448 Envir. of Borne. TRE FONTANE. 1- Immediate
the wall they were commenced by the abbot Petrus de Capua
(ca. 1220), and completed under his successor John V- (ca. 1241);
the decoration is perhaps by Petrus Vassallettus, a master in this
kind of work (comp. p. 347). On the walls are numerous heathen
and early-Christian inscriptions from the Catacombs, and a few
fragments of ancient and mediaeval sculptures, among them a large
sarcophagus with the history of Apollo and Marsyas. The cloisters
have been declared a 'monumento nazionale' (no fee).
The main road leads on in a straight direction and (7 min.
beyond the church) divides at the Osteria del Ponticello: on the
right the ancient Via Ostiensis diverges to Ostia (p. 490), and on
the left the Via Laurentina leads, past the prettily-situated Os¬
teria Montagnola, to the (25 min.) —
Abbadia delle Tre Fontane (ad aquas Salvias), which
for a time was almost deserted owing to malaria, and was made
over in 1868 to French Trappists. Owing to careful drainage and
cultivation and to extensive plantations of the rapidly-growing eu-
calyptus the sanitary condition of the place has improved. The
name is derived from the legend that the apostle Paul was executed
here, and that his head was observed to make three distinct leaps,
corresponding to which there welled forth three different fountains.
The court surrounding the three churches is approached by an
archway bearing traces Of painting, which is supposed to have be¬
longed to an earlier church of John the Baptist (visitors ring; 25 e).
Santi Vincenzo ed Anastasio, the largest of the churches, a
basilica in the ancient style, founded by Honorius L, and restored in
1221 by Honorius III., as the inscription to the left of the choir records,
has lately again undergone restoration. It has retained many mediaeval
peculiarities, and in particular the marble Windows over the nave. The
portico bears traces of paintings, including the portrait of Honorius III.
To the right is the second church, the circular Santa Maria Scala
Coeli, so called from the 'vision' here vouchsafed to St. Bernard, to
whom Innocent IL had presented the monastery, of a heavenly ladder, on
which angels were conducting to heaven the persons whom his prayers had
released from purgatory. In its present form the church dates from the dose
of the 16th century. The tribune contains good mosaics by Frane. Zucca:
SS. Zeno (?), Bernard, Vincent the deacon, and Anastasius (?), dedicated by
Clement Vili, and Card. Aldobrandini, the finisher of the church.
The third church, San Paolo alle Tre Fontane, stands on the
spot where the apostle is said to have been beheaded, and contains the
three springs already mentioned. In the centre is an antique mosaic
representing the four seasons, found at Ostia in 1869. By the spring to
the right stands the column of white marble to which St. Paul is said to
have been bound at his execution. The present edifice dates from 1599.
Before leaving, the visitor is conducted to the distilling-room, where
a glass of eucalyptus liqueur is offered to him (20 e).
The hills above the abbey, which are honeycombed with puzzo-
lana pits, command delightful views. Puzzolana-earth, mixed with
lime, produces the excellent Roman cement.
About s/4 M. to the S. of the convent the Via Laurentina crosses a
brook, along the left bank of which a path (difficult to find) leads in
1 hr. to Cecchignola (p. 445).