From Rome to Naples via Cassino and Capua.
155 M. Railway in 5 1/4-10 hrs.; fares by the fast trains; by the ordinary trains, 28 fr. 15, 19 fr. 70, 12 fr. 70 c. A train deluxe, at higher fares, runs every Sat. in 4 hrs. 5 min. (returning on Mon.). — The finest views are generally to the left.
The first part of the journey, as far as (33 1/2 M.) Segni, traversing the Campagna, with the Alban mountains on the right and the Sabine mountains on the left, is described in Baedeker's Central Italy. Beyond Segni the train continues to follow the valley of the Sacco, the ancient Trerus or Tolerus, and skirts its left bank, running parallel -with the ancient Via Latina, the more E. of the two ancient main roads from Rome to Naples. The Via Appia, the more W. road, runs via Terracina (R. 2) and joins the Via Latina a little short of Capua.
39 M. Anagni (Locanda Qallo), once a nourishing town, and in the middle ages frequently a papal residence, lies on the heights to the left, 5 M. from the station (omnibus 1 fr.). At Anagni, on 7th Sept., 1303, Pope Boniface VIII., then considerably advanced in years, was taken prisoner by the French chancellor Suillaume de Nogaret, acting in concert with the Colonnas, by order of King Philippe le Bel, but was set at liberty by the people three days afterwards. The Cattedrale di Santa Maria, a well-preserved edifice of the 11th cent. , and pure in style, is adorned with a mosaic pavement by the master Cosmas , and in the crypt with ancient frescoes. The treasury contains ancient papal vestments, etc. A walk round the town is interesting. The ancient town-wall, which probably dates from the Roman period, is well preserved, particularly on the N. side. Remains from the middle ages are abundant.
The next towns, with the imposing ruins of their ancient polygonal walls, are also situated on the hills at a considerable distance from the line. This is the territory of the Hernici, with the towns of Anagnia, Aletrium, Ferentinum, and Verulae, which allied themselves with Rome and Latium in B.C. 486, but were subjugated by the Romans, after an insurrection, in B.C. 306.
42 M. Sgurgola (from which Anagni may also be reached : 3 3/4 M.) is a village on the hill to the right, above the Sacco ; still higher is Carpineto. — 45 1/2 M. Morolo.
48'/2 M. Ferentino. The town (poor Locanda), situated on the hill (1450 ft.) to the left, 3 M. from the line, the ancient Ferentinum, a town of the Hernici, was destroyed in the Second Punic War, and afterwards became a Roman colony (pop. 11,000). The ancient town-wall, constructed partly of enormous rectangular blocks and partly in the polygonal style, is still traceable throughout nearly its whole circuit; a gateway on the W. side especially deserves notice. The castle, the walls of which now form the foundation of the episcopal palace, occupied the highest ground within the town. The Cathedral is paved with remains of ancient marbles and mosaics. The font in the small church of Son Giovanni Evangelista is ancient. Interesting antiquities and inscriptions will also be observed in other parts of the town.
53 1/2 M. Frosinone. The town (Locanda de Matteis ; pop. 11,000), situated on the hill, 2M. to the N.E. of the railway, is identical with the ancient Hernician Frusino, which was conquered by the Romans in B.C. 304. The relics of walls and other antiquities are scanty, but the situation is very beautiful.
A diligence (1 fr.) plies twice daily from the station to (9 1/2 M.) the town of Alatri (Locanda Cenfrale , Aquila , near the Porta Fumone , both clean), the ancient Aletrium, picturesquely situated on an eminence to the N., and presenting an admirably preserved specimen of the fortifications of an ancient city. The town with its gates occupies the exact site of the old town. The *Walls of the castle, constructed of huge polygonal blocks, are still entire ; the gateway attracts special attention. The town and castle were provided with an aqueduct. — Above the valley of the Fiume, 5 M. from Alatri (carr. 5 fr. ; the last 3 1/2 M. a steep ascent), lies Collepardo (modest Locanda). Below the village is the famous Orotta di Collepardo, extending upwards of 2000 ft. into the limestone rock, with beautiful stalactites (guide and torches at the municipio ; 5 fr.). About 3/4 M. farther on is an extensive depression in the soil, called II Pozzo d'Antullo, several hundred yards in circumference and 200 ft. in depth, overgrown with grass and underwood. — A walk of about 1 hr. to the N.E., up the steep valley of the Fiume, brings us to the picturesquely situated Carthusian abbey of Trimlti, founded in 1208 and restored in the 18th cent., where gentlemen may obtain good accommodation (commensurate donation on departing). — A pleasant drive may be taken from Alatri by a good road via (6 M.) Veroli, the ancient Verulae, and (6 M. farther) Casamari to (5 ½ M.) Isola (p. 188; carriage from Alatri to Isola 10-12 fr.).
57 M. Ceccano. The village is most picturesquely situated on the hillside to the right of the line, on the right bank of the Sacco, the valley of which now contracts. At the foot of the hill, to the left of the river, once lay the ancient Fabrateria Veins, numerous inscriptions from which are built into the walls of the church by the bridge. A road leads from Ceccano over the hills to Pipemo and Terracina (p. 13). — 62'/2 M. Pop. Castro.
69 M. Ceprano [Rail. Restaurant, expensive and mediocre, the last of any size before Naples). Outside the station a pleasing glimpse is obtained of the valleys of the Liris and the Tolerus. The town of Ceprano is 2 1/2 M. to the N. of the station. — The train now crosses the Liris , which descends from the N. , forming the old boundary of the States of the Church. — 70 M. Isoletta.
In the vicinity, on the right bank of the Liris, in the direction of San Giovanni in Garico, are the scanty ruins of the ancient Fregellae, a Roman colony founded in B. C. 328, which commanded the passage of the river. It was destroyed by the Romans in B. C. 125, in consequence of an insurrection, and Fabrateria Nova was founded in its stead. A number of antiquities may be seen in the Giardino Cairo, at the village of San Giovanni in Carico, 3 M. from the station.
The train now traverses the broad and fertile valley of the Liris, or Qarigliano, as it is called after its union with the Sacco. 75 M. Roccasecea (Albergo-Trattoria Progresso, at the station). The village (rustic Osteria) lies about 2 1/2 M. to the N., below the ruins of the castle in which Thomas Aquinas was born. A branch-line runs hence to Sora and Balsorano , whence it is being extended to Avezzano (see R. 15).
78 M. Aquino, the ancient Aquinum, a small town picturesquely situated to the left on the hillside and on a mountain-stream, is celebrated as the birthplace of the satirist Juvenal (who lived under Nero) and of the philosopher Thomas Aquinas. The illustrious 'doctor angelicus', son of Count Landulf, was born in 1224 in the neighbouring castle of Roccasecca, and -was educated in the monastery of Monte Cassino. The Emperor Pescennius Niger was also a native of Aquinum. By the side of the Via Latina may be distinguished the relics of the ancient Roman town : inconsiderable fragments of walls, a gateway (Porta San Lorenzo), a theatre, remains of temples of Ceres (San Pietro) and Diana (Santa Maria Maddalena), and a triumphal arch. Near the stream are the ruins of Santa Maria Libera, a basilica of the 11th cent., commonly called II Vescovado, occupying the site of an ancient temple, and consisting of handsome nave and aisles. Above the portal is a well-preserved Madonna in mosaic.
Beyond Aquino, on a bleak mountain to the left, the celebrated monastery of Monte Cassino becomes visible.
85 1/2 M, Cassino. — Inns. Hôtel Villa Makuo Vareone (well spoken of), Alb. Cassino, Hotel Central, all in the town, about 1/2 M. from the station.
Carriages. From the station to the town: ‘un posto’, i.e. a seat in a carriage, 50 c., at night 1 fr. ; Carrozzella, i.e. a small vehicle with one horse, 70 c. or H/2 fr. ; 'Carrozza', 1 1/2 or 3 fr. — From the station to the top of Monte Cassino : by day, carrozzella, 1 pers. 3 fr., 2 pers. 4 fr.; carrozza, 1 pers. 5, 2-3 pers. 6, 4-5 pers. 7 fr. ; at night, one or more pers. 10 fr. These fares include the return. For waiting at the top, 1 1/2 fr. is charged for a carrozzella up to 3 hrs., 2 fr. for a carrozza. — Donkey to Monte Cassino 1 fr., with guide and light luggage, 1 1/2fr.
Cassino, a town with 13,500 inhab. , is picturesquely situated in the plain at the foot of the hill of Monte Cassino, on the small river Rapido (Lat. Vinius'), 3/4 M. from the station, and is commanded by a picturesque ruined castle, called La Rocca. It occupies nearly the same site as the ancient Casinum, which was colonised by the Romans in B.C. 312, and was afterwards a flourishing provincial town. On its ruins sprang up the mediaeval town of San Germano, which resumed the ancient name in 1871. Pillars of great antiquity are still to be seen in the churches. Emperors and popes frequently resided at San Germano, and in 1230 peace was concluded here between Gregory IX. and Frederick II. The foggy character of the climate is alluded to by the ancients.
Continuation of Journey to Naples. To the left, beyond San Germano, we perceive the villages of Cervaro, San Vittore and San Pietro in Fine. 92 M. Rocca d'Evandro. The train quits the valley of the Garigliano, and enters a richly cultivated defile, beyond which the country towards the right becomes flatter. Several ruined castles are seen on the right. — 96 M. Mignano. The train now runs through a barren, undulating tract. 101 M. Tora Presemano, which lies on the slope to the left. — 105 ½ M. Caianello-Vairano; branch-line to Isernia and Solmona.
110 M. Riardo ; the village, with an old castle, lies on the left.
113 M. Téano; the town (Alb. Lancellotti; 5000 inhab.) lies at some distance to the right, at the base of the lofty Rocca Monfina, an extinct volcano (3420 ft.), which may be visited from this point. Ancient columns in the cathedral, inscriptions, remains of a theatre, and other antiquities are now the sole vestiges of the venerable Teanum Sidicinum, once the capital of the Sidicini, which was conquered by the Samnites in the 4th cent. B. C, was afterwards subjugated by the Romans, and in Strabo's time was the most flourishing inland city of Campania after Capua.
118 M. Sparanise, the junction of the line to Gaeta. To the left, about 4 M. to the N.E. of the railway, lies Calvi, the ancient Cales, a Roman colony founded B. G. 332, the wine of which (vinum Calenum) is praised by Horace. It now consists of a few houses only, but contains an ancient amphitheatre, a theatre, and other antiquities. Carriage with one horse from Capua, and back, 2-3 fr.
As the train proceeds we obtain for the first time a view of Mt. Vesuvius in the distance to the right, and then of the island of Ischia in the same direction. 121 1/2 M. Pignataro. The train here intersects the plain of the Volturno, a river 94 M. in length, the longest in Lower Italy. We now enter upon the vast plains of the ancient Campania, one of the most luxuriant districts in Europe, which is capable of yielding, in addition to the produce of the dense plantations of fruit-trees and vines, two crops of grain and one of hay in the same season.
127 M. Capua. — Albergo della Posta , on the left side of the street leading from the station to the Piazza. — Carriage from the station to the town with one horse (cittadina) 30, with two horses (carrozza) 50 c.; per hour, 1 or 2 fr. ; to Caserta 2 or 4 fr. ; to Aversa 3 or 6 fr. ; to Santa Maria di Capua Vetere i or 2 fr. ; to Sant' Angelo in Formis 1 fr. 20 or 2 fr. 50 c.
Capua, a fortified town with 14,000 inhab. , the residence of an archbishop, lies on the left bank of the Volturno, by which the greater part of it is surrounded. It was erected in the 9th cent., after the destruction of the ancient Capua, on the site of Casilinum, a town which was conquered by Hannibal after an obstinate resistance, and had already fallen into decay in the time of the emperors.
134 M. Caserta. — Hotels. Vittoria , with garden ; Villa Reale, well spoken of, both in the Via Vittoria; Villa di Firenze, near the palace, R., L., & A. 2 1/2, pens. 8 fr. ; all with trattorie. — In the round piazza with its colonnades, at the entrance to the town from the palace, is a favourite Cafe".
From Caserta and from Capua there are roads to Caiazzo (about 9 M.) and on to Piedimonte d’Alife (rustic Inn), prettily situated about 15 M. from Caiazzo, with flourishing mills, founded by Swiss merchants, at the foot of the Matese, the highest summit of which (Monte Miletto, 6725 ft.) may be ascended from Piedimonte in 5-6 hrs. On the top there is a lake surrounded by woods. View as far as the Adriatic and Tyrrhenian Sea.
Caserta is the junction of the Naples and Foggia railway (R. 18), which runs on the hillside, to the left, as far as Maddaloni , the next station, and for the branch-line to Castellammare (30 1/2 M., in 2 hrs. ; fares 5 fr. 55, 3 fr. 90, or 2 fr. 50 c).
The latter follows the main line as far as Cancello, where it diverges to the left and runs round the E. and S. sides of Mt. Vesuvius, past the stations of Marigliano, Ottaiano, San Giuseppe, Terzigno, and Boscoreale, to Torre Annunziata, the junction of the railway from Naples to Castellammare and Gragnano.
138 M. Maddaloni (Locanda-Trattoria del Leone, near the station, plain). The town (20,000 inhab.), situated to the left, is commanded by three ruined castles, the central one of which once belonged to the Carafa family. On the Foggia line, 2 ½ M. from Maddaloni, are the Ponti delta Valle, conveniently visited by carriage.
141 1/2 M. Cancello, whence branch-lines diverge to Castellammare and to Avellino (R. 12). Above the village is a large ruined castle.
About I 1/2M. to the S.W. of Cancello, among the woods (Bosco d'Acerra), are the insignificant ruins of the ancient Oscan Suessula. The rich sepulchral remains found here, chiefly vases and bronze ornaments, are preserved in the neighbouring Villa Spinelli.
The old highroad from Cancello to Benevento leads to the E. via San Felice and Arienzo, and then passes through a narrow defile, considered by many to be identical with the Furculae Caudinae which proved so disastrous to the fortunes of Rome, whence it ascends to the village of Arpaia, It next passes the small town of Montesarchio (the ancient Caudium according to some), with its castle, once the residence of the d'Avalos family, and recently used as a state prison, in which, among others, the well-known Poerio (d. 1867) was confined.
To the left we observe Monte Somma, which conceals Vesuvius. 146 M. Acerra (14,500 inhab.) was the ancient Acerrae, to which the Roman citizenship was accorded as early as B.C. 332. The train crosses the trenches of the Regi Lagni, which drain the marshes of the Pantano dell' Acerra, the ancient Clanius, now l’Agno, and form the boundary between the provinces of Caserta and Naples. 148 M. Casalnuovo. Vesuvius becomes visible on the left.
155 M. Naples. Arrival, see p. 19.