370 Environs of Rome. PALESTRINA. Sabine Mts.
etc. which were executed in 1219 by the otherwise unknown master Con-
xolus (earlier than Cimabue). The grotto of St. Benedict contains the statue
of the saint by Bernini. The walls are decorated with venerable paintings.
The Garden of the monastery is well stocked with beautiful roses.
They were, according to tradition, originally thorns, cultivated by St.
Benedict for the mortification of the flesh, but converted into roses by
St. Francis when he visited the monastery in 1223.
Having returned to the high road after visiting the monasteries,
we may cross the Anio by the bridge, and return to the town by a
footpath on the right.
By this high road, which is mentioned at p. 373 , Olevano (p.
372) is about 10 M. distant.
Palestrina may be visited from Rome direct, or, which is pleasanter,
from Frascati or Valmontone. From Roue, in summer daily (usually at
2.30 p.m., returning at 4 a.m.), a Vetlurino starts from Via S. Marco 10,
where enquiry should be made (a drive of about, 5 hrs., fare 4 fr.). —
From Frascati (railway station, see p. 354) Palestrina may be reached
on foot or on donkey-back in 4 hrs.; the road is also practicable for
carriages. — From Valmontone (a station of the Naples-Rome line, reached
by train in li/a hr. from Rome) to Palestrina a walk of l'/z hr.; also vet-
turino, l!/2 fr. ; comp. Map, p. 353. A vetturino also plies from Valmon¬
tone to Genazzano (!'/•.> fr.) in 2 hrs., the driver undertaking to provide
a conveyance thence to Olevano.
The Road prom Frascati to Palestrina, 13 M., especially
the first half, is beautiful, but destitute of shade. We first ascend
from the station to the first houses of Frascati, where, at the bifur¬
cation of the road, we turn to the left (comp. p. 354). After 3/t M.
the road passes the lower entrance to the Villa Mondragone, which
is approached by an avenue of cypresses. Farther on are the ruined
vaults of an ancient villa, said to have belonged to Cato. After 2M.
the road passes (r.) the olive-clad hill on which Monte Porzio (1529
ft.) is picturesquely situated; lt/2 M. farther it reaches Monte Com-
patri 11745 ft.), with a chateau of the Borghese , the ancient Labi-
cum. We do not enter the village, but pass the approach of masonry
which forms its entrance, and descend by a somewhat rough road,
passing a washing-trough. Near a (1M.) considerable group of trees
we turn to the right, and close to (!/3 M.) a small chapel with an
image of the Madonna, again ascend to the right. About 2 M. farther
the broad road leads us to the high road coming from Rome (Via
Labicana, Strada di Palestrina), and following the latter for 3/4 M.
we reach the Osteria S. Cesareo, a thatched hut (capanna) to the
left of the road, where good wine is sold. At S. Cesareo the road to
Lugnano diverges to the right, and the main road to the left leads
to Palestrina, 4'/2 M. distant.
From Rome to Palestrina, 22 M., two routes lead from the Porta
Maggiore (anciently the Porta Praenestina): the ancient Via Praenestina, and
the modern and more convenient Via Labicana. The former runs to the
left between vineyards, past (l'/2 M.) the ruins of Tor de' Schiavi (p. 349),
to the mediaeval Tor Ire Teste, &'/-i M. from Rome; then crosses the seven
arebes of the Ponte di Noun, an early Roman bridge of lapis Gabinus, and
reaches the Osteria dell' Osa on the brook Osa, which descends from the
lake near the ancient Gubtft which lav near the conspicuous tower of