever since Dante set the
fashion.

The life of the peasant of the Casentino to-day is much the same as in
Dante's time, and his pleasures and sorrows are expressed in much the
same manner as of old. Strange folksongs and dances, strange dramas of
courtship, and strange religious ceremonies all find place here in this
unspoiled little forest tract between Florence and Arezzo; along whose
silent paths one may wander for hours and come across no one but a few
contented charcoal-burners who know nothing beyond their own woods.

On the lower levels, the highway leading from Florence to Perugia and
Foligno rolls along, as silent as it was in mediæval times. It is by no
means a dull monotonous road, though containing fewer historic places
than the road by Siena or Viterbo. It is an alternative route from north
to south; and the most direct one into the heart of Umbria.

On arriving from Florence by the highroad one passes through the long
main street of Montevarchi, threading his way carefully to avoid, if
possible, the dogs and ducks which run riot everywhere.

A great fertile plain stretches out on each side of the Arno, the
railway sounding the only modern note to be heard, save the honk! honk!
(the French say _coin_, _coin_, which is better) of an occasional
passing automobile.

Up and down the hills ox teams plough furrows as straight as on the
level, and the general view is pastoral until one strikes the forests
neighbouring upon Arezzo, eighty kilometres from Florence.

Here all is savage and primeval. Here was many a brigand's haunt in the
old days, but the Government has wiped out the roving banditti; and
to-day the greatest discomfort which would result from a hold-up would
be a demand for a cigar, or a box of matches. At Palazzaccio, a mere
hamlet en route, was the hiding place of the once notorious brigand
Spadolino; a sort of stage hero, who affected to rob the rich for the
benefit of the poor--a kind of socialism which was never successful.
Robin Hood tried it, so did Macaire, Gaspard de Besse and Robert le
Diable and they all came to timely capture.

Spadolino one day stopped a carriage near Palazzaccio, cut the throats
of its occupants and gave their gold to a poor miller, Giacomo by name,
who wanted ninety _francesconi_ to pay his rent. This was the last
cunning trick of Spadolino, for he was soon captured and hung at the
Porta Santa Croce at Florence, as a warning to his kind.

Not every hurried traveller who flies by express train from Florence to
Rome puts foot to earth and makes acquaintance with Arezzo. The
automobilist does better, he stops here, for one reason or another, and
he sees things and learns things hitherto unknown to him.

Arezzo should not be omitted from the itinerary of any pilgrim to Italy.
It was one of the twelve cities of the Etruscan federation, and made
peace with Rome in 310 A. D. and for ever remained its ally.

The Flaminian Way, built by the Consul Flaminius in 187 B. C., between
Aretium (Arezzo) and Bononia (Bologna), is still traceable in the
neighbourhood.

Petrarch is Arezzo's deity, and his birthplace is to be found to-day on
the Via del Orto. On the occasion of the great fête given in 1904 in
honour of the six hundredth anniversary of his birth, the municipality
made this place a historic monument.

Vasari, who as a biographer has been very useful to makers of books on
art, was also born at Arezzo in 1512. His house is a landmark. Local
guides miscall it a palace, but in reality it is a very humble edifice;
not at all palatial.

The Palazzo Pretoria at Arezzo has one of the most bizarre façades
extant, albeit its decorative and cypher panels add no great
architectural beauty.

Arezzo's cathedral is about the saddest, ugliest religious edifice in
Italy. Within is the tomb of Pope Gregory X.

Poppi and Bibbiena are the two chief towns of the upper valley. Each is
blissfully unaware of the world that has gone before, and has little in
common with the life of to-day, save such intimacy as is brought by the
railroad train, as it screeches along in the valley between them half a
dozen times a day.

Poppi sits on a high table rock, its feet washed by the flowing Arno.
The town itself is dead or sleeping; but most of its houses are frankly
modern, in that they are well kept and freshly painted or whitewashed.

The only old building in Poppi, not in ruins, is its castle, occupying
the highest part of the rock; a place of some strength before the use of
heavy guns. It was built by Lapo in 1230, and bears a family
resemblance to the Palazzo Vecchio at Florence. The court-yard contains
some curious architecture, and a staircase celebrated for the skill
shown in its construction. It resembles that in the Bargello at
Florence, and leads to a chapel containing frescoes which, according to
Vasari, are by Spinello Aretino.

Poppi is a good point from which to explore the western slopes of
Vallombrosa or Monte Secchieta. The landlord and the local guides will
lead one up through the celebrated groves at a fixed price "tutto
compreso," and, if you are liberal with your tip, will open a bottle of
"vino santo" for you. Could hospitality and fair dealing go further?

Bibbiena, the native town of Francesco Berni, and of the Cardinal
Bibbiena, who was the patron of Raphael, has many of the characteristics
of Poppi, in point of site and surroundings. It is the point of
departure for the convent of La Verna, built by St. Francis of Assisi in
1215; situated high on a shoulder of rugged rock. The highest point of
the mountain, on which it stands, is called La Penna, the "rock" or
"divide" between the valleys of the Arno and the Tiber. To the eastward
are seen Umbria and the mountains of Perugia; on the west, the valley of
the Casentino and the chain of the Prato Magno; to the northward is the
source of the Arno, and to the northeast, that of the Tiber.

To the east, just where the Casentino, by means of the cross road
connecting with the Via Æmilia, held its line of communication with the
Adriatic, is the Romagna, a district where feudal strife and warfare
were rampant throughout the middle ages. From its story it would seem as
though the region never had a tranquil moment.

The chain of little towns of the Romagna is full of souvenirs of the
days when seigneuries were carved out of pontifical lands by the sword
of some rebel who flaunted the temporal power of the church. These were
strictly personal properties, and their owners owed territorial
allegiance to the Pope no more than they did to the descendants of the
Emperors.

Rex Romanorum as a doctrine was dead for ever. Guelph and Ghibelline
held these little seigneuries, turn by turn, and from the Adriatic to
the Gulf of Spezia there was almost constant warfare, sometimes petty,
sometimes great. It was warfare, too, between families, between people
of the same race, the most bloody, disastrous and sad of all warfare.



CHAPTER IX

THE ROAD TO ROME


Siena, crowning its precipitous hillside, stands, to-day, unchanged from
what it was in the days of the Triumvirate. Church tower and castle wall
jut out into a vague mystery of silhouetted outline, whether viewed by
daylight or moonlight. The great gates of the ramparts still guard the
approach on all sides, and the Porta Camollia of to-day is the same
through which the sons of Remus entered when fleeing from their scheming
Uncle, Romulus.

Siena's Piazza Vittorio Emanuele is a landmark. Dante called it "a great
square where men live gloriously free," though then it was simply _the_
Piazza; and the picture is true to-day, in a different sense. In former
days it was a bloody "mis-en-scène" for intrigue and jealousy; but,
to-day, simply the centre of the life and movement of a prosperous,
thriving, though less romantic city of thirty thousand souls.

[Illustration: _Palazzo della Signoria, Siena_]

This great Piazza is rounded off by a halo of magnificent feudal
palaces, whose very names are romantic.

All about Siena's squares and street corners are innumerable gurgling,
spouting fountains, many of them artistically and monumentally
beautiful, and a few even dating from the glorious days of old.

Dante sang of Siena's famous fountains which, in truth, form a galaxy of
artistic accessories of life hardly to be equalled in any other city of
Siena's class. Leaving that "noble extravagance in marble," Siena's
Cathedral, and its churches quite apart, the city ranks as one of the
most interesting tourist points of Italy.

Siena has still left a relic of mediævalism in the revival of its
ancient horse racing festa, when its great Piazza Vittorio Emanuele is
built up and barricaded like a circus of Roman times. Chariot races,
gladiatorial combats and bull fights, all had their partisans among
municipalities, but Siena's choice was horse racing. And each year, "Il
Palio," on July the 2nd and on August the 16th, becomes a great popular
amusement of the Sienese. It is most interesting, and still
picturesquely mediæval in costuming and setting; and is a civic
function and fête a great deal more artistically done--as goes without
saying--than the Guy Fawkes celebrations of London, or the fourth of
July "horribles" in America. For the thoroughly genuine and artistic
pageant Anglo Saxons have to go to Italy. There is nothing to be learned
from the Mardi-Gras celebrations of Paris nor the carnivals of the Cote
d'Azur.

Some one has said that Siena sits on the border land between idyllic
Tuscany and the great central Italian plain. Literally this is so. It
marks the distinction between the grave and the gay so far as manners
and customs and conditions of life go. On the north are the charming,
smiling hills and vales, bright with villas, groves and vines; whilst to
the south, towards Rome and the Campagna, all is of an austerity of
present day fact and past tradition. Indeed, the landscape would be
stern and repellent, were it not picturesquely savage.

Straight runs the highroad to Rome via Viterbo, or makes a détour via
Montepulciano and Orvieto. At Asinalunga, Garibaldi was arrested by
government spies, by the order of the monarch to whom he had presented
the sovereignty of Naples. Such is official ingratitude, ofttimes! The
town itself is unworthy of remark, save for that incident of history.

By the direct road the mountains of Orvieto and Montepulciano rise
grimly to the left. The towns bearing the same names are charming enough
from the artistic point of view, but are not usually reckoned tourist
sights.

Montepulciano is commonly thought of slight interest, but it is the very
ideal of an unspoiled mediæval town, with a half dozen palazzo façades,
which might make the name and fame of some modern scene painter if he
would copy them.

Chiusi, on the direct road, lies embedded in a circle of hills and
surrounded by orange groves. It is nothing more nor less than a
glorified graveyard, but is unique in its class. Lars Porsena of Clusium
comes down to us as a memory of school-time days, and for that reason,
if no other, we consider it our duty to visit the Etruscan tombs of
Clusium, the modern Chiusi.

There are three distinct tiers, or shelves, of these ancient tombs, and
interesting enough they are to all, but only the antiquary will have any
real passion for them, so most of us are glad enough to spin our way by
road another fifty odd kilometres to Orvieto.

Four kilometres of a precipitous hill climb leads from the lower road up
into Orvieto, zig-zagging all the way. It is the same bit of roadway up
which the Popes fled in the middle ages when hard pressed by their
enemies. Clement VII, one of the unhappy Medici, fled here after the
sinning Connétable Bourbon attempted the sacking of Rome; and a
sheltering stronghold he found it.

This Papal city of refuge is, to-day, a more or less squalid place, with
here and there a note of something more splendid. On the whole Orvieto's
charm is not so much in the grandeur of its monuments as in their
character. The cathedral is reckoned one of the great Gothic shrines of
Italy, and that, indeed, is the chief reason for most of the tourist
travel. The few mediæval palaces that Orvieto possesses are very
splendid, though they, one and all, suffer from their cramped
surroundings.

[Illustration: _Orvieto_]

The Hotel Belle Arti, to-day, with a garage for automobiles, was the
ancient Palazzo Bisenzi. It had a reputation among travellers, of a
decade or a generation ago, of being a broken-down palace and a worse
hotel. If one wants to dwell in marble halls and sleep where royal heads
have slept, one can do all this, at Orvieto, for eight or nine lire a
day.

One enters Viterbo, forty-seven kilometres from Orvieto, by the highroad
to Rome. The little town preserves much of its mediæval
characteristics to-day, though, indeed, it is a progressive, busy place,
of something like twenty thousand souls, most of whom, appear to be
engaged in the wine industry. On the Piazza Fontana is a magnificent
Gothic fountain dating from the thirteenth century, and the Municipio,
on the Piazza del Plebiscito, is of a contemporary period, with a fine
fountained court-yard.

In the environs of Viterbo is a splendid palace, built by Vignola for
the Cardinal Farnese, nephew of the Pope Paul III. In form it was a
great square mass with its angles reinforced by square towers, with a
circular court within, surrounded by an arcade by which one entered the
various apartments. It was, perhaps, the most originally conceived work
of its particular epoch of Renaissance times; and all the master minds
and hands of the builders of the day seem to have had more or less to do
with it. These Italians of the Renaissance were inventors of nothing;
but their daring and ingenuity in combining ideas taken, bodily, from
those of antiquity, made more successful and happy combinations than
those of the architects of to-day, who build theatres after the models
of Venetian palaces, and add a Moorish minaret; or railway stations on
the plan of the Parthenon, and put a campanile in the middle, like the
chimney of a blast furnace. The Italian campanile was a bell-tower, to
be sure, but it had nothing in common with the minaret of the east, nor
the church spire of the Gothic builder in northern climes.

From Siena the coast road to Rome, practically the same distance as the
inland route, is one of surprising contrast. It approaches the coast at
Grosseto, seventy kilometres from Siena, and thence, all the way to
Rome, skirts the lapping waves of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Off shore is Elba,
with its Napoleonic memories, and the Island of Monte Cristo which is
considered usually a myth, but which exists in the real to-day, as it
did when Dumas romanced (sic) about it. A long pull of a hundred
kilometres over a flat country, half land, half water, brings one to
Civita-Vecchia, eighty kilometres from the Eternal City itself.

Civita-Vecchia is a watering-place without historical interest, where
the Romans come to make a seaside holiday. Hotels of all ranks are here,
and garage accommodations as well. The Italian mail boats for Sardinia
leave daily, if one is inclined to make a side trip to that land of
brigandage and the evil-eye, which are reputed a little worse than the
Corsican or Sicilian varieties.

One enters the heart of Rome by the Porta Cavalleggeri and crosses the
Ponte S. Angelo to get his bearings.

The hotels of Rome are like those of Florence. One must hunt his abiding
place out for himself, according to his likes and dislikes. The
Grand-Hotel and the Hotel de la Minerve are vouched for by the Touring
Club, and the former has garage accommodation. At either of these modern
establishments you get the fare of Paris, Vienna, London and New York,
and very little that is Italian. You may even bathe in porcelain tubs
installed by a London plumber and drink cocktails mixed by an expert
from Broadway.

This makes one long for the days when a former generation ate in a
famous eating house which stood at the southeast corner of the Square
Saint Eustace. It was the resort of artists and men of letters and the
_plats_ that it served were famous the world over.

The Romans' pride in Rome is as conventional as it is ancient. They
promptly took sides when the "Italians" entered their beloved city in
1870. The priests, the higher prelates, and the papal nobility were "for
the Pope," but the great middle class, the common people, were for the
"Italians." Traditions die hard in Rome, and many an old resident will
tell tales to-day of the blessings of a Papal Government, which formerly
forbade the discussion of religion or politics in public places, and
"contaminating" books and newspapers were stopped at the _frontier_.
Even a non-smoker was considered a protestor against the Papacy, because
to smoke was to be a supporter of the Papal Government's revenue from
the tobacco trade.

[Illustration: BARBERINI COLONNA ORSINI BORGIA MEDICIS

ARMS OF VARIOUS PAPAL FAMILIES

CONTI PAMFILI ALDOBRANDINI FARNESE]

Rome without the _forestieri_, or strangers, would lose considerable of
its present day prosperity. Rome exploits strangers; there is no doubt
about that; that is almost its sole industry. As Henri Taine said:
"Rome is nothing but a shop which sells bric-à-brac." He might have
added: "with a branch establishment which furnishes food and lodging."

The Roman population, as Roman, is now entirely absorbed by "the
Italian." No more are the _contadini_, the peasants of the Campagna, or
the bearded mountaineers of the Sabine hills, different from their
brothers of Tuscany or Lombardy; their physiognomies have become the
same. The monks and seminarists and priests and prelates are still
there, but only by sufferance, like ourselves. They are no more Romans
than are we. Tourists in knickerbockers, awe-struck before the art
treasures of the Vatican, and cassocked priests on pilgrimage are
everywhere in the city of the Cæsars and the Popes. The venerable Bede
was half right only in his prophecy.

    "While stands the Coliseum, Rome shall stand;
     When falls the Coliseum, Rome shall fall;
     And when Rome falls--the world!"

Rome is still there, and many of its monuments, fragmentary though they
be.

The difference in the grade (ground level) of modern Rome, as compared
with that of antiquity, a difference of from sixty to seventy feet, may
still be expected to give up finds to the industrious pick and shovel
properly and intelligently handled. The archæological stratum is
estimated as nine miles square.

Rome is a much worked-over field, but the desecrations of the middle
ages were hardly less disastrous to its "antiquities" than the new
municipality's transformations. Some day the seven hills will be
levelled, and boulevards and public gardens laid out and trees planted
in the Forum; then where will be the Rome of the Cæsars? "Rome, Unhappy
City!" some one has said, and truly; not for its past, but for its
present. Whatever the fascination of Rome may be it is not born of first
impressions; the new quarters are painfully new and the streets are
unpicturesque and the Tiber is dirty, muddy and ill-smelling. Byron in
his day thought differently, for he sang: "the most living crystal that
was e'er." Should he come back again he would sing another song. These
elements find their proper places in the city's ensemble after a time,
but at first they are a disappointment.

[Illustration: _Castle of Sant'Angelo, Rome_]

Next to Saint Peter's, the Vatican and the Colosseum, the Castle of
Sant'Angelo is Rome's most popular monument. It has been a fortress for
a thousand years. For a thousand years a guard has been posted at its
gateway.

[Illustration: PALAZZO VATICANO]

The ruin of men which has passed within its walls is too lengthy a
chronicle to recount here. Lorenzo Colonna, of all others, shed his
blood most nobly. Because he would not say "Long live the Orsini," he
was led to the block, a new block ready made for this special purpose,
and having delivered himself in Latin of the words: "Lord, into Thy
hands I commend my spirit," gave up his life in the last quarter of the
fifteenth century, "on the last day of June when the people of Rome were
celebrating the festivity of the decapitation of Saint Paul the
Apostle." This was four centuries and more ago, but the circling walls
and the dull, damp corridors of the Castel Sant'Angelo still echo the
terror and suffering which formerly went on within them. It is the very
epitome of the character of the structure. Its architecture and its
history are in grim accord.

Within the great round tower of Sant'Angelo was imprisoned the unnatural
Catherine Sforza while the Borgias were besieging her city.

The Castel of Sant'Angelo and the bridge of the same name are so called
in honour of an Angel who descended before Saint Gregory the Great and
saved Rome from a pest which threatened to decimate it.

Close to the bridge of Sant'Angelo, just opposite Nona's Tower, once
stood the "Lion Inn," kept by the lovely Vanozza de Catanei, the mother
of Cæsar, Gandia and Lucrezia Borgia. She was an inn-keeper of repute,
according to history, and her career was most momentus. The automobilist
wonders if this inn were not a purveyor of good cheer as satisfactory as
the great establishments with French, English and German names which
cater for tourists to-day.

[Illustration: _The Borgia Window, Rome_]

The Villa Medici just within the walls, and the Villa Borghese just
without, form a group which tourists usually _do_ as a morning's
sight seeing. They do too much! Anyway one doesn't need to take his
automobile from its garage for the excursion, so these classic villas
are only mentioned here.

[Illustration: Papal Arms of Caesar Borgia]

To describe and illustrate the Villa Medici one must have the magic pen
of a Virgil and the palette of a Poussin and a Claude Lorrain. In
antiquity the site was known as the Collis Hortorum, the Hillside of
Gardens. Lucullus, Prince of Voluptuousness, and Messaline, the Empress
of debauch, there celebrated their fêtes of luxury and passion, and it
became in time even a picnic ground for holiday making Romans.

[Illustration: Arms of a Medicis Prelate]

The Villa Medici was originally built for Cardinal Ricci in 1540, but by
the end of the century had come into the hands of Cardinal Alessandro di
Medici. The Tuscan Grand Dukes owned it a century or so later on, and it
was finally sold to the French to house the academy of arts founded
at Rome by Louis XV.

[Illustration: _Villa Medici, Rome_]

It is useless for a modern writer to attempt to describe the quiet charm
of the surroundings of the Villa Borghese, the nearest of the great
country houses to the centre of Rome. Many have tried to do so, but few
have succeeded. Better far that one should point the way thither, make a
personal observation or two and then onward to Tivoli, Albano or
Frascati.

One word on the Forum ere leaving. Not even the most restless
automobilist neglects a stroll about the Forum, no matter how often he
may have been here before, though its palaces of antiquity have little
more than their outline foundations to tell their story to-day.

Commendatore Boni, who has charge of the excavations, brought to light
recently a curiously inscribed stone tablet, which, owing to the archaic
Latin it contained, he found it impossible to read. A number of learned
Latinists and archæologists soon gathered about him. This is what they
read:

                                  QUE
                               STAELA VI
                                   A
                              DEGLIA SINI

While some declared that "_que_" was an enclitic conjunction, and that
therefore the inscription must be incomplete, others asserted that the
word was an abbreviation of "_queo_," and that the inscription might be
read: "I am able to gaze upon the star without pain."

While the dispute was on, a peasant of the Campagna passed by. He
approached and asked the reason of the crowd. He was told, and gazing at
the inscription for several minutes he read slowly:

"Questa e la via degli asini" ("This is the way of asses.").

And the Latinists, the archæologists, and the other savants crept
quietly away, while the Commendatore in good, modern Tuscan made some
remarks unprintable and untranslatable.



CHAPTER X

THE CAMPAGNA AND BEYOND


The environs of Rome--those parts not given over to fox-hunting and
horse-racing, importations which have been absorbed by the latter day
Roman from the _forestieri_--still retain most of their characteristics
of historic times. The Campagna is still the Campagna; the Alban Hills
are still classic ground, and Tivoli and Frascati--in spite of the
modernisms which have, here and there, crept in--are still the romantic
Tivoli and Frascati of the ages long gone by.

The surrounding hills of Rome are, really, what give it its charm. The
city is strong in contrast from every aspect, modernity nudging and
crowding antiquity. Rome itself is not lovely, only superbly and
majestically overpowering in its complexity.

The Rome of romantic times went as far afield as Otricoli, Ostia, Tivoli
and Albano, and, on the east, these outposts were further encircled by
a girdle of villas, gardens and vineyards too numerous to plot on any
map that was ever made.

Such is the charm of Rome; not its ruined temples, fountains and statues
alone; nor yet its great churches and palaces, and above all not the
view of the Colosseum lit up by coloured fires, but Rome the city and
the Campagna.

There is no question that the Roman Campagna is a sad, dreary land
without a parallel in the well populated centres of Europe. Said
Chateaubriand: "It possesses a silence and solitude so vast that even
the echoes of the tumults of the past enacted upon its soil are lost in
the very expansiveness of the flat marshy plain."

Balzac too wrote in the same vein: "Imagine something of the desolation
of the country of Tyre and Babylon and you will have a picture of the
sadness and lonesomeness of this vast, wide, thinly populated region."

The similes of Balzac and of Chateaubriand hold good to-day. Long horned
cattle and crows are the chief living things--and mosquitoes. One can't
forget the mosquitoes.

Here and there a jagged stump of a pier of a Roman aqueduct pushes up
through the herb-grown soil, perhaps even an arch or two, or three or
five; but hardly a tangible remembrance of the work of the hand of man
is left to-day, to indicate the myriads of comers and goers who once
passed over its famous Appian Way. The Appian Way is still there, loose
ended fragments joined up here and there with a modern roadway which has
become its successor, and there is a very appreciable traffic, such as
it is, on the main lines of roadway north and south; but east and west
and round about, save for a few squalid huts and droves of cattle, sheep
and goats, a wayside inn, a fountain beneath a cypress and a few sleepy,
dusty hamlets and villages, there is nothing to indicate a progressive
modern existence. All is as dead and dull as it was when Rome first
decayed.

Out from Rome, a couple of leagues on the Via Campagna, on the right
bank of the Tiber, one comes to the sad relic of La Magliana, the
hunting lodge of the Renaissance Popes. The evolution of the name of
this country house comes from a corruption of the patronymic of the
original owners of the land, the family of Manlian, who were farmers in
390 B. C.

The road out from Rome, by the crumbling Circus Maxentius, the lone
fragments of Aqueduct, and the moss-grown tomb of Cecilia Metellag,
runs for a dozen kilometres at a dead level, to rise in the next dozen
or so to a height of four hundred and sixty odd metres just beyond
Albano, when it descends and then rises again to Velletri ultimately to
flatten out and continue along practically at sea-level all the way to
Cassino, a hundred and ninety kilometres from Rome. The classification
given to this road by the Touring Club Italiano is "mediocre e
polveroso," and one need not be a deep student of the language to evolve
its meaning.

A little farther away, but still within sight of the Eternal City, just
before coming to Albano, is Castel Gandolfo, a Papal stronghold since
the middle ages. Urban VIII built a Papal palace here, and the
seigniorial château, since transformed into a convent, was a sort of
summer habitation of the Popes. The status of the little city of two
thousand souls is peculiar. It enjoys extra-territorial rights which
were granted to the papal powers by the new order of things which came
into being in 1871. A zone of loveliness surrounds the site which
overlooks, on one side, the dazzling little Albano Lake and, on the
other, stretches off across the Campagna to the shores of the
Mediterranean.

Just beyond Castel Gandolfo is Albano, still showing vestiges of the
city of Domitian, which, in turn, was built upon the ruins of that of
Pompey. Albano's fortifications rank as the most perfect examples of
their class in all Italy. They tell a story of many epochs; they are all
massive, and are largely built in rough polygonal masonry. Towers,
turrets and temples are all here at Albano. Still the town is not ranked
as one of the tourist sights.

The Albano Lake is another one of those mysterious bodies of water
without source or outlet. It occupies the crater of an extinct volcano,
so some day it may disappear as quickly as it came. Concerning its
origin the following local legend is here related: "Where the lake now
lies there stood once a great city. Here, when Jesus Christ came to
Italy, he begged alms. None took compassion on Him but an old woman who
gave Him some meal. He then bade her leave the city: she obeyed; the
city instantly sank and the lake rose in its place."

This legend is probably founded on some vague recollection or tradition
of the fall of the city of Veii, which was so flourishing a state at the
time of the foundation of Rome, and possessed so many attractions, that
it became a question whether Rome itself should not be abandoned for
Veii. The lake of Albano is intimately connected with the siege of Veii
and no place has more vivid memories of ancient Roman history.

Here, overlooking the lake, once rose Alba Longa, the mother city of
Rome, built by Ascanius, the son of Æneas, who named it after the white
sow which gave birth to the prodigious number of thirty young.

On the shore of the lake, opposite Albano, is Rocca di Papa. The convent
of the Passionist Fathers at Rocca di Papa, (the city itself being the
one-time residence of the Anti-pope John) was built by Cardinal York,
the last of the Stuarts, of materials taken from an ancient temple on
the shores of Lake Albano.

Rocca di Papa is a most picturesque little hilltop village. Its
sugar-loaf cone is crowned with an old castle of the Colonnas which
remained their possession until 1487, when the Orsini in their turn took
possession.

Frascati, on the Via Tusculum, about opposite Castel Gandolfo, as this
historic roadway parallels that of Claudius Appius, was Rome's patrician
suburb, and to-day is the resort of nine-tenths of the excursionists out
from Rome for a day or an afternoon.

Frascati, the villa suburb, and Tivoli alike depend upon their sylvan
charms to set off the beauties of their palaces and villas. It was ever
the custom among the princely Italian families--the Farnese, the
Borghese, and the Medici--to lavish their wealth on the laying out of
the grounds quite as much as on the building of their palaces.

Frascati's villas and palaces cannot be catalogued here. One and all are
the outgrowth of an ancient Roman pleasure house of the ninth century,
and followed after as a natural course of events, the chief attraction
of the place being the wild-wood site (_frasche_), really a country
faubourg of Rome itself.

The Popes and Cardinals favoured the spot for their country houses, and
the nobles followed in their train. The chief of Frascati's
architectural glories are the Villa Conti, its fountains and its
gardens; the Villa Aldobrandini of the Cardinal of that name, the nephew
of Pope Clement VIII; and the Villa Tusculana, or Villa Ruffinella, of
the sixteenth century, but afterwards the property of Lucien Bonaparte
and the scene of one of Washington Irving's little known sketches, "The
Adventure of an Artist." The Villa Falconieri at Frascati, built by the
Cardinal Ruffini in the sixteenth century, formerly belonged to a long
line of Counts and Cardinals, but the hand of the German, which is
grasping everything in sight, in all quarters of the globe, that other
people by lack of foresight do not seem to care for, has acquired it as
a home for "convalescent" German artists. Perhaps the omnific German
Emperor seeks to rival the functions of the Villa Medici with his Villa
Falconieri. He calls it a hospital, but it has studios, lecture rooms
and what not. What it all means no one seems to know.

Minor villas are found dotted all over Frascati's hills, with charming
vistas opening out here and there in surprising manner. Not all are
magnificently grand, few are superlatively excellent according to the
highest æsthetic standards, but all are of the satisfying, gratifying
quality that the layman will ever accept as something better than his
own conceptions would lead up to. That is the chief pleasure of
contemplation, after all.

Above Frascati itself lies Tusculum, founded, says tradition, by a son
of Ulysses, the birthplace of Cato and a one time residence of Cicero.
This would seem enough fame for any small town hardly important enough
to have its name marked on the map, and certainly not noted down in many
of the itineraries for automobile tourists which cross Italy in every
direction. More than this, Tusculum has the ruins of an ancient castle,
one day belonging to a race of fire-eating, quarrelsome counts who
leagued themselves with any one who had a cause, just or unjust, for
which to fight. Fighting was their trade, but Frederic I in 1167 beat
them at their own game and razed their castle and its town of allies
huddled about its walls. That is why Tusculum has not become a tourist
resort to-day, but the ruin is still there and one can imagine a
different destiny had fate, or a stronger hand, had full sway.

From Albano, another cross road, via Velletri to Valmontone, leads in
twenty odd kilometres to Palestrina, whence one may continue his way to
Subiaco and thence to Tivoli and enter Rome again via the Porta San
Lorenzo, having made a round of perhaps a hundred and fifty kilometres
of as varied a stretch of Italian roadway as could possibly be found.
The gamut of scenic and architectural joys runs all the way from those
of the sea level Campagna and its monumental remains to the verdure and
romance of the Alban and Sabine Hills and the splendours of the memories
of the Villa of Hadrian at Tivoli.

Lying well back from the Alban hills is Palestrina, the greatest
stronghold of the Colonnas and where a branch of the family still
maintains a country house. The cradle of this great family, which gave
so many popes to Rome, and an inspiration and a divinity to
Michelangelo, was a village near Palestrina. It had a Corinthian column
rising in its _piazza_ and from it the Colonna took their family arms.
It is found on all documents relating to their history; on tapestries,
furniture and medals in many museums and in many wood carvings in old
Roman churches.

Palestrina, too, has memories of Michelangelo. The treasures of
masterpieces left by him are scattered all over Italy to keep fresh the
memory of his name and fame.

Subiaco should be made a stopping place on every automobilist's
itinerary out from Rome. Some wit has said that any one living in a
place ending with o was bound to be unhappy. He had in mind one or two
sad romances of Subiaco, though for all that one can hardly see what the
letters of its name have got to do with it. Subiaco has for long been
the haunt of artists and others in search of the picturesque, but not
the general run of tourists.

[Illustration: _Subiaco_]

Subiaco is still primitive in most things, and this in spite of the fact
that a railway has been built through it in recent years. In feudal
times the town could hardly have been more primitive than now, in
fact the only thing that ever woke it from lethargy was a little game of
warfare, sometimes with disaster for the inhabitants and sometimes for
the other side.

The castle of the ruling baron sat high upon the height. What is left of
it is there to-day, but its capture has been made easier with the march
of progress. Down from the castle walls slopes the town, its happy,
unprogressive people as somnolent as of yore.

Subiaco is one of the most accessible and conveniently situated hill
towns of Italy, if any would seek it out. Nero first exploited Subiaco
when he built a villa here, as he did in other likely spots round about.
Nero built up and he burned down and he fiddled all the while. He was
decidedly a capricious character. History or legend says that Nero's cup
of cheer was struck from his hand by lightning one day when he was
drinking the wine of Subiaco here at his hillside villa. He escaped
miraculously, but he got a good scare, though it is not recorded that he
signed the pledge!

Subiaco's humble inn, "The Partridge," is typical of its class
throughout Italy. It is in no sense a very comfortably installed
establishment, but it is better, far better, than the same class of inn
in England and America, and above all its cooking is better. A fowl and
a salad and a bottle of wine and some gorgonzola are just a little
better at "La Pernice" than the writer remembers to have eaten elsewhere
under similar conditions.

Tourists now come by dozens by road and rail to Subiaco--with a
preponderance of arrivals by road--whereas a few years ago only a few
venturesome artists and other lovers of the open knew its charms. Some
day of course this charm will be gone, but it is still lingering on and,
if you do not put on too great a pretense, you will get the same good
cheer at five francs a day at "The Partridge" whether you arrive in a
Mercédès or come as the artist does, white umbrella and canvases slung
across your back. The proprietor of "La Pernice" has not as yet
succumbed to exploiting his clients.

From Subiaco back to Rome via Tivoli is seventy kilometres and all down
hill.

One can have no complete idea of Roman life without an acquaintance with
the villas and palaces of Frascati and Tivoli. Tivoli was the summer
resort of the old Romans. Mecenate, Horace, Catullus and Hadrian built
villas there and enjoyed it, though in a later day it was reviled thus:

[Illustration: _Villa d'Este, Tivoli_]

    Tivoli di mal conforto--O piove, o tira vento, o suona a morto!

Tivoli may be said to have received its boom under the Roman nobles of
the Augustan age who came here and set the fashion of the place as a
country residence. Things prospered beyond expectations, it would seem,
land agents being modest in those days, and by the time of Hadrian
reached their luxurious climax.

Pope Pius II founded Tivoli's citadel on the site of an already ruined
amphitheatre in 1460. The Villa d'Este at Tivoli, built by the Cardinal
Ippolito d'Este in 1549, is usually considered the most typical suburban
villa in Italy. The house itself is an enormous pile, on one side being
three stories higher than on the other. It is a terrace house in every
sense of the word. Statuary, originally dug up from Hadrian's villa,
once embellished the house and grounds to a greater extent than now, but
under the régime of late years many of these pieces have disappeared.
Where? The palace itself is comparatively a modest, dignified though
extensive structure, the views from its higher terraces stretching out
far over the distant _campagna_.

Hadrian's Villa, with its magnificent grounds, occupies an area of vast
extent. According to Spartian, Hadrian, in the second century B. C.,
built this marvel of architecture and landscape gardening according to a
fond and luxurious fancy which would have been inconceivable by any
other who lived at his time. All its great extent of buildings have
suffered the stress of time, and some even have entirely disappeared, as
a considerable part of the later monuments of Tivoli were built up from
their stones. Many of its art treasures were removed to distant points,
many found their ways into public and private museums, and many have
even been transported to foreign lands. The Italian government has now
stopped all this by purchasing the site and making of it a national
monument.

[Illustration: HADRIAN'S VILLA]

With Hadrian's Villa is connected a sad remembrance. Piranesi, that
accomplished and erratic draughtsman whose etchings and drawings of
Roman monuments have delighted an admiring world, died as a result of
overwork in connection with a series of measured drawings he was making
of this great memorial of Rome's globe-trotting Emperor.



CHAPTER XI

LA BELLA NAPOLI

[Illustration: Naples (diagram)]


South from Rome the highroad to Naples, and on down into Calabria, at
first follows the old Appian Way, built by Appius Claudius in 312 B. C.
It is a historic highway if there ever was one, from its commencement at
Rome's ancient Porta Capuana (now the Porta San Sebastiano) to Capua.
As historic ground it has been excavated and the soil turned over many,
many times until it would seem as though nothing would be left to
discover. Enough has been found and piled up by the roadside to make the
thoroughfare a continuous "sight" for many kilometres. Great churches,
tombs, vineyards, cypress-wind-breaks and the arches of the Claudian
aqueducts line its length, and if the automobilist is so minded he can
easily put in a day doing the first twenty kilometres.

Velletri, thirty-six kilometres from Rome, is the first town of
importance after passing Albano, practically suburban Rome.

Cisterna di Roma, a dozen kilometres further on, is a typical hill top
town overlooking the Pontine Marshes below.

Terracina, on the coast, sixty-two kilometres beyond Velletri, is the
border town between the north and the south, practically the limit
between the extent of the Papal power and that of the kingdom of Naples.

Terracina sits at sea-level, and in all probability it is none too
healthy an abode, though ten thousand souls call it home and seem
content. It has a sea-view that would make the reputation of a resort,
and the French and Italian Touring Clubs recommend the Hotel Royal,
while the local druggist sells gasoline and oil to automobile tourists
at fair rates--for Italy.

At Formia one may turn off the direct road and in half a dozen
kilometres come to the coast again at Gaeta. The road from Formia runs
through a picture paradise, and an unspoilt one, considering it from the
artist's point of view. Little more shall be said, though indeed it is
not as at Sorrento or Capri, but quite as good in its way, and the
Albergo della Quercia, at Formia, is not as yet overrun with a clientèle
of any sort. This is an artists' sketching ground that is some day going
to be exploited by some one; perhaps by the artist who made the pictures
of this book. Who knows?

Over another fragment of the Appian Way the highroad now continues
towards Naples via Capua.

At Capua the road plunges immediately into a maze of narrow streets and
one's only assurance of being able to find his exit from the town is by
employing a gamin to sit on the running board and shout _destra_ or
_sinistra_ at each turning until the open country is again reached at
the dividing of the roads leading to Caserta and Naples respectively.

The highroad from Capua into Naples covers thirty kilometres of as good,
or bad, roadway as is usually found on entering a great city where the
numerous manifest industries serve to furnish a traffic movement which
is not conducive to the upkeep of good roads. It is a good road, though,
in parts, but the nearer you get to "la bella Napoli" the worse it
becomes, as bad, almost, as the roads in and out of Marseilles or Genoa,
and they are about the worst that exist for automobilists to revile.

By either Averso or Caserta one enters Naples by the rift in the hills
lying back of the observatory, and finally by the tram-lined Strada
Forvia, always descending, until practically at sea-level one finds a
garage close beside the Hotel Royal et des Étrangers and lodges himself
in that excellent hostelry. This is one way of doing it; there are of
course others.

The man that first said "_Vedi Napoli e poi mori!_" didn't know what he
was talking about. No one will want to die after seeing Naples. He will
want to live the longer and come again, if not for Naples itself then
for its surroundings, for Pompeii, Herculaneum, Sorrento, Capri, Amalfi,
Vesuvius and Ischia. Naples itself will be a good place at which to
leave one's extra luggage and to use as a mail address.

The history of Naples is vast, and its present and historic past is
most interesting, but for all that Naples without its environs would be
as naught.

The local proverb of old:

    "When Salerno has its port
     Naples will be mort (dead),"

has no reason for being any more, for Naples' future as a Mediterranean
seaport is assured by the indefatigable German who has recently made it
a port of call for a half a dozen lines of German steamers. Britain may
rule the waves, but the German is fast absorbing the profitable end of
the carrying trade.

Naples is a crowded, uncomfortable city, for within a circumference of
scarce sixteen kilometres is huddled a population of considerably more
than half a million souls.

Naples' chief charms are its site, and its magnificently scenic
background, not its monuments or its people.

"The lazzaroni," remarked Montesquieu of the Neapolitan "won't-works,"
"pass their time in the middle of the street." This observation was made
many, many years ago, but it is equally true to-day.

Naples is not the only Italian city where one sees men live without
apparent means of existence, but it is here most to be remarked. On the
quays and on the promenades you see men and women without work, and
apparently without ambition to look for it save to exploit strangers. On
the steps of the churches you see men and women without legs, arms or
eyes, and infants _sans chemises_, and they, too, live by the same idle
occupation of asking for alms.

Everywhere at Naples, before your hotel, crowded around your carriage or
automobile, or paddling around in boats just over your steamer's side,
are hoards of beggars of all sorts and conditions of poverty and
probity. The beggar population of Naples is doubtless of no greater
proportions than in Genoa, or even Rome, but it is more in evidence and
more insistent. There are singing beggars, lame, halt and blind beggars,
whining beggars, swimming beggars, diving beggars, flower-selling
beggars and just plain _beggars_. Give to one and you will have to give
to all--or stand the consequences, which may be serious or not according
to circumstances. Don't disburse sterilized charity, then, but keep
hard-hearted.

Naples' chief sights for the tourists are its museum, its great domed
galleries and their cafés and restaurants, its Castello dell'Ovo and the
Castel del Carmine.

The Castello dell'Ovo is out in the sea, at the end of a tiny bridge or
breakwater, running from the Pizzofalcone, one of the slopes of the
background hills of Naples running down to sea-level.

As a fortress the Castello dell'Ovo is outranked to-day by the least
efficient in any land, but one of the Spanish Viceroys, in 1532, Don
Pedro of Toledo, thought it a stronghold of prime importance, due
entirely to its oval shape, which it preserves unto to-day. It is
unique, in form at any rate.

Charles VIII of France, on his memorable Italian journeyings--when he
discovered (sic) the Renaissance architecture of Italy and brought it
back home with him--dismantled the castle and left it in its now
barrack-like condition, shorn of any great distinction save the oval
shape of its donjon. One is bound to remark this noble monument as it is
from its quay that one embarks on the cranky, little, wobbling steamboat
which bears one to Capri. Lucullus, who had some reputation as a good
liver, once had a villa here on the very quay which surrounds the
Castello.

Opposite the Villa del Popolo (near the Porta del Carmine), the People's
Park as we should call it, is a vast, forbidding, unlovely structure.

[Illustration: _Castello dell'Ovo, Naples_]

It was built in 1484 by Ferdinand I, but during Masaniello's little
disturbance it became a stronghold of the people. To-day it serves as a
barracks--and of course as a military prison; all nondescript buildings
in Italy may be safely classed as military prisons, though indeed the
Italian soldiery do not look an unruly lot.

It is well to recall here that Masaniello, who gave his name to an opera
as well as being a patriot of the most rabid, though revolutionary,
type, failed of his ambition and died through sheer inability to keep
awake and sufficiently free from anxiety to carry out his plans.
Masaniello lost his head toward the end and got untrustworthy, but this
was far from justifying either his murder or the infamous treatment of
his body immediately after death by the very mob that the day before had
adored him. His headless trunk was dragged for several hours through the
mud, and was flung at nightfall, like the body of a mad dog, into the
city ditch. Next day, through a revulsion of feeling, he was canonized!
His corpse was picked out of the ditch, arrayed in royal robes, and
buried magnificently in the cathedral. His fisherman's dress was rent
into shreds to be preserved by the crowd as relics; the door of his hut
was pulled off its hinges by a mob of women, and cut into small pieces
to be carved into images and made into caskets; while the very ground he
had walked on was collected in small phials and sold for its weight in
gold to be worn next the heart as an amulet.

The "Villas" of Naples are often mere _maisons bourgeoises_ of modern
date. Many of them might well be in Brixton so far as their
architectural charms go.

Over in the Posilippo quarter, a delightful situation indeed, are
innumerable flat-topped, whitewashed villas, so-called, entirely
unlovely, all things considered. One of these, the Villa Rendel, was
once inhabited by Garibaldi, as a tablet on its wall announces.

Garibaldi and the part that he and his red shirt played are not yet
forgotten. Apropos of this there is a famous lawsuit still in the
Italian courts, wherein the Garibaldian Colonel Cornacci, in accord with
Ricciotti Garibaldi, son of the general, makes the following claim
against the Italian government:

I. All the "_tresor_" (gold and silver) of the house of Bourbon.

II. Eleven millions of ducats taken from the Garibaldian government at
Naples.

III. The Bourbon museum now incorporated with the National Museum.

IV. The Palace of Caserta and its park.

V. The Palace Farnese at Rome.

VI. The Palace and Villa Farnese at Caprarola at Naples.

VII. Two Villas at Naples, Capodimonte and La Favorita.

This is the balance sheet discrepancy resulting from the war of 1860
which the Garibaldian heirs claim is theirs by rights. It's a mere
bagatelle of course! One wonders why the Italian government don't settle
it at once and be done with it!

Naples is the birth-place of Polichinelle, as Paris is of Pierrot, two
figures of fancy which will never die out in literature or art, a tender
expression of sentiment quite worthy of being kept alive.

The Neapolitan, en fête, is quite the equal in gayety and
irresponsibility of the inhabitant of Seville or Montmartre. The
processionings of any big Italian town are a thing which, once seen,
will always be remembered. At Naples they seem a bit more gorgeous and
spontaneous in their gayety than elsewhere, with rugs and banners
floating in the air from every balcony, and flowers falling from every
hand. It is every man's carnival, the celebration at Naples.

Leading out to the west, back of Posilippo, is the Strada di
Piedigrotta, which is continued as the Grotto Nuovo di Posilipo, and
through which runs a tramway, all kinds of animal-drawn wheeled traffic,
and automobiles with open exhausts. All this comports little with the
fact that the ancient tunnelled road along here was one of the marvels
of engineering in the time of Augustus and that it led to Virgil's tomb.
This supposed tomb of Virgil is questioned by archæologists, but that
doesn't much matter for the rest of us. We know that Virgil himself has
said that it was here that he composed the "Georgics" and the "Æneid,"
and it might well have been his last resting-place too.

"Addio, mia bella Napoli! Addio!"



CHAPTER XII

THE BEAUTIFUL BAY OF NAPLES


"See Naples and die" is all very well for a sentiment, but when we first
saw it, many years ago, it was under a grim, grey sky, and its shore
front was washed by a milky-green fury of a sea.

Fortunately it is not always thus; indeed it is seldom so. On that
occasion Vesuvius was invisible, and Posilippo in dim relief. What a
contrast to things as they usually are! Still, Naples and its Bay are no
phenomenal wonders. Suppress the point of view, the focus of Virgil, of
Horace, of Tiberius and of Nero, and the view of "Alger la Blanche," or
of Marseilles and its headlands, is quite as beautiful. And the Bay of
Naples is not so beautifully blue either; the Bai de la Ciotat in
Maritime Province is often the same colour, and has a nearby range of
jutting, jagged, foam-lashed promontories that are all that Capri
is--all but the grotto.

[Illustration: THE BAY OF NAPLES]

The Bay of Naples has its moods, and there are times when its blueness
is more apparent than at others; in short there are times when it looks
more beautiful than at others, and then one is apt to think its charms
superlative.

The praises of the ravishing beauty of the Bay of Naples have been sung
by the poets and told in prose ever since the art of writing travel
impressions has been known, but though the half may not have been told
it were futile to reiterate what one may see for himself if he will only
come and look. "A piece of heaven fallen to earth," Sannazar has said,
and certainly no one can hope to describe it with more glowing praise.

For the artist the whole Neapolitan coastline, and background as well,
is a riot of rainbow colouring such as can hardly be found elsewhere
except in the Orient. It is not only that the Bay of Naples is blue, but
the greys and drabs of the ash and cinders of Vesuvius seem to
accentuate all the brilliant reds and yellows and greens of the foliage
and housetops, not forgetting the shipping of the little ports and the
costuming of land-lubbers and sailor-men, and of course the women. The
Italian women, young or old, are possessed of about the loveliest
colouring of any of the fair women of the twentieth century portrait
gallery.

The environs of Naples have two plagues which, when they rise in their
wrath, can scarcely be avoided. One is the sirocco, that dry, stiff wind
which blows along the Mediterranean coast in summer, coming from the
African shore and the desert beyond, and the much worse, or at least
more dreaded, _aria cattiva_, which is supposed to blow the sulphurous
gases and cinders of Vesuvius down the population's throats, and does to
a certain extent.

Out beyond Posilippo, which itself is properly enough bound up with the
life of Naples, lies Pouzzoles. The excursion is usually made in half a
day by carriage, and automobilists have been known to do it in half an
hour. The former method is preferable, though the automobilist is free
from the rapacious Neapolitan cab driver and that's a good deal in
favour of the new locomotion. If only automobilists as a class wouldn't
be in such a hurry!

Pouzzoles has no splendid palaces but it has the remains of a former
temple of Augustus in the shape of twelve magnificent Corinthian
columns, built into the Cathedral of Saint Procule, and some remains of
another shrine dedicated to Serapis. There are also the ruins of
Cicero's villa at Baies, a little further on. Mont Gauro, where the
"rough Falernian" wine, whose praises were sung by Walter de Mapes,
comes from, shelters the little village on one side and Mont Nuovo on
the other, this last a mountain or hillock of perhaps a hundred and
fifty metres in height, which grew up in a night as a result of a
sixteenth century earthquake.

The Lake of Averno is nearby, a tiny body of water whose name and fame
are celebrated afar, but which as a lake, properly considered, hardly
ranks in size with the average mill-pond. With a depth of some thirty
odd metres and a circumference of three kilometres its charms were
sufficient to attract Hannibal thither to sacrifice to Pluto, and Virgil
there laid the "Descent into Purgatory." Agrippa, with an indomitable
energy and the help of twenty thousand slaves, made it into a port great
enough to shelter the Roman fleet. At Baies there is a magnificent
feudal work in the form of a fortress-château of Pedro of Toledo (1538).

At the tiny port of Torregaveta, just beyond, one takes ship for Procida
and Ischia, two islands often neglected in making the round of Naples
Bay.

Procida, off shore three or four kilometres, and with a length of about
the same, has a population of fifteen thousand, most of whom rent boats
to visitors. Competition here being fierce, prices are reasonable--anything
you like to pay, provided you can clinch the bargain beforehand.

Ischia is twice the size of Procida, twice the distance from the
mainland and has twice the population of the latter. One might say, too,
that it is twice as interesting. It is a vast pyramid of rock dominated
by a château-fort dating from 1450. It looks almost unreal in its
impressiveness, and since it is of volcanic growth the island may some
day disappear as suddenly as it came. Such is the fear of most of the
population.

A quick round south from Naples can be made by following the itinerary
below. It can be done in a day or a week, but in the former case one
must be content with a cinematographic reminiscence.

  Naples--Portici         4.8 Kilometres
  Resina--Herculaneum     6.3     "
  Torre del Greco         9.4     "
  Torre Anunziata        16.6     "
  Castellamare           24.5     "
  Sorrento               42.9     "
  Meta--Positano         59.8     "
  Amalfi                 70.1     "
  Salerno                94.7     "
  Naples                144.6     "

[Illustration: _Ischia_]

[Illustration: LAVA BEDS OF VESUVIUS]

Some one has said that Vesuvius was a vicious boil on the neck of
Naples. There is not much sentiment in the expression and little
delicacy, but there is much truth in it. Still, if it were not for
Vesuvius much of the charm and character of the Bay of Naples and its
_cadre_ would be gone for ever.

All around the base of the great cone are a flock of little half-baked,
lava-burned villages, as sad as an Esquimaux settlement in the great
lone land. This is the way they strike one as places to live in, though
the artist folk find them picturesque enough, it is true, and a poet of
the Dante type would probably get as much inspiration here as did
Alighieri from the Inferno.

It has been remarked before now that Italy is a birdless land. The
Renaissance poets sang differently, but judging from the country
immediately neighbouring upon Vesuvius, and Calabria to the southward,
one is inclined to join forces with the first mentioned authority. Not
even a carrion crow could make a living in some parts of southern Italy.

So desolate and lone is this sparsely populated region towards the south
that it is about the only part of Italy where one may hope to encounter
the brigand of romance and fiction.

The thing is not unheard of to-day, but what brigands are left are
presumably kidnappers for political purposes who wreak their vengeance
on some official. The stranger tourist goes free. He is only robbed by
the hotel keepers and their employees who think more of _buona mano_
than anything else. A recent account (1907), in an Italian journal,
tells of the adventures of the master of ceremonies at Victor Emmanuel's
court who was captured by bandits and imprisoned in a cave in that
_terra incognita_ back of Vesuvius away from the coast.

Newspaper accounts are often at variance with the facts, but these made
thrilling reading. One account said that the kidnappers tore out the
Marquis's teeth, one by one, in order to force him to write a letter
asking for ransom. As he still refused, lights were held to the soles of
his naked feet.

The Marquis was lured from Naples to the neighbourhood of a grotto in
the direction of Vesuvius, where he was seized by the brigand's
confederates.

"I was seized unexpectedly from behind," said the Marquis in his
version, "and after a sharp struggle with my unseen assailants was
carried down into the grotto with Herculanean force and tightly bound.

"Then, liberating my right arm, the brigands fetched a lamp and writing
materials, covering their faces with masks. Threatening me with instant
death, the chief forced me to write a letter to my friends demanding
that money be sent me forthwith. At the same time he took from me all my
valuables and then disappeared, leaving me a prisoner with a guard
before the entrance of my cave."

The adventure ended harmlessly enough, and whether it was all a dream or
not of course nobody but the Marquis knows. At any rate it has quite a
mediæval ring to it.

[Illustration: THE EXCAVATIONS OF POMPEII]

Pompeii is remarkable, but it is disappointing. All that is of real
interest has been removed to the Naples museum. Without its Forum and
its magnificent temples and Vesuvius as a _toile de fond_ Pompeii would
be a dreary place indeed to any but an archæologist. It is a waste of
time to view any restored historic monument where modern house painters
have refurbished the old half-obliterated frescoes. The famous Cave
Canem, too, the only mosaic that remains intact, has been twice removed
from its original emplacement. Yes, Pompeii is a disappointment! It is
too much of a show-place!

The most notable observation to be made with regard to the admirable
architectural details of Pompeii is that they are all on a diminutive
scale. The colonnade of the Forum, for instance, could never be carried
out on the magnificent scale of the Roman Forum, and indeed, when modern
architects have attempted to reproduce the façade of a tiny pagan
temple, as in the Église de la Madeleine, or the Palais Bourbon at
Paris, they have failed miserably.

The rival claims of the Hotel Suisse and the Hotel Diomede at Pompeii
(to say nothing of that of the Albergo del Sol opposite the entrance to
the Amphitheatre) make it difficult for the stranger to decide upon
which to bestow his patronage.

The artists go to the Albergo del Sol, which is rough and uncomfortable
enough from many points of view, and the tourists of convention go to
one of the other two, where they are "exploited" a bit but get more
attention. At any one of these hotels one can hire a horse to climb up
the cone of Vesuvius, if one thinks he would like such rude sport, and
prices are anything he will pay, about five or six francs, though it
costs another two francs for a guide and another two francs for the
ragamuffin who follows after and holds the horses while you explore the
crater. If the latter was blacking boots in New York, even for a
padrone, at five cents a shine, he would make more money and be counted
out of the robber class. As it is he is a rank impostor and
needless--provided you have the courage to refuse his services.

The contrast between Herculaneum and Pompeii is notable. Herculaneum was
buried under thirty metres of liquid lava, but Pompeii was buried only
roof-high under cinders. Herculaneum will some day be uncovered to the
extent of Pompeii, and then it is probable the world will have new
marvels at which to wonder.

The rewards from the excavation of Herculaneum may well be commensurate
with the toil. It was an infinitely more important place than Pompeii,
which was only a little country town without libraries or particularly
wealthy inhabitants. Herculaneum, on the other hand, was the summer
resort of wealthy Romans, who spent their lives in adorning their
beautiful villas with the choicest work of Greek art. Pliny said that
they had a mania for collecting Greek silver and other works of art, and
at prices that would even make the wealthiest art connoisseurs of
to-day pause for thought. Agrippina, among others, had her villa here.
Herculaneum remains intact and undespoiled, as it was more than eighteen
centuries ago.

[Illustration: _The Environs of Pompeii_

STABIAE · SARNVS-FLV · SVRRENTVM · CAPREÆ · PORTVS

POMPEIANA]

From Pompeii to Sorrento via Castellamare is twenty-five kilometres.

Sorrento is, in summer, a bathing place for such of the Neapolitan
high-life population as are not able to get far away from home. One
properly enough attaches no importance whatever to the gay life of the
boulevards, the cafés and the restaurants of Naples. It is the same
thing as at Rome, Paris and London over again with all its silly
flaneries, but here at Sorrento, or across the peninsula at Amalfi, life
is less feverish and one may stroll about or indeed live free and
tranquil from care in hotels, less luxurious no doubt than those of the
Quai Parthenope, but offering a sufficient degree of comfort to make
them agreeable to the most exacting.

The real winter birds of passage only alight here for a period of three
or four weeks in January or February. After that it is delightful,
except for the short period when it is given up to the crowd of tourists
which invariably comes at Easter.

Sorrento is the great centre for all the charming region bordering upon
the southern shore of the Bay of Naples. It is at once the city and the
country. Its hotels are delightfully disposed amid flowering gardens or
on a terrace overlooking the escarpments of the rock-bound coast. Six or
seven francs a day, or eight or ten, according to the class of
establishment one patronizes, and one finds the best of simple fare and
comfort. Eight days or a fortnight one may roam about the neighbourhood
at Sorrento, from Sant Agatha on a nearby height to Sejano Castellamare,
Positano, Amalfi and finally Capri. There is hardly such a range of
charming little towns and townlets to be found elsewhere in all the
world.

Except for its restricted little business quarter the houses and villas
of Sorrento are disposed on the best of "garden city" plans. Again a
plague on a beauty spot must be admitted: mosquitoes will all but devour
you here between mid-August and the end of October. The only safe-guard
is to paint yourself with iodine, but the cure is as bad as the
complaint.

The traveller in Italy learns of course to beware of coral, of white,
pink and milky coloured coral. We had been afraid to even look at such
ever since we had seen it being made by the ton in Belgium--and good
looking "coral" it was.

Once the artist bought a string of the real thing at Tabarka in Tunisia,
and once a friend who was with us on the Riviera di Ponente bought a
necklet of what was called coral, at an outrageous price, of a wily
boatman. It all went up in smoke (accompanied by a vile smell)
ultimately, though fortunately it was not on the owner's neck at the
time. It was an injudicious mixture of gun-cotton, nitroglycerine or
what not. It wasn't coral; that was evident.

Now, when we walk out at Sorrento, no Graziella, her shoulders
scintillating with ropes of coral, beguiles us into buying any of her
family heirlooms. To sum up: the coral which is sold to tourists is
often false; that which is fished up before your eyes from the sea is
always so. Beware of the coral of Sorrento or Capri.

The trip to Capri is of course included in every one's itinerary in
these parts, and for that reason it is not omitted here, though indeed
the famous grotto over which the sentimentally inclined so love to rave
has little more charm than the same thing represented on the stage. This
at any rate is one man's opinion. It is most conveniently reached by
boat from Sorrento.

The famous retreat of Augustus and the scene of the debauches of
Tiberius will ever have an attraction for the globe-trotter, even though
its romance is mostly fictitious. One may gather any opinions he
chooses, and, provided he gathers them on the spot and makes them up out
of his own imaginings, he will be content with Capri's grotto; only he
mustn't take the guide-books too seriously.

The Blue Grotto's goddess is Amphitrite, and if any one catches a
glimpse of her traditional scanty draperies swishing around a corner,
let him not be misguided into following her into her retreat. If he does
the sea is guaranteed to rise and close the orifice so that he may not
get out again as soon as he might wish.

In that case one must wait till the wind, which has veered suddenly from
east to west, comes about again and blows from the south. Without
bringing Amphitrite into the matter at all it sometimes happens that
visitors entering the grotto for a pleasant half hour may be obliged to
stay there two, three or even five days. The boatmen-guides, providing
for such emergencies, carry with them a certain quantity of _biscotti_
with which to sustain their victims. As for fresh water it trickles
through into the grotto in several places in a sufficient quantity to
allay any apprehensions as to dying of thirst. One might well blame the
Capri guides for not calling the visitor's attention to these things.
But if one is reproached he simply answers: "_Ma che_! _eccelenza_, if
we should call attention to this thing, half the would-be visitors would
balk at the first step, and that would be bad for our business."

Alexandre Dumas tells of how on a visit to Capri in 1835 the fisherman
was pointed out to him who had ten years earlier re-discovered the Blue
Grotto of Augustus' time, whilst searching for mussels among the rocks.
He went at once to the authorities on the island and told them of his
discovery and asked for the privilege of exploiting visitors. This
discoverer of a new underground world was able by means of graft, or
other means, to put the thing through and lived in ease ever after,
through his ability to levy a toll on other guides to whom he farmed out
his privilege.

Quite the best of Capri is above ground, the isle itself, set like a gem
in the waters of the Mediterranean. The very natural symphonic colouring
of the rocks and hillsides and rooftops of its houses, and indeed the
costuming of its very people, make it very beautiful.

For Amalfi, Salerno and Pæstum the automobilist must retrace his way
from Sorrento to Castellamare, when, in thirty kilometres, he may gain
Amalfi, and, in another twenty-five, Salerno. Pæstum and its temples, to
many the chief things of interest in Italy, the land of noble monuments,
lie forty kilometres away from Salerno. The automobilist, to add this to
his excursion out from Naples, is debarred from making the round in a
day, even if he would. It is worth doing however; that goes without
saying, though the attempt is not made here of purveying guide-book or
historical information. If you don't know anything about Pæstum, or care
anything about it, then leave it out and get back to Naples as quickly
as you can, and so on out of the country at the same rate of speed.



CHAPTER XIII

ACROSS UMBRIA TO THE ADRIATIC


The mountain district of Umbria, a country of clear outlines against
pale blue skies, is one of the most charming in the peninsula though not
the most grandly scenic.

The highway from Rome to Ancona, across Umbria, follows the itinerary of
one of the most ancient of Roman roads, the Via Valeria. The railway,
too, follows almost in the same track, though each leaves the Imperial
City, itself, by the great trunk line via Salaria and the Valley of the
Tiber.

Terni is the great junction from which radiate various other lines of
communication to all parts of the kingdom. Terni is, practically, the
geographical centre of Italy. It is a bustling manufacturing town and,
supposedly, the Interamna where Tacitus was born.

From Terni one reaches Naples, via Avezzano in 257 kilometres; Rome, via
Civita Castellana in 94 kilometres; Florence via Perugia and Arezzo in
256 kilometres and Ancona, on the shores of the Adriatic, via Foligno in
209 kilometres. All of these roads run the gamut from high to low levels
and, though in no sense to be classed as mountain roads, are
sufficiently trying to even a modern automobile to be classed as
difficult.

The Cascades of Terni used to be one of the stock sights of tourists, a
generation ago, but, truth to tell, they are not remarkable natural
beauties, and, indeed, are too apparently artificial to be admired.
Moreover one is too much "exploited" in the neighbourhood to enjoy his
visit. It costs half a lira to enter by this gate, and to leave by that
road; to cross this bridge, or descend into that cavern; and troops of
children beg soldi of you at every turn. The thing is not worth doing.

Spoleto, twenty-six kilometres away, is somewhat more interesting. It is
famous for the fine relics, which still exist, of its more magnificent
days, when, 242 B. C., it was named Spoletium.

The towers of Spoleto, like those of San Gimignano and Volterra, are its
chief glory; civic, secular and churchly towers, all blending into one
hazy mass of grim, militant power. The Franciscan convent, on the
uppermost height, seems to guard all the towers below, as a shepherd
guards his flock, or a mother hen her chickens.

In 1499 the equivocal, enigmatic Lucrezia Borgia came to inhabit the
castle of Spoleto. The fair but unholy Lucrezia was a wandering,
restless being who liked apparently to be continually on the move.

Here, in the fortress of Spoleto, Lucrezia Borgia, coming straight from
the Vatican, held for a brief year the seals of the state in her frail
hands, her father at the time being governor.

The aspect of this grim fortress-château, grim but livable, as one knows
from the historical accounts, is to-day, so far as outlines are
concerned, just as it was five centuries ago. It is grandiose, severe
and majestic, and is dominant in all the landscape round about, not even
its mountain background dwarfing its proportions. The military defence
was that portion lying lowest down in the valley, while the residence of
the governor was in the upper portion. One reads the history of three
distinct epochs in its architecture, the Gothic of the fifteenth
century, that of the sixteenth, and the later interpolated Renaissance
decorations.

Through Foligno and Assisi runs the road to Perugia. Assisi is a much
visited shrine, but Foligno is remembered by most of those who have
travelled that way only as a grimy railway junction.

[Illustration: ASSISI]

Assisi, the little Umbrian hill town, is deservedly the popular shrine
that it is. Assisi is a religious shrine, but its skyline silhouette is
more like that which properly belongs to a warlike stronghold. The city
of St. Francis is loved by men of all creeds who recall the story of the
holy man who, with poverty as a garment, trod his long way, singing,
talking to the birds and succouring all who were sore or heavy laden.

Immense antiquity is suggested by everything round about, from the
tombs of the Etruscan Necropolis, dating from 150 B.C., down to the
triple-storied convent church of San Francesco of 1230 and the Basilica
of Santa Maria degli Angeli of 1509.

[Illustration: ASSISI ITS WALLS CASTLE & CHURCH]

The now secularized convent and its triple church have all the
characteristics of a mediæval fortress when viewed from afar.

The town itself owes most, if not all, of its fame to its beloved San
Francesco. His birthplace has disappeared and its site occupied by the
Chiesa Nuova, but a part of it has been built into the church, making it
another shrine of the holy man who did so much good to his fellows
during his life, and to his native town in these late days by bringing
tens, nay, even hundreds, of thousands of tourists thither to spend
their money on local guides, cabmen and inn-keepers. A sordid point of
view some may think. But is it? What would Assisi be without the
tourists? Still wooing the Lady Poverty, there's no doubt about that.
What would Venice be without the tourists? Not what it is to-day. No
indeed. It is dead and dull enough even now at certain seasons. It would
become so for all time without the strangers.

Perugia is the big town of Umbria. To-day it boasts of twenty odd
thousand souls, but in the days when it struggled against papal control
it was even more populous. Its history is one long drawn out tale of
revolt and submission in turn, from the days when it first submitted to
the Romans in 310 B. C. until it threw its fate in with that of the
other states of Victor Emmanuel in 1860.

If ever a city was blood-baptized that honour is Perugia's. It has not a
crooked old street nor gate nor fountain nor piazza or palazzo but what
is gory with bloody memories.

Perugia was a dominant mediæval influence all through the neighbourhood
and levied tribute on all her vassal cities and towns. Foligno's walls
and ramparts had fallen and the people of Perugia came and carted off
the stone for their own needs; Arezzo stripped her churches and
palaces to provide the marbles for Perugia's cathedral.

[Illustration: _Architectural Detail, Perugia_]

Perugia's oxen are famous in literature and art, but they have almost
become a memory, though an occasional one may be seen standing in the
market place or a yoke working in the nearby fields. Electric cars haul
passengers and freight about the city at a death-dealing pace, and the
ox as a beast of burden is out-distanced and out-classed.

The ancient civilization is represented at Perugia by a remarkable
series of old fortification walls, still admirably conserved, a
kilometre or more from the centre of town, a necropolis of ten chambers,
and an antique Roman arch of Augustus.

Perugia's lode star for travellers has ever been the fact that it was
the centre of the school of Umbrian painters. This is not saying that it
has no architecture worth mentioning, for the reverse is the case.

Out from Perugia by the Porta di Elce, on the Cortona road, one passes a
couple of imposing edifices. One, from a distance, looks grandly
romantic and mediæval, but is only a base modern reproduction in cement
and timber--and for all the writer knows, steel beams as well--of an
ancient feudal castle. The other is less grand, less luxurious possibly,
but is the very ideal of an Italian country house, habitable to-day, but
surrounded with all the romantic flavour of mediævalism. It is still
called the Villa of the Cardinal by virtue of the fact that Cardinal
Fulvio della Corgna built it in 1580. Locally, it is also known as the
Villa Umberto, and it belongs to, and is inhabited by, the family of
Commendatore Ferdinando Cesaroni. Architecturally, perhaps, the villa is
not a great work, but it is marvellously satisfying to the eye by reason
of its disposition and its outlook.

Gubbio, thirty-nine kilometres away by road, is not readily accessible
by rail from Perugia, though on the direct line from Arezzo, Ancona and
Foligno.

The automobilist may reach Gubbio from Perugia in less time than the
rail-tied traveller may check his baggage and take his place in the
train.

Not many include Gubbio in their Italian tours. Its Etruscan lore and
relics have been made the subject of volumes, but little has been done
to set forth its charms for the Italian pilgrim who would seek to get
away from the herding crowds of the great cities and towns.

[Illustration: _Palazzo Ducale, Urbino_]

Gubbio's ducal palace is moss grown and weedy, so far as its rooftop and
courtyard are concerned, but it is a very warm and lively old fabric
nevertheless, and those that love historic old shrines will find much
here that they will often not discover in a well restored, highly
furbished monument kept frankly as a show-place for throngs of trippers
who cannot tell old bronze from new copper, or wrought iron from _font_.

The hurly-burly of twentieth century life has not yet reached Gubbio,
and that is why it presents itself to the visitor within its walls in
such agreeable fashion.

Off in the Marches, sixty-five kilometres from Gubbio, is the little
town of Urbino. It has a Palazzo Ducale most remarkable in its
architecture and its emplacement. It was begun in 1648 by Frederigo di
Montefeltro, on the site of a former palace of a century before. The
apartments within are not merely the halls of a museum, but are
remarkably interesting and livable mediæval apartments, and to-day are
much as they were in the days of the gallant dukes, one of whom,
Guidobaldo II, was a poet himself and a patron of letters who gave his
protection to the last Italian poet whose fame was European--Torquato
Tasso.

Urbino, too, was the birthplace of him whom we know familiarly as
Raphael, though curiously enough the local museum contains but a single
example of his work, and that a drawing of "Moses in the Bulrushes."

Urbino's chief "sight," though it is not beautiful in itself, is the
birthplace of Raphael, situated in a little street running off from near
the ducal palace, a street which mounts heavenward so steeply that it
was formerly called the Via del Monte. The authorities, in an effort to
keep up with popular taste, have recently changed the name to Via
Raffaello.

It is a mean, simple and grim looking little house, not at all beautiful
according to palatial standards. On the 6th of April, 1483, its fame
began, but pilgrims have only in recent years come to bow down before
it. Nevertheless popes and prelates and princes came here to sit to the
"painter of Urbino" and have left an added distinction to the house.
Muzio Oddi, the celebrated architect and mathematician, caused to be
graven the following on its façade:--

    "Ludet in humanis divina potentia rebus
     Et saepe in parvis claudre magna solet."

A tablet marks the house plainly. It will not be possible to miss it.

Urbino sits high above the surrounding valley, twelve or fifteen hundred
feet above sea level. A coach of doubtful antiquity formerly made the
same journey as that covered by the railway and deposited its mixed
freight of travellers and inhabitants in one of the most splendid of the
Renaissance cities of Italy. Now, the automobile brings many more
tourists than ever before came by coach, or railway even, and
accordingly Urbino will undoubtedly become better known.

The court of Urbino in the sixteenth century was one of the most refined
and learned of the courts of Italy, and therefore of the world. Coryat
in his "Crudities," of the seventeenth century, remarks a difference
between English and Italian manners.

"I observed a custom in all those Italian cities and towns through which
I passed, that is not used in any other country that I saw in my
travels; neither do I think that any other nation of Christendom doth
use it, but only Italy. The Italian, and also most strangers that are
commorant in Italy, do always at their meals use a little fork when they
cut their meat." Is it that the fork came to earth as a seventeenth
century Italian innovation?

Urbino's Albergo Italia merits the sign of the crossed knife and fork,
the Automobile Club's endorsement of good food.

One of the classic figures of mediæval Urbino was Oddantonio, of the
great house of Montefeltro, who, succeeding to the dukedom at the age of
fifteen, fell under the ill control of the brilliant, but corrupt,
Sigismondo Malatesta, of Rimini.

Thirty five kilometres east of Urbino lies the blue Adriatic, perhaps
the most beautiful of all the Italian seas. The descent from four
hundred metres at Urbino to sea level is gradual and easy, but it is a
steady fall that is bound to be remarked by travellers by road, with the
sea in sight for the major part of the way.

One comes to the Adriatic shore at Pesaro, midway on the coast between
Ravenna and Ancona. North and south, from the Venetian boundary to the
rocky, sparse-populated shores of Calabria, flanking upon the Ionian
sea, is a wonderland of little-travelled highroad, all of it a historic
itinerary, though indeed the road is none of the best. To the jaded
traveller, tired of stock sights and scenes, the covering of this coast
road from Venice to Brindisi would be a journey worth the making, but it
should not be done hurriedly.



CHAPTER XIV

BY ADRIATIC'S SHORE


The Italian shore of the Adriatic is a terra incognita to most
travellers in Italy, save those who take ship for the east at Brindisi,
and even they arrive from Calais, Paris or Ostende by express train
without break of journey en route.

The following table gives the kilometric distances of this shore road by
the Adriatic, through the coast towns from Otranto in Pouilles to
Chioggia in Venetia. The itinerary has, perhaps, never been made in its
entirety by any stranger automobilist, but the writer has seen enough to
make him want to cover its entire length.

               Population   Kilometres
  Otranto        22,266        0
  Lecce           2,333       40.4
  Brindisi       16,719       80
  Monopoli        7,620      151
  Bari           58,266      193.3
  Barletta       31,194      248.2
  Manfredonia     8,324      330
  Foggia         14,067      368.4

Here the road leaves the coast but joins again at Ortona.

  Isernia         7,687      526.7
  Ortona          6,366      673.5
  Pescara         2,612      694.3
  Ancona         28,577      849.7
  Pesaro         12,547      909.7
  Rimini         10,838      945.3
  Ravenna        18,571      995.3
  Ferrara        28,814    1,068.7
  Chioggia       20,381    1,160.5

The above are the cold figures as worked out from the Road Books, Maps
and Profiles of the Touring Club Italiano. The whole forms a rather
lengthy itinerary but, in part, it is within the power of every
automobilist in Italy to make, as he crosses Umbria from Rome to the
Adriatic, by including that portion of the route between Ancona and
Chioggia. This cuts the distance to the more reasonable figure of a
little more than three hundred kilometres.

Taranto, Otranto and Bari are mere place names for which most do not
even know where to look on the map. Conditions of life were not easy or
luxurious here in the outposts of the western empire, and the influx of
alien Greek and Turk and Jew has ever tended to change the Italian
colouring to one almost Oriental in tone and brilliance.

Brindisi has usually been considered a mere way station on the
traveller's itinerary, where he changes train for boat. But it is more
than that. It was the ancient Brentesion of the Greeks, indeed it was
the gateway of all intercourse between the peninsula and the Greece of
the mainland and the islands of Ægina.

Virgil died here on his return from Greece in 19 B.C., and for that
reason alone it at once takes rank as one of the world's great literary
shrines. But who ever heard of a literary pilgrim coming here!

Brindisi's Castello, built by Ferdinand II and Charles V, still
overlooks the harbour and, though it performs no more the functions of a
fortress, it is an imposing and admirable mediæval monument.

Near the harbour is a svelt Greek column with a highly sculptured
capital and an inscription to the memory of a Byzantine ruler who built
up the city anew in the tenth century, after it had fallen prey to the
Saracens. This column, too, supposedly marks the termination of the
Appian Way, which started from Rome's Forum and wandered across the
Campagna and on to this eastern outpost.

[Illustration: Brindisi; The Terminal Column of the Appian Way]

Bari, like Brindisi, was an ancient seaport. Horace sang its praises, or
rather the praises of its fish, as did Petrarch of the carp at Vaucluse,
and the town was one of the most ancient bishoprics in Italy.

From the tenth to the fourteenth century the fate of the town was ever
in the balance, changing its allegiance from one seigneur to another,
who, for the moment, happened to be the more masterful. In the
fourteenth century it became an independent Duchy, and in 1558 was
united with the kingdom of Naples.

Bari's Castello was built in 1160 and, like that at Brindisi, is of that
grim militant aspect which bespeaks, if not deeds of romance, at least
those of valour.

In the Piazza Mercanto is a great bronze lion wearing an exaggerated
dog-collar on which is inscribed the "Custos Justitiæ," the heraldic
motto and device of the city.

Manfredonia, Termoli, Ortona and Pescara are all of them charming
Adriatic towns, each and all possessed of vivid reminders of the days of
the corsairs, adventurers and pirate Saracen hordes. Their battlemented
walls and castles still exist in the real, and little of twentieth
century progress has, as yet, made its mark upon them. Mythology,
history and romance have here combined.

Ancona is not included in every one's Italian itinerary. This is the
more to be regretted in that it is very accessible, not only by road but
by rail from Ravenna or Perugia, or by sea, in eight or ten hours, from
Venice. The city of fifty thousand inhabitants, with a Ghetto of six
thousand Jews, is beautifully situated on an amphitheatre of hills
overlooking the Adriatic. The mole which encloses its harbour supports
two triumphal arches, making a sort of monumental water-gate unequalled
by anything similar in all the world. One of these arches was erected by
the Roman Senate in 122, to the honour of Trajan, and the other in
honour of Pope Clement XII in 1740.

Trajan undoubtedly deserved the honour. It was he who was the first to
hold that "it was better a thousand guilty persons should escape than
that one innocent person should be condemned." When he appointed
Subarranus Captain of the Guard, he presented him, according to custom,
with a drawn sword, saying, as he handed it, these memorable words:
"_Pro me, si merear, in me_" ("Use this sword for me: If I deserve it,
against me"). It is good to know that men like these may have
memorial arches as well as mere cut-throat conquerors.

[Illustration: _Trajan's Arch, Ancona_]

Every student of Italian architecture knows Piranesi's drawing of the
famous Trajan arch at Ancona. It was more truthful than many of his
drawings of Roman antiquities, and might indeed have been made in these
latter years, for little is changed on Ancona's seafront.

There is at Ancona a memory of Filippo Lippi, a monkish draughtsman of
great ability, a contemporary of the better known Fra Angelico.

Once he set out on the blue waters of the Adriatic, from the very steps
below the Arch of Trajan where the waves lap to-day, for a little sail.
Like many people who make excursions in boats, he was unskilful, and
worse, for, drifting out to sea, he was in due time picked up by a
Barbary pirate and next put foot on shore in Africa. He drew the pirate
chief's portrait on the wall of his prison, and in spite of the
interdiction of the Koran, the Moor was pleased and gave the Fra his
liberty forthwith, taking him back to within sight of Trajan's arch,
when he was precipitately put over side and made to swim ashore, the
pirate returning from whence he came.

Senegallia, between Ancona and Pesaro, was an appanage of the Dukes of
Urbino. It is an enchanting, unworldly little town, even to-day, its
great protecting walls pierced by six gateways, the same through which a
whole hierarchy of conquerors passed in the long ago. It is a place of
dreams, if one is given to that sort of thing. The Mediæval Palazzo
Communal is still in evidence, and the little creek-like harbour is full
of wobbly little boats with painted masts and sails, all most quaint.
Behind are the gentle slopes of vine-clad hills shutting out the western
world beyond.

Pesaro, the ancient Pisaurum, is the capital of the united provinces of
Pesaro and Urbino. The Malatesta, the Sforza and the Rovere families all
ruled its destinies in their time, and the little capital came to be a
literary and art centre which, in a small way, rivalled its more opulent
compeers.

Pesaro's ducal palace is, in a way, a monument to the Queen Lucrezia
Borgia, as is the rude fortress of the walls a memory of Giovanni
Sforza, her first husband. At the age of twenty-six, Giovanni married
the daughter of Alessandro Borgia, who was but thirteen, and brought his
bride forthwith, blessed with the Papal benediction, to this bijou of a
palace where fêtes and merrymakings of a most prodigal sort went on
for many nights and days.

[Illustration: _Castel Malatesta, Rimini_]

Back to the coast and one comes to Rimini, the southern terminus of the
Via Æmilia. Rimini's Arco d'Augusto was erected as a memorial to the
great Augustus in 27 B. C. The Ponte d'Augusto, too, is a monument of
the times, which date back nearly nineteen centuries. It was begun in
the last year of the life of Augustus.

The Palazzo del Comune contains the municipal picture-gallery, and
before it stands a bronze statue of Pope Paul V, but the greatest
interest lies in the contemplation of the now ruined and dilapidated
Castel Malatesta. Its walls are grim and sturdy still, but it is nothing
but a hollow mockery of a castle to-day, as it has been relegated to use
as a prison and stripped of all its luxurious belongings of the days of
the Malatesta. The family arms in cut stone still appear above the
portal.

The chief figure of Rimini's old time portrait gallery was the famous
Lord of Rimini, Sigismondo Malatesta, a man of exquisite taste, a patron
of the arts, a sincere lover of beauty.

From Rimini to Ravenna, still within sight of the Adriatic's waves, is
some fifty kilometres by road or rail, through a low, marshy,
unwholesome-looking region, half aquatic, half terrestrial.

La Pineta, or the Pine Forest, the same whose praises were sung by
Dante, Boccaccio, Dryden and Byron, and which supplied the timber for
the Venetian ships of the Republic's heyday is in full view from
Ravenna's walls.

Boccaccio made the Pineta the scene of his singular tale, "Nostagio
degli Onesti"; the incidents of which, ending in the amorous conversion
of the ladies of Ravenna, have been made familiar to the English reader
by Dryden's adoption of them in his "Theodore and Honoria."

      "Where the last Cæsarean fortress stood,
       Evergreen forest! which Boccaccio's lore
    And Dryden's lay made haunted ground."

Ravenna sits grim and proud in the very midst of wide, flat, marshy
plains across which straight arrow-like roads roll out seemingly
interminable kilometres to the joy of the automobilist and the despair
of the traveller with a hired hack. The region between Ravenna and the
sea is literally half land, half water, marshes partitioned off by
canals and pools stretching away in every direction. It is lone and
strange, but it is not sad and above all is most impressive. Turn out
of any of Ravenna's great gates and the aspect is invariably the same.
Great ox-carts, peasants in the fields and, far away, the brown sails of
the Adriatic fishing boats are the only punctuating notes of a landscape
which is anything but gay and lively. It is as Holland under a mediæval
sun, for mostly the sun shines brilliantly here, which it does not in
the Low Countries. Ravenna was the ancient capital of the Occidental
Roman Empire, but to-day, in its marshy site, the city is in anything
but the proud estate it once occupied. The aspect of the whole city is
as weird and strange as that of its site. It is of far too great an area
for the few thousand pallid mortals who live there. It has ever been a
theatre of crime, disaster and disappointment, but its very walls and
gateways echo a mysterious and penetrating charm. It possesses, even
to-day, though more or less in fragments it is true, many structures
dating from the fifth to the eighth centuries, though of its old Palace
of the Cæsars but a few crumbled stones remain. Ravenna is the home of
the classic typical Christian architecture which went out broadcast
through Europe in the middle ages. The Palace of Theodoric hardly exists
as a ruin, but some poor ugly stone piers are commonly granted the
dignity of once having belonged to it, as well as an ancient wall of
brick.

Theodoric's tomb is in La Rotonda, a kilometre or more from Ravenna in
the midst of a vineyard. The earliest portrait in Ravenna's great
gallery of notables is that of Theodoric, an art-loving ruler, an
enlightened administrator, with simple, devout ideas, and a habit of
nightly vigils. Ravenna was to him a world, a rich golden world,
polished yet primitive.

Aside from its magnificent churches, Ravenna's monuments are not many or
great.

There is Theodoric's Palace before mentioned, the Archiepiscopal Palace,
a restored work of the sixteenth century, and the Palazzo Governativo
built in the eighteenth century, with many splendid fragments--columns
and the like--of an earlier period incorporated therein.

On the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele are two great granite columns, erected
in 1484 by the Venetians, and some fragments of a colonnade or loggia
which may be a part of the Hall of Justice of Theodoric's time.

[Illustration: _Palazzo di Teodorico, Ravenna_]

[Illustration: Column to Gaston de Foix, Ravenna]

The tomb of Dante is near the church of San Francesco. It is an uncouth
shrine which covers the poet's remains, but it ranks high among
those of its class from more sincere motives than those which usually
induce one to rave over more pompous and more splendid charms.

    "_Ungrateful Florence! Dante sleeps afar_,"

sang Byron.

Northward from Ravenna, but in roundabout fashion whether one goes by
road or rail is Comacchio. Comacchio is four kilometres from the
Adriatic and forty-four from Ferrara. Ariosto called the inhabitants:--

    ".... _gente desiosa
    Che il mar si turbi e sieno i venti atroci_,"

but this need not deter the seeker after new sensations from going there
to see them catch eels on a wholesale plan, and handle them afterwards
in a manner of cleanliness and with a rapidity which is truly
marvellous.

They are caught by wholesale, and a _tagliatore_ armed with a
useful-looking hatchet called a _manarino_ chops them into pieces called
_morelli_. After this the eels are cooked on a great open-fire spit and
finally packed in boiling oil, like the little fishes of the Breton
coast, and ultimately sold and served as _hors d'oeuvres_ in Italian
restaurants the world over. North of Comacchio on the shore of a
Venetian lagoon is Chioggia.

Chioggia has no great architectural or historical monuments, but is as
paintable as Venice itself; indeed, it is a little brother to Venice,
but lacking its splendour and great palaces. Its quay-side Madonna is
venerated by all the fishing folk round about.

Venice early conquered Chioggia and in turn the Genoese came along and
took it from their rival in 1379, though the Venetians within the year
got it back again. With such a fate ever hanging over it, Chioggia had
not great encouragement to build great palaces and so its inhabitants
turned to fishing and have always kept at it.

Unless one is crossing direct from Florence to Venice, by the Futa Pass
and Bologna, Ferrara, as a stopping place on one's Italian itinerary, is
best reached from Ravenna. The road is flat, generally well-conditioned
and covers a matter of seventy kilometres, mostly within sight of the
sea or lagoons, more like Holland even than the country through which
one has recently passed.

[Illustration: _The Madonna of Chioggia_]

Of all the romantic Renaissance shrines of Italy none have a more
potent attraction than Ferrara.

The Ferrara of the Middle Ages, like the Ferrara of to-day, is a
paradox. No Italian State of similar power and magnificence ever exerted
such disproportionate influence upon mediæval Italy; no city in United
Italy in which are so combined the fascinating treasures of the past and
modern political and industrial enterprise is so ignored by the casual
traveller. Once the strongest post on the frontier of the Papal States,
the seat of the House of Este, the abiding place of Torquato Tasso and
Ludovico Ariosto, and the final marital home of Lucrezia Borgia, the
golden period of its sixteenth century magnificence has sunk into an
isolation unheeded by contingent development, and its inhabitants have
shrunken to a bare third of their former numbers.

The ducal family of Este lived the life of the times to the limit of
their powers. They, one and all, inherited a taste for crimes of various
shades, just as they inherited the love of art. Alfonso, Duke of
Ferrara, had no profound moral sense in spite of his finer instincts,
and was so "liberal minded" that he shocked Bayard, the "_chevalier sans
peur et sans reproche_," into crossing himself "more than ten times" as
an antidote, when he first came into the ducal presence.

[Illustration: _From a frieze in the Palazzo, at Ferrara_]

Ferrara's castello or castel vecchio, which is better known as its ducal
château, is a remarkable specimen of military architecture. On Saint
Michael's Day, 1385, its first stones were put in place by Bartolina di
Novara, and the ardour of the workmen was so great that at the end of
sixteen months the work was completed as it is to-day, with its
towers, its doubly thick walls, and all its brutal force.

[Illustration: _Ferrara_]

A fosse surrounds the edifice, and two gateways only give access to the
interior. Under Alphonso I certain embellishments were added to the old
castle, bringing it up to the times in luxurious decorative details and
the like. The rude feudal castle now became virtually a residential
château. The crenelated battlements were transformed into mere parapets,
the _chemins de ronde_ into terraces and hanging gardens.

Pictures and frescoes were at this time added liberally, and, though
to-day many of these have been dispersed to the four corners of Europe,
enough remain to indicate the importance of these new embellishments.

The cachots or dungeon cells still exist, and are regarded--by the
guardian--as one of the chief "sights." Some others may think
differently.

The house of Ariosto is one of Ferrara's most popular attractions,
though indeed it is not remarkable architecturally. Ariosto was one of
the brilliant figures of the Ferrara court, but his house was modest and
bare, as is remarked by a tablet which it bore in the poet's time, and
on which was carved in Latin: "My house is small but was built for my
own convenience and entirely with my own money." How many householders
of to-day can say the same?

In the hospital in the southern quarter of the town is still to be seen
the prison cell commonly assigned to Tasso. On the walls are scribbled
the names of Lord Byron and Casimir Delavigne and Lamartine's verses on
Tasso, and over the door runs the inscription--

  +---------------------------------------------+
  | "INGRESSO ALLA PRIGIONE DI TORQUATO TASSO." |
  +---------------------------------------------+

For seven years and more Tasso lived within these four narrow walls.

    "Ferrara! in thy wide and grass-grown streets
    Whose symmetry was not for solitude,
    There seems as 'twere a curse upon the seats
    Of former sovereigns, and the antique brood
    Of Este....

           *       *       *       *       *

    And Tasso is their glory and their shame."
                      "_Childe Harold._"

Closely bound with Ferrara and the fortunes of the family of Este is the
town of that name midway between Ferrara and Padua at the foot of the
Euganean Hills. The ancestral residence of the family of Este is here,
but in a more or less ruinous state to-day.

The "Rocca" or Castle of Este was erected in 1343 by Ulbertino Carrara,
and repaired by the Scaligers during their temporary possession of it.
It is a noble dungeon tower, with frowning embrasures and battlements,
and stands at least upon the site of the original fortress. Alberto Azzo
(born 996) was the more immediate founder of the house here on the death
of the Emperor Henry III. The ancestry of Alberto may be traced in
history to Bonifazio, Duke or Marquis of Tuscany, in 811. Poetry carries
it much higher. The magician, in the vision of the enchanted shield,
enables Rinaldo to behold Caius Attius as his remote ancestor:--

    "Mostragli Caio allor, ch'a strane genti
     Va prima in preda il gia inclinato Impero,
     Prendere il fren de' popoli volenti,
     E farsi d'Este il Principe primiero;
     E a lui ricoverarsi i men potenti
     Vicini, a cui Rettor facea mestiero,
     Poscia, quando ripassi il varco noto,
     A gli inviti d'Honorio il fero Goto."
             --_Orlando Furioso._

Guelph, Duke of Bavaria (succeeded 1071), from whom all the branches of
the House of Brunswick are descended, was the son of Alberto Azzo,
Marquis of Este, by his first wife, Cunegunda, a princess of the Suabian
line.

Fulco I, Marquis of Italy and Lord of Este, the son of Alberto Azzo by
his second wife, Garisenda, daughter of Herbert, Count of Maine, was the
founder of the Italian branch from which the Dukes of Ferrara and Modena
descended, the male line of which became extinct at the end of the last
century. The Duke of Modena, who was deposed in the mid-nineteenth
century, represented the house of Este in the female line,--his
grandmother, Maria Beatrix, having been the last descendant of the
Italian branch. Este continued in the possession of the descendants of
Alberto until 1294, when it fell an easy conquest to the Carraras.
Successively a dependency of Padua and of the Verona Scaligers, it
passed to Venice in 1405, retaining its local government and municipal
institutions.

Near Este is Arqua, where Petrarch died in 1374. It has been a literary
shrine since 1650, for a chronicler of that time remarks it as one of
the things to come to Italy to see. The house is still to be seen, and
the sarcophagus containing his remains and an inscription beginning--

    "_Frigida Francisci lopis hic tegit ossa Petrarce_"

is before the tiny church of this little frequented and little exploited
village.

[Illustration: Casa del Petrarca, Arqua]



CHAPTER XV

ON THE VIA ÆMILIA


The Via Æmilia of antiquity is a wonder to-day, or would be if it were
kept in a little better repair. As it is, it is as good a road as any
"good road" in Italy, and straight as an arrow, as it runs boldly from
the Adriatic at Rimini to Piacenza, through the ancient States of
Bologna, Modena and Parma.

No automobilist who ever rolls off its length of 262 kilometres will
class it as inferior to any other Italian road of its class.

The following categorical mention of the cities and towns on this great
Roman way presents their varied charms in a sufficient number, surely,
to make the hurried north or southbound traveller think it worth while
to zigzag about a bit, in going from Florence to Venice, in order to
visit them all.

The first place of note after leaving Rimini is Cesana--"She whose flank
is washed by Savio's wave," Dante wrote.

Cesana is full of reminders of the profligate Cæsar Borgia. The library
of Cesana was famous in mediæval times and held its head high among the
city's other glories. Above all was the famous Rocca of Cesana, a
fortress château of great strength in days when feudal lords needed a
warren into which they might run and hide at every league.

The Palazzo Publico is a square, sturdy, none too lovely building with
some notable pictures within, and a statue of Pius VII, who was a native
of the place.

In the stirring times of the pontificate of Gregorius XI, the Avignon
Pope sent a cut-throat Cardinal into Italy at the head of a band of
soldiery who entered and pillaged Cesana in 1377. His cry at the head of
his troops was ever: "Blood! more blood! Kill! Kill! Kill!" A nice sort
of a man for a Cardinal Prince of the Church!

The highroad between Cesana and Rimini passes through the valley of the
Rubicon. Mule tracks, sloping hills and olive groves are the chief
characteristics of this vale, the spot where Cæsar apocryphally crossed
the Rubicon. Historians up to Montesquieu's time seemed to take it for
granted, but latterly it has been denied.

Forli and Imola were the principal towns of Romagna, the patrimony of
Catherine Sforza and Girolamo Riario, nephew of Pope Sixtus IV. When the
new married pair first came to their little State from Rome the
Renaissance was at its height, and the ambitious bride sought, so far as
possible, to surround herself with its splendours. Their reign in the
east was not happy; Girolamo proved a tyrant, and was promptly
assassinated by his followers, leaving Catherine and her five children
completely in the power of his murderers, who made her give up her
claims to her little kingdom. She consented, or pretended to consent.
She conspired with the Governor of the fortress, Tommaso Feo, and
appeared on its ramparts dressed as a warrior. She refused to surrender,
and when it was recalled that she had left her children behind as
hostages she cruelly replied: "In time I shall have others." Catherine
Sforza was a bloodthirsty vixen, surely.

Forli was Catherine Sforza's own city, and her defence of it against the
Borgias was one of the celebrated sieges of history. She held out two
years, and then only gave in because she was betrayed. Her very reason
of warring with the Borgias reflects greatly on her credit. She refused
simply to allow her son to marry the aging Lucrezia; "not so much on
account of her age," said Catherine, "as her morals." Princely marriages
are often carried out on different lines to-day.

Almost within sight of Forli is Faënza, a city which was under the
domination of the Manfredi when Cæsar Borgia took it into his head to
move against it. A young prince by the name of Astor III, but eighteen
years of age, beloved by all for his amiability, grace and youth, held
its future in his hands. When the key of Faënza, Brisighella, fell to
the Borgia's captain of artillery in the early days of November in 1500,
the emperor-like Cæsar himself came forward and took command. He offered
life to the dwellers within the walls if they would surrender, but they
would have none of it, for, as the Borgia wrote in a letter to the Duc
d'Urbino, dated from "the pontifical camp before Faënza," a "dramatic
defence was made by the citizens of the town." This "dramatic defence"
was such that it compelled Borgia and his papal soldiers to go into
winter quarters. The struggle was the longest that Borgia had yet
undertaken in his campaigns, and the women of Faënza, as did Catherine
Sforza at Forli, covered themselves with glory.

A daughter of a soldier of the garrison, Diamante Jovelli, put herself
at the head of a band of Amazons who took entire charge of the
commissariat, the handling of the munitions of war, and served as
sentinels, repairing the walls even when breached--rough work for women.
"The women of Faënza have saved the honour of Italy," wrote Isabella
d'Este in 1501 to her husband, the Duke of Mantua, and Cæsar Borgia
himself committed himself to paper with the following words: "Would that
I had an entire army of the women of Faënza." The city fell in due time,
and the crafty Cæsar honoured the gallant Manfredi, "crowned with the
laurels of valour and misfortune," by allowing him "a guard of honour
and all his proper dignities." Later the Borgia repented of his
generosity, and sent the young and gallant prince to Rome, and
imprisoned him in the Castle of Sant'Angelo for a year.

Faënza is a very ancient town, and less populous to-day than it was
fifty years ago, when also it was less populous than it was five hundred
years ago.

Imola, the seventh place of importance on the Æmilian itinerary counting
from Rimini, was the ancient Forum Cornelii, but by Charlemagne's time
it had already become known by its present name. In the middle ages
Imola's geographical position, midway between Bologna and Romagna, made
it an important acquisition in the contests for power. It was
successfully held by many different chiefs, and was united to the States
of the Church under Julius II. As one of the stations on the Æmilian
Way, it was a place of some importance; it is mentioned by Cicero, and
by Martial:--

    "Si veneris unde requiret,
     Æmiliæ dices de regione viæ.
     Si quibus in terris, qua simus in urbe rogabit,
     Corneli referas me, licet, esse Foro."

The fortress château of Imola was almost identical in form with that of
Forli, quadrilateral with four great towers at the angles, and a
crenelated battlement at the skyline.

Cæsar Borgia brought this fortress to ignoble surrender in 1499, but
since the fortress was then quite independent of the city he had still
another task before him before the inhabitants actually came within his
powers. A fortnight after the capture of the fortress the city itself
fell. Imola was a part of the marriage _dot_ of Catherine Sforza, who
confided its defence to Dionigi di Naldo while she busied herself at
Forli, where she reigned as widow and inheritor of Riario Sforza.

On towards Bologna one passes Castel San Pietro, a thirteenth century
fortified town still sleeping its dull time away since no war or rumours
of war give it concern. Quaderna, even less progressive and important
to-day than its neighbour, was the important station of Claternum in the
days when traffic on the great Æmilian way was greater than now.

Bologna's towers and domes loom large on the horizon as one draws up on
this great capital from any direction. Bologna, because of its easy
access, is one of the popular tourist points of Italy, and for that
reason it is omitted from nobody's itinerary, though most hurried
travellers remember the _mortadella_ better than they do the cathedral,
which in truth is nothing very fine so far as architectural masterpieces
go.

The roads in and out of Bologna are quite the best to be found
neighbouring upon a large city in Italy. They shall not be described
further, the mere statement that this is so should be taken as
sufficient praise.

The streets within the gates too, though paved, are splendidly straight
and smooth, though encumbered at one or two awkward corners with tram
tracks.

The visitor to Bologna may take his ease at the Hotel Brun, quite the
most _distinguished_ hotel in all Italy, not even excepting Daniellis or
the Grand at Venice, each of them a palazzo of long ago.

[Illustration: BOLOGNA (diagram)]

The Hotel Brun is a red brick palace of imposing presence, with a
delightful courtyard where you may stable your automobile along side of
those of most of the touring nobility of Europe at a cost of two and a
half francs a night. The hotel in spite of this is excellent in every
way.

Bologna is surrounded by a city wall pierced by twelve gateways and thus
well preserves its mediæval effect in spite of its theatres, cafés and
restaurants, which are decidedly modern and unlovely.

Bologna when it was conquered by the Gauls took the name of Bononia.
Under Charlemagne it became a free city and had for its device the
equivalent of the word Liberty.

Bologna, the ancient city, proud in the middle ages and independent
always, has ever been the cradle of disturbing factions, a revolutionary
precursor of new ideas, and has been sold and sold again by first one
Judas and then another.

Bologna is, taking its history, its present day prosperity and its still
existing mediæval monuments into consideration, the most impressive and
imposing of all the secondary cities of Italy, indeed in many of the
things that impress the traveller it is ahead, far ahead, of Florence.

Paul Van Herle, a fifteenth century Dutchman, first called the city
_Bologna la Grassa_ because of the opulency of the good things of the
table which might be had here. Its wines and its grapes are superlative,
and its _mortadella_, or Bologna sausage, is, to many, a delicacy
without an equal.

[Illustration: _The Leaning Towers of Bologna_]

Bologna seems to have a specialty of leaning towers, though the school
histories and geographies always use that of Pisa to illustrate those
architectural curiosities. Their histories are very romantic, and the
mere fact that they are out of perpendicular takes nothing away from
their charm. The two leaning brick towers of Bologna's Piazza di Porta
Ravegnana, the Torri Asinelli and the Torri Gorisenda, the first nearly
a hundred metres in height and the latter about half that height, are
two of the most remarkable structures ever erected by the hand of man.

The Asinelli tower was built in 1109, and its neighbour, which never
achieved its completion, in the following year.

From Bologna to Modena is thirty-two kilometres and midway is Castel
Franco or Forte Urbano, as it is variously known. It was formerly the
Forum Gallorum of the Romans and still has its _castel_ little changed
from what it was in the days when Urban VIII built it.

Modena is mostly confounded by hurried travellers with Modane, though
the latter is merely a railway junction where one is tumbled out in the
middle of the night to make his peace with railway and customs
officials.

Modena's Palazzo Ducale, now the Palazzo Reale, was and is a vast, gaudy
construction, not lovely but overpowering with a certain crude grandeur.
A military school has now turned it to practical use. It never could
have been good for much else. A picture gallery and Cæsar d'Este's
famous library are quartered in the Albergo Arti, built by the Duke
Francesco III in the seventeenth century.

The library _Biblioteca Estense_ was brought from Ferrara in 1598 by
Cæsar d'Este on his expulsion by Clement VIII. It contained 100,000
volumes and 3,000 MSS. Three of the most learned men in Italy during the
last century--Zaccaria, Tiraboschi and Muratori--were its librarians.
Amongst the treasures were a gospel of the third century, a Dante with
miniature of the fourteenth century, a collection of several hundred
Provençal poems, etc.

Modena was the birthplace of Mary of Modena, the fascinating princess
who became the Italian Queen of the English people, the consort of James
II. She was an Italian Princess of the house of Este. Her mother was the
Duchess Laura of Modena, daughter of Count Martinozzi and Margaret
Mazarini, cousin of the great Cardinal Mazarin, and she was married,
under his auspices, at the Chapel Royal of Compiègne, in 1655, by proxy,
to Alfonso d'Este, hereditary Prince, and afterwards Duke Alfonso IV of
Modena.

When Lord Peterborough, the envoy of the Duke of York, was shown the
portrait of the Princess Mary he saw "a young Creature about Fourteen
years of Age; but such a light of Beauty, such Characters of Ingenuity
and Goodness as it surprised him, and fixt upon his Phancy that he had
found his Mistress, and the Fortune of England." He made every effort to
meet her personally, but in vain; so he was introduced, "by means such
as might seem accidental," to the Abbé Rizzini, who was employed at
Paris to negotiate the interests of the House of Este. This man
attributed "many excellencies to Mary of Modena, yet he endeavoured to
make them useless" to them by saying that she and her mother wished that
she might take the veil. It was later learned that obstacles were put in
the Duke of York's way until he announced his willingness to become a
Roman Catholic.

Reggio in Æmilia, passed on the road to Parma, is a snug little town,
supposedly the birthplace of Ariosto. A house so marked compels popular
admiration, but again it is possible that he was born within the
citadel, since razed.

[Illustration: PARMA]

The Duchies of Parma and Modena counted little in the political balance
in their day, but the fêtes and spectacles of their courts were
frequently brilliant.

The Duchy of Parma and of Piacenza was created in 1545 by the Pope Paul
III for his son Pietro Farnese. Little of Parma's mediæval character
remains to-day. The town is said to have been called Parma from its
similarity to the form of a shield. But the torrent Parma, which runs
through the city, crossed by three bridges, besides the railway bridge,
most probably gave its name to the city which arose upon the banks. When
the city was under the authority of the Popes it was represented by a
female figure sitting on a pile of shields, and holding a figure of
Victory, with the inscription of _Parma aurea_. Let the heraldic
students figure out any solution of the incident that they please, or
are able.

The Via Æmilia divides the city, by means of the Strada Mæstra, into two
very nearly equal parts. Parma, like Modena and Lucca, has changed its
fortification walls into boulevards, called "Stradone," which are the
favourite rendezvous for Parmesan high society when it goes out for a
stroll.

Near Parma is Canossa, the site of an old fortified town, one day of
considerable importance, but now decayed beyond hope. Here the Emperor
Henry IV, bareheaded and barefooted, supplicated Pope Gregory V in 1077,
an incident of history not yet forgotten by the annalists of church and
state.

Soon after leaving Parma the Roman road crosses the river Taro, the
boundary frontier which shut off the Gaulish from the Ligurian tribes.
The Brothers of the Bridge here built a great work of masonry in 1170,
obtaining money for the expense of the work by begging from the
travellers passing to and fro on the Æmilian Way. In time this old
bridge was carried away, and for centuries a ferry boat served the
purpose, until, in fact, the present structure came into being.

Borgo San Donino, some twenty kilometres beyond the Taro, marks the
shrine of San Donino, a soldier in the army of Maximilian who became a
Christian and refused to worship as commanded by his Emperor. For this
he was put to death on this spot, and for ever after Borgo San Donino
has been one of the most frequented places of pilgrimage in Italy.

Fiorenzuola, still on the Via Æmilia, a dozen kilometres farther on, has
still an old tower to which hang fragments of an enormous chain by which
criminals once were bound and swung aloft.

All through this fertile, abundant region through which runs the famous
Roman Road are numerous little _borgos_, or villages, bearing names
famous in the history of Italy and its contemporary minor states.

Piacenza was founded by the Gauls and was afterwards by the Romans named
Placentia. It has ever prospered, though its career has been fraught
more than once with danger of extinction. By the tenth century its great
trading fair was famous throughout Europe.

[Illustration: PIACENZA]

Piacenza is full of palaces, statues and monuments which merit the
consideration of all serious minded persons, but the automobilist who
has made the last fifty kilometres of the Via Æmilia in the rain--and
how much it does rain in Italy only one who has travelled there by road
for weeks really appreciates--is first concerned as to where he may lay
his head and house his car free from harm.

The Grand Hotel San Marco answers his needs well enough and has the
endorsement of the Touring Club de France as well as that of the
Italian Touring Club, but it is ridiculous that one is obliged to pay in
a smug little Italian town of thirty-five thousand inhabitants five
francs a night for housing his automobile.

Piacenza is on the direct road to the Italian Lakes via Milan, from
which it is distant seventy kilometres.



CHAPTER XVI

IN VENETIA


The mainland background of Venice, in its most comprehensive sense the
region lying north of the Po and south and west of the Austrian
frontier, is not a much-travelled region by any class of tourists in
Italy. The traveller by rail usually comes up from Bologna and Florence
and, with a stop at Padua, makes for Venice forthwith and leaves for the
Italian lake region, stopping en route at Verona. The automobilist too
often does the thing even more precipitately, by taking Padua and Verona
flying, or at least while he is stopping to replenish the inner man or
the inner claims of his automobile. Certain readers of this book who may
perhaps have done the thing a little more thoroughly may claim that this
is an exaggeration, and so far as it applies to their particular case it
may be, but the writer honestly believes that it fits astonishingly well
with the majority of Italian itineraries in these parts. He bases this
on the fact that he has seen tourists in droves in Padua and Verona, and
he has not seen one in Este, Monselice, Battaglia, or even in Vicenza,
Treviso, Asolo or Udine.

[Illustration: PADUA]

Verona, Vicenza and Padua were the capitals of three of the eight
ancient provinces of Venezia.

Padua is built in the midst of a vast plain which merits being called
Italian-Flanders. In everything but climate it is like a section of the
Low Countries, and the city, with its domes and towers, looms up over
the low-lying plain, faint and ghostly from afar, like a mirage of the
desert.

Canals and fortress walls enclose the city even to-day, and the nearer
one approaches, until one actually sees it from within the walls, the
less and less Padua becomes like Italy. The greatest interest of Padua
centres undoubtedly in its church of Sant'Antonio, dedicated to the
pious companion of Francis of Assisi; after that the University which
numbered among its masters Erasmus, Mantius and Galileo, and among its
students Dante, Tasso and Petrarch. Padua is intimately associated with
the name of Petrarch by reason of his having been a student here.
Petrarch died before Chaucer's time, but the Florentine's fame had gone
afield and from the "Clerk's Tale" one recalls the following:

    "Lerned at Padowe of a worthy clerk,
     Fraunceys Petrark, the laureat poete,
     Highte this clerk, whose rethorike sweet
     Enlumined al Itaille of poetrye."

Padua in spite of its low lying situation is monumental at every turn.
They had courage, the old builders, to plant great buildings down in the
morass, and faith to believe they would last as long as they have.

On Padua's great Piazzas--there are three of them, one leading out of
the other--rise the chief civic buildings of mediæval times. The Loggia
del Consiglio is an astonishingly ample Renaissance work of an early
period, access to its great hall being by a monumental exterior
stairway. An ancient column, with a San Marco lion is immediately in
front.

The Palazzo Capitano, with its sky piercing clock tower of the
fourteenth century, was formerly the residence of the Venetian Governor,
and the Palazzo della Ragione, known as Il Salone, contains one of the
vastest single roofed apartments known. There is a long unobstructed
corridor in the mosque of Saint Sophia at Constantinople which holds the
record in its line, but the Salone of Padua, built in 1420, is
pre-eminent in superficial area.

The ancient Palace of the Carrera, tyrants of Padua, is one of the
things that burn themselves in the mind from the sheer inability of one
to overlook them. When one sees the colossal frescoes of the Entrance
Hall one repeats unconsciously the dictum of Victor Hugo over Madame
Dorval--the beautiful Madame Dorval: _Je ne veux pas mourir_.

It is the fashion to quote Dante and Byron and Shelley in Italy, but a
little of Alfred de Musset is a cheerful relief. Here are some of his
lines on Padua:

[Illustration: In Padua]

    "Padoue est un fort bel endroit
     Où de très-grands docteurs en droit
         On fait merveille;
     Mais j'aime mieux la polenta
     Qu'on mange aux bords de la Brenta
         Sous un treille."

The Albergo Fanti-Stella d'Oro at Padua is all sufficient as a tourist
hotel, but lacks a good deal of what a hotel for automobilists should
be. There is accommodation for one's automobile in the coach house, but
it evidently is a separately owned concern, for when you come to take
your auto out you will be followed like a thief when you try to explain
that you prefer to pay the garage charges when you pay your hotel bill.
You may eat _à la carte_ in the hotel restaurant at any hour, and you
may have a room across the way in the annex, a better room and for a
smaller price than you can have at the Albergo itself. Altogether this
opera bouffe hotel is neither bad nor good, and most confusing as to its
personnel and their conduct. They need to have a "Who's Who," printed in
German, French and English to put into the hands of each guest on
arrival.

The automobilist has not yet reached Venice. The nearest that he may
come to it is to Mestre, where he may garage his automobile in any one
of half a dozen palatial establishments especially devoted to the
purpose. Mestre, of absolutely no rank whatever as a city of art or
architecture or sights for the tourist, has more automobile garages than
any other city in Italy.

The splendour of Venice is undeniable, whether one takes note of its
unique architecture or of its remarkable site. Men with courage to build
gilded and marble palaces on a half submerged chain of isles scarce
above the level of the sea do not live to-day. How well these early
builders planned is evinced by the fact that Venice the magnificent
exists to-day as it always has existed--all but the Campanile. The fall
of this shows what may happen some day to the rest of this regal city.
When? No one knows. Men conquered the morass in the first instance. Can
they hold it in subjection into eternity?

Venice with all its gorgeousness is just the least bit _triste_.

Not a tree worthy of the name, not a garden or a farm yard, not a cart
or a horse--and not an automobile is to be found within its purlieus.
One is as if in prison. A watery barrier surrounds one on every side.
The sea, always the sea, mostly mirror-like or gently lapping its waves
at your very feet--and black gondolas everywhere. Yes, Venice is
gorgeous, if you like, but how sad it is also!

The greatness of Venice dates from the time of the fourth crusade and
the taking of Constantinople. It was then that the Venetian ships became
the chief carriers between the east and the west; its vessels exported
the surplus wealth of the Lombard plain, and brought in return not only
the timber and stone of Istria and Dalmatia, but the manufactured wares
of Christian Constantinople, wines of the Greek isles, and the Oriental
silks, carpets, and spices of Mohammedan Egypt, Arabia and Bagdad.

There used to be an old time saying at Venice that if the Isthmus of
Suez were pierced with a canal the glory of Venice would once more shine
on the commercial world as well as shed its radiance over those who live
in the sphere of art. The Suez Canal has come, but prophets are not
infallible, and the present maritime glory of the Adriatic lies with
Trieste and Fiume, with Venice a shadowy fifth or sixth in the whole of
Italy.

It is an historic fact that may well be repeated here, that Venice, more
than any other city of Italy, has ever been noted for its passion for
amusements and unconventional pleasures. "For quite half of the year,"
said Montesquieu, "everybody wears a masque; manners are very free and
the passion for gaming immense." A more vivid description of all this
Venetian disregard for convention may be found in the memoirs of the
Venetian adventurer Casanova.

The visitor to Venice must seek out for himself the things that interest
him, with the aid of his guide-book, his hotel porter or his gondolier.
Not all its splendours can be pointed out here; the record of the author
and artist is a personal record; others if they will may choose a
different itinerary.

The greatest fascination of all in Venice is undoubtedly the gondola,
though the motor boat is pushing it hard for a place, and there be those
matter-of-fact hurried tourists who prefer the practicality of the
latter to the simplicity and romance of the former. The gondola still
reigns however, and probably always will. It's an asset for drawing
tourists as potent as the lions or horses of San Marco or the pigeons of
the Piazzas.

The Venetian cannot step without his door without taking a gondola, for
his promenade on the Grand Canal, to cross to the Lido, or to go to
church when he marries and when he dies. The gondola is as much a part
of the daily life of the Venetian as is the street car or the omnibus
elsewhere.

Though it doesn't look it, the gondola is the most manageable craft
propelled by man. It snakes in and out of crooked waterways and comes to
a landing with far less fuss than anything ever pushed by steam or
gasoline. All the same they are not as swift, though their pace is
astonishing when one considers their bulk and weight.

It has been the fashion to laud the sweet idealism of the gondola and
all that appertains thereto, not forgetting the gondolier, but when one
has heard that backwater sailor's cajoleries and cadences beneath his
window for most of the long night one's views in the morning will be
considerably modified. "Cousin of my dog!" the gondolier will call his
gondola, "Owl!" "Idiot!" "Sheriff of the Devil!" "Silly Ass!" "Miscreant
of Rhodes!" and "Bag of Bones." Such epithets shouted full and strong,
if only to an inanimate gondola, will take a good deal of idealism out
of nature.

With the Venetian palaces and churches and canals rank in popular
interest its great piazzas. The importance of these great open spaces in
the daily life of the people of the island city cannot be
overestimated. Gaiety, noise and life are the characteristics of each,
whether one is at San Marco or on the Rialto.

Gastronomical delights in Italy are largely of one's own choosing. At
Venice, where, of Italian cities, the tourist is most largely catered
to, one may fare well or ill.

It's a great experience to sit at one of the little tables at Florian's,
or at the Aurora on the opposite side of the Piazza of San Marco, and
leisurely enjoy the spectacle spread out before one. At any time of the
day or night it is the most burning, feverish spot in all the Venetian
archipelago, though at midday, it is true, the sun-baked Piazza is
deserted, even by the pigeons.

In the afternoon, as the shadows lengthen, and a slim suspicion of a
sea-breeze wafts in from the lagunes, it is fairyland, peopled, if not
with fairyfolk, at least with as conglomerate a horde as may be seen in
Europe. As a performance the piece were almost worthy of its setting; it
is a burlesque and a comedy of manners in one. If only you are "out of
season," when the English and Americans and Germans are still by their
own firesides, and the cast of characters is made up of the peoples of
the south and east, the comedy is all the more amusing, and you sip its
charms as you sip your coffee and forget that such a personage as
Baedeker ever existed. Usually tourists come to the Piazza, after they
have done the surrounding stock sights, to buy two soldi-worth of maize
and feed the pigeons. They would do better to watch the passing show
from the vantage point of a little table at Florian's.

Besides its treasures of art and architecture, one of the sights of
Venice is Florian's, celebrated for a hundred and fifty years. The
specialty of Florian's is the _sabaion doro_, made with the yellow of an
egg and a small glass of Malaga. It is not bad, but it is a ladies'
drink, for it is sweet. The _sorbets_, the café turc' and the vanilla
chocolates of the establishment, with the aforementioned golden
concoction, have placed it in the very front rank among establishments
of its class. It remains open, or did a few years ago, all night. At
five o'clock each morning, as the daylight gun went off from the
fortress of the Lido, Florian's put up its shutters, only to open just
before midday.

The names of the great who have gathered within the walls of this famous
café, and left memories behind them, would fill a long roster.
Chateaubriand, Manzoni, Byron, Cimarosa, Canova, Léopold-Robert, Alfred
de Musset, Balzac and others, many, many others. And many have left
behind written souvenirs of their visit.

One thing the stranger to Venice will remark, and that is that here, as
much as in any other place in Italy, one is pestered nearly to
distraction with the little "extras" of their hotel bills, of the
too-importunate guides, of door-openers and door shutters, of guardians
of all ranks, of men and boys who call your gondola for you, and of
mendicant ragamuffins by profession, or merely because occasion offered
and you looked like an "easy mark." It is the one blight on Venice.

The modest inns of other days have given way to the demands of a more
exacting clientèle, but those who would follow Alfred de Musset and
George Sand from the Palace of the Doges to the Hotel Danieli will have
no trouble in getting a lodging in that hostelry. Or they may prefer to
follow the footsteps of Chateaubriand (who in truth was anticipating a
rendezvous with the Duchesse de Berry) to the neighbouring Hotel de
l'Europe.

[Illustration: PALACES _of the GRAND CANAL_ VENICE]

Venice's Grand Canal is naturally the chief delight of the visiting
stranger. The Canalazzo is from fifty to seventy metres wide with a
length of three kilometres. A hundred and fifty or more palaces line
its banks, most of them bearing famous names of history. Shopkeepers and
manufacturers of various sorts occupy many of them, but they are still
capable of staggering any otherwise blasé curiosity-seekers. The
accompanying map with these palaces plainly marked should serve its
purpose better than quires of printed pages.

Shakespeare's "Jew of Venice" was no myth, whatever the shadowy
existence of Juliet and Desdemona may have been. Venice in the middle
ages had its Ghetto (a word which in Hebrew means "cut off" or "shut
off") where the Jews herded together and wore scarlet mantles in public
that they might be known and recognized by faith and profession. The
principal character of "The Merchant of Venice" was a very real entity,
and Shakespeare, believing the saying of Tacitus, wrote him down
truthfully as a man scrupulously faithful to his engagements, charitable
to others of his race, but filled with an invincible hatred towards all
other men.

[Illustration: _The So-called "House of Desdemona," Venice_]

Another Venetian type, not wholly disappeared to-day, is that of the
Venetian blonde of Titian, Veronese and Giorgione, a type of feminine
beauty unknown elsewhere. Italians are commonly brunettes, and indeed
perhaps the Venetians were of the same _teint_ one day. In the
Library of San Marco is a parchment of Cæsar Vecelli, a Cousin of
Titian, coming from the collections of the patrician Nani. It describes
how there were built at Venice many house tops with sun parlours or
_terrazi_. To these _terrazi_ the women of the city of the Doges, who
would bleach their hair by natural means, would repair and let the sun
do its work.

Casanova, too, remarked the feminine beauties of the Queen of the
Adriatic. He said of one of them: "I am content indeed to find so
beautiful a creature. I do not conceive how so ravishing a creature
could have lived so long in Venice without having married ere now."

As night draws down, the scene at Venice changes manifestly from what it
was in the garish sunlight of day. It becomes softer and more fairylike.
Across the Piazzetta the rosy flush still glints from the tower of the
island San Giorgio, though in the immediate neighbourhood day has
practically blackened into night. A sunset gun sounds from seaward and
here and there lights twinkle out when, in the magic of a very short
twilight, another scene is set, a more wonderful, more fairylike scene
than before, with a coming and going of firefly gondolas and boats, a
streaming of arcs and incandescents on shore, and in the midst of it
all a brass band arrives in front of San Marco and begins to bray
ragtime waltzes and serenades. The note may be a false one, but it
reiterates the fact that one may sit before his table at Florian's all
through the livelong day and night and see and hear the whole gamut of
joyousness played as it is nowhere else. The townfolk, the strangers
from the hotels, and sailor folk from the Lido and the Guiadecca all
mingle in a seemingly inextricable maze. These last are the most
picturesque note as to costuming and colouring in all Venice to-day.

The fishermen of the Guiadecca, swarthy hued and scarlet-capped, and
with heavy hoops of gold hanging from their ears, stroll about the
piazza as is their right, mingling with tourists and the "real
Venetians." All move about in lively measure like an operatic chorus,
but with a much more graceful and less conscious gait.

Night on the Piazza or the Piazzetta is not the least of Venice's
charms.

The background hills bordering upon the Venetian plain are a very
interesting corner of northern Italy. Throughout this region souvenirs
are not wanting of the glorious days of the Venetian Republic.

For her own protection Venice conquered the surrounding mainland as she
was laying the foundations of the island metropolis. Treviso fell to her
permanently in 1339, and Udine in 1420, as did later many other towns to
the south. From this time forth the lion of San Marco reared its head
from its pedestal in the market place of each of these allied towns.
Some five thousand square miles of Dalmatia came to Venice at this time
and thenceforth her position was assured. Venice was occupied by the
French in 1797 when Napoleon overthrew the Republic. It was the first
time the city had ever been occupied by an enemy. It was given to
Austria by a succeeding treaty, but later in 1805 was made over
definitely to Italy.

Treviso, on the highroad from Venice to Vienna, is a great overgrown
burg which lives chiefly in the historic past of the days when first it
became a bishop's see and was known as Trovisium, the capital of the
province of the same name.

A story is current of Treviso that once the people, to celebrate one of
the infrequent intervals of peace, had summoned all the neighbouring
populations to a splendid festival. Among other amusements they had
provided a mimic castle of wood, adorned in the most sumptuous manner.
Within this castle were stationed the twelve most beautiful ladies of
Padua, with their attendant maidens, loaded down with all kinds of
flowers and fruits. The chosen youths of the neighbouring cities
advanced in bands to attack the fortress defended by such a garrison.
The ladies made a long and vigorous defence. But finally a band of
Venetians pressed forward through the rain of projectiles, breached the
walls, and planted on them the banner of San Marco. The youth of Padua,
inflamed at this sight, pressed forward in turn to force their way
inside the fortifications. The two bands were crushed together in the
breach; angry words arose; from words both parties came to blows; the
Paduans proved the stronger and in the struggle seized on the banner of
San Marco and tore it to shreds. With difficulty the Trevisans restored
order and drove both parties out of the town. The Venetians flew to arms
to demand satisfaction for the outrage to their flag. The Government of
Padua refused it. Hence a war between the two cities, in which the
Paduans were worsted.

From Treviso to Belluno, and thence by the Ampesso Pass, is one of the
gateways leading from the Italian plain into Austria. Feltre, en route,
has a fine old "Rocca," or castle, with a square donjon tower.

En route to Belluno one should, if he comes this way at all, branch off
to Asolo. Among the many hundreds of visitors to Venice who formerly
climbed to the top of the Campanile of San Marco in order to enjoy the
wonderful panorama of the Venetian plain and mountains which it affords,
few, probably, recall the distant little city of Asolo which the guide
pointed out to them, unless, indeed, they happen to be familiar with
Robert Browning's poems, in which case they will, perhaps, wish to make
a pilgrimage out into these background hills the poet loved so well: "My
Asolo," as he called it in the introduction to the last volume of his
poems, "Asolando," written during his stay there in 1889. A trip among
the Asolan Hills will well repay not only the lover of poetry, but also
the artist and the ordinary traveller with a liking for quiet,
picturesque spots off the ordinary beaten track.

[Illustration: ASOLO]

The Albergo Asolo, in the main street, offers clean and characteristic
accommodation with charges to correspond. One turns off to Asolo from
Cornuda, a station on the Belluno line, or by road from the same place.
The imposing ruined Rocca is well worthy of a visit for the sake of
the extensive view obtainable from the hill on which it stands. On a
clear day the towers of Venice can be seen without a glass, and on every
side the view is remarkably fine. To the north, beyond the nearer range
of mountains, are visible several peaks in the Primiero group of
Dolomites--the Sasso del Mur, Sagron, and others. Another good point of
view is the belfry tower of the old Castello which was the residence of
Queen Cornaro, the deposed Queen of Cyprus, whose gay court made the
name of Asolo famous at the end of the fifteenth century.

From Treviso the road to Udine passes Conegliano, with a fine castle of
imposing proportions and a Triumphal Arch erected in the nineteenth
century to the Emperor of Austria.

Pordenone, ten kilometres farther on, is the old Portus Naonis of the
Romans. This is almost its sole claim to fame, except that "Il
Pordenone," a celebrated fifteenth century artist, was born here.

Codroipo, actually a place of no importance to-day, takes its name from
the crossing of two celebrated Roman roads of antiquity. Codroipo, by a
vague etymological sequence, is supposed to have the same meaning as
carrefour in French, i.e. _quadrivium_.

At Campo Formico, just before Udine is reached, Bonaparte and the
Emperor of Austria signed the treaty, in October, 1797, by which Venice
was so shamefully sacrificed by the French general to Austria. It was
one of the deepest blots in the political history of Napoleon. The mean
house in which this disastrous treaty was concluded is still pointed
out.

It was in the Villa Passarino, near Udine, that this infamous treaty saw
the light. Its gardens to-day are of the mixed formal and landscape
variety, and great renown belongs to it because of the prominence of the
Manins, its early owners. Borghetti restored the fabric in 1763, and it
remains to-day a far more satisfactory structure to look at than many
which are architecturally entitled to rank on a higher plane. Cypress
and oak form the greater part of the verdure of the gardens.

Udine, of the picturesque name, is a city of twenty thousand
inhabitants, once the capital of Friuli, and still surrounded by its
ancient walls. In the centre is the castle, now a prison, built in 1517
by Giovanni Fontana on the height chosen by Attila to view the burning
of Aquileja. Udine presents many features of resemblance in its
buildings to the mother city, to whose rule it was so long subjected:
it has its grand square, its Palazzo Publico, (1457)--a fine Gothic
building on pointed arches instead of the Doge's palace--the two
columns, the winged lion of San Marco, and a campanile with two figures
to strike the hours. Udine is indeed a little Venice, all but the canals
and quays and the Adriatic's waves.

South of Udine, on the marshy shore of the same series of lagoons which
surround Venice itself, is Aquileja. Aquileja was in ancient times one
of the most important provincial cities of Rome, and one of the chief
bulwarks of Italy. Augustus often resided here, and its population was
then estimated at 100,000. It was taken by Attila in 452, and reduced to
ashes by that ferocious barbarian. It contains at present about 1,500
inhabitants, and even they have a hard time clinging to the shreds of
life left them by a climate that is pestilential and damp.

From Venice and Treviso the Strada di Grande Communicazione runs to
Vicenza and Verona, the former 63 kilometres from Treviso and the latter
50 kilometres farther on. At Vicenza the highroad is joined by another
trunk-line from Padua, 32 kilometres to the southwest. All of these
roads are practically flat and are good roads in good weather and bad
roads--O! how bad!--in bad weather.

[Illustration: VICENZA]

Few strangers stop off at Vicenza, on the line from Verona to Venice.
Vicenza, then, is not lettered large in the guide books, and has only
appeared of late in the public prints because of being the home of the
romancer, Antonio Fogazzora. This makes it a literary shrine at all
events, so we stopped to look it over. It was more than this; we first
saw Vicenza by moonlight, and its silhouettes and shadows were as grimly
ancient as if seen in a dream. Daylight discovered other charms. There
were warm, lovable old Renaissance house fronts everywhere, with
overhanging tiled roofs and advanced grilled balconies; and there was
the Piazza dei Signori and its surrounding houses, almost entirely the
work of the architect Palladio.

The Municipio itself was not a dead, dull thing in drab stone, but with
a warm red tower, brought entire, it is said, from Venice, along with
two columns of the façade which are borne aloft on two sculptured lions.

Vicenza, the neglected tourist point, was offering much, and we were
glad we came.

Vicenza, more than any other of the little frequented tourist cities of
Italy, may be counted as _the_ city of palaces. They are of two
non-contemporary styles, the Venetian semi-gothic of a good era, and
Palladio's classical copies, also good of their kind, particularly so
when seen here in their natural environment.

In the Corso is a curious monumental structure called the Casa di
Palladio, built it is said by the great architect for his own use. He
had need for it as his work here was great and long in completion. It
is something more than a mere architect's office or bureau; it is in
fact a palace.

One of the most curious buildings in the city, and certainly one of the
most remarkable with which the name of Palladio is connected, is the
Teatro Olimpico. Contrary to the architect's manner of working, the
edifice has no façade, being entirely surrounded by houses. It was begun
in 1580, but in consequence of his death almost immediately afterwards
it was completed by his son, Scilla.

The scenery, which is fixed, represents the side of a species of piazza,
from which diverge streets of real elevation, but diminishing in size as
they recede in the perspective. A great effect of distance is obtained,
especially in the middle avenue. Daylight, however, by which a traveller
usually sees it, is injurious to the effect.

Palladio's architectural ideas went abroad even to England and many a
"stately home" in Britain to-day is a more or less faithful copy of a
Vicenza sixteenth century palazzo.

[Illustration: _Vicenza_]

The Rotonda Capra, now in ruins, so well known as Palladio's villa, was
copied by Lord Burlington and planted squat down on the banks of the
Thames at Chiswick. It loses considerably by transportation; it were
decidedly more effective at the base of Monte Berico in Venezia.

Palladio himself is buried in the local Campo Santo. His grave should
become an art lover's shrine, but no one has ever been known to worship
at it.

Between Vicenza and Verona runs a charming highway, strewn with villas
of a highly interesting if not superlatively grand architectural order.

A dozen or fifteen kilometres from Vicenza are the two castles of
Montecchio, the strongholds of the family of the name celebrated by
Shakespere as one of the rivals of the Capulets.

At the Bridge of Arcole is an obelisk in commemoration of the battle
when Napoleon went against the Austrians after his check at Caldiero.

Soave, a little further on, is an old walled town as mediæval in its
looks and doings as it was when its great gates and towers and its
castle fortress on the height were built six centuries ago.

Verona is reached in thirty kilometres and has a sentimental, romantic
interest beyond that possessed by any of the secondary cities of Italy.
It has not the great wealth of notable architectural splendours of many
other places, but what there is is superlatively grand, the structures
surrounding the Piazza Erbe and the Piazza dei Signori, for instance;
the old Ponte di Castel Vecchio; the great Roman Arena; and even the
Albergo all'Accademia, where one is remarkably well cared for in a fine
old mediæval palace with a monumental gateway, and an iron and carved
stone well in the courtyard.

[Illustration: _Seal of Verona_]

The glory and sentiment which overshadowed the Verona of another day
have passed, and now the noise of electric trams and the hoot of
automobile horns awaken the echoes in the same thoroughfares where one
day trampled the feet of warring hosts.

    "The glory of the Scaliger has passed,
     The Capuletti and Montague are naught:"

Instead we have the modern note sounding over all, and, if it is true
that the "fair Juliet sleeps in old Verona's town" hers must be a
disturbed sleep. The romance of Juliet Capulet and Romeo Montague was
real enough; that is, there was a real romance of the sort, and there
were real Capulets and Montagues. Just where the scene of this
particular romance was laid one is not so sure.

The "House of Juliet" at Verona, one of the stock sights of the guide
books, is of more than doubtful authenticity. Certainly, to begin with,
it does not comport in the least with the dignified marble palace and
its halls with which the stage-carpenter has built up the settings of
Shakespere's drama or Gounod's opera. Perhaps they embroidered too much.
Of course they did!

In 1905 the "Juliet House" was in danger of collapsing. As it is
nothing more than a picturesque old house, such as northern Italy
abounds in, perhaps it would not have mattered much had it fallen. It is
no more Juliet's house than Juliet's tomb is the tomb of Juliet. This
indeed has latterly been adjudged a mere water-trough. No house, it is
asserted, in Verona to-day can be declared with certainty as the house
of a Montague or a Capulet. Henry James points the moral of all this in
"The Custodians," and whether we can always make head and tail out of
his dialogues or not, his judgments are always sound.

In Verona the very gutters are of white marble. Balustrades,
window-sills and hitching posts are all of white or coloured marbles.
Verona is luxurious, if not magnificent, and its architecture is
marvellously interesting and beautiful, though frequently rising to no
great rank.

The great Roman Arena, so admirably preserved, is surrounded by the
Piazza Vittorio Emanuele. The contrast between yesterday and to-day at
Verona is everywhere to be remarked. Its old Arena and the Visconti
gateway seen by moonlight look as ancient as anything on earth, but the
cafés with their tables set out right across the Piazza, with a band
playing on a temporary platform, set up on trestles in the middle, and
electric trams swishing around the corner, are as modern as Earl's Court
or Coney Island, without however many of their drawbacks.

Verona is a city of marble and coloured stone, of terraces and cypresses
and all the Italian accessories which stagecraft has borrowed for its
Shakesperean settings. The cypresses planted around the outskirts of
Verona are said to be the oldest in Europe, but that is doubtful. They
are, some of them, perhaps four hundred years old, but on the shores of
the Etang de Berre, in old Provence, is a group of these same trees,
less lean, greater of girth and denser of foliage. Surely these must
have five hundred years to their credit according to Verona standards.

Verona is one of the cities of celebrated art where the authorities
control one's desire to dig about with a view to discovering buried
antiquities, even in one's own cellar or garden; much less may one sell
an old chimney pot or urn.

Recently a Signor and Signora Castello, who owned an ancient house in
Via del Seminario, sold the magnificent red marble portals and two
balconies without permission from the Government. They were fined two
thousand five hundred lire each, and ordered to replace the objects of
art.

After a long chase the Verona police discovered the articles in a
warehouse where they had been temporarily deposited previous to shipping
them abroad.

The balconies are of the same epoch as the famous one said to have been
the scene of the meeting of Romeo and Juliet. "American collectors keep
off" is the sign the Verona police would probably put up if they dared.



CHAPTER XVII

THROUGH ITALIAN LAKELAND


The lake region of the north is perhaps the most romantic in all Italy;
certainly its memories have much appeal to the sentimentally inclined.
Indeed the tourists are so passionately fond of the Italian lakeland
that they leave it no "close" season, but are everywhere to be remarked,
from Peschiera on the east to Orta on the west. Seemingly they are all
honeymoon couples and seek seclusion, and are therefore less offensive
than the general run of conducted parties which now "do" the Italian
round for a ten pound note from London, or the same thing from New York
for a couple of hundred dollars.

It is the fashion to revile the automobilist as a hurried traveller, but
he at least gets a sniff of the countryside en route which the others do
not.

Coming from the east through Verona, the traveller by road might do
worse than make a detour of a hundred kilometres out and back to
Mantua.

Mantua, on the banks of the Mincio, sits like a water-surrounded town of
the Low Countries. Mantua, above all, is a place of war, one of the
strongest in North Italy, forming with Verona, Legnago and Peschiera the
famous "Quadrilatera." Mantua has at least a tenth part of its
population made up of Jews. It sits partly surrounded by an artificial
lake formed by the Mincio, and the marsh land to the south can be
flooded, if it is deemed advisable, in case of siege. A great walled
enclosure, a series of fortified dykes, and a collection of detached
forts roundabout, put Mantua in a class quite by itself. It is a
melancholy, unlovely place from an æsthetic standpoint, but picturesque
in a certain crude way. The ancient Palazzo Gonzague of the Dukes of
Mantua, now known as the Corte Reale, is one of the most ambitious
edifices of its class in Italy. The view of the Palazzo Ducale at
Mantua, with the rising background of roofs, towers and domes, as seen
from the further end of the cobble-stone paved bridge over the Mincio,
is delightful. Artists do not like it as a general rule because of the
ugly straight line of the bridge, and the "camera fiend" makes a
hopeless mess of it, unless he seeks an hour or more for a "point of
view;" but for all that the scene is as quaint and beautiful a
composition as one can get of unspoiled mediævalism in these progressive
times, when usually telegraph poles and tram cars project themselves
into focus whether or no. There is nothing of the kind here.

[Illustration: PALAZZO DUCAL MANTUA]

The road from Mantua to Cremona, following the banks of the Mincio,
still preserves its Virgilian aspect. _Mantua væ miseræ nimium vicina
Cremonæ._ From this one infers that it is a bad road, and in truth it is
very bad; automobilists will not like it. Cremona's tower is seen from
afar, like the sailors' beacon from the sea. It is one of the most hardy
and the most renowned Gothic towers of Italy and has a height
approximating a hundred and twenty odd metres, say a little less than
four hundred feet.

Neighbouring upon this great Torrazo is the Palazzo Gonfaloneri, dating
from 1292. These two monuments, together with the magnificent Romanesque
Lombard Cathedral of the twelfth century, and the Casa Stradivari--where
he who gave his name to a violin lived--are Mantua's chief "things to
see." If the traveller can include Mantua in his itinerary, which truth
to tell is not easy without doubling on one's tracks, he should do so.

Travellers coming westward from Venice and passing Verona, hastening to
the Italian and Swiss lakes, usually give that region lying between
Verona and Como little heed. Naples, Rome, Florence, Venice and then
Switzerland and the Rhine is still too often the itinerary of hurried
papas and fond mamas. Even if the automobilist does not drop down on
Mantua and Cremona he should take things leisurely through the lake
region and stop en route as often as fancy wills. The Lago di Garda is
the most easterly of the Italian Lakes and the largest.

It is of great depth, 350 metres or more, is sixty odd kilometres in
length, and in places a third as wide. It is a product of the rivers and
torrents flowing down from the mountains of the Italian Tyrol. The
sudden storms which frequently come up to ruffle its bosom were
celebrated by some lines of Virgil and his example has been followed by
every other traveller ever caught in one of these storms. "_Fluctibus et
fremitu assurgens_" sang the bard, and the words still echo down through
time.

Peschiera and Desenzano are the principal ports at the southern end of
the lake, and each in its way is trying to be a "resort." The environs
are charming and the towns themselves interesting enough, though chiefly
from the point of view of the artist. The seeker after the gaieties and
pleasures of the great watering places will find nothing of the sort
here.

Between Peschiera and Desenzano juts out the promontory of Sermione. A
village is entered by a drawbridge and a mediæval gate on the south. On
the opposite side is a fortified wall that separates it from the
northerly portion of the island, and through which opens the only gate
in that direction. The old castle, in the form of a quadrangle, with a
high square tower, was entered on the north by a drawbridge. This
entrance is still well preserved, as well as its small port or
_darsena_, surrounded by crenelated battlements; but the principal
entrance is now on the side of the village, by a gate over which are
shields bearing the arms of the Scaligers. It is one of the most
imposingly militant of all the castles of north Italy. Only that of
Fénis in the Val d'Aoste is more so.

Riva, at the Austrian end of the lake of Garda, has its drawbacks but it
occupies a wonderful site nevertheless.

While Northern Tyrol is still wrapped in the white mantle of winter's
snow, and winter sports of every description furnish great amusement for
old and young, the lovely Lake of Garda is already beginning to show
signs of spring. All along the lake the great "_stanzoni_," or
lemon-houses for sheltering the lemon trees in winter, are, even in
January, often filled with blossoms.

[Illustration: _On the Lago di Garda_]

The best time to visit Riva is from February to June, and from the
middle of August to the end of October, but Riva at all times will be a
surprise and a delight to those who do not mind a _régime_ table d'hôte,
as the doctors have it, and the fact that everybody round about appears
to be a semi-invalid.

To Brescia from the foot of the Lake of Garda is a matter of twenty odd
kilometres, through a greatly varied nearby landscape, set off here and
there by vistas of the azure of the distant lake, the Alps of Tyrol and
the nearer Bergamese mountains.

"_Bologna la Grassa_" and "_Brescia Armata_" are two nick-names by which
the respective cities are known up and down Italy. Brescia, like most
Italian towns, is built on a hill top and is castle-crowned as becomes a
mediæval burg. Brescia's castle is an exceptionally strongly fortified
feudal monument. _Brescia Armata_ took its name from the fact that it
was ever armed against its enemies, which in the good old days every
Italian city was or it was of no account whatever. Brescia's enemies
could never have made much headway when attacking this hill-top
fortress, and must have contented themselves with sacking the cities of
the surrounding plain. To-day firearms in great quantities are made
here, and thus the city is still entitled to be called _Brescia
Armata_.

Brescia's market place is more thickly covered with great, squat,
mushroom umbrellas than that of any other city of its size in Italy.

Brescia is dear to the French because of its wraith of a mediæval
castle, once so vigorously defended by the Chevalier Bayard, that famous
knight _sans peur et sans reproche_.

A bastioned wall surrounds the gay little Lombard city in the genuine
romance fashion, albeit there is to-day very little romance in Brescia,
which lives mostly by the exploitation of its textile and metal
industries.

Brescia housefronts are as gaily decorated as those of Nuremberg, many
of them at least. It is a remarkable feature of Brescia's domestic
architecture.

The castle or citadel itself was built by the Viscontis in the
fourteenth century on the summit of a hill overlooking the town. The
Venetians strengthened it and again the Austrians. General Haynau
bombarded the low-lying city round about in barbarous fashion, so much
so that the memory of it caused him to be chased from London some years
later, when he was sent there as Ambassador.

[Illustration: _Castle of Brescia_]

The men of Brescia seem to have a passion for wearing a great Capucin
shoulder cloak, which looks very Spanish. It is most picturesque, and is
one of the characteristic things seen in all Brescia's public places,
_caffés_ and restaurants, and is worn by all those classes whom a
discerning traveller once described as men who work hard at doing
nothing, for Brescia's street corners are never vacant and her _caffés_
never empty.

Between Brescia and Bergamo is the Lake of Iseo; the fourth in size of
the north Italian lakes. The vegetation of its shores is purely Italian
and vineyards and olive groves abound. A fringe of old castle towers, of
walls, palaces and villas surround it, all blended together with a
historic web and woof of mediævalism and romance.

From Brescia to Bergamo runs one of the best national highroads in
Italy. The automobilist will appreciate this and will want to push on to
the end. He would do better to break it midway and drop down on the road
to Martinengo, a detour of twenty kilometres only, passing the great
Castle of Malpaga built by the celebrated Bartolommeo Colleoni, an
edifice which gives a more complete idea of unspoiled, unrestored
residence of a mediæval Italian nobleman than any other extant.

Bergamo is a strange combination of the new and the old. The upper and
lower towns--for it is built on a rise of the Bergamon Alps--have
nothing in common with each other. In the lower town there are great
hotels, shops, and even a vast factory which turns out a celebrated make
of automobiles. In the upper town there are market-men and women, with
chickens, vegetables and fruit to sell, all spread out under an imposing
array of great mushroom umbrellas only second to those of the market
place at Brescia.

Bergamo's chief architectural monuments are its churches, but its
ancient Broletto, or castle, of not very pure Gothic, but with a most
original façade, is worth them all put together in its appeal to one
with an eye for the picturesque. Its tower is a remarkably firm, solid
and yet withal graceful sentinel of dignity and power.

[Illustration: _Bergamo_]

Bergamo's great fair of Saint Alexander, held every year in August, was
once the rival of those great trading fairs of Leipzig and Beaucaire. Of
late it is of less importance, but holds somewhat to its ancient
traditions. Certainly it filled the Albergo Capello d'Oro to such an
extent that it was doubtful for a time if we could find a place. A sight
of our mud-covered automobile and of our generally bedraggled
appearance--for it had rained again, though that of itself is nothing
remarkable in Italy, and we had "mud-larked it" for the last fifty
kilometres,--caused somebody's conscience to smite him and find us
shelter.

[Illustration: Map The Italian Lakes]

Beyond Bergamo one enters the classic Italian Lake region, that which
has usually been seen through a honeymoon perspective, a honeymoon that
is long-lasting, as it invariably is in Italy as some of us know. All
through this lakeland of north Italy is an unbroken succession of charms
which certainly, from the sentimental and romantic point, has no equal
in Italy, or out of it in the same area.

The whole battery of little cities, towns, and townlets which surround
Lakes Como, Varese, Lugano and Maggiore are delightful from all points.
Theirs is a unique variety of charm which comports with the tranquil
mood, not at all the same as that possessed by the average scorching
automobilist who reads as he runs, and wishes to eat and drink and
absorb his romantic and historic lore in the same up-to-date fashion.
Not that the region is unsuited to automobile travel. Not at all, the
roads thereabouts are quite the best in Italy, and the towns themselves
picturesquely charming, if often lacking in ruined monuments of
mediævalism of the first rank. All of it is historic ground, and filled
with echoes of fact and fancy which still reverberate from its hills and
through its vales.

Not all of these lake-side towns can be catalogued here, no more than
are all included in the average itinerary, but from Lecco, at the
southern end of the Lecco arm of the Lago di Como, to Orta on the Lago
d'Orta will be found myriads of scenic surprises, dotted here and there
with quaint waterside towns, the lakes themselves being punctuated with
great white winged barques, with here and there the not unpicturesque
coil of smoke belching into the clear sky from a cranky, fussy little
steamboat.

One most often approaches the lake district from the east, via Lecco on
the eastern arm of Lake Como, or as it is locally called the Lago di
Lecco. Lecco itself is of no importance. Its site is its all-in-all, but
that is delightful. Between Lecco and Milan the highway crosses the Adda
by a magnificent bridge of ten arches built by Azzo Visconti in 1335.
Very few of the works of the old bridge-builders bear so ancient a date
as this. From Lecco to Monza the highroad skirts the Brianza, as the
last Alpine foot-hills are called before the mountains flatten out into
the Lombard Plain. At Arcore is the villa of the Adda family with a
modern chapel.

One can go north from Lecco to Bellaggio by steamer, when he will arrive
in the very heart of lakeland, or he may go directly west by the
highroad to Como and take his point of departure from there. The Lake of
Como was the Lacus Larius of the Romans and the Lari Maxime of Virgil.
It is a hundred and ninety metres above sea level and among all other of
the Swiss and Italian lakes holds the palm for the beauty of its
surroundings.

At Nesso is the Villa Pliniana, built in 1570. It is not named for
Pliny, but because of a nearby spring mentioned in his writings.
Pliny's villa was actually at Lenno, in a dull gloomy site and he
properly enough called the villa Tragedia.

Como, the city, is ancient, for the younger Pliny, who was born in the
ancient _municipium_ of Comum, asserts that it was then a "flourishing
state." It does not enter actively into history, however, after the fall
of the Roman Empire, until 1107, when it became an independent city. It
remained a republic for two centuries and then it fell under the
dominion of the Visconti since which time its fate has ever been bound
up with that of Milan.

The Broletto or municipal palace is curiously built of black and white
marble courses, patched here and there with red. It is interesting, but
bizarre, and of no recognized architectural style save that it is a
reminder of the taste of the people of the Lombard Republics with
respect to their civic architecture in the thirteenth century. Como's
Duomo is, on the contrary, a celebrated and remarkably beautiful
structure. The distinction made between the taste in ecclesiastical and
civic architecture of the time can but be remarked.

[Illustration: _On the Lago di Como_]

The military architecture of Como, as indicated by the gates in its old
city wall, was of a high order. The Porta della Torre, the chief of
the gates remaining, and leading out to the Milan road, rises five
stories in air.

The Palazzo Giovio is now the local museum. Paolo Giovio built the
crudely ornate edifice, and began the collection of antiquities and
relics which it now contains. Above Como, but outside the city, rises a
curious lofty tower called the Bardello. It may have been built as one
of the defences of the Lombard Kings, or it may not, but at any rate
there is no doubt that it witnessed the rise and fall of the Milanese
dynasties from the first. Como, one of the first cities to assert its
independence, was the first to lose it. Prisoners of state were put into
iron cages and stowed away in the Bardello--like animals or birds in a
live stock show. They were all tagged and numbered and were fed at
infrequent, uncertain hours. Not many lived out their terms; mostly they
died, some of hunger, some eaten up by vermin and more than one by
having dashed their brains out on the iron bars of their cages.

All about Como are little lake settlements peopled with villas and
hotels where many a mediæval and modern romance has been lived in the
real. It is all very delightful, but in truth all is stagey.

[Illustration: Cadenabbia]

At Cadenabbia is the Villa Carlotta, named for Charlotte the Duchess of
Saxe-Meiningen. Its structural elements build up into something
imposing, if not in the best of taste, and its gardens are of the
conventionally artificial kind which look as though they might be part
of a stage setting.

Bellaggio, on the eastern shore of the lake, is a place of large hotels,
no history of remark, and the site of the villa Serbelloni, with which
the proprietor of one of the hotels seems to have some special
arrangement, in that he passes visitors to and fro from his
establishment to the villa in genuine showman fashion. Beyond its site,
which is entrancingly lovely, it has no appeal whatever from either the
architectural or the landscape gardening point of view.

Mennagio, Belluno and Varenna are in the same category and are tourist
show places only. Gravadona is different in that it has two remarkably
beautiful churches, which can be omitted from no consideration of
Italian church architecture, and the Palazzo de Pero, built in 1586 for
Cardinal Gallio which, with its four angle-towers, is more like a
fortress than a prelate's residence.

Near Gravadona is the outline of an ancient highway known as the Strada
Regina. Supposedly it was made centuries and centuries ago by
Theodolinda, Queen of the Lombards, and must be one of the oldest roads
in existence.

The Lago di Lugano is the most irregular of all the Italian Lakes. In
part it lies in Lombardy and in part within the Swiss canton of Ticino.
Its scenery is quite distinct from that of the other Italian lakes, not
more beautiful perhaps, but less prolifically surrounded by that
sub-tropical verdure which is characteristic of Garda and Como. In the
northeasterly portion, around Porlezza, the precipitous outlines of the
mountains round about lend an almost savage aspect.

Lugano itself is very near the Swiss border but is thoroughly Italian,
with deep arcaded streets, and here and there a Renaissance façade such
as can be found nowhere out of Italy.

The Lago di Varese is the smallest of all the lakes. In the
neighbourhood is produced a great deal of silk, and a species of easily
worked marble or alabaster called Marmo Majolica. Varese itself, while
not destitute of monuments of architectural worth, is more noticeably a
place of modern villas, most of which are occupied by wealthy Milanese.

[Illustration: _On the Lago di Maggiore_]

From Varese to Laveno on the Lago di Maggiore is a matter of fifty
kilometres, and here one comes to the most famous, if not the most
beautiful, of all the lakes.

The whole range of towns circling this daintily environed lake have an
almost inexpressible charm, and its islands--the Borromean Islands--are
superlatively beautiful.

Baveno, on the mainland, and its villas, modern though they are, is a
charming place, and Stresa, a little further to the south, is even more
delightfully disposed. All about the Italian lakeland are the modern
villa residences of distinguished Milanese, Turinese and Genoese
families.

Arona is at the southern end of the lake. Above this town is a colossal
statue of San Carlo Borromeo, the head, hands and feet being cast in
bronze, the remainder being fabricated of beaten copper.

The famous Borromean Islands in the Lago di Maggiore number four: Isola
Bella, Isola Madre, Isola San Giovanni and Isola dei Piscatori, of which
the three former belong to the Borromean family, whilst the latter is
divided among small proprietors.

The vast Palazzo of Isola Bella was a conception of an ancestor of the
present family in 1671. The great fabric, with its terraces, gardens and
grottoes, is an exotic thing of the first importance. It is idyllically
picturesque, but withal inartistic from many points of view. The
contrast of all this semi-tropical luxuriousness with its snow-capped
Alpine background is not its least remarkable feature. It has been
called "fairylike," "a caprice of grandiose ideas," and "enchanted," and
these words describe it well enough. It looks unreal, as if one saw it
in a dream. Certainly its wonderful panoramic background and foreground
are not equalled elsewhere and no garden carpet of formal flowerbeds
ever made so beautifully disposed a platform on which to stand and
marvel. The architect of it all made no allowance apparently for the
natural setting, but overloaded his immediate foreground with all things
that suggested themselves to his imaginative mind. Somehow or other he
didn't spoil things as much as he might have done. The setting is
theatrical and so are the accessories; all is splendidly spectacular,
and, since this is its classification, no one can cavil. What other
effect could be produced where ten staired terraces tumble down one on
another in a veritable cascade simply as a decorative accessory to a
monumental edifice and not as a thing of utility?

On Isola Madre is another vast structure surrounded by tropical and
semi-tropical trees, flowers and shrubs. A chapel contains many of the
tombs of the Borromeo family.

The Isola dei Piscatori is the artists' paradise of these parts. It
lacks the "prettiness" of the other islands but gains in "character" as
artists call that picturesqueness which often is unsuspected and unseen
by the masses.

Going back to history, here is what happened once on the Isola Bella: It
is a warm June night. The mauve summits of the Simplon and the _reflets_
of the mirrored lake throw back a penetrating shimmer to the view.
Coming from Baveno, and holding straight its course for Isola Bella, is
a gently moving bark. It is the year 1800, and on the stern seat of the
boat sits the First Consul, who was once the Little Corporal and
afterwards became Napoleon I.

The French army had freed the Alps, some days before. Over the passes of
Mont Cenis, of the Simplon, of Saint Bernard, and Saint Gothard they had
come, soon to form in battle line on the plains of Piedmont. Moncey was
at the gates of Milan, Lannes held the passage of the Po. The First
Consul, arriving on the shores of the Lago di Maggiore, decided to pass
the night in the Castle of Isola Bella, alone on this enchanting isle,
with his thoughts and his plans. Bonaparte jumped first from the boat as
it grated on the sands and was received by a grotesquely attired
major-domo, in the name of the Counts of Borromeo, the sovereign princes
of this tiny archipelago.

In the seigneurial chamber, of which the furniture comprised a great
four poster dating from the time of the Medicis, a massive round table,
its top laid in mosaic, some chairs and a terrestrial globe, Napoleon
shook off the dust of travel forthwith: but he did not seek repose. On
the mosaic table-top Napoleon unfolded a great map of Italy, and with
forehead in his hands gazed attentively at its tracings, soliloquizing
thus: "Yes, Italy is reconquered already; the Austrian army cannot
escape me. Fifteen days will suffice to efface the disasters of two
years. The Austrian army is already in retreat; its rear guard has
become its advance guard. The tricolour of France will yet float on the
shores of the Adriatic. I shall march on Rome. I will chase the hateful
Bourbons from the Kingdom of Naples for ever. Europe will tremble at the
echo of my footsteps."

[Illustration: _Orta_]

Finally the twilight faded; back of the mountains of Lugano shone a
brilliant star. Napoleon thought it his star of destiny. To the wide
open window came the First Consul for a breath of the sweet night air.
It acted like champagne. He turned back into the room; he kicked over
the terrestrial globe of the Borromeo; he threw the map of Italy to the
floor. "What is Italy!" he cried, "a mere nothing! Bah! it's hardly
worth the conquering. Certainly not worth more than a few weeks. But I
will leave the memory of my name behind. And then--and then Saint Jean
d'Acre, the Orient, the Indies. _Allons_, we will follow the route of
Tamerlane! Poland will come to life again, Moscow, St. Petersburg ..."
and then he dreamed.

And that is what passed one night in the Palazzo Borromeo a little more
than a hundred years ago.

From the shores of the Lago di Maggiore to Orta, on the lake of that
name, is a short dozen kilometres from either Arona or Baveno. At Orta
the traveller may take his ease at an humble inn and from its broad
balcony overhanging the lake enjoy emotions which he will not experience
at every halting place.

Orta's Municipio, or Town hall, dominating its tiny Piazza is
unspeakably lovely though indeed it is a hybrid blend of the
architecture of Germany and Italy. It might as well be in Nuremberg, in
Bavaria or Barberino in Tuscany for all it looks like anything else in
Piedmont.

Out in the lake glitters--glitters is the word--Isola San Giulio, its
graceful campanile and ancient stone buildings hung with crimson
creepers and mirrored in the clear blue depths. About this island there
hangs a legend. The story goes that no one could be found ready to ferry
the apostle Julius across to the chosen site of his mission in the year
1500. According to popular rumour the isle was haunted by dragons and
venomous reptiles that none dared face. Not to be deterred from his
purpose, the holy man spread his cloak upon the water, and floated
quickly and quietly across. Nor did the miracle end here, for, as with
St. Patrick of Ireland, the unclean monsters, acknowledging his power,
retired to a far-away mountain, leaving the saint unmolested to carry on
his labours, which were continued after his death by faithful friends.
This is the story as it is told on the spot.

The island was held as an outpost against invasions for many years, and
for long witnessed the hopeless struggles of a brave woman, Villa, wife
of King Berenger of Lombardy, who was besieged there by the Emperor Otho
the Great.



CHAPTER XVIII

MILAN AND THE PLAINS OF LOMBARDY


The great artichoke of Lombardy, whose petals have fallen one by one
before its enemies of Piedmont, is now much circumscribed in area
compared with its former estate.

From Como to Mantua and from Brescia to Pavia, in short the district of
Milan as it is locally known to-day, is the only political entity which
has been preserved intact. Tortona, Novara, Alessandria and Asti have
become alienated entirely, and for most travellers Milan is Lombardy and
Lombardy is Milan. To-day the dividing line in the minds of most is
decidedly vague.

Lombardy is the region of all Italy most prolific in signs of modernity
and prosperity, and, with Torino, Milan shares the honour of being the
centre of automobilism in Italy. The roads here, take them all in all,
are of the best, though not always well conditioned. That from Milan to
Como can be very, very good and six months later degenerate into
something equally as bad. The roads of these parts have an enormous
traffic over them and it is for this reason, as much as anything, that
their maintenance is difficult and variable. For the greater part they
are all at a general level, except of course in entering or leaving
certain cities and towns of the hills and on the direct roads leading to
the mountain passes back of Torino, or the roads crossing the lake
region and entering Switzerland or the Oberland.

Lombardy in times past, and to-day to some extent, possessed a dialect
or patois quite distinct from the Franco-Italian mélange of Piedmont, or
the pure Italian of Tuscany. The Lombard, more than all other dialects
of Italy, has a decided German flavour which, considering that the
Lombard crown was worn by a German head, is not remarkable. In
time--after the Guelph-Ghibelline feud--Lombardy was divided into many
distinct camps which in turn became recognized principalities.

The Viscontis ruled the territory for the most part up to 1447, when the
condottière Francesco Sforza developed that despotism which brought
infamy on his head and State, a condition of affairs which the Pope
described as conducive to the greatest possible horrors.

[Illustration: A Lombard Fête]

Lombardy has ever been considered the real paradise and land of riches
of all Italy, and even now, in a certain luxuriousness of attitude
towards life, it lives up to its repudiation of the days of the
dominating Visconti and Sforza.

Milan is to-day the luxurious capital of Lombardy, as was Pavia in the
past. At one time, be it recalled, Milan was a Duchy in its own right.
Years of despotism at the hands of a man of genius made Milan a great
city and the intellectual capital of Italy. Milanese art and
architecture of the fifteenth century reached a great height. It was
then, too, that the Milanese metal workers became celebrated, and it was
a real distinction for a knight to be clad in the armour of Milan.

    "Well was he armed from head to heel
     In mail and plate of Milan steel."

Milan has a history of the past, but paradoxically Milan is entirely
modern, for it struggled to its death against Pavia, the city of five
hundred and twenty-five towers, and was born again as it now is. One
should enter Milan in as happy a mood as did Evelyn who "passynge by
Lodi came to a grete citty famous for a cheese little short of the best
Parmesan." It was a queer mood to have as one was coming under Milan's
spell, and the sculptured and Gothic glories of the Cathedral, as it
stands in completion to-day, are quite likely to add to, rather than
detract from, any preconceived idea of the glories of the city and its
treasures.

Milan is one of the most princely cities of Europe, and lies in the
centre of a region flowing with milk and honey. In Evelyn's time it had
a hundred churches, seventy monasteries and forty thousand inhabitants.
To-day its churches and monasteries are not so many, but it has a
population of half a million souls.

The comment of the usual tourist is invariably: "There is so little to
see in Milan." Well, perhaps so! It depends upon how hard you look for
it. Milan is a very progressive up-to-date sort of city, but its storied
past has been most momentous, and historic monuments are by no means
wanting. Milan is modern in its general aspect, it is true, and has
little for the unexpert in antiquarian lore, but all the same it has
three magic lode stones; its luxuriously flamboyant Gothic Duomo; its
Ambrosian Library and its Palace of arts and sciences, La Brera.

Tourists may forget the two latter and what they contain, but they will
not forget the former, nor the Arch of Triumph built as a guide post by
Napoleon on his march across Europe, or the Galleria Victor-Emmanuel,
"as wide as a street and as tall as a Cathedral," a great arcade with
shops, cafés, restaurants and the like.

There is the Scala opera house, too, which ranks high among its kind.

Milan's "eighth wonder of the world," its great Cathedral, is the chef
d'oeuvre of the guide books. Details of its magnitude and splendours
are there duly set forth. Milan's Cathedral has long sheltered a dubious
statue of St. Bartholomew, and tourists have so long raved over it that
the authorities have caused to be graven on its base: "I am not the work
of Praxiteles but of Marcus Agrates." Now the throngs cease to admire,
and late experts condemn the work utterly. Such is the follow-my-leader
idea in art likes and dislikes! And such is the ephemeral nature of an
artist's reputation!

The Palazzo Reale occupies the site of the Palazzo di Corte of the
Visconti and the Sforza of the fourteenth century, "one of the finest
palaces of its time," it is recorded. The Palazzo of to-day is a poor,
mean thing architecturally, although the residence of the King to-day
when he visits Milan. The Archiepiscopal Palace of the sixteenth
century is perhaps the finest domestic establishment of its class and
epoch in Milan.

Milan's Castello, the ancient castle of Milan, was the ancient ducal
castle, built by Galeazzo Visconti II in 1358, to keep the Milanese in
subjection. It was demolished after his death, but rebuilt with
increased strength by Gian Galeazzo. On the death of the Duke Filippo
Maria, the Milanese rose (1447), and, having proclaimed the "Aurea
respublica Ambrosiana," destroyed the castle. It was rebuilt (1452) by
Francesco Sforza, "for the ornament (he said) of the city and its safety
against enemies." This building, completed in 1476, is the one now
standing. In the interior is a keep, where the dukes often resided.
Philip II added extensive modern fortifications, and caused to be pulled
down all the neighbouring towers which overlooked them. The castle was
taken by the French in 1796, and again in 1800, when Napoleon ordered
the fortifications to be razed. It has since been converted into a
barrack. Of the round towers at the angles, those towards the north have
been replaced by modern brick ones, while the two towards the city,
formed of massive granite blocks, remain. During the vice-royalty of
Eugene Beauharnais, a Doric gateway of granite, with a portico, or
line of arches, now filled up, on each side, and in the same style, was
erected on the northwest side; between each arch is a medallion
containing the bas-relief portrait of some illustrious Italian military
commander.

[Illustration: _The Ancient Castle of Milan_]

The Napoleonic arch, the Arco della Pace, is a remarkably interesting
civic monument, a reproduction of a temporary affair first built of wood
and canvas in 1806. Now it stands, a comparatively modern work to be
sure, but of splendid design and proportions, built of white marble, and
elaborately decorated with sculptures all at the expense of Napoleon,
who, on his march of migratory conquest, deigned to devote 200,000
francs to the purpose.

Milan's hotels are of all sorts and conditions, but with a decided
tendency towards the good, as is fitting in so opulent a country.
Bertolini's Hotel Europe takes a high rank, at corresponding charges, as
for instance four francs for a "box" for your automobile. The Touring
Club Italiano endorses the Albergo del Cervo, where you pay nothing for
garage and may eat as bountifully as you will of things Italian, real
Italian, at from two to three francs a meal. One of the most amusing
things to do in Milan is to lunch or dine in one of the great glass
covered galleries near the cathedral, and one feasts well indeed for the
matter of four francs, with another couple of francs for a bottle of
Asti. These great restaurants of the galleries may lack a certain aspect
of the next-to-the-soil Italian restaurants, but they do show a phase of
another class of Italian life and here "Young Italy" may be seen taking
his midday meal and ordering English or German beer or Scotch or
American whiskey. He shuns the Italian items on the bill of fare and
orders only exotics. You on the contrary will do the reverse.

Pavia, thirty odd kilometres south of Milan, was ever a rival of the
greater city of to-day. Pavia is a tourist point, but only because it is
on the direct road from Milan.

Pavia was the Lombard capital from 572 to 774. Its old walls and
ramparts remain, in part, to-day and the whole aspect of the town is one
of a certain mediævalism which comports little with the modernity of its
neighbour, Milan, which has so far outgrown its little brother.

Pavia's Certosa, on the road from Milan to Pavia, is its chief
architectural splendour. Of that there is no doubt. It is the most
gorgeously endowed and most splendid monastery in all the world, founded
in 1396 by one of the Visconti as an atonement to his conscience for
having murdered his uncle and father-in-law.

A Venetian, Bernardo da Venezia, was probably the architect of the
Certosa, and brick work and superimposed marble slabs and tablets all
combine in an elegance which marks the Certosa of Pavia as
characteristic of the most distinctive Lombard manner of building of its
epoch.

Within the city itself still stands the grim Castello, built on the site
of the palace of the Lombard kings. The present building, however, was
begun in 1460 and completed in 1469. It formed an ample quadrangle,
flanked by four towers, two of which alone remain. The inner court was
surrounded by a double cloister, or loggia; in the upper one the arches
were filled in by the most delicate tracery in brickwork. The whole was
crowned by beautiful forked battlements. In the towers were deposited
the treasures of literature and art which Gian Galeazzo had
collected:--ancient armour; upwards of 1,000 MSS., which Petrarch had
assisted in selecting; and many natural curiosities. All these Visconti
collections were carried to France in 1499 by Louis XII and nothing was
left but the bare walls. One side of the palace or castle was demolished
during the siege by Lautrec in 1527; but in other respects it continued
perfect, though deserted, till 1796, when it was again put into a state
of defence by the French. They took off the roof and covered the
vaultings with earth; and when the rains came on in autumn, the weight
broke down the vaultings, and ruined a great part of the edifice. It has
since been fitted up as a military barracks. The great ruined gateway,
once entered by a drawbridge crossing the fosse, is still the most
imposing single detail, and the great quadrangle, with its fourteenth
century arcades and windows, "a medley of Gothic and Bramantesque," is
striking, although the marble and terra-cotta ornaments are much
dilapidated.

François I's famous mot: "all is lost save honour," uttered after the
eventful battle of Pavia, will go down with that other remark of his:
"Oh, God, but thou hast made me pay dear for my crown," as the two most
apropos sayings of Renaissance times.

One has to look carefully "under the walls of Pavia," to-day for any
historical evidence of the fatal day of François I when he lost his
"all, save honour." Du Bellay has painted the picture so well that in
spite of the fact that four hundred years have rolled by, it seems
unlikely that even the most superficial traveller should not find some
historic stones upon which to build his suppositions.

Pavia's great University flowered in 1362, and owes much to the generous
impulses of Galeas II, who founded its chairs of civic and canonical
law, medicine, physics and logic. Galeas II was a great educator, but he
was versatile, for he invented a system of torture which would keep a
political prisoner alive for forty days and yet kill him at the end of
forty-one.

If one returns to Milan via the Bridge of Lodi he will have made a
hundred kilometre round of classic Lombard scenery. It possesses no
elements of topographic grandeur but is rich and prosperous looking, and
replete with historic memory, every kilometre of it.

Lodi has evolved its name from the ancient Laus of the Romans, another
evidence of the oblique transformation of Latin into the modern dialect.
The men of Lodi were ever rivals of the Milanese, but it is to
Napoleon's celebrated engagement at the Bridge of Lodi that it owes its
fame in the popular mind.

Above Lodi, the River Adda circles and boils away in a sort of whirlpool
rapid, which Leonardo da Vinci, setting his palette and brushes aside,
set about to control by a dam and a series of sluices. How well he
succeeded may be imagined by recalling the fact that the Italian Edison
Company in recent years availed themselves of the foundation of his plan
in their successful attempt to turn running water into electricity.

The panorama to the north of Milan is grandiose in every particular. On
the horizon the Alpine chain lies clear-cut against the sky, the Viso,
Grand Paradise, Mont Blanc, Splugen and other peaks descending in one
slope after another, one foothill after another, until all opens out
into the great plain of Lombardy.

North of Milan, towards Como and the Alpine background, is Monza. Lady
Morgan called Monza dreary and silent, but her judgments were not always
sound; she depended too much upon moods and hers were many.

Monza's Broletto was built by Frederick Barbarossa, or it was a part of
a palace built by that monarch. Italian Gothic of an unmistakable local
cast is its style and the effect is heightened by the _ringhiera_
between the windows of the south side.

In Monza's Cathedral--an antique interior with a Gothic exterior, by the
way--is the celebrated Iron Crown of Lombardy with which the German
Emperors of Lombardy were crowned. Charles V, Napoleon and Ferdinand I
also made use of the same historic bauble which is not of much
splendour. It costs a five franc fee to see it, and the sight is not
worth the price of admission.

[Illustration: THE IRON CROWN OF LOMBARDY]

From Milan to Domodossola, leaving Italy via the Simplon Pass, is 177
kilometres, or, via Bellinzona and the Splugen, 207 kilometres with
mediocre roads until the lake region is reached, when they improve
decidedly, being of the very best as they ascend the mountain valleys.



CHAPTER XIX

TURIN AND THE ALPINE GATEWAYS


The mountains of Piedmont are of the same variety as those of
Switzerland and Savoy. They form the highland background to Turin which
gives it its magnificent and incomparable framing.

Turin, or Torino, was the old capital of the Duchy of Savoy, then of the
Kingdom of Sardinia, up to 1864, and to-day is the chief city of
Piedmont.

Turin is laid out in great rectangular blocks, with long straight
streets, and it is brilliant and beautiful as modern cities go, but
there is not much that is romantic about it, save an occasional
historical memory perpetuated by some public monument.

[Illustration: _Palazzo Madonna, Turin_]

Turin at the time of the founding of the kingdom of Sardinia, which
included also the domain of the house of Savoy, contained but 75,000
inhabitants. Said Montesquieu, who visited it in 1728: "It is the most
beautiful city in the world." De Brosseo, a few years later, declared
it to be "the finest city in Italy, by the proper alignment of its
streets, the regularity of its buildings, and the beauty of its
squares." From this point of view the same holds true to-day, but it is
not sympathetic and winsome in the least, and it is not for the
contemplation of straight streets, square, box-like buildings or formal
public garden plots that one comes to Italy.

Turin's monumental memories are by no means non-existent or unclassed,
but they are almost overpowered by the modern note which rings so loudly
in one's ears and flashes so vividly in one's eyes.

Of them all the Palazzo Madonna has the greatest appeal. It was
originally a thirteenth century construction of the Montferrats, but was
added to at various times until well along in the eighteenth century,
when it became the palace of Madonna Reale, the widow of Charles
Emmanuel II. All its value from an architectural point of view is in its
exterior aspect, but its trim twelve-sided towers have a real
distinction that a heavier, more clumsy donjon often lacks.

The Palazzo Carignano is a fanciful invention of an architect, Guarni by
name, who in 1680 had no very clear idea as to what a consistent and
pleasing architectural conception should be. This palace's sole reason
to be remembered is that it was the residence of King Carlo-Alberto.
To-day Guarni's original façade has been covered by a non-contemporary
colonnade, with columns and statues of a certain impressive presence,
which would be considered handsome if it were some degrees finer in
workmanship, for the conception was certainly on becoming general lines.

The Palazzo Valentino, built in 1633 by Christine of France, the
daughter of Henri IV and Marie de Medici, and wife of Vittorio Amedeo
II, is now devoted to the usages of an educational institution. It is on
the classic French chateau order and is as out of place in Italy as the
Italian Renaissance architecture is in England.

On the Piazza Castello rises Turin's old castle of the fourteenth
century, built of brick, and, though moss-grown, it is hardly a ruin.

The Palazzo Reale, built in 1678 on the north side of the Piazza, is
severe and simple as to exterior, but luxurious enough within by reason
of the collections which it houses.

In the armory of Turin's royal palace is the full suit of armour worn by
Duke Emanuele-Filiberto on the occasion of the battle of St. Quentin,
and made by his own hand. He was an armourer, a silversmith and a worker
in fine metals beyond compare. In peace he was a craftsman without an
equal; in war he was the same kind of a fighter.

Another armour suit is of gigantic proportions. Who its owner was
history and the catalogue fail to state. The breast-plate bears a ducal
coronet and the letter F. The suit contains enough metal to armour plate
a small battle ship. For the more sentimentally inclined there is a
cabinet of delicately fashioned stilettos, which we have always fondly
believed were the national arms of Italy. These particular stilettos
were taken from fair ladies after they had made away with their lovers
when they came to be a nuisance. Fickle women!

Turin is one of the many places on the map of Europe famous for a
specialty in the eating line. This time it is chocolate. Let not any one
think that all chocolate comes from Aiguebelle or Royat. The bread of
Turin, "_grissini_," is also in a class by itself. It is made in long
sticks about the diameter of a pipe stem, and you eat yards of it with
your _minestra_ and between courses.

The puppet show or marionette theatres of Turin have ever been famous,
indeed the _fantoccini_ theatre had its origin in Piedmont. The buffon
Gianduja was of Piedmontese birth, as was Arlequino of Bergamo.

Around Turin are various suburban neighbourhoods with historic memories
and some palace and villa remains which might well be noted.

The Vigna della Regina, or the Queen's Vineyard, is the name given to a
once royal residence, now a girls' school. The house was built in 1650
by Cardinal Maurice of Savoy. Another one of the nearby sights, not
usually "taken in," is the natural garden (an undefiled landscape
garden) arranged in the sixteenth century by the Duke of Savoy, Emanuele
Filiberto.

King Carlo Felice had a country house called the Castello d'Aglie to the
north of the city. It is remarkable for nothing but the pure air of the
neighbourhood, and that abounds everywhere in these parts.

[Illustration: On the Strada, Moncenisio]

At Rivoli, a few kilometres out on the Mont Cenis road, is a clumsily
built, half finished mass of buildings, planned by Vittorio Amedeo II.
in the eighteenth century as a royal residence to which he some day
might return if he ever got tired of playing abdicator. He occupied
it surely enough, in due course, but as a prisoner, not as a ruler. He
was a well-meaning monarch, and through him the house of Savoy obtained
Sardinia, but he made awful blunders at times, or at least one, for
ultimately he landed in prison where he died in 1732.

Six leagues from Turin is the little garrison town of Pinerolo. A heap
of stones on the mountain marks the site of a chateau where were once
imprisoned the man of the Iron Mask, Lauzun, the political prisoner of
history, and Fouquet, the money-grabbing minister of Louis XIV.

Lauzun and his personal history make interesting reading for one versed
in things Italian and French. He made a famous _mot_ when being
transported to his mountain prison. He was requested from time to time
to descend from his carriage, whenever by chance it had got stuck in the
mud or wedged between offending rocks. With much apology he was begged
to descend. "Oh! this is nothing; these little misfortunes of travel are
nothing of moment compared to the object of my journey." Other prisoners
may have put things similarly, but hardly with the same grace of
diction.

Let no automobilist, on leaving Turin, come out by way of Pinerolo
unless he is prepared for a detour of a hundred kilometres, a rise of
2,000 metres and a drop down again to 1,300 metres at Cesana Tarinese,
where he strikes the main road over the Col de Mont Cenis to Modane in
France, or via the Col de Mont Genevre to Briançon. The direct road from
Turin is via Rivoli and Suse.

Not every traveller in Italy knows the half-hidden out-of-the-way Val
d'Aoste, the obvious gateway from Turin to the north via the Col du
Saint Bernard. Travellers by rail rush through via the Simplon or Mont
Cenis and know not the delights and joys which possess the traveller by
road as he plunges into the heart of the Alps through the gateway of the
Val d'Aoste.

The Val d'Aoste, less than a hundred kilometres, all counted, has more
scenic and architectural surprises than any similar strip in Europe, but
it is not a _piste_ to be raced over by the scorching automobilist at
sixty miles an hour. On the contrary it can not be done with
satisfaction in less than a day, even by the most blasé of tourists. The
railway also ascends the valley as far as Aoste, and one may cross over
by coach into France or Switzerland by either the Col du Petit Saint
Bernard or the Col du Grand Saint Bernard. It is worth doing!

The whole Val d'Aoste is one great reminder of feudal days and feudal
ways. Curiously enough, too, in this part of Piedmont the aspect is as
much French as Italian, and so too is the speech of the people. At
Courmayer, for instance, the street and shop signs are all in French,
and _'om_ the diminutive of _homme_ replaces the Italian _uomo_; _cheur_
stands for _coeur_ and _sita_ for _cité_ and _citta_. This patois is
universal through the upper valleys, and if one has any familiarity with
the patois of Provence it will not be found so very strange. French,
however, is very commonly understood throughout Piedmont, more so than
elsewhere in north Italy, where, for a fact, a German will find his way
about much more readily than a Frenchman.

One blemish lies all over the Val d'Aoste. It was greatly to be remarked
by travellers of two or three generations ago and is still in evidence
if one looks for it, though actually it is decreasing. Large numbers of
the population are of the afflicted class known as _Cretins_, and many
more suffer from _goitre_. It is claimed that these diseases come from a
squalid filthiness, but the lie is given to this theory by the fact that
there is no apparent filthiness. The diseases are evidently hereditary,
and at some time anterior to their appearance here they were already
known elsewhere. They are then results of an extraneous condition of
affairs imported and developed here in this smiling valley through the
heedlessness of some one. There are certain neighbourhoods, as at
Courmayer and Ivrea, where they do not exist at all, but in other
localities, and for a radius of ten kilometres roundabout, they are most
prevalent.

The southern gateway to the Val d'Aoste is the snug little mountain of
Ivrea, 50 kilometres from Turin. The cheese and butter of the Italian
Alps, known throughout the European market as Beurre de Milan, is mostly
produced in this neighbourhood, and the ten thousand souls who live here
draw almost their entire livelihood from these products. Ivrea has an
old Castle of imposing, though somewhat degenerate, presence. It has
been badly disfigured in the restorations of later years, but two of its
numerous brick towers of old still retain their crenelated battlements.
The place itself is of great antiquity, and Strabon has put it on record
that 3,600 of the inhabitants of the Val d'Aoste were once sold en bloc
in the streets of Ivrea by Terentius Varro, their captor.

The Val d'Aoste, from Ivrea to Courmayer, about one hundred kilometres,
will some day come to its own as a popular touring ground, but that time
is not yet. When the time comes any who will may know all the delights
of Switzerland's high valleys without suffering from the manifest
drawback of overexploitation. One doesn't necessarily want to drink beer
before every waterfall or listen to a yoedel in every cavern. What is
more to the point is that one may here find simple, unobtrusive
attention on the part of hotel keepers and that at a price in keeping
with the surroundings. This you get in the Val d'Aoste and throughout
the Alps of Piedmont, Dauphiny and Savoy.

Up high in the Val d'Aoste lies a battery of little Alpine townlets
scarce known even by name, though possessed of a momentous history and
often of architectural monuments marvellously imposing in their grandeur
and beauty.

Near Pont Saint Martin, high above the torrent of the Doire, is the
picturesque feudal castle of Montalto, a name famous in Italian annals
of the middle ages.

Over the river Lys, at Pont Saint Martin, there is a Roman bridge; a
modern iron one crosses it side by side, but the advantages, from an
æsthetic and utilitarian view-point, as well, are all in favour of the
former. A ruined castle crowns the height above Pont Saint Martin and a
few kilometres below, at Donnas, is an ancient Roman mile stone still
bearing the uneffaced inscription XXXII M. P.

This whole region abounds in Napoleonic souvenirs. Fort Bard, the key to
the valley, garrisoned by only eight hundred Austrians, gave Bonaparte a
check which he almost despaired of overcoming. The Little Corporal's
ingenuity pulled him through, however. He sent out a patrol which laid
the streets of the little village below the fort with straw and his army
passed unobserved in the night as if slippered with felt. But for this,
the Battle of Marengo, one of the most brilliant of French feats of
arms, might never have been fought.

Bard, the fort and the village, is now ignored by the high road which,
by a cut-off, avoids the steep climb in and out of the place.

Unheard of by most travellers in Italy, and entirely unknown to others,
Verrex in the Val d'Aoste possesses a ravishing architectural surprise
in the shape of a feudal castle on a hillside overlooking the town. It
is of the square keep, or donjon, variety, and played an important part
in the warlike times of the past.

The chateau of Issogne near by, built by the Prior Geor. Challant, less
of a castle and more of a country house, is an admirable fifteenth
century domestic establishment still habitable, and inhabited, to-day.

All up and down the valley are relics of the engineering skill of the
great Roman road and bridge builders. The road over Mont Jovet, a sheer
cut down into the roof of a mountain, was theirs; so were the bridges at
Chatillon and Pont Saint Martin, and another at Salassiens. At the Pont
d'Ael is a Roman aqueduct.

Chatillon, like Verrex, is not marked in big letters on many maps, but
it belongs in every architect lover's Italian itinerary. Its two bridges
of olden time are veritable wonder works. Its chateau Ussel, a ruin of
the fourteenth century, is still glorious under its coat of mail of moss
and ivy, while the Castle of Count Christian d'Entréves is of the kind
seen by most people only in picture books.

At Fénis is a magnificent feudal battlemented castle with donjon tower,
a _chemin ronde_ and a barbican so awe-inspiring as to seem unreal. With
Verrex and Issogne, near by, Fénis completes a trio of chateaux-forts
built by the overlords of the name of Challant who possessed feudal
rights throughout all the Val d'Aoste.

Aimon de Challant built the castle of Fénis in 1330. Virtually it was,
and is, a regular fortress, with as complete a system of defence as
ever princely stronghold had. At once a sumptuous seigneurial residence
and a seemingly impregnable fortress, it is one of the most remarkable
works of its class above ground.

Aoste is a little Italian mountain town far more French than Italian
from many points of view. It is of great antiquity and was the Augusta
Prætoria of various Roman itineraries.

Like most Roman cities Aoste was laid out on the rectangular
parallelogram plan, an aspect which it still retains.

Aoste's triumphal arch, its city gate and walls, and its ancient towers
all lend a quaint aspect of mediævalism which the twentieth century--so
far as it has gone--has entirely failed to contaminate.

For lovers of English church history it will be a pleasure to recall
that Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury in the eleventh century, was born
at Aoste. Another churchly memory at Aoste is a tablet inscribed with
the particulars of the flight of Calvin from his refuge here in 1541.

[Illustration: _Castle of Fénis_]

Saint Bernard, who has given his name to two neighbouring mountain
passes and to a breed of dogs, was Archbishop of Aoste in his time. His
perilous journeys in crossing the Alps, going and coming to and from his
missions of good, led to his founding the celebrated hospice on the
nearby mountain pass which bears his name. The convent of the Great St.
Bernard is the highest habited point in Europe.

From Aoste to the Hospice of the Grand Saint Bernard is twenty-six
kilometres, with a rise of nearly 2,000 metres and a fall of a like
amount to Martigny in Switzerland. The percentage of rise is
considerably greater than the route leading into France by the Little
Saint Bernard, which falls short of the former by three hundred metres,
but the road is rather better. By far the easiest route from Turin into
France is via the Col de Mont Cenis to Modane; but a modern automobile
will not quarrel seriously with any of these save one or two short, ugly
bits of from fifteen to seventeen per cent. They are pretty stiff;
there's no doubt about that, and with a motor whose horse power is
enfeebled by the rarefied atmosphere at these elevations the driver is
likely to meet with some surprises.



CHAPTER XX

FROM THE ITALIAN LAKES TO THE RIVIERA


There is one delightful crossing of Italy which is not often made either
by the automobilist or the traveller by rail. We found it a delightful
itinerary, though in no respect did it leave the beaten track of well
worn roads; simply it was a hitherto unthought of combination of
highroads and byroads which led from Como, on the shores of its mountain
lake, to Nice, the head centre of the Riviera, just across the Italian
border in France, entering that land of good cooks and good roads
(better cooks and better roads than are found in Italy, please remember)
via the Col de Tende and the Custom House of San Dalmazzo.

The itinerary covers a length of 365 kilometres and all of it is over
passably good roads, the crossing of the frontier and the Lower Alps at
the Col de Tende being at a lower level than any other of the
Franco-Italian mountain passes, although we encountered snow on the
heights even in the month of May.

This route is a pleasant variation from the usual entrance and exit from
Italy which the automobilist coming from the south generally makes via
one of the high Alpine valleys. If one is bound Parisward the itinerary
is lengthened by perhaps five hundred kilometres, but if one has not
entered Italy by the Cote d'Azur and the Riviera gateway the thing is
decidedly worth the doing.

Como itself is the head centre for this part of the lake region, but we
used it only as a "pointe de départ." Cernobbio is far and away the best
idling place on the Lago di Como and is getting to be the rival of
Aix-les-Bains in France, already the most frequently visited automobile
centre in Europe.

From Cernobbio to Como, swinging around the foot of the lake, is but a
short six kilometres, and from the latter place the Milan road leaves by
the old barbican gate and winds upwards steadily for a dozen kilometres,
crossing the railway line a half a dozen times before Milan is reached.

The detour to Monza was made between Como and Milan, a lengthening of
the direct route by perhaps a dozen kilometres, and the Strada
Militaire, which joins with the Bergamo-Milan road, was followed into
the Lombard capital through the Porto Orientale. The direct road, the
post road from Como, enters the city by the Porta Nuova. There seems to
be nothing to choose between the two routes, save that to-day one may be
good and the other bad as to surface and six months later the reverse be
the case.

On entering Milan one circles around the Foro Bonaparte and leaves the
city by the Porta Magenta for Turin. Magenta, twenty-five kilometres;
Novara, forty-six kilometres; so runs the itinerary, and all of it at
the dead level of from 120 to 150 metres above the sea.

We were stoned at Novara and promptly made a complaint to the
authorities through the medium of the proprietor of the Hotel de la
Ville, where we had a most gorgeous repast for the rather high price of
five francs a head. It was worth it, though, in spite of the fact that
we garaged the automobile in the dining room where we ate. We got
satisfaction, too, for the stoning by the sight of half a dozen small
boys being hauled up to the justice, accompanied by their frightened
parents. The outcome we are not aware of, but doubtless the hotel
proprietor insisted that his clients should not be driven out of town in
this manner, and, though probably no serious punishment was inflicted,
somebody undoubtedly got a well-needed fright.

The road still continues towards Turin perfectly flat for a matter of a
hundred kilometres beyond Novara, the glistening mountain background
drawing closer and closer until one realizes to the full just why Turin
and Milan are such splendid cities, an effect produced as much by their
incomparable sites as by their fine modern buildings, their great
avenues and boulevards, and their historic traditions.

This borderland between Lombardy and Piedmont forms the very flower of
present day Italy. The diarist Evelyn remarked all this in a more
appreciative manner than any writer before or since.

He wrote: "We dined at Marignano near Milan, a _grette cittie_ famous
for a cheese a little short of the best Parmeggiano, where we met half a
dozen suspicious cavaliers who yet did us no harm. Then passing through
a continuous garden we went on with exceeding pleasure, for this is the
Paradise of Lombardy, the highways as even and straight as a cord, the
fields to a vast extent planted with fruit, and vines climbing every
tree planted at equal distances one from the other; likewise there is
an abundance of mulberry trees and much corn."

To arrive on the Riviera from Turin one leaves the roads leading to the
high Alpine valleys behind. Directly north from Turin runs the highroad
which ultimately debouches into the Val d'Aosta and the Saint Bernard
Passes; to the west, those leading through Pinerolo and the Col de
Sestrières and Susa and the Cols of Mont Genèvre and Mont Cenis.

Just out of Turin on the road to Cuneo (which is perhaps more often
called by its French name, Coni, for you are now heading straight for
the frontier, a matter of but a half a hundred kilometres beyond) is
Moncalieri, the possessor of a royal chateau where was born, in 1904,
Prince Humbert of Piedmont, the present heir to the Italian throne.

When Italy's present Queen Helena sojourned here after the birth of her
son she took her promenades abroad _en automobile_ and so came to be a
partisan of the new form of locomotion as already had the dowager Queen
before her. The latter may properly enough be called the automobiling
monarch of Europe for she is heard of to-day at Aix-les-Bains, to-morrow
at Paris or Trouville and the week after at Pallanza or Cadennabia, and
in turn in Spain, at Marienbad, Ostend, Biarritz or Nice, and she always
travels by road, and at a good pace, too.

This up-to-date queen's predilection for the automobile in preference to
the state coach of other days or the plebeian railway has doubtless had
much to do with the development of the automobile industry in Italy. It
has, too, made the gateway into Italy from the Riviera over the Col de
Tende the good mountain road that it is. Those who pass this way--and
it's the only way worth considering from the South of France to the
Italian Lakes--will have cause to bless Italy's automobiling queen. The
chiefs of state of Italy, France and Germany know how to encourage
automobilism and all that pertains thereto better than those of
Republican America or Monarchial Britain.

Carignano, twelve kilometres beyond Moncalieri, is famous for its silk
industry and its beautiful women. We saw nothing of the former, but the
latter certainly merit the encomium which has been bestowed upon them
ever since the Chevalier Bayard remarked the _gentilezza_ and beauty of
the widow Bianca Montferrat, and fought for her in a tournament
centuries ago.

Carmagnola, a half a dozen kilometres off the direct road, just beyond
Carignano, takes much the same rank as the latter place. Neither are
tourist points to the slightest degree, but each is delightfully
unworldly and give one glimpses of native life that one may find only in
the untravelled _hinterland_ of a well known country. The peasant folk
of Carmagnola are as picturesque and gay in their costume and manner of
life as one can possibly expect to see in these days when manners and
customs are changing before the new order of things. Here is the home of
the celebrated Dance of the Carmagnole, a gyrating, whirling,
dervish-like fury of a dance which makes a peasant girl of the country
look more charming than ever as she swishes and swirls her yards of gold
or silver neck beads in a most dazzling fashion. The French Revolution
borrowed the "Carmagnole" for its own unspeakable orgies, by what right
no one knows, for there is nothing outré about it when seen in its
native land. Possibly some alien Savoyards, who may have joined their
forces with the Marseilles Batallion, may have brought it to France with
their light luggage--proverbially light, for the Savoyard has the
reputation of always travelling with a bundle on a stick. Would that we
touring automobilists could, or would, travel lighter than we do!

Racconigi, a half a dozen kilometres farther on, has another royal
chateau, and, passing Saluzza, through the arch erected in memory of the
marriage of Victor Amedeo and Christine of France, one arrives at Cuneo
in thirty kilometres more. From Carmagnola to Cuneo direct, by
Savigliano, is practically the same distance, but the other route is
perhaps the more picturesque.

At Cuneo one has attained an elevation of some five hundred and
thirty-five metres above sea level, the rise thence to the Col de Tende
being eight hundred metres more, that is to say the pass is crossed at
an elevation not exceeding 1,300 metres.

Cuneo's Albergo Barra di Ferro (a new name to us for a hotel)
accommodates one for the price of five francs a day and upwards, and
gives a discount of ten per cent. to members of the Touring Club
Italiano. These prices will certainly not disturb any one who can afford
to supply a prodigal automobile with tires at the present high prices.

We climbed up from Cuneo to the Col, a matter of thirty-three kilometres
of a very easy rise, in something less than a couple of hours, the last
six kilometres, the steepest portion, averaging but a five per cent.
grade.

On leaving Cuneo the road ascends very gradually, running along the
valley of the Vermagnana to the foot of the Col where it begins to mount
in earnest. Below is the great plain of Piedmont watered by the Po and
its tributary rivers, while above rises the mass of the Maritime Alps,
with Mount Viso as its crowning peak, nearly four thousand metres high.
It is a veritable Alpine road but not at all difficult of ascent. About
midway on the height one remarks the attempt to cut a tunnel and thereby
shorten the route, an attempt which was abandoned long years ago. From
the crest, the Col itself, one gets a view ranging from Mont Viso to
Mont Rosa in the north and on the south even to the blue waters of the
Mediterranean. For fully a third of the year, and often nearer half, the
Col de Tende is cursed with bad weather and is often impassable for
wheeled traffic in spite of the fact of its comparatively low elevation.
The wind storms here are very violent.

From Tende the road winds down into the low French levels, and in this
portion takes rank as one of the earliest of Alpine roads, it having
been built by Carlo Emanuele I in 1591.

Down through the valley of the Torrent of the Roya glides the mountain
road and, passing San Dalmazzo and numerous rock villages, a distinct
feature of these parts, in sixteen kilometres reaches Breil, the first
place of note on French territory.

We had our "triptych" signed at the Italian dogana fifteen kilometres
beyond the brow of the mountain, at San Dalmazzo di Tenda, crossing on
to French soil three kilometres farther on. The French douane is at
Breil, at the sixty-sixth kilometre stone beyond Cuneo, and at an
elevation of less than three hundred metres above the sea. Here we
delayed long enough to have the douaniers check off the number of the
motor, the colour of the body work, the colour of the cushions and
numerous other incidentals in order that the French government might not
be mulcted a sou. "Everything in order. Allons! partez;" said the gold
braided official, and again we were in France.

At Breil the road divides, one portion, following still the valley of
the Roya, slopes down to Ventimiglia in twenty kilometres, the other, in
forty kilometres, arriving at Nice via the valley of the Paillon.

It is not all down hill after Breil for, before Sospel is reached,
seventeen kilometres away, one crosses another mountain crest by a
fairly steep ascent and again, after Sospel, it rises to the Col di
Braus--this time over the best of French roads--to an elevation of over
one thousand metres.

From Sospel a spur road leads direct to Menton but the Grande Route
leads straight on to Nice, shortly after to blend in with the old Route
d'Italie, linking up Paris with the Italian-Mediterranean frontier, a
straight away "good road," the dream of the automobilist, for a matter
of 1,086 kilometres.

THE END.



Index


Abbey at Vallombrosa, 153

Acquasola, Park of, 101

Ad Confluentis, 65

Adda (Family of), 321

Adelphi, The (Secret Society), 39

Adriatic Sea, 16, 67, 163, 236, 237, 260, 283

Æmilia, 4, 271

Ætna, 11, 19

Agrippa, 211

Aiguebell, 6, 349

Albergo (See also Hotel), 48, 49
  All'Accademia, 304
  Arti, 270
  Asolo, 295
  Barra di Ferro, 367
  Capello d'Oro, 318
  del Cervo, 339
  Delfino, 110
  della Nuova York, 117
  della Quercia, 198
  del Sol, 217
  Fanti-Stella d'Oro, 281
  Grimaldi, 94
  Guippone, 130
  Italia, 115
  Italia (at Urbino), 235
  Unione, 105

Alassio, 91, 92

Alba Longa, 186

Alban Hills, 181, 189

Albano, 179, 181, 184, 185, 189, 197

Albano Lake, 184, 185, 186

Albaro, 106

Albenga, 66, 92, 93, 95

Albero d'Oro (See Palazzo Imperiali)

Albium Ingaunum, 66
  Intermelium, 66

Alessandria, 333

Algeria, 15, 17

Alps, 7, 12, 17

Alps of Piedmont, 2, 15, 85

Amalfi, 2, 212, 219, 220, 224

Ambrosian Library, 336

Amelia, 66

Ampesso Pass, 294

Ancona, 2, 11, 67, 225, 226, 236, 238, 242, 243

Aosta, Valley of, 72

Aoste, 352, 358, 359

Apennines, The, 17, 65, 96, 117

Appian Way (See Via Appia)

Aquileja, 299

Arch of Triumph, 336

Arco d'Augusto, 245

Arcola, 116

Arcore, 321

Aretino, Guido, 155

Aretium, 160

Arezzo, 7, 11, 70, 138, 153, 156, 159, 160, 161, 231

Ariminum, 64, 65

Ariosto, 253, 255, 271

Arma, 90

Arno, The (River), 124, 125, 127, 159, 160, 163

Arno, Valley of the, 124, 156

Arona, 73, 327, 332

Asinalunga, 166

Asolo, 295, 297

Assisi, 228, 230

Asti, 333

Augustus, Tower of, 86

Averso, 199

Avezzano, 225, 226

Azeglio, Massimo d', 139


Bacciochi, Eliza (Princess of Lucca), 123

Baies, 211

Baptistery, The, of Pisa, 126

Barberino di Mugello, 11, 26

Bargello, at Florence, 162

Bari, 237, 238, 241

Barletta, 238

Basilicate, Province of, 36

Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli, 229

Baveno, 327

Bay of Naples, 13, 54, 207, 209, 211, 213, 220

Bellagio, 321, 325

Bellay, Cardinal du Joachim, 6

Bellinzona, 345

Belluno, 294, 295, 325

Bergamo, 317, 318, 319, 350

Bernadino, 75

Bertolini, 105

Biarritz, 3

Bibbiena, 156, 161, 162

"Blue Grotto," 223

Bologna, 6, 19, 61, 65, 160, 251, 265-269, 277

Bononia, 65, 160, 268

Bordighera, 86, 87

Borghese, Family of, 187

Borgia (Family of), 5, 176, 227, 244, 253, 261, 262, 263, 264

Borgo San Donino, 65, 274

Borromean Islands, 327

Botticelli, 14

Bourbons, 40

Breil, 369

Brescia, 72, 315, 317, 318, 333

Brescia Armata, 315, 316

Briançon, 73

Bridge of Arcole, 303

Brindisi, 236, 237, 239, 241

Brisighella, 263

Broletto of Bergamo, 318

Brunelleschi, Family of, 146

Brunswick, Family of, 257

Buonaparte, a notary, 117


Cadenabbia, 325

Caesena, 65

Calabria, 10, 17, 18, 19, 25, 27, 196, 214

Campagna, 19, 166, 173, 180, 181, 182, 184, 189

Campaldino, Plain of, 156

Campanello (Brigand) 141, 142

Campania, Province, 36, 67

Campanile, The, 282

Campanile of San Marco, 295

Campo Formico, 298

Campo Santo of Pisa, 127

Canalazzo at Venice, 288

Canossa, 273

Canova, 14

Capo delle Melle, 91

Capodimonte, 205

Capo di Noli, 95

Capo di Vado, 95

Capri, 2, 15, 26, 198, 202, 207, 220, 221, 222, 223

Capua, 66, 197, 198

Carbonari, The, 39

Careggi, 146, 147

Carignano, 365, 366

Carmagnola, 366

Carrara, 117, 119

Casa del Commune, 93

Casa di Palladio, 301

Casa Stradivari, 312

Casentino, 26, 65, 124, 144, 156, 157, 158, 162, 163

Caserta, 11, 198, 199

Castellamare, 212, 219, 224

Cassino, 184

Cascades of Terni, 226

Cascina, 128

Castles
  Castel del Carmine, 201
  Castel Franco, 65, 269
  Castel Gandolfo, 185, 186
  Castel Malatesta, 245
  Castel Paraggi, 111
  Castello dell'Ovo, 201, 202
  Castello Gavone, 94
  Castello of Ferrara, 254
  Castello of Massa, 119
  Castle of Fénis, 21
  Castle of Malpaga, 318
  Castle of Rimini, 21
  Castle of Sant Angelo, 13, 174 176, 264

Cathedral of Saint Procule, 210

Cemenelium, 66

Cernobbio, 41, 361

Certosa at Pavia, 340, 341

Cervara, 109

Cesana, 260, 261

Cesana Tarinese, 352

Cesena, 65

Chambéry, 6

Chatillon, 357

Chaucer, 5, 279

Chiavari, 112, 113

Chioggia, 237, 238, 251

Chiusi, 70, 167

Church of Sant'Antonio, 279

Cimabue, 9

Cimiez, 66

Circus Maxentius, 183

Cisalpine Gaul, 64

Cisterna di Roma, 71, 197

Civita Castellana, 225

Civita-Vecchi, 170

Claterna, 65

Clusium, Tombs of, 167

Codroipo, 297

Cogoletto, 98

Coire, 75

Col de Sestrières, 364
  de Tend, 360, 365, 367, 368
  du Grand St. Bernard, 73, 352, 364
  du Mont Genevre, 73, 364
  du Petit Saint Bernard, 73, 352, 364
  Mont Cenis, 364

Colosseum (Rome), 174

Colmo dell'Orso, 75

Colonna, Family of, 5, 189, 190

Comacchio, 250, 251

Communicazione, Strada di grande, 69, 71

Como, 73, 322, 323, 326, 333, 360, 361

Conegliano, 297

Convent of the Great St. Bernard, 359

Cornudo, 295

Corte Reale, 310

Cortona, 149

Cosa, 149

Cote d'Azur, 361

Courmayer, 353, 354

Cremona, 311, 312

Crevola, 73

Cuneo, 364, 367, 368, 369


Dalmatia, 293

Dante, 7, 156, 157, 158, 164, 165, 248, 260, 270, 279, 280

Del Sarto, Andrea, 9

Desenzano, 313

Diveria, 73

Dogana (Custom House), 62

Dolce Acqua, 86

Domini, 154

Domodossola, 73, 345

Donatello, 120

Donegani, Carlo, 76

Donnas, 356

Doria, Andrea, 90, 102, 109

Duomo
  of Como, 322
  of Fiesole, 151
  of Milan, 336
  of Pisa, 126

Durer, Albrecht, 6


Elba, 2

Empoli, 130, 131, 132

Este (Family of), 253, 256, 258, 264, 270, 271

Este, Village of, 256, 258

Etruria, 67


Faenza, 65

Faënza, 263, 264

Farnese, Family of, 187

Faventia, 65

Felix, 6

Feltre, 294

Fénis, 357

Ferrara, 6, 238, 251, 253-256

Fidentia, 65

Fieschi (Family of), 102, 113

Fiesole, 144, 145, 147, 148, 151-153

F. I. A. F. (Garages), 41, 105

Finale Marina, 43, 93-95

Fiorenzuola, 274

Firenzuola, 65

Fiume, 283

Florian's, 286, 287, 292

Florence, 1, 2, 6, 8, 11, 13, 18, 31, 41, 43, 69, 70, 101, 122, 128,
    132, 133, 135, 138, 141, 142, 144, 145, 147, 152, 153, 158, 159, 160,
    171, 226, 250, 251, 260, 268, 277, 312

Florentia, 65

Foggia, 238

Forli, 65, 262, 263

Foligno, 158, 226, 228, 230

Forlimpopoli, 65

Formia, 198

Forte Urbano, 269

Fortezza, The (Secret Society), 39

Forum Cornelii, 65, 264
  Forum Gallorum, 65, 269
  Forum Livii, 65
  Forum Populii, 65

Fractelli, The (Secret Society), 39

Frascati, 2, 12, 179, 181, 186, 187, 188, 192

Frosinone, 71

Futa Pass, 26, 251


Gaeta, 71, 198

Galleria Victor-Emmanuel, 337

Gallinaria, Isle of, 92

Garda, 326

Garibaldi, 166, 204

Geneva, 8

Genna, 66

Genoa, 5, 34, 41, 66, 69, 74, 89, 93, 95-99, 102, 103, 105, 106, 108, 201

Gonfolina, Gorge of, 152

Grenoble, 73

Grimaldi, 62, 82, 83, 84

Grand Hotel (Nervi), 108

Grand-Hotel (Rome), 171

Grand Hotel San Marco, 275

Grand Hotel (Venice), 267

Grand Saint Bernard (See Col du Grand St. Bernard)

Gravadona, 325

Grimaldi, Family of, 102

Gropollo, Marchese, 108

Grosseto, 128, 138, 169

Grotto Nuovo di Posilipo, 206

Guardie-Finanze (Custom officer), 85

Gubbio, 232

Guiadecca, 292

Guidi, Counts of, 157

Gulf of Spezia, 66


Hotel
  Belle Arti, 168
  Brun, 267
  Croix de Malte, 114
  Danielli, 267, 288
  de la Minerve, 171
  de la Ville (Florence), 135
  de la Ville (Novana), 362
  de l'Europe (Rampallo), 111
  de l'Europe (Venice), 288
  Diomede, 217
  Europe (Milan), 339
  Helvetia, 135
  Massa, 119
  Palace, 133
  Porta Rossa, 135
  Royal, 197
  Royal et des Étrangers, 199
  Splendide, 110
  Suisse, 217

Herculaneum, 212, 218, 219


Il Deserto, 98

Il Paradisino (Mountain), 155

Il Salone, 280

Imola, 61, 65, 262, 264, 265

Intemillium, 85

Ionian Sea, 236

Ischia, 211, 212

Isernia, 238

Isola dei Bergeggi, 95

Issogne, 357

Ivrea, 354


La Brera at Milan, 336

La Favorita, 205

Lago di Como, 320, 321, 361

Lago di Garda, 313, 314, 315

Lago di Lugano, 320, 326

Lago di Maggiore, 73, 320, 326, 329, 331

Lago d'Orta, 320

Lago di Varese, 326

Lake of Averno, 211

Lake of Iseo, 317

Lake Varese, 320

"La Lanterna," 95, 103

La Magliana, 183

La Pineta, 246

Lavagua, 113

Laveno, 326

La Verna, Convent of, 162

Lecce, 237

Lecco, 320, 321

Leghorn, 4, 15, 123

Legnago, 310

Lido, The, 292

Liguria, 15, 43, 65, 66, 92, 96, 107

Lion Inn, 176

Liro, The, 76

Livorno, 68, 119, 121, 123

Livorno, Duke of, 123

Lodi, 343

Lombardy, 16, 17, 25, 73, 173, 332-335, 362, 363

Lorenzo the Magnificent, 145, 146, 152

Lotto, 36

Lucca, 11, 68, 69, 119, 121, 122, 123, 273

Lugano, 326

Luna, 66, 67

Luther, Martin, 6


Mafia, The (Secret Society), 39

Magenta, 362

Magra (the River), 116

Malatesta (Family of), 245

Manfredonia, 238, 241

Mantua, 310, 311, 312, 333

Marina-Andora, 91

Marina di Pisa, 124

Martinengo, 317

Masaniello, 203

Massa, 117, 119

Massarosa, 121

Medici (Family of), 5, 120, 123, 132, 168, 187, 348

Mediterranean Sea, 17, 184

Mennagio, 325

Menton, 10, 81, 82, 83, 84, 95

Mestre, 281, 282

Meta, 212

Milan, 1, 4, 6, 34, 41, 72, 73, 105, 276, 321, 322, 333, 335-340, 343,
    344, 345, 361, 362, 363

Milan Express, 10

Minestra, 30

Modane, 73, 269, 359

Modena, 65, 269, 270

Monaco, 66

Monopoli, 237

Mont Cenis, 73, 350, 352

Mont Appio, 86

Monte Berico, 303

Monte Carlo, 3

Monte Cristo's Island, 2

Monte Falterona, 124, 156

Montelupo, 133

Montepulciana, 11, 166, 167

Monte Secchieta, 155, 162

Montevarchi, 156, 159

Mont Gauro, 211

Mont Nuovo, 211

Monza, 321, 344, 361

Mortola, 82, 84

Mugello, Valley of, 70, 151

Musset, Alfred de, 8, 280, 287, 288

Mutina, 65


Naples, 1, 8, 13, 15, 17, 18, 21, 31, 34, 41, 43, 55, 63, 71, 105, 196,
    197, 198, 199, 200, 201, 205, 207, 210, 212, 213, 219, 224, 225, 312

Neapolitan Camarra, The (Secret Society), 38

Nervi, 108

Nervia, The, 86

Nesso, 321

Nicæ, 66

Nice, 65, 66, 370

Noli, 95

Nona's Tower, 176

Novara, 333, 362, 363


Oneglia, 90, 98

Orta, 309, 320, 331

Ortona, 238, 241

Otranto, 2, 237

Orvieto, 70, 138, 166, 167, 168

Osteria, 26

Ostia, 66, 181

Otricoli, 181

Ouida, Marquise de la Ramée, 120, 121


Padua, 5, 6, 7, 41, 278-281, 294

Pæstum, 224

Palace of the Caesars, 247

Palace of the Carrera, 280

Palace of Caserta, 205

Palace of the Doges, 288

Palace Farnese, 205

Palace of Theodoric, 247

Palazzaccio, 159, 160

Palazza Publico (Cesana), 261

Palazzos (See also Palaces)
  Agostini, 127
  Bisenzi, 168
  Campetto, 105
  Capitano, 280
  Carignano, 347
  Communal, 244
  Del Comune, 139, 245
  Dorio, 101
  Ducale, 270, 310
  Gonfaloneri, 312
  Gonzague, 310
  Imperali, 107
  Isola Bella, 327
  Pretoria, 161
  Publico, 139
  Reale (Milan), 337
  Reale (Modena), 270
  Reale (Turin), 348
  Rosso, 113
  Valentino, 348
  Vecchio, 162

Palestrina, 189, 190

Parma, 65

Parma, Duchy of, 272, 273

Passo della Somma, 71

Pater, Cosimo, 146

Paterno, 154

Pavia, 6, 333, 335, 340, 342, 343

Pegli, 99

Perugia, 21, 70, 138, 158, 162, 226, 228, 230, 231

Pesaro, 244

Pescara, 238, 241

Peschiera, 309, 310, 313

Petit Saint Bernard (See Col du Petit Saint Bernard)

Petrarch, 5, 160, 258, 279, 341

Piacenza, 64, 65, 260, 272, 274, 275, 276

Piazzas
  Castello, 348
  Dei Signori, 301, 304
  Del Mercato, 130
  Del Plebiscito, 169
  Di Porta Ravegnana, 269
  Erbe, 304
  Fontana, 169
  Mercanto, 241
  San Marco, 286
  San Pietro, 87
  Vittorio Emanuel (Florence), 136
  Vittorio Emanuele (Ravenna), 248
  Vittorio Emanuele (Siena), 164, 165
  Vittorio Emanuele (Verona), 306

Piedmont, 15, 16, 346, 350, 353, 355, 363

Pietrasanta, 119

Pinerola, 351, 364

Pisa, 41, 66, 67, 69, 125-128

Pistoja, 131, 132

Placentia, 64, 65, 274

Pliny, 321, 322

Poggibonzi, 141

Pompeii, 216, 217, 218

Pompey, 185

Pontassieve, 153, 156

Ponte a Mensola, 153

Ponte d'Augusto, 245

Pontedera, 129

Ponte di Castel Vecchio, 304

Ponte Lungo, 93

Ponte S. Angelo, 171

Pontine Marches (See Pontine Marshes)

Pontine Marshes, 17, 72, 197

Pont Saint Louis, 81, 83

Pont Saint Martin, 355-357

Pouzzoles, 210

Poppi, 124, 156, 157, 161, 162

Poppi-Bibbiena, 156

Pordenone, 297

Porlezza, 326

Porta alla Croce, 153
  Camollia, 69, 164
  Capuana, 196
  Cavalleggeri, 171
  della Torre, 323
  di Elce, 231
  Romana, 69
  San Lorenzo, 189
  San Gallo, 145
  San Sebastiano, 197
  Santa Croce, 160
  S. Frediano, 133

Portici, 212

Portofino, 66, 109, 110, 111

Porto Maurizio, 90

Porto Venere, 66

Portus Erici, 66

Portus Delphini, 66

Portus Herculis Monoeci, 66

Portus Veneris, 66

Posilippo, 63, 204, 206, 207, 210

Prato, 131, 132

Procida, 211, 212

Protectori Republicana (Secret Society), 39


Quaderna, 65

Quai Parthenope, 41


Rabelais, 6

Racconigi, 367

Ragusa, 11

Rapallo, 109, 111, 112

Raphael, 234

Ravenna, 2, 7, 236, 238, 245-248, 250, 251

Ravine of St. Louis, 82

Recco, 108

Reggio, 10, 11, 65, 271

Reggio, Strada de, 69

Regium Lepidi, 65

Reininghaus, The, 136

Resina, 212

Rheinwald, The, 74

Rimini, 2, 64, 65, 238, 245, 260, 261, 264

Riva, 314, 315

Riviera di Levante, 108

Rivoli, 350

Rocca di Papa, 186

Rocca of Cesana, 261

Roja, The, 85

Romagna, The, 163, 265

Roman Arena, 304, 306

Roman Forum, 179, 217

Rome, 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 11, 13, 18, 21, 31, 34, 41, 43, 65, 66, 67, 69,
    70, 71, 101, 138, 160, 166, 168, 170, 171, 172, 173, 179, 181, 182,
    183, 186, 189, 192, 197, 201, 225, 238, 312

Rotonda Capra, 302

"Route Internationale," 81

Royat, 349

Rubens, 7


Sabine Hills, 189

Saint Peter's, 174

Salerno, 213, 224

Saltino, 154

Saluzza, 367

San Dalmazzo, 360, 369

Sardinia, 170

Sand, Georges, 8, 288

San Francesco, Church of, 229, 248

San Fruttoso, Monastery of, 109

San Gallo, Giuliano da (architect), 145

San Giacomo, Gorge of, 76

San Gimignano, 139, 141

San Giorgio, 291

San Marco, 13, 284, 286, 287, 291-293

San Miniato de Tedeschi, 129, 144

San Pier d'Arena, 95

San Salvatore, Church of, 113

San Remo, 62, 87

Santa Margherita, 109, 110

Santa Maria Novella, 9

Sant'Angelo, 21

Sant'Ellero, 154

Santuario of Vallombrosa, 154

Sarazza, 2

Sarzana, 117, 119

Savigliano, 367

Savignamo, 65

Savona, 66, 93, 95-98

Scaldini, 33, 34

Segni, 149

Senegallia, 244

Sermione, 313

Sestri, 66

Sestri-Levante, 113

Sicily, 25

Sidney, Sir Philip, 6

Siena, 7, 11, 43, 69, 138, 141-143, 158, 164-166, 170

Signa, 133

Simplon Pass, 10, 73, 345, 352

Soave, 303

Somma, Passo della, 71

Sorrento, 198, 212, 219-222, 224

Sospel, 370

Speranza, The, 39

Spezia, 65, 68, 108, 114-116

Spezia, Gulf of, 66, 116, 163

Spilla Nera, The (Secret Society), 39

Spinola, Family of, 102

Splugen Pass, 75

Spoleto, 71, 226

St. Francis of Assisi, 162, 279

Strada di grande Communicazione, 71, 299

Strada di Piedigrotta, 206
  Forvia, 199
  Militaire, 361
  Piasana, 133
  per Roma, 142
  Regina, 325
  per Siena, 142

Strozzi Palace, 135

Stresa, 327

Subiaco, 189, 190, 191, 192

Susa, Valley of, 72, 73


Taneto, 65

Taormina, 2

Taride (Maps), 77, 78

Taro River, 273, 274

Tasso, Torquato, 233, 253, 256

Taunetum, 65

Termoli, 241

Terni, 70, 138, 225

Terracina, 71, 197

Tiber, Valley of, 67

Tigullia, 66

Tivoli, 179, 181, 189, 192, 193, 194

Torre Anunziata, 212

Torre dei Guelfi, 93

Torre del Greco, 212

Torre de Marchese Malespina, 93

Torregaveta, 211

Torre, The, of Pisa, 126

Torri Asinelli, 269

Torri Gorisenda, 269

Tortona, 333

Touring Club Italiano, 78, 80

Towers of Tuscany, 138

Trattoria (Italian Wayside Inn), 43, 47, 52

Trajan, 242

Tregesco, 66

Treviso, 293, 294, 297, 299

Trieste, 283

Tunisia, 16, 17, 26

Turin, 34, 41, 72-74, 346-352, 359, 362-364

Tuscany, 16, 25, 122, 124, 334

Tusculum, 188, 189

Tyrrhenian Sea, 120, 125, 170


Ubertini, Guglielmino (Bishop of Arezzo), 157

Udine, 293, 297-299

Ulm, 6

Umbria, 162, 225, 238

Urbino, 233-235


Vada Sabbata, 66

Vado, 66

Val d'Aoste, 2, 21, 73, 314, 352-357, 364 (See also Valley of)

Val d'Elsa, 139, 141

Val d'Arno, 152

Val d'Arno di Sotto, 152

Valley of Aosta, 72

Valley of Susa, 72

Valley of the Tiber, 225

Vallombrosa, 71, 144, 147, 153-156, 162

Valmontone, 189

Var, The (River), 66

Varazze, 43, 97, 98

Varenna, 325

Varese, 326

Varium fl., 66

Vatican, The, 173, 174, 227

Veii, 186

Venetia, 16

Venice, 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 11, 13, 19, 21, 41, 43, 53, 72, 230, 236, 251,
    258, 260, 277, 281-284, 286, 288, 290, 292-298, 299, 312

Ventimiglia, 66, 82, 86, 369

Velletri, 71, 184, 189, 197

Vernazza, 114

Verona, 7, 72, 300, 303, 305-310, 312

Veronese, Paul, 7

Verrex, 356, 357

Vesuvius, 2

Via Æmilia, 7, 63-66, 163, 245, 260, 266, 273-275
  Æmilia-Scauri, 66
  Ameria, 66
  Appia, 66, 67, 183, 196, 198, 239
  Acquilla, 66
  Ardentina, 66
  Aurelia, 65-67
  Campagna, 183
  Cassia, 66, 67
  Clodia, 67
  del Orto, 160
  Flamina, 64 (See also via Flaminia)
  Flaminia, 66, 160
  Latina, 66
  Laurentia, 66
  Ostiensis, 66
  Salaria, 66, 67
  Tusculum, 186
  Valeria, 67, 225

Viareggio, 120, 121

Vicenza, 19, 300, 301, 303

Vigna della Regina, 350

Villas
  Aldobrandini, 187
  Ambrogiana, 132
  Borghese, 176, 179
  Cambria, 107
  of the Cardinal, 232
  Cesarini, 2
  of Cicero at Baies, 210
  Conti, 187
  Doria, 100, 101
  d'Este, 193
  Falconieri, 187, 188
  de Franchi, 107
  Guadagui, 147
  of Hadrian, 189, 193, 194
  Medici, 146, 176, 178, 188
  Negroni, 101
  Pagana, 111
  del Paradiso, 106
  del Popolo, 202
  Paladio, 302
  Pallavicini, 99
  Palmieri, 147, 148
  Passarino, 298
  Pagana, 111
  Petraja, 146
  Pliniana, 321
  at Poggio Cajano, 145
  Rendel, 204
  Rinuccini, 147
  Rosazza, 101
  Ruffinella, 187
  Salviate, 147
  Scipione Ammirato, 151
  Tusculana, 187

Villini, 31

Vintimille (See Ventimiglia), 85

Virgil, 206, 211, 239

Viterbo, 70, 138, 158, 166, 168, 169

Vogelberg, 74

Voie Æmilia, 26

Volterra, 139, 140, 141

Voltri, 99


Zocchi, the draughtsman, 148

       *       *       *       *       *

Typographical errors corrected by the etext transcriber:

Britanny=> Brittany {pg 15}

dignataries=> dignitaries {pg 52}

Via Æmelia-Scauri=> Via Æmilia-Scauri {pg 66}

It architecture=> Its architecture {pg 176}

made way with their lovers=> made away with their lovers {pg 349}

Briancon=> Briançon {pg 352}

Chambery, 6=> Chambéry, 6 {pg index}

Castle of Fenis, 21=> Castle of Fénis, 21 {index}

Nicae=> Nicæ {index}

Paestum, 224=> Pæstum, 224 {index}





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