108 Route il.
Soracte (2267 ft.), Ital. Monte Soratte, mentioned by Horace (Carni.
i. 9 : Vides ut alta stet nive candidum Soracte) and Virgil (Mn. xi. 785 :
Summe déum sancii custos Soractis Apollo), is a limestone ridge, a
fragment of a former chain of the Apennines (continued towards the N.
by Mte. Cetona, p. 49) which was overwhelmed in the volcanic upheaval
of this region. It descends precipitously on both sides, extending 3 M.
from N.W. to S.E., and culminating in several peaks. On the slope which
gradually descends towards the S.E. is situated Sant' Oreste. Leaving
the village to the right, the stony path ascends gradually to the left, and
in 3/4 hr. reaches the Trinitarian monastery of San Silvestro (2086 ft. ;
bread and wine may be had), founded in 746 by Carloman, son of Charles
Martel and brother of Pepin the Short. The centrai and highest summit
(2267 ft.), with the church of San Silvestro and a small ruined monastery,
may be reached in 10 min. more. In ancient times a tempie of Apollo
occupied this site. The view, uninterrupted in every direction, embraces
several snow-clad peaks of the Central Apennines, the Sabine, Volscian,
and Alban Mts., the sea and the Lago di Bracciano (to the W.), and the
Ciminian Forest (to the N.). — A footpath descends from Sant' Oreste
to (3 hrs.) Stimigliano (see below), about IV2 M. short of which we are
ferried across the Tiber (10 e).
From Civita Castellana to the Ruins of Falerii ('Fàleri'), 3 M. to
the N.W. From the under-mentioned road to Nepi a carriage-road diverges
after i/4 M. to the right, and crosses first the valley of the Fosso Maggiore,
then, about x/2 M. before reaching Falerii, that of the Rio del Purgatorio,
with its numerous rock-tombs. The town of Falerium Novum (see p. 107)
or Colonia Junonia, founded by the Romans about 240 B.C., was nearly
in the form of a triangle ; the well-preserved walls, nearly 1V4 M. in
circumference, are protected by square towers and pierced by gates, of
which the Porta di Giove, on the W., and the Porta del Bove, on the S.E.,
are worthy of a visit. Near the latter are the theatre (of Roman con¬
struction), the piscina, and what is regarded as the forum, at the back
of the theatre. At the Porta di Giove, within the walls, is the ruin of
the abbey-church of Santa Maria, of the 12th century. In the nave,
The Roman road from Civita Castellana next leads to the S.W. to
(7 M.) Nepi (diligence in 1V2 hr., fare 1 fr. ; one-horse carr. via Nepi and
Sutri to Capranica, p. 116, 12 fr.), finally crossing the Rio Falisco by
means of a handsome viaduct. A more direct footpath (5^2 M.) crosses
the Fosso del' Isola to the S. and then follows the heights. About 4V2 M.
from Civita Castellana this latter route passes the village of Castel Sant'
Elia (699 ft.). The ancient church of Sant' Elia, built about 1000 and
restored by Pius IX., contains rude frescoes of the llth cent, and sculp-
tural fragments from a tempie of Diana which originally occupied this
site (keys kept by the sindaco and by the Franciscan monks, above the
church). The footpath joins the road at the entrance to the town, near
the above-mentioned viaduct.
Nepi (738 ft. ; Trattoria Frane. Crivellari, well spoken of), with
2973 inhab., the early-Etruscan Nepete or Nepet, afterwards Nepe, is now
an episcopal seat and surrounded by mediseval walls and towers. The
elegant Renaissance Palazzo Municipale, in the market-place, contains
a few Roman sculptures and inscriptions. The Cattedrale dates from the
llth cent., but its crypt is older. The picturesque ruined Castello, to
the W. of the town, occupies the site of an ancient castle rebuilt by
Ant. da Sangallo the Elder in 1499 for Pope Alexander VI., and restored
by Paul III. Lucretia Borgia resided here in 1500 after the death of her
first husband. Below the castle, near the Porta Romana, are some squared
blocks of tufa belonging to Etruscan Walls. — About 6 M. farther to
the W. lies Sutri (3 hrs. ; p. 116).
As the train proceeds, Civita Castellana (p. 107) becomes visible
for a short time to the right. The train crosses to the left bank