35 S Environs of Rome. ALBA LONGA. Alban Mts.
The wooded summit of Monte Cavo. the ancient Mons Albanus,
is reached (turning to the right at the beginning of the crater) by
the well-preserved and shady Via Triumphalis, an ancient road,
paved w ith basalt, by which the generals to whom the senate refused
a triumph at Rome, ascended, and celebrated one on their own re¬
sponsibility. From two open spaces, about three-quarters of the way
up, a better *view than from the top is obtained of Marino on the
right, the Lago d'Albano, Ariccia with the viaduct, Genzano, the
Lago di Nemi, and Nemi itself.
On the summit of the Mons Albanus, 3147 ft. above the sea-
level (an ascent of 3/4 hr. from Rocca di Papa), stood the venerable
sanctuary of the Latin League, the Temple of Jupiter Latiaris,
where the great sacrificial festival of the Feriae Latinae was cele¬
brated annually. Its ruins, 82 yds. long and 38 yds. wide, with col¬
umns of white and yellow marble, were in tolerable preservation till
1783 , when Cardinal York, the last of the Stuarts, converted them
into a Passionist Monastery. A portion only of the ancient founda¬
tions is preserved on the S.E. side of the garden-wall. The **View
from several different points is incomparable. It embraces the sea,
the coast from Terracina to Civita Vecchia, the Volscian and Sabine
Mts., Rome and the Campagna with a number of towns and villages,
and below the spectator the beautiful Alban Mts. The distant view,
generally obscured by mist, is seen to the best advantage immed¬
iately before sunrise, after sunset, or after a passing shower has
cleared the atmosphere. The traveller had better take refreshments
with him ; the monks are very civil, but the food and sleeping ac¬
commodation which they offer are exceedingly poor.
From Monte Cavo we may reach Nemi in iy2 hr. by pleasant
forest-paths (see p. 362).
Those who wish to proceed direct to Albano by Palazzuola should
retrace their steps to the Campo d'Annibale, pass above Rocca di Papa,
and visit (1 M.) the chapel of the Madonna del Tufo (2323 ft.),
whence a fine view of the Alban Lake and the plain is enjoyed.
About 1 M. beyond it they will Teach the suppressed Franciscan
monastery of Palazzuola, dating from the 13th cent., and situated
above the E. margin of the Lake of Albano (p. 360). The garden
contains a remarkable rock-tomb in the Etruscan style, about which
little is known.
Above the monastery, on the narrow space between the base of
Monte Cavo and the Alban Lake, once lay in a prolonged line, as its
name indicates, the city of AlbaLonga, of which no traces now re¬
main. It will be observed, however, that the rocks in the direction
of Palazzuola have been hewn perpendicularly, in order to render
the town more impregnable.
The foundation of Alba Longa belongs to a pre-historic period, and
tradition has attributed it to Ascanius, the son of ./Eneas. It was the an¬
cient capital, and the political and religious centre, of the Latin League,
but was destroyed at an early period by its younger rival on the banks