362 Route 88. CHIAVENNA.
the Italian custom-house, a group of houses with a poor inn
(Albergo Monte Spluga), at the upper end of a bleak valley sur¬
rounded by lofty mountains. The snow here often reaches in
winter to the windows of the first floor. Bells are rung in the
four highest houses of refuge during snow-storms, as a guide to
The old bridle-path turned to the r. near the second wooden
bridge, and traversed the Cardinell gorge direct to lsola, a route
much exposed to avalanches. The new road descends gradually
by numberless zigzags along the E. slope, and is protected
at places against avalanches by long galleries (the first 249 yds.
long, the second 228, the third 550 yds.). These are constructed
of solid masonry and covered with sloping roofs supported by
pillars, to enable the snow to slide off; they are lighted by aper¬
tures at the sides, resembling embrasures.
As the second gallery is quitted, a beautiful view is obtained
of the old road (destroyed by an inundation in 1834), and the
village of lsola. The new road avoids the dangerous Liro gorge
between lsola and Campo Dolcino. Immediately beyond Pianazzo,
near the entrance to a short gallery, the considerable stream of
the Mudesimo precipitates itself from a rock to a depth of 700'
into the valley below. This beautiful *waterfall is best surveyed
from a small projecting platform by the road. The conductor
sometimes detains the diligence for a short time to enable pass¬
engers to alight and view the cascade. A Latin inscription on a
stone tablet in the rock records the date of the construction of
the route. (From Pianazzo to Caniciil over the Passo di Madesimo,
see p. 360.)
15'/2 M. Campo Solcino (3553') consists of four large groups
of houses, the first of which contains the church, surrounded
by ash-trees, and the cemetery ('Campo Santo'). In the second
group, !/-2 M- farther, is the inn (Posta). Beyond this point is
another Latin inscription on the rock, in honour of the Emperor
Francis, who constructed the route from 'Clavenna ad Rhenum.
The Liro Valley, or Valle S. Giacomo, is strewn with frag¬
ments of rock, but the wildness of the scene is somewhat softened
by the luxuriant foliage of the chestnuts visible lower down, from
which rises the slender white campanile of the church of Galli-
vagg'to. Near S. Giacomo there are whole forests of chestnuts,
which extend far up the steep mountain slopes. The vineyards
of Chiavenna are now soon reached , and the rich luxuriance of
Italian vegetation unfolds itself to the view.
.Hi/.2 M. Chiavenna (1040'), the Clavenna of the Romans,
afterwards the capital of the County of Cl.-iven (*H6tel Conradi,
K. 2V2—3, B. iy2, O. -i- L. and A. lf/4 fr. , adjoining the
post-office, carriages; Chiurc d'Oro; Chiavenna beer is consid¬
ered the best in N. Italy), an ancient town with .'!.S()0 inhab., is