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The scenic features of the Lago Maggiore differ materially from those of Como. The lake itself is much wider, and the mountains at its upper part are more bold, lofty, and rugged, than those which enclose the lake of Como; but, on advancing to the south, become softened down into gently rising hills, covered with vineyards and corn-fields, while numerous towns and hamlets lie at their base, adorning the shores. The Borromean islands, seen from a distance, have a pleasing effect, and, with the distant Alpine range, add to the variety and interest of the scene.

At Arona will be visited with interest the colossal statue of S. Carlo Borromeo, placed on an elevation commanding an extensive view of the lake, and perceived from a considerable distance. Arona is the landing- place for travellers proceeding to Turin or Genoa, and who wish to avoid entering the Austrian territory at Sesto Calende, situated at the extremity of the lake. Steamers ply daily on these lakes, touching at the principal points. The most agreeable period for a temporary sojourn is in May and June, or in September and October. At the upper part of the Lago Maggiore, are the high-roads over the Stelvio and Splugen mountains. From the Lecco branch of the lake of Como, a delightful road leads to Brescia, where it joins the railroad from Milan to Venice, now nearly completed. The country around Bergamo is beautiful, and the town itself is interesting, celebrated for having given birth to some of the first singers who have charmed the capitals of Europe, among others Rubini. In the neighbourhood is the small lake of Isea, which, though seldom visited, is well worth

while. Brescia contains 40,000 inhabitants, and will repay the delay of a day. The lake of Garda, navigated by a steamer, presents some fine scenery; the road at its upper extremity, from Riva to Roveredo, leading to the Italian Tyrol, is highly picturesque. Passing by the fortress of Peschiera, on the direct road from Brescia, the traveller arrives at Verona, one of the handsomest towns in Italy, and doubly interesting from its historical monuments, and from its Shaksperian associations. 66 Verona, with its tower flanked walls,” says Valery, “its embattled bridges, its long wide streets, and its reminiscences of the middle ages, has an imposing air of grandeur. Such a city was fit to be the abode and capital of this Can. Grande della Scala, the Augustus of the middle ages, who welcomed to his court Dante and other proscribed poets and authors. The tombs of the magnificent lords of Verona, a species of long gothic pyramids, surmounted by the equestrian statue of each prince, are some of the most curious ornaments of the town."

The amphitheatre is one of those best preserved; it was capable of containing 30,000 spectators, but is now neglected, being frequently used for equestrian and other exhibitions. The tomb of Juliet is shown, though its authenticity is doubted. Valery, further referring to Dante, observes, “ that it is extraordinary this great poet, to whose genius the pathos of the story of Romeo and Juliet was so suitable, has said nothing about them, though he speaks so eagerly of the Montagues and Capulets; • Vieni a veder Montecchi e Cappelletti.'

Purg. vi.

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“Dante and Shakspeare seem to meet at Verona, the one by his works, and the other by his misfortunes ; and the imagination delights in bringing together these two great geniuses, so tremendous, so creative, and perhaps the most astonishing of modern literature.” The churches, the celebrated Canossa, and two or three of the other palaces, will afford some interest to the visiter. They do not, however, contain many good pictures.

Vicenza, with its Palladian churches and palaces, is deserving a brief delay before proceeding to Padua, “ renowned for sciences and arts,” which, however, as compared with Verona, has but a sombre aspect. The population is upwards of 40,000; most of the houses are built upon arcades, as at Bologna, so that exercise is not impeded by wet or hot weather. Two or three of the churches, the palace of the Podesta, and one or two other public edifices, may be visited with interest, but Padua contains little to delay the majority of travellers. The Pedrocchi café, one of the finest in Europe, is the most usual point of reunion.

The university, which formerly enjoyed the highest reputation, is still one of the first in Italy, several of its professors of late being justly celebrated. Among other collections, it possesses a fine cabinet of natural history ; and an observatory, distinguished by Galileo's discoveries. The library contains 70,000 volumes, occupying the spacious hall of the Giants and Emperors. The walls are covered with portraits of great Romans from Romulus to Cæsar, next to whom comes Charlemagne.

About two miles distant from Padua is Arqua, the

burial-place of Petrarch, charmingly situated among the Euganean hills. The house occupied by the poet commands a delightful view. His chair, table, and favourite cat, stuffed (though the authenticity of this last is doubted), with other relics, are shown to visiters. The place has been thus referred to by a more modern poet :

“E'l bel colle d'Arquà poco in disparte

Che quinci il monte, e quindi il pian vagheggia;
Dove giace colui, nelle cui carte
L'alma fronda del sol lieta verdiggia,
E dove la sua gatta in secca spoglia.
Guarda dai topi ancor la dotta soglia.”

Tassoni.

The tomb, in an open place adjoining the house, of red marble, supported upon four columns, has been likewise adverted to by Lord Byron, in the beginning of his cantos.

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CHAPTER XII.

VENICE AND ITS CLIMATE-PASS OF AMPEZZO-THE SIM

PLON-THE HAUT VALAIS-AIX LES BAINS-MONT CENIS

TURIN-ROUTE TO NICE BY THE COL DI TENDA-FROM

GENEVA TO BASLE.

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The junction of Venice to the mainland by means of a railroad, is not unlikely to restore it to somewhat of its former prosperity, though it has suffered by the course of recent political events. The lagoons, or shoals upon which the city stands, formed by the earth deposited from the rivers, which, descending from the Alps, empty themselves into the head of the Adriatic, may, as a traveller has observed, be compared, with reference to this sea, “to a side closet shut off from a room by a partition.” This partition, which divides it from the open sea, is composed of different pieces with apertures between them, which, if we pursue the same comparison, may be considered as so many doors; and in a line with these openings, though not uniformly straight, are the channels by which vessels approach Venice. The largest of these channels, or the Grand Canal, is crossed by one bridge, the Rialto, the only other communication between the two parts being by means of gondolas; and, as the same author further observes, the city itself " may be considered as divided

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