1(5 Route I..
About 6 M. from Avezzano the traveller reaches the small town of
Celano, beautifully situated on an eminence, the principal place on the
lake, which derives one of its appellations from it. It possesses a pictures¬
que piazza and "castle dating from 1450, once the property of the unfor¬
tunate Countess Covella, who was attacked and taken prisoner by her own
son Rugierotto. She was soon liberated, but the domain was presented
by Ferdinand of Arragon in 1463 to his son-in-law Antonio Piccolomini,
Duke of Amalfi and nephew of Pius II. Celano was the birth-place of
Thomas of Celano (d. 1253), the reputed author of the celebrated requiem
*'Dies irse, dies ilia". On the 1. bank of the lake is situated the village of
San Benedetto, the site of Marrubium, the ancient capital of the Marsi,
■considerable remains of which may be observed in the lake (in which,
during the great drought of 1752, statues of Nero, Claudius, Hadrian and
Agrippina were found, now at Naples), as well as on the land. On the S.
bank are situated the villages of Trasacco and Luco, the ancient Lucus
Angitiae, which once possessed a shrine of that goddess.
On a range of hills 3'|2 M. to the N. of Avezzano, lies Alba, the Alba
Fucentia or Alba Marsorum of the Romans, celebrated for its fidelity to
Rome. The church of S. Pietro occupies the site of an ancient temple,
the columns of which are built into the walls , and from its lofty situation
commands a fine view. Objects of interest are remnants of an amphitheatre
and admirably preserved Cyclopean walls. Here the Romans confined Per¬
seus, king of Macedonia, when defeated by Emilius Paulus, and other
vanquished sovereigns at various periods. Descending from Alba, the tra¬
veller leaves Magliano, situated on the lofty bank of the Imele, to the r.,
and passing by Scurcola reaches the Campi Palentini, where, Aug. 26th,
1268, the youthful Conradin of Hohenstaufen, the last scion of the illustrious
imperial house of Swabia, was conquered by Charles I. of Anjou, by the
advice of the aged knight Alard de St. Valery. To celebrate his victory
Charles caused a handsome church and monastery to be erected by Nicola
Pisano, Santa Maria delta Vittoria , of which the ruins alone now remain.
A Madonna , rescued from the church, is preserved at Scurcola. The next
village is Tagliacozzo, on the 1. bank of a profound ravine from which the
Imele emerges. From this point the traveller may visit the district of
Cicolano and the village of Petrella, in the castle of which the rich and
profligate Francesco Cenci of Rome was murdered by banditti at the insti¬
gation of his second wife Lucrezia and her step-daughter Beatrice Cenci.
The guilty parties were executed, Sept. 11th, 1599, in front of the Castle of
St. Angelo at Rome. The estates of the Cenci were confiscated and sub¬
sequently became the property of the Borghese. From Tagliacozzo the
pedestrian may walk in li|2 hr. to the sources of the Liris, situated amidst
the wildest scenery, below the village of Cappadocia.
2. From Rome to Naples.
By the Pontine Marshes, Terracina, Gaeta and Capua.
This road , until recently the principal medium of communication bet¬
ween Central and Southern Italy, is the most ancient in Italy. During the
Samnite war, B. C. 312, the Via Appia (p. 1) was constructed by the censor
Ap. Claudius from Rome to Capua; the present road is nearly identical
with the ancient Via. It skirts the W. side of the Alban mountains, passes
Albano, Genzano and Velletri, intersects the plain on the coast, of which
the Pontine marshes form a portion, and reaches Terracina, on the frontier
of the States of the Church. It then turns inland, in order to traverse the
mountain chain of Itri, which bounds the Gulf of Gaeta on the N. W. It
reaches the gulf near Mola di Gaeta, skirts it for a short distance, and then
again proceeds by S. Agata towards the interior, where it unites at stat.
Sparanisi (p. 81 with the former route, 5 M. above Capua.