to Naples. AMSANCTUS LAKE. 1. Route. 13
the ruins of a temple of Cybele. The church contains a miraculous image
of the Virgin and the tombs of Catherine of Valois who caused the image
to be brought hither, and of her son Louis of Tarento, second husband of
Johanna I. Their effigies repose on a Roman sarcophagus. On the 1. side
of the high-altar is the chapel erected by king Manfred for himself and
which, when that monarch fell at Benevento, was given by Charles ofAnjou
to one of his French attendants. A path leads hence to the summit of the
mountain (4027 ft.), commanding a magnificent prospect of the Bay of Na
pies and the extensive mountainous district. The abbot and the older
monks occupy the Loreto or I'Ospizio, a large octagonal structure near Mer-
cogliano, erected from a design by Vanvitelli. The archives comprise up¬
wards of 18,000 documents on parchment and 200 MSS., important records
of mediaeval history. Great festivals are celebrated here at Whitsuntide,
attended by numerous devotees in their gay and picturesque costumes.
The former diligence-road to Foggia descends the valley of the Sabato,
which is crossed before (6 M.) Pratola is reached. The hills are next
traversed which separate the Sabato from the Calore, near the village of
Denticane. To the r. Monte Miletlo with an ancient castle. The road then
descends by Campanarello into the valley of the Calore, and, passing Mira-
bella on the 1., near the ancient Aeclanum, a town of the Samnites, reaches
Grottaminarda (poor inn), a small town with 4000 inhab.
The Amsanctus Lake, commonly called La Mofete, may be visited on
horseback from Grottaminarda in 4 hrs. It consists of two small lakes,
situated in a deep valley, resembling a crater, and celebrated for their me-
phitic exhalations (carbonic acid and sulphuretted hydrogen); therefore
declared by Virgil (jEn. VII. 563) to be an entrance to the infernal regions.
According to Cicero (De div. I. 36) the Amsanctus was situated in the ter¬
ritory of the Hirpini.
The path thither leads S. by the village of Frigento (4i|j M.), whence
the lakes are 3'|2 M. distant to the S.E.
The road to Foggia leads through the narrow valley of the Uffila (to
the r. the villages of Flumeri and Baronia), by Melito to Ariano (Porta),
an episcopal residence and culminating point between the Adriatic and the
Tyrrhenian sea, whence the railway from Naples to Foggia (R. 13) may be
reached at stat. Montecalvo or Savignano (p. 170).
An Excursion to the Valley of the Liris and Lago Fucino
may either be made from Rome, or from the railway stat. Rocca Secca
(p. 4), so that this route may be selected by the traveller from Rome to
Naples. Unfortunately the road is bad and in some places unfit for car¬
riages. Of late years this district, lying on the Roman and Neapolitan
frontiers, has been a favourite haunt of banditti, and can therefore hardly
be recommended. Letters of introduction will prove invaluable , as there
are no inns in many of the villages.
The route from Rome is by Tivoli in the valley of the Anio, ascending
to Roviano (see Part II. of this Handbook), 15 M. from Tivoli, and Arsoli,
where the carriage-road ends. Thence on foot or horseback by a mountain
road, the ancient Via Valeria, by Carsoli, with the ruins of the ancient
Carseoli, to Tagliacozzo (31 M. from Tivoli).
Between stat. Rocca Secca (p. 4) and Avezzano, the principal place on
the Lago Fucino, diligence communication daily in 10 hrs. From 6 M.
to the inconsiderable Arce, the Arx Volscorum, with a lofty mountain
stronghold of great antiquity, reputed impregnable in the middle ages. Some
ruins (to the E.) are said to have belonged to the villa of Lucius Cicero,
brother of the orator. From Arce the road proceeds on the 1. bank of the
Liris, which is seldom visible. A sulphureous brook is then crossed, where
the village of Fontana to the r., and, to the I. beyond the frontier, Monte
S. Giovanni, once a wealthy monastery, become visible. About 3 M. from
Arce the road to Arpino diverges to the 1. Close to the road, near the
small island of .S'. Paolo, the Liris forms a series of cataracts, termed La
Natrella. In the vicinity the fragments of an ancient Roman bridge. The