to Naples. SAN GERMANO. /. Route. 5
lrom whom it was taken by Napoleon I. and given to General Bernadotte,
who died in 1844 as Charles XIV. John of Sweden. After the peace of 1815
Pontecorvo was restored to the pope with Benevento. Here Greek emigrants
resided in the 11th and 12th centuries. An ancient castle, cathedral, bridge
and hospital are still in existence.
Beyond Aquino, on a bleak mountain-ridge to the 1., the
celebrated monastery of Monte Casino (p. 6) becomes visible.
At its base, 3/4 M. from the railway (carr. ' '2 1.), is situated
San Geimano, or Casino , as it is now usually termed (Villa
Rapido, indifferent; *Trattoria Casino, on the way to the amphi¬
theatre; near it, Loc. dei Giurati, clean), on the site of the
A visit to the latter, as well as to the neighbouring monastery (p. 6)
may easily he accomplished within a stay of 24 hrs. (Luggage may either
be forwarded direct from Rome to Naples or left at the S. Germano stat.)
An excursion to Monte Casino may be pronounced safe, if made by day¬
light, although the vicinity of S. Germano is occasionally infested by ban¬
ditti. On arriving by the train the traveller, having taken the precaution
to procure some refreshment in the town, may either first explore the ruins
of Casinum (for which, however, he would have time on the following
day), or proceed at once to the monastery of Monte Casino (l1^ hr.; don¬
key t'Js 1.). The excursion should be so arranged that the traveller may
return to the town a considerable time before sunset; at the same time it
should be borne in mind that visitors are strictly excluded from 12 to 3.
30 o'clock. The monastery, justly noted for its hospitality, affords good
quarters for the night (ladies of course are admitted to the church only),
although the refreshments are sometimes of a very frugal description. No
payment is demanded, but the traveller will of course give a handsome gra¬
tuity. (For a stay of some duration persons of moderate requirements
accommodated en pension.) French and German are spoken by some of
the brothers. Early on the morning of Sundays and holidays the church
and courts of the monastery are crowded with country-people from the
neighbouring districts, whose characteristic physiognomies and costumes
will be scanned with interest by the traveller. Those who return to S. Ger¬
mano to pass the night should allow 5 hrs. for the whole excursion.
San Germano, picturesquely situated in the plain on the small
river Rapido (Lat. Vinius), and commanded by a ruined castle,
occupies nearly the same site as the ancient Casinum, colonized
by the Romans B. C. 312 and afterwards a flourishing provincial
town. On its ruins sprung up San Germano during the middle
ages. Pillars of great antiquity are still to be seen in the
churches. Here, too, courts have been held by popes and em¬
perors. Here in 1230 Gregory IX. allied himself with Frederick II.
The foggy climate of this locality is alluded to by the ancients.
After traversing the somewhat uninteresting town, the traveller
enters to the 1. the road which approaches from the N. and
coincides with the Via Latino. About V2 M. farther, to the r.
are situated the colossal remains of an * Amphitheatre, which,
according to an inscription preserved at Monte Casino, was erected
at her own expense by LTmmidia Quadratilla, mentioned by Pliny
in his letters (VII. 24) as a lady of great wealth, who up to a
very advanced age was an ardent admirer of theatrical repre-