l^|l iiot«(e 17 PERTOSA. Front Naples
resort "f the great, the place '-where Jupiter vouchsafes long springs and
short winters and the luxuriant vines of the pleasing Aulon vie with the
f alernian", and whither he invites his friend Septimius to retire with him,
in order that they may spend the evening of their lives together among
these "delightful hills"' (Od. II. 6). In the middle ages Tarentum was the
residence of Prince Boheniund, son of Robert Guiscard, w-ho took part in
the first crusade.--The line old silver coins of Tarentum may be pur¬
chased here at a moderate price.
Of the ancient Tarentum the fragments of a theatre, a circus
and several temples still exist. An aqueduct, still in use, resting
on arches, is said to have been constructed by the Greek em¬
peror Nicephorus I. in 803. Opposite to Taranto lie the two
flat islands .S. Pietro and .S. Paolo, the ancient Choerades. They
are now oocupied by fortifications for the defence of the harbour
and a convent.
The honey and fruit produced in the vicinity of Taranto bear
a high reputation. Even the date-palms here bear fruit, although
it does not generally become thoroughly matured. In the district
between Taranto, Brindisi and Otranto is found the poisonous
tarantula spider, the sting of which produces convulsions and
delirium. A popular delusion exists that these symptoms are
counteracted by music and dancing.
From Taranto to Lecce (p. 165) dilig. daily in 9 hrs., traversing
an unattractive district, and passing the towns of S. Giorgio, Sara, Mnn-
duria (an old place with 7000 inhab.) and Campi.
17. From Naples to Reggio by Eboli.
The Calabrian Peninsula.
Calabria is rarely visited by travellers. It abounds in beautiful scenery:
but the length of the journey, the indifference of the inns and the insecu¬
rity of the roads, which has of late increased, at present deter all but the
mosl enterprising. After the completion of the network of railways pro
jected for S. Italy these inconveniences will cease to exist. The line is
now completed as far as Eboli, from which the distance to Reggio is 327 M.
The journey is performed by the Corriere in 75 hrs.; fare 631. 75c.
There are, however, three seats only, which are always engaged in advance,
so that passengers cannot expect to be taken up at an intervening station.
Diligence as far as Auletta, see p. 175. Vetturini from Salerno require
12 days: hotel-expenses had better be included in the contract.
From Naples by railway to Eboli and thence to Auletta,
see P. 15.
Beyond Auletta lies the village of Pertosa, halting-place of the
vetturini, partially destroyed in 1857. Below the village is a large
cavern, dedicated to St. Michael, whence after a subterranean
course of l'/a M- the Negro precipitates itself into a gorge.
Beyond Pertosa the road crosses a deep ravine, through which an
arm of the Negro flows . by It Ponte di f'ampestrino , a viaduct