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Frederic Uvedale : A Romance 
Studies in the Lives of the Saints 
Italy and the Italians 


In Unknown Tuscany 

Country Walks about Florence 

Giovanni Boccaccio 


The Cities of Spain 

The Cities of Umbria 

Florence and Northern Tuscany 

Siena and Southern Tuscany 


Venice and Venetia 












First Published in igis 







Cisalpine Gaul .... 

The Lakes : Maggiore, Lugano, Como 

To Milan: Varese, Castiglione D'Olona 

The Story of Milan . 

Milan : S. Ambrogio 

S. Lorenzo and S. Eustorgio 

The Duomo 

The Sforza 

Milan in the Sixteenth Century 

The Galleries 






Chiaravalle and Feminism in the 
TEENTH Century 

The Certosa of Pavia . 

Pavia .... 

Monza .... 

Bergamo .... 

Brescia .... 

Lago D'Iseo, Lago di Garda and 
Battlefields . 

XIII. Mantua 
















Cremona . 


. 219 


Crema and 


. 234 




. 243 


The ^milian Way 

. 262 




. 268 




. 283 




. 288 


Canossa . 


. 297 



Outside Mantua .... 

. Frontispiece 

San Mamette, Lago Lugano . 


. 30 

AzzANO— Lago di Como . 

. 46 

CoLONNE DI S. Lorenzo, Milan 

. 80 

CiTTA Alta, Bergamo 

. 170 

S. Maria Maggiore, Bergamo . 

. 176 

IL DuoMO Vecchio, Brescia 

. 190 

The Gates of the North 

. 202 

Mantua ..... 

. 208 

Cremona . . 

. 226 

Montefiorino, Modena . 

. 288 

The Top of the World 

. 298 


Map of Lombardy . . Front End Paper 


Salome, by Masolino . . . . -54 

From the fresco in the Baptistery, Castiglione d'Olona 
(Photo, Alinari) 

The Church of S. Ambrogio, Milan . . .88 

(Photo, Bkogi) 

The Duomo, Milan . . . . .98 

The Church of S. Maria delle Grazie, Milan . no 

Head of Christ . . . . . .116 

From the painting attributed to LEONARDO DA ViNCi, 
Brera, Milan. (Photo, Brogi) 

Certosa di Pavia. . . . . .136 

(Photo, Alinari) 

On the Road 

The Bridge, Pavia 

(Photos, R. W. Garden) 


Victory . . . . . .186 

From the bronze in the Museum, Brescia 

Palazzo del Comune, Piacenza . . .248 

(Photo, Alinari) 



Facade of the Duomo, Borgo S. Donnino . 



Facade of the Duomo, Modena . . I 

(Photos, R. W. Garden) / 

Madonna della Scodella .... 278 

From the painting by CoRREGGio, Gallery of Parma. 
(Photo, Anderson) 

Francesco d'Este, Duke of Modena. . . 296 

From the painting by Velasquez, in the Gallery, Modena. 
(Photo, Anderson) 




WHEN I think of Lombardy, there comes back 
into my mind a country wide and gracious, 
watered by many a great river, and lying, a little 
vaguely, between always far-away mountains ; a world 
that is all a garden, where one passes between fair 
hedgerows, from orchard to orchard, among the vines, 
where the fields are green with promise or shining with 
harvest, and there are meadows on the lower slopes of 
the mountains. And the whole of this wide garden 
seems to me, as is no other country in the world, to be 
subject to the sun, the stars and the great and beautiful 
clouds of an infinite sky ; every landscape is filled with 
them, and beneath them the cities seem but small 
things, not cities truly, but rather sanctuaries, hidden 
in that garden for our delight, reverence and meditation, 
at the end of the endless ways, where only the restless 
poplars tell the ceaseless hours. 

It is my purpose in this book to consider the nature 
and the history of this country, to recapture and to 
express as well as I may my delight in it, so that some- 
thing of its beauty and its genius may perhaps dis- 
engage itself from my pages, and the reader feel what I 
have felt about it though he never stir ten miles from 


his own home. But first it might seem necessary 
to describe in a way very definite and even rigid the 
situation of this country, and especially to define its 
relation, both geographic and historical, to the peninsula 
of Italy, of which for ages it has politically formed a part. 

The traveller who, on a day of early spring, descends 
towards the south from the cruel ice and snow of the 
St, Gothard, or the barren loneliness of the Simplon, 
will presently see stretched out before him, as far as 
the eye can reach, a vast green and golden plain — " the 
waveless plain of Lombardy " — scattered with many 
fair cities and broken in the south by a range of faint, 
far-away mountains. In his first enthusiasm he takes 
this to be Italy : in fact, it is Cisalpine Gaul. 

This vast plain, everlastingly defended on the north 
against the Germanics and less brutally on the west 
against Gaul by the Alps, is closed on the east by 
the sea. From Italy it is divided by those far-away 
mountains — the Apennines. 

I say that this country between the Alps, the Apen- 
nines and the sea, does not really form a part of Italy, 
though to-day it is united to her, and may be said, ever 
since the Roman Conquest, to have depended upon 
Italy, and to have drawn all that was really vital in 
its life from her. Let me explain myself. 

Peninsulas, one has often remarked it on the map, 
commonly gain in breadth as they approach the conti- 
nent, and in Italy this tendency is so pronounced that, 
roughly, south of the Apennines we have an altogether 
peninsular, north of them an altogether continental 
country ; moreover, here the division is marked by a lofty 
and difficult chain of mountains. It is Nature herself 
which has shut off all that vast continental plain to 
the north of the Apennines from the true Italy to the 
south of them, and men have always felt this difference. 
For when one comes to examine that plain which 



expands like a tree trunk near the ground as it ap- 
proaches the Alps and sends its roots far back into the 
mass of Europe, we shall be more than ever impressed 
by its non-Italian character. We shall find that it is 
dominated far more by the Alps than by the Apennines, 
and that it contains a lowland and a river of true 
continental proportions which Italy cannot match, 
and for which, indeed, there is no room in that narrow 
and mountainous peninsula. Nor does the ethno- 
graphy of this country in any way contradict its 
geography. The peoples of the valley of the Po are 
very different from the Italians in their origin, in their 
history and in their language ; their heroic and violent 
opposition, first to the Romans and then to the Teutons, 
is characteristic, and is due not to their Latin, but to 
their Gaulish blood. For though from time to time the 
Italians have come over the Apennines, into this plain, 
even as the Germans have come over the Alps, the marrow 
of this people is Gaulish still ; they are a military people, 
a race of soldiers. But if we thus assert that geographic- 
ally, ethnographically and historically Cisalpine Gaul is 
not Italy, that even to-day it is Gaulish rather than 
Italian, how are we to consider its relation to Italy of 
which politically it has for so long formed a part ? 

Italy is, and has always been, a place apart and 
separate from the mass of Europe ; and because of 
this she has been able to do her work both secular and 
religious. What has secured her ? Cisalpine Gaul. 
The valley of the Po, all this vast plain appears in 
history as the cockpit of Europe, the battlefield of 
the Celt, the Phoenician, the Latin and the Teuton, 
strewn with victories, littered with defeats, the theatre 
of those great wars which have builtj and secured 
Europe and the modern world. Here, in this Gaulish 
country, Hannibal waited before he made that great 
descent upon Italy, in which the Oriental so nearly 
overthrew Europe ; here Caesar conceived and by 


a single act founded the Empire, which here the 
Barbarians overthrew ; here Charlemagne re-estab- 
lished it, and here even in our own day Italy founded 
her unity and once more — may it be for ever — the 
Barbarian was driven out. 

Yes, if, as we must, we consider Italy as the shrine, the 
sanctuary and the citadel of Europe, here are her gates : 
they are three in number, the Alps, the Apennines and 
the Plain between them, and the greatest of these is the 
Plain. The mountains look upon it from the north 
and from the south, the outer and the inner gates of 
Italy : this is the drawbridge between them ; it bears 
its scars, as it bears its destiny, upon its forehead. 

The country which lies thus between the Alps and the 
Apennines, the inner and the outer gates of Italy, 
and which, though not Italian, has played so great a 
part in the fulfilment of her destiny, is for the most part 
a vast plain, fundamentally divided from west to east 
into two not unequal parts by a great river, the Po, 
and everywhere watered and nourished by its two 
hundred tributaries. To the north of the Po lie two 
great provinces : to the west Lombardy, to the east 
Venetia, separated by the Lago di Garda and the 
Mincio. To the south lie three smaller provinces, 
Parma, Modena and Romagna, now gathered into the 
single new province of Emilia : and these are the more 
Italian parts of the great plain. To the west of all 
these, on both sides of the Po, stretches the huge pro- 
vince of Piedmont at the foot of the Alps. Of these 
six provinces those of Venetia and Piedmont lie outside 
the subject of this book ; their history and their 
development have been very different from those of 
the rest of Cisalpine Gaul, and though geographically 
they seem to form parts of it, even the Romans re- 
cognised that they were controlled by forces outside 
it and that both racially and politically they were 
separate from it. Venetia, whose destiny in the Middle 



Ages and for long after was determined by that of 
Venice, was peopled by a race which was always hostile 
to the Gauls of the upper and middle valley, and which 
helped the Romans to subdue them ; while Piedmont, 
which has lately given a king of the Switzer House 
of Savoy to modern Italy, was, so far as it lies to the south 
of the Po, included by the Romans in the province 
of Liguria and largely, so far as it lies to the north of 
that river, was in the territory of the Inalpini — the 
mountain folk who were not brought within the Roman 
power till the time of Augustus.^ We are left, then, 
with four great provinces, Lombardy to the north, 
Parma, Modena and Romagna to the south of the Po : 
these, and especially the first three, were the real 
Cisalpine Gaul. 

The history of this vast country before the Roman 
Conquest, is, as is history everywhere before that 
event, vague and obscure. But this at least seems 
certain : before the advent of the Gauls continental 
Italy, all this great valley of the Po that is, was in 
the hands of the Etruscans, who built towns here, cut 
canals and roads, and to some extent, at any rate, cleared 
the forests. Mantua was a town of theirs and, always 
saved by its marshes, it remains to this day; Melpum, 
as Pliny calls it, perhaps the greatest of their cities, 
has perished. 

The Gauls seem to have come into this valley from 
over the Alps, first as traders and then, according 
to the authorities which Livy followed, in the reign of 
Tarquinius Prisons, but at any rate not before the 
second half of the third century of the City, as invaders 
and conquerors, such conquerors, in fact, that the most 
famous date in the early history of Rome is that of their 
capture of the City in 388 B.C. They were, and still 

* With Venetia I have already dealt in my Venice and Venetia 
(Methuen, 191 1) ; with Piedmont and Liguria I hope to deal in 
another volume. 


are, on both sides of the Alps a great military people. 
" With the Gauls," says Sallust,^ " the Romans fought 
not for glory but for existence." The Gauls, the elder 
Cato^ tells us, "devote themselves mainly to two things 
— fighting and debate." They were, too, a pastoral 
rather than an agricultural people. 

The advent of the Gauls into the valley of the Po, 
whenever it may have begun, was a long process, 
which renewed itself from time to time, notably in the 
third century before our era, and continued, doubtless, 
till a comparatively late time. When Rome began to 
undertake their conquest we find them settled somewhat 
as follows on either side the Po. To the north of that 
river, from west to east we find the Insubres, the first 
comers, settled about Milan and as far east as the Adda ; 
the Cenomani, who followed them, were settled between 
the Adda and the Adige about the towns of Mantua, 
Cremona, Brescia and Bergamo. Both these tribes 
crossed the Graian Alps by the Little St. Bernard. 
South of the Po, again from west to east, we find the 
Boii about Piacenza, Parma and Bologna ; the Lingones, 
a marsh people, probably the last to submit to the 
Roman yoke, about Ferrara ; and the Senones, the last 
of the larger Gaulish tribes to cross the Alps, settled 
in the country about Rimini and Senigaglia. These 
three tribes are thought to have crossed the Pennine 
Alps by the Great St. Bernard. Such were the chief 
Gallic tribes that settled in the valley ; all were Celtic 
and all were people of the plain, only inhabiting those 
parts of the hills which were close to the plain. In 
Roman history the more formidable oi these tribes 
would appear to have been the Insubres and the Boii ; 
but all the Gauls were born soldiers, and the Romans 
from the beginning realise.d this and set apart a treasure 
in the capitol for the almost perpetual Gallic war.^ 

^ Bell. Jug. c. 114. ^ Cato, Orig. 1. ii. fr. 2 (Jordan). 

^ C£. Appian, B.G., ii. 41, and Livy, xxvii. 10. 


That first sack of Rome by the Gauls in 388 B.C., 
which makes so picturesque an episode in the legends 
of the City, was followed, according to Polybius, thirty 
years later by another invasion of Italy, in which this for- 
midable people got as far as Alba and found the Romans 
afraid to meet them. Twelve years later we find them 
again attacking Rome; but the Romans were ready, 
and they retreated before the armies of the City and her 
allies. Then followed a formal peace which the Gauls 
observed for thirty years ; but it is easy to see how 
dangerous an enemy these barbarians were to Latium ; 
how terrible they appeared in the Roman imagination 
is proved by the legends that the Roman tradition 
still preserves concerning them, in which, for instance, 
we see Titus Manlius meeting a Gallic giant in single 
combat on the banks of the Anio. 

These Gallic incursions into Italy continued until in 
the year 296, for the first time, the Romans were able 
to inflict a signal defeat upon the Galli and the Samnites 
in Gallic territory at Sentinum, on the north side of the 
Apennines. Livy tells us that in that fight there fell 
25,000 Gauls, a slaughter which later writers vastly 
exaggerate. Nevertheless, some years later the Senones 
laid siege to Arezzo, then an Etruscan town under the 
protection of Rome. It was L. Caecilius Metellus who, 
at the head of a Roman army, came to its relief. It is 
said by Livy that the Romans first sent ambassadors 
to the Senones to induce them to retire, but that these 
were murdered. However that may be, P. Cornelius 
Dolabella presently entered the country of the Senones, 
burning as he went, putting the men to the sword and 
carrying off the women and children. The fighting 
men of the Senones were then before Arezzo. There 
they met Metellus and defeated him. Neverthe- 
less, Arezzo did not fall, and DolabeUa was in 283 B.C. 
able to give the Senones a complete defeat. Most 
of them fell in battle, as was their custom, and the 


Romans thus, for the first time, were able to get a 
footing north of the Apennines and on the Adriatic 
coast. Here they established a burgess-colony, the 
first in Gallic territory ; and they called it Sena Gallica 
to distinguish it from Sena in Etruria. 

As might be expected, this breaking of the Senones 
stirred their neighbours the Boii, who, with the frightened 
Etruscans, began a march on Rome : Rome met them 
at Lake Vadimon, that is, Lago di Bassano, and cut 
them to pieces : but they would not be denied. In 
the next year they gathered all their youth and again 
with the Etruscans were signally defeated. Rome was 
learning her business and, pitting order and civilisation 
against the natural military qualities of the Gauls, 
won these hard victories. 

The fear that had hurled the Boii against Rome was 
well founded. They had seen the burgess-colony of 
Sena Gallica established in Gaulish territory ; they 
were now to see set up the Latin colony of Ariminum, 
that is, of Rimini. They were not slow to understand 
that Rome intended their total destruction, and great 
military people as they were, they but waited to recruit 
their strength and to find allies to renew the war. 

Their first act was to ally themselves with the 
Insubres, the greatest of the Gallic peoples, and then 
with their new friends to invite other Gauls from over 
the Alps to help them in their fight for existence. 
In 225 B.C., then, the greatest army the Gauls had 
yet put in the field entered Italy, to decide, as it proved, 
who were to be masters. Yet even so the Gauls fought 
under this disadvantage : that they were not one. 
For the Veneti (if Gauls they were) and the Cenomani 
had allied themselves with Rome, and it was necessary 
to leave a force in Gaul to watch them. Nevertheless, 
it is said the Gaulish army entered Italy with 50,000 
foot and 20,000 horse. Against them Rome was able 
to bring, for all Italy was alarmed, some 150,000 foot 


and 6000 horse. In spite of this formidable army 
Italy was open so far as Clusium (Chiusi), which the 
Gauls plundered : then suddenly learning that a 
Roman force was already outflanking them, they 
retired on the road towards Faesulas (Fiesole) where a 
battle was fought in which the Italians were defeated. 
But Fortune, the great decider of war, was against 
them. For they had still to reckon with the out- 
flanking army of the Romans under the consul L. 
^milius Papus ; and then by chance L. Atilius Regulus, 
the other consul, at this time returned from Sardinia, 
and, landing his troops at Pisa, went to meet them. 
The Gauls, who after their victory had taken the 
level road northward along the Etruscan coast, were 
thus caught between two great forces. Nevertheless, 
they were not cast down, but, like the great and skilful 
soldiers they were, forming two lines of battle they 
faced both armies near Telamo at the mouth of the 
Ombrone. There the battle was joined and Rome 
proved completely victorious. It is said that 40,000 
Gauls fell on that day, while 10,000 were made prisoners. 
*' Thus," says Polybius, " was the most formidable of 
the Celtic invasions brought to naught after threatening 
all Italy, and especially Rome, with great and terrible 

In the following year the Boii submitted along with 
the Lingones, thus bringing all the territory south of the 
Po into the hands of the Romans. In 223 B.C. the 
Roman army was able to cross the Po, which it did 
near Piacenza, under C. Flaminius, and to meet the 
Insubres. In the next year M. Claudius Marcellus and 
Cn. Cornelius Scipio took Acerrse (the modern village 
of Gera, near Cremona, on the Adda), and finally Medio- 
lanian (Milan), the chief stronghold of the Insubres, by 
storm. The Insubres submitted without terms. 

That great but insecure peace was followed by the 
foundation in the heart of Cisalpine Gaul of two Roman 


fortresses, each of 6000 men, one at Placentia (Piacenza) 
on the southern bank of the Po, the other at Cremona, 
lower down on the northern shore; Mutina (Modena), 
too, was defended by walls, and preparations were 
already on foot for continuing the great Flaminian 
road, lately advanced to Rimini, through these forts 
to Piacenza, when a sudden unexpected disaster pre- 
vented this achievement. In the year 218 B.C., Hannibal 
and his Orientals made their descent upon Italy. 

Hannibal doubtless hoped, by marching through the 
two Gauls, to obtain a great assistance from these 
brave fighting peoples in his attack upon Italy and 
Rome. Nor was he disappointed, for when in the 
early autumn of 218 B.C. he came into the vedley of the 
Po over the Alps,^ his forces diminished and weakened 
by that great passage, the Boii and the Insubres so 
lately vanquished had already invaded the colonies of 
Placentia and Cremona and were engaged in the siege 
of Mutina. Yet, as always, the Veneti, the Cenomani 
and the Ligures were on the Roman side, and Publius 
Cornelius Scipio, the nephew of the conqueror of the 
Insubres, the son of the conqueror of Hanno and the 
father of Scipio Africanus, appearing suddenly on the 
scene, was able, more or less, to cause the Boii and the 
Insubres to waver. Scipio met Hannibal in the first 
engagement, an affair of cavalry, on the right bank of 
the Ticino, not far from Vercelli, and the Roman defeat 
secured to Hannibal the allegiance of the Gauls, the 
finest fighting material in Italy and perhaps in Europe, 
who thenceforth followed the Oriental throughout his 
Italian campaigns. 

It might be an interesting question to decide what 
the fate of Hannibal would have been without his 
European allies : I mean those Iberian and especially 
those Gallic troops which formed so great a part of 
his fighting strength : a question, perhaps, unpossible to 
^ Mommsen thinks he crossed by the Little St. Bernard. 




answer. Nevertheless, it was the Gauls who, apart 
from his own genius, won for him his most famous 
victory of the Trebia, for the Iberians and the Libyans 
suffered there but little loss. The Gauls, on the other 
hand, suffered terribly. We shall speak fully of the 
battle of the Trebia, which threw all Italy open to the 
Oriental, when we come to its lonely site in that great 
loop of the river near Piacenza. Here it remains 
to be said that the Gauls, some 60,000 foot and 4000 
horse, marched with Hannibal over the Apennines into 
the Serchio valley, into the Val d' Arno, into Italy, 
and again at Trasimenus bore the brunt of the battle — 
that was a bloody April day for them, — and at Cannae 
left 4000 of their number dead upon the field, more than 
two-thirds of the whole Carthaginian loss. It is well 
that we should recall that these Oriental victories were, 
so far as the fighting went, mainly the work of Europeans, 
of the Gauls. 

It may well be that these heavy losses at the Trebia, at 
Trasimenus and at Cannae undid Hannibal in spite of 
his victories. At any rate, Cannae is his last victory. 
His communications with Cisalpine Gaul were cut off 
and he could not replenish the exhausted companies 
of his most desperate and gallant fighters. Yet it 
was just what he tried to do ; and it might seem that 
with his usual omniscience he understood that on his 
success in getting Gaulish soldiers depended his campaign, 
as much as on his breaking of the Latin league. In 207, 
eleven years after crossing the Alps, he caused his 
younger brother Hasdrubal to follow him by the same 
road through Gaul. Hasdrubal was successful in 
finding Gaulish allies ; but by this time luck, as always 
the greatest factor in war, had deserted the Carthaginians. 
M. Livius Salinator had been sent to assail Hasdrubal 
on the Metaurus in Sena Gallica. C. Claudius Nero, 
the other consul, being with Hannibal in the south, 
as it happened intercepted a letter from Hasdrubal, 


and in a moment turned northward, joined his colleague, 
compelled Hasdrubal to fight, and overwhelmingly 
defeated his enemy. In that battle Hasdrubal had 
posted his Gauls against the right wing of the Roman 
army where Nero had placed his best soldiers : they fell 
in thousands, and Hasdrubal' s head was ignominiously 
flung into the camp of Hannibal. If that great man 
did not despair, it was only because the son of Hamilcar 
was living and by his efforts he still hoped to recruit 
the Gauls. In the summer of 205 B.C. Mago landed 
on the coast of Liguria, seized Genua and gathered-in 
all the Gauls. For two years he was able to maintain 
himself in Cisalpine Gaul, but never to reach Hannibal. 
There, wounded and defeated, he was recalled and died 
on the voyage home. Hannibal, too, was recalled about 
the same time ; yet when Scipio followed him to Africa 
he still had his Gauls with him, such as were left of 
them, and at the battle of Zama in 202 B.C. a third of 
his army was, it is said, composed of them. Thus 
ended the Second Punic War 201 B.C. 

A kind of guerilla war was still maintained in 
Cisalpine Gaul, for the Gauls could now expect no 
mercy from Rome, headed by one of Mago's officers, 
Hamilcar, who stirred up the Insubres, the Boii and 
the Cenomani and burnt Placentia and laid siege to 
Cremona. It is curious to find that these two colonies 
had been able to maintain themselves all through the 
great campaign, and it was by finally securing them 
that the Romans at last were able to stamp out the 
guerilla war in one battle, in which it is said 
Hamilcar perished, and 30,000 Boii were slain by 
the treachery of their uncertain allies the Cenomani. 
The Boii retreated into the country of the Insubres, 
where the Romans soon followed them and won a 
great battle near the town of Comum, which they took. 
Yet again in 152 B.C., nine years after the end of the 
Second Punic War, the Gauls were threatening Placentia, 


and indeed it was not till two years later that the 
Boii were finally subdued by wholesale massacre. 
The two colonies of Placentia and Cremona were then 
secured, and in 189 B.C. the Romans founded the Latin 
colony of Bononia (Bologna), and six years later the 
Roman ^ colonies of Parma and Mutina were settled. 

Meanwhile, in 187 B.C. the ^milian Way had been 
built from Rimini to Piacenza and the track over the 
Apennines from Arezzo to Bologna was put into proper 
order. Thus by the year 183 B.C. we see the whole 
of Cisalpine Gaul south of the Po in Roman occupation 
and government. 

As for Transpadana, that part of it which consisted 
of the province of Venetia had ever been an ally of the 
Romans, but with the conquered territories of the 
Insubres and the Cenomani the Romans dealt other- 
wise than they did with the district south of the 
Po. Perhaps they were not ready to settle them ; 
however that may be, these districts were allowed 
to retain their national constitution so that they formed 
not town domains like those south of the Po, but tribal 
cantons, and no tribute so far as we know was imposed 
upon them. The policy of Rome here was perhaps what 
we might call one of peaceful penetration, a gradual 
Latinising of the whole country, and this process would 
seem, if we may believe Polybius, to have been so 
successful that when he visited the country towards 
the close of the second century before our era, he 
found only a few villages among the Alps still Celtic. 
But what we know of the whole of Cisalpine Gaul as a 
Roman province in the time of the Republic amounts 
to very little. That it was, in fact, rapidly Romanised 
we may well believe, and we know that it became one 
of the most valuable provinces of the Empire. In the 

^ Roman colonies (Colonise Civium Romanorum) were Roman 
communities and consisted only of Roman citizens. Latin 
colonies were composed either of Roman citizens or of Latini. 


Social War it took no part and it was probably as a 
reward that in 89 B.C. the towns north of the Po received 
the Jus Laiinitas, and it is generally supposed that the 
towns south of the Po at the same time received the 
Roman civiias and by virtue of the same Lex Pompeia. 
At this time, of course, Transpadana, and especially 
that part of it we now call Lombardy, had not the 
importance to which it later attained. It was only 
under the Empire that Mediolanum became the chief 
city of Northern Italy, and the reason of this may well 
have been its proximity to the Alps. 

No account of Lombardy, of all that the Lombard plain 
means in the history of Italy and of Europe, can be com- 
plete which does not take into account the influence of the 
Alps upon this great country, which at once they threaten 
and protect: which they threaten, because their southern 
escarpment is so much steeper and more difficult 
everywhere than the northern slope ; which they 
protect because for any civilised army their passage 
either way is so difficult. These mountains, the greatest 
in Europe, extend without interruption and in what 
may be roughly considered as a single range from the 
Mediterranean, between Marseilles and Genoa, to the 
Adriatic near Trieste, forming, as Strabo says, a great 
curve like a bow, its concave side to the south, completely 
hemming in Cisalpine Gaul and with her Italy from the 
north, from Gaul and the Germanies. This enormous 
barrier was, long after the conquest and settlement of 
Cisalpine Gaul, almost unknown to the Romans, and 
it was not till the time of Augustus that the tribes 
which held it can be said to have been subjugated. 

It is true that many of the passes across the great 
central chain were so clearly indicated by the course of 
the rivers which rise there that from the earliest times 
they had been known to the tribes in their neighbour- 
hood. Indeed, long before the passage of Hannibal, as 


we have seen, the mountains had been crossed by 
successive Gaulish invaders ; but long after the settle- 
ment of the great plain, long after Rome bore sway 
in three continents, the Alps which sheltered her on 
the north were in all their extent " from one end to the 
other" filled with unfriendly and barbaric tribes of 
lUyrian, Rhsetian or Celtic blood, whose conquest 
had often enough been proclaimed at the Capitol, but who, 
nevertheless, remained free, and constantly plundered 
the farmers and merchants of Upper Italy.^ It became 
necessary at last to cross the Alps in force and to bring 
the northern watershed into a real subjection, for the 
tribes were constantly reinforced and urged forward 
into the plain by the Gaulish or German tribes beyond 
the mountains. At first the southern slopes and valleys 
were conquered and held, and then in 15 a.d. the Roman 
power crossed the passes and established itself in the 
adjoining country to the northward. This was largely 
the work of the two stepsons of Augustus, while the 
Emperor himself went in person to Gaul to superintend 
the war and to organise the new province. On the 
height above Monaco, where La Turbie looks so far 
across the Tyrrhene sea, there yet stands a monument 
not altogether effaced erected by a grateful Italy to 
the Emperor for that, under his government, all the 
Alpine tribes had been brought into the power of the 
Roman people. From that time, then, we may date the 
true advancement of Mediolanum and its wide district. 
As the Romans became thus really acquainted with 
the Alps they began to recognise that in their physical 
character they did not in fact consist of one range but 
of many ; and though Strabo admits, and his descrip- 
tion fully bears him out, that their geography was still 
imperfectly known, yet, roughly speaking, the Romans 
divided them, and rightly, into six great chains or 

^ Cf. Mommsen, History of Rome : The Provinces, part i. 
[Eng. Trs.]. p. 15. 


barriers, namely, the Alpes Maritimce, the Aipes 
CoUice, the Alpes GraicB, the Alpes Pennine, the Alpes 
RhcsticcB, and the Alpes Venetce. The extent of these 
several ranges the Romans, so far as we know, never 
very precisely defined, but we may guess at them with 
fair accuracy in considering that most important feature 
of all mountains, the Passes. These can best be shown 
in such a table as the following : — 


(a) Maritime Alps. 

I. The Coast Road (known to Hannibal; renewed 
and partly constructed by Augustus; the 
road of Hadrian and of Christianity) . 

{/3) CottianAlps. 

1. Mont Genevre (crossed by the Gauls ; road 

opened by Pompey, finished by Cottius, 
Prince of Susa, under Augustus; crossed 
by Constantine (Gibbon)). 

2. Mont Cenis (military road in the Middle Ages), 
(y) Graian Alps. 

I. Little St. Bernard (crossed by the Gauls, by 
Hannibal (Mommsen), Hasdrubal and 
(8) Pennine [and Lepontine] Alps. 

1. Great St. Bernard (military road by J. Caesar 

and Augustus, crossed by Charlemagne in 
773 and by Napoleon in i8oo). 

2. Simplon (military road by Napoleon). 

3. Gries (medieval track). 

4. Nufenen (medieval track). 

5. St. Gotthard (modern), 
(c) Rhaetian Alps. 

1. Sphigen. 

2. Julier (known to the Romans; crossed by 

Frederic 11.). 

3. Brenner (the ancient pass over this range ; in 

part opened by Drusus; a military road 
constructed by his son, the Emperor 


Such, then, were the passages that led, though hardly 
through the outer gates of Italy into her great defence, 
the vast plain of Cisalpine Gaul that lay before her 
inner gates, only less strong, the peaked Apennines. 
We must conceive of them, of such of them as were 
known and in use,^ as flung open wide but guarded in 
the great years of the Empire, for the victories of 
Caesar, who had both the Gauls, Cisalpine Gaul by a 
vote of the people. Transalpine Gaul by a vote of the 
senate, for his provinces, the conquests and statesman- 
ship of Augustus had brought these great barriers 
within the Roman government and thus gave to 
Italy, for when Caesar died Cisalpine Gaul was in- 
corporated into Italy, and by this means, not only 
security but peace for some four hundred years. 

The Pax Romana : it is the work of the Empire ; 
a thing in our modern Europe hard to conceive of, but 
proper to Christendom, and perhaps if we could but see 
it even to-day only awaiting our recognition. 

Those first four centuries of our era in which Christen- 
dom was founded and Europe appeared, not as we know 
it to-day as a mosaic of hostile nationalities, but as 
one perfect whole, have never been rightly understood ; 
they still lack an historian, and the splendour of their 
achievement, their magnitude and importance are 
wholly misconceived or ignored. In our modern self- 
conceit we are ignorant both of what they were in 
themselves and of what we owe to them ; and, largely 
through the collapse of Europe in the sixteenth century 
and its appalling results both in thought and in 
politics, we are led, too often by the wilful lying of our 
historians, to regard them rather as the prelude to the 
decline and fall of the Empire than as the great and 

^ That is to say, in the Maritime Alps the Coast Road, in the 
Cottian Alps the Mont Genevre, in the Graian Alps the Little 
St. Bernard, in the Pennine Alps the Great St. Bernard, and in 
Rhcstian Alps the Brenner and perhaps the Julier. 


indestructible foundations of all that is worth having 
in the world. 

For, rightly understood, those first four centuries 
gave us not only our culture, our civilisation, and our 
Faith, but ensured them to us that they should always 
endure. They established for ever the great lines 
upon which our art was to develop, to change, and yet 
not to suffer annihilation or barrenness. They estab- 
lished the supremacy of the idea, so that it might always 
renew our lives, our culture and our polity, and that we 
might judge everything by it and fear neither revolution, 
defeat nor decay. They, and they alone, established 
us in the secure possession of our own souls, so that we 
alone in the world develop from within to change but 
never to die and to be — yes alone in the world — 

And if the whole Empire thus took on a final and 
heroic form in those years of the Empire and the peace. 
Cisalpine Gaul more than any other province then 
came to fruition. It was there Virgil and Catullus 
and the Plinys, to name no others, were born, and if 
we turn to the province itself, there is scarcely a town 
in that wide plain that did not expand and increase 
in a fashion almost miraculous during that period. 
It was then the rivers were embanked, the canals 
were made, the great roads planned and constructed, 
and our communications established for ever. There 
is no industry that did not grow incredibly in strength, 
there is not a class that did not increase in well-being 
beyond our dreams of progress. There is scarcely any- 
thing that is really fundamental in our lives and in our 
politics that was not then created that it might endure. 
It was then that our religion, the soul of Europe, was 
born, and little by little absorbed us so that it became 
the energy and the cause of all that undying but 
changeful principle of life and freedom which, rightly 
understood, is Europe. Our ideas of justice, our ideas 


of law, our conception of human dignity and the structure 
of our society were then conceived and with such force 
that while we endure they can never die. 

But it is at the end of the third century that Cisalpine 
Gaul begins to emerge into a vast political importance. 
In 292 A.D., on the partition of the Empire by Diocletian, 
Milan became the capital of the vicariate of Italy. 
There Maximus Hercules had his residence and there 
his successor held a sumptuous court. It was, too, 
from Milan that Constantine dated his famous edict 
authorising the practice of Christianity in 313 a.d., and 
it was Milan that Valentinian made in 364 a.d. the 
capital of the west, and S. Ambrose (340-397) established 
as in some sort the rival of Rome, the religious metro- 
polis of Italy. 

Nor in this splendour was Milan alone ; all the cities 
of Cisalpine Gaul shared in her greatness and enjoyed 
their own, and if a general decline in wealth, and the 
appearance of civil war in the end of the fourth century 
began to destroy what had been so splendid, they but 
exposed the decline and presaged the sudden fall that 
no one suspected. In that decline Cisalpine Gaul, 
like the rest of Europe, was to return to its origins and 
once more to play the part designed for it, that of the 
cockpit and the defence of Italy and with Italy of Europe. 

The Empire which it had taken more than a millennium 
to build, which was the most noble and perhaps the most 
beneficent experiment in government that has ever been 
made, was in obvious economic and administrative decay 
before the beginning of the fifth century. In 401 Alaric 
and his Goths crossed the Julian Alps ; in that same 
year Honorius fled from Milan to the impregnable 
marshes of Ravenna ; in 493 Theodoric and his Ostro- 
goths had destroyed the last appearance of the imperial 
power left to western Europe, and it was already oli^ous 
that we should not again acknowledge an emperor 
acclaimed at Ravenna. The only chance left us, then, 


was that we might be reconquered and reorganised 
from Constantinople. For more than fifty years that 
chance seemed still possible : it finally and violently 
passed away when the Lombards crossed the Alps in 568 
and established themselves in the valley of the Po. 

We may well ask why the Empire fell ; but we can 
expect no very clear answer to that question. If we 
could answer it, most of the problems that we have to 
face in Europe to-day would have received their solu- 
tion. Superficially, the cause was the weakness of the 
north-eastern frontier. Every invasion that was more 
than a raid came from the Danube and entered Italy 
by the passes of the Julian Alps, past the city or the 
ruins of Aquileia. The imperial army was never strong 
enough upon that tremendous frontier. 

But no such excuse can satisfy us. Even though 
there had been no frontier at all within Europe, even 
though Latin genius had known how first to conquer 
and then to absorb the Teuton, one may still doubt 
whether the Empire could have endured. Not by any 
effort of the barbarian but by its own weakness the 
Empire fell. 

We see the Roman populace contemptuous or in- 
different to arms, pauperised by the rich, untaxed and 
amused, nay, almost housed and fed at the public ex- 
pense. We see the State always eager to restrict its 
conquests and its influence, anxious rather to keep out 
the barbarian than to bring him within its influence and 
jurisdiction. Little by little we see the Emperor who 
had been in a very real sense the representative of a 
genuinely popular idea become little more than a 
military despot and an adventurer. We see a curious 
decay of moral fibre of which all these things are the 
result. And when Christianity appeared as the general 
religion of the Empire it was perhaps already too late 
to effect its salvation. Yet Christianity, had it inspired 
the State earlier, could certainly have saved it : its first 


necessity was to admit no frontiers, to go into all the 
world, and especially into the highways and hedges ; it 
demanded work from all, but made all men equal 
and free ; it might have been then, as it was later, the 
very soul of armies. 

As it was, it saved what could be saved. It was 
not the Emperor but Leo who met Attila and "as by 
a miracle " turned him back in the midst of the Cisalpine 
plain. Already Christianity was absorbing the bar- 
barian, nor would it have refused the almost pathetic 
appeal of Alaric to be of service. 

All this might have befallen, but it did not. The 
Empire fell. Here in Cisalpine Gaul the only problem 
we may attempt to deal with, and that but superficially, 
is that which I have already spoken of, the military 
problem. The military problem before the Empire 
had always been that of its two vast land frontiers :— 
(i) the European ; (2) the Asiatic. They were so ex- 
tensive and naturally so insecure that it was difficult to 
hold them at all, and impossible with due economy. 
Diocletian attempted to solve this problem by dividing 
the Empire, but the division he made was rather racial 
than strategic, for under it the two parts of the Empire 
met on the Danube. The eastern part, by force of 
geography was inclined to an Asiatic point of view 
and to the neglect of the Danube; the western was 
by no means strong enough to hold that tremendous 
line. Why ? It was not strong enough spiritually or 

Spiritually it was lacking in patriotism. The army 
had been professional since the time of Marius, and 
tended more and more to become an hereditary caste, 
respecting no authority save that of the general, who, in 
its view, was always a possible nominee for the throne ; 
moreover, the army was very largely barbarian. 

Materially it was lacking in numbers. The use of arms 
was unknown to the mass of the population. Stilicho, 


in fighting Alaric, preferred to enlist slaves rather than 
the Italian freemen, because the Italian populace was 
unused to obedience and discipline. 

There is a third reason, which is of more than military 
importance, but it is military too. Italy had become 
impoverished. The government of the Empire was 
enormously expensive, quite apai^t from its defence. 
The methods of taxation were bad, tended to be futile, 
and were frequently corrupt. Many of the munici- 
palities were bankrupt and the middle-class capitalist 
was taxed out of existence and frequently fell into a 
servile condition. In consequence the population was 

We must, in fact, admit that civic virtue, health and 
strength had long been failing. We do not admit 
that the moral and spiritual condition of the individual 
had deteriorated. The Empire was Christian when it 
fell : that is a sufficient answer to the fantastic nonsense 
that has been written on this subject, which would be 
absurd were it not too often corrupt. The citizen of 
the Empire, whatever else he may have been, was, 
by whatever standard you try him, a better man than 
the Goth, the Vandal or the Hun. The barbarians 
were barbarian : their victory, if victory it can be 
called, does not proclaim their superiority. War is 
not a test for chastity, fiiigality, justice and honour 
any more than it is a test for right and wrong. To 
think so is itself barbarian, it forces us back to the 
ordeal. The very virtue of the Roman citizen, his 
discontent with the world he lived in, the idealism, 
of the saint and the poet is forced into evidence against I 
the Empire when it is in fact the strongest possible* 
evidence in its favour. Society, it would appear, had 
become enervated, fascinated by the past, enslaved 
by it and hypnotised by it. Thus the greatest, indeed] 
the only service the barbarians rendered, was a service i 
of destruction. They created nothing. They built] 


nothing, they contrived nothing; but they destroyed 
so much that we became sure that there would be no 
return, we reahsed that the Church had saved what 
could be saved and was leading us to a new and a 
higher form of that unity which suddenly in a little 
hundred years we had seen so ruthlessly destroyed. 

The attack of the barbarians under which that old 
unity disappeared but did not die, of which Cisalpine 
Gaul may be called the cockpit, appears to us in history 
as several great waves of invasion and one mighty raid. 
We may note them somewhat as follows : — 

1. The Visigothic Invasion ; led by Alaric and 


In November, 401, Alaric entered Venetia^ by the 
Julian Alps and passed by Aquileia without taking it. 
Honorius fled from Milan to Ravenna. In 402, on 
Easter Day, Stilicho met him at PoUentia and defeated 
him, and, following his retreat, broke him again at Asta 
so that he compelled him to cross the Alps. In 403 
Alaric entered Venetia again. Stilicho met him by 
Verona and once more hurled him back. 

2. The Invasion of Radagaisus ; met by Stilicho 
In 405, Radagaisus invaded Venetia by the same 

passes, passed Aquileia, crossed the Po and the Apennines 
without opposition. Stilicho, who was at Pavia, met 
him at Fiesole and cut him to pieces. The remnant of 
his army returned through Cisalpine Gaul and fell upon 
Gaul proper. Stilicho was murdered in 408 at Ravenna. 

3. The Second Visigothic Invasion ; led by Alaric 
In 408, Alaric again invaded Venetia by the Julian 

Alps and succeeded in crossing the Po and the Apennines. 
He marched to Rome and pillaged it, to die in 410. 
Adolphus, his successor, concluded a peace with Honorius 

^ At the same time Radagaisus invaded Rhaetia, north of the 


and marched back through the valley of the Po into 

4. The Hunnish Invasion ; met by Leo the Great 
In 452, Attila, defeated in the previous year in Gaul 

by ^tius, invaded Venetia, took Aquileia and burnt it 
with Concordia and Altinum, which henceforth dis- 
appear from the pages of history. Padua, too, was 
ravaged and burnt, for she resisted, as did Modena, 
which shared her fate. Vicenza, Verona, Brescia, 
Bergamo, Milan and Pavia opened their gates ; they 
were but spoiled and their inhabitants exchanged death 
for slavery. When Italy was threatened. Pope Leo 
set out from Rome to meet Attila, whom he found 
at Pescheria on the Mincio. He was completely 
successful in his attempt to save Italy, and Attila 
consented to return across the Danube and to live 
henceforth at peace with the Romans. Thus Italy, 
though not CisaJpine Gaul, was saved. Attila died 
in 452 and his Empire fell to pieces. 

The Vandal Raid ; met by Leo the Great 
In 455 the Vandals under Gaiseric made a raid on 
Rome from Africa. They spoiled though they did not 
destroy the City, thanks again to the intervention of 
the Pop\ They departed with an enormous treasure 
to that fair province of Africa which had boasted more 
than three hundred cities and which the Vandals, 
entering by way of Gaul and Spain, had utterly destroyed. 

5. Augustine had died in Hippo in the third month of 
the Vandal siege (430). 

5. The Ostrogothic Invasion. 

In 476, Odoacer had headed the Herulian revolt, 
and stormed and burnt Pavia, deposed the Emperor and 
put Romulus Augustulus in his place, only to depose 
him in the same year in Ravenna. When he became 
too powerful the Byzantine Emperor encouraged 
Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths, to enter Italy. 


Theodoric entered Venetia by the old passes that 
had seen Alaric and Attila go by, in 489. He came 
at the head of a nation of some 250,000 souls. He 
met Odoacer on the Isonzo, at Verona, on the Adige, and 
later on the Adda, and each time defeated him. He 
became master of Italy. His reign, with his capital 
at Ravenna, of more than thirty years gave Italy a 
peace and prosperity she had not known for a century. 

On his death in 526 her wounds were fast healing. 
Indeed, his reign prepared the way for Justinian's 
attempt to restore the Empire and the unity of east 
and west by the genius of his generals, Belisarius and 

In this enormous and heroic effort, which occupied 
the years 535-553, the city of Rome was taken and 
retaken five times : in 536 by Belisarius, in 546 by 
Totila, in 547 by Belisarius, in 549 by Totila, and in 552 
by Narses. In these wars all Italy was devastated, 
Cisalpine Gaul was turned into a wilderness and a 
morass. Milan was totally destroyed, and Rome, 
when Totila had done with her in 546, remained during 
the space of forty days without a single inhabitant. 

Nor was all finished, at least in Cisalpine Gaul, when 
Narses finally secured the City in 552. In the following 
year the Franks and the Alemanni descended the 
Rhaetian Alps into the plain of Milan, broke the 
Roman army at Parma, ravished what was left of 
the cities and went on through Italy to pillage ; but 
between Trent and Verona God smote their allies and 
Narses at last utterly destroyed them in Campania. 
Narses, the representative of the Emperor at Byzantium, 
was established at Ravenna and administered above 
fifteen years the entire kingdom of Italy, though he 
did not assume the title of Exarch. 

But it was not for long that Italy was to enjoy the 
peace Narses had won for her. In 565 Justinian 
died, and two years later his great minister had fallen 


and, as it is said, to avenge himself had invited his old 
allies the Lombards into Italy. 

6. The Lombard Invasion 

The sixth and last barbarian invasion, that of the 
Lombards, was in many respects the most terrible, and 
was certainly the most enduring in its results, as it was 
the least resisted of all the barbarian incursions. In par- 
ticular, its effects upon Cisalpine Gaul were fundamental ; 
they endure to this day, for in this invasion alone we 
see a permanent settlement made south of the Alps, 
a settlement that was virtually an annexation of the 
whole territory of the plain from the Ticino to the 
Mincio, so that here alone in all Italy the name of 
the province is changed and henceforth it bears the 
title of its conquerors. Cisalpine Gaul becomes after 
the Lombard conquest Lombardy. 

It was in 568 that Alboin and his Teutonic multitudes 
crossed the Julian Alps and descended upon the plain 
and everywhere found or left it a ruin, incapable of 
resistance. The lines of their march through and 
conquest of Italy may most easily be expressed in a 
table, according to the years of their progress : — 

In 568 they seized all Venetia except the coast, 

Padua, and Monselice ; they took Friuli, 

Vicenza and Verona. 
In 569 they seized all Cisalpine Gaul and Liguria 

except Pavia, Cremona, Piacenza, Mantua and 

perhaps some smaller places. 
In 570-572 they seized most of Tuscany with the 

duchies of Spoleto and Benevento. In the 

latter year Pavia fell after three years' siege, 

as well as Piacenza and Mantua. 
After the year 572 and the death of Alboin their 
successes were less uniform and a certain resistance was 
forthcoming, but by the year 600 they held all Italy 
with the exception of Rome and its territory, the 
Adriatic coast, Perugia, Orvieto, and a good part of 


Campania, including Naples, and much of the south, 
with Sicily and the islands. In Cisalpine Gaul they were 
firmly established, and all that remained to the Imperial- 
ists was, the cities of Cremona, Piacenza, Mantua, 
Padua and perhaps Modena, Parma and Reggio, with 
Ravenna and the pentapolis, namely, Rimini, Pesaro, 
Fano, Sinigaglia and Ancona, with the Venetian and 
Ligurian coast. Indeed, during a period of some two 
hundred years Italy was unequally divided between 
the kingdom of the Lombards and the exarchate of 
Ravenna, the immediate jurisdiction of which was 
afterwards consecrated as the patrimony of S. Peter, 
and extended over the whole of what we call Romagna, 
including the marshes of Ferrara and Commachio. 
If to this State be added the three isolated i)rovinces of 
Rome, of Venice and of Naples, which in one way or 
another acknowledged the supremacy of the exarch at 
Ravenna, we shall have roughly at a glance the political 
geography of Italy from the time of the establishment 
of the Lombards in Italy till the coming and the deliver- 
ance of Charlemagne in 774 and the restoration of the 
Empire on that famous Christmas Day in the year 800. 

Such were the barbarian invasions that destroyed 
Cisalpine Gaul and brought down the Empire. If we 
examine the results of these invasions at all closely, 
several facts emerge from their enormous chaos. 

In the first place, we may divide the invasions into two 
periods. The first came to an end with the advent of 
Theodoric, his establishment of peace, the revival under 
his rule of Roman Law and municipal life, and, in conse- 
quence of this, the reconquest of Italy by Belisarius and 
Narses. That revival not only effaced whatever was 
fundamentally dangerous in the previous invasions, but 
plucked the death sting from the far more terrible 
Lombard domination which fills the second. It 
permitted Italy to breathe, and ensured the continuance 
in spite of everything of Latin civilisation. We see 


Cisalpine Gaul in the time of the Lombards a mere 
wilderness, empty and ruined, surging against the 
cities ; but many of these cities were and remained 
Latin, and when the exarchate was really in danger of 
extinction and with it what remained of the memory of 
Rome, the Pope called the Franks into Italy, Charle- 
magne crossed the Alps, and suddenly, as by an in- 
spiration or a miracle, the Empire reappears. 

In the awful anarchy that followed Charlemagne's 
death, the necessary part of that Empire, its soul and 
its Latin genius, was already safe. The cities and 
their Latin populace were in secure possession of it. 
The Frankish counts replace the Lombard dukes, it 
is true, for a moment, but one hundred years had not 
passed since Charlemagne's coronation before the 
Bishops, the captains of the old and indestructible 
civilisation of Rome, had begun to acquire temporal 
power and authority in the cities in which they resided 
in Cisalpine Gaul. In 892 the Bishop of Modena ruled 
that city, in 904 Bergamo had her Bishop for captain, 
in 962 all the powers that had been the count's were 
acquired by the Bishops of Parma and Lodi. It is a 
revolution that we see, both popular and Latin, and it 
ensured the domination of Latin civilisation and culture, 
and with them of the rise or return of the commune. 

Out of the ruins of those five hundred years between 
Alaric's descent in 401 and the rise of the Bishops to 
temporal power in the end of the ninth century, it is 
not so much a new nation that we see emerge as the 
revival of the old Latin civilisation. Latin Christianity 
was about to re-establish Europe. 



^| OW if a man would see with his bodily eyes, and 
N as it were in a single glance, this country of 
Cisalpine Gaul whose history I have tried to set forth 
in the previous chapter, let him enter Italy from the 
town of Lugano, and, taking boat there for Capolago, 
and climbing thence a-foot or by funicular the mountain 
called Generoso, let him stay a day or two in the woods 
of Bellavista. Nowhere else that I know will he get 
all at once so firm a possession of the lie of this land. 
The Monte Generoso stands on the modern frontier 
of Switzerland and Italy, and the view from Bellavista, 
just an inn in the chestnut woods, where the wild flowers 
most abound, and still more from the summit, is not 
only one of the most splendid in Europe, but one of the 
widest and most interesting. To the north and west 
stand the great ramparts of the Alps, and beyond, that 
tremendous huddle of upreared peaks we call the 
Bernese Oberland ; to the south lies the vast Italian 
plain as far as Bologna where the Apennines close its 
southern border, and on the east as far as Verona 
where the Alps shut it in. At one's feet, like so many 
jewels cast down before one, lie the Lakes of Maggiore, 
Lugano, Como, and the rest, among the foothills of the 
great mountains. To see and to consider this view 
is to understand the secret and the history not of Cis- 
alpine Gaul alone, but in a very real sense of Italy and 



of Europe, and I can imagine no more propitious and 
delightful seclusion for such a contemplation of the 
past and the future of all that Europe stands for 
than this great thirsty mountain, which in spite of 
its lack of water, is shrouded so wonderfully in woods 
and scattered with wild flowers. And then when 
one is weary of thought, there lie the Italian lakes 
for our recreation and delight : and yet not all delight. 

I do not know, nor shall I ever understand precisely 
what it is that lends to the lakes of Lombardy their 
unnatural and shining beauty, their air of enchantment, 
of sorcery. They are a vision of lovely and untroubled 
youth, of youth that is without conscience and without 
thought, and they have upon the soul the effect of a 
singular and half-remembered music. To come upon 
them veiled in the mist of dawn, or shining in the glory 
of the morning, to watch them drowsily in the drowsy 
noon, to see them fade into the silver and blue and 
gold of the evening, into the violet of the still night, 
is to experience a fullness of joy that only music is 
commonly able to bring us : and yet that joy is far 
removed from happiness. Something forbidden, a 
sense of spell or sorcery, something too sweet, some- 
thing too brief, that terrifies us because it is so 
lovely, involves this paradise in disaster, and we 
are as full of fear as we should be if by chance 
we had come upon Dionysus himself on a still noon 
in the shadow of the vines, or Aphrodite in the long 
summer dawn on the fringe of the Cyprian sea. Let 
it be granted there is something pagan in the beauty 
of these places, but as it seems to me there is also 
something that I can only call unnatural, for it does 
not chime with the world we know. And yet one of 
the first of our thoughts beside these shores will be a 
thought of death : but I do not think it is that which 
makes us afraid : it is their beauty. 

I am not sure that this curious emotion mixed of fear 




^^d an exquisite delight does not presently pass away. 

Certainly it cannot endure beyond a night at Stresa or 
Luino or Lugano or even Como, where the traveller 
will be involved at once in every sort of touristry : 
but if it cannot endure, it may be recaptured again 
in such lovely and quiet places — places that I have 
loved — as this of Bellavista, for instance, or S. Caterina 
del Sasso on Lago Maggiore, or Morcote or Oria, 
or, better still, Castignola on Lago di Lugano, or 
Gravedona or Corenno on Lago di Como, or any- 
where among the oleanders of Lago d' Orta. Yet it 
is easy to grow accustomed and weary of so strange a 

Men have fruitlessly discussed for ages which is the 
most beautiful of the lakes in this paradise that lies at 
the gates of Lombardy among the mountains. One 
might as well consider whether Winchester Cathedral 
were more beautiful than Salisbury, or Wells than 
either. For no one is like another, save that all are to 
be enjoyed. Lago Maggiore has the gift of the wind, of 
the wideness of some inland sea and of distance ; Lago 
Lugano has the gift of shadow, of great hills and of 
many secret places ; Lago di Como has the joy of 
richness and of colour, the mystery of woods and the 
surprise of the snow and of far-away great mountains ; 
Lago d' Orta has flowers and silence. But of all the 
lakes, I love best the Larian, Lago di Como, because 
it is wholly Latin and there I can tread in the ways that 
are from of old, I can behold places that have always 
been sacred and remember the history of Europe. 
Historically, indeed, there can be no doubt that Lago di 
Como is the most, Lago Maggiore the least interesting 
of the four greater lakes that lie within our view from 
Monte Generoso. 

Lago Maggiore — Lacus Verbanus as the Romans 
called it, perhaps with a thought of its air of spring — is 
some forty miles in length between Locarno on the 


north and Arona on the south. It receives from the 
Alps the rivers Toce, Maggia and Tresa, and there 
streams out from it southward into the Lombard plain 
the great Ticino, after the Po the greatest river of 
Italy. If one approaches Maggiore from the north by 
the Simplon, he will descend by the Toce valley from 
Domodossola and strike the lake first in its widest part 
at Baveno. Baveno and Stresa, which we may see 
from Generoso, little lake-side villages once, hovering 
beside the water, are now quite spoiled by the vast and 
numerous hotels for the rich which have overwhelmed 
them. Baveno, beyond the beauty of its situation and 
the general loveliness of the lake, to which it is perhaps 
the best key, has really nothing to show the traveller : 
indeed it has not even a villa of much importance unless 
it be the hideous Villa Clara, where Queen Victoria once 
stayed. Stresa, at least, has the Villa Pallavicino above 
the lake and the Villa Vignola, belonging to the Duchess 
of Genoa, mother of the Queen Dowager of Italy, beside 
it. Here in Stresa, too, Cavour conceived the liberation 
of Italy, and, a thing notable for us at any rate, became 
one of the first organisers of the company that plies 
its steamers, chiefly in our behalf, up and down and 
about the lake. Nor is Stresa quite without something 
to offer us in the way of an excursion. To climb Monte 
Motterone is both easy and delightful, and the view to 
be had from the top, though it may not compare with 
that from Monte Generoso, is sufficiently satisfying to 
make the climb necessary. For, thence we may see 
the Alps from the Col di Tenda to Monte Viso, to Monte 
Rosa and the Or tier and the Jungfrau, the whole 
of Lago Maggiore, Lago d' Orta and the smaller 
lakes such as Monate and Varese, while south and 
west we look over the vast plain of Lombardy with the 
Sesia and the Ticino gliding southward across it towards 

But, after all, Stresa is chiefly famous by reason 



of the view she offers us of the Borromean Islands, Isola 
Bella, Isola dei Pescatori and Isola Madre, which lie 
before her in the breadth of the lake not so very far 
from the shore. I suppose there is nothing else in 
the world quite like this vision that Stresa gives us, not 
of fairyland but of the garden of the Hesperides. In 
the heat of the day they seem far off, wrapt in eternal 
summer and the drowsy slumbers of noon, and only the 
sound of their bells comes to you over the shining 
waters ; but at dawn or at evening they come near, 
they are quite close, you may see their terraced gardens, 
their trees and flowers, their magic villas, their church 
towers, and in the quietness the voices of their fortunate 
inhabitants come to you over the waters as out of a 
strange and lovely dream. 

Yes, they are just a vision of what men have always 
meant by the Isles of the Blest, the Fortunate Islands 
which no one, till he happened here, ever found. And 
like those islands of happiness which so many have 
thought to see, these too may not be approached. If 
on some morning, sure of your joy, you set out in a little 
boat, for no one I suppose would hope to come to 
Paradise in a steamer, they will vanish away, they will 
utterly change, and what was Isola Bella will have 
become, when you reach it, a mere bulwark of brick 
and cement, the gardens an artificial ugliness, the 
villa a baroque palace of the seventeenth century, the 
whole in the worst and the crudest taste ; Isola dei 
Pescatori will seem to you just an Italian fishing village, 
neither more nor less ; Isola Madre — well, that is the 
farthest and the best. Indeed, Isola Madre has much 
charm, and if any traveller be so rash as to wish for a 
closer acquaintance with these islands in the lazy do- 
nothing days he must spend at Stresa, it is to Isola 
Madre he should go. Here, it is true, are gardens in 
terraces as at Isola Bella, but something of Nature has 
been left : there are birds here, and the little park and 


wood where the camellias grow so plentifully are quiet 
and delightful. 

Isola Madre, like Isola Bella, belongs to the Borromeo 
family, one of the best in Lombardy, whose most famous 
son was that S. Carlo bom at Arona in 1537 — it is, I 
think, the one thing Arona can boast of — and known 
to us all as Cardinal Archbishop of Milan, which tre- 
mendous office was given him in his twenty-third year. 
For a further twenty-three years he lived like a saint, 
dispensing his great wealth, for he had inherited the 
Borromeo estates, in charity, sleeping himself upon 
straw and eating bread and water. Every village, every 
shepherd's hut in his diocese knew him well. And his 
rule of the clergy and religious of his diocese was such 
that many became his enemies, and one, a friar, at- 
tempted to kill him ; but the bullet glanced off the 
gold embroidery of his cope, and he was alive to minister 
to his people with wonderful personal devotion in the 
great plague of 1575. Pope Paul v. canonised him in 

The Castle of Anghera, which stands finely over the 
lake opposite Arona, is another possession of the 
Borromei. It was of old of very considerable importance, 
holding all the road to Milan, and the Visconti took a 
title, Count of Anghera, from it. 

But the wise traveller will spend but little time in 
this southern part of the lake, which as a whole is, as I 
have said, best explored from Baveno. Leaving Baveno 
on his way northward, the first town he will come upon 
will be Pallanza, where again there is nothing to see, 
nothing that is but its own natural loveliness, and that 
can be as well seen from the boat as from the shore. 
Nevertheless one should land, if only to walk out on to 
the promontory north of the town where of old a temple 
to Venus stood, and where now the church of S. Remigio 
stands. It is indeed a pretty walk all the way from 
Pallanza to Intra, where one may again take the boat, 


unless indeed one is bent on exploring the picturesque 
Val Introgno which here leads up into the hills. 

From Intra the boat crosses the lake to Laveno, and 
Laveno is to my mind quite the most interesting place 
on Lago Maggiore — not for itself alone, but for the 
country it puts you in possession of. There is nothing 
to see in the town ; but the great wooded hill to the 
north, under which Laveno hides, and which makes so 
beautiful a part of the view from Stresa, is the Sasso di 
Ferro, and thence you may have a finer view than from 
Monte Motterone. And there, high above the lake, is 
the little convent of S. Caterina del Sasso, which I love 
better than any other in all Lombardy, because it chimes 
in so lovely a fashion with the rocks and the lake here, 
and its loggia and tower are so fine from the water. 
I could never learn how it came to be S. Catherine's, 
or to which of the many S. Catherines it belongs. It 
seems that it should be the Madonna's, for the Madonna 
performed a miracle there of the most strange sort. 
There is within the church a little chapel, over whose 
altar hangs suspended, as it seems in the air, a vast 
boulder, which, crashing down from the precipice, 
Madonna arrested there where you see it. The latest 
English guide to these lakes tries to explain this stupen- 
dous fact by natural causes ; but who would be content 
with such when the supernatural are so obvious ? This, 
surely, is one of the inexplicable mysteries of the modern 

Laveno holds the road to much fine country, and 
many beautiful things which we, who have entered 
by the Lugano gate, shall find later on our road 
from Como to Milan. Nevertheless, Varese and its 
lake, as well as Castiglione d' Olona, may easily be seen 
from here, and should not be omitted by any traveller 
who is exploring the lakes and not going on to Milan. 
From Laveno the traveller will go on by boat to Luino, 
which is chiefly interesting, in its modern life, for its 


silk factories and for the fact that here one leaves Lago 
Maggiore for Lago Lugano. It was, however, the birth- 
place of Bernardino Luini, Leonardo's pupil, and there 
are still some grand frescoes of his in the parish church. 
Luini, however, pretty and sentimental as his work 
always is, is not to be judged by his paintings here. To 
do him justice it is necessary to go to Saronno on the road 
to Milan. 

Opposite Luino, on the farther shore of the lake, 
stand two ruined castles, their feet in the water : they 
doubtless once threatened somebody, but who it was 
I could never learn. In the fifteenth century they served 
as a retreat for a family of brigands named Mazzardi. 

From Cannobio, the next place of importance, on the 
northern shore, the Val Cannobina leads into the wooded 
foothills of the mountains. In Cannobio itself, near the 
landing-stage, is a fine early Renaissance church, the 
Santuario della Santissima Pieti, and over the high altar 
we fmd a good picture by Gaudenzio Ferrari of Christ 
bearing His Cross, the only picture perhaps on the lake ; 
but here especially Nature makes up for the lack of art. 

Locarno, at the head of Lago Maggiore, but by no means 
the most considerable place upon it, is without interest, 
save that from it open the rich pastures of the Val 
Maggia and all the loveliness of Val Orsenona, Val 
Bavena and Val Anzarca. Behind Locarno, too, on a 
great precipitous rock, stands the convent of La Madonna 
del Sasso which was founded in 1487. It is a picturesque 
place, and though to my mind it cannot rival S. Caterina, 
it is well worth a visit. 

I said that Locarno was without interest, meaning 
that it had little to offer tlie traveller. To the curious 
student of history, however, it is known as one of the 
most southern places, for it is not Italian, to side with 
Luther in the great political and moral revolution of 
the sixteenth century which we call the Reformation, 
why, I could never understand, for it formed nothing. 


but a confusion, though, if you will, it reformed Europe 
back into its original chaos. The people of Locarno, 
however, were very eager in this business, and rather 
than remain Catholics, some two hundred families of 
them marched through the Alps in the early spring to 
the Grisons. A romantic tale is told, and I think truly, 
of the Lady of Locarno at this time, Barbara di Montalto, 
whom the minions of the papal nuncio came to seize, 
because she had scoffed at the Mass ; " but she escaped 
by a secret door leading to the lake, while her pursuers 
were in the house." 

Now the traveller who, intent on exploring Lombardy, 
has set out first to see the Italian lakes, if he shall have 
crossed the Alps by the Simplon and have come first to 
Lago Maggiore, will presently leave it for Lago Lugano 
by the gate of Luino. Luino itself is just in Italy, but 
such a traveller on his way to Porto Tresa on the Lake 
of Lugano will soon cross the frontier, and until he 
leaves that lake at its northern extremity — and in our 
company — for Menaggio on Lago di Como, he will be 
in Switzerland, in those Italian cantons of Switzerland 
that is, which are in their scenery so much more Italian 
than Swiss, but in their population, so disagreeably, 
rather Swiss than Italian. No one, however he enter 
Lombardy, if he is bent upon exploring the Italian 
plain, should fail to climb Monte Generoso, the only 
look out in all this country which gives him nearly the 
whole of it. It is true that to do this he must enter 
Switzerland ; but he must put up with that. Like 
most other travellers I find the German Switzer un- 
sympathetic, to put it gently, and I am willing every 
time I pass through Switzerland to agree with Lord 
Byron, who called it " a swinish country of brutes." 
It is true, too, that all this part of the moimtains, 
naturally so Italian, suffers from these people, and the 
frontier line is not a true one from a racial point of view. 


Maggiore is little, if any, better than Lugano in this 
respect ; the people are the same, and it is not till we are 
well on our way to Como that we are finally rid of 
them. However, no one is to be prevented from going 
to the Italian lakes, I hope, because they happen to be 
peopled by the most ungracious and barbarous of the 
people of Europe. Nor should anyone on this account 
fail to visit Monte Generoso. It is true that in the 
simimer there, the mountain is swarming with Germans, 
and the Milanese of the middle class abound ; never- 
theless in May, or, better, in June, Monte Generoso is 
quiet and lonely enough to please us all. And then no 
place offers the same opportunity of surveying at a 
glance the Lombard plain, with its cities, its pastures, 
its corn fields and winding rivers, its straight, interminable 
Roman roads. 

Monte Generoso, too, should be visited for its own 
sake. For it possesses all kinds of scenery, a country of 
trees and hedges and meadows at its base, forests of 
chestnut trees, and higher, of wild laburnums laden 
and weighted down with gold, and about the summit 
the bare and barren rock of the mountains. And every- 
where there are flowers, deep beds of lilies of the valley, 
columbines and white asphodels, golden hawkweeds 
and the too sweet narcissus, a dazzling brightness beyond 
which crimson peonies gleam amid the rocks, while 
in the higher places gentians and ranunculuses blow 
in the thin and eager air. Indeed, in the early heat 
there is no more pleasant place in Europe than this dry 
and lonely mountain which thrusts itself beyond its 
fellows so steeply into the Lombard plain. 

On descending from it on our way into Italy it is 
easy to see what there is to see in the little villages of the 
Lake of Lugano. The best, the most charming of these 
I have already named : they are to be loved. But in 
Lugano itself there is but one famous thing, and that is 
of secondary importance, I mean the fresco of the 


Crucifixion by Luini in the fine early Renaissance church, 
conventual too, of S. Maria degli Angeli by the lake-side. 
Wonderfully Italian as Lugano seems, it is almost 
wholly devoid of the Italian charm ; its arcaded ways 
and byways no longer picturesque, spoiled by the 
Switzer and the stranger, do not attract us, and even 
its churches seem to lack some blessedness. Only the 
idle and the rich will linger there. As for us, we are for 
Italy ; let us be up and away. 

So we depart, leaving Monte Salvatore, famous in 
Germany, unvisited and without a word ; for if by chance 
we must spend our time on the Lake of Lugano, it is 
not there we shall be found, but perhaps in the b5rways 
or in a little boat under the olives of Morcote or the rosy 
church tower and cypresses of Oria, or in the warm 
sunshine under Castagnola, little places which possess 
nothing but an indefinable charm and Latin loveliness. 

So shall we come quickly, or lingering by the way, to 
Porlezza, and taking the little train there, in a half -hour 
(or, better, by road) find ourselves by the shore of the 
Larian lake at Menaggio. Thence, if we are wise, we 
shall immediately take ship for Bellaggio or that paradise 
which faces it — certainly of old a very Eden — Cadenabbia, 
upon the western shore. 

The Lake of Como, always more important than those 
of Maggiore and Lugano, for it commands two great 
passes into the Alps, the Spliigen and the Bragaglia, 
consists, as it were, of three parts, for it is shaped like a 
three-pointed star, or, as the local rhymes have it, like a 
man's body with his two legs. These parts all meet at 
Bellaggio, which is thus by far the most convenient spot 
from which to explore and enjoy the whole lake. To 
the south lies the Lake of Como proper between Bellaggio 
and the city of Como ; to the north lies that great upper 
part of it between Bellaggio and Colico, which has no 
distinct name ; to the east, between Bellaggio and Lecco, 
lies the Lake of Lecco. 


The Lake of Como, in that upper or northern part of 
it, just beyond Colico receives, as do the lakes of Maggiore 
and Geneva, a great river, the Adda, into its bosom, a 
river which leaves it not at Como, for there the lake 
has no opening at all, but at Lecco, whence it flows 
into the Lombard plain to be one of its great barriers 
and nourishers. 

Nearly forty miles long from Como to Colico, the Lake 
of Como is by far the most interesting historically of 
those three lakes which lie here in this corner under 
the great mountains. That part of it which lies between 
Bellaggio and Como has indeed, ever since the Empire 
began to civilise these parts of Upper Italy, been crowded 
with sumptuous villas, the most famous of which were 
those of the two Plinys. The northern arm between 
Bellaggio and Colico is chiefly interesting because of the 
part it played in the fifteenth century ; but the old 
Roman route lay down it, and one landed — Stilicho 
did, for instance, according to Claudian — at Colico and 
at Como, not at Lecco, in going from or to Milan. 

The chief classical interest of the Larian lake, however, 
is gathered round the Plinys, who were born at Como, 
and had many villas about the lake, one of the chief of 
which stood, as is thought, where the Villa Serbelloni 
stands to-day, on the towering promontory of Bellaggio. 

" You tell me you are building : " the younger Pliny 
writes happily.^ " That is well, and gives me the 
countenance I wanted, for I shall be able to justify my 
building now that we are both in the same boat. 
Moreover, there is this, too, that while you are building 
by the sea, I am building by the Larian Lake. I have 
several villas on its shores, but there are two that are 
especially my favourites, and at the same time exercise 
my mind a good deal. One is situated on a rocky spur 
and overlooks the lake, like the villas at Baiae ; the other 
is on the margin of the lake, and also after the Baiae 
* Ep. vii. II. 


fashion. I like to call the one ' Tragedy,' the other 
' Comedy ' because the former is supported as it were 
by the buskin, and the latter by the sock. Each has 
its own charm, and each seems the more delightful in 
turn by reason of its difference from the other. The 
one has a close, the other a wide view of the lake ; the 
one commands a single gently curving bay, the other, 
perched on its lofty ridge, lies between two bays ; in the 
one there is a long level walk stretching along the shore, 
in the other a spacious terrace with an easy slope ; 
the one never feels the waves, the other breaks their 
progress ; from the one you can look upon the people 
fishing, from the other you can fish yourself, even from 
your bedroom, and almost from your bed, as though 
you were in a small boat. And for these charming 
reasons I have built on to these villas certain additions 
which they required. ..." 

Thus far Pliny. As I have said, his villa " Tragedy " 
is generally supposed to have stood where now on the 
summit of the promontory the Villa Serbelloni stands. 
His villa " Comedy " was probably near Lenno, while 
others of his houses stood near Torno and Como. 
Bellaggio, with its far views and command of the three 
great arms of Lake Como, is a charming and a beautiful 
place, but beyond the Villa Serbelloni, its gardens and 
terraces, there is not much to be seen. Its position, 
however, makes it not only the most delightful but the 
most convenient spot from which to explore the lake. 

Perhaps, for the sake of its history, that part of Lake 
Como between Como and Bellaggio should be first 
enjoyed, but as that is the best way to Milan, we shall 
leave it till the last, and begin our pleasure with that 
part of the lake which lies between Bellaggio and Colico. 

This arm is by far the largest of the three, though not 
much longer than the others. Besides the scenery it 
offers us — and there are no lovelier spots in the lakes of 
ull Italy, than Gravedona with its Baptistery, its basilica 


of S. Vincenzo, its cross of silver inlaid with gems, its 
chalice and precious ornaments of the fifteenth century ; 
Corenno, with its ruined castle and memory of Pliny ; 
Fiona, with its cloisters and Varenna with its rosy face, 
its graceful towers and stately cypresses — this northern 
area is chiefly interesting for the strange part that a 
certain adventurer named Medici (who, in the greatness 
of his success claimed kinship, without a shadow of 
reason, with the great Florentine family) played here in 
the sixteenth century. 

In the first years of that century, the Valtellina, through 
which the Adda flows into Lake Como at its northern 
end, together with Bormio and Chiavenna had passed 
to the Orisons, and the Swiss Cantons had possessed 
themselves at the same time of Lugano and Bellinzona ; 
thus the barbarous mountaineers had spoiled the Duchy 
of Milan of a rich province which no lord of Milan, 
whether a Sforza or a French general or a Spanish 
viceroy, could long tolerate. It was in this state of 
affairs that Gian Giacomo Medici, II Medeghino, as he 
was and is still called, appeared. He was a Lombard, 
the son of a Lombard born in Milan in 1498. His 
father was a man of humble birth, his mother, however, 
was CeciUa Serbelloni ; they managed to breed some 
remarkable children. II Medeghino began as a mur- 
derer, a brigand, an outlaw and highwayman, he 
ended as Marquis of Musso, Count of Lecco, Viceroy of 
Bohemia, and Marquis of Marignano. He was the 
eldest. His brother, Giovanni Angelo, became Pope 
Pius IV. His sister CeciHa married a Borromeo, and 
became the mother of a Saint, S. Carlo Borromeo. 
I doubt if there is in all history such an achieveme^ 
as that in a single generation of a single family. 

II Medeghino began as the merest adventurer : 
first act was, as I said, the assassination of a man he hated, 
this at the age of sixteen. This recommended him to 
the generals of the Sforza troops, and in that cause he 




too had success, for he helped to put Francesco Sforza 11. 
on the Ducal throne of Milan. Perhaps in these fights 
he had come to know the Lake of Como, and the unsettled 
state of the Valtellina. At any rate he knew the Castle 
of Musso there, on the headland south of Gravedona, 
which, besides the citadel on the precipitous height of 
' the promontory, was furnished with a square fort having 
bastions and cannon, strong towers, and an easy and safe 
i access to the lake. He applied to Sforza for this place as 
i a reward for old service. Sforza granted it to him on 
I condition that he succeeded in murdering Astorre Vis- 
■ conti, Sforza's rival. This II Medeghino achieved. Then 
Sforza sent him with open letters to the Castellano of 
Musso to possess the fortress, but with sealed letters in 
which the said Castellano was ordered to cut II Mede- 
ghino's throat. The young man opened these letters, 
laid his plans, and possessed himself of the Castle of 
Musso. Sforza the viper made no sign ; he was beaten 
at his own game. Thus began a life of highway robbery 
in which II Medeghino was almost uniformly successful. 
i First he rendered Musso impregnable, then to keep 
Sforza quiet he made war on the Grisons. Then with 
a fleet of boats he made himself master of the lake 
from Colico to Lecco. Sforza, knowing his man, and 
fearing the advance of Francis i. of France, the pay- 
master of the Grisons, made him perpetual governor of 
the Lake of Como, and of as much else as he could take 
from the mountaineers. II Medeghino at once took 
Chiavenna, the key to the great passes ; and may thus be 
said to have helped to defeat Francis at the battle of 
Pa via. 

But a change was coming and II Medeghino saw it. 
Sforza was falling between France and Spain. In the 
ruin that followed he played his own hand and came 
out of it lord of the lakes Como and Lugano and of 
the town of Lecco and master of all the valleys. His 
navy blockaded Como, then held by the Spaniards, 


and was able to come to terms with them and to obtain 
from Charles v. his investment of the Castle of Musso, 
the town of Lecco and the greater part of the Lake ; 
with the titles of Marquis of Musso and Count of Lecco. 
He even coined money with his own name and device 
upon it. Nor did he cease to prosper. His only 
check in the following years was in a battle off Menaggio 
when Sforza, now back in Milan, worsted him. But he 
recovered himself, and, if he had ever held Como, might 
have made his own terms without question. As it 
was, he was able at the last to retire with all the honours. 
He got 35,000 gold crowns for Musso and the marquisate 
of Marignano. He even took service with Spain, became 
a field-marshal in that army, was employed in the 
Netherlands, and, later, entered Bohemia as a Spanish 
viceroy. His last act was to distinguish himself in 
the Senese, when Charles v. was busy creating the Grand 
Duchy of Tuscany. It was then he claimed to be 
de* Medici, and as he was a good friend and a bad 
enemy, and, moreover, having a brother who was 
Pope, his claim was allowed. And when he died, he 
was buried in the Duomo of Milan and Leone Leoni of 
Menaggio built for his corse his masterpiece, the magnifi- 
cent tomb we see to-day. 

Lecco, of which II Medeghino made himself lord, 
has given its name to the south-eastern arm of the Lake 
of Como. This part of the lake is rougher and more 
lonely than the other two, but not, I think, less lovely. 
What is there better in all this district than Villa 
Giulia, than Limonta or Roman Liema ? Yet what 
history there is gathers round Lecco itself. Etruscan, 
Celtic and Roman, Lecco is to-day a characteristic 
Lombard town, full of busmess and energy after the 
sufferings which, being in Lombardy, it has had to 
bear. We are told that S. Mona of Milan converted 
the Lecchesi tc Christianity in the third century and 
we may be sure that in the Dark Ages it sank back 



into barbarism, for it was on the frontier of the Rhastians 
and the Alpini, half-tamed peoples who had no root 
in Latin civilisation. But in the great reconstruction 
it had its part, and in 1161 Barbarossa, when he had 
destroyed Milan and divided Lombardy into six 
provinces, made Lecco the head of one of them and it 
received an imperial viceroy. Nothing of all this time 
remains to the busy Httle town to-day; its earliest 
visible memories being of the fourteenth century, 
when Visconti was ruling in Milan and Azzone 
Visconti took and fortified the town, surrounding it 
with a vast towered wall and building the great bridge 
we still see over the Adda, which here leaves the lake 
to water and to nourish a great part of Tuscany and 
to lose itself at last in the Po. 

But delightful though the lake is between Bellaggio 
and Colico and between Bellaggio and Lecco, there 
can be no doubt that its most beautiful, and its most 
frequented and famous part, is that which lies between 
Bellaggio and the city of Como — the Lake of Como 
proper. The special and enchanted beauty of the 
Italian lakes is here at its best, and all that is 
most characteristic in the strange lavishness of their 
beauty seems here to have found its best expression. 
And to add to our pleasure it is here, too, that the 
historical interest of this part of Lombardy reaches 
its climax. Here the Latin world is secure and we feel 
ourselves in the country of Pliny and Virgil. 

Opposite Bellaggio, and not truly in this southern 
arm of Lake Como at all, stands Menaggio, where the 
Visconti had a castle of which nothing but a few ruins 
remains. Close by is the village of Nobiallo, and above 
it the beautiful sanctuary of La Madonna della Pace. 

On our way southward, however, we shall not pass 
these which lie in the northern arm of the lake, but are 
most conveniently visited from Bellaggio and deserve 
a day to themselves. 


Quite opposite Bellaggio and south of Menaggio 
stands Cadenabbia which may be called the head- 
quarters of the English on Lake Como, as Bellaggio 
is of the Germans. Cadenabbia is almost as good 
a centre for exploring the lake as Bellaggio, and the 
plain Englishman will be happier there out of the way 
of the Teuton. 

From Cadenabbia one may walk southward by the 
lake to Tremezzo, or better, perhaps, row thither, for 
the villas have grown so thick hereabout that walkin^^ 
is no longer the happiness it was. The best of these 
villas is the Carlotta, the property of the Duke of Saxe- 
Meiningen : its gardens, woods, roses, magnolias, 
azaleas and terraces of lilies are a joy for ever. 

Beyond Tremezzo we come to Lenno with its beautiful 
old Baptistery of fine Lombard work now desecrated 
and above in the Val Benedetto, the lovely sanctuary 
of the Madonna del Soccorso, and the Acqua Fredda, a 
Cistercian monastery, with its cypresses of the twelfth 
century, now in the hands of French monks. 

At Lenno, Pliny, according to Giovio the great historian 
of the Larian lake, had his villa " Comedy," and somi 
remains of the Roman time may still be seen ther( 
beneath the waters ; while on the southern promontory 
that shuts in Lenno, stands the deserted but magnificent 
Villa Arconati, perhaps the loveliest place on the lake. 

Opposite Lenno and a little farther south standi 
Lezzono in its gorge : 

Lezzono della mala fort una 

D' invemo senza sol, d' estate senza luna. 

And, indeed, Lezzono is so hidden away that in the 
winter it never sees the sun, nor in summer the moon. 

Opposite Lezzono we see the only island on the lake, 
the Isola Comacina. The name of this island takes our 
thoughts back over a thousand years and more of 

Here, as is supposed, Caninius Rufus, one of Pliny's 



rrespondents, had a villa. " How is Como looking," 
liny writes to him, " your darling spot and mine ? 

id that most charming villa of yours, what of it, and 
portico where it is always spring, its shady plane 
hes, its fresh crystal canal and the lake below that 
gives so lovely a view ? " 

Yet it is not of Pliny that we think there but of a later 
time than his, the time of the disaster. For here, alone 
perhaps in all Lombardy, the Latin tradition and 
perhaps the Latin art were preserved during the in- 
vasion and the rule of the barbarian Lombards. From 
the middle of the sixth century until Europe was well 
re-established in the twelfth, this little island stood 
for Europe, a refuge for civilisation from barbary, 
holding ever to the Imperial cause. When at last 
after a sixth months' siege it capitulated, it was with 
honour, for in every real sense it had achieved its end ; 
it had, during some six hundred years, borne witness 
for civilisation and upheld the European tradition. 
And remembering this, it is fitting that for centuries 
a miracle play which represented the life and death 
of S. John the Baptist, the witness and the forerunner, 
should have been played here upon his festa in June. 
The Isola Comacina may well be called S. Giovanni. 

Who shall describe the way from Isola Comacina to 
Como : is it not one of the most luxurious beauties 
of the world ? Argegno with the Val^, d' Intelvi, Nesso 
with its waterfall, what can be said of them ? 

It is only when below Nesso, in a great bay on the 
eastern bank, we come to the Villa Pliniana, majestic 
in the shadow and silence under the cliffs where the 
cypresses stand on guard, that we are recalled to that 
old world which seems so real to us and about which 
Pliny gossiped so delightfully. For the Villa Pliniana, 
though now an affair of the sixteenth century at farthest, 
is undoubtedly the site of another of those retreats that 
Pliny had in so great a plenty by the Larian shore : 


and it possesses a remarkable intermittent spring which 
he describes and begs Licinius Sera ^ to explain to him : — 
" I have brought you as a present from my native 
district a problem which is fully worthy of your pro- 
found learning. A spring rises in the mountain-side : 
it flows down a rocky course, and is caught in a little 
artificial banqueting-house. After the water has been 
retained there a time it falls into the Larian Lake. 
There is a wonderful phenomenon connected with it, 
for thrice very day it rises and falls with fixed regularity 
of volume. Close by it you may recline and take a 
meal, and drink from the spring itself, for the water is 
very cool, and meanwhile it ebbs and flows at regular 
and stable intervals. If you place a ring or anything 
else on a dry spot by the edge the water gradually 
rises to it, and at last covers it, and then just as gradually 
recedes and leaves it bare, while if you watch it for any 
length of time you may see both processes twice or thrice 
repeated. Is there any unseen air which first distends 
and then tightens the orifice and mouth of the spring, 
resisting its onset and yielding at its withdrawal ? 
We observe something of this sort in jars and other 
similar vessels which have not a direct and free opening, 
for these, when held either perpendicularly or aslant, 
pour out their contents with a sort of gulp, as though 
there were some obstruction to a free passage. Or is this 
spring like the ocean, and is its column enlarged and 
lessened alternately by the same laws that govern the 
ebb and flow of the tide ? Or, again, just as rivers on 
their way to the sea are driven back on themselves by 
contrary rivers and the opposing tide, is there anything 
that can drive back the outflow of this spring ? Or is 
there some latent reservoir which diminishes and retards 
the flow while it is gradually collecting the water that 
has been drained off, and increases and quickens the 
flow when the process of collection is complete ? Or 
' Ep. iv. 30. 



^B there some curiously hidden and unseen balance which 
^Khen emptied raises and thrusts forth the spring, and 
^Brhen filled checks and stifles its flow ? Please investi- 
^Bate the causes which bring about this wonderful 
i^ftsult, for you have the ability to do so ; it is more than 
I^Kough for me if I have described the phenomenon with 
I^Htcuracy . Farewell. ' ' 

HI From Argegno, indeed, to Como it is villa and garden 
^ and grove all the way. Who is there that knows Como 
that has not floated at evening under those balconies 
heavy with roses, those terraces stately with cypresses 
and myrtles, those hanging gardens of azaleas and lilies 
and geraniums, where the magnolias shine in the twilight 
and the night is heavy with sweetness ? Perhaps the 
best known of these palaces beside the lake are the Villa 
Taverna at Torno and the Villa d' Este, now an hotel, 
where the unfortunate Queen of George iv. passed so 
much of her time, at Cenobbio. But if these are the 
most famous, they are not exceptional, in their beauty, 
and even the cypresses of the Villa d' Este can be easily 
matched at the Villa del Pizzo near Torriggia, 

No one, I suppose, comes to Como, that shining city 
under the Brunate at the lake's head, for history. There 
is plenty of it if one does ; but apart from the fact that 
it is the last place in which to find any leisure, for the 
country around, the olive -clad hills, the entrancing 
byways and the lake itself, entice one to be ever up and 
about, what time one can save from these is given, and 
I think without any hesitation, to the Duomo, which 
Street so unaccountably failed to appreciate, but which 
has plenty of lovers nevertheless. 

The Duomo and the Broletto, an earlier work of 
black and white marble, beside it, make up a group of 
buildings as picturesquely lovely as any in Lombardy, 
and few there be who do not straightway fall in love 
with them. As for the church, it is, I suppose, one of 
the finest examples of married Gothic and Renaissance 


— a Gothic perfectly developed yet without fantastic 
excess, a Renaissance sober and sweet and without 
stiffness — anywhere to be found in Italy. 

The Gothic church, begun in 1396, remains in the nave 
of the present building, where the pillars are purer in 
form than those of Milan and the facade is as charming 
as can be. The rest of the church is a work of the 
fifteenth century ; the beautiful south portal, dating 
from 145 1, together with the three windows there 
and the cornice being the actual work, it is said, of 
Bramante. Bramante, however, is not the chief architect 
we think of here, for the design of the Renaissance church 
is due to Tommaso Rodari, a local master who together 
with his brothers, Bernardino and Jacopo, designed and 
built and decorated the whole church. 

The Rodari to whom we thus owe so much were born 
at Maroggia, a little village under Monte Generoso not 
far from Campione, and whether indeed it be true that 
the Magistri Comacini had greater skill than others 
in the arts, and this because of the lingering Latin 
culture and tradition hereabout, due to the noble defence 
of the Isola Comacina, or whether their talents were more 
individual, their immense success here in Como cannot 
be doubted. They have produced one of the loveliest 
buildings anywhere to be seen. 

It is said that when, as was the custom, Tommaso 
Rodari submitted his design of the church for public 
criticism, Cristoforo Solari, the famous Lombard sculptor, 
would have none of it, but bade him try again. This 
he is said to have done with the success we see. The 
beautiful apse, which dates from 1519, the lovely north 
doorway, the Porta della Rana, dating from 1505-9, 
are Tommaso's work, while the noble sculpture that 
everywhere abounds is due to him and his brethren. 
It is difficult to speak without a rare enthusiasm of the 
master works of the Porta della Rana, both inside and 
out. or of the splendid canopies supported by naked 



fauns (under which we find two earlier statues of the 
Plinys) of the western facade. But the whole church 
within and without is peopled with the statues and reliefs 
of these brothers : the exquisite S. Sebastian of the 
^bidy Chapel comes from the same hands as that series 
^f Atlantes in the upper cornice without, which form 
gargoyles, that have thrown off all grotesqueness, and 
with it all of their meaning, though not their use. 

The Duomo thus so lovely was not only on the part 
of these brother builders a work of love, for the people 
of Como and its diocese subscribed the money to pay for 
it ; and we hear of some princely gifts from bishops and 
magistrates and guilds, the Marchese Giacomo Gallio 
alone bequeathing 290,000 lire, and one of the Benzi 
10,000 ducats for this purpose. 

Within the Cathedral is as lovely as without, in spite 
of its gaudy vaulting ; and the few unimportant pictures 
in the chapels, works by Bernardo Luini and Gaudenzio 
Ferrari, remain to it in the places for which they were 

The Duomo, indeed, may well absorb all the time one 
can spare from the byways ; but the travell'^r should not 
by any means miss, if he can help it, the Romanesque 
church of S. Fedele with its beautiful five-sided apse 
not far from the Cathedral, and the old basilica of 
S. Abbondio, a building chiefly of the eleventh century, 
but originally founded by the Lombards in the eighth. 



THE most direct road from G^mo to Milan is by 
way of Fino and Cesano, a distance of some 
twenty-five miles; but that route has httle interest 
for us, and save by the hurried traveller, who will be 
well advised to take the train, it should be discarded. 
For the wanderer afoot, or better, as I think, in Lombardy, 
though not in Tuscany, in automobile, that is a good 
way which leads him first eastward just south of the 
frontier through Olgiate to Varese and then due south 
through Saronno to Milan. By this way, which is 
three good days afoot, one sees not only Varese and its 
lake, Saronno and its pictures, but Castiglione d* Olona 
also, where one of the greatest of Tuscan masters 
has left us in the church and baptistery there some 
wonderful evidence of his genius. 

And there is more than this. Few days' journey 
anywhere in Lombardy will prove half so delightful 
as that over the hills from Como to Varese, for it holds 
every sort of surprise and every sort of beauty, of 
hill and valley and mountain, of vineyard and oHve 
garden, of shadowy stream and country town and 
village. It is little known to strangers. No great 
spectacle lies upon that way where all is so fair, and it 
is not till one comes to Varese itself that one is reminded 
of the tourist and all that he brings with him. Even in 
Varese, if one is lucky one may forget such things as these. 

For Varese, to tell the truth, is not itself very charming. 


I very little place, its arcaded streets are in fact its 
ly attraction, unless, indeed, the ancient Baptistery, 
the small Piazza by S. Vittore, may be said to be 
such. What makes Varese so popular a town are its 
^^licious environs, that Italian countryside which might 
^Hand for a picture or a symbol of all that is best in 
i^Burope, and of which we can never have enough. 
Of the Lago di Varese, too, small as it is, it is not easy 
to tire ; for of all these Lombard waters, it has, I 
think, the wildest and most abundant vegetation ; of 
vines and maize and wood and grove. It is a place of 
fiowers, and possesses certainly the most splendid view — 
all the Alpine range from Monte Rosa, including Monte 
Cervano, to Monte Viso, that pyramid — that any lake 
in Italy has to offer us. 

If Varese be dull then, the countryside of which it is the 
key is delicious. Besides the lake, which itself lies some 
little distance from the town, no one who comes to 
Varese should fail to visit the Sacro Monte with its 
shady chestnut trees, its exquisite chapels and its 
picturesque church and shrine at the summit — La 
Madonna del Monte. The fifteen chapels which line the 
steep paved way to the church are as it were a visible 
rosary. The fifteen mysteries, joyful, sorrowful and 
glorious, of the life of Our Lady being there expressed 
in terra-cotta, a chapel to a mystery. The church, 
as are the chapels, is a work of the seventeenth century ; 
but it would seem that some shrine has always existed 
here— for " Her foundations are upon the holy hills," — 
since in the vestibule of the church there remains a 
relief of the Madonna dating from the thirteenth 
century ; while an old convent, certainly of the fifteenth 
century, stands close by. What, however, will be more 
generally appreciated than these works of piety is the 
view to be had from the hill-top : it embraces the Lake of 
Varese, the smaller lakes of Comabbio, Biandronno and 
Monate, and parts of Lakes Maggiore and Como, while to 


the south and east lies the fruitful Lombard plain, 
golden and happy in the sun of afternoon. 

There are many other happy places about Varese, 
but the traveller, already anxious for Milan, will scarcely 
linger here, more especially as the best of all lies on his 
way. That best is the road to Castiglione d' Olona, and 
Castiglione itself. You go, if you are wise, through 
Bizz6zero, climbing the hills, with wonderful views of 
the Alps and the lakes all the way, and then descend 
through delicious woods by Lozza to the little town 
of Castiglione, partly in the valley of the Olona, a pleasant 
stream, and partly on the steep hill above it. 

The Castello, which belonged to the noble family of 
Castiglione, on the hill above the little town, or rather 
village, had by the beginning of the fifteenth century 
become ruined, and there Cardinal Branda da Castiglione 
built the church we see dedicated to Our Lady of the 
Rosary, to S. Lorenzo and to S. Stefano, together with 
a little Baptistery separate from the church and to 
the north of it. Here by the utmost good fortune 
one of the greatest Tuscan painters of that day was 
employed to adorn these buildings in fresco. Branda 
da Castiglione was Cardinal of S. Clemente, and it was 
there, doubtless, he had seen the work of Masolino and 
liked it. So he bade him paint his own Church of 
the Rosary with some of the joyful and glorious 
mysteries which that crown of prayers celebrates, and 
to-day we find in the choir the result of this commission. 
There we see the Marriage of the Blessed Virgin, the 
Annunciation, the Nativity, the Adoration of the Magi, 
the Assumption and the Coronation of Our Lady in 
six compartments with Our Lord in benediction in 
the midst ; while on the north wall we find the story 
of S. Lorenzo ; on the south, the story of S. Stephen ; 
but these are almost perished. In the Baptistery 
close by we find many scenes, far better preserved than 
those in the church, of the Ufe of S. John Baptist, 

Frfsto in the Ba/>t!<:tery, CastigUom d'Olott 


^^'Branda da Castiglione found at work in S. Clemente 
I in Rome. The first modern critics to write of these 

intings were the almost infallible Crowe and Caval- 
elle.i Vasari does not mention them, and, as it seems, 

ey were quite unknown when in the end of the eighteenth 

ntury, the church being very dark, they were covered 
with whitewash and were only uncovered in 1843. 

It has been reserved for a critic of our own time 
to make a further discovery. For, as it happened, Mr. 
Berenson came to Castiglione not long ago and found 
in the Palazzo Castiglione here a great frieze running 
round the great hall consisting of four frescoes from 
the master's hand. Three of these had been white- 
washed, but in that which had escaped he found 
one of the finest and one of the most surprising things 
in all Tuscan art of the quattrocento : " nothing 
less than a vast landscape, a sort of panorama of the 
Alps, with a broad torrent rushing down to the plain." 
Was it Cardinal Branda, who so loved those great hills 
he could see from his house, or Masolino himself, who, 
Tuscan as he was, looking upon them for the first 
time, gave himself suddenly to them and recorded 
here for ever his sudden and overwhelming joy ? We 
shall never know : only, as Mr. Berenson says, " let us 
cease talking about the late date at which in Italy 
landscape began to be treated on its own account." 

It is hard to tear oneself away from so charming 
and quiet a place as Castiglione d' Olona, nor are the 
Masolinos there, even in the matter of works of art, 
the only things to be seen and to be loved. In the 
Church of the Rosary is the tomb of Cardinal Branda 
by Leonardo Griffo, made in 1443. Then that steep, 
stony and delicious way in the shadow of the walls 
of gardens which leads down from the CoUegiata, where 

^ See Crowe and Cavalcaselle, History of Painting in Italy (Ed. 
Hutton, 1909), vol. ii. p. 218. Originally published i860. 


the old castello stood, into the village brings us to the 
Chiesa di Villa, a charming Renaissance building, having 
outside two huge statues in stone of S. Christopher and 
S. Antony the Hermit. Within is another Castiglione 
tomb, that of Guido, who died in 1485. 

But the true delight of Castiglione is the country, 
those wooded hills and valleys and streams that abound 
there, the byways that are as lovely as any in Lombardy, 
and the fragrant simplicity and honesty that one meets 
everywhere thereabout. Yet the road calls and we 
must follow it, at first to Venegono and then, either 
afoot or by train, to Saronno and to Milan. 

Saronno, which lies in the plain about half-way 
between Castiglione and Milan, is known to all Italy 
for its cheese, but to us wayfarers for its Santuario 
della Madonna di Saronno, at the end of an avenue of 
planes, where Luini and Gaudenzio Ferrari painted 
their best and most charming works. The church 
itself is an early Renaissance building by Pietro dell' Orto, 
and has a charming bell tower by Paolo Porta ; its facade, 
however, is baroque of the seventeenth century. It is for 
Luini and Gaudenzio Ferrari, however, that we are come. 

Let us make no mistake about it, we shall not dis- 
cover in the pictures or series of pictures of the Lom- 
bard painters any of that delight we are wont to feel in 
the work of the Tuscans or of the Venetian masters. 
Lombardy expressed herself in architecture rather than 
in painting, and the pupils of Leonardo the Florentine 
are the very last to whom we should go to find what 
painting really amounted to in Lombardy. Gaudenzio 
Ferrari, it is true, suffered perhaps less than the rest 
from Leonardo's overwhelming genius, but though he 
manages to keep something of the energy of the moun- 
taineer, of his coarse strength and original virtue, he 
succumbs at last to that disease of prettiness from 
which all that company suffered so grievously. Nor is 
Luini himself exempt : rather is he the chief among 



l^pthe sick. His intellect seems to have lost itself under 
the weight of Leonardo's ideas which he could not 

^ ^understand, and nothing but his gentleness and love of 

l^^bir women have saved him from an affected mediocrity. 

'^^&ow pretty and how charming they are with their 
sweet, wan smiles, those girls he shows us as Salome 
or S. Catherine or the Blessed Virgin herself. These 
people are the ghosts of a ghost seen between sleeping 
and waking, but the life and the life -giver died with 

Saronno is the first town on our road that is truly of 
the plain. The thirty miles between it and Milan lead 
us farther and farther from the hills, till all is lost in the 
immensity of that waveless plain which is Lombardy. 
As the traveller pursues his way — it may be towards 
evening, towards sunset, and on into the twilight — into 
this emptiness, nothing will impress him so much as 
the infinity of this vastness all about him, without 
features of any kind, without the silence of the 
mountains or their exaltation, but with something of 
their mastery and their opposition. Nor can any other 
experience he may have teach him so well the character 
of the plain as this thirty-mile walk from Saronno to the 
capital. It is true that from Monte Generoso the 
greater part of this tremendous plain is spread out 
before his eyes, but from that high place he but knows 
it with his mind : on the road he will suffer it, and his 
weariness, unrelieved by surprise, or the exaltation of 
the hills, will teach him, as nothing else can, the brutal 
strength of this unexpected bastion which guards Italy 
between the mountains and the mountains. In the 
dusk the beauty of the way, of the fields, of the vine- 
yards is lost, and nothing but the sense of space, of 
emptiness and an incredible distance remains to him. 
It is so I would have him come to the iron city of Milan. 


OF the origin of Milan, ever so tremendous and so 
strong, whose sound is the sound of iron upon iron, 
we are as ignorant as we are of the origin of her name. 
Livy tells us that the city was founded by the Insubres, 
a village, perhaps, before the Roman conquest, and others 
speak of two barbarian chiefs, Medo and Olano, who 
gave her her name Mediolanum ; but others, again, 
derive this from the sudden impression of spring that 
comes into the heart when having crossed the Alps, out of 
the northern winter, we come into Mayland, the country 
of May. The question is undecided and will remain 
so, for we know as little of the early history of Milan 
as we do of her foundation or the derivation of her 

Milan — Mediolanum — enters history in 221 B.C., 
when the Romans conquered the Insubres, the Cisalpine 
Gauls of this great district, by the hands, as we have seen, 
of Cornelius Scipio and Marcus Marcellus ; but her 
real importance only begins at the end of the third 
century, when in the long administrative decadence of 
the Empire, on the partition of it by Diocletian in 292 a.d., 
Milan became the capital of the vicariate of Italy. 
There Maximinius Hercules, who surrounded the city with 
a wall, had his residence and there his successor held a 
splendid court. It was from Milan, too, that Constantine 
dated his famous edict which permitted to all the exer- 
cise of Christianity in 313 a.d., and there S. Ambrose 


Ifcad his archiepiscopal throne. S. Ambrose (340-397) 
indeed made of Milan, as it were, the rival of Rome itself, 
when he faced Theodosius and appeared suddenly at the 
door of S. Ambrogio as the avenger of Justice, and still 
more when by the organisation of his diocese he gave her 
a real independence, a shadow of which may be said to 
I remain even to-day. S. Ambrose, in fact, appears as 
I the first great master of the city, and under him Milan, 
! which since the coming of Valentinian in 364 a.d. 
I had been the capital of the west, became for a moment 

the religious centre of Italy. 
j This era of splendour, greatness and prosperity was 

I suddenly interrupted by that appalling series of catas- 
trophes which were repeated during near three hundred 
years, which would indubitably have destroyed any 
; other civilisation, but which the Empire survived 
I because it was Christian. 

I We have gone as fully as may be into the causes and 

I the results of these disasters in a previous chapter : 
t here we shall only, and very briefly, take note of them 
I as they directly affected Milan. From this point of 
view they may be briefly summarised as follows : 
the raid of Alaric into Italy in 401 which caused Honorius 
to flee from Milan to Ravenna, and there to establish 
himself ; the passage of Attila in 452 ; the passage of 
Belisarius, followed by the sack and destruction of the 
city in 539 by the Goth Uraias. That appalling horror, 
in which everything that might have seemed permanent 
in the city was destroyed, confirmed her fate, already 
prophesied in the fhght of Honorius. Henceforth her 
importance passed to the following cities, her neighbours 
in turn : Ravenna, Pavia, Monza and Verona. So 
utterly was Milan deserted as a capital that she was not 
even visited by Charlemagne when he brought that 
great deliverance, and it is not till the Church was able 
through his act, which she had prompted, to begin the 
slow re-establishment of Latin power, and we see the 


rise of the Bishops to civil domination which, rightly 
understood, is the birth of the commune, that Milan 
was rebuilt in 808 by Bishop Anspert, who became the 
protector of the city, the rebuilder of her walls and the 
reconstructor of her monuments. Nothing surprises 
us more, yet nothing should surprise us so little, as the 
rapidity of that resurrection, which had, in fact, been 
prepared during some five hundred years and by the 
Papacy. Nor should its success and its endurance 
cause us astonishment ; for we know that we have in 
us the seeds of an eternal life, and that Christendom 
alone in the world can change and yet not pass away. 

As for Milan, we see her in 945 as the seat of the Diet 
which proclaimed Lothair King of Italy, and only fifty- 
five years later, in the year 1000, her Bishop is able to 
profit by the troubles which kept the Emperor in 
Germany to affirm, rather than to declare merely, the 
independence of his diocese, and this in the face of the 
Papal as well as of the Imperial claims, and thus to 
give back to Milan her greatness and her past. With 
this act we enter upon the new life of Milan. 

If the first act of the Papacy, of the Catholic Church, 
as the soul, the saviour and the conservator of Europe, 
after the administrative destruction of the old Empire, 
was to secure the feudal idea, and the lordship of 
the Archbishop, her second was the logical develop- 
ment of this, the constitution of the commune. It is 
true that this was not achieved all at once, that it 
was a gradual and even a contested development, 
but it Wcis achieved, and by the age-long conservation 
and contrivance of the soul of Europe, the Catholic 

For the genius of the Church had been " feudal " 
even from the beginning, and when we see Charlemagne 
suddenly gather up and apply this system to Europe, 
it is not in fact an original conception of his own, or 
even of his time, but rather the application of an idea 



■^m fundamental in ecclesiastic government which he found 

H there already tried and ready to his hand. Now 

^B feudalism is the framework and the fundamental 

H structure of Europe from his day at least to the Re- 

^^B formation : it stands there and bears up the government 

I^Hand the civilisation of Europe as the arches and buttresses 

I^Hbear up a Gothic cathedral, when all that is merely 

W^m useful or decorative is swept away : it stands the integral 

I^F skeleton of the whole, the necessary thing, as these 

|V pillars and arches and buttresses would stand, a vast 

and splendid skeleton, if the walls of a Gothic church, 

the windows and everything merely accessary were 

suddenly swept away. Feudalism — this is what in the 

way of government, of the structure of society, the 

Church was able to save and to contrive out of the 

administrative decadence and destruction of the old 

Empire. The first secular appearance of this is to be 

found in the establishment of the civil rule of the Bishops : 

by them the Church declares to the world the new system 

which was to endure for a thousand years. It is a 

profound mistake to think of the rise of the commune as 

the contradiction of this idea : it affirms it and develops 

it. The commune marks merely the entry of the people 

into the feudal system ; nothing more : and the ruin 

of that system in the fourteenth century means the ruin 

of Italy. 

I say all this was saved and continued by the Church : 
but not all at once, nor without many misapprehensions. 
In Milan in the year looo the Bishop had dreamed of 
an independent government. His successors suffered 
for his fault, and had not his strength or force to recom- 
mend them. They dissipated their authority in paltry 
quarrels about interior discipline in Church government, 
and had not the great Hildebrand sat in Peter's throne 
they might have thrown all northern Italy back into 
the old chaos : but the Pope destroyed them and with 
them their anarchy. The quarrel began in the matter 


of the marriage of the clergy, which the Ambrosian 
Rule permitted with restrictions. This Hildebrand was 
determined to destroy. The quarrel became a civil 
war, tumultuous scenes daily occurred in the churches 
and one of them had terminated in the assassination 
of Archbishop Guido by the Patarini — the heretics — 
in 1066. When Hildebrand became Pope in 1073 he 
took the matter in hand and ended it at a blow, for- 
bidding for the future the marriage of priests, but 
tolerating those already married. What chiefly 
resulted from the years of anarchy and this submission, 
however, was valuable, for Milan lost her great position 
as the centre of religion in northern Italy : it became 
evident that the Church would not tolerate the power 
of the Bishops to grow so strong and so independent as 
to threaten the common structure of Europe, which 
she had built, and this attitude of hers prepared 
the way for the new development, the rise of the 

The continual and healthy growth of the civil power 
was more and more assured by the security which 
was come again to Milan, and with it material well- 
being, and the need not only of a definitive but of a 
popular organisation. For the population, which 
increased daily, numbered already in the eleventh 
century some 300,000 souls, and certainly in the Patarini 
tumults had become self-conscious. The Emperor was 
busy in Germany and both nobles and people were ready 
to receive a civil and lay constitution, by which they 
should themselves guarantee their rights and their 
security. The Milanese Republic which now came to 
be established was governed by consules named by 
three orders of electors : the capitani, which were the 
great nobles; the valvassori, which were the lesser nobility; 
and the cittadini, which were the better class of the 
people. Thus we see a new lay government established 
upon the model of the ancient ecclesiastical system, that 



^^B society which had been the only fixed and immutable 
^^P thing in all the hurricane of change which had swept 
^B. over western Europe. 

^K Like all new societies the young republic was strenu- 
^P ously pugnacious. One of its earliest acts was to demand 
and to receive recognition from the archbishops, and in 
this it would receive the toleration if not the encourage- 
' ment of both Pope and Emperor. But it soon became 
so strong that it not only attempted and achieved 
conquest, but was ready to flout the suzerainty and the 
rights of the Emperor. Its dream was independence, 
but for independence there was no opportunity in the 
system that reached its full expression in the thirteenth 

We see the young republic, strong in its youth and 
but half understanding the necessities of its existence, 
presently exercising authority outside the walls of the 
city. We see the Milanese pillage Lodi, seize Como, at 
war with Cremona and triumphant over the Pavesani 
at Marcignago. What we really witness is the attempt 
of Milan to form a state within a state, to establish her 
independence as the head of a state outside the feudal 
system, outside the structure, that is, of Europe. This 
neither Pope nor Emperor could, for the sake of Europe, 
tolerate. It is true the conquered or threatened cities 
about Milan protested, and one of them, Lodi, certainly 
appealed to the Emperor, but it was not that appeal 
alone, or even chiefly, which caused him to act. It 
was necessity. A young and ardent man, eager for 
every distinction, Barbarossa was by no means reluctant 
to intervene. He was the Emperor, the head of the 
civil state of Europe, and if that state were not to be 
a mere idea, he must be obeyed. The heresy of Milan 
was obvious when, in the presence of his Legate, the 
consules tore up his letter. Barbarossa crossed the Alps 
with an army, and what is known as the Lombard war 


This war lasted for twenty years. Roughly, it may be 
said that those cities which were strong enough to 
hope to establish their independence sided with Milan, 
those which were menaced by her and without hope of 
such independence were against her and with the 
Emperor ; and, again, those cities which were at the 
mercy of the latter cities sided with Milan, because they 
hoped she would remember and deliver them from their 
nearer and more powerful neighbours.^ All wars are 
fought from the merest self-interest. The Lombard 
war, far from being an exception, is one of the best 
examples of this. 

In the first campaign, that of 1153, the advantage 
was with Milan. Barbarossa never dared to attack her, 
but succeeded in burning Tortona her ally. Now Tor- 
tona was her ally because Pavia, which stood up between 
her and Milan, was her enemy. 

Five years later the Emperor came again with 115,000 
men and laid siege to Milan, which had made the Naviglio, 
the moat which still encircles the older city, for a defence, 
but after a month took himself off, only insisting that 
he should have the right to confirm the consules chosen 
by the city. At the same time, he wished to impose 
upon all the Italian cities the presence of an officer to 
represent his authority. This, though a new, was a 
logical demand. Milan refused it, and the third cam- 
paign began. It lasted two years. 

In 1 161 Barbarossa destroyed and took up his winter 

* Pavia and Milan were the great and leading rivals, after 
them Cremona appears as the third strong, independent centre. 
Pavia attacked Tortona ; Milan, Lodi and Novara. Each smaller 
city sought succour of the great city which it had least reason 
to fear. Cremona attacked Crema, therefore Crema stood with 
Milan, as did Tortona. Pavia, Cremona and Lodi with Novara 
are allied against Milan. Then Brescia, fearing Cremona, joins 
Milan ; but Asti, hating and fearing Tortona, joins Pavia. It is 
to be noted, that of the more distant cities Parma and Modena 
are usually for Milan ; Piacenza and Reggio for Pavia. 



^■[uarters in Pavia. For Pavia, ever faithful to the 

^Tmperial and the aristocratic cause, stood for it in 

Northern Italy even as Milan now, and probably always, 

even in the Dark Age, stood for the Latin and the popular. 

^^J^ere, in Pavia, Barbarossa prepared himself. In 1162 

I^^P went round about Milan cutting off her supplies, 

i^lffi such good purpose that by March i deputies were 

sent him from the city to announce its surrender. On 

the i6th of the same month he ordered the Milanese 

to abandon the city. This was done within ten days, 

and on the 26th he marched at the head of his 

army into the deserted city, and there published an 

edict ordering the utter destruction of Milan, the 

execution of which he confided to the soldiers of her 

neighbours and rivals.^ It is easy to imagine with what 

joy the men of Pavia, Cremona and Lodi set about 

this task. Everything but the churches was destroyed, 

and Milan found herself as desolate as she had been six 

centuries before when Uraias the Goth had done with 


Nevertheless she persisted, she did not die. On the 
contrary, the Milanese went through Italy seeking 
enemies for Barbarossa. They found the best in Pope 
Alexander iii., who now came forward to restore the 
fabric once more, and grouped under his banner all who 
feared the Imperial barbarian. For the excesses of 
Barbarossa had alarmed not only his enemies, but his 
friends and allies. Within three years of the destruction 
of Milan we see all Lombardy united against him, and 
within ten years we see the rebuilding of Milan by this 
new League. In 1167 the delegates of the Lombard 
cities met at the monastery of Pontida and formed the 
famous and glorious Lombard League under the Pope, 

^ It was now that Barbarossa rifled the tomb of the Magi in 
S. Eustorgio and carried their bones to Cologne, where they are 
to this day. He also took the Iron Crown of Lombardy from 
Milan to Monza, where it remains. 



by whose favour, according to ViUani, the city of Milan 
was rebuilt by the following year, when it was already 
so strong that Frederick, coming again into Lombardy, 
did not dare to attack it. But this was not all. The 
League established a permanent and a federal fortress 
which was called Alessandria, after the Pope, a place 
naturally stronger than Pa via ; ^ and when in 1177 
Barbarossa made his last descent into Italy the League 
was ready for him and waiting : it defeated him at 
Legnano, and Pope Alexander at Venice received the 
submission of the Emperor in the porch of S. Mark's 
Church. The Peace of Constance in 11 83 finally 
closed the struggle. By this peace the Lombard 
cities gained the Imperial permission to establish a 
republican form of government, but the old Imperial 
rights, which had never been in dispute, were maintained. 
The treaty shows us the Church as the guardian both of 
these concessions and of the Imperial rights : for the 
Bishop in all cases of contested regaha was to name two 

The victory of the League, however, successful as it 
was, in removing the common and exterior enemy, left 
the field open for internal dispute. Indeed, from the 
very moment of the Peace of Constance the history 
of Milan changes in character. Revolution succeeds 
foreign war, and once more the question of organisatioi 
comes to the front now that that of liberty had beei 
decided. What we see during the next hundred yes 
is the ruin of the republic. This was caused, super^ 
ficially at any rate, by the rivalry of the nobles and th< 
people. Her government, so numerous and so unwieldyj 
representing little but class and even racial distinctions^ 

* The city of Alessandria was built to watch and to crush Pavij 
which was always against Milan and the Latins. The Pope, 01 
his side, gave it a bishop, deposing the Bishop of Pavia and takinj 
away from him the dignity of the Pallium and theCross. Cjl 
Villani, lib. v. cap. 2. 



vited discord, and by no possibility could have 
produced harmony. It is not surprising, then, that 
the middle classes, now growing so wealthy, used their 
votes to call a man into power who was indifferent 
to all parties and able to guarantee peace. This man 
was a foreigner, Uberto Visconti of Piacenza, and he 
was elected podest^ for a year, in 1186, and ruled, 
indeed, as a dictator. Both he and his successors 
appear to have governed with success, but their presence 
as servants of the State was only an expedient, they 
pointed the way inevitably to a permanent lordship, 
not of an individual but of a family. This result, 
certain from the first, came about when Frederick ii. 
intervened in 1226 and proposed to convoke a Diet 
at Cremona. This threat divided the Lombards 
into two camps, Guelph and Ghibelline, which did 
not lack captains. In Milan the people rallied round 
the family of Delia Torre ; the nobles called Ezzelino 
da Romano, Frederick's vicar in Northern Italy, to 
their aid. Him the Guelphs defeated at Ponte di 
Cassano in 1259 ^.nd confided the government of 
Milan to two magistrates, Martino della Torre and 
Oberto Palavicini. This seemed to establish the 
Della Torre in Milan, but they were beaten almost 
at once by the Ghibelline Archbishop, Otto Visconti, 
who placed himself at the head of their enemies and 
broke them finally at Desio, turned them out of Milan 
and proclaimed himself perpetual lord. From this 
moment, for more than a hundred and fifty years, save for 
a brief interval from 1302 to 1311 when the DeUa 
Torre returned, the Visconti ruled Milan with a rod of 

The Visconti ruled Milan as Vicars of the Emperor. ^ 

^ We ought, perhaps, to recognise the differences there were 
in the despotisms, differences of origin and legitimacy chiefly, 
for in result they were largely the same, and whether good or 
bad, never founded a really strong State. In theory (though 


Matteo Visconti, whom Henry vii. placed at thr 
head of the government after the Torriani interval 
of 1302-1311, passed his time in defending th( 
Ghibelline cause in Northern Italy against Robert oi 
Anjou. His successor, Galeazzo (1322-28), was so litt]< 
a Ghibelline, however, that Louis of Bavaria coming t( 
Italy in 1327 imprisoned him as a traitor; yet th« 
Emperor, in need of money, sold to Galeazzo's son Azzo, 
after his father's death, both the lordship and the title 
of Imperial vicar. This prince, for he was no les^ 
during his reign of eleven years, governed with succes 
and transformed Milan. He it was who founded th' 
new rampart, the Refosso, to protect the new and larger 
city. He paved the streets and restored the palace. 
Moreover, he introduced and encouraged the silk industry 
which so largely increased the wealth of Milan. He died 
in 1339 with the reputation of a virtuous and pacific 
prince. Yet under him Milan had become the mistres 
of nine subject cities, namely, Como, Vercelli, Lodi 
Piacenza, Cremona, Crema, Borgo ^8. Donnino, Bergamc 
and Brescia. He was succeeded by his uncle, Luchin( 
(1339-49), under whom Milan brought seven other town^ 
within her sway, namely, Parma, Novara, Alba, Ales 
sandria, Tortona, Asti and Pontremoh. Luchino'e 
brother Giovanni bought the archbishopric of Mih 
from the Papal Court at Avignon for 50,000 florins and i 
yearly payment of 10,000 florins, and in 1349 succeeds 

in reality feudalism was breaking up in Italy), the despotisi 
which arose in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries in Northei 
Italy and the Marches chiefly derived in each case either fronl 
Emperor or Pope. The Visconti held of the Empire, and in si| 
far were legitimate enough ; but few of the other lordships dj 
Lombard y had so good a title as they : the Marquis of Ferrari 
had, however, a sort of hereditary right drawn from long signorial 
possession. The Scala held Verona of the Empire, but whaj 
are we to say of the Carraresi of Padua, the Gonzaghi of Mantuaj 
the Rossi and Correggi of Parma, the Scotti of Piacenza ? Abov| 
all, what are we to say later of Francesco Sforza and his kind 



^pim in the lordship. He bought Bologna from the Papal 

! l^egate for 200,000 florins, made war on Florence and 

1 1 extended his dominion as far as Genoa. Having 

Genoa in his grip, he had now to face Venice ; he equipped 

!^^ fleet and attacked the Venetians. Then suddenly 
^Hthout warning death took him. His great lordship 
. passed to his three nephews : to Matteo was given 
I, Piacenza, Parma, Bologna, Lodi and Bobbio; to 
e Bernabo, Cremona, Crema, Brescia and Bergamo ; 
s to Galeazzo, Como, Novara, Vercelli, Asti, Tortona 
j and Alessandria. The death of the great archbishop 
e seemed to offer an opportunity to these subject cities 
I to throw off the Milanese yoke, and it took Bernabo 
1, and Galeazzo — Matteo soon died, not without sus- 
y picion of foul play — some four years to break the 
i revolt. Galeazzo died in 1378, and his son Gian 
c Galeazzo succeeded him. Impatient to reign alone, he 
5! presently flung Bernabo and his children into prison, 
where they ended their days. Gian Galeazzo was 
physically a coward and rather a great statesman than 
a general or leader. From the security of Pavia, how- 
ever, he beat down every other lordship in Lombardy ; 
with the assistance of the best condottieri of his time, 
Giacomo dal Verone, for instance, Facino Cane and 
Alberigo da Barbiano, he broke the Scaligers at Verona 
and Vicenza, took Padua from the Carrara, brought the 
Gonzaga of Mantua, the Este of Ferrara and the Marquis 
of Montferrat to heel, and seemed to be on the way to 
establish a great and even a permanent State which 
would at last direct and perhaps absorb all Italy. In 
1395 the Emperor gave him a solemn confirmation of 
his authority in Lombardy and the title of Duke of 
Milan, admitting him among the great feudatories of 
the Empire. He himself had married the daughter 
of the King of France, and his sister had been the 
bride of the son of Edward of England. In the 
midst of his success death took him in 1402. He 


was but fifty years old. It is to him Milan owes her 

Nothing is more characteristic of all the despotisms 
of Italy than the fate of the Visconti house. At its 
highest fortune in 1402, when it seemed to be about 
to absorb the richest and the largest part of Italy, it 
suddenly came to nothing. Gian Galeazzo's elder son, 
Giovanni Maria, succeeded him in Milan ; his younger 
son, Filippo Maria, reigned in Pavia. Giovanni in a 
reign of ten years lost Bologna, Perugia and Assisi to 
the Pope, and Verona, Vicenza and Padua to Venice ; 
while Cremona, Lodi and Piacenza and Siena re- 
covered their independence. When the Milanese nobles 
murdered him he was in possession only of his capital. 
His brother entered Milan and with the assistance of 
Carmagnola, the best condoUiere of his day, he managed 
to regain much that had been lost ; but he could 
not hold Carmagnola, whom he treated with extra- 
ordinary ingratitude as it appears. This soldier 
placed his sword at the service of Venice, and in 
that cause — Venice was then establishing herself on 
terra firma — he took Brescia from Visconti and, later, 
routed his army. When Filippo Maria died, in the 
midst of the war in 1447, the race of the Visconti was 

The death of the last Visconti left Milan without a 
master. It seemed for a moment as though she would 
be able to decide what form of government she would 
submit to. As a fact, however, this choice was never 
hers. The Republican form to which she leaned, seeing 
the success of Venice, was, save in Venice, extinct through- 
out Italy. Even in Venice, which called herself a Re- 
public, what had really been established was that most 
ruthless and most enduring aristocratic oligarchy which 
we established in England in the seventeenth century, 
and which has endured till our own day. Such a govern- 
ment cannot be built up in a few montlis, or even in a 


gle generation, nor at all unless a long period of 

fety from foreign interference has been secured. 

ilan had but a few months at most in which to estab- 

ish a new government, and she was in the midst of a 

ar with the most powerful State in Italy, Venice. 

us it was that the Ambrosian Republic was fore- 

omed to fail. 

Almost every commune in Italy had been captured 
y the Signori ; everywhere adventurers, often of the 
eanest birth, marched about Italy at the head of bodies 
i mercenary troops looking for thrones. Among the 
asest, but also among the strongest of these adventurers, 
was Francesco Sforza, who had carved for himself out 

Ii the confusion of the Marches a sort of lordship. This 
oldier, the son as was long believed of a peasant, but 
s recent research seems to prove of one of the better 
Drt of citizens of the little town of Cotignola, had in 
he service of various masters proved himself a fine 
oldier, and perhaps a better statesman. At any rate 
he had, after years of service and blackmail, persuaded 
Filippo Maria Visconti to give him his illegitimate 
daughter in marriage. This and this alone was Sforza's 
claim in theory to the throne of Milan. That he was able 
to make it good throws a lurid light upon the condition 
of Italy. Sforza was among the ablest soldiers of his 
day, and Milan needed a soldier : he offered himself 
and his troops to the Republic for service ; they 
were accepted. In reality that decided the fate of 
the Republic, and the result was secured by the 
nervousness of Florence and Venice, both of which 
wished to see for their own sakes a stable government 
in Milan : neither believed in the endurance of the 

At first Sforza wished to prove to Milan how useful 
he could be. He therefore besieged Piacenza and gave 
battle to the Venetian army at Mozzanica. Victorious, 
he turned his troops against Milan in 1448, investing 


the city, which surrendered at discretion and in fear of 
famine. The adventurer made a triumphal entry, and 
was saluted in the name of Prince and Duke. 

The new dynasty, which was absolutely illegitimate 
in every sense of the word, endured for eighty-five years, 
and produced but one man of first-class ability, its 
founder, Francesco Sforza. Venice and Florence had 
been right. Sforza gave Milan sixteen years of peace, 
and after 1454, when he concluded a definite treaty with 
the former, he seems to have occupied himself solely 
with the enjoyment and the enrichment of his lordship. 
He it was who founded and built the Ospedale Maggiore, 
rebuilt the Castello originally built in 1368 by Galeazzo 
Visconti and destroyed by the Ambrosian Republic, 
and the Palazzo di Corte, where the Palazzo Reale, 
built in 1772, now stands. His successor, Galeazzo 
(1466-76), a cruel and lustful tyrant, was assassinated 
by three young Milanese nobles, Olgiati, Visconti and 
Lampagnani. It is his death that brings us face to face 
with reality. 

Why had Venice and Florence been so anxious to 
see Milan in the hands of a strong man rather than at 
the mercy of a Republic ? That question was now to 
be answered. For Galeazzo Sforza's widow. Bona di 
Savoia, now ruled Milan in the name of her son, Giovanni 
Galeazzo. His uncle, Ludovico il Moro, succeeded in 
imprisoning them, and to give himself some support, 
married Beatrice d' Este of Ferrara, and gave his niece 
to the Emperor Maximilian in marriage, together with 
400,000 ducats, to secure Imperial confirmation of his 
lordship. Thinking to make himself still more secure, 
he had married his nephew to a Neapolitan princess. 
It was from this quarter that his troubles first came. 
The King of Naples demanded that now his regency 
should end, since his nephew was of age. Ludovico, 
perhaps at the suggestion of Beatrice, looking for a 
way out and uncertain of the attitude of every one, and 


specially of Venice, did the one fatal thing. He invited 
Charles viii. of France into Italy to reclaim the kingdom 
)f Naples. What Florence and Venice had foreseen, 
id hoped to avoid in urging Francesco Sforza on Milan, 
iad happened. The foreigner had come in : a national 
ly that knew how to fight, not in the manner of the 
later condottieri, but in the manner of men, crossed 
the Alps, and once more Lombardy and Italy were to be 
the battlefield of the principal nations of Europe. Let 
us hesitate a moment on the brink of this appalling 
disaster to consider the strange and wonderful brilliancy 
of Ludovico's court before his fall. His subtle rule in 
Milan, which so amazingly overreached itself, marks 
the most brilliant moment in all the history of the city. 
The French were not the only " foreigners " that 
Ludovico brought into Lombardy. It was now that 
Bramante and Leonardo da Vinci came to his splendid 
court, illuminated for a moment the whole plain by their 
art, so strange in that unimaginative country. Nor 
were they alone ; with them we find Greeks and phil- 
osophers and historians, as Merula, Alciato and Corio. 
And as dying things will, Milan seems just then to have 
decked herself as never before, and for her funeral. 
It was now that S. Maria delle Grazie was built and 
painted, the cloister of the Ospedale Maggiore arose, 
the Monastery of S. Ambrogio and the church of 
S. Celso. Then suddenly, in 1494, the army of the 
King of France crossed the Alps, and from that hour 
till the year 1859 Lombardy ceased to be a province 
of Italy. 

Let us consider these years as briefly as may be. 
From 1494 to 1535 Lombardy was at the mercy of 
France and Spain, governed in turn by Gaston de Foix, 
by Gonsalvo da Cordoba, by Lautrec, by Lannoy, by 
the Constable Bourbon, by Antonio de Leyva, by 
Freundesberg, and by the Cardinal Sion. In 1494 the 
capital of a great State, in 1535 Milan was ruined 


in finance, diminished in population, and ruled by a 
foreigner as the capital of a mere province. "What 
had befallen her in brief was this: Ludovico il Moro, 
who had called Charles viii. of France into Italy 
against Naples, soon perceived his mistake, and already 
in 1495 had betrayed his ally. Had the Italian 
League known how to use an army, or had it even 
known what an army was, Charles viii. might easily 
have been crushed at Fornovo as he crossed the 
Apennines. As it was — for no such thing as a national 
army had existed for nearly a thousand years in Italy, 
nor for a long time had the Italians known how 
to fight — as it was, he escaped. In the campaign 
the French learned the invincible character of national 
troops when opposed to the mercenary soldiery em- 
ployed by the Italian City States. Charles marched 
homeward, but Louis xii. returned, and Louis xii. 
remembered the will of the last Visconti, and put 
forward a claim with some show of legitimacy to Milan. 
What had Ludovico to say to that ? He could say 
nothing, and what was far more to the purpose he could 
do nothing ; his soldiery, for they were not troops, 
were as com before the sharp sickle of the King of 
France, and by the year 1500 Ludovico had lost lordship, 
liberty, all. Milan was occupied by the French till 151 1, 
when the Switzers in the service of Julius 11. wrested it 
from them for a moment. In 1512, under Gaston de 
Foix, they returned, and, checked, they returned again 
in the following year. Then, after the battle of Novara, 
they abandoned it. For a new claimant was in the field, 
no less an one than the Emperor. From 15 15 to 1525 
Milan and Lombardy became the battlefield of Charles v. 
and Francis i. Francis occupied Milan after the 
battle of Marignano in 1515, but was turned out by 
Charles in the same year, and in spite of a vain attempt 
of Francis to retake it, when he was defeated and 
captured at Pa via in 1525, the city remained thence- 


Ifforward in the possession of Charles, who in 1530 was 
crowned, by Pope Clement vii., Duke of Milan, King 
of Lombardy and Emperor of the Romans at Bologna. 
He appointed as his Governor in Lombardy Antonio de 

The Spanish dominance thus established lasted for 
nearly two centuries, till 1713. It had for results the 
disappearance of all liberty, whether individual or politi- 
cal, and the appearance of every sort of corruption and 
public and private immorality. Bands of bravi, of 
highwaymen, used the roads, and even the streets, to hold 
up anyone worth robbing, or against whom they had a 
private hatred. In all these long years Milan and Lom- 
bardy are sterile of great men, of ideas, or any achieve- 
ment, and to this barrenness there are only the exceptions 
of the two archbishops, S. Carlo Borromeo and his 
nephew Federigo. The first, Cardinal at the age of 
twenty-three and Archbishop of Milan at twenty-seven, 
devoted his whole life to the task of reform, both ecclesi- 
astical and civil, and in the plague of 1576 showed an 
heroic personal devotion to his people. He has been 
reproached with a bitterness towards heresy ; but 
apart from the fact that his duty demanded severity 
and a ceaseless watchfulness, while it must not be for- 
gotten that his own life was attempted, his rule appears 
to have shown an example of justice and moderation 
beyond anything that his enemies deserved or even 
themselves practised. His nephew, Federigo (1564- 
1631), was his worthy successor. More diplomatic than 
the Saint, he established with the civil power the Con- 
cordat of 1615, and fifteen years later showed the same 
devotion in the plague as his uncle had done in 1576. 

In the time of the Borromei, and largely owing to 
their efforts, and even to their money, Milan was trans- 
formed in appearance. In 1555 she had been surrounded 
by a new fortification, and later the Palace of Justice 
had been built and the Canal di Pavia constructed. 


New palaces, and new churches too, now sprang up, and 
to Federigo we owe the foundation of what is known 
as the Ambrosian Library. These splendours, such as 
they were, were the last efforts of the national aristo- 
cracy. A new and more efficient foreigner was about 
to administer Lombardy ; for the War of Succession, 
ending in the Peace of Utrecht, had for result the 
substitution throughout the great plain of Austria for 

In 1713, Prince Eugene of Savoy, the comrade of 
Marlborough, became the first Governor of the province 
for the Emperor Charles vi. During the wars Milan, and 
indeed all Lombardy, were continually at the mercy of 
the various armies which disputed the possession of 
Italy, and from 1733-36 the city was occupied by the 
King of Sardinia, Charles Emmanuel iii. The Treaty 
of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748, however, brought her a 
lasting peace, which endured till the revolutionary 
wars of Napoleon. This period of fifty years was 
perhaps the most happy and the most fruitful that 
the city had known. Under a wise administration 
her wealth vastly increased. There was no city in 
Europe where life was more delightful and less sordid. 
Then suddenly, and almost without warning, on May 13, 
1796, Napoleon entered Milan. The irruption of 
Napoleon into Italy brought Milan at first much evil. 
She had to endure four invasions, and during more than 
a year, 1796-97, to provision the French army and to pay 
enormous fines in kind ; but, on the other hand, she 
presently became the capital of the greatest State ever 
founded upon Italian soil since the fall of the Empire, 
a State which included Lombardy, Emilia and Romagna, 
and which Napoleon named the Cisalpine Republic. 
This new state of affairs, so wonderfully established, was 
scarcely interrupted by the Austro- Russian invasion of 
May 1799, when for more than a year Milan was occupied 
by the army of Suvorov and endured very considerable 


^^fciardships. In 1800 she greeted with joy the return of 
Napoleon, who at Lyons in 1802 confirmed the organisa- 
tion and estabhshment of the Cisalpine — now the Italian 
— Republic in its former limits under his own presidency, 
appointing as Vice-President a Milanese noble, Melzi. 
Milan once more, as in Visconti's time, began to dream of 
bringing all Italy within her rule and influence, and 
when Napoleon transformed the Italian Republic into 
the kingdom of Italy, and received the Iron Crown in 
her Duomo on May 26, 1805, and established his son-in- 
law, Eugene de Beauharnais, as Viceroy, this very thing 
seemed within her grasp. For in 1806 Venetia was 
added unto her, in 1808 the Marches, in 1810 Tyrol, and 
her subjects numbered more than six million souls, a 
population about two -thirds that of the United Kingdom 
at that time. 

Under the earlier Austrian domination Milan had 
been embellished by many a fine building ; it was 
then that Piermarini had built the Scala Theatre, 
the Piazza Fontana and the Palazzo Belgiojoso. 
Under Napoleon her Castello was rebuilt and sur- 
rounded by the great promenade Foro Buonaparte, 
the fagade of the Duomo was finished, the Palazzo 
Reale built, the amphitheatre of the Arena con- 
structed, and the Arc de Triomphe du Simplon built 
in honour of the man who had said " There shall be no 
Alps," and had built " his perfect roads climbing by 
graded galleries the steepest precipices of the moun- 
tains, until Italy was as open to Paris as any town in 

The fall of Napoleon was the end of all this splendour 
and happiness. Austria once more marched in, and the 
Congress of Vienna restored to her Lombardy and 
Venetia, Milan becoming the capital not of a kingdom 
but of a province. This new rule of Austria endured 
for thirty- four years. That it was a bad rule, an 
absolutist regime, destroying all initiative and per- 


secuting all independent thought, cannot be denied. 
Nevertheless, though it is easy to make out a formidable 
indictment against Austria for her treatment of her 
Italian subjects, more especially after the revolution of 
1848,— and all the modern historians do not scruple to 
pile up the horrors with gusto, — it cannot be denied 
that Austria had rights in Lombardy, rights which had 
been exercised for very many years. 

The revolution of 1848 in Vienna gave the Lombards, 
and more especially the Piedmontese, the chance they 
had long hoped for. After five days of fighting in 
March, Radetzky was forced to withdraw. A pro- 
visional government in Milan called in the Savoyards, 
and Milan was occupied by the troops of Piedmont : 
by 561,000 to 68 the Lombards voted for a fusion with 
that State. On August 5, however, after Charles 
Albert had been beaten at Custozza, the Austrians 
reoccupied the city. The means they then took to 
hold their Empire together must be ascribed to a 
general and perhaps ineradicable incapacity for the 
government of subject peoples which we find through 
all the ages characteristically German, and which has 
successfully prevented for more than a thousand 
years the permanent establishment of a German 
Empire outside the Teutonic provinces. For you 
can only govern men, as Rome governed them, 
and as we have tried to do, with their consent 
and by making it worth their while to admit your 
government. When Austria entered Milan in August 
1848, it was for eleven years only, and every one of 
those years was a year of siege. The country was 
taxed to within an inch of its life, and all suspected 
of nationalism ruthlessly suppressed. In 1855, when, 
under the Archduke Maximilian, a better and milder 
system was established, it was already too late ; no one 
could be found to rally to the support of the established 
order, for all eyes were irrevocably fixed on Piedmont. 


At last, on June 8, 1859, after the battle of Magenta, 
the Germans were once more flung back across the 
Alps, let us hope for ever, and Victor Emmanuel and 
Napoleon iii. solemnly entered Milan. A month later, 
at Villafranca, Milan was ceded to the Piedmontese. 



I SUPPOSE that in all Italy there is no other city 
so essentially un-Italian as Milan : which yet 
at every turn continually reminds you of her Latin 
origin. The true explanation of this paradox might 
seem to be that Milan is the only town in Italy which, 
in the modem sense, is a great city at all : she alone is 
as thoroughly alive, as full of business, as miserable 
and as restless as the great cities of the North ; she 
alone is wholly without a sense of ancient order and 
peace ; she alone is inexhaustible, a monstrous confusion 
of old and new, of wretchedness and prosperity, of 
vulgar wealth and extreme poverty ; she alone, in her 
hurried success, her astonishing movement, her bewilder- 
ment and her melancholy, has given herself without an 
afterthought to the modem world. 

With this modern city, then, whose sound is the 
sound of iron upon iron, whose skies are a battlefield, 
and whose name everywhere in Italy is a synonym for 
" progress," this book, and rightly, will have nothing 
to do. There is as little to be said of any abiding 
moment for the traveller concerning it, as there would 
be, for one who was bent on exploring England, 
conceming Manchester : as little and as much. For 
both are experiments in a new sort of life, which the 

best philosophers happily assure us is but a transition 


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another and certainly a better ; they are the creations 
>f what we know as Industriahsm, and neither the one 
lor the other has yet a hundred years behind it. 
Milan, however, — and therefore it figures in this book, 
-unlike Manchester, holds half forgotten within its 
lodern confusion many abiding and a few beautiful 
lings that have already endured for more than a 
lousand years. These are our friends : they are in 
a very real sense a part of us, a part of our spiritual 
inheritance, and if our civilisation is to endure, whatever 
changes it may suffer, it seems to me these can never 
utterly pass away. 

In reading the history of the Empire what often 
strikes us is the age and the importance of two Italian 
cities, Rome and Milan, which to-day, as fifteen hundred 
years ago, seem, on our smaller stage, stiU to face each 
other ; for the one is the political, the other the com- 
mercial, capital of the new Italian kingdom. Yet, of 
course, Milan owed everything to Rome in her genesis, 
and when she first appears in the page of our history 
it is as a Roman city we recognise her, Mediolanum, 
destined for greatness. 

Her greatness, for she was perhaps the very greatest 
of all the great cities of the plain in the time of the 
Roman Empire, her vast importance at the foot of 
more than one great pass over the Alps, and the un- 
appeasable and Latin energy of her always great popula- 
tion have aU indirectly contributed to deprive her of 
everything but a fragment which would have assured 
us of her glory and her splendour in Roman days. 
First Uraias the Goth in 539, and then, and more 
utterly, Frederick Barbarossa in 1162, sacked and 
destroyed her ; so that of the capital of Maximian 
Hercules, of Constantine, of S. Ambrose, of Valentinian 
and of Honorius almost nothing remains but those 
sixteen columns of white marble in the midst of the 
Corso di Porta Ticinese, which come to us, perhaps, 


from the third century, and are all that is left of the 
great Baths of Mediolanum, or, as some have it, but 
with less assurance, of the Palace of the Emperor. 

I suppose no one can pass those giant columns to-day, 
in all the hurry of the street, without emotion; they 
stand there in the midst of the modem meanness more 
eloquent than any pyramid, or the gaunt and deserted 
towns of the plateau of Africa. Those have remem- 
bered and borne witness only in a solitude, but these 
in the midst of life and the face of the conqueror. Nor 
can anything anywhere in Italy bring home to one with 
a more painful conviction the contrast between the 
majesty and the endurance that were of old and the 
trumpery and ephemeral contrivances of to-day than 
those pillars constantly do as one passes them, well, 
in a tramcar on our way, let us say, to the famous 
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele. 

And yet I must confess that the one certain and 
enduring impression I always receive in MUan does not 
come to me from these beautiful and lonely columns, 
but from a church, the Church of S. Ambrogio, which 
for all that it is a building of the ninth century and of the 
twelfth, carries me back at once to what often seems 
to me the most wonderful, as it is certainly the most 
fundamental, of those centuries upon which Christendom 
has stood so strong ; I mean the last century before the 
Barbarian invasion, the fourth of our era. 

That wonderful and so fruitful age, so strangely 
neglected and so wilfully misjudged by our historians, 
is here in Milan, and especially in S. Ambrogio, brought 
vividly before us by the memory of the great Saint 
who dominated it, and whose shrine, rightly understood, 
the beautiful Church of S. Ambrogio, remains to this 

I suppose that to most men S. Ambrose appears, if 
at all, first as one of the Four Doctors of the Latin 
Church, and then as a divine poet, the author for instance 


I of the lovely Christmas hymn, Jesu Redemptor Omnium, 
which coming to us faintly in the early twilight on 
Christmas Eve, presently in the midnight hour fills all 
the sky and mingles itself with the song of the angels. 
One remembers him, too, as the author of the ritual 
which bears his name, and of a certain manner of 
ii chanting named after him, and more especially perhaps 
as the Bishop who received S. Augustine into the Church, 
who baptized him and, as it is said, composed with 
him in antiphon the most wonderful of those proses 
which are wholly Christian in their origin, the Te Deum. 
But S. Ambrose was something beside a poet, he was 
a very great man of action and a Saint. On his lips 
we hear not only the loveliest lines of Christian poetry, 
then at last come to perfection, but the most significant 
words of an age at least as subtle as our own. Rightly 
understood, the whole of S. Ambrose's life was devoted 
to the establishment of Europe, of Christendom, that it 
might endure. He was not only sure of himself, he 
was sure of what he achieved. As the great enemy of 
Arianism, he was not merely combating what our 
indifferent age would consider a matter of mere opinion 
in an incomprehensible theology, he was laying with 
the utmost forethought and intention the indestruc- 
tible foundations of European society and civilisation, 
that the flood which was about to sweep all else away 
might not overwhelm them. Out of the ruins of the 
Empire we have constructed Europe, because he and 
the Church he served secured those foundations which 
are the vast monoliths of the Nicene Creed. 

Of the Milan of the fourth century, of the latter part 
of the fourth century, then the capital of the West and 
in many respects the most important city in the Empire, 
S. Ambrose may be said to have been Father ; yet he 
was not born there, but in Gaul, where his father, whose 
name also was Ambrose, was Prefect of the Praetorium, 
an office which gave him jurisdiction, not only in 


France, but also in parts of Italy and Germany and 
throughout Roman Britain, in Spain and parts of 
Africa. This great officer had three children, all of 
whom became Saints : Marcellina, the eldest, a nun ; 
Satyrus, who spent his life in his brother's service ; and 
Ambrose, the Archbishop. 

Ambrose was bom in 340, and entered life in that 
great last century of the full and unhampered govern- 
ment of Rome. A story is told of his childhood, that 
as he lay asleep in one of the courts of his father's 
palace, a swarm of bees flew about his cradle, and some 
of them crept in and out of his mouth, and then mounted 
suddenly up into the air so high that they vanished 
out of sight. From this was argued a future greatness. 
His father died when he was still a child, and his mother 
returned to Rome with her children, for it was her 
native city. There Ambrose received his education, 
and presently proceeded with his brother to Milan, then 
the seat of the Praetorium and the centre of administra- 
tion in the West : there they pleaded in the courts, and 
Ambrose rose to high office in the State, becoming at 
length Governor of Liguria and Mmilia., a vast juris- 
diction. Now Auxentius, an Arian, had usurped the 
see of Milan for near twenty years, when suddenly, in 
374, he died. A vast tumult reigned in the city about 
the new election, for the people as well as the clergy 
were distracted by furious parties, some demanding an 
Arian, some a CathoHc, for their Bishop. To prevent 
riot, Ambrose thought it to be his duty to go into the 
church where the matter was to be decided and to 
make an oration counselling peace. While he was 
speaking a child suddenly cried out, " Ambrose is 
Bishop ! " This the whole assembly took up, and both 
parties together proclaimed him Bishop indeed. Where- 
upon he stole away and made his escape and hid 
himself, and when the Vicar of Italy caused him to be 
found, he yet protested that he was not even baptized, 


I and declared that the canons forbade one who was 
but a catechumen to be promoted to the priesthood. 
Yet this did not avail him, for he was answered and 
truly that the canons gave way before an election by 
Grace. He vv^as therefore baptized, and after due 
preparation consecrated Bishop on December 7, 374, 
the day on which the Church still keeps his feast. He 
was then about thirty- four years old. 

Ambrose no sooner became Bishop than he committed 
the care of all his temporalities to his brother Satyrus 
and gave himself up to God and the care of his province. 
He had scarce been Bishop five years, however, when he 
lost Satyrus, who, attempting to go to Africa on his 
brother's business, was shipwrecked, and not being 
baptized, desired some on board to give him the Blessed 
Sacrament to carry with him as he swam for his life ; 
for it was then the custom for the faithful to carry It 
with them on long voyages, that they might not be 
deprived of It at last. No one, however, who was un- 
baptized was allowed to see the Holy Species, therefore 
Satyrus begged It wrapped in a napkin. With this 
about him, he flung himself into the sea, and came first 
to land. There he sought baptism, but would not 
receive it then at the hands of an Arian — and the 
Bishop's name was Lucifer — but coming into a Catholic 
province, thankfully received it, and, as Ambrose 
affirms, never forfeited the grace of that sacrament, 
for he died soon after his return to Milan in the 
arms of Ambrose and Marcellina. He was presently 
canonised, and the Church keeps his feast on 17th 

It is impossible to give any real impression of what 
the rule of Ambrose was in Milan, or even, in such a 
book as this, of the Milan of that day. The most gentle 
of men, full of charity, learned and wise, he was yet a 
gi'eat statesman and a saint : his government passes 
before our eyes to the constant clash of arms, amid 


innumerable tumults, as when barricaded in the Portian 
Basilica, surrounded by thousands of the people of 
Milan, he is compelled to face and to resist the demands 
of Justina the Empress, who with her young son 
Valentinian were Arians, and therefore the enemies 
not of Ambrose only but of the Commonwealth. They 
demanded a church in that Milan which Ambrose had 
purged of heresy. He was adamant. "My gold and 
my silver, nay my life, ask and they are yours ; but the 
churches of God are not mine to give." Such was his 
invariable answer. 

Later, when this quarrel is ended, and by a miracle, 
we see him facing as resolutely his friend the great 
Theodosius when, unpurged of his blood -guiltiness in 
the affair of Thessalonica, when seven thousand men, 
women and children were butchered by his orders — 
orders he repented too late — he would gain admission 
to the church. Ambrose shuts the doors in his face, 
refuses him admittance into any church in Milan, and 
finally receives the penitent Emperor and absolves him. 

It was about the time when the struggle with Justina 
and the Imperial house was at its height that S. Am- 
brose built and consecrated the Basilica of S. Ambrogio, 
a church upon whose foundations that of S. Ambrose 
stands to-day, one of the most beautiful and precious 
treasures of this inexhaustible city. 

S. Augustine, who was in Milan at the time, bears 
witness that the people, in accordance with custom, urged 
Ambrose to bury reUcs of the martyrs under the new 
altar ; and in consequence he, directed according to 
Augustine by a dream, caused the ground to be opened 
in the church of S. Nabor. Thence he drew out two 
skeletons of great size, the head of each separated from 
the body. That these were the bodies of martyrs it 
seemed impossible to doubt, and presently their names 
were remembered — S. Gervasius and S. Protasius. 
If any doubts remained, they were set at rest when, on 


une 18, these bodies were borne to the new church, 
and on the way a blind man who touched the bier, 

L^ one Severus, a butcher, known to all, received his sight. 

■^So great indeed was the impression made by this miracle 

^Bthat from that day we read the Empress Justina left 

^■Ambrose alone. 

^^ Then vS. Ambrose founded his new church and 
dedicated it to SS. Gervasius and Protasius. It was, 
of course, a building of the fourth century. Nothing 
would seem to remain of this building which Uraias the 
Goth probably destroyed. The present church, under 
the dedication of S. Ambrose, who lies there between 
S. Gervasius and S. Protasius under the high altar, 
dates in part from the ninth century, when it was re- 
founded by another Archbishop of Milan, Aspertus : 
much of the building, however, would seem to belong 
to the twelfth century. Nevertheless, we have in S. 
Ambrogio not only the oldest ecclesiastical building in 
Milan, but a church which, in spite of rebuilding and 
the restorations of Cardinal Federigo Borromeo and of 
our own time, recalls us in its plan certainly to very 
early times, and remains one of the most beautiful and 
interesting buildings in Italy. 

Before the western fa9ade of the church is set a vast 
atrium, very like a cloister with roofed walks on the four 
sides, the roofs upheld by pillars on the inside, and walled 
about. Here the catechumens were gathered for in- 
struction and for reception into the Church, more 
especially on the vigils of Easter and of Pentecost.^ 
Who knows whether S. Austin did not linger here and 
pray, before S. Ambrose baptized him in the font of 
this church ? All about the atrium are set Christian 
inscriptions and fragments perhaps of the old fourth- 
century building. 

The church seen from this roofed atrium is beautiful 

^ For a full account of this see my Venice and Venetia (Methuen, 
191 1), pp. 52 et seq. 


and very remarkable with its double porticoes one above 
the other. If the interior is at first disappointing, it 
is the fault of restoration. What we see, in fact, is a 
church, in its nave of the twelfth, in its sanctuary 
and tribunes of the ninth century ; a rather dark, but 
not a gloomy building, that grows lovelier while one 
looks at it. It is a simple basilica upheld by vast round 
arches of brick carried by great pillars, between which 
galleries are set borne by other round arches of brick- 
work. The church thus consists of three aisles ending 
in tribunes. The nave is thrice crossed by gieat arches 
which divide the roof as it were into three blind domes. 
Beyond these the sanctuary is covered by an exquisite 
open lantern, so that a flood of light falls upon the 
beautiful baldacchino and high altar and is thrown 
upon the mosaics in the half gloom of the tribune. 
Here, high above a crypt, the choir is set in the semicircle 
of the apse. 

As one enters the church from the atrium, the doors 
are to be noted. Three small panels of wood at their 
top, enclosed in ironwork, are probably the oldest things 
in the church. They come from the old Church of S. 
Vittore, now destroyed, and are said to be a part of those 
S. Ambrose closed in the face of Theodosius. 

Something nearly as old, however, remains to us in 
the Cappella di S. Satiro (the brother of S. Ambrose), 
which is reached from the right aisle. There in the dome 
is a mosaic, restored it is true, but dating from the fifth 
century ; while beneath stands an altar with a fine and 
very early relief in marble and a piece of mosaic which 
came from the old fourth -century church that S. Ambrose 
built here. 

The only notable thing left to us in the nave of the 
church where the Lombard kings and the emperors 
were crowned is the pulpit, which in part consists of an 
early Christian sarcophagus finely carved. The bronze 
eagle for holding the book of the Gospels is a Byzantine 


I^ork of the tenth century, the other figures of the 
Beyond the sanctuary and the lovely baldacchino in 
he dim light of the tribune the great mosaic shines. 
Jnder it, in the choir, we have the only relic, save his 
K)dy, of S. Ambrose in the church, his archiepiscopal 
hrone. On that very throne the great archbishop sat 
urrounded by his eighteen suffragans. 
Above shines the mosaic in its dim gold : Christ 
enthroned in the midst between the two archangels 
Michael and Gabriel, and on either side His throne 
S. Gervasius and S. Protasius, and beneath it half- 
figures of S. Marcellina, S. Satiro, the sister and brother 
of S. Ambrose, and S. Candida. On either side appear 
S. Ambrogio of Milan and the Cathedral of Tours ; 
in the one S. Ambrose is saying Mass, in the other he 
appears as he did in a vision at the funeral of S. Martin. 
This part of the church would seem certainly to be of 
the ninth century, and it is interesting, and perhaps 
instructive, to note the mixed Greek and Latin of the 
inscriptions in the mosaic. 

The lovely marble screen of the choir might seem, 
too, very early work, while the exquisite baldacchino 
upheld by four Roman pillars of red porphyry, which, 
together with others here, are said to have come from 
the old Temple of Jupiter that stood once where Corso 
di Magenta now goes, is probably of the twelfth century. 
This baldacchino, perhaps the loveliest thing in the 
church, is exquisitely carved in the Byzantine manner, 
and adorned with bas-reliefs of Our Lord enthroned, 
who gives an open book to S. Paul and the keys to 
S. Peter, of S. Ambrogio, of the Blessed Virgin, of 
S. Gervasio and S. Protasio, with figures of other saints. 
I said that the baldacchino was perhaps the loveliest 
thing in the church. I had forgotten — ^had T forgotten ? 
— the palliotto of gold and of silver which encloses the 
altar and is itself enclosed in a case or safe of steel, 


locked by twelve keys, two for each door, and so precious 
that it costs no less than five lire even to see it. It 
WcLS made more than a thousand years ago by the gold- 
smith Vuolvinio, and given to the church by the 
Archbishop Angilbertus ii. The front of this marvellous 
casket is of solid gold ; it covers the whole front of the 
altar, and is held by a frame or moulding of pure silver : 
it is covered with enamels and set with precious jewels 
uncut. In the midst in a mandorla is Our Lord, and 
above, below and on either side, as in a cross, are set 
the beasts of the Four Evangelists ; on either side of 
the cross thus formed are four compartments in each 
of which are three apostles. Thus the great central 
panel is formed. On either side of it is another panel 
almost equal to it in size, in which are set scenes, twelve 
in all, of the I'.fe of Our Lord, beginning with the An- 
nunciation and ending with the Ascension. At the 
back the palliotto is of pure silver, as it is at the sides, 
and the scenes there set out are for the most part con- 
cerned with the life of S. Ambrose. Here, too, are some 
small enamels of the heads of eight saints, perhaps 
earlier than the paUiotto itself, which is here signed 
WOLVINV. MAGIST. PHASER. Nothing, I suppose, left 
to us in the world of the work of the goldsmith is half so 
precious as this astounding and lovely casket. 

Beneath the high altar, so marvellously cased and 
adorned, lie in a modern shrine of silver in the crypt the 
bones of the great archbishop and saint between those 
of S. Gervasius and S. Protasius. 

It is interesting as commenting upon these relics to 
read a letter written by a friend to Cardinal Newman 
in September 1872 : "I was accidentally allowed to 
be present," writes this correspondent, " at a private 
exposition of the relics of S. Ambrose and the SS. 
Gervasius and Protasius. I have seen complete every 
bone in S. Ambrose' body. There were present a great 
many clergy, three medici, and Father Secchi, who was 


Ilere, on account of his great knowledge of the Catacombs, 
o testify to the age, etc., of the remains. ... On a 
iarge table surrounded by ecclesiastics and medical 

t;n were three skeletons. The two were of immense 
e and very much alike, and bore the marks of a 
)lent death ; their age was determined to be about 
enty-six years. When I entered the room Father 
Secchi was examining the marks of martyrdom on 
them. Their throats had been cut with great violence, 
and the neck vertebrae were injured on the inside. 
I The pomum Adami had been broken, or was not there ; 
I forget which. This bone was quite perfect in S. 
Ambrose ; his body was wholly uninjured ; the lower 
jaw (which was broken in one of the two martyrs) was 
wholly uninjured in him, beautifully formed, and every 
tooth, but one molar in the lower jaw,^ quite perfect 
and white and regular. His face had been long, 
thin, oval, with a high arched forehead. His bones 
,1 were nearly white ; those of the other two were very 
dark. His fingers long and very delicate ; his bones 
were a marked contrast to those of the two martyrs." 


The oldest church in Milan, though without the 
famous memories of S. Ambrogio, the church of 
S. Lorenzo, which stands close to those astonishing 
Roman columns in the Corso di Porta Ticinese, is certainly 
one of the most beautiful monuments in Italy, a building 
of the sixth century, reconstructed on the ancient model 

^ This one tooth was extracted as a relic by Archbishop Angil- 
bert of Milan in 826. He wore it in his episcopal ring. One 
day he lost it ; but found it, as an old woman prophesied, in the 
mouth of the dead archbishop. He then buried it, and erected 
the magnificent golden palliotto we see to-day, at a cost of 
38,000 gold pieces. 


in the eleventh and again at the end of the sixteenth 
century. It is said originally to have stood within 
those Thermae to which it has been thought these 
Roman columns bear witness, but a later and perhaps 
a better opinion would show us in S. Lorenzo one of 
the earliest Christian buildings in Milan, coeval as we 
see it with S. Vitale of Ravenna. However that may 
be, the church was restored in the eleventh century, 
and this so thoroughly that the Corinthian capitals of 
the old pillars were used as bases ; and though the re- 
storation of the sixteenth century was careful and 
reverent, it has left its indelible mark upon the building. 
Of its three annexes, S. Aquilino on the right is un- 
doubtedly a part of the original building; S. Sisto on 
the left is a later addition, built probably as a baptistery ; 
S. Ippolito, behind S. Lorenzo, in part seems to have 
belonged to the primitive building. 

But when all is said, S. Lorenzo remains in many 
ways the loveliest and certainly the most characteristic 
building of still Roman Milan. And the power of Rome 
and Roman things, in spite of every disaster, remained 
instinct and living here, in its tremendous appeal to the 
imagination and to the mmd of man. We find nearly 
all the greater architects of the Renaissance to have 
studied and to have been influenced by this church. 
Sangallo inspires himself here, Leonardo da Vinci 
studies it, and it is, after all we find, this church of 
S. Lorenzo which engenders in the mind of the greatest 
builder of that period, Bramante, the divine plan, the 
most beautiful design of modern architecture, that for 
S. Peter's in Rome, which the Reformation ruined and 
brought to nothing. 

S. Lorenzo is octagonal in form and is covered by a 
dome ; the four main sides are closed by semi-cupolas 
borne by two stories of colonnades consisting each of four 
columns. Nothing at once more serene and more 
joyful can be imagined : the church is full of the sun, 


Ki the eye is continually and irresistibly drawn upward 
the height of the dome. 
Interesting, however, as S. Lorenzo is, in its architecture 
ailing the Pantheon and in its spirit the spirit of the 
ipire, its chief attraction for us lies perhaps in the 
Cappella di S. Aquilino, which stands to the right of 
the church and is quite the most ancient part of it. 
There in the apses we find mosaics of the sixth century 
where Christ sits enthroned surrounded by His twelve 
apostles ; and two richer and symbolically more inter- 
esting works in which we see the angel staying the 
hand of Abraham about to sacrifice his son, and the 
angel appearing to the shepherds to announce Christ's 
nativity with the Gloria in excelsis. Both these 
mosaics are of the sixth if not of the fifth century, and 
it is possible that here in S. Aquilino we are really stand- 
ing in one of the smaller halls of a Roman building, 
perhaps the Thermae to which the great columns in the 
Corso are thought to bear witness, a hall which as early 
as the fourth century was converted to the use of 
Christianity and adorned with Christian symbols, 
though not altogether, for the antique doorway shows 
us a Bacchante riding a goat. 

But this chapel of S. Aquilino contains something 
that for the merely human traveller, apart from the 
artist, puts S. Lorenzo at once on the same level senti- 
mentally as S. Ambrogio. For if in S. Ambrogio we 
seemed to find, in the memory and presence of S. Ambrose 
there, something of the glory and the nobility of those 
great Roman days of the fourth century, here in S. 
Lorenzo we may perhaps understand the Fall as we 
stand beside the great stone tomb of Ataulphus, king 
of the Goths, the successor of Alaric. For there in a 
Roman and a Christian sarcophagus lies the barbarian 
who had made the great raid with Alaric, had thundered 
at the gates of Rome, had partaken of his glory and had 
stood beside his monstrous and inviolate tomb, whose 


secret was kept by the murder of a multitude. He 
saw that river of Southern Italy, the Busentino, turned 
aside by the walls of Consentia. He saw the royal 
and barbarian sepulchre hewn out of the river bed by 
the labour of a captive multitude, and adorned with the 
splendid spoils and trophies of Rome. He saw the river 
returned to its course, and ordered the inhuman massacre 
of those who had known how to build so marvellous a 
tomb. He has looked on the face of Alaric. 

As king of the Goths, the barbarian who lies so 
securely now within sound of the life of modern Milan 
had a career not less astonishing than that he had 
enjoyed before Alaric's death. After a courtship as 
barbarous, as astonishing and as romantic as any 
recorded in the history of the world, this savage married 
the daughter of the great Theodosius. And just as 
Alaric had been awed by the majesty even of the Rome 
he violated, so Ataulphus, with the astounding prize 
of the daughter of the Emperor, the sister of Honorius, 
in his hands, quailed and bowed his head. For we read 
that when the day of their nuptials was celebrated in 
Narbonne in Gaul, " the bride, attired and adorned like 
a Roman Empress, was placed on a throne of state ; 
the king of the Goths, who assumed on this occasion 
the Roman habit, contented himself with a less honour- 
able seat by her side." Ataulphus was in 415 assassin- 
ated in the palace of Barcelona, and Galla Placidia, 
whom he had so much loved and honoured, " con- 
founded among a crowd of vulgar captives," was 
compelled to march on foot before the horse of the 
barbarian who had murdered her husband. Her mar- 
vellous alabaster tomb, empty now, shines under the 
night-blue of the mosaics at Ravenna, but Ataulphus lies 
here in the chapel of S. Aquilino in Milan. 

In the Cappella di S. Ippolito too, here at S. Lorenzo, 
we have a building of the far-off time : but it contains 
the grave of a later lord than Ataulphus the Goth ; 


I- here lies Giovanni Maria Visconti in a tomb by 
irco Agrate (i559)- 
From S. Lorenzo one passes again under those Roman 
iumns on one's way outside the walls of the medieval 
y to the church of S. Eustorgio, where one still has 
mind the later Empire. For it was here that Con- 
stantine presented to S. Eustorgius, Archbishop of Milan 
in the earlier years of the fourth century, what for eight 
hundred years remained the great treasure of this church, 
the bones of the Three Magi, which another barbarian, 
Frederick Barbarossa, when he sacked Milan and de- 
i, stroyed her in 1162, gave as spoil to Archbishop Rinaldus 
I of Cologne ; and in the Cathedral of Cologne these 
relics remain to this day. The empty tomb, however, is 
still here at S. Eustorgio, and bears witness to a theft 
which carries us well out of the Dark into the Middle Age. 
But it is in fact of the Middle Age that the church 
has most to say to us. For S. Eustorgio, though a 
foundation of the fourth century, was rebuilt entirely 
in 1278 and restored in the seventeenth century, while 
its fagade is quite modern. Indeed, apart from its early 
foundation and that tomb of the Magi, S. Eustorgio 
is to be valued only for its Medieval and Renaissance 
treasures : the Gothic shrine of S. Peter Martyr, a work 
of the fourteenth century by the Pisan Giovanni di 
Balduccio, and the exquisite Cappella Portinari, a work 
of the Renaissance by Michelozzo, which contains it. 

S. Peter Martyr, born at Verona in 1205 of parents 
infected with the astonishing heresy of the Cathari, 
a sort of Manichees, at a time when Lombardy and all 
the plain was full of heresies that had found their 
opportunity in the misery and discord of the times, 
was educated by a Catholic schoolmaster to whom his 
father sent him as he was desirous to have a learned man 
for a son. S. Peter spent his whole life in upholding 
common sense and in combating the monstrous and 
insane notions that in a truly pitiful ignorance the 


heresiarchs had sown broadcast. One has only to 
consider the pathetic nonsense, wholly anarchical and 
obscene, of which Guglielmina and her friends were 
guilty to understand what a necessary and useful 
mission was that of S. Peter Martyr. He was able 
to convert an incredible number of such heretics 
in the Milanese, in Romagna, in Ancona, Tuscany 
and the Bolognese, as a Dominican friar. In 1252, 
being in Como, he had on April 6, Dominica in Albis 
that year, set out for Milan. Certain ruffians determined 
to take him on the road, and one, Carinus by name, 
gave him, as we may see in the great picture in the 
National Gallery, two cuts on the head with an axe 
and killed him as he went through the woods, 
and also stabbed his companion. Era Domenico. The | 
saint was then forty-six years old. His body was 1 
borne to Milan and laid in the Church of S. Eustorgio, ' 
then newly made and Dominican. His throne presently 1 
became the most sought after in all Lombardy, and, more \ 
wonderful still, Carinus his murderer, who had fled to 
Forli, was presently struck with remorse, renounced his 
heresy and put on the habit of a lay-brother among 
the Dominicans. S. Peter was canonised in the year 
after his death by Innocent iv., who appointed April 29 
as his feast day. The tomb which Balduccio of 
Pisa built at the behest of the Archbishop Giovanni 
Visconti, protector of the Dominicans, for the body of 
the saint — his head is kept apart in a golden casket — 
is among the finest shrines in Italy. The same artist 
made the pulpit of S. Casciano near Florence, but it 
gives no idea of his genius. Only here in S. Eustorgio 
does he seem really to have expressed himself, in a work 
not only imposing and of a fine type and great charm, 
but of marvellous execution, beside which everything 
else of the time in Milan becomes insignificant.^ It is 

* The exquisite triptych now in the Chapel of the Magi is said 
to be from the hand of Balduccio. It is worthy of him. 


I^obable that the beautiful chapel was built by Michel- 
\zzo for Pigallo dei Portinari, the treasurer of Ludovico 
I Moro, to contain this masterpiece, which originally 
tood in the body of the church. On the walls of the 
hapel Vincenzo Foppa has beautifully painted the 
story of the saint's life. 

The tomb of S. Peter Martyr, though by far the 
loveliest monument in the church, is not quite alone 
there. In the fourth chapel on the right we find the 
beautiful Gothic tomb of Stefano Visconti, a fourteenth- 
century work, perhaps by Bonino da Campione, while 
in the sixth chapel are the monuments of Gaspare 
Visconti and his wife, works of the fifteenth century. 
Beside the high altar are some fourteenth-century reliefs 
of the Passion of Our Lord. 

With the monuments of S. Eustorgio we come out of 
the Milan of the Empire and the Dark Ages into the 
Milan of the Middle Age and the Renaissance, but before 
finally leaving the city of those earlier times, we shall 
note a few churches which still retain some memory of 
them. There is the Church of S. Vincenzo in Prato, for 
instance, first built by Abbot Gisalberto in 833. It 
seems to have been rebuilt, however, in the eleventh 
and restored first in the fourteenth century and again in 
our time. It possesses still, nevertheless, its old forms, 
its lofty crypt, and a few pillars and capitals from the 
original church, and, from without, its apse is especially 

About the same time or a little later the Church of 
S. Satiro was founded by Archbishop Ansperto. It 
has not, however, the interest of S. Vincenzo, for it was 
entirely rebuilt in the Renaissance. 

In the eleventh century was founded the Church of 
S. Babila, which still retains much of its Lombard 
aspect, as do S. Simpliciano and S. Sepolcro. 

Nor should that remnant of a later time be forgotten, 
the Palazzo della Ragione or del Podesta, a building 


of the thirteenth century, erected in the Piazza del 
Mercanti, the centre of the medieval city, by the Podesta 
Tresseno. It is the last building of free Milan. From 
it we pass to the astonishment of the Cathedral which 
stands, in all its foreign splendour, the creation of 
Giovanni Galeazzo Visconti. 


The Duomo of Milan, the most famous and the 
greatest Gothic building in Italy, was projected and 
built by the Visconti, and first by Gian Galeazzo 
Visconti in 1386, and therefore at a time when the 
Gothic style had already begun to show signs of de- 
cadence and exhaustion. It is in no sense an Italian 
building. It was not Milan which built it, as Florence 
and Siena built their cathedrals, but the tyrant 
Visconti. It was not a Latin idea or a Latin enthusiasm 
which conjured this vast and astonishing thing out of 
the mountains and the soil of Italy : the Duomo of 
Milan is the result of a particular, probably foreign, 
and certainly belated fancy for Northern work. It 
was conceived by Gian Galeazzo Visconti, who had 
been a great traveller. 

All-powerful in Lombardy, the ambition of this strong 
and unscrupulous tyrant was to place upon his head 
the crown of Italy and to dominate the whole peninsula. 
With this hope in his heart, he undertook the building 
of the greatest of all Italian churches, and he fashioned 
it after the manner of those he had seen in the monarchies 
of the North. 

As we see it to-day, the Cathedral of Milan is the 
result of a collaboration between German, probably 
south German, architects and Italian engineers, the 
chief of the latter being Simone da Orsenigo ; and, as 
we shall see, what is chiefly to be admired and loved 



I the building is due to what these Latins were able 
I make of German work. 
It is amusing, in reading any history of the building 
; this enormous church, to watch the ebb and flow 
; the German influence. During many years, we see 
erman masters one after another called to Milan. 
Each condemns the work of his predecessors, each in a 
few months is himself dismissed. So hard it is to kick 
against the pricks ! For if a cathedral is to live, it 
must be an expression of national consciousness, not 
of individual desire. That the Cathedral of Milan is 
a living thing we owe to the Italian engineers who 
followed the German architects. 

When the last German was gone, these men took 
their plan, and competitions were opened for the 
erection of the building ; and during the construction we 
see each victor in these competitions in turn take 
charge and become engineer-in-chief. The steps in this 
achievement would seem to have been somewhat as 

On May i, 1392, the plan we see was accepted 
and that of Arler di Gmiind rejected and that master 
dismissed. Ten years later the choir and transepts 
were built and the final form of the church fixed. As 
we see it, the Cathedral has five naves, and this, as 
I understand it, is necessary to the fundamental Latin 
desire that makes of the church, in spite of the Germans 
and the style, a really Latin and a living thing : the 
desire for space. Yet even Orsenigo does not seem to 
have understood or felt this, for with the true Italian 
disregard of inherent construction, he designed to build 
walls between the chapels : only the Latin consciousness 
of the people prevented him, and he was obliged to 
leave the nave the glorious and tremendous thing it is 

So much for the plan and the building itself. The 
Gothic detail and ornament are very different matters. 


These are quite inanimate, without expression or charm, 
as dead ever5rwhere as the work of our own day, and 
indeed they might be the very work of our hands. 
This hopeless mediocrity is thought by many to be 
saved from all the baseness of its effect by its very 
profusion, which, it is said, prevents our perceiving the 
sterihty of ideas and the feebleness of execution every- 
where apparent on close examination, more especially 
perhaps in the termination of the choir, the facades 
of the transepts and the arbitrary forms of the cupola, 
" an offering of the Renaissance upon the tomb of 
Gothic architecture." I at least cannot see the 
validity of any such excuse. What saves the Cathedral 
from barbarism is not the profuseness of its weakness, 
but the nobility and splendour of its spaciousness and 
the beauty and spiritual effect of just that. 

I have spoken of the feebleness of the facades of the 
transepts : the main fagade was begun in the end of 
the Renaissance and was finished by order of Napoleon 
in the Gothic style. An old model which one finds 
in the Duomo behind the choir shows us that originally 
there were to have been towers : perhaps they might 
have done something to save it. As it is, the fa9ade is a 
complete failure. It gives one no idea at all of the 
lofty and noble church behind it, and indeed there is 
no one who has entered there for the first time but has 
been astonished and dumbfounded by what, without 
any sort of warning, he sees. 

The effect of the Cathedral without is in fact altogether 
false, vulgar and disappointing. In the sunlight it 
appears not like " a mountain of marble," but like an 
immense bridecake; yet sometimes in the moonlight 
it is extraordinary, like a fairy palace. It expresses no 
idea, and always in the daylight one remains miserable 
before it and has to console oneself with the ironical 
assurance that there is nothing like it in the world. Its 
true splendour within, its sense of space and height are 


Itterly lacking without. In spite of its thousand 
nbroken shafts, its myriads of perpendicular lines, it 
• without any suggestion of height as seen from the 
iazza, yet it might seem to miss it by a miracle. It 
fails in this necessary thing, as it fails to convince us 
of its sincerity of construction and simplicity of purpose. 
If, without, the Duomo of Milan, lost in its confusion 
of detail, its thousands of statues, its restless fretwork 
and innumerable pinnacles, fails to win from us any- 
thing but wonder, within, let us confess it at once, it 
overwhelms us altogether by its sheer grandeur and 
nobility. The true height of the roof is not only at 
once apparent and even exaggerated by the fact that 
it is upheld by giant pillars which rise unbroken to the 
vaults, without either triforium or clerestory ; but the 
vast size of the church is understood at once, its nobility 
not of height only but of breadth and spaciousness. 
Cruciform in shape, with five naves and aisled transepts, 
it is 486 feet long, the main nave is 157 feet high,^ the 
fagade is 219 feet across and the transept 292 feet. 
The church covers an area of 14,000 square yards and 
will hold 40,000 people. Thus it is, I suppose, the 
largest Gothic church in existence. Its contents, 
however, save for a few tombs and the works collected 
in the sacristy, are of meagre interest, and in this 
respect it is probably the poorest cathedral in the 

One of the earliest of the few interesting tombs 
which it contains is that of Archbishop Aribert (1018-45) 
in the right aisle, above which hangs a gilded crucifix 
of the same period. This tomb, of course, came from 

1 To compare Milan Cathedral with English churches : Win- 
chester, the longest church remaining to us, is 560 feet, but Old 
St. Paul's was 690 feet, and Glastonbury Abbey 600 ; West- 
minster Abbey, the loftiest Gothic church in England, is 103 
feet from floor to vault in the nave, is with Henry VII. Chapel 
513 feet long, has a transept of 200 feet and nave and aisles of 
75 feet in breadth. 


the old Church of S. Maria Maggiore, which stood here 
in the days of S. Ambrose. Close by is the monument 
of Ottone Visconti, who died in 1295, and of Giovanni 
Visconti, who died in 1354, t>oth archbishops of this 
see, who lie in the same tomb, which was built for the 
first of them by the Knights of S. John. This tomb 
also comes from the old basilica. The first tomb in 
this aisle which was built for the present church is that 
of Marco Carelli, who died in 1394, perhaps by Niccolo 
d' Arezzo the Tuscan. 

Turning into the right transept, we come on the west 
wall upon the monument erected by Pius iv. to the 
brothers Giovanni Giacomo and Gabriele de' Medici of 
Milan — that is to say, II Medeghino^ and his brother, 
who were the brothers of the Pope. The tomb is the 
work of Leone Leoni in 1560. On the eastern wall is the 
Lady altar with reliefs by the Milanese master Agostino 
Busti, II Bambaia (1480-1548). Close by is a statue 
of S. Bartholomew, a horrible anatomical study of the 
saint flayed with his skin over his arm, by Marco Agrate 
(1562). This work is typical of too much of that which 
we find in the Duomo of Milan. Lombard sculpture, 
and especially the work later than that of Agostino 
Busti, is wholly insignificant in character. Marco Agrate 
worked much here in Milan and at the Certosa of Pavia ; 
all his work is feeble, but not always as disagreeable 
as in this statue of S. Bartholomew. Something better 
awaits us in the door of the ambulatory, a work of 
the end of the fourteenth century, and in the sacristy, 
where many treasures from the old basilica, the enamelled 
Evangelium of Archbishop Aribert, certain diptychs 
of the sixth century, some Byzantine carvings, an 
ivory cup, a golden Pax, are to be found, beside the 
statue of Our Lord by Cristoforo Solari, a work made 
after that sojourn in Rome which ruined him as an 
artist. Nothing of much interest is to be found in the 

' See supra, pp. 42 et seq. 



bulatory, unless it be the great black marble tomb 
of Cardinal Marino Caracciolo by Agostino Busti. 

Making our way, then, into the north transept, we 
find in the midst the great bronze candelabrum of seven 
branches, French work, it is said, of the thirteenth 
century ; it is one of the loveliest things in the church. 

Under the dome, before the choir, in a crypt called 
the Cappella di S. Carlo, lies the great Archbishop 
S. Carlo Borromeo, to whom Milan owes so much. 

In the north aisle is an altarpiece in which we see 
S. Ambrose absolving the Emperor Theodosius : it is 
a work of the seventeenth century. Close by, in the 
third chapel, is a wood crucifix that belonged to S. Carlo 
Borromeo. Near by is a monument to three archbishops 
of Milan, all of the Arcimboldi family of the sixteenth 
century, and better far against the wall eight statues 
of Apostles which seem to be work of the thirteenth 
century. The most ancient thing in the church greets 
us as we leave it, I mean the font, which is an ancient 
basin of porphyry, probably as old as the fourth 
century. It is said to have come from Rome to Ravenna, 
and so hither. It seems to make all one. 


Now, when the Visconti were done with at last, when 
Filippo Maria was dead and the people of Milan began 
to lift up its head, a grave question had to be decided 
and that quickly, for on every side Milan found herself 
surrounded by enemies at once envious and unscrupulous . 
What government should Milan give herself ? Should 
she confide herself again to a tyrant or to a dynasty ? 
Or should she build once more within her walls the 
old Republic that men still called Ambrosian ? At 
first she leaned, it appeared, to this last solution, and 
the man who directed this democratic movement was 


Antonio Trivulzio, with two of his friends. That high 
hope, as we know, failed before the treachery of Francesco 
Sforza and the envy of Venice and the Medici. Never- 
theless, it remained in the hearts of the Milanese as an 
everlasting thought, something to be won, some time 
and somewhere, and though it was never really attained 
it remains for us in the name of Trivulzio one of the 
noblest memories of the city. 

In that corner of the city which lies between the 
Corso di Porta Romana and the Ospedale Maggiore, 
a fine Renaissance building of 1457, one of the earliest 
and best works of the Sforza tjn-ants, there stands as 
it were the shrine of the Republic that was never 
realised, the Church of S. Nazaro, which contains the 
tombs of the Trivulzi family. The heroes lie in the 
sepulchral chapel of their house, a strange octagonal 
chamber built in 15 18 by Girolamo della Porta. The 
founder of this chapel was the soldier Gian Giacomo 
Trivulzio, the overthrower of II Moro : here he placed 
the tomb of Antonio his father, who had attempted to 
establish the golden Ambrosian Republic, and of his 
two sons, Niccolo and Francesco, with their wives and 
children. The tombs are placed high up on the walls, 
as though to avoid desecration, and they make one of 
the few shrines in Milan that a patriot may visit without 
an afterthought. 

Their antithesis, and in a measure their defeat, is 
expressed in one of the great wonders of the city, 
the splendidly restored Castello of the Sforza, a city 
as it were in itself, which stands in the Nuovo Parco, a 
bastion on the walls. 

The first fortress and citadel built here was the work of 
Galeazzo Visconti, but Antonio Trivulzio and the people 
destroyed it when they hoped to found the Republic. The 
first work of the freebooter and adventurer of Cotignola, 
whom we know as Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan, 
was to rebuild it. 


Francesco Sforza is perhaps the best example that 

It anywhere to be found of the wonderful success that 
k the fifteenth century not infrequently awaited a 
^an who took up arms as a profession, enlisted a band 
f followers and outlaws and sold his services to the 
highest bidder. Few, however, have had so great a 
success with so little legitimate claim to government, 
but then few had his talents. There was Piccinino, 
for instance, but he was not vulgar enough to succeed 
as Sforza did, for indeed he was a gentleman. Francesco 
Sforza, however, by no means a better soldier, was a 
more vigorous and more unscrupulous man : he was 
determined to succeed and at any price. He had his wish. 
For years before he thought of Milan he had wandered 
up and down Romagna and the Marches looking for 
a lordship, fighting in any cause that paid him, the 
hireling of the Pope, of Venice, of the Medici, of Florence. 
He had managed to establish himself in the March 
of Ancona, when circumstances turned his thoughts 
towards Milan, where the breakdown of the Visconti 
dynasty and rule was obvious. First like a beggar, 
then like a blackmailer, he presumed to demand the 
hand of Visconti's illegitimate daughter. Visconti 
laughed at him, but Sforza was persistent, and at last 
by threats and every disgraceful means known to the 
swindler and the assassin he got what he wanted. On 
this marriage he founded his claim to the succession of 
the Duchy. 

But he was the last man in the world to depend upon 
such a claim. Francesco Sforza was a realist. On 
the death of Filippo Visconti, he entered the service of 
the Republic very much in the same way as he had 
entered the family of Visconti — that is to say, by con- 
temptible and importunate begging and by threats. 
No sooner was he the servant of the Republic than he 
plotted to betray her, and only bided his time to seize 
the city, which at length by a series of the most bareface d 


and impudent hypocrisies he starved into surrender. 
Blackmailer he was born and blackmailer he died, and 
till their extmction this was the amazing and amusing 
trait which distinguished all his family. 

It is entertaining to us to know, and confirms us, if 
confirmation were needed, in our estimate of Sforza, 
that when, having got possession of Milan, he deter- 
mined to rebuild the Castello of Galeazzo Visconti, he 
announced he would set this up for the embellishment 
of the city. Every soul in Milan must have known 
that he had but one intention, namely, to overawe the 
people ; yet this is but one example more of the extra- 
ordinary childishness of Italian diplomacy at that 
time, and indeed for long both before and since. In 
any consideration of it, however superficial, one is 
continually asking oneself who can have believed the 
amazing and obvious lies that passed for diplomacy, 
whom could they have deceived and what purposes 
were they supposed to serve ? These are unanswerable 

Yet, a fter all, time brings about its revenges, and though 
Sforza built the Castello for his own security and to 
overawe the turbulent democracy of Milan, we have 
rebuilt it exactly for the reason he, lying, gave, namely, 
as an ornament to the city of Milan, a purpose it is 
excellently fitted to fill. 

For in the Castello, even as we now see it, the history 
of Milan from the time of Francesco Sforza to our 
own day is as it were mirrored. Each Sforza as he 
succeeded added to the original fortress-palace,decorated 
it with paintings and planted it with gardens. Then 
came the Spaniards, the French, the Austrians, who used 
it only as a fortress, till when their time was overpast 
the Milanese, sure of themselves at last, decided, and 
in our own day, to preserve the old instrument of 
their servitude, with that tolerance which security 
gives, and very much in the same spirit, I suppose, as an 


English schoolboy preserves the birch with which 
he was flogged : and so the Castello, restored out of 
all recognition and planted about with a fair park, 
became a Museum — the tomb, that is, of all that glorious 
and miserable past which lends the city to-day the so 
various interest she has for us. 

It would, indeed, have been a shame upon Milan to 
have destroyed in vulgar anger and relief this building, 
in part the work of Bramante, in which Leonardo looked 
into the dark face of II Moro, and watched Bianca Maria 
as she passed from room to room, and played upon 
that strange lyre shaped like a horse's skull and made 
of silver with which he first charmed the Viper. Instead, 
the Milanese have honoured themselves as the foolish 
Perugians were too ignorant to know how to do, by 
taking such care of the Castello that it is now one of 
their most splendid museums, and one of the most 
interesting buildings in their city. 

For in those long corridors where, as we know, Lucrezia 
Crivelli, Cecilia Galerani the poetess and the Duchess 
Beatrice went so light, the Milanese have set out their 
treasures, the contents of the old Museo Civico and 
the Museo Archaeologico. There, in the Corte Ducale, the 
new palace of the Sforzas, amid a crowd of curious and 
a few beautiful things, we find the tomb of Bernabo 
Visconti, from whom Giovanni Galeazzo wrested the 
city in 1385.^ Here, too, are a beautiful pulpit by 
Michelozzo with sculptures that recall Donatello, and 
the monument of Gaston de Foix, the unfinished 
masterpiece of Agostino Busti, which Francis i. ordered 
in 1515. It was once in the cloister of S. Marta, and 
was later removed to the Brera. 

Beside the Museo Archaeologico, lately in the Brera, 

^ This monument was erected in the Church of S. Giovanni 
in Conca in Milan in Bernabo's Hfetime, and is probably the 
work of Bonino da Campione, a pupil perhaps of Giovanni di 
Balduccio the Pisan, who made the shrine of S. Peter Martyr. 


the Milanese have gathered here in the Loggetta, added 
to the Castello by Galeazzo Maria Sforza, the Museo 
Artistico Municipale. Here, amid some dull bric-^-brac 
and some interesting early views of the city, is a small 
gallery of paintings by Milanese and Lombard masters, 
which contains nothing of very vivid interest. If we 
want to realise what in the way of painting was being 
done in Milan in the time of the Sforzas, we shall leave 
the Castello and make our way to S. Maria delle Grazie, 
and there in fact we shall find the best excuse for the 
Sforza rule. 

Illegitimate and oppressive though the rule of the 
despots was wherever it obtained, and not least under 
the Sforza of Milan, this at any rate is to be said for it, that 
it encouraged art and employed artists in a way that no 
democracy has ever known how or cared to do. It is 
sometimes asserted that the art of the Middle Age, 
and especially the architecture of that incomparable 
time for building, was the work of the people. In a 
sense that may be true, but only in a sense very limited 
and partial. Westminster Abbey, the crown and jewel 
of our English churches, was the work not of the people, 
nor of a religious Order, but of the King, and it owed its 
splendour, incomparable even in decay, to him and to 
him alone. In Italy it was the Pope or the Medici who 
for the most part caused to be painted or carved the 
wonderful things we know. When for a moment 
Florence, under the evil influence of the Ferrarese 
Savonarola, expelled the Medici, she also expelled the 
artists and burned their work. It was in the beginning 
of this confused democratic movement in Florence that 
Leonardo da Vinci left the city of the Lily and came to 
Milan, according to Vasari, as a musician with "a lute 
which he had himself constructed almost wholly of silver 
and in the shape of a horse's head, a new and fanciful 
form calculated to give more force and sweetness to 
the sound. When playing this instrument, Leonardo 


surpassed all the musicians who had assembled to per- 
form before the Duke ; he was, besides, one of the best 
improvisatori in verse existing at the time ; and soon 
the Duke became enchanted with the admirable con- 
versation of the young Florentine artist." 

We shall never hear that music, or the rhythm of those 
verses or the words which so charmed the Moor, but it 
might be thought that here in Milan we might certainly 
hope to look upon many of the works of the first painter 
in Italy. In fact, there remains in Milan but one paint- 
ing from his hand, and that, time, war and restoration 
have alike combined to ruin, I mean the great wall- 
painting of the Last Supper in the refectory of this 
Dominican Church of S. Mary of the Graces. 

" For the friars of S. Dominic at S. Maria delle 
Grazie," says Vasari, ** Leonardo painted a Cenacolo, a 
Last Supper, which is a most beautiful and admirable 
work. To the heads of the Apostles in this picture the 
master gave so much beauty and majesty that he was 
constrained to leave that of Christ unfinished, being 
convinced that he could not impart to it the divinity 
which should belong to and distinguish an image of 
Our Lord. But this work remaining thus in its unfinished 
state, has been ever held in the highest estimation by 
the Milanese, and not by them only, but by foreigners 
also ; Leonardo succeeded to perfection in expressing 
the doubts and anxiety experienced by the Apostles 
and the desire felt by them to know by whom their 
Master is to be betrayed ; in the faces of all appear 
love, terror, anger, or grief and bewilderment, unable 
as they are to fathom the meaning of their Lord. Nor 
is the spectator less struck with admiration by the force 
and truth with which, on the other hand, the master has 
exhibited the impious determination, hatred and 
treachery of Judas. The whole work indeed is executed 
with inexpressible diligence even in its most minute 
part ; among other things may be mentioned the table- 


cloth, the texture of which is copied with such exacti- 
tude that the linen cloth itself could scarcely look more 

"It is related that the Prior of the convent was ex- 
cessively importunate in pressing Leonardo to com- 
plete the picture ; he could in no way comprehend 
wherefore the artist should sometimes remain half a 
day together absorbed in thought before his work, 
without making any progress that he could see ; this 
seemed to him strange waste of time, and he would 
fain have had him work away as he could make the men 
do who were digging in his garden, never laying the 
pencil out of his hand. Not content with seeking to 
hasten Leonardo, the Prior even complained to the 
Duke, and tormented him to such an extent that he was 
at length compelled to send for Leonardo, whom he 
courteously entreated to let the work be finished, 
assuring him nevertheless that he did so because im- 
pelled by the importunities of the Prior. Leonardo, 
knowing the Prince to be intelligent and judicious, 
determined to explain himself fully on the subject with 
him, although he had never chosen to do so with the 
Prior. He therefore discussed with him at some length 
respecting art, and made it perfectly manifest to his 
comprehension that men of genius are sometimes 
producing most when they seem to be labouring least, 
their minds being occupied in the elucidation of their 
ideas, and in the completion of those conceptions to 
which they afterwards give form and expression with the 
hand. He further informed the Duke that there were 
still wanting to him two heads, one of which, that of the 
Saviour, he could not hope to find on earth, and had not 
yet attained the power of presenting it to himself in 
imagination with all that perfection of beauty and 
celestial grace which appeared to him to be demanded 
for the due representation of God incarnate. The 
second head still wanting was that of Judas, which also 



^p,used him some anxiety, since he did not think it 
^ksible to imagine a form of feature that should properly 
^Hkder the countenance of a man who after so many 
benefits received from his Master had possessed a heart 

K depraved as to be capable of betraying his Lord 
i the Creator of the world ; with regard to that 
ond, however, he would make search, and after all — 
I if he could find no better — he need never be at any 
great loss, for there would always be the head of that 
troublesome and impertinent Prior. This made the 
Duke laugh with all his heart, and he declared Leonardo 
. to be completely in the right ; and the wretched Prior, 
I utterly confounded, went away, to drive on the digging 
in his garden, and left Leonardo in peace. The head of 
Judas was then finished so successfully that it is indeed 
the true image of treachery and wickedness ; but that of 
the Redeemer remained, as we have said, incomplete." 

There can be no one, I suppose, who comes on an 
autumn afternoon into that beautiful refectory and 
looks upon the ruin of one of the greatest works of all 
; time who does not recall that excellent and immortal 
' story of the artist and his patron. And indeed the tale 
is a godsend, for it helps to relieve us in our grief at the 
ruin of so marvellous and beautiful a thing. This ruin 
is not altogether the work of soldiers and restorers. To 
Leonardo himself, in his insatiable desire for experiment, 
is due much of the destruction we see. For the master 
did not here employ the old and tried method of fresco, 
in which his countrymen had excelled for ages, and much 
of which is still almost as fresh as the day on which it 
was uncovered. He employed a method of his own, 
painting, on a damp and humid wall, in oil, so that he 
might return again and again, to the most inestimable 
of his works. This would have doomed it even in careful 
hands ; as it is, the convent has been subjected to 
every sort of rough usage, both in peace and war. The 
soldiers of Francis i. are in part to blame, but to the 


cleaning and repainting of restorers we are even more 
indebted for the ruin we see, while the friars seem to have 
thought so little of the precious thing they held in trust 
for humanity that they drove a door through it in the 
midst. Little thus remains to us but the composition 
of Leonardo, and that is of an incomparable beauty and 

Vasari twice asserts that the head of Christ was left 
uncompleted by Leonardo, yet it seems to us to be as 
perfectly finished as those of the Apostles, which Vasari 
asserts were completed by Leonardo himself. It is 
probable, then, that another hand has been at work here 
from very early times, and that the head of Christ, which 
still seems to us a miracle, a ghost seen through the 
wall, is but Leonardo's in general outline and suggestion. 
Even so, it is one of the most marvellous and moving 
apparitions in all Italy. 

The chief interest in S. Maria delle Grazie is of course 
to be found in this work of Leonardo's, but the church 
should by no means be neglected. The facade and the 
nave, the earliest parts of it, were new in Leonardo's 
day, they are in the Gothic style of 1470, but the choir 
and the cupola are work of the Renaissance, and it 
would seem partly from the very hand of Bramante. 
Bramante's first work in Milan was the transept of 
S. Maria presso S. Satiro, his second was the choir and 
cupola of this Church of S. Mary of the Graces. The 
lower half of the choir and transept only is certainly 
the master's work, but the plan and composition of the 
rest are his, though the work has been badly carried 
out, and all is covered up with modern plaster within. 
Without, however, we see a work of the early Re- 
naissance in all its charm, and are reminded once again 
that however eager we may be to denounce the iniquity 
and brutality of the Sforzas, it is after all to them we 
owe the presence in Milan of these two great artists, 
Leonardo da Vinci and Bramante d' Urbino. without 


^Hrhom our pleasure in her would be how much less 
^HdII than it is. 


In the work of the strangers, Leonardo da Vinci and 
Bramante d' Urbino, Milan not only received the most 
beautiful works of art she possesses, but in those brief 
thirty years from 1472 to 1500 she was more famous 
than she was ever again to be in the history of Italian 

The period of invasion, war, disaster and confusion, 
which caused the fall of the Sforza dynasty and reduced 
Milan to a foreign yoke, may not have interfered very 
greatly with her growth, or even with her mere material 
prosperity, but it was barren of great buildings and of 
works of art, and when the city finally emerges as the 
property of a foreign Government the old and gracious 
time has passed away, and it is a new spirit we see in 
all the profuse work that was then begun, and which 
even yet so largely gives Milan her sumptuous if 
melancholy character. 

In 1527 a new circle of walls was built about her ; 
in 1549 y^t another was begun, but it is in the palaces, 
courts and churches of the Perugian Alessi (1512-72), 
of Vincenzo Seregno {1509-94) and of the Bolognese 
Pellegrino Tibaldi (1521-92) that we recognise the 
Milan of the sixteenth century, the Milan of S. Carlo 
Borromeo. The beautiful Palazzo Marini, now the 
Municipio, is perhaps the most charming of these 
buildings, and is one of the best things Alessio ever 
achieved, possessing as it does in its fagade and its 
court something of the allure of the early Renaissance. 
The church of S. Vittore, built in 1560, with a simple 
exterior, and the facade of S. Maria presso Celso, are 
imposing, but have not the same delight. 


It is the Genoese and less lovely work of Alessio that 
is recalled to us by the work of Seregno in the Palazzo 
della Giustizia, the Palazzo dei Giurisconsulti, and the 
CoUegio de' Nobili in the Piazza de* Mercanti, built in 
1564. But the architect of Milan in the time of 
S. Carlo was Pellegrino Tibaldi, the creator of the facade 
of the Cathedral, which, as he designed it, was so much 
finer than the Later Gothic which surrounded it. To 
this master we owe the beautiful Church of S. Fedele, 
a work of almost classic beauty which had a great 
influence then and later, an influence we see in the 
Church of S. Gaudenzio at Novara. But S. Fedele 
does not stand alone in Milan ; we may place beside it 
as the work of this master the round Church of S. Sebas- 
tiano, built in 1576, a plague church, and one of the 
courts of the Episcopal Palace, which is simple and 
severe, as indeed S. Carlo wished it, and to some extent 
the Palace itself as we see it. At the same time, Giuseppe 
Meda was also working in Milan, and to him we owe the 
beautiful court of the Seminario. 

S. Carlo, to whom in Milan the second half of the 
sixteenth century, the period of the Catholic Reaction, 
may be said to belong, died in 1584, and after an interval 
of eleven years he was succeeded by his nephew. Cardinal 
Federigo. To the second Borromeo archbishop Milan 
owes what she possesses of the baroque, but her chief 
debt to him lies in the fact that he founded the Am- 
brosian Library. The Biblioteca Ambrosiana was built 
to contain the collection in 1603 by Fabio Manzone, 
to whom we also owe the Palazzo del Senato. The 
library is one of the most important in Europe, not 
only for its priceless collection of MSS., its autograph 
letters of Petrarch, Lucrezia Borgia, Ariosto, Tasso and 
Galileo, its volume of drawings by Leonardo, its Virgil 
annotated by the hand of Petrarch, but also for its 
splendid incunabula. Here, too, on the ground floor, 
are parts of the beautiful tomb of Gaston de Foix, other 



parts of which are in the Castello, and a fresco by Luini 
of a Christ crowned with Thorns in the hall of the Con- 
fraternity of the Holy Crown, which used to meet here. 
For the ordinary traveller, however, the chief interest 
of the Ambrosiana will be found in the Pinacoteca on 
the first floor, where, amid much of purely Milanese 
or of mediocre interest, will be found a Madonna and 
Child with Angels (72) by Botticelli, a Madonna 
enthroned with Saints and Angels by Borgognone (54), 
a Portrait painted in 1554 by Moroni (312), Raphael's 
cartoon for the School of Athens in the Vatican, and 
best of all the famous Portrait by Ambrogio de Predis 
of Bianca Maria Sforza, and the unfinished Portrait of 
a Young Man which matches it so delightfully. It 
is a very various collection of pictures we find here, 
and as such is extraordinarily indicative of the con- 
ditions of art in Milan, where almost all the greatest 
work was done by foreigners for the reigning foreign 
houses of Visconti, Sforza, France and Spain. The 
Latin population of Milan, always so great in energy 
and life, might seem to have expressed itself in art very 
little or not at all. We see its work, perhaps, in the earlier 
great churches, such as S. Lorenzo and S. Ambrogio, 
and certainly its influence in the spaciousness of the 
Cathedral, a true Latin delight victorious there in spite 
of everything; but in painting as in sculpture Milan 
has little to give us, and like all Lombardy for that 
matter, nothing at all of the first class. We may explain 
this how we can, the fact remains. The two greatest 
masters whose work is to be found in Milan are Leonardo 
and Bramante. Leonardo undoubtedly founded a 
school, but it came to nothing and produced nothing 
of any real importance, possessed of any real life. 
His advent in Milan was as disastrous as the advent 
of Handel in England. It was much the same with 
Bramante; he came and he went, leaving behind him 
a few lovely and priceless things, and a tradition which 


no one who was Milanese knew how to follow or to use. 
It is for the most part the beautiful work of Italy we 
admire and search after in Milan, for Cisalpine Gaul 
has scarcely expressed herself there. She is dumb in 
this great and tumultuous town, for in truth she is 
afar off, singing in the fields under the limitless sky. 


When we consider Cisalpine Gaul, and note the 
riches of the great plain, its deep and fertile 
meadows, the number and splendour of its cities, the 
energy of its inhabitants, we might expect to find there 
one of the most flourishing schools of art in all Italy, 
for painting especially must have had every encourage- 
ment in a country so wealthy and so civilised as this ; 
and in the city of Milan, the true metropolis of this 
country, the greatest and the richest city between the 
Alps and the Apennines, we might have expected to 
find the citadel and the home of a school of painters at 
least as flourishing as those of Florence or Siena. 
What in fact we find is that neither Milan nor all Lom- 
bardy ever produced a painter of the first rank at all. 

If we try to explain this fact, we are compelled to do 
so on first principles. An examination of the works 
of the Lombard painters forces us to the conclusion 
that the reason why Lombardy never produced a 
great school of painters was that she was almost entirely 
lacking in artistic sense. What she achieved in art was 
not essentially artistic : it was realistic, it was decorative, 
it was charmingly pretty by turns, but as art pure and 
simple it had no life in it. 

On the very threshold of our inquiry we are met by 
the fact that no great personality appeared within her 
borders, as Giotto did in the north and Duccio in the 
south of Tuscany, to inspire, and to direct the national 


Br era, Milan 


genius, and to determine what its future was to be. In 
Lombardy there was no national genius that naturally 
expressed itself in painting, and the first painters we 
find between the Alps and the Apennines are the merest 
provincial followers of Giotto, and indeed we may go so 
far as to assert that there does not exist a single picture 
in all this country which does not owe its origin to 
Florence, if it be living and not dead. 

Without any genuine native talent for art, without 
what we may call artistic temperament, and, for this 
reason, unable to produce a great artistic personality 
and tradition, Lombardy of necessity fell back upon 
Giotto — that is to say, upon a genius and an influence 
foreign to her. What followed might seem to have 
been inevitable. Cisalpine Gaul was not Italy, and 
therefore was not able to make as much use of what 
was being done in Tuscany as, for instance, Umbria 
was. Without a real and native artistic impulse, she 
imitated what should have inspired her, and treated 
living principles as a dead code to be rigidly kept or a 
dead beauty to be brutally copied. If, before coming 
to the specifically Lombard school, we glance at the 
earlier North Italian masters, this will be at once obvious 
in their work. 

The first of these was Altichiero of Verona (1330-95), 
an imitator of Giotto, a master whose work is bewilder- 
ing, because, almost like an amateur, his virtues will not 
chime with his faults, his work is often too good to be 
as bad as it is, his faults are so fundamental that we 
are astonished at his virtues. Nothing of his remains 
west of the Mincio. 

His follower, Pisanello of Verona (1385-1455), had 
the excellent good fortune to come under the influence 
of the Umbrian Gentile da Fabriano. A great and an 
individual genius, he was the first man to found a school 
in such a world as this of North Italy. In the man as 
we know him he is a court painter, and lovely as his work 


is, it is not really of the Renaissance at all : it comes to 
us with all the beauty and the appeal of a reminiscence, 
and has no life of its own. His work seems radiantly 
to prophesy of a future that never happened. 

Meanwhile Squarcione of Padua (i 394-1474) had felt 
the influence of a Florentine master, one of the greatest, 
Donatello. So far as we are able to judge (for very 
little of Squarcione's work remains to us — a Madonna 
in Berlin, the design of a Polyptych executed by assist- 
ants in Padua, and perhaps a Madonna, a tondo, in 
Paris) , the greatest work of this antiquary was Andrea 
Mantegna (1431-1506), whom he adopted and brought 
up in his shop. With Mantegna we come upon the 
greatest genius of the North Italian schools, but a genius 
again wholly individual, capable of receiving life but 
not of giving it forth. Immersed in antiquity, he is 
saved from being a mere archaeologist by the living 
art of Donatello and Jacopo Bellini, yet all his pictures 
look like a translation, more lovely perhaps than the 
original ever was, but still a translation which has no 
life in itself. Milan possesses five of his works. In the 
Brera we find the large altarpiece (200) in many com- 
partments with S. Luke in the centre, a work of 1454, 
painted for the Church of S. Giustina of Padua ; the 
marvellous Madonna surrounded by a glory of singing 
angels (298), and the Dead Christ (199), a later work. In 
the collection of Prince Trivulzio is a Madonna in Glory 
with four saints painted in 1497, and in the Poldi Pezzoli 
Gallery a late work, a Madonna and Child (625). None 
of these works shows Mantegna in his most characteristic 
mood, but they are enough to tell us of what his 
genius was capable and of the faults which hampered 
him so strangely. 

Such were the painters of Verona and Padua. Padua, 
in fact, had become the art centre of Northern Italy, 
and it was there that a line of painters was formed, 
which, as I understand their work, expresses better than 


ny other what there was of native and national genius 
or art in Cisalpine Gaul. These men were Ferrarese; 
they were formed in Padua upon the work of Donatello, 
and their names are Tura, Cossa, Roberti and Costa. 

Cosimo Tura of Ferrara was born in 1430 and died in 
1495 ; his ancestors are Squarcione, Donatello and 
Mantegna, but his rugged figures of stone, hewn out of 
the rock, immobile as statues, but statues that are 
already in the rude grip of life, seem to one at once terrible 
and pathetic in the energy of their conception, in their 
desire for expression. He has communed with his own 
heart fiercely and without mercy, and has brought forth 
an adamantine son, grotesque as an heraldic monster, 
but living and passionately eager to be free. In his 
fierce determination to express himself he has forsaken 
the colours that Mantegna loved and forsook too at 
last, and has put beauty away from him, clinging 
only to life, that he may express it and find in it that 
harmony which he alone has known how to strike out 
of his own soul with the hammer of his genius. Milan 
possesses two of his works, a Christ on the Cross (1447), 
a fragment in the Brera, and the figure of a Bishop (600) 
in the Poldi Pezzoli Gallery. 

His twin was his countryman Cossa (1435-80), 
whose S. John Baptist and S. Peter (449) in the Brera 
is the only work Milan possesses from that iron brush. 
In the earher work of Ercole Roberti (1430-96), their 
fellow-townsman, we find much of the same austerity, 
but with a certain loss of conviction and sincerity. 
Yet something more we find too — a sweetness and a 
solemnity that their harshness and fierce passion had 
not known or had not known how to express, for 
Roberti has passed under the influence of the Bellini. 
His work in the Brera, a Madonna enthroned with 
Saints (428), painted in 1480, is not among his best works 
perhaps, but in those monochrome decorations we seem 
for a mom.ent to have found something of the terrible 


energy that consumed his masters and forced them to 
utter only the syllables of life. 

In Lorenzo Costa (1460-1535) we have the decline 
and the dissolution of this school, which might perhaps 
in better circumstances have done so much. The pupil 
of Cossa and Roberti, he became the partner of Francia 
of Bologna, and at last court painter at Mantua. One 
picture from his hand is to be found in the Brera, an 
Adoration of the Magi (429), painted in 1499, which I 
think relieves us in thhiking of him, assuring us of 
certain " happy moments " between his youth and his 
old age. 

I said that Costa became the partner of Francia 
(1450-15 17), who was a Bolognese educated as a gold- 
smith, and who practised painting, it might seem, on 
the advice of Costa, who on coming to Bologna began to 
instruct him in his art. How far are we in Francia's 
prettiness from the founders of the Ferrarese school ! 
The Annunciation (448) of the Brera and the S. Anthony 
of Padua (601) of the Poldi Pezzoli Gallery in Milan might 
seem to be Umbrian rather than North Italian pictures. 

It is fortunate that one of the works Milan possesses 
of Timoteo Viti (1467-1523), the pupil of Costa and 
Francia, should be as good as anything that Francia 
has to show us ; but the true importance for us of 
Viti is that as the master of Raphael he serves as a 
link between Tura and the greatest master of the high 

Such artistic talent as North Italy possessed may 
be said to have been exhausted in the production of the 
painters I have named, and when we turn to Milan we 
find only a complete sterility. We have, it is true, 
certain followers very provincial and far off of Giotto 
and Pisanello, but of native masters none at all. Foppa, 
the true glory of Lombardy, was a Brescian, while the 
two artists who are most closely connected with Milan 
are absolute foreigners — Leonardo, a Florentine, and 


ramante, born in Urbino and educated in Florence. 

[ilan, like Rome, was barren in art. 

Those frescoes in the Duomo of Milan which recount 
life of Queen Theodelinda may well stand as the 

lasterpiece of Milanese art in the fifteenth century ; 
they are the work of some follower of Pisanello, and they 
are prettier than anything he deigned to do. And 
just that might seem indeed to be the note of the whole 
school, the inevitable note of the copyist who has no 
original impulse of his own and is only eager to reap 
where he has not sown. 

There remains to be considered Foppa. 

Vincenzo Foppa of Brescia was born in 1427, and 
lived on till after 1502. He was the founder of the 
Milanese school, but that school might seem to consist 
only of himself and of his great pupil Borgognone. An 
artist of great and original powers, he was educated at 
Padua in the school of Squarcione. His was a lonely, 
starved temperament in a world that was artistically 
barren and dead. He seems later to have understood 
that he had something in common with Bramante, 
but his real love was, I think, given to Giovanni Bellini, 
whose good fortune he must have envied. His works in 
Milan are happily plentiful, two frescoes and an altar- 
piece in many compartments (307) being in the Brera, 
and three frescoes and two pictures, one a Madonna 
(305), in the Castello, while we probably see one of his 
late works in the Madonna and Child (643) of the Poldi 
PezzoU Gallery, and the Palazzo Trivulzio holds another. 
The Portinari Chapel of S. Eustorgio is covered with his 
designs, and in the Church Fathers we see his very hand. 

That Madonna in the Palazzo Trivulzio gives us, I 
think, his secret — his love of Giovanni Bellini ; and if in 
the SS. Sebastian of the Brera and the Castello we see 
something at once stronger and more completely his 
own, they are, it must be confessed, impressive works. 

Of Butinone (1454-1507) his pupil what can be said, 


or of Zenale (1436-1526), whose work in the Griffi 
Chapel of S. Pietro in Gessate in Milan was done in 
partnership with Butinone, save that the one is a "whim- 
sical" the other a "skilful" craftsman ? 

We pass at once to a painter more worthy of his master, 
Borgognone (1450-1523), Foppa's pupil, a man excellent 
as an artist and full of subtle harmonies in his landscape, 
and yet not without a strength and almost country 
roughness found in his figures. 

Borgognone' s work in Milan is extraordinarily plentiful. 
It greets you in the churches of S. Ambrogio, of S. 
Eustorgio, of S. Sempliciano, of S. Maria presso Celso, 
and of S. Maria della Passione. Six pictures and four 
frescoes are to be found in the Brera, two pictures in 
the Poldi Pezzoli Gallery, and the Borromeo collection 
boasts no less than five, the Castello two, the Ambrosiana 
Gallery three, including the early Madonna and Child 
with Saints and Angels. Little by little, I think, as we 
get to know him better, the study of his work becomes 
a study of backgrounds. Those delicate and delightful 
little scenes he would paint perhaps from real life or 
from a wonderful memory of some glimpse he had had of 
a city street, or the reach of a canal, or a byway in the 
country, and his certainty of vision as of touch in these 
things is magical and beyond praise, something that 
Mr. Berenson compares with Whistler. 

But with Borgognone the school of Milan, if it can 
be said ever to have existed, comes suddenly to an end. 
Bramante appears, and after Bramante Leonardo. 
They were only notj an utter disaster for Milan 
because there was nothing really to destroy. The 
native artistic genius that they might have killed 
had never existed, and their schools consist, as we 
might suppose, of copyists and prettifiers : Ambrogio 
de Predis, whose two portraits we have already seen 
in the Ambrosiana, and who has another portrait 
in the Poldi Pezzoli, a Portrait of Francesco Brivio 


^K:) ; Boltraffio, whose charming works overflow 
ftm private collections of Milan, who painted the Ivy- 
I crowned Boy (42) of the Borromeo Gallery, the Man 
! and Woman Praying (281) and the Girolamo 
i Casio (319) of the Brera, the two Madonnas of the 
Poldi Pezzoli Gallery (642, 660) and the Portrait of a 
Man there (57), some works in the Castello and the 
frescoes in S. Maurizio ; Luini, the subtle sensualist 
whose eyes are brimming with tears, who smiles and 
smiles at himself, considering his likeness to Leonardo, 
who has tried to express everything prettily in self- 
admiration and self-pity. His work runs over in the 
Brera, the churches of Milan are full of it, you find it 
in the Poldi Pezzoli Gallery, in the Ambrosiana and the 
Borromeo collections. And there is nothing to say 
about it. It wears its heart upon its sleeve, and one 
passes on with a smile. And after him comes Ferrari, 
who was a kind of repetition with an accompaniment 
of lyres and flutes, and Solario who is all for fair women. 
We turn from them, from the two last always reluct- 
antly, to that Brescia which had bred Vincenzo Foppa, 
where they made armour, and we find as it were just 
before evening three painters, not of the first order, 
but at least men with something to say and a power 
of expressing themselves. These men were Romanino, 
Moretto and Moroni. 

They were contemporaries of the great Venetians 
and passed under their influence. Romanino, bom 
in Brescia in 1485, lived till 1566. The Madonna in 
the Brera (98) which is his, the only work of his in a 
public collection in Milan, gives one some idea of his 
richness, but his more characteristic work is at Brescia. 
Moretto (1498-1554) has three pictures in the Brera, 
a Madonna with SS. Jerome, Francis and Anthony 
Abbot (91), an Assumption of the Virgin (92) and a 
S. Francis, delightful things, but they, no more than 
the similar works at the Ambrosiana and the Castello, 


give you the whole man, who was a great artist, and wlio 
is seen to better advantage in London, and of conrse 
in his native city. Of liis pupil Moroni (1520-78) 
the Hrera givrs us a much better idea. He was a 
portrait painter pure and simi)lo, and the Ambrosiana 
has one, the Brera two and the Castello one of his 
portraits. His masterpiece is that delicious Portrait 
of a Tailor in the National (lallery, and in that he comes 
nearest to his master, and Milan cannot match it. 

Hut happily for the traveller, the works of the North 
Italian schools by no means fill the Hrera and the other 
public galleries of Milan. Many a masterpiece is to be 
found there of the true Italian schools, as well as a few 
pictures from the North, and to these we shall now 
turn our attention. 

To begin with the Hrera. Here some seven rooms 
are devoted to pictures of the Venetian school. In 
the first of these (Sala III) some of Moroni's works 
are also hung, as well as the Madonna and Child by 
Komanino. The earliest Venetian master rejiresented 
is Alvise Vivarini, with a Dead Christ adored by two 
Angels, an early work of the master ; but that excellent 
pupil of the first Vivarini, Carlo Crivelli, has a room 
almost to himself, in which are hung no less than six 
of his works, including the Madonna and Child with 
Saints (283), painted in 1432, and another Madonna 
and Child (193), a late work. Cientile Hellini, who, 
like Crivelli, was iniluenced by the Paduans, is repre- 
sented here by the Preaching of S. Mark (168), a late 
work, finished by his brother Giovanni Bellini, by 
whom there are three works here, an early PietA (284), 
a Madonna and Child (261) and another Madonna 
and Child (297), j)ainted in 1510, a late picture: the 
first two are exquisite specimens of his work. A pupil 
of Alvise Vivarini, Cima, is very largely represented in 
the Brera by no less than seven j^ictures; indeed no 
other gallery is so rich in his work-l especially note 


the S. Peter with SS. Jolin Ba])tist and Paul (174) ; 
while Carpaccio, a pupil and follower of Gentile Jiellini, three pictures here, S. Stephen Disputing (288), 
painted in 1514, and two late works (307 and 309), 
which are only his in part. Another pupil of Alvise 
Vivarini, Lorenzo Lotto, who came under the influence 
of Giovanni Jiellini and of Giorgione, has here three 
Portraits (253, 254, 255), all late works, and a Pieti 
(244), painted in 1545 ; and another disciple of Giorgione, 
Bonifazio, is represented here by the Finding of Moses 

By the greatest of Giorgione's pupils, Titian, we have 
a portrait here, Conte Antonio Porcia (288/;), and a late 
painting, a S. Jerome (248), painted probably after 
1550, and originally in S. Maria Nuova at Venice. As 
for the portrait, it has so much affinity with Titian's 
works of 1540-43 that it must be given to that period. 
It was formerly in Castel Porcia, near Pordenone, and 
was presented to this gallery in 1892 by the Duchess 
Litta Visconti. There are three works here by 
Tintoretto: a Piet^ (217), a S.Helena with Three Saints 
and Donors (230) and an early work, the Finding of 
the Body of S. Mark, of which the; last is by far the finest. 

By the Verona and Vicenza masters we have here 
a work by Michele da Verona (160) and another by 
Liberal e, a S. Sebastian, as well as a beautiful Madonna 
enthroned with Saints and Angels (165), one of the 
best works of Bartolommeo Montagna, painted in 1499. 
By other Northern masters we may note the works 
by Dosso Dossi, the two works by Rondinelli ; but the 
chief of them is, of course, the Adoration of the Magi, 
an early work by Correggio in his Ferrarese style, a 
notable picture. 

A whole room (XXVI) is given over to the Late 
Bolognrjse masters, Ijut these will not detain us, though 
our fathers would have spent mucli time there. We 
turn with a real eagerness that they would have failed 


to understand to the pictures of Gentile da Fabriano, 
Piero della Francesca, Luca Signorelli, Giovanni Santi, 
Benozzo Gozzoli and, once more at one with our an- 
cestors, Raphael. 

The splendid Polyptych by Gentile da Fabriano (497) 
is an early work: the Coronation of the Virgin with 
two saints on either side, and below in the predella 
delightful scenes from the life of the Virgin, the death 
of S. Peter Martyr, S. John Baptist praying, S. Francis 
receiving the Stigmata, and S. Dominic. Another 
great master, one of the greatest Italy ever produced, 
is well seen in the splendid Madonna enthroned in a 
beautiful Bramantesque hall amid saints and angels, 
with Duke Federigo of Urbino kneeling before her. This 
picture comes from the Church of S. Bernardino at 
Urbino, and though it lacks perhaps the charm of the 
National Gallery pictures, it is a monumental example 
of Piero della Francesca' s art. 

Piero's great pupil, Luca Signorelli, is represented 
here by three pictures, a Madonna and Child with 
Saints (505) and another Madonna and Child (477), 
and a Flagellation (476), which probably once 
formed a single panel. The first picture, painted in 
1500, is signed and inscribed ; it comes from the Church of 
S. Francesco at Arcevia ; the other two (the Flagellation 
is signed) come from S. Maria del Mercato at Fabriano. 
A picture by Benozzo Gozzoli, S. Dominic restoring a 
Child to Life (475), painted in 1461, is also rather an 
Umbrian than a Florentine work. 

We come into the real Umbria indeed with the work 
of Giovanni Santi, the father of Raphael, who has here 
a charming picture of the Annunciation (503) ; and to , 
the most perfect expression of that school in the glorious 
pictm-e by Raphael, one of his few really successful 
subject panels in the Sposalizio. It is a priceless 
treasure that cannot be matched, but it is so well known 
that to describe it would be absurd. 



Two works, at any rate, by Northern masters, the 
at and beautiful Rembrandt, so rare a thing in 
Italy, a Portrait of his sister (614), an early work, and the 
Portrait of the Princess Amalie by Vandyck, should not 
be missed. While our eyes rest upon the Rembrandt 
all Milan seems to be nothing but make-believe, and all 
but three or four works here in the Brera the merest 
pretence. The great Dutchman comes among these 
Italians even in Milan like an emperor, and it is they 
who seem to us as strangers. 

What we chiefly miss in the Brera is the schools of 
Tuscany, and this is to some extent made up to us in 
the Poldi Pezzoli Museum. Here we have a delightful 
Madonna and Child by Botticelli (156), a good early 
copy of an Annunciation (436) by Francesco Pesellino, 
a work probably by that rare master Andrea Verrocchio, 
the profile of a Young Woman (157), an astonishing and 
exquisite thing, and a Triptych (477), a masterpiece 
painted in 1500 by Albertinelli. We have also a Madonna 
and Child with Angels (593) by Pietro Lorenzetti of 

Piero della Francesca is to be seen here, too, in a panel 
of S. Thomas Aquinas (598), while the true Umbria 
is found in a beautiful panel of the Madonna and Child 
(603), perhaps by Pietro Perugino, or more probably by 
Lo Spagna. But what we return to again and again 
are those Tuscan pictures which we miss in the Brera, 
and which seem here to hold out a promise and to 
beckon us over the far-away Apennines. 



SOME three miles outside the Porta Ticinese, to the 
south of the city of Milan, there stands a deserted 
monastery that is at once a shrine and a sepulchre, 
the shrine in Lombardy of S. Bernard, for he founded it, 
and the sepulchre of one of the most amazing heresies 
that have ever sought to destroy Holy Church. The 
place is well worth a visit, and on a spring or autumn 
afternoon is still fair enough to attract us for its own 
sake ; it is called Chiaravalle. 

When S. Bernard was on his way back from the 
Council of Pisa in 1135 he came on his way to Milan, 
and they would have made him Archbishop, as would 
many another city ; but he would not, for he was a monk 
and the chief of his Order, and his home was at Clairvaux. 
Nevertheless, looking about, he spied the little village 
of Rovegnano, and liking the place, and doubtless be- 
sought by the Milanese to do something for them, he 
consented to found there a monastery of his Order and 
to name it in memory of his home. Thus Rovegnano 
became Chiaravalle. 

We know that figure, the one really divine presence 
in all the years of the twelfth century, S. Bernard, who 
for us at least is less a mystic than a man of action, 
a missionary rather than a monk, a true captain of the 
Church. We see him " in ejus clarissima et carissima 




^Kalle " at Clairvaux; we see him overcome Abelard, 
^Hnd send Louis vii. on his disastrous crusade ; we see 
^Bim toihng over the hard and endless roads of Europe, 
^Btnd we know his songs. Well, here at the gates of 
Hftiilan is an abbey which he himself founded and named 
after that valley bright and beloved which was his 

In 1159, the date of the foundation of Chiaravalle, 
the Cistercian Order was already more than sixty years 
old. The first branch, the first reform of the great 
Order which S. Benedict had founded, and which had 
in some sort saved and civilised Europe, was that of 
Cluny, celebrated for its school and designed for that 
" luxury for God," the splendour of His services. Cluny 
had been established in 910, and nearly two hundred 
years later, in 1098, we see the reaction from all that it 
had especially desired in the foundation of Citeaux in 
the desert of Beaune by Robert, Cluniac Abbot of 
Molesme. The Cistercians, as they were called, desired 
above all things "to be poor with Christ, who was 
poor " ; they did not give themselves to learning, 
they refused every luxury for their churches, their 
desire was to live by manual labour, to be poor and 
humble, to possess nothing either for themselves or for 
their house or for their Order. The " importunate 
poverty of Citeaux " became a proverb, and like the 
same claim of the Franciscans later, was a rock of offence 
to all who were not their brethren. Indeed, so greatly 
did this poverty offend the time that Citeaux, in spite of 
the saintliness of its third Abbot, the Englishman 
Stephen Harding, was on the verge of collapse and ruin 
when in 11 13 S. Bernard knocked at the door. Three 
years later, at the age of twenty-five, he was sent with 
twelve brethren to found the monastery he called 
Claire Vallee, which we know as Clairvaux, where he 
lies buried before the altar of Our Lady, as indeed is 
most fitting, for was it not he who dared to add the 


three magnificent vocatives at the end of the Salve 
Regina ? — 

O Clemens, O pia, O dulcis Virgo Maria ! 
Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei genetrix : 
Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi. 

The Cistercian Order, established firmly by S. Bernard, 
was thus an austere institution vowed to poverty and 
simplicity of life : to this Order the Abbey of Chiaravalle 

Barbarossa took the place under his protection, and 
it had many privileges from other emperors. The 
Milanese, too, were devoted to it, and many of the rich 
families in the city made it gifts ; but it chiefly flourished 
by the industry of the monks, who cultivated the land 
they had drained, so that in the thirteenth century it 
possessed some 400 acres of land. It thus, it might seem, 
proved false to the intention of its founder and the rule 
of its Order, so that we are not surprised to learn that 
presently it became famous not for its industry and 
agriculture alone, but for its learning, and was visited 
for this by the highest personages in the country, who 
were used to sojourn there. Among these was the 
Archbishop Ottone Visconti, who died in the monastery, 
where, too, the flower of the Milanese nobility went to 
meet Beatrice d' Este when she came to marry Galeazzo 
Visconti. Indeed, the place was so entrenched in the 
traditions of Milan that it was here the archbishops were 

* The inscription on the door between the church and the 
cloister may still be read : — 

" An. Grat. mcxxxv xi K1, Febb. constructus e hoc monasteriu 
a bto Bnardo — abbe clave vel mccxxi cosecrata e eccia ista a do. 
Henrico Mediolancnsi archiepo vi nonas Maii in onoS see mar 
careval." That is to say, " In the year of grace 11 35, on twenty- 
second January was built this monastery by Blessed Bernard, 
Abbot of Clairvaux. In 1221 was consecrated this church by 
the Lord Henry, Archbishop of Milan, on 2nd May, in honour of 
S. Mary of Clairvaux." 





d to sleep on the night before they made their solemn 
entry into Milan by the Porta Ticinese. 

Such was the monastery of Chiaravalle which 
S. Bernard had founded. In the end of the thirteenth 
century, however, a very strange adventure befell it. 
Lombardy was in that century the unfortunate home of 
a host of heretics, among them the Oriental sect of 
the Manichees, who asserted a double Cause in the 
creation of the world, a good and an evil. Among these 
sectaries there appeared one day a woman with a child, 
which shortly afterwards died. It was said of this 
woman that she was a fugitive nun from her native 
land, which she had left because a monastic life did not 
agree with her amorous inclinations. Her name was 
Guglielmina,^ and she was a Bohemian : she claimed 
to be the daughter of the King of Bohemia. For a 
time she lived at Porta Nuova, then at S. Stefano in 
Borgagna, then at S. Pietro all' Orto. She was known 
as extraordinarily good to the poor, and it seemed as 
though all her joy was in comforting the afflicted ; indeed, 
she appeared so honest and her charity so great that she 
entered the best Milanese society, made the acquaintance 
of the most distinguished families, of priests, of nuns and 
monks, and at last of those of Chiaravalle. She was 
also received by the Suore Umiliate, the most exclusive 
company in Milan, and she was seen to be particularly 
friendly with a certain Andrea Saramita, who had a 
sister and a daughter in the Umiliate. No one seems 
to have aught but good to say of her ; yet, and here is 
the astonishment, this woman was a most pestilent 
heretic, suffering the most horrible delusions, insane, 
and last but not least, a kind of thirteenth-century 

1 Wilhelmina. It has been asserted by the author of the 
Annales of Colmar that she was an EngHshwoman : he empha- 
sises her beauty: but she was not English. Cf. Muratori, 
AntichitcL Italiana (Milano, 1751), torn. iii. p. 309, diss. 60. 
The reference is wrongly given in Milman, Hist, of Lat. Christ. 


feminist or " suffragette." Just as the Manichees had 
asserted that God was both evil and good, so she taught 
that He was male and female ; and therefore she sought 
to establish a woman Pope over against the successor 
of S. Peter, and a priesthood of women over against the 
successors of the Apostles. She attempted this, and in a 
sense she achieved it in the city of Milan in the thirteenth 
century : what she taught was still more blasphemous 
and obscene, yet wonderful to relate she died in her bed, 
unharmed, though she must have smelt furiously of the 
faggot. That price, however, was paid later by her 
woman Pope and others. 

But let us return to Guglielmina, for her story is like 
a monstrous fairy tale.^ Briefly, what she asserted was 
as follows : — 

She declared, first, that she herself, daughter of Con- 
stance, Queen of Bohemia, was the Holy Spirit incarnate 
in the feminine sex. 

Secondly, that even as the Archangel Gabriel had 
announced to Mary the Incarnation of the Divine Word, 
so the Archangel Raphael had announced to Queen 
Constance the Incarnation of the Holy Spirit, and this 
on Whitsunday, on which day also, a complete year after, 
she, Guglielmina, had been born. 

She asserted, thirdly, that as Christ was true God and 
true Man, so she was true God and true Woman (true 
Man in the feminine sex), and that she had been born 
for the salvation of Jews, Saracens and Heretics, even 
as Christ had been born for the salvation of Christians. 

Fourthly, that she must die according to the flesh, but 
not according to her Divine nature, even as Christ. 

* Muratori {ubi cit.) examined all the contemporary docu- 
ments in the Bib. Ambrosiana: " II Processo autentico d' essa, 
formato 1' Anno 1300 e la Storia de' suoi errori, compilata del 
Puricelli, e scritta a penna." The Processo is entitled " Contra 
Guilclmam Bohemara, vulgo Guilielminam, ejusque Sectam." 
Cf. also F. Tocco, Guglielma Bohema e i Guglielmiti (Roma, 1901). 


She insisted, fifthly, that she would rise again with a 
human body of female sex before the day of the final 
Resurrection, and would ascend into heaven in the sight 
of her disciples. 

Sixthly, that as Christ had left S. Peter as His vicar on 
earth to rule His Church, so she also left as her vicar 
on earth Mayfreda of the Umiliate. 

Seventhly, she asserted that this Mayfreda, in imitation 
of S. Peter, would celebrate Mass at the Sepulchre of 
the Holy Spirit Incarnate, and that she would solemnly 
repeat the same Mass in the Metropolitan Church of 
Milan and in Rome. 

Eighthly, she asserted that Mayfreda should be a true 
Papessa, endowed with the power of the Pope himself, 
and that even as the Pope and the Papacy would give 
way to and be abolished by this Papessa, so would 
be baptized Jews, Saracens and other peoples who were 
without the Roman Church. 

Ninthly, to the Four Gospels would succeed four new 
Gospels that Guglielmina would order to be written. 

Tenthly, that as Christ after the Resurrection per- 
mitted Himself to be seen by His disciples, so would she 
be seen by hers. 

Eleventhly, she ordained that all should visit the 
Monastery of Chiaravalle, where she would be buried, 
and that all would thus gain indulgences equal to those 
to be won by going to Jerusalem to the Holy Sepulchre. 
She asserted that pilgrims would come to visit her 
sepulchre from all parts of the world. 

Finally, she proclaimed that to all her disciples perse- 
cution and death would come, even as they came to the 
Apostles of Christ, and that one of these, like Judas, 
would betray them into the hands of the Inquisition. 

Such was the farrago of nonsense that distinguished 
this thirteenth-century feminist. It is certainly more 
blasphemous than many of the claims put forward to-day 
in the twentieth century, but not inherently more absurd. 


Then as now there were many who took these things for 
good sense, who believed in them and were ready to go 
to the stake for the sake of such things. Then as now 
the good sense of the world finds itself amused by them, 
but incapable of considering them seriously. 

The most extraordinary thing about the matter of 
Guglielmina is that she was not interfered with. She 
died in 1281, and was buried, as she had foretold, in the 
MoncLstery of Chiaravalle, though she was first interred 
at S. Pietro all' Orto. Nor was this interment a secret 
business, rather it was very honourable. One of the 
monks spoke her Panegyric, praised her holy life, and 
attributed miracles or something like them to her. 
Lamps and tapers were burnt about her tomb. Three 
times in the year her feast was celebrated by her devotees 
at the monastery, and the common people called her 

Perhaps during her lifetime her blasphemous asser- 
tions founded only a secret cult ; perhaps only her good 
deeds and not her heresies were known abroad ; how- 
ever it may be, she died unmolested and had honourable 
sepulture at Chiaravalle. It was not till the year 1300, 
nineteen years after her death, that the Church began to 
notice this new sect. It was then at once completely 
stamped out. 

During these years Mayfreda had celebrated blas- 
phemous Masses in her house, her followers were used to 
kiss her hand and to receive from her a ridiculous 
benediction. But this could not go on for ever. In 
the year 1300 the Church seems to have discovered the 
sect. Guglielmina's bones were taken up and burned, 
her selpulchre was destroyed, and Andrea Saramita 
and the Umiliata Mayfreda were condemned and 
burned also. It is an amazing story. One wonders, 
after all, whether it can be true. Were these people 
really guilty of this horrible and monstrous impiety, 
or were they the victims of vulgar gossip or worse ? 



uratori certainly accepts the whole story as absolutely 
enuine, and his opinion is not lightly to be questioned. 

nd since we too must accept it, it might seem that even 
he most anticlerical among us will be compelled to 
think of such a man as S. Peter Martyr, of such an in- 
stitution as the Inquisition, as necessary to the sanity 
of the world, and after all on the side of sweetness 
and light. 

Chiaravalle, with its memories of S. Bernard and its 
strange connection with Guglielmina, was suppressed 
in 1797. The church as we see it is nobly picturesque 
and beautiful, but is falling into decay. Little is to 
be seen within : the tomb of Archbishop Ottone Vis- 
conti, who died here, and little beside. As a piece of 
architecture the church is interesting because it has a 
central tower. What I think is, in its own way, quite 
as interesting, however, is the stemma or coat of the 
monastery, a relief of which may still be seen on the door. 
It is a stork which bears in its beak a pastoral staff. For 
Roberto Rusca tells us that the monks of Chiaravalle 
assumed the stork for their stemma because " this 
pious bird seeing its parents old and featherless, took 
them into its own nest, brought them food and stripped 
itself to cover their nakedness. And so monks shall 
use this bird for a sign that they are to be charitable 
to the poor and afflicted." However that may be, we 
know that the whole territory of Rovegnano was covered 
by numerous colonies of storks, and must have been 
exceedingly liable to floods before the monks drained it. 
One misses them there to-day, the passing of their 
white figures, their unhurried footsteps, their friendly 
lights, their soothing and consolatory chants, their 
humanity and their confirmation to us of Europe. Here 
in Chiaravalle there is only emptiness, and what 
S. Bernard built remembers him now no more. 


AT Chiaravalle, as we have seen, we have, though 
in ruin and decay, an abbey of the Cistercian 
Order, founded by S. Bernard himself : it is something 
quite different we find at the Certosa, the Certosa of 
Pavia. Here we have a Carthusian priory, the most 
sumptuous in the world, founded not by a saint but 
by a tyrant, and not for joy but in expiation of a 
monstrous crime. 

It is true that the Carthusian Order, like the Cistercian, 
was a reform of the Benedictines, and that Robert, 
Cluniac Abbot of Molesme, who had founded the Cis- 
tercians, may be said to have launched the Carthusians 
and that while he was still at Molesme. For it seems 
that S. Bruno, born at Cologne in 1030, and educated 
at the famous episcopal school of Rheims, was on 
account of his austerities much persecuted by his 
Bishop, so that he determined to flee the world, and 
to this end sought out S. Robert of Molesme, who sent 
him to S. Hugh, Bishop of Grenoble, who in 1086 led 
him and his six companions to a desolate spot on the 
Alps, more than 10,000 feet above the level of the sea. 
Here S. Bruno built an oratory, and set about it seven 
tiny huts, in which he dwelt with his companions. Thus 
was founded the Grande Chartreuse and the Carthusian 
Order, an Order of hermits who dwelt together and ate in 
common. These early Carthusians would seem to have 

followed the rule of S. Benedict, only they observed a 



perpetual fast, never ate meat, and divided their time 
between manual labour, learning and prayer. They 
said matins and vespers together in their oratory, but 
the Little Hours alone each in his hut. Gradually 
certain customs which grew up among them came to 
have the force of a rule, till in 1368 these were gathered 
up and written out, and being approved, became the 
Statutes of the Order. 

The Carthusians recognise two classes of monks, 
the Fathers and the Conversi or Lay Brothers, and 
among these are again three degrees — to wit, the pro- 
fessed, the novices and the postulants. Each monk, 
as at the foundation of the Order, still lives in a 
separate hut of five small rooms set about a tiny 
cloister opening on a little garden. The rule, which 
is very hard, but which conserves the individual 
privacy of the monk, has never been altered or 
reformed. The monasteries of the Carthusians are 
found in all countries, and are known in France as 
Chartreuses, in Italy as Certose, in Spain as Cartuje, 
and in England as Charterhouses.^ 

It is, then, to a house of this Order, and that the most 
sumptuous and splendid in the world, that we come 
when, on our way from Milan to Pavia, we leave the 
train at the wayside station of Certosa. All the greater 
Carthusian houses look like walled villages, but the 
Certosa of Pavia looks like a city, and it is indeed 
different in many ways from every other monastery 
of the Order. 

To begin with, the Certosa of Pavia, for all its appear- 
ance of solitude, is not built in a waste or desert place 
like the Grande Chartreuse, or like the first house of the 
Order in England on the verge of a forest : it is estab- 

^ The Certosa of Pavia was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin on her 
Nativity, September 8, 1396. In England before the change of 
religion there were twelve Carthusian Houses. To-day, so far as 
I know, there is one at Parkminster in Sussex. 


lished within a few miles of the city of Pavia, one of 
the most important and famous capitals of Lombardy, 
and in this it follows the later custom of the Order, 
which on occasion was used to establish houses in or 
near great cities or towns, as the Charterhouse in 
London, and the Certosa in the Val d' Ema, close to 

In the second place, it has nothing about it of the 
harsh simplicity of the Grande Chartreuse or the rural 
seclusion of modern Parkminster ; it is one of the 
most sumptuous monasteries in the world, and though 
built in the monotonous plain is surrounded by 

Lastly, it owes its foundation, as I have said, not to 
a saint but to a murderer, a man with a monstrous 
crime upon his soul, the worldly benefits of which he 
was then enjoying, Giovanni Galeazzo Visconti. 

In the year 1354, when the great Archbishop Giovanni 
Visconti died, he was succeeded in his great lordship 
by his three nephews, Matteo, Bernabo and Galeazzo. 
The first ruled in Bologna, Lodi, Piacenza, Parma and 
Bobbio, the second in Cremona, Crema, Brescia and 
Bergamo, but Galeazzo held Pavia, Como, Novara, 
Vercelli, Asti, Tortona and Alessandria. The two 
great cities of Milan and Genoa the three governed in 

In 1355 Matteo died, and his brothers ruled the 
whole lordship together, Galeazzo holding his court at 
Pavia and Bernabo at Milan. Galeazzo died in 1378, 
and was succeeded in his part of the Visconti domain 
by his son, Giovanni Galeazzo. There now began 
one of those brutal internecine struggles which are so 
common among the ruling families of Italy. Bernabo 
and his sons determined to get possession of Gian 
Galeazzo's estate ; on the other hand, he made up his 
mind to supplant his uncle and to unite the whole 
Visconti dominion in his own person. Physically the 


^^kan was a coward, and he did not disguise the fact : he 
HBiut himself up in Pavia and plotted his way to victory. 
Ip^ Immersed as his enemies thought in religious exercises, 
he but prepared his treason. In 1385 he made known 
his intention of going on pilgrimage to Our Lady of 
Varese. Leaving Pavia with a bodyguard of Germans, 
he passed near Milan, his uncle and cousins coming forth 
to meet him. When he saw them in his power he spoke 
quietly to his Germans, who surrounded the unsuspecting 
company and took them prisoners. Then he suddenly 
marched into Milan, proclaimed himself Duke, and 
poisoned his rivals in the dungeon where he had cast 
them, at the castle of Trezzo. This is the man, a 
criminal, a coward, but a great ruler, to whom we owe the 
foundation of the Duomo of Milan, and in expiation of 
the crime which got him his power, the foundation of the 
Carthusian monastery of Pavia. 

The Certosa was suppressed as a religious house first 
in 1782 by the Emperor Joseph 11., and then, after a 
brief restoration in 1843, finally with the rest of the 
Italian religious houses in t866. It is now a national 
monument, and it costs a franc to enter it, as it does 
to enter the Ufhzi Gallery or the Brera. It is a national 
monument, and of all the robberies the Italian Govern- 
ment has perpetrated under the cloak of justice and 
popular government this seems to me to be the most 
justified. At least, I think we resent it less than we do 
the shameful theft of S. Francesco at Assisi, or any of 
the thousand crimes that have left the convents of Italy 
desolate and turned them into barracks or post offices 
or worse. For the Certosa of Pavia might seem never to 
have been a true monastery at all. Its fame and its 
incomparable and lavish beauty have almost nothing to 
do with religion. It is not the house of God and of His 
servants we see there, but the magnificent, proud and 
boastful mausoleum of the Visconti lords and of their 
more pretentious successors the Sforza. Pathetically 


insolent even in death, they lie there in all their painted 
splendour uncontrite and unashamed, and the only 
prayers that can ever have been said there must have 
begun with an invocation of their clemency, and the 
only chants must have sung their fulsome praise. 
Nowhere in the world has the pride of men — and of 
such men — faced God out with so strange an effrontery : 
not at the Escorial, where the Spanish kings for all their 
cruel pride, frozen into silence amid those peaks, have 
laid themselves down at last in all humility ; certainly 
not at S. Denis or Westminster, where in the whispering 
aisles men still pray and the dead are a little beloved, 
for they were our own. But these were kings, and their 
royalty demands of us at least the splendour of beauty. 
At the Certosa, more sumptuous by far, men have in- 
terred in marbles so precious that they can never be 
broken a succession of bandits who knew no faith and 
who get no reverence, whom no one ever thinks of with 
kindness, enthusiasm or pride, whose crimes are all 
that they have written on the page of history. Here in 
unregarded splendour lies unremembered till the Day 
of Judgment il Gian Biscione, Gian Galeazzo, murderer 
and coward, the founder of this mausoleum ; here is 
quenched the blood- thirst of Gian Maria of the same 
house ; here, in the remorseless locked marble, Filippo 
has hidden his vices and his cunning ; Francesco Sforza 
and his treason are imprisoned here, and Galeazzo 
Maria with his vanities and his lusts ; and over them all 
hovers the dread they had of the assassin's knife, the 
terror of their end, the pestilence, the cruelty, the 
oppression, the fraud, the labyrinttiine plots, the murder 
and the broken faith by which they lived and died. 
In all this cold and cruel and sumptuous place, where art 
seems for all its joy and health and wealth and willingness 
to have died on the threshold and worked with ghostly 
and inhuman hands, you will not fifnd a touch of human 
dignity : these bourgeois, with commonplace, vicious 



d cunning faces, heavy features, bloated and stupid, 
se are their kings in Lombardy, and all the genius of 
ly has not sufficed to make them noble. 

The gate of the Certosa di Pavia, so picturesque in 
itself and beautiful with the fading frescoes of Bernardino 
Luini, stands more than half a mile from the station. 
It opens on the great courtyard which stands before the 
western fagade of the church, one of those gorgeous 
frontispieces so peculiarly Italian, having, architec- 
turally, little or no relation to the building which lies 
behind, but in themselves complete works of art. Every 
Carthusian monastery is dedicated to the Virgin Mother 
of God, nor is the Certosa of Pavia an exception, for 
here across this fagade of rich and elaborated marbles, 
amid delicate arabesques and numerous bas-reliefs, 
we may read the inscription invoking the protection 
of Mary the Virgin, at once Mater et Filia et Sposa Dei. 
Those bas-reliefs, which rather enrich than decorate a 
frontispiece already too elaborate and confused, relate 
for the most part the story of the founding of the 
monastery and the funeral of the founder, who was 
borne hither from Marignano in November 1443 — the 
triple murderer, Giovanni Galeazzo Visconti. But 
among the more important of them we may trace 
certain smaller plaques, on which are to be found 
scenes from the life of the Blessed Virgin, of S. John 
the Baptist, who so frequently shares with Our Lady 
the dedication of a Carthusian house, but here would 
seem to stand as the patron of the founder ; and of 
those true Milanese heroes, S. Ambrose and S. Siro. 

This extraordinarily rich and beautiful work, perhaps 
the finest thing of its kind that the Renaissance con- 
ceived, was begun in 1491 by Giovanni Antonio Amadeo. 
It was for long attributed to Borgognone the painter, 
and indeed the whole has rather the effect of painting 
than of architecture. 


The church is built in the form of a Latin cross, with a 
very beautiful cupola, a delightful and lovely inspiration, 
above the crossing. Within, the church consists of 
three Gothic naves, with fourteen side chapels, divided 
from the nave, as are the Renaissance transepts and choir, 
by elaborate bronze gates. But rich as the interior is, 
one is continually forced to agree with Street when, in 
speaking of this building, he says : " It is hardly possible 
to scan or criticise the architecture of such a building ; 
... it is better to follow the guidance of the cicerone, 
and to look at the pictures behind the many altars set 
round with precious stones and enclosed within reredoses 
made of such an infinite variety of marbles, that, with 
some degree of envy, one thinks how precious such an 
array would be on this side the Alps, even though it were 
spread through fifty churches." 

Following his advice, we come to the first chapel on 
the left, in which is a Renaissance fountain by the two 
Mantegazza, Antonio and his more talented brother 
Cristoforo. In the second chapel is the upper part of 
that altarpiece, one of the master-works of Perugino, 
which is one of the greater treasures of the National 
Gallery. As we see it here in the Certosa, this altarpiece 
of six compartments consists entirely of copies, save 
the upper central panel, of God the Father, which is the 
original work of Perugino. At the sides of this of old 
stood two panels representing the Annunciation, which 
have disappeared, and below was the triptych we know so 
well in London, the Virgin adoring her Infant Son, with 
S. Michael on one side and S. Raphael with Tobias on 
the other. According to Vasari, Perugino painted this 
altarpiece for the monastery, which in 1786 is said to 
have sold that part of it now in London to one of the 
Melzi family ; but the Certosa was suppressed in 1782, so 
that it seems more than likely that this nefarious traffic 
was the work rather of the Austrian Government than 
of the monks. However that may be, the Melzi family 



by hook or by crook possessed themselves of it and sold 
^^ to the National Gallery in 1856. 
^B- Close by this mutilated altarpiece we have a noble 
^work by Borgognone, the Four Great Church Fathers ; 
and in the sixth chapel there is another work by this 
great Lombard master, S. Ambrose and FourSaints, dated 
1490, which with the following year, 149 1, marks the 
period of Borgognone 's work here, although this master 
painted some five works for the Certosa. Perhaps 
the most remarkable and gifted of the true Lombard 
masters, Borgognone was the follower of Foppa, and 
though his talent is a limited one, he at least escaped that 
blight of prettiness which overwhelmed so many of his 
countrymen and his contemporaries. His real signifi- 
cance as a religious painter has never properly been 
allowed for or understood ; but it remains true neverthe- 
less that when most of his contemporaries all over Italy 
were wholly without the religious sense he was in 
possession of it, so that it informs and distinguishes 
all his art as it had done that of Angelico, and as it was 
doing that of Perugino, but with the Lombard in a 
less divine fashion. As a painter pure and simple, he 
is as near to being a great master as any that Lombardy 
ever produced, and his reputation must continually 
increase, for his strong, sensitive and exquisite work 
remains as something real and sincere in our minds 
when we are weary of the sweetness of Luini and the 
prettiness of Gaudenzio Ferrari. But with him the 
tradition of sincerity and strength which Foppa had 
established in Lombardy comes to an end. 

Nowhere better than here shall we be able to appreci- 
ate Borgognone's work, surrounded as it is by the 
achievements of Leonardo's hapless Lombard pupils. 
Northern Italian art, to be sure, has nothing more lovely 
to show us than the Coronation of the Virgin with the 
kneeling figures of Francesco Sforza and Ludovico il 
Moro. The beauty of the landscape, of the figures, of 


Mary and the Apostles, convinces us of the high place 
to which the art of Borgognone had been called, and 
reminds us that if nothing but his work remained to us 
we should know that Lombardy had produced at least 
one master. 

Here, too, we have two beautiful fragments, the 
recumbent figures of Ludovico il Moro and Beatrice 
d' Este, by Cristoforo Solari, the brother of Andrea, the 
pupil of Leonardo. The monument from which these 
statues come was that erected to Beatrice by her husband 
in the apse of S. Maria delle Grazie in Milan. It was 
early mutilated and removed to one of the aisles there, 
and about a hundred years later was broken up and 
sold. Oldrado da Lampugnano bought these two 
statues for the Certosa, and we can thus see this 
famous Duke and Duchess of the Sforza house as they 
lived. For these works are not only faithful and living 
portraits, but the highest achievement of Lombard 
sculpture and the master- works of that Solari called " II 
Gobbo," for he was a hunchback, who carved the Adam 
and Eve on the fa9ade of the Duomo of Milan and the 
Christ at the Column in the sacristy, works which give 
no real idea of his genius. We shall never see the tomb 
so brutally destroyed, and yet it had a sentimental 
interest as great as its artistic beauty. For it was by 
this tomb of his wife that II Moro watched all through 
the night before his escape from Milan on the approach 
of the French. " She had been a support to him in 
previous hours of danger, and this was a last and 
touching proof of the attachment which he had always 
shown her while living, by associating her name with his 
in all public acts and inscriptions, and by causing her 
portrait to be always painted with his own. Had she 
lived he might perhaps have been spared the loss of his 
kingdom and those eight weary years of captivity in the 
castle of Loches." 

To the east of the north transept and to the left of the 



choir stands the old sacristy. Over the door are fine 
medallions by Amadeo of the Dukes of Milan. Here is a 
curious ivory altarpiece with sixty-seven reliefs and 
eighty small statues of prophets and personages from 
the Old and New Testaments by the Florentine Bal- 
dassare degli Embriachi, a work of the fifteenth century. 
On the left is a picture of S. Augustine by Borgognone. 

In the choir, before the high altar, is a beautiful relief, 
a PietcL, perhaps by Ambrogio Volpi, who built the altar. 
But the chief splendour here is the choir stalls with inlaid 
figures of Apostles and Saints, designed by Borgognone, 
but executed by Bartolommeo dei PoUi in the end of the 
fifteenth century. 

To the right of the choir stands the Lavabo, entered by 
a beautiful door having seven portraits in relief of 
Visconti and Sforza duchesses over a relief by Amadeo 
of Christ washing His disciples' feet. Within, to the 
left, is a fresco by Luini, the Madonna and Child with a 
Carnation. The most beautiful thing here, however, 
is the fifteenth-century glass by Cristoforo de' Mattel. 
From the Lavabo one may reach the cemetery. 

Turning now to the right transept, we come upon the 
great monument to the founder of the monastery and 
of the Duomo of Milan, Giovanni Galeazzo Visconti. 
This tomb, all of Carrara marble, was begun in 1490 
from a design of Galeazzo Pellegrino, but not completed 
till 1562. As we see it, it is the work of many artists, 
among them Galeazzo Alessi. There we see the un- 
scrupulous son of Galeazzo, a physical coward but one 
of the boldest minds in Italy, stretched upon the precious 
marble under a rich canopy of the sixteenth century. 
About the tomb are set six fine reliefs, in which we see 
Gian Galeazzo receiving the baton of command from 
his father ; created Duke of Milan by the Emperor 
Wenceslaus ; founding the Certosa ; building the 
|Castello of Milan ; defeating the Imperial troops at 
Brescia in 1402 ; and establishing the University of 


Pavia. These are commonly stated to be the beautiful 
work of Amadeo. The inscription, however, would 
seem to attribute the whole tomb to Gian Cristoforo 
Romano, which is certainly untrue ; for the statues 
of Fame and of Victory at the extremities of the 
tomb are certainly the work of Bernardino da Novi ; 
that of the Madonna and Child is by Bernardino de« 
Brioschi. I 

This monument is not a tomb. Gian Galeazzo 
Visconti died at Marignano in September 1402, and was 
buried in the Duomo of Milan with much pomp. Forty 
years later his body was removed to the Certosa, but 
when, fifty years after that, this monument was begun, 
no one was able to recall where he had been interred. 
He was completely forgotten. " L'oubli et le silence 
sont la punition." 

On the vault at the end of the transept is a fresco by 
Bramantino, in which we see Gian Galeazzo and his 
family kneeling before the Virgin. He is offering her 
a model of the church ; Filippo is behind him, and Gio- 
vanni and Gabriele Maria, his two other sons, are opposite. 
Fontana's two great bronze candelabra and the fine 
glass in the windows complete what is, I suppose, the 
finest corner of this church. Close by is the Sagrestia 
Nuova, reached by a door over which is a fresco of the 
Madonna enthroned with saints and angels, by that 
rare master Montagna, between pictures by Borgognone. 
The large altarpiece here is the work of Andrea Solario, 
and represents the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin. 

Proceeding now into the aisle, we find in the third 
chapel perhaps the loveliest picture in the church, 
I mean Borgognone's splendid altarpiece of S. Siro* 
and four saints. Another work, a Crucifixion, by the 
same master, greets us in the next chapel, and the Four 
Evangelists about Maderno's altarpiece in the sixth 
are also the work of this great Lombard. 

One should, if the guides that infest the church will 


allow it, return to the south transept, and from it enter 
the Chiostro della Fontana, the Small Cloister with its 
frescoes by Crespi and its terra-cotta frieze of children 
playing upon instruments of music. The doorway into 
this cloister is the work of Amadeo. It is a cold but 
lovely place, and offers us the best view we can get of 
the church. The refectory is to be reached from it, a 
fine room with a cornice by Borgognone. 

From the Chiostro della Fontana, too, we may reach 
the Great Cloister, surrounded on three sides by the cells 
of the monks, empty now, each consisting of four rooms 
on two floors and a tiny garden. 

Such is the great Certosa of Pavia, a place famous in 
history, and one of the most sumptuous buildings in 
the world, now as dead and as empty as the Italian 
Government can make it. One wonders, as one is led 
about this extraordinary mausoleum, how anyone can 
ever have prayed there, it is so cold and so proud in 
its immortality. How often when I have lingered, 
hoping at evening for a sign and finding none, have 
I longed for the ruins of my own land, where a 
kinder because a less vulgar fate has overtaken all 
such places as this. For there comes back into my 
mind the stillness and the holiness of that hillside in 
Somerset where I have so often dreamed away the hours 
amid the early English arches covered with ivy and 
golden lichens and all manner of flowers, that is 
Hinton Charterhouse, wrapped in a lovely sleep, guard- 
ing our past, and still to be named Locus Dei. 


PAVIA, " La Dotta," the learned, the City of the 
Hundred Towers, lies on the northern bank of 
the Ticino, some four miles to the south of the Certosa. 
On the right bank of the river lies the small suburb 
of Borgo Ticino, which is connected with the city by 
a remarkable covered bridge, built in 1351 by Gian 
Galeazzo Visconti. This place has always stood out- 
side the city, or rather the fortress proper of Pavia, 
which, with its tremendous walls and towers, for many 
centuries was the strongest place in all the Lombard 
plain : Verona, which held the northern gate, being its 
only rival. 

Ticinum, as Pavia was anciently called, has a long 
and an illustrious history. It took its name from 
the river on which it stands, some five miles above 
the junction of that stream with the Po, and according 
to Pliny it was originally of Gaulish foundation. It 
is almost certainly, indeed, later than the time of 
Hannibal, who must have crossed the Ticino in the 
immediate neighbourhood of the present town, and it 
is highly probable that the ford here created the place, 
which thus even in its genesis was a fortress. The 
earliest mention of Ticinum in history is to be foundry 
in Tacitus,^ who tells us that Augustus, on the death of 
Drusus, the father of Germanicus, advanced " as far 
as Ticinum" to meet the funeral procession. It must 
indeed about this time have become of some importance, 

^ Ann. iii. 5. 




PAVIA 149 

the great highroad from Piacenza to the foot of the 
ps passed through it, and not through Milan, though 
later, when the latter city had become the second capital 
of Italy, it was customary to proceed thither, instead 
of following the more direct way. 

But it was not till after the fall of the Empire that 
Ticinum rose to the position it occupied all through 
the Dark Ages. Its fame began with the disaster of 
452, when Attila took and sacked it; but Theodoric, 
struck by its position, rebuilt it, and erected there 
a royal palace, finally making it so strong that it 
became what it long remained, the most formidable 
citadel in this part of Italy, in which the royal treasure 
was deposited.! When the Lombards broke into 
Italy, the city, which they called Papia, offered an 
heroic resistance to Alboin, and was not taken till it 
had been besieged for more than three years. It was, 
however, under the Lombards that it reached the 
zenith of its fame, for it then became the capital of the 
kingdom of Italy, a position which it held till 774, 
when Desiderius, the last of the Lombard kings, was 
compelled to surrender the city by Charlemagne, after 
a blockade of fifteen months. 

Charlemagne appears before Pavia in answer to the 
call of Pope Hadrian from beleaguered Rome, as the 
saviour of Europe in one of the most tremendous 
moments in our history. All great things become as a 
tale that is told — best of all in verse — and this too : — 

It is a tale of Charlemagne, 
When like a thundercloud that lowers 
And sweeps from mountain crest to coast, 
With lightning flaming through its showers, 
He swept across the Lombard plain, 
Beleaguering with his warlike train 
Pavia, the country's pride and boast, 
The City of the Hundred Towers. 

1 Cf. Procopius, De Bello Gotico, ii. 12, 25, iii. i, iv. 32. 


Charlemagne himself, with a great part of that 
sleepless army to which we owe all that is precious to us 
to-day, crossed the Alps by the Mont Cenis, the rest 
of his troops making their way into Lombardy by the 
Great St. Bernard. The army of Desiderius, which 
had intended to meet him in the narrow defiles, fled 
at his approach, and the last Lombard king shut himself 
up in his great fortress of Pavia to await the coming of 
the Iron King — with what presentiments and expecta- 
tions let the ballad tell, for it is very glorious : — 

Olger the Dane and Desiderio, 
King of the Lombards, on a lofty tower 
Stood gazing northward o'er the rolUng plains, 
League after league of harvests, to the foot 
Of the snow-crested Alps, and saw approach 
A mighty army, thronging all the roads 
That led into the city. And the King 
Said unto Olger, who had passed his youth 
As hostage at the Court of France, and knew 
The Emperor's form and face : " Is Charlemagne 
Among that host ? " and Olger answered: " No." 

And still the innumerable multitude 

Flowed onward and increased, until the King 

Cried in amazement : " Surely Charlemagne 

Is coming in the midst of all these knights ! " 

And Olger answered slowly : " No, not yet ; 

He will not come so soon." Then, much disturbed. 

King Desiderio asked : " What shall we do, 

If he approach with a still greater army ? " 

And Olger answered : " When he shall appear, 

You will behold what manner of man he is ; 

But what will then befall us I know not." 

Then came the guard that never knew repose. 
The Paladins of France ; and at the sight 
The Lombard king, o'ercome with terror, cried : 
" This must be Charlemagne ! " and as before 
Did Olger answer : " No, not yet, not yet." 

And then appeared, in panoply complete. 
The Bishops and the Abbots and the Priests 
Of the Imperial Chapel and the Courts ; 

PAVIA 151 

And Desiderio could no more endure 

The light of day, nor yet encounter death, 

But sobbed aloud, and said : " Let us go down 

And hide us in the bosom of the earth, 

Far from the sight and anger of a foe 

So terrible as this ! " And Olger said : 

" When you behold the harvests in the fields 

Shaking with fear, the Po and the Ticino 

Lashing the city walls with iron waves, 

Then may you know that Charlemagne is come." 

Now, even as he spake, in the north-west, 
Lo, there uprose a black and threatening cloud 
Out of whose bosom flashed the light of arms 
Upon the people pent up in the city ; 
A light more terrible than any darkness ; 
And Charlemagne appeared : — a Man of Iron ! 

His helmet was of iron, and his gloves 

Of iron, and his breastplate and his greaves 

And tassets were of iron, and his shield. 

In his left hand he held an iron spear, 

In his right hand his sword invincible. 

The horse he rode on had the strength of iron 

And colour of iron. All who went before him. 

Beside him, and behind him, his whole host, 

Were armed with iron, and their hearts within them 

Were stronger than the armour that they wore. 

The fields and all the roads were filled with iron, 

And points of iron glistened in the sun 

And shed a terror through the city streets. 

This at a single glance Olger the Dane 
Saw from the tower, and turning to the King, 
Exclaimed in haste : " Behold ! this is the man 
We looked for with such eagerness ! " and then 
Fell as one dead at Desiderio's feet. 

Thus came Charlemagne into Italy to deliver Europe 
from the barbarian and to restore the Empire. He 
came at the behest of the Pope Hadrian, who sent him 
a messenger whose name was Peter. This Peter — 
such was the state of Italy in the hands of the barbarians 
— travelled by sea to Marseilles, and so up the Rhone 


valley, to find Charlemagne on the Moselle near Metz. The 
great king heard the Pope's summons, and determined 
to deliver us out of our distress. He set out with his 
invincible armies, crossed the barriers of the Alps and 
swept down upon Pavia, which after fifteen months' 
siege fiung open her gates on a Tuesday in June 774. 
The domination of the Lombards was ended by that 

Charlemagne, who as it seems never entered Milan, 
used Pavia as the centre of his power in Italy. A royal 
residence was built in the neighbourhood on the Olona, 
and called Corteolona. But with the failure of the 
Carolingian power Pavia decayed, and became what it 
ever after remained, a provincial city. Yet it was in 
S. Michele Maggiore at Pavia that Berenger of Friuli 
and his successors down to Adalbert 11. were crowned 
kings of Italy. In the reign of the first Berenger 
Pavia was sacked by the Hungarians, but in 951 it was 
the scene of the marriage of Otto i. and that Adelaide 
whom he had crossed the Alps to rescue and to marry ; 
and in this romance was established once more the often 
broken Empire. Fifty years later, however, when the 
succession of the crown of Italy was in dispute between 
the Emperor Henry 11. and Arduin of Ivrea, Pavia took 
the part of the latter, and in 1004 was laid in ruins by 
Henry, when on the night of his coronation in S. Michele 
Maggiore he was attacked by the people. Nevertheless, 
it rose from its ruins, and in 1026 was even ready to close 
its gates against Conrad the Salic. 

The eleventh and twelfth centuries show us a growing 
jealousy between Pavia and Milan, which in the 
general amelioration of the world and the growing 
power of the Latin population of Italy could have but 
one end, the ruin of Pavia. To save herself, Pavia 
turned to the Emperors, and indeed remained attached 
to their cause till the end of the fourteenth century. 
This availed her very little, however, for by 1360, when 

PAVIA 153 

eazzo Visconti was appointed Imperial Vicar by 
Charles iv., the city had become a mere possession of 
the ruling Milanese family, without life of its own or 
any sort of independence. Henceforth Pavia is 
merged in the Duchy of Milan, and it has very little 
real importance even in the local history of Lombardy 
till we come to the year 1499, when it revolted against 
the French garrison. For this in the following year 
it paid the penalty, and in 1512, after the French victory 
at Ravenna over the Papal and Spanish armies, which 
cost Gaston de Foix his life, Pavia was tamed, and as a 
sign of fidelity presented Louis xii. with a magnificent 
standard. The victory of Ravenna, however, and the 
death of Gaston de Foix closed the good fortune of 
the French in Italy. For all its promised fidelity to 
the French, by 1525 it had been fortified so strongly 
that it was able to defy Francis i., who was utterly 
beaten in the neighbourhood on February 24 in that 
year, the king, after fighting with heroic valour and 
killing seven of the enemy with his own hand, being 
taken prisoner. So utterly without hope did that 
defeat leave the French that Francis wrote to his 
mother, Louise of Savoy, Regent of France in his 
absence, that letter in which occurs the famous phrase, 
"Tout est perdu, fors I'honneur." All was not lost, 
however, for two years later Lautrec was able to avenge 
that famous defeat and to put Pavia to the sack during 
seven days. 

During the years of Spanish rule, after the Duchy of 
Milan in 1540 was annexed to the Spanish crown, life 
in Pavia was what it was everywhere else in Lombardy, 
till in 1655 Prince Tommaso of Savoy, at the head of 
a French army of 20,000, laid siege to Pavia, but after 
fifty- two days raised it and withdrew. In all this, 
and in the events of the years which followed, Pavia 
suffered as a part of Lombardy the common misfortune. 
It was continually occupied and reoccupied by the 


Austrians (1706), the French (1733), the Spaniards 
(1743) ; the Austrians finally holding the whole field 
(1746-96). In the May of 1796 Napoleon appeared 
before the city, took it and pillaged it during three 
days. The hope he brought of an Italian kingdom 
failed, and in 1814 Pavia with the rest of the sometime 
kingdom was in the Austrian power again. But the 
apparition of Napoleon had prophesied a new future, 
which the nineteenth century was to see realised. After 
the glorious revolution of 1848, which was crushed with 
an extraordinary brutality by the Austrians, and the 
University closed, in 1859 Savoy was in the field, and 
Pavia with the rest of Lombardy passed, as we may 
expect, permanently to that standard, to form the 
strongest and most formidable part of that new State 
and nation we know as United Italy. 

Pavia appears to us to-day, not as a great industrial 
capital like Milan, but as one of those old-world pro- 
vincial cities which are the strength and the glory of 
Italy. Her very famous past may, largely, be still 
read in her aspect and in her stones and buildings, 
and at least we may note there the various periods 
of her history, and remember in the modern city 
all that has gone with so much rumour and sound 
before us. 

The oldest church in Pavia, one of the most re- 
markable churches in Lombardy, is S. Michele Mag- 
giore, which stands not far from the Ticino, in that 
part of the city that is farthest from the railway 

All along the Via ^Emilia, between Venetia on the 
north and Tuscany and the Apennines on the south, 
between the Alps and the Adriatic, there may be found 
a whole series of buildings, certainly of the North, 
belonging to a style of architecture which we call 
Lombard, but which it would be an error to merge 
altogether in the larger title of Romanesque. Perhaps 

PAVIA 155 

^|be most remarkable of these buildings, among which 
we may name Borgo S. Donnino, the monastic church 
of Chiaravalle and S. Fedele at Como,^ is the Church 
of S. Michele at Pavia, which is certainly one of 
the earliest, dating as it does from the last years of 
the eleventh century. Its true plan is that of a basilica 
190 feet long by 45 feet wide, but short transepts have 
been added to it. The main building is of massive 
stone, and is ornamented and broken without by 
small open galleries crowning the apse and the facade. 
The doors are round- arched, decorated with mouldings 
and all sorts of imagery, bands of which are carried 
across the facade, and, as medallions, break the monotony 
of the walls. The windows, like the doors, are round, 
and the whole is at once massive, savage and restless, 
a true barbarian work — that is to say, the work of a 
barbarian who has been brought in contact with Latin 
work and has been unable to use or assimilate it. 
Something rude and uncouth we find in all this, of course, 
for that is the fundamental nature of it, but how full 
of energy and life it is, too, how restless, daring and 
unhappy. And indeed the whole building seems to 
express a sort of disappointment, most of all with itself, 
as though its builders had seen a vision which they 
could not recall, or had heard some sudden good news 
which they could not remember. It is well to remember 
that the church is dedicated to the warrior-archangel 
S. Michael, and that everywhere it speaks of deliverance 
— deliverance perhaps from the helpless misery and dis- 
orderliness of the forests, of the roadless lands hidden 
in the twilight of the North, that here on the sunny side 
of the great mountains had been left behind for ever, 
but still remained as a kind of uneasy and ever recurrent 
dream. The souls of the men who built these churches 
were haunted by an unconscious recollection of 

^ We shall come upon others in S. Maria Maggiore at Bergamo, 
the Duomos of Cremona. Piacenza, Modena and Parma. 


barbarism, from which suddenly and by a kind of 
miracle their fathers and they themselves had been 
delivered. So over the main portal of the church 
they built to S. Michele they carved the great archangel 
and deliverer battling with the Devil ; over the south 
door they carved S. George victorious over the Dragon ; 
over the north door Jonah saved from all the restless 
desert of the sea by the whale, which might, for us at 
least, well stand here for Latin civilisation, which was 
to preserve the barbarian really by swallowing him 
whole and altogether. 

This haunting dread, and an overwhelming sense of 
deliverance from it, are expressed not only in these 
carvings over the doors, but everywhere in S. Michele. 
The belts of carving along the walls, the medallions, 
and the figures on the jambs of the arches represent 
dragons, griffins, sphinxes, centaurs, snakes and 
eagles, a whole menagerie of doubtful creatures from 
whose power here in Italy one had escaped, that 
Christianity certainly had once and for all disposed of. 
It is the same within the church, and indeed here in 
S. Michele Christianity appears in the eleventh century 
as it appeared to the men of the primitive Church, 
as a refuge from a whole world of danger, disorder 
and ennui, as a refuge most of all, perhaps, from Oneself ; 
a philosophy, a faith, a revelation upon acquiring or 
receiving which depended the safety of the whole 
world and of one's own soul. It is possible here in this 
strange and lonely church to understand that ultimately 
there is no such thing as Europe, that there is only 
Christendom, since it is upon what is in the mind 
and the soul the present and the future of man 

Within, the church, restored in the middle of the last 
century, is supported by eight pillars, from which rise 
double round arches along the nave, while the crossing 
is covered by an octagonal dome. Here the crypt 

PAVIA 157 

I.nder the choir is probably older than the church as we 
Be it, and may well date from the seventh century 
r earlier. 
To pass from S. Michele to the Duomo in the midst 
of the city is to pass from the greatness of Pavia to its 
provincial splendour under the Visconti and the Sforza. 
The Duomo was begun by Galeazzo Maria Sforza in 1488, 
and was still unfinished when Ludovico il Moro went 
into captivity, as it remains to-day. It is not a pleasing 
building, and if we may judge by the modern model 
within the sacristy, had it been finished we should have 
liked it less even than we do. The beautiful old doorway 
between the campanile and the main building is the only 
relic of an earlier building that stood here or ever 
the Sforza came, under the old invocation of S. Siro, 
whose body lies in the crypt in a marble tomb enclosed 
in a splendid shrine. 

From the Cathedral one proceeds up the Corso to 
the Piazza d' Italia and the University, which it is said 
Charlemagne founded in 774. However that may be, 
the University of Pavia owes almost everything to Gian 
Galeazzo Visconti, who endowed it with many privileges 
in 1390 and is regarded as its founder. Nevertheless, 
Pavia was able to boast of learning and philosophy before 
the Visconti were thought of. Is not Boethius her son, 
and did he not write here in his captivity the De Con- 
solatione Philosophiae that our King Alfred loved ? 
And was not Lanfranc, Norman William's Archbishop 
of Canterbury, born here, and did he not make the legal 
and philosophical school of Pavia famous through all 
Europe ? To Giovanni Visconti we owe, however, the 
presence here of Petrarch, who was so often his guest ; 
and the Visconti foundation can at least boast of a name 
famous through the world, for in 1447 Christopher 
Columbus was at the University here. 

For all this fame, there is little to be seen of the old 
buildings of the University : it all seems to be of the 


eighteenth century and to be due to Maria Theresa or the 
Emperor Joseph. More interesting is the church behind 
the University, dedicated to S. Maria di Canepanova, 
begun in 1492 by Galeazzo Maria Visconti in the style 
of Bramante, that true Italian way of building with 
space and light and harmony. On the western side of 
the University, and about as far from it as S. Maria di 
Canepanova, is the Church of S. Maria del Carmine, or 
as some have it, S. Pantaleone, a beautiful Gothic building 
of brick, unlike anything else I know in all Lombardy, 
and with a very lovely campanile. 

From this delicate and un- Italian thing, like a strange 
wild flower, unexpected and beautiful, we turn back into 
the Corso, and pursuing our way come at last to the 
gloomy Castello on the verge of the city. This horrid 
place is said to stand upon the site of the palace of the 
Lombard kings : it is itself, however, a building of 1460, 
and it has faced all the French, Spanish and Austrian 
invasions till 1796, when the French to make it more 
impregnable removed the roof and covered it with earth, 
and finally left it the ruinous thing we see. It is now 
an artillery barracks and well worth seeing, gloomy and 
dilapidated though it be. 

The great treasure of Pavia, however, is to be found 
in that church close to the Castello which is called 
S. Pietro in Ciel d' Oro, which with its magnificent west 
front and polygonal tower is itself a wonder, but is 
altogether glorious because it is the casquet — as far as 
the body of the church goes a poor one — of one of the 
five great shrines of Italy — that of S. Augustine — 
comparable in splendour with those of S. Peter 
Mart}^- in S. Eustorgio at Milan, of S. Domenico at 
Bologna, of S. Donato at Arezzo, and of Our Lady in Or 
S. Michele at Florence. 

The body of S. Augustine, with the fall of the Roman 
Empire, was brought in 430 from Hippo in the province 
of Africa, then in the hands of the Vandals, to Cagliari in 


PAVIA 159 

ardinia by the Catholic clergy whom King Thrasmund 
the Vandal and Arian had banished. Originally 
the body had been buried in the Church of S. Stefano 
at Hippo ; it was reinterred in the Church of S. Saturnio 
in CagliarijWhere for more than two centuries it remained, 
till indeed Sardinia was overrun by the Saracens and 
it was found impossible to protect the pilgrims to the 
shrine. Then the great Liutprand, King of the Lombards, 
bought the body of the infidel for 60,000 golden crowns, 
and in 710 had it borne to his Church of S. Pietro in 
Ciel d' Oro in Pavia, where he placed it in the custody 
of the Benedictines, who then held the church and 
monastery, and when he came to die he looked for 
nothing better than to be buried at the feet of the great 
Doctor and Saint, and so it was. 

In 1220 the church passed from the Benedictines to 
the Canons Regular of S. Augustine, and a hundred 
years later, in 1327, the place was given into the part 
keeping of the Canons of the Eremitani di S. Agos- 
tino. In 1350 the latter, it is said, began the work of 
erecting a great shrine to hold the body of the Saint, 
probably in competition or imitation of the Dominicans, 
who by the hands of Balduccio had just built the 
marvellous shrine of S. Peter Martyr in S. Eustorgio 
of Milan. 

The work at Pavia, it now appears certain, was given 
to one or more of those pupils of Balduccio who were 
numerous in Lombardy, probably to Matteo and Bonnino 
di Campione. It is probable that Gian Galeazzo, 
uneasy about the murder he contemplated, both before 
and after its accomplishment, supplied the Eremitani 
with a large part of the necessary money ; other sums, 
as we know, came from the faithful and pilgrims, and 
indeed we hear in the course of a dispute, finally settled 
by the Holy See, of a sum of 4000 gold crowns being 
given by one person. 

With the decay of religion and the horrors of the wars 


the shrine seems to have fallen into decay, the church 
became a military hospital, and it was at length proposed 
to transfer the tomb to the Cathedral. Nothing was 
done, however, till towards the end of the eighteenth 
century the shrine was taken down and carried ofi to 
the Church of the Gesu, whither the Eremitani had 
been transferred. Then, in 1799, the Eremitani were 
suppressed altogether, the Church of S. Pietro, save 
the tower and fa9ade, was demolished, and in the out- 
cry which followed the shrine was remembered, drawn 
out of its obscurity at the Gesu and re-erected in the 
Cathedral. In 1902, however, the Church of S. Pietro 
having been rebuilt, the shrine was replaced as we now 
see it. 

In appearance the shrine is a vast oblong tomb 
covered by a canopy borne by square piers. The whole 
is of marble, and in every part is elaborately carved and 
niched and set about with statues and reliefs. On the 
top of the tomb, beneath the gabled canopy, the marble 
effigy of the Saint lies in a linen pall upheld by angels. 
The whole is perhaps a trifle heavy and compares badly 
with Balduccio's work in S. Eustorgio, but it is in itself 
a marvellous and precious monument, an everlasting 
witness to the nobility of the age which produced, 
and to the men who desired and loved such a work as 

It is easy to measure the enormous abyss which 
separates our time from theirs, and us from them, 
when we realise that nowhere in the world could such 
a work as this be carried out to-day ; but then we 
no longer hold the Christian philosophy and have so 
far ceased to be European. It is little wonder, then, 
that when we would build a monument we erect such a 
vulgarity as the Victoria Memorial, or such a heavy 
ineptitude as the Admiralty Arch at Charing Cross, 
and this though no saint that has ever existed is capable 
of exciting in us the love and reverence we had for 

PAVIA i6i 

m Victoria. Nor are we alone in this : industrialism 
set its loathsome seal upon all our hearts, that 
without love or speech or sight or hearing we may pass 
gloomily through a gloomy and unhappy world without 
hope and without beauty. 



SOME ten miles to the north of Milan, still in the 
plain but within sight of the hills, stands Monza, 
which in its memories, its beautiful relics, its thirteenth- 
century Broletto, recalls for us the earlier Lombardy, 
for it was here from the eleventh century, in the first 
city within the Italian border, that the emperors-elect 
were crowned kings with the " iron crown of Lombardy," 
still holy and still preserved over the high altar of the 
Duomo, before they set out on that long march to 
Rome, there to receive the Imperial title and consecra- 
tion from the hands of the Pope. 

But Monza, Imperial as she is, as might be expected, 
is far older than the eleventh century. She seems 
first to have become important in the time of Theodoric 
the Goth, who is said to have built a palace here, 
perhaps a summer residence ; but her real and great 
fame dates from the sixth century, when that romantic 
Queen with the beautiful name, Theodolinda, made 
the place her residence and her capital. 

Autharis, King of the Lombards, an Arian and perhaps 
a pagan, had already when we find him king asked 
for and obtained the promise of the hand of Chlodosinda, 
daughter of Brunichildis, sister of Childebert, King of 
Austrasia. But when news reached Gaul of the con- 
version of Recared of Spain to the Catholic Faith, 
Brunichildis, who was herself a convert from Arianism 
and a fervent Catholic, broke of! her daughter's engage- 
ment to Autharis and betrothed her to Recared. 



MONZA 163 

^tb a nearer neighbour, and determined to woo Theo- 
dolinda, daughter of Garibald, Duke of the Bavarians, 
whose beauty he had heard many rumours, for she 
as very fair and slender. 
Taking, therefore, a few of his followers, he set out 
for the Bavarian Court in disguise, determined to be 
his own ambassador. To an old and trusted courtier 
was given the apparent leadership and the opening 
speech of greeting, and then Autharis himself, incognito, 
came forward and said : " My master Autharis has 
sent me that I may behold the face of his betrothed, 
our future mistress and Queen, and may make report 
of her beauty to my lord." 

Garibald then brought forward his daughter, and as 
Autharis gazed in silence on the beauty of Theodolinda 
he found himself in love. Thereafter he said to the 
Duke: " In truth we see that your daughter is well 
worthy to be our Queen. Command therefore, I pray, 
that we may receive from her hands a goblet of wine, as 

Iwe hope often to do in years to come." And Theo- 
dolinda brought the goblet and offered it first to the 
old man as chief ; then she offered it to Autharis, all 
unwitting that he was her future husband. And he in 
returning the cup secretly intertwined his fingers with 
hers, and bending low to drink, guided them over his 
face from forehead to chin as it were a caress. 

When the embassy was gone, Theodolinda, not without 
shame, told her nurse of the strange behaviour of the 
Lombard. But the old dame in her cunning perceived 
the truth, and said : " Assuredly this must be the King 
thy suitor, for only he would dare to do so to thee. 
But let us not speak of this, lest thy father hear of it 
and be angry. In truth this Lombard is a comely 
person, worthy of the kingdom and of thee." 

She was right. The ambassadors were dismissed : 
no sooner did they reach the confines of Italy than 


Autharis, raising himself on his horse, darted his battle- 
axe against a tree with incomparable dexterity. ' * Such , ' * 
said he to the astonished Bavarians, " such are the 
strokes of the King of the Lombards." 

Not long after, Bavaria was invaded from Gaul, and 
Theodolinda fled to Italy to her lover. They were 
married in the palace at Parma. But their happiness 
was destined to be brief. At the end of a year Autharis 
died, and Theodolinda, who had endeared herself to the 
Lombards, became their Queen, able to bestow with her 
hand the sceptre of the Italian kingdom. She married 
Agilulf, and made Monza her home. There she built a 
splendid palace, where after seven years of married life 
she gave birth to a son, Adaluald, who was baptized 
into the Catholic Faith. For indeed the great and 
noble work of Theodolinda was the conversion of the 
Lombard barbarians, lost in paganism or the Arian 
heresy, to Christianity; and in this she was the 
prot6g6e of Gregory the Great, who loved her, for she 
was indeed the main agent in that great change which 
at last brought the Lombard nation into line with the 
other Teutonic monarchies of Europe. She died soon 
after the murder of her son in 628. 

The palace of Theodolinda, like the palace of Theodoric, 
stands no more in Monza; even its ruins have been 
destroyed. But she founded there something more 
enduring than a royal pleasaunce, that in some sort 
remains to us to this day, the great Church of S. John 
the Baptist, which she built in 590, and which was 
replaced by a Romanesque church in the twelfth 
century, and was again rebuilt in the fourteenth by 
Matteo da Campione. 

Monzia terra bona civili digna corona : 
Monzia cunctorum dives et plena bononim : 
Monzia dat drapos cunctis mercantibus aptos : 
Monzia stat damnis precibus defensa Johannis. 

So sings, in his uncouth way, Buonincontro Morigia. 

MONZA 165 


of Bragherio, S. Ambrogio and La Santa, Monza is a 
fair city. If the ancients knew her not, for she is a city 
of the Fall, to the men of the Middle Age she was as 
famous as any town in Italy, and the great church 
i which Theodolinda, the Apostle of the Lombards, built 
beside her own palace remained through all its re- 
buildings the one true coronation church that has ever 
been erected south of the Alps. 

It is impossible here to tell all over again the history 
of Italy, or even of the Lombard kings who reigned in 
Monza until Desiderius was broken by Charlemagne, 
who is said to have come hither to Monza to receive the 
Iron Crown amid the most splendid ceremonies. What 
remains to us in Monza of that time is to be found in 
the great church. 

This, as I have said, is as we see it mainly a building 
of the fourteenth century by Matteo da Campione, 
yet even so it has been sadly spoiled in modern times. 
The fagade, which has been very largely restored in our 
own day, as Matteo da Campione built it was the 
model for the fa9ade of the Duomo of Milan. Over the 
main portal, upheld by serpentine columns resting upon 
lions and surmounted by a gilt figure of S. John 
Baptist, is a very curious relief from the earliest church, 
representing the Baptism of Christ, for the church is 
dedicated to S. John Baptist. There we see the Holy 
Spirit in the likeness of a dove, holding a vase in its 
mouth from which water falls upon the head of Our 
Lord ; an angel holds His garments, and near by stand 
the Blessed Virgin, S. John, S. Peter and S. Paul. 
Above, we see Theodolinda herself offering a jewelled 
crown to S. John Baptist, and with her her family: 
her husband Agilulf, her son Adaluald and her daughter 
Gundiberg. Adaluald holds in his hand a dove, a symbol 
perhaps of his purity and youth. This is all that remains 
without of the time of Theodolinda. The brick cam- 


panile is of the sixteenth century, and the ineffective 
fagade is largely work of the restoration. 

Within, the church is spoilt by paint and restoration. 
In the right transept is a relief of the time of Otho iii., 
representing the coronation perhaps of that Emperor, 
with the six Electors and the Count of Saxony holding 
the sword of Charlemagne. Upon the altar are the 
treasures of Queen Theodolinda. 

In the chapel to the left of the choir in a large 
monstrance in the shape of a cross is preserved the holy 
and famous Iron Crown of Lombardy, which it is said 
Gregory the Great gave to Theodolinda. It consists of 
an inner circlet of iron beaten out of one of the nails of 
the Cross : this precious relic is encased in a circle of 
gold and jewels. It is one of the most sacred and priceless 
treasures — even from a merely historical point of view 
— to be found in Italy, for it has circled the brows of 
Theodolinda, of Charlemagne, of Frederick Barbarossa,^ 
of Charles v. and of Napoleon i. In itself it seems to 
bind Europe indissolubly into one ; and if ever the 
Empire be re-erected it is with this majestic and holy 
symbol we shall crown our Emperor. Not with it has 
the modern Italian kingdom been consecrated, a newer 
and a more brittle ring of gold suffices it. This symbol 
of iron, as old and as indestructible as Europe, awaits, 
let us believe it, him who shall make us one. 

And here in this holy place under the crown lies she 
who brought light and strength to her kingdom, the 

* So say the historians, but Cantii points out that Guntherus 
sings, in the 8th Book of the Ligurinus : 

" Turn demum victus Federicus ab urbe recessit, 
Medio cumque potens, prisco dignatus honore 
Illustrare locum, sacro diademate crines 
Induit et dextra gestavit sceptra potenti : " 
which means that he showed himself there in the crown. In 
the five days that Frederick spent at Monza were consumed a 
thousand wagons of wood for his kitchen, and a hundred Imperial 



MONZA 167 

Apostle of the Lombards, Queen Theodolinda, the friend 
of Gregory. Her tomb, a sarcophagus resting upon 
ur pillars of marble, is a work of the fourteenth 
ntury, and the four frescoes of scenes from her life 
e of the fifteenth, restored in our own day. More 
interesting are her gifts to the church — the few that 
remain — in the treasury : a hen with seven chickens 
of silver-gilt, her crown and comb of gold filigree and fan 
of painted leather, and best of all, the " precious Gospel 
book" and cross which Gregory gave her when her son 
was baptized : it was his last gift before his death. 

Nothing else of any interest remains in the church, 
save the Sacramentary of Berengarius, who resided here 
in 903 and generously endowed the basilica, and the 
pastoral cross used by the emperors-elect at their 

In 1045 Archbishop Aribert, fleeing from Milan, took 
refuge in Monza, and almost caused the destruction of 
the city. In 1158, however, Monza was restored by 
Barbarossa. In the wars between Frederick and the 
Milanese, Monza at first, and naturally, sided with 
the Emperor, who enriched her church, surrounded the 
borgo with walls and founded a palace here. After 
the Peace of Constance, by the Treaty of Modena, in 
February 1185^' Monza was ceded to the Milanese. 
Then, in 1218, Frederick 11. forced the archpriest of 
the basilica to crown him with the Iron Crown. Nor is 
Frederick 11. the only famous bandit who has forced his 
way into Monza. In 1259 Ezzelino da Romano, 
crossing the Adda, laid siege to Monza; but Martino 
della Torre of Milan relieved and saved it. In 1274, 
however, the Torriani seized the treasure of the basilica 
and used it to pay for their wars. It was, however, 
recovered in 13 19, when Matteo Visconti gave it into the 
personal keeping of the Canons. In 1311 Henry vii. 
had freed Monza from the Milanese for a payment of 
5000 florins of gold made by the inhabitants. He 


remained some days in the city, and not finding the 
Iron Crown, which, as we have seen, had been stolen 
by the Torriani, ordered one like it, with which he was 
crowned in S. Ambrogio of Milan. 

After 1312 Monza followed the fate and the fortunes 
of Milan. 

Little beside the Basilica of S. John Baptist remains 
worth seeing in Monza. The picturesque Broletto 
brings back to us the turbulence of the thirteenth cen- 
tury, and the fa9ade of S. Maria in Strada the work of 
the fourteenth. The Palazzo Reale, beyond the town, 
has nothing at all to attract us. 


THERE is a corner of Italy — ^let us confess it, it is 
only a corner — ^where that accursed disease of 
Industrialism, the cancer that is eating away our virility, 
has unfortunately taken root : that corner I seemed to 
leave behind me at Monza. At least, I know I was 
altogether in another country when one autumn evening 
I came to the beautiful city of Bergamo, on the hills, 
over against the mountains, upon which the snow was 
lying far away, very pure and white ; against which, in 
her girdle of ancient walls, the city stood up lofty and 
splendid, her towers all shining in the setting sun. 

Bergamo, as we know it, consists of two separate parts 
which might seem to have nothing really in common : 
there is the Citt^ Bassa, anciently the Borgo, in the 
illimitable plain at the foot of the hills, an almost com- 
pletely modern town, and quite separate from it the 
true Bergamo, the old Etruscan, Gaulish, Roman and 
Italian city, on the hill-top, the Citta Alta, as beautiful 
a place as is to be found in all Lombardy, and almost 
completely of the Middle Age and the Renaissance. 

In the Citta Bassa there are a few churches which 
either for their own sakes or for what they contain are of 
interest to us. Such are S. Alessandro in Colonna, which 
is dedicated to the patron of Bergamo, and contains 
a fine picture of the Assumption by Romanino ; 
S. Bartolommeo, which contains a great altarpiece by 

Lorenzo Lotto and some fine choir stalls of the sixteenth 



century ; S. Spirito, a church of the Early Renaissance, 
which contains a large and beautiful altarpiece by 
Borgognone, and a Madonna with Saints and Angels by 
Lotto ; S. Bernardino in Pignolo, with another altarpiece 
by Lotto ; S. Alessandro della Croce, with a Madonna by 
Moroni, and in the sacristy a portrait by the same master 
and a picture of the Trinity by Lotto. Apart from these 
churches, the Citt^ Bassa has little interest, and is indeed 
a rather miserable place, a little infected by the modern 
disease of which I have spoken. 

It is far different with the Citta Alta. There every- 
thing is old and beautiful, full of honour, virility and en- 
durance. Unsuited to the modern restlessness and hurry, 
unapproachable by the railway, the true Bergamo still 
dreams on her fair hill-top of all we in our foolishness 
have forgotten, and, deserted by the Gadarene herd, who 
long since have rushed down her steep hillside into the 
mire of the plain, she still keeps her dreams about her, 
content to await every even the curfew from the Torre 
Comunale, and to ask for the protection of her two 
patrons, S. Alessandro and the Blessed Virgin, at sunset. 

I have said enough to tell the traveller that something 
unique and lovely awaits him in Bergamc, but no amount 
of description can hope to convince him of the virile 
beauty of the place, the magical beauty of the Piazza 
Maggiore to which all those steep, narrow, winding ways 
lined with great palaces seem to lead, the picturesque 
and virile beauty of the grand old tower that rises 
over it, the charm of the Broletto built upon arches, as 
at Como, through which one has glimpses of the splendour 
beyond. Here in Bergamo there is nothing frowning, 
miserable or unhappy ; she is gay and yet stately, bright, 
noble and sure of herself. There is nothing in all 
Lombardy better and lovelier than she. 

Her history is a tale that is told. Known to the 
Romans as Bergomum and held strongly by the Lom- 
bards in the Dark Age, from 1264 to 1428, she came into 





the power of Milan, and then, after falling to a condottiere, 
Pandolfo Malatesta, the father of Sigismondo, she gave 
herself to Venice, and remained Venetian till 1797. 
It is not, however, of history one thinks in Bergamo, 
but of beauty and of art. 

Through the mud and squalor of the Citta Bassa, 
one is borne nowadays in a few moments from the 
station to the Citta Alta in an electric tram and a 
funicular railway. A better way, for those who have 
leisure to indulge it, is perhaps to take the road through 
the wide and unordered Foro di S. Alessandro, where every 
year in August a great fair that lasts a month has been 
held now for a thousand years, and following the Via 
Nuova, to enter the true Bergamo by the Porta di 
S. Agostino, whence we may see so far across the plain, 
even to the towers of Milan and Monza, the passes of the 
great Alps, Monte Rosa and the pyramid of Monte Viso, 
and southward the Apennines across the great river, with 
Crema close by and Cremona not far away. Nothing 
can make up, I think, for the loss of this view, which in 
itself explains so much of the nature of this country, so 
difficult to traverse for all its flatness. It is one of the 
unexpected gifts Bergamo has in keeping for us, but the 
best of these is herself. 

She gives you herself utterly at that moment when, 
emerging from the narrow ways between the tall, rugged 
houses, you come into the Piazza Maggiore, paved with 
brick, with a ruined fountain in the midst, and on one 
side the stateliness and beauty of the Broletto on its 
arcade of columns, on the other the Palazzo della 
Ragione, which Scamozzi left unfinished. Through the 
arches of the Broletto you catch glimpses of the magni- 
ficent portal of S. Maria Maggiore and the fa9ade of the 
Cappella Colleoni ; but it is never by this way I prefer 
to approach these wonders, but by a devious way 
from the east past the Palazzo dell' Ateneo, with its 
early Renaissance fa9ade and flights of steps, so that 


what I see first may be the apse of S. Maria, with its 
lovely semicircular open arcade, its flight after flight 
of roof and gallery and tower up to the pointed steeple 
which crowns the whole. 

But however you come to S. Maria Maggiore, you will 
be enchanted. Coming to it from the Piazza under the 
arches of the Broletto, you will have before you the 
noble porch of the church and the superb fagade of 
the Cappella CoUeoni on your right, the Baptistery which 
Giovanni da Campiglione built " in imitation of the 
antique " in 1340, and on your left the Duomo with its 
fine cupola built by Scamozzi in 1614. But the noblest 
church in Bergamo is that of S. Maria Maggiore, the 
better and more ancient parts of which date from the 
twelfth century, and resemble in their beauty the Church 
of S. Michele of Pavia, while the later portions on the 
north are the achievement of Giovanni da Campiglione 
in 1360. 

A church has stood on this spot under the dedication 
of S. Maria certainly since 774. In 1133 we learn that 
a most terrible drought afflicted the city and contado of 
Bergamo. Upon this followed famine, and after the 
famine came pestilence. In her desolation and extremity 
Bergamo turned to the Mother of Mercy, and in 1135 
determined to raise to her a shrine in testimony of her 
devotion. A Deputazione della Fabrica was created, 
and the plans of Maestro Fredi were adopted for the 
building. On August 15, 1137, the Feast of the 
Assumption, the Bishop Gregorio of Bergamo laid 
the first stone of the basilica. With the foundation of 
this church the city seems to have given itself to the 
Madonna, very much as Siena did. On the Feasts of Our 
Lady it was customary to light a bonfire on the top of 
the Torre Comunale. On the evening of September 7, 
i486, the Vigil of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin, we 
find that the roof which used to cover this tower 
resting upon wooden columns was burnt, and the bells 



gravely injured. The city rebuilt this belfry in stone, 
and so in spite of many injuries from wind and lightning 
it remained till the year 1639, when the roof was re- 
moved and the tower crowned by a great wooden statue 
of the Madonna. On June 15, 1685, however, this 

'statue was struck and consumed by lightning and the 
tower burnt out. The statue was not replaced, but 

ithe tower was then restored as we see it. 

The Church of S. Maria Maggiore thus built in the 

f twelfth century in honour of the Madonna is, as I have 
said, one of the finest Lombard buildings in Italy. 
Its greatest beauty is undoubtedly the lovely apse 
with its round-headed windows and open arcade, which 
so much resembles that of S. Michele at Pavia. But 
two exquisite porches on the north and south were 
added about the middle of the fourteenth century, that 
on the north by Giovanni Campiglione, and that on the 
south by his son. The styles of these two perhaps do 
not much differ. The northern porch beside the 
Cappella Colleoni, carved and fretted with sculpture, is 
of three stages. Above the round arch of the porch 
itself, which rests on two lions couchant on the top of a 
flight of steps, within three arches are three statues, 
S. Alessandro on horseback between SS. Barnabas 
and Proietizio. On the base on which the horse of 
S. Alessandro stands is written : " Magistri Jo. Filii M. 
Ughi de Campleone fecit hoc opus mccclihJ' Above these, 
under a canopy, is a statue of the Madonna and Child 
between S. Esther and S. Grata. These works are later 
than the S. Alessandro, and are probably the work of 
Andreolo de Blanchis, whose noble work we shall find 
again within the church. 

The southern portal is less rich, and has not the two 
stories of statues above its porch. Instead, we find 
there a sort of spire of pmre Gothic style, executed about 
the middle of the fourteenth century by Antonio 
d' Alemanna. Enclosed in it we find the sculptured 


figure of God the Father enthroned, with the Blessed 
Virgin on one side and the Archangel Gabriel on the 
other. To the right of this porch, towards the Piazza, 
is another covered with reliefs of the Birth of the Virgin. 

Within, the church has been spoilt by restoration 
and modernisation. Near to the western door, however, 
there remains the fine but restored tomb under an arch 
of Cardinal Longhi degli Alessandri in alabaster, a work 
of the first years of the fourteenth century by Ugo 
da Campione, while to the right of the northern door 
are remains of old Lombard frescoes, the Tree of 
S. Bonaventura. The fine stalls, carved and inlaid, are 
noble work of the sixteenth century, and in the sacristy 
is a magnificent Crucifix, the work of that Andreolo de 
Blanchis who carved the Madonna and Child over the 
northern porch of the church. 

Close beside S. Maria Maggiore stands the Cappella 
CoUeoni, which was built by Amadeo in 1470 in the early 
Renaissance style, richly adorned with various marbles. 
The CoUeoni, the family of the famous condottiere 
in whose honour Verrocchio founded the great 
equestrian statue in the Piazza di SS. Giovanni e Paolo 
in Venice, for he had served the Republic, were natives 
of Bergamo. Bartolommeo the condottiere, however, 
was born at Scolza, close to the city, in the year 1400, 
for the Visconti had driven them out of Bergamo. 
At first they had taken refuge in the Rocca di Frezzo, on 
the banks of the Adda, but there the Visconti found them 
out, and Bartolommeo's father and elder brother were 
murdered by their very kindred, who were there their 
hosts. His mother, however, and himself were spared, 
and at last succeeded in escaping, only to be taken by 
another tyrant, Benzone of Cremona. Bartolommeo 
at length was set free, and entered the service of the 
t5^ant of Piacenza, where he served under the great 
Umbrian captain, Braccio da Montone. He soon became 
the greatest military leader of his day, and presently 




succeeded Gattamelata in the service of Venice. After 
many adventures and imprisonments, he retired from 
active service, and spent the last eighteen years of his 
life at Bergamo (where his house the Luogo Pio Colleoni 
may still be seen), and in his various castles round about, 
always guarded by six hundred veterans and surrounded 
by learned men and artists, in whose society he delighted. 
The chapel he built here at Bergamo, one of many, would 
seem to endorse all we hear of his love of learning and 
art, for in its ornament it is a strange confusion of pagan 
divinities and Christian saints. Unfortunately, it has 
been relentlessly restored in the eighteenth century. 
Within, the great commander, who died in 1475, lies in 
the tomb which Amadeo had designed for him, and which 
Sixtus Siry of Nuremberg in 1501 crowned with a 
gilded equestrian statue. To the left of the founder 
lies his daughter Medea, who died in 1470, in a very 
beautiful tomb, recalling that of Ilaria at Lucca. This 
too is Amadeo's work, but it was originally erected in 
the Church of Basella. About the chapel are fine 
inlaid stalls, but perhaps its greatest beauty is its ceiling 
paintings by Tiepolo. There we see this great master 
almost at his best, and though his work has not alto- 
gether escaped the vandal hand of the restorer it remains 
the joyful and splendid thing we are learning to recognise 
and to love so well. 

Beside the Cappella Colleoni stands the delightful 
Baptistery of Giovanni Campiglione, wholly restored 
in 1850, and opposite the Baptistery stands the Duomo 
of S. Alessandro and S. Vicenzo, which has been so 
often rebuilt, finally by Fontana. In the choir is a 
fine painting of the martyrdom of S. John Baptist by 
Tiepolo, and a picture reputed to be by Giovanni Bellini, 
a small Madonna and Child. 

What remains to be had in the way of sight-seeing 
in Bergamo may be briefly described. The Church 
of S. Andrea has a fine picture of the Madonna enthroned 


with four saints by Moretto. But what is finer here 
is the glorious view over the plain to the hills and the 
mountains. Then we come to the Church of S. Michele 
at Pozzo Bianco, which the sacristan of S. Andrea 
opens for us, where there are some good frescoes by 
Lorenzo Lotto of the life of the Virgin. But after the 
wonderful group of buildings about the Piazza Grande, 
the chief interest of the traveller in Bergamo lies in 
the picture gallery, the Accademia Carrara, perhaps 
the best in Lombardy outside the city of Milan. 

The Accademia Carrara of Bergamo, just outside 
the Porta Santa Caterina, consists of three collections, 
one of which is very famous. These three collections 
are the Galleria Carrara, the Galleria Lochis and 
the Galleria Morelli. 

The Galleria Carrara, bequeathed to Bergamo in 
1796 by the Conte Giacomo Carrara, consists for the 
most part of a collection of Bergamesque and North 
Italian pictures, only one or two of which are of really 
first-rate importance. There we find three works by 
Lorenzo Lotto: the Betrothal of S. Catherine (66), 
painted in 1523, a partly spoiled, but a fine picture ; a 
Martyrdom of S. Stephen (356) and a magnificent 
Portrait of a Lady (357), with a fine landscape under 
moonlight. The collection possesses, too, a single 
Mantegna, a Madonna and Child (153), painted in tem- 
pera, a fine picture ; a Crucifixion (154), painted in 1456 
by Foppa ; five portraits by Morini, 80-83 and 355, of 
which 81 is an early work and 82 is the best work by 
the master in this gallery ; a Miracle of S. Dominic (358), 
by that fine painter Borgognone ; a Massacre of the 
Innocents (137), by Caroto ; and several works by 
Previtali, Cariani and Fra Vittore Ghirlandi, masters 
who can be studied really nowhere else. 

The Lochis collection, bequeathed to the city by 
Conte Lochis in 1859, is more numerous, but not more 
important, though it possesses a picture by Raphael, an 



early work, a bust of S. Sebastian. By Giovanni 
Busi of Bergamo, called Cariani, we have in this collec- 
tion eleven works, of which the Portrait of a Physician 
(187), Benedetto Caravaggio, is perhaps the most 
notable. It is here in his native city that this pupil of 
Giovanni Bellini and Palma, who was influenced by 
Carpaccio and Giorgione, can best be studied. By the 
founder of the Milanese school, Foppa, whose Crucifixion, 
painted in 1456^ we have just seen in the Carrara collec- 
; tion, there is here an early work, a S. Jerome (225). By 
his great pupil Borgognone we have four pictures : a Head 
of S. Ambrose (53), the picture of a Procession, really 
S. Ambrose and Theodosius (219), the Madonna giving 
fruit to her Child (229) and an early Madonna and Child 
(131). From Borgognone, whose magnificent Polyptych, 
painted in 1498, in S. Spirito, m the lower city, is one of 
the greater glories of Bergamo, we pass to Moretto, the 
Brescian, by whom we find three pictures here : a Samson 
Sleeping, in a landscape (71) ; a Christ with the Cross, 
worshipped by the Donor (177), painted in 1518; and a 
later picture, a Holy Family, with S. John the Baptist 
(55)- While by Bonsignori of Verona v/e have a portrait 
of a Gonzaga (154). 

The school of Ferrara is represented by a Madonna 
and Child (233) by Cosimo Tura, that adamantine 
master; and the school of Vicenza by a notable work 
painted in 1487 by Montagna, the Madonna with SS. 
Roch and Sebastian. 

Interesting as these works are for the student, they 
have not the same attraction for the traveller as those 
examples of the Venetian school which are here more 
plentiful than might be expected. 

The earliest and most notable Venetian whose work is 
to be found here is Giovanni Bellini, whose picture of 
the Madonna and Child (210) is one of his early works. 
His contemporary. Carlo Crivelli, is also represented by a 
picture of the Madonna and Child (219). From him we 


pass to the true Venetian line, with the Holy Family and 
S. Catherine (185), by Lotto, painted in 1523, with which 
it is delightful to compare the Marriage of S. Catherine 
in the Carrara collection (66), painted just ten years 
earlier. His three sketches, containing the story of 
S. Stephen (32-34), are charming and delightful. 

A late work by Palma Vecchio, the Madonna with two 
Saints, and certain Vintage Scenes by Paris Bordone, the 
pupil and follower of Titian, may be said to bring the 
great school of the Bellini to an end ; but Venice may still 
be said to speak in the delightful sketch here by Tiepolo 
(24), and in those pictures of Guardi, which seem to 
bring the city itself to us from far away. 

These two collections, the Carrara and Lochis 
galleries, would be enough to bring renown to any city 
half as lovely as Bergamo. But, as it happens, they are 
but the smaller part of her dowry. In the year 1891, 
the great art critic and connoisseur, Giovanni Morelli, died 
at Milan, and bequeathed his magnificent collection of 
pictures to his native city. These three collections, well 
arranged by the Director Signor Frizzoni, were, till the 
year 191 1, the delight of every traveller who entered 
Bergamo. In that year a rearrangement of the three 
collections was entered upon, and the gallery was closed 
for a time. What the new arrangement may be we 
cannot say, but it is to be hoped that the Morelli 
collection will still be shown as a thing apart ; for it is 
fully characteristic of the wise sympathies and know- 
ledge of the great critic and of his triumphs of con- 

The strength, if not the delight, of the Carrara and 
Lochis collections lies in the many pictures they contain 
of the Bergamesque and North Italian schools, and, after 
them, in their Venetian pictures. But the Morelli Gallery 
can boast of many fine Florentine works with a few 
pictures of the Umbrian school, and, on the principle 
of serving the best wine first, let us begin with these. 


ne can expect here, of course, nothing by Giotto or 
his pupils, nor must we look for anything by the great 
reviver of that deathless tradition, Fra Angelico. But 
we have here a beautiful example of the work of his 
contemporary, Lorenzo Monaco, the follower of Agnolo 
Gaddi and the Sienese, in that picture of the Dead 
Christ (10), a small panel in which we seem to find some- 
thing which prophesies of Fra Lippo Lippi. Nothing 
by that great and vital master is to be seen here ; but we 
have two pictures by his pupil Pesellino : the delicious 
and fairy-like panel, the Story of Griselda (9) and the 
Florentine arraigned before the Podesta (11) ; the third 
work attributed to him is according to Mr. Berenson, 
who has written an illuminating study of this collection,^ 
a copy of Pesellino' s picture at Altenburg by Pier 
Francesco Fiorentino : it represents S. Francis and 
S. Jerome (36). 

A greater pupil of Fra Lippo, Sandro Botticelli, is to 
be seen here in a single panel, the Story of Virginia (25). 
Its companion is now in Boston. The Salvator Mundi 
attributed to him is only a school piece, but the Giuliano 
de' Medici is the work of that master Mr. Berenson has 
called Amico di Sandro.^ A painter who was in his 
later life influenced by this master, Francesco Botticini, 
is represented here by a very lovely picture of Tobias 
and the Angel (33), and a fellow-pupil of his in Verrocchio's 
boUega, Lorenzo di Credi, is seen here in a poor Madonna 
and Child, but a Nativity (42), ascribed to him, is, as 
Mr. Berenson shows, by his pupil "Tommaso." 

Albertinelli is seen here in two panels (32) of S. John 
and S. Mary Magdalen, and Bacchiacca by a picture of 
the Death of Abel (62), while by Pontormo and his 

^ See B. Berenson, " The Morelli Collection at Bergamo," in The 
Connoisseur, vol. iv. No. 15 (Nov. 1902), and vol. v. No. 17 
(Jan. 1903). 

* See B. Berenson, The Study and Criticism of Italian Art 
(Bell, 1901), p. 462, etc. 


pupil Bronzino we have, from the first, a Portrait of 
Baccio Bandinelli (59), whom Cellini hated so devoutly, 
and, by the second, a Portrait of Alessandro de' Medici 


Of the Umbrian school we have several pictures, 
notably three small paintings by Luca Signorelli of 
S. Roch (19), the Blessed Virgin (20) and S. Sebastian 
(24). Signorelli is, however, as much a Tuscan as an 
Umbrian master ; but we come upon the true Umbrian 
in a rare work by Niccolo da Foligno, the Head of a 
Saint (6). By Fiorenzo di Lorenzo of Perugia we have 
a S. Jerome in the Desert (37), and by Matteo Balducci 
a panel, the Flight of Clelia (46), while the school, if 
school it can be called, closes with Bernardino Mar- 
riotto's Piet^ (55). 

Turning now to the Venetians, we find two fine pictures 
by Giovanni Bellini, the first painted about 1478, a 
Madonna and Child (27) ; the second, also a Madonna, 
is dated 1495, and in it we find a delicious landscape. 
Cima too is found here in an early work, a Madonna 
and Child in a beautiful landscape with far-away 
mountains (57), and Marco Basaiti with a good half- 
length Portrait of a Man (61), painted in 1521. The 
school as represented here is fortunately closed by 
the masterpiece of Pietro Longhi, an astonishing picture, 
the Portrait of a Girl (94). 

From Venice we pass to Verona, and of this school 
there are some fine examples, beginning with the noble 
portrait of Leonello d' Este (17), by that very rare 
master, Pisanello. Here also is a late picture, the 
Widow's Son (45), by Francesco Bonsignori, the pupil 
of Bartolommeo and Alvise Vivarini, who was in his 
later life so much under the influence of Mantegna and 
Liberale of Verona. By a pupil of that last master, 
Francesco Caroto, we have a Judgment of Solomon (2), 
which should be compared with the Massacre of the 
Innocents (137), painted in 1527, in the Carrara Collec- 


m, and the Adoration of the Magi (170), in the Lochis 
Collection here. By another pupil of Liberale, Niccolo 
riolfino, we have a Madonna and Child (105), and by 
contemporary, Francesco Morone, again a Madonna 
Und Child (52), which should be compared with the 
Madonna and four Saints (188), painted by the same 
master in 1520, in the Carrara Collection. By another 
pupil of Domenico Morone, the father of Francesco, 
Girolamo dai Libri, we have a wonderfully haggard 
vision of S. John reading (50), and by his contemporary 
and fellow-pupil, Cavazzola, a fine Portrait of a Lady 

From Verona we pass to Brescia. The Morelli Col- 
lection boasts of five fine works of this school : a Shrine 
with the Annunciation (3), by Civerchio, the founder 
of the school ; a Portrait of an insolent Young Man 
(98), by Romanino ; two works by Moretto, a Christ 
and the Woman of Samaria (loi), in a lovely cool 
landscape, an early work by the master, and a Madonna 
and Child with S. Jerome {96) ; and a good Portrait (85) 
by Moroni. 

By the Bergamo masters we have two works by 
Cariani, a life-size Bust of a Man (99) and a Santa 
Conversazione in a delicious landscape. While the 
school of Cremona is represented by a Holy Family 
(104), by Sofonisba Anguissola ; this is an early work, 
signed and painted in 1559. 

So we pass to the Milanese, and first to Borgognone, 
the greatest master of the school, in a fine work of his 
middle period, a S. Margaret (43), and in a S. John (40). 
Borgognone had been the pupil of Foppa, and had come 
only very slightly under the influence of Leonardo at 
the end of his life. Ambrogio de Predis, however, who 
has here a fine picture, the Head of a Young Page (26), 
and perhaps another picture, the Portrait of a Man (28), 
was altogether formed under the influence of Foppa 
and the disastrous great Florentine. Luini, whose 


charming picture of the Madonna with the Child and 
the little S. John is a delight, was even more at the mercy 
of his understanding of Leonardo's mighty art, though 
he had passed through Borgognone's hands. And in 
Boltraffio we find indeed a mere imitation of Leonardo, 
yet his bust of Christ, crowned with ivy, is one of the 
most astonishing pictures in North Italy and one which 
compels our respect. To end the Milanese we have two 
pictures by the Sienese, Sodoma, whose art — and he was 
a very great craftsman — was also overwhelmed by 
Leonardo. His fantastic Portrait of a Man (66) Mr. 
Berenson takes to be Sodoma's portrait of himself : it 
certainly reminds one of Vasari's account of him ; while 
his Madonna and Child (60) is what we might expect. 

Beside the pictures of which I have spoken, Morelli 
possessed several good works of the Ferrara-Bologna 
school and two masterpieces by northern painters, a 
Portrait of a Woman, by Rembrandt, and a Portrait of a 
Young Man, by Franz Hals, which should not be missed. 
Nor should one by any means fail to see the three splendid 
terra-cottas by Quercia, Donatello and Benedetto da 
Maiano, which are alone sufficient to make the Acca- 
demia Carrara famous. 

When all is said, however, the true delight of Bergamo 
will always be found in Bergamo herself : in her winding, 
steep streets, her narrow ways, her windy piazzas, her 
shady ramparts and marvellous views of blue, far-away 
mountains, so often covered with snow, and of the 
valleys and the plain, green and silver and gold, and the 
glory of the setting sun. 




THERE is no more delightful and consoling road 
in all North Italy, south of the mountains, than 
that which leads at last from Bergamo to Brescia. This 
book does not propose to deal with the mountains, 
the Bergamesque and Brescian Alps, for they deserve 
and shall have a book to themselves; therefore I say 
nothing of such places as Alzano and its Lottos ; it is 
the plain with which we are concerned, the true Cis- 
alpine Gaul and the true Lombardy, and I know not 
where in all that vast country you will better the thirty 
miles that lie between Bergamo and Brescia. For the 
way is by no means a monotony of flatness, but is broken 
by low hills and downs, and little passes and valleys 
about the feet of the mountains, and there, on the hill- 
tops or beside the rivers, stands many a fair town worthy 
of remembrance, to say nothing of the castles, shrines 
and churches which are often worthy of Tuscany, and 
of Tuscany at its best. And this is especially the 
reward of him who will go slowly, loitering by the way. 
There is nothing at all, for instance, to see in Seriate, 
some three miles out of Bergamo, but it is the key to a 
fine country away to the south, where, by tramway, you 
may reach in no time the great Castle of Malpaga 
which Bartolommeo CoUeoni, the condotUere, built, and 
which the Martinenghi inherited from him and held 
until the middle of the nineteenth century. I said 

there were castles on the way. Indeed, no castle to be 



found in all Italy is more splendid than this, or less 
spoiled by the hands of fools. It is worth almost any 
trouble to see, and since it may be had in a single day 
there and back from Bergamo, it is amazing that it is 
not better known. 

The ten miles between Seriate and Gorlago are, I 
confess it, nothing to boast of ; but they are, as it were, 
the threshold to the rest, which will well repay the 
walker. For at Gorlago the scenery begins to be fine, 
to be uplifted with hills terraced with vines and broken 
by little valleys. As for Gorlago itself, it is a treasure 
that none even take the trouble to see. Yet in its 
Parish Church are two pictures by Giovanni Battista 
Moroni, the pupil of Moretto, an Adoration of the Magi 
and a picture of Three Saints, S. Gottardo, S. Lorenzo 
and S. Caterina. And then, scarcely two miles away, to 
the south stands the Castello Costa di Mezzate, where 
are three portraits by the same master, and a Lorenzo 
Lotto, a Marriage of S. Catherine, painted in 1522, to 
say nothing of the fine armoury, with its memories of 
the great days of Brescia, and the marvellous view to 
be had thence over mountain and plain. 

From Gorlago, too, Trescore may easily be reached, a 
place in the hills celebrated from of old for its hot 
springs, and there in the Suardi Chapel of S. Barbara 
are some fine frescoes by Lotto, painted in 1524, of the 
life of that Saint. Then we come under Monte del 
Castello to Chiudino, a very pretty small town with a 
fine tower, the hills as a near background, and all to the 
south the immensity of the plain ; and so to Grumello 
with its great square battlemented tower, and Caleppio 
beyond it, and then to Palazzuolo, happy places. 

Palazzuolo sull' Oglio, which stands on both sides of 
the river which forks about its citadel, was the great 
disputed fortress of the Bergamaschi and the Brescians. 
And here perhaps the traveller will be wise to take the 
tram into Brescia, for all before him is only the large- 

I ness of the 


ness of the plain, too vast for walking and too mono- 
tonous for enjoyment, that the motor-car alone can make 
a delight. 

rescia — Brixia, as the Romans called it — was, accord- 
to Catullus, the mother- town of his Verona — "Veronae 
mater amata meae." It began apparently as a town of 
i| the Cenomani, and after the Roman conquest flourished 
exceedingly. The old Roman town as Catullus knew it 
was traversed by the river Mela — " Flavus quam moUi 
percurrit flumine Mela " — which now flows a mile to the 
west of it, Brescia standing indeed on a much smaller 
stream J the Garza. Yet excavation and the ruins still 
above ground would seem to prove that the Brescia we 
know stands upon the same site as the Roman city. 
These ruins are of very considerable importance, the 
most remarkable being the Temple called of Hercules, 
though it is doubtful whether this was not rather a 
basilica. Part of a theatre may also be seen, and 
certain Corinthian columns supposed to be part of the 
Forum, together with a host of fragments and one 
superb work of art, the bronze Victory, the greatest 
treasure of the city. A factory of arms, the very name 
sounds like the swish and song of a sword, Brescia 
r Armata was plundered by the Huns under Attila in 
452 ; but, like most of the other towns so dealt with, she 
recovered from this disaster, and under the Lombards 
became one of the principal of their towns, the capital of 
a duchy. In the twelfth century Brescia produced one of 
the forerunners of the Revolution in Arnold of Brescia, 
who was educated in France under Abelard. He became 
a monk, and returning to Brescia strove to rouse the 
people against the Bishop, then virtually the ruler of the 
city. The Lateran Council of 1139 banished him from 
Italy. He returned to France, and came face to face with 
S. Bernard, the supreme opponent of the movement which 
Abelard and Arnold stood for. Like Abelard he was 
worsted, and retired to Zurich, where he remained for 


five years. The insurrection of 1143 found him in Rome, 
however, where he no less than Rienzi strove to found a 
Repubhc on the ancient model, in vain, for again he was 
confronted by a great man in the person of the English- 
man Nicholas Breakspear, Hadrian iv., who laid Rome 
under an interdict, broke Arnold's party in pieces and 
drove him from the city into Campania. On the arrival 
of Frederick Barbarossa in 1155, Arnold was arrested, 
brought to Rome and hanged ; his body was burned and 
thrown into the Tiber. 

The Emperor Frederick Barbarossa had known how 
to deal with this Brescia's most famous son, but Freder- 
ick II. found Brescia itself a harder business. In 1238 
he besieged the city for two months in vain, and retired 
without capturing it. This feat, however, was accom- 
plished by Ezzelino twenty years later, and a reign of 
terror followed. Those who opposed him this devil 
chained to a block of stone in an open field and left to 
perish of hunger. Nevertheless, Brescia avenged herself. 
It was a Brescian sword in the hands of a Brescian 
that in 1259, ^^ ^^^ Bridge of Cassano, ended that life 
which had turned all this country into a hell. 

Brescia then fell to the Scaligers of Verona, and, with 
the fall of their house, came to Milan and the Visconti. 
After the Peace of S. Giorgio, however, in 1426, Venice 
acquired Brescia, just as two years later, after the Peace 
of Ferrara, she got Bergamo. The city, however, fell to 
the French at Cambray, but after the battle of Ravenna 
and the death of Gaston de Foix in 15 12, Brescia, with 
the rest of the mainland possessions of Venice, returned 
to her of their own accord. 

The French indeed held the place, as we should say, 
at the point of the bayonet. Among the most glorious 
memories of the city is the rising against Chevalier 
Bayard and Gaston de Foix, in which it is said some 
20,000 were slain. The horrors of that time can never 
be forgotten. The French cut the children out of 




their mothers* arms even in the sanctuaries of the 
churches. On the other hand, many a chivalrous story 
is told of the Chevalier, sans peur et sans reproche, 
by the Loyal Serviteur. But the fact remains that 
Brescia was the ruin of the French cause in Italy ; for, 
as the Loyal Serviteur declares, " they gained so much 
there that a great part of them returned home, forsaking 
the war, and were vastly missed later at the battle of 

It was an almost depopulated city that placed herself 
again in Venetian power in 15 12, not to leave it till 
1797. When Austria was re-established in Lombardy 
the German rule was found to be as great a curse 
in Brescia as it has proved always everywhere else in 
Italy. Verona was ruined; Brescia was compelled to 
close her armouries because the Austrians sent their 
orders to Germany. In the war of 1848 Brescia rose, 
though all Lombardy and Venetia were under a relentless 
praetorian rule. She resisted for ten days, till the butcher 
Haynau crushed her with atrocities I dare not write of, 
whose horrors rang through Europe : for by this you 
may know the German, there is always blood upon his 
feet. If Haynau was an incarnate devil, Radetzky 
was even worse, indeed his truly German nature was too 
much even for the Austrians, who tried to curb him 
though they dared not break him. Ten years later 
Austria was on the run, and the Germans were sent back 
to their lairs on the north of the Alps, where may God 
secure them for ever ! 

The city of Brescia, which has thus known so many 
agonies, is a quiet little place, crouched like a mouse, 
hid under its Castello at the foot of the great hills. 
And if we except the Roman ruins, and the old 
Cathedral and the Broletto, the town for us is really 
just a delightful picture gallery, where one wanders 
at random from church to church in search of the 
pictures of the native school of painting. The greater 


of her masters were, of course, Romanino and Moretto, 
but they were not the first. The school was really 
founded by Foppa, or at least he was the master of the 
two painters who may be said to have founded Brescian 
painting : Civerchio (c. 1470-1544) and Ferramola, whose 
pupils were the two great artists whose names stand 
for Brescia through the world to-day. We shall come 
to the works of these men scattered everywhere through 
the city, like flowers on our way. 

Let us first turn to the Roman work left here and then 
to the Cathedral. If we do so, we shall come first quite 
through the city to the Museo Civico in the old Temple 
or Basilica on the hillside, which was excavated in 1822, 
and which inscriptions tell us was erected by Vespasian 
in A.D. 72. Beautiful and picturesque in its ruin, it is 
built upon a lofty crypt, and must once have been a 
great and formidable piece of work. Even to-day, 
eighteen hundred years after its foundation, it aston- 
ishes by its size and the beauty of its columns. Within 
we may see something of its original pavement ; but 
its great treasure is the magnificent statue of Victory 
in gilded bronze, nearly seven feet in height, which 
was found here in 1826. This is undoubtedly, for its 
beauty of form, for its grace and its majesty, one of the 
most perfect reproductions ever contrived from a great 
original. It stands there like a Deity ; may it be the 
Divine Genius of a restored Italy. 

Not far away from these ruins are others of the Curia 
and a few traces of the Theatre, but that marvellous 
statue has put us out of sympathy with mere curiosities ; 
we seek beauty, and we shall find it in the other Museum 
of the town, the Museo Medioevale. This was of old 
two, or rather three churches, one, S. Salvatore of the 
eighth, the other, S. Giulia of the fifteenth and sixteenth 
centuries. We come first into the sixteenth-century 
building, which contains a host of curious relics of 
Lombard times and a few beautiful things, notably the 


Cross of Galla Placidia, certainly of eighth-century 
workmanship, decorated with gems and with portraits 
of the Empress herself and of her brother Honorius and 
her son Valentinian. Close by, however, we see some- 
thing older, indeed of the fifth century, in those ivory 
reliefs which recall to us the names of Boethius and 
Lampadius ; and in the sides of a reliquary, arranged in 
the shape of a cross, we seem in truth to have work 
of the fourth century. The fifteenth-century church, 
with its sixteenth- century tombs, from the Church of 
S. Cristo, and its beautiful lectern, is worth seeing, as 
is certainly the eighth-century S. Salvatore, which lies 
below and beyond it, with its lovely capitals and carvings. 
These two museums, a temple and three churches, will 
be enough to make any traveller in love with Brescia ; 
yet the city still remains to be seen, and if these have 

i enticed him to remain, Brescia herself shall entrance him. 
The centre of Brescia is the Piazza del Comune, where 
' stands the beautiful Loggia of Fromentone of Vicenza 
(1492), finished by Palladio and Jacopo Sansovino, who 
completed it with a lovely frieze of putti. The octagon 
above is a work of the eighteenth century. To 
Fromentone is also due the Archivio close by. 

Opposite La juoggia, over an arcade, stands the Torre 
deir Orologio, almost a copy of that at Venice ; and to 
the front of it a little to the right in the Piazza stands 
the memorial to those Martyrs of Liberty who fell in the 
rising of 1849. 

The Piazza is closed on the south by the Monte di 
Pieta, a lovely building of the later fifteenth century. 

We leave the Piazza by the Via de' Spadaji to the 
south, and, taking the first street on the right, come at 
once into the Piazza del Duomo. Before us stands on 
the far left the Broletto, a heavy building dating origin- 
ally from the twelfth century, and until the fifteenth 
the Municipio ; and above it the Torre del Popolo, 
which has soared there for seven hundred years ; and 


the two Cathedrals, the Duomo Nuovo and the Duomo 
Vecchio of S. Maria or La Rotonda. Here in this 
massive round church we see united three distinct 
buildings, the Rotunda, the Crypt and the Presbytery. 
The Crypt is certainly of the ninth century, the 
Basilica di S. Filastro. It is upheld by forty-two 
columns, and consists of five naves with three apses. 
It is a building of the eighth or ninth century ; and we 
know that in 838 the Bishop Ramperto transported 
hither the body of S. Filastro. The Rotunda itself is 
a building of the early years of the twelfth century, and 
probably stands on the site of a building we hear of 
as burnt in 1097. The question remains whether we 
are to account for its shape by the Crusades, that is to 
say, whether it was built in imitation of the Church of 
the Holy Sepulchre, or, as seems much less likely, 
whether it was a copy of the Pantheon in Rome. 

The interior of the Rotunda has been much modernised; 
the choir was added in the fifteenth century and the 
chapels in the sixteenth ; much, too, has been changed 
even of these additions in modern " restoration." 
Nevertheless, we may get a general idea of the church 
even as it is. The nave was circular, formed by a 
colonnade of eight pillars, which uphold the round 
arches which, with the vast walls, bear the dome. The 
medieval tombs of four Bishops of Brescia also remain. 
In the choir is a fine picture of the Assumption by 
Moretto, painted in 1526, and at the sides a Presentation 
in the Temple and a Visitation by Romanino. 

The Duomo Nuovo, from which one generally enters 
La Rotunda, is a great church of the seventeenth century, 
built in the form, then so popular, of a Greek cross, with 
a lengthened choir. In a tomb by the third altar on 
the right now lie the remains of S. Filastro, with those of 
S. Apollonio, brought here from the crypt of La Rotunda 
in 1674. 11 

We now set out to see the churches and the many ■■ 


pictures they contain. On leaving the Piazza del 
Duomo by the street between the Duomo and the 
Broletto we have in front of us the Biblioteca Queriniana, 
with its fine library, given to the town in 1747 by Cardinal 
Querini. Following the Via di Torre d' Ercole, we take 
the Via di S. Clemen te, the fifth turning on the left, and 
come to the Church of S. Clemente, where there is not 
only the tomb and monument of Moretto, but also five of 
his works. Over the high altar is a magnificent picture of 
the Blessed Virgin with her little Son in a bower, and 
below, S. Catharine, S. Dominic, S. Clement, S. George 
and S. Mary Magdalen. In the second chapel on the 
right we have another masterpiece, a picture of the Five 
Wise Virgins, S. Cecilia, S. Agatha, S. Lucy, S. Barbara 
and S. Agnes. Opposite, at the first altar, on the left, is a 
picture, by the same master, of S. Ursula and her com- 
panions. While at the third altar we have the Virgin 
and Child on high, between the two Saints Catherine, and 
below S. Paul and S. Jerome. Over the fourth altar is 
a picture of the Offering of Melchisedec. 

Not far av/ay is S. Maria Calchera, which contains two 
of Moretto' s pictures and one of Romanino's. Over 
the first altar, on the south, is one of Christ at the House 
of Simon the Pharisee, and in a small chapel, by the 
pulpit, a Pieta with S. Jerome and perhaps S. Dorothy : 
these by Moretto. Over the third altar, on the north, is a 
splendid work by Romanino of S. Apollonius celebrating 
Mass, attended by S. Faustinus and S. Jo vita, while 
four figures kneel in adoration. 

From S. Maria Calchera one returns to the Piazza 
del Comune and then proceeds down the Corso past the 
Torre della Pallata to S. Giovanni Evangelista. This 
is a great twelfth-century tower, erected in the second 
circuit of the walls to defend the old gates of S. John. 

The church possesses some of the finest pictures in 
the city. There we see, over the third altar in the 
north aisle, an early work by Moretto, the Massacre of 


the Innocents, and in the choir behind the high altar 
a great altarpiece of the Madonna and Child in the 
midst, with God the Father above, and about Madonna, 
S. John the Baptist, S. Zacharias, S. Augustine and 
S. Agnes. In the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament 
close by we see on the right some frescoes, early work 
by the same painter, and there, too, a touching Piet4 
by the shadowy master of Moretto, Civerchio, with a 
beautiful lunette of the Coronation of the Virgin by 
Romanino, who painted also the frescoes here on the 
left. While in the baptistery is a notable work by 
Francia of the Blessed Trinity adored by Saints. 

Not far from S. Giovanni is S. Maria del Carmine, a 
beautiful Renaissance church with a fresco of the 
Annunciation, by Ferramola, the founder, with Civerchio, 
of the Brescian school, and in the third chapel, on the 
south, a ceiling painting of the Fathers of the Church, by 

At the end of the Via S. Rocco, which we crossed to 
reach the Carmine, stands S. Maria delle Grazie, a church 
of the Gerolimini, begun in 1522, but with a portal of 
the fifteenth century brought hither from some other 
unknown sanctuary. Here over the first altar on the 
Gospel side we have another work by Foppa, a Madonna 
in Heaven with four saints below. Over the high altar 
is a splendid picture, the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin, 
by Moretto, and in the chapel, to the right of the choir, 
another fine altarpiece by this master, a Madonna in 
Heaven with S. Sebastian, S. Ambrose and S. Roch 

From S. Maria delle Grazie we proceed northward quite 
across the city to SS. Nazaro and Celso, an eighteenth- 
century church which, however, possesses some magnifi- 
cent pictures. 

And first let us turn to the great polyptych over the 
high altar, a veritable work by Titian, the finest picture 
in the city, painted and signed by him in 1522. This 


magnificent work, though so different, was painted at 
the same time as the Entombment now in the Louvre. 
It was the gift of Altobello di Averoldo, Bishop of Pola 
and papal legate of Venice, to the high altar of this 
church. Titian took three years to complete it, and 
one must confess that though evidently the greatest 
care has been expended upon it, it is not wholly satis- 
factory. One divines that the painter is not wholly 
to blame for this : that the variety of the subject 
imposed upon him was alien to him. Because the 
Bishop wished a series of scenes that could not be 
combined, Titian was forced to use the form of the 
polyptych. There we see live pictures, not one. The 
centre panel, the Resurrection, fills the whole height of 
the altarpiece, but the side panels are divided into two 
unequal parts, the two upper and smaller contain half- 
figures of the Madonna and the Angel of Annunciation ; 
the lower panel on the left shows us S. Nazaro presenting 
the donor to the risen Christ ; in the lower panel on the 
other side we have a truly titanic figure of S. Sebastian, 
which might stand for Prometheus. This panel alone 
might seem to account for much in the work of the 
Brescian school. 

Three pictures by Moretto should not be missed. On 
the second altar on the Gospel side is a beautiful Corona- 
tion of the Virgin with Saints — of all Moretto's altarpieces 
the one I love best. Opposite, on the Epistle side of the 
church, over the third altar, is a spoilt Nativity with 
Saints, by the same master, and in the sacristy we find 
the predella of this last. Nor is this all, for on the organ 
shutter is an Annunciation by Foppa, and over the side 
door at the west end of the church a huge painting of 
the Martyrdom of SS. Nazaro and Celso, ascribed to the 
same master. 

The church is worth lingering in, and the small 
sanctuary of the Madonna dei Miracoli in the Corso close 
by, with its lovely fa9ade and fine domes, is perhaps the 


most charming Renaissance building in the city. Yet 
on no account should the traveller fail to visit another 
church in this neighbourhood, S. Francesco, where a 
fine altarpiece by Moretto leads us to Romanino's 
masterpiece, over the high altar, in which we see the 
Madonna and Child enthroned between six saints, while 
two child angels hold up a canopy over her head. 

There are many other churches in Brescia which the 
more leisurely traveller will delight to visit. Among 
such is S. Agata, which is said to have been founded by 
Queen Theodolinda ; S. Alessandro, formerly belonging to 
the Servites, where there are still a Piet^ by Civerchio, 
and the most beautiful early picture in Brescia, an 
Annunciation, perhaps by Jacopo Bellini, an altogether 
adorable and lovely thing; and S. Pietro in Oliveto under 
the Castello, with its beautiful old convent and fine 
Renaissance doorway. But of them all I suppose S. 
Afra is the only one that must not be omitted. Here 
over the high altar is an Ascension by Tintoretto, and 
a fine Venetian picture sometimes ascribed to Titian 
of the Woman taken in Adultery. Over the second 
altar, too, on the Gospel side, is a Paolo Veronese, 
the martyrdom of that S. Afra who names the 

And for those who are in love with those two great 
Brescian masters, Moretto and Romanino, there remains 
to be seen the Ateneo Martinengo, the picture galleryj 
where several of their best works have been collected. 
It is with their silvery tones and quietness that wel 
shall be wise to pass our days in this little city at 
the foot of the mountains, where so many heroic actions 
have been achieved, and so much that was worth doing 
has been done. 

If this seems to require confirmation and proof, let the 
traveller go with me, as he shall do, and that largely 
afoot, to Mantua across the battlefield of Solferino. 
That was but the latest of those heroic feats of arms and 



istance which Brescia has known how to achieve in 
the cause that is Europe ; they began when the bar- 
barians broke in in the fifth century, and who shall say 
that they are ended, though, indeed, after Solferino 
the barbarians have been driven home. 



THERE are two excursions that are easily made 
from Brescia, and neither should on any account 
be omitted : I mean a visit to the Lago d' Iseo and a 
visit to the Lago di Garda. 

The Lago d' Iseo, within an hour of Brescia by train 
and but fifteen miles by road, though by far the least 
known, is by no means the least beautiful of the lakes 
of Lombardy. The Lacus Sebinus of the Romans, it 
would seem to have been as little known to them as it is 
lo us, for Pliny is the only writer who speaks of it. It 
owes its beauty, indeed, to its narrowness, and the height 
and shape of the mountains which everywhere surround 
it, while the clarity of its waters and their colour add to 
its delight and make of it, indeed, such a jewel as once 
seen will be sought for again and again. For it is a very 
precious relic of the south, here on the northern thres- 
hold, with all the luxuriant vegetation of a really 
southern country given to it by its situation, sheltered 
from every wind but the south wind and the west, by the 
greatness of its hills, which hold up the still greater 

In its midst, a little nearer its southern shore than 
its northern, stands up the lofty island called Mont' Isola, 
two miles long, with the village of Peschiera Maraglio 
on its southern beach, the village of Siviano a little 

inland on the north. 



Iseo itself, the town at which, coming from Brescia, we 
reach the lake, is a busy little old walled place with a fine 
old fortress ; but the most interesting town on the lake 
is not Iseo, but Lovere, at the northern end. On the 
v/ay thither we pass Tavernola, which, amid its vines, is 
perhaps the loveliest spot on the lake with the loveliest 
view. At Lovere, on the quayside, you may see the 
true life of this corner of Paradise, and find, as is meet 
and right in such a place, pictures by Ferramola and 
Moroni in the church. But if you come for pictures, an 
absurd desire in so far away a spot, you can have your 
fill of them here at the Palazzo Tadini, where you will 
find works by Civerchio, Domenico Morone, Parmigiano, 
Badile, Brusasorci and Calisto, and, what is better, 
a view of the lake which is worth all the troubles of 
the journey from Brescia to see. Nor if you come by 
steamer and train should you omit to return at least 
from Pisogne by road, for it is one of the loveliest I know. 

From Brescia to Desenzano, on the Lago di Garda, 
is a little farther than from Brescia to Iseo, but the 
train service is better. The Lago di Garda, however, 
is an altogether bigger affair than the Lago d' Iseo. 
Garda is formed by the Mincio as Iseo is by the Oglio. 
It is the largest lake in Italy, though in length it is 
inferior to Como and Maggiore. The Romans called 
it Benacus and knew it well ; Virgil speaks of it, its 
roaring waves, in the Georgics; Pliny has much to 
say of it, including of course a theory of its origin, and 
he asserts roundly that the Mincio flows right through 
it without allowing its waters to mix with those of the 
lake ; while Catullus, we know, spent much of his life 
at Sirmio. 

The southern shores of the Lago di Garda are low 
and even marshy, but as one goes north the hills 
arise, and the northern arm of the lake is enclosed by 
great and grandly precipitous mountains, but there we 
are within the Austrian frontier. 


Desenzano, a tiny little place of some four thousand 
inhabitants, will not keep the traveller long. Never- 
theless, its old Castello in the higher part of the town 
is worth a visit, though it be now merely a modern 
barracks, for it is founded upon the ruins of Rome, 
and owes its strength probably to the defence made here 
against the Hungarians in the tenth century. As for 
its churches, Desenzano has them in abundance, but her 
ancient Pieve was destroyed in 1480, and the Church of 
S. Maria Maddalena, which now stands in its place, is a 
building of the end of the sixteenth century. Its chief 
treasure is a picture of the Last Supper ascribed, and I 
think truly, to Tiepolo. 

Close to Desenzano, on a barren little hill, stands 
Maguzzano, with its old Benedictine church and monas- 
tery, founded and destroyed in the first years of the 
tenth century, rebuilt and re-established in the middle 
of the twelfth, and again in the end of the fifteenth 
century. Certain vestiges of frescoes remain from 
that far-off time, as well as a cross of silver-gilt orna- 
mented with precious stones. The monastery of 
Maguzzano was the most famous on the lake. In the 
sixteenth century it had its poet, the monk Teofilo 
Folengo, called Merlin Cocai. 

But neither Desenzano nor Maguzzano will keep us 
long from Sirmione, of which Catullus sang so divinelyj 
in the most perfect of his Carmina : — 

Poeninsularum, Sirmio, insularumquc 
Ocellc, quascumque in liquentibus stagnis, 
Marique vasto, fcrt uterque Neptunus ! 
Quam te libentcr, quamque laetus, inviso ! 
Vix mi ipse crcdens, Thyniam atque Bithynos 
Liquisse campos, ct videre te in tuto. 
O, quid solutis est beatius curis ? 
Cum meus onus rcponit, ac percgrino 
Labore fessi venimus larem ad nostrum. 
Desideratoque acquiescimus lecto. 
Hoc est, quod unum est pro laboribus tantis. 


Salve, o venusta Sirmio ! atque hero gaude : 
Gaudete vosque, Lydiae lacus undae : 
Ridcte, quidquid est domi cachinnorum. 

Nor is Catullus the only poet who has sung of this 
place ; though one may believe he, rather than Sirmione, 
was the cause for instance of these perfect verses : — 

Row us out from Desenzano, to your Sirmione row ! 
So they row'd, and there we landed — " O venusta Sirmio ! " 
There to me through all the groves of olive in the summer glow, 
There beneath the Roman ruin where the purple flowers grow, 
Came that " Ave atque Vale " of the Poet's hopeless woe, 
Tenderest of Roman poets nineteen hundred years ago, 
" Frater Ave atque Vale " — as we wandered to and fro 
Gazing at the Lydian laughter of the Garda Lake below 
Sweet Catullus's all-but-island, olive silvery Sirmio ! 

Tennyson wrote these lines at Sirmione in 1880 ; and 
his son tells us that the poet liked the place " the best 
of anything we had seen in our tour." 

Sirmione is like a jewel set upon a sceptre : that 
sceptre is the tiny low peninsula which is thrust far 
out into the lake from the mainland marsh. From 
there, indeed from anywhere almost on the south, it 
has not a very striking appearance, but from the lake 
it is unique and beautiful. Catullus, as we have seen, 
likens it to an eye; another poet has called it the 
Queen of the Naiads ; Carducci speaks of it as a flower 
upon a stalk. Three hills, Cortine to the south, Mavino 
in the midst, and the Grotte to the north, make the three 
corners of the little place separated by tiny valleys. On 
the highest of the three — that is to say, upon Cortine — 
is placed the Roman ruin of which Tennyson speaks. 
Two gates of this fortress still remain, and one of them 
surely holds a memory of Catullus ; though legend 
connects him rather with the northern hill, the Grotte, 
where his villa is said to have stood. 

Not far from the Roman ruin upon Cortine, the 
queen of Desiderius in the eighth century founded a 


Benedictine church and monastery, dedicated to 
S. Salvatore. Little, however, remains to remind us 
either of the Queen or of the Benedictines. But one relic 
at least remains to us of that fierce time in the Church 
of S. Pietro in a lovely olive-clad spot on Mavino, for 
it was rebuilt in the fourteenth century, and still retains 
certain rude frescoes. With the rise of liberty in the 
twelfth century Sirmione possessed herself of a Podesti, 
but soon came under the rule of the Scaligers, who in 
the end of the following century surrounded her with 
walls and built the Caste] lo, the best preserved on 
the whole lake. 

Sirmione seems to have been a headquarters for the 
Patarini in the beginning of the fourteenth century ; 
but here, as elsewhere, they were turned out. It is to 
the following century we owe the Cathedral, which, 
however, contains nothing of interest. 

If we set out from Sirmione for the tour of the lake by 
steamer we shall return to Desenzano and thence proceed 
to Salo, the Roman Salodium, past the strange headland 
of Manerba, which was once crowned, it is said, by a 
Temple of Minerva, that in the Middle Ages became 
not a church but a fortress, and the olive-clad islands of 
S. Biagio and Lechi. 

Salo is lovelier than Sirmione, though it has not its 
memories. Memories of its own, however, it possesses 
in abundance — of its long loyalty to Venice, at a great 
cost, and of its Lords the Martinenghi, whose palace is 
there to-day. There remains also in Salo a very beauti- 
ful church, the Duomo, a Gothic building begun in 
October 7, 1453, and dedicated to S. Maria Annunziata. 
The western door is, however, a fine thing by Sansovino. 
The interior consists of a nave with aisles upheld by 
twelve pillars, a transept and choir with polygonal apse. 
Over the western door is a large Gothic ancona, con- 
sisting of ten niches, in each of which is a carved wooden 
figure gilded ; above, the Risen Christ, with two saints 



either side, below, the Madonna and Child, with 
four saints attendant. Here, too, is a fine picture by 
Romanino of Saints with Donor, and another by Torbido, 
on the right wall of the choir, of the Holy Family adoring 
the Holy Child. In the cupola we see the Assumption 
of the Blessed Virgin, said to be the work of Palma 
Giovane. In the Church of S. Bernardino are two 
works by Paolo Farinati of Verona, a Nativity in the 
choir and an Annunciation, and a Romanino, S. 
Bonaventura with Saints and Donor. 

Salo is the key to and the capital of that part of the 
shore of Garda known as the Magnifica Patria della 
Riviera, the favourite spot in which is undoubtedly 
Gardone, where Germans most do congregate. Indeed, 
as far as that goes, the whole lake is infested with 
Teutons, and but for the scene before our eyes, we 
might well imagine ourselves to be in the heart of the 

Gardone is pretty enough among its olives to attract 
us, in spite of the barbarians, and since there is no 
place on the Lake of Garda that is not in their occupa- 
tion it is useless to avoid it. 

After Gardone we come to Maderno, which has not 
much to show us beyond its Piazza with the Venetian 
column surmounted by the Lion of S. Mark and its old 
Church of S. Andrea, a small basilica dating from the 
tenth century. 

From Maderno we steam on to Gargnano, past Tosco- 
lano, with its noble walks, its cypresses, sanctuaries 
and stony valley, Valle delle Camarate. Gargnano is a 
big place, but there is not much to be seen there ; the 
Franciscan convent, however, should be visited for the 
sake of its delicious cloister, and the next place, Tremo- 
sine, will repay a brief visit by reason of its magnificent 
rocks and cliffs ; but these are well seen too from the 
boat. Indeed, the whole lake is rather to be enjoyed 
than explored in a search for art treasures ; its true 


treasure is itself, its landscape and waters and moun- 
tains and olive-clad slopes and mighty cliffs. You may 
search for a week, if you want pictures, and find nothing 
more honourable than the Madonna and Child, with 
three saints, by Torbido, at Limone, just beyond which 
is the Austrian frontier. Between Limone and Riva 
the shore is magnificently precipitous, and the winding 
roads a joy to traverse. But Riva itself, lovely as it is, 
I never found worth visiting save, indeed, that it affords 
a better bed than any of the neighbouring places. It is, 
however, the key to Trent and to much fine country and 
astonishing sights, as that of the Castle of Arco, which 
rises high and sheer on its great hill out of the wide valley 
some four miles from Riva. 

On the return down the eastern shore of the lake, 
after leaving Torbole crouched under its cliff, we pass 
Malcesine, with its beautiful towered headland, and Torri, 
where there remains something of the vast castle the 
Scaligers built there in 1383, and then the walled village 
of Garda comes in sight as we round the beautiful 
headland Punta di S. Vigilio, where S. Michele built a 
villa : but Garda has nothing to show us, nothing, that 
is, but one of those great and silent battlefields which lie 
deserted about Europe, and haunt the memory of those 
who happen upon them, but which the world has for- 

An hour's ride from Garda on a great plateau there 
stretches out the field of Rivoli, where Napoleon so 
decisively defeated the Austrians in 1797. The Corsican 
who, in 1796, had been appointed to the command of the 
army of Italy by the Directory, had found the French 
army, about 36,000 strong, distributed between Nice 
and Savona, facing 20,000 Piedmontesi and 38,00a 
Austrians He at once attacked the centre of the 
allied line, broke the Austrians on April 12, and the 
Piedmontesi on the following day, and the day following 
that broke the Austrians again. In the following month, 


on the nth, at the Bridge of Lodi, he again defeated 
the Austrians and entered Milan. When in the next 
year Austria attempted to recover Lombardy, Napoleon 
broke her armies successively at Areola, Rivoli and 
Mantua, and thus secured his march into Austria. 
He reached Leoben in April 1797, and Austria sued for 
peace. So always may the Latin sword flash victoriously 
in the sun of these mountains. 

With these thoughts in my head I set out from Garda, 
and in a little time was in Peschiera. I saw nothing 
on the way but an old and beautiful castle of the 
Scaligers at Lazise, a notable and lovely spot, for I 
was bent on another battlefield more glorious than 
Rivoli, and one in which a worse barbarian got the 
same desert. I mean the famous field of 

Smooth-sliding Mincius, crowned with vocall reeds. 

For at Peschiera the Mincio issues from Lago di Garda, 
and it is there, as has been thought, that Pope Leo in 
452 faced Attila, and turned him back from Rome. 
That was one of the great victories of the world. The 
barbarian king had upon his side all material power, but 
he was a barbarian ; Pope Leo had not a single soldier, 
but he was the soul of Europe, and what he had achieved 
when Attila left him was the certain endurance of 
Europe and the future of Christendom. There, " where 
the river is crossed by many wayfarers," Leo, our 
captain, saw the prophecy of the Psalmist fulfilled : 

Sicut deficit fumus, deficiant : 

Sicut fluit cera a facie ignis. 

Sic pereant peccatores a facie Dei. 

And not twice only but three times was Italy to be 
delivered beside this stream, and the third time the 
battle broke at Solferino. 

Now to reach Solferino from Peschiera is no great 
matter, for the road lies straight enough south and a 
little west, past the village of the Madonna del Frassine, 


the hamlet of Pozzolengo to Solferino among the httle 
hills eastward of Castiglione. When Austria in the 
summer of 1859 launched her ultimatum against little 
Piedmont, she suddenly found herself without a friend 
in Europe. Piedmont, so lately despairing, laughed 
for Joy: "This," said Cavour, when the Chamber rose, 
"This is the last Piedmontese Chamber; the next will 
be that of the kingdom of Italy." It is true that the 
following week might have seen Turin in the hands of 
the enemy, that defeat meant annihilation ; but that 
is all the Latin cause ever expected from the barbarians 
it has faced these three thousand years : it asked nothing 
better, for Italy cannot die. 

The war opened on April 26, and three days 
later the Austrians began to cross the Ticino into 
Piedmont. Their business was to crush the Pied- 
montese before the troops of France arrived. They 
outnumbered the Italians by nearly three to one, and 
their success must have seemed certain. What pre- 
vented it was what one always finds in a barbarian 
army, lack of decision in the leaders. Italy held the 
triangle between the Po and the Tanaro, and was not 
to be moved. Meanwhile, as of old, across the Alpine 
passes, swiftly from Genoa on the old highways, France 
poured the treasure of her sons, twenty thousand a 
day, and blunder after blunder saved the Italian cause, 
till the dazzling game of Garibaldi — the body of the 
French army having come up — opened the way to 
Magertta, where the heroism of the French guards 
won at nightfall, and Victor Emmanuel proclaimed 
the annexation of Lombardy to Piedmont. Then 
Modena fled, and Parma and Austria stood within the 
Quadrilateral behind the Mincio. In the van of the 
Italian advance upon this went Garibaldi and his 
red-shirts, but when the main army was come up, he 
was sent off to clear the Valtelline and hold the passes. 
France and Italy took up a position about Castiglione, 


to the south-west of the Lago di Garda. The Austrians, 
hoping to cut off the French divisions which were 
advancing from Lombardy, recrossed the Mincio on 
June 23, and occupied the hills of Solferino and 
S. Martino. In the dawn of S. John the French 
found the whole Austrian army before them, and the 
battle opened. The French took the centre in front 
of Solferino, the Piedmontese attacked the heights of 
S. Martino on the left, on the right Niel held the plain 
about Mddole. The French advance on the centre 
lasted all day with terrible loss, and the heights 
were not won till evening : but they were won. The 
Piedmontese carried S. Martino five times, and for 
fourteen hours failed to turn the Austrians out of 
Pozzolengo : but they turned them out. To-day at 
S. Martino " della Battaglia " a vast tower com- 
memorates the heroism of that fight, in which the 
French lost some 12,000 men killed and wounded and 
the Piedmontese loss was relatively nearly as heavy. 

From Solferino it is but a step, and not much more 
from Castiglione, to Medole, where Titian's son Pom- 
poneo Orazio in 1530, while still a boy, was granted by 
the Duke of Mantua a curacy. Later, the painter's 
nephew held this cure, and in his old age Titian painted 
a Christ in Glory appearing to the ascended Virgin Mary 
in the parish church. The picture remains there over 
the high altar. Behind Our Lord, stepping back into 
the shadow, are Adam holding the Cross and Eve ; 
between Christ and Adam we also see Abraham and 
Noah. This is a work of about 1554, and worth any 
trouble to see. 

Thence on the road to Mantua we cross the Mincio 
at Goito, where indeed the Austrians crossed it, and so 
through Marmirolo and Porto Mantovano through a 
world of mists come into Mantua. 


OF Mantua, forlorn upon her lakes, where over the 
pale green waters the red sails of the fishmg 
boats pass, how languidly, under the casements, we have 
often dreamed in the winter over the fire in England, 
while turning the pages of the Mantuan. 

. . . primus Idumaeas referam tibi, Mantua, palmas 
Et viridi in campo templum de marmore ponam 
Propter aquam, tardis ingens ubi flcxibus errat 
Mincius, et tenera praetexit harundine ripas. 

Nor is she less lovely than our dreams of her. A city 
of silver, her campanili shining in her ample sky, forlorn 
among her sedge and her still lagoons, she is even to-day 
the city of Virgil : 

Mantua, vae miserae nimium vicina Creraonae — 

" Mantua, too near to wretched Cremona " — but it is 
not as the neighbour of Cremona that an Englishman 
is used to regard her, but as the close neighbour of 
Verona, the city to which Romeo came when he was 
banished after Tybalt's murder. 

The road by which Romeo came, though so few 
of us ever trouble to take it, is still open and still 
to be found. Dickens knew it, and has described it 
so well that it is a pleasure as well as a duty to recall 
his words. 

" Was the way to Mantua as beautiful (he writes)] 



when Romeo was banished thither, I wonder ? Did it 
wind through pasture land as green, bright with the 
same gleaming streams, and dotted with fresh clumps 
of graceful trees ? Those purple mountains lay on the 
horizon then for certain ; and the dresses of these 
peasant girls, who wear a great knobbed silver pin 
through their hair behind, can hardly be much changed. 
Mantua itself must have broken on him in the prospect, 
with its towers and walls and water, as it does now. He 
made the same sharp twists and turns perhaps over the 
rumbling drawbridges ; passed through the like long 
curved wooden bridge ; and leaving the marshy water 
behind, approached the rusty gate of stagnant Mantua." 

It is almost the same to-day if you can be persuaded to 
come on foot or by carriage. And Mantua remains one of 
the most forlorn cities of Italy. Something of the still- 
ness and silence of her lakes seems to have fallen upon 
this city of large and level spaces, of sunlight and shadow 
and all quietness. Gradually, imperceptibly, she is 
decaying in the damp of her lagoons, and is passing 
from us slowly, softly, little by little, bit by bit, as a 
dream passes. Here is surely no place of abiding. Yet 
Mantua is very old. It existed certainly long before the 
establishment of the Gauls in Italy, and Virgil, who 
knew all its legends and traditions, insists that it owed its 
origin to the Etruscans, which is certainly borne out by 
its name, derived, as is supposed, from the Etruscan 
divinity Mantus, though Virgil seems to have derived 
it from a prophetic nymph of the name of Manto. 
However that may be, it is certain that Mantua was of 
Etruscan origin, and, what is more, retained its Etruscan 
character long after the other cities of Cisalpine Gaul had 
lost it, by reason of its position entrenched behind its 
inaccessible marshes. 

When the Gauls came into Italy Mantua probably 
found itself within the power of the Cenomani, but it 
seems to have remained largely apart, and no mention of 


its name is to be found in history, nor do we know when 
it passed under the Roman dominion. 

Mantua, indeed, owes its fame under the Roman 
Empire entirely to Virgil, who was bom here ; he cele- 
brated the city in several passages of his works, and its 
name is familiar on this account to many of the later 
Roman poets. 

With the fall of the Empire Mantua became more 
important on account of its old inaccessibility ; for with 
the advent of the barbarians, barbarian conditions were 
restored and a place was valued not because it was 
easy to get at, but because it could not be reached. It 
fell, however, into the hands of the Lombards under 
Agilulf, and became a Lombard city. With the 
advent of the Franks into Italy, it was governed by 
the Counts of Canossa. In 1115, when the house of 
Canossa became extinct on the death of the great 
Matilda, Mantua constituted itself a free commune, par- 
ticipated in the wars of the two Lombard Leagues and 
suffered the assaults of Ezzelino da Romano, who threw 
down its walls, which were rebuilt in 1251. 

Like every other city in Italy at this time, Mantua 
was the scene of violent internal struggles between the 
nobili and the popolo and the Guelphs and the Ghi- 
bellines, till in 1276 the Buonacolsi seized the power, 
established a lordship, which had lasted, however, only 
some fifty years when in 1328 the Gonzaga turned thei 

This family endured and succeeded in governinj 
Mantua till 1708, first with the title of Capitani, bu1 
later as Marquises, and at last as Dukes. 

The first ruler of the house of Gonzaga was that 
Luigi who, leading the insurrection against Rinaldo 
Buonacolsi, had established himself in his place, and who 
in 1329 became Imperial Vicar for Louis the Bavarian. 
In his time Mantua numbered some 30,000 inhabitants, 
and ruled over an extensive contado. Guido Gonzaga, 




^^Baigi's son and successor, was the friend of Petrarch, 
ifwhom he more than once entertained in Mantua, and 
this was but the beginning of a long patronage of the 
arts and a friendship for artists which endured as long 
as the Gonzaga House. The Decameron was printed in 
Mantua in 1472 ; about the same time Alberti was 
there at work on S. Andrea ; later Bembo, Ariosto and 
the father of Tasso were among those who claimed the 
friendship of the Gonzaga. 

The last Gonzaga was Ferdinando, a most inglorious 
prince, who fled to France during the war of the Spanish 
Succession. Mantua then came into Austrian hands. The 
town, always a strong fortress, was taken by the French 
in 1797 after a siege of eight months, but two years later 
was recaptured by the Austrians, who held it till 1801, 
when they were again obliged to cede it to the French. 
In 1814 the Austrian domination was once more 
established, and remained until October 3, 1866, when 
by the Peace of Vienna, Mantua, free at last, was annexed 
to the new Italian kingdom. 

The centre of life in Mantua remains, where it has been 
for ages, in the Piazza delle Erbe, over which frowns the 
Gothic Palazzo della Ragione and the Torre dell' Oro- 
logio. Opposite, in the little Piazza Andrea Mantegna, 
stands the Church of S. Andrea, the greatest church in 
Mantua, begun in 1472 by Leon Battista Alberti, con- 
tinued a hundred years later by Antonio Viani, who built 
the choir and transepts, and finally covered with a dome 
in 1732. 

S. Andrea stands upon the site of an oratory built 
in 804 in honour of that apostle. In 1017, the German 
Bishop Isolfo built beside this oratory a little monastery 
for the Benedictines, and in 1046 Beatrice of Canossa, 
the wife of Bonifazio of Tuscany, erected a fine church 
upon the site of the oratory in commemoration of the 
birth of her daughter Matilda. This church suffered 
many vicissitudes. In 1244 it was taken by assault 



by a faction of the citizens and ruthlessly spoiled ; in 1370 
a fire destroyed part of it ; and finally, in 1392, it was 
restored ; and in 1465 enriched with many works of art. 
In May 1413 the first stone of the Campanile was laid. 
Then, in 1472, by order of Lodovico Gonzaga, Leon 
Battista Alberti was set to build here one of the most 
beautiful churches of the Renaissance. From 1472 to 
1494 the nave was built and completed. Then nothing 
was done for a hundred years, when in 1597 Viani 
added the choir, the crypt and the transept. A hundred 
years later, in 1697, these additions were vaulted, and in 
1732 Juvara began the cupola. 

The church, which is in the form of a Latin cross with- 
out aisles, is of good proportions, about 300 feet in length. 
The fagade of white marble might be that of an ancient 
Temple, and the old Campanile of 1413 stands in curious 
contrast to it. 

Within the church there is little to detain us. In the 
first chapel on the north side are sixteenth-century 
frescoes by Francesco Mantegna, and here is the tomb 
of the great painter Andrea Mantegna, and two of his 
paintings, spoilt by restoration, a Holy Family and a 
Baptism of Christ. 

Andrea Mantegna, after " repeated and urgent " 
invitations from Lodovico Gonzaga, came to Mantua 
in 1459, and remained there till his death. He 
seems to have been treated with the utmost kind- 
ness and consideration, was given a liberal salary, 
lodgings and perquisites, but the irritable old master 
was never satisfied, and Lodovico had constantly to 
listen to complaints about money or the rascality of 
his tailor or the wickedness of the Mantuans. The 
following letter ^ serves to show the noble and kindly 
attitude of the Marquis towards the old man : — 
"Andrea," he writes, "we have received a letter from 

' Cf . Julia Cartwright, Isabella d'Este, 1474-1539 (Murr 
1903). vol. i. p. 27. 


you which it really seems to us that you need not have 
written, since we perfectly remember the promises we 
made when you entered our service, neither, so it seems 
to us, have we failed to keep these promises or to do our 
utmost for you. But you cannot take from us what 
we have not got, and you yourself have seen that when 
!we have had the means (Mantua was then in the grip of 
the plague after a long and costly war) we have never 
failed to do all in our power for you and our other ser- 
vants, and that gladly and with good will. It is true 
that since we have not received our usual revenues 
during the last few months, we have been obliged to 
defer certain payments, such as this which is due to 
you, but we are seeking by every means in our power 
to raise money to meet our obligations, even if we are 
forced to mortgage our own property, since all our 
jewels are already pawned, and you need not fear but 
that before long your debt will be paid gladly and 

The second chapel on this side of S. Andrea contains 
a grievously injured picture by Lorenzo Costa of the 
iMadonna and Child with Saints. 

On the other side of the church we find the true reason 
of its foundation. For here is the Cappella di S. Longino, 
he who pierced Christ's side with his spear, the disciple 
of S. Andrew who brought hither, as it is said, the Holy 
Grail. The frescoes, which are said to have been de- 
signed by Giulio Romano, represent the Crucifixion, 
and the Finding of the Precious Blood. In the right 
transept is the tomb of Bishop Giorgio Andreassi, by 
Prospero Clementi, and on the left the tomb of Pietro 
Strozzi, brought here from another church. 

Returning into the Piazza delle Erbe and so into the 
Piazza del Broletto, we come under the Torre della 
Gabbia into the Piazza Sordello, better known as the 
Piazza di S. Pietro, for here is the Cathedral, the Bishop's 
Palace and the Palazzo Ducale. 


Here in the Piazza Sordello are two old Palaces of 
the Buonacolsi, the Palazzo Cadenazzi with the Torre 
della Gabbia, and the Palazzo Castiglioni adjoining the 
eighteenth-century vescovado. 

The Torre della Gabbia, like the palace to which it 
belongs, is a building of the end of the twelfth or be- 
ginning of the thirteenth century. It is so named by 
reason of a gabbia or cage which is affixed to it near the 
top. This, however, did not originally belong to it, 
but was placed there by Guglielmo Gonzaga (1549-1587), 
who had condemned prisoners exposed in it. Close to 
it is the Torre dello Zucchero, probably dating from the 
twelfth century, and occupying the site of the old imperial 

Near to the Torre della Gabbia stands the private 
chapel, Cappella Buonacolsiana, of the first capitani of 

The Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul is a curiously 
various building. On the left of the entrance is an 
ancient Lombard sarcophagus of the twelfth century, 
and this is also the date of the tower. The interior of 
the church, however, as we see, is a remodelling of the 
older building done in 1545 by Bertani, it is said, from 
designs by Giulio Romano ; but the Cappella dell' 
Incoronata and the Cappella dello S. Sacramento are 
buildings of the middle of the seventeenth century, and 
the fa9ade of the church dates from 1756. Nothing 
that it possesses is of much interest. In a chapel on 
the left is a picture of S. Margaret by Brusasorci, a pupil 
of Caroto, and in the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament 
a S. Martin by Farinata. 

By far the largest and by far the most interesting 
building in the Piazza is the vast Reggia or Palazzo 
Ducale, which stretches away from here to the Lago 
Superiore. This enormous building was begun in 1302 
by Guido Buonacolsi, called Botticella. In 1328, when 
the Gonzaghi succeeded the Buonacolsi as lords, they 



continued the work on this palace. The fa9ade, with its 
portal, is in the Gothic style, but within we find the 
Renaissance, in the splendid apartments of Isabella 
d'Este, which have largely escaped the vandalism of 
the Austrians, though several other rooms were destroyed 
by them and redecorated for the Viceroy Eugene 
Beauharnais in the style of that miserable time. We 
see what the extraordinary barbarism of these foreigners 
achieved almost at once on entering the Reggia. For 
there on the ground-floor only the so-called Scalcheria 
remains, with its pagan hunting scenes and grotesques 
by Giulio Romano, of all the Appartamento della Grotta 
which that extraordinary craftsman decorated for 
Isabella. Here " in the fair Cortile della Grotta, with 
its slender marble columns and pavement of majolica 
tiles, each with a separate device and meaning," as 
Bembo describes it to the Duchess of Urbino,^ Isabella 
had gathered all her treasures of sculpture and painting. 
Here were the grisailles of Mantegna, as well as his 
Parnassus, one of the glories of the Louvre to-day. 
Here were the allegories of Correggio, the works of Costa, 
the old court painter, a Holy Family of Giovanni 
Bellini's, a Romance by Dosso Dossi, and some wonderful 
Titians, more than one Holy Family and some marvel- 
lous portraits. Here were the antique sculptures that 
Isabella had collected with so much pains, and the putto 
which Michelangelo had carved and Cesare Borgia 
had sent her. Nor was this all. For in the Grotta 
Isabella had placed the alabaster organ which Castiglione 
had sent her from Rome, vases of Murano glass chosen 
by Leonardo from the collection of Lorenzo de' Medici, 
mirrors of crystal, cabinets of porphyry and lapus lazuli, 
and lutes inlaid with ivory, ebony and mother-of-pearl, 
and viols by Lorenzo da Pavia. 

Here, too, was her library, the precious manuscripts 
we shall never see, Aldines tall and clean and new from 
* Cf. Julia Cartwright, op. cit. vol. ii. p. 377. 


the press, French and Spanish romances, an illuminated 
Boccaccio, the very book of verses Petrarch had left 
behind him. 

From the Scalcheria one is led up a great seventeenth- 
century staircase to the upper floor, and so through the 
vast series of state apartments. How mysteriously 
lovely they are in the falling light of late afternoon ! 
One feels like a ghost among ghosts, and expects at 
every moment the clouded mirrors to give up some 
vision of the beauty they have reflected and cannot 
altogether have lost. One passes almost stealthily 
along for fear of intruding upon the dead, under the 
glorious and fading paintings of Lorenzo Costa the 
younger, and one hastens as the guide whispers huskily : 
Here Eugene Beauharnais used to sleep, or here Napoleon 
all weary flung himself down to rest. And if this is so 
in all those great shadowy rooms with their fading 
mirrors, their emptiness and silence, it is a feeling almost 
impossible to describe that assails one in the Apparta- 
mento del Paradiso, those four little rooms that were 
Isabella's own, with their early Renaissance decoration, 
the work of her own time, still fit to be seen. How 
graceful they are, and since she loved them and spoke of 
them so much and always with a smile, how lovely 
they appear ! They were her home, the most present 
thing and perhaps the dearest in all that long and vital 
existence. " Nee spe, Nee metu," she can write there — 
as who should say. Here is happiness and contentment ; 
and she repeats the motto several times — was it for 
reassurance ? How often did she stand, I wonder, in 
that inner room looking over the garden and the lake, 
gay enough then, so hopeless now, and waiting there 
perhaps for the cool evening, question herself of this 
and of that and of her thoughts about it all. They are 
all gone into that deep pool where she watched one 
evening, when the moon shone, the petals of her lilies 
heavy with perfume falling and sinking one by one, 



till one of her dwarfs called her to play, and she passed 
through the Hall of the Mirrors to watch the masques 
in the great room where hung Mantegna's cartoons for 
the Triumph of Julius Caesar, and to greet her guests. 
But later, as we see, that assurance was eclipsed, and in 
another room we read the very secret of the indecision 
of her heart graven everywhere, "Forse che Si, Forse 
che No," many times. 

It is to an earlier generation of Gonzaga princes that 
one is recalled in the Castello di Corte, the old Castle of 
the family, built for them in 1395 by Bertolino da 
Novara. This strong fortress is reached generally from 
the Reggia, but it is, though it belongs to the earlier 
history of the Gonzaga House, always shown last. 

Here, in what is now the Archivio, we may see, in 
the Camera degli Sposi, a few of Andrea Mantegna's 
frescoes which once adorned a large part of the Castello. 

That must have been a great day for Mantua when, 
on Sunday, August 24, Francesco Gonzaga, the young 
Cardinal Legate, Ludovico's son, made his solemn 
entry into the city, bringing in his train Leon Battista 
Alberti the architect, Angelo Poliziano the poet, and I 
know not who else, beautiful, famous or full of learning. 

So great an event indeed did Ludovico think it that 
he bade Mantegna paint it in fresco about his bed- 
chamber in the Castello. 

This small and rather grim room in a corner tower 
of the old fortress has by the genius of Mantegna been 
formed into a garden or bower. On one side we see the 
Duke of Wiirtemberg's ambassador come to ask for the 
hand of Ludovico's daughter Barbara in marriage. 
The Marquis and his wife are seated under a loggia 
on a terrace, surrounded by their children and grand- 
children, their retainers, dwarfs and pets. 

On the wall opposite we see the arrival of Cardinal 
Francesco — it is the moment in which his father meets 
him — and with him are his sons, Federigo and Gian- 


francesco, and his two little grandsons, Sigismondo and 
Francesco, the future husband of Isabella. In the 
distance lies a city on the hills — is it Rome, from which 
the Cardinal has just come ? — one might think so, it is so 
noble and fair ; and certainly there are Roman emperors 
on the ceiling, and in the spandrels all the gay make- 
believe the Renaissance held so dear, of paganism, those 
delightful and unfortunate gods ! and none more 
charming than those Cupids who by a trick of genius 
seem to look down on the happiness of the Gonzaga 
family from a lofty terrace surrounded, as is but right, 
by fair ladies and girls of silver and of gold. 

It is of another Isabella we think, in what is the last 
wonder of Mantua, the Palazzo de Te (Td from Teietto, 
as it is thought), outside the Porta Pustierla. This 
palace is to the Reggia, to compare small things with 
great, what Versailles was to the Louvre or Hampton 
Court to St. James's, the suburban house of Federigo ii., 
who built it by the hands of Giulio Romano in 1525- 
1535' It is not Isabella d' Este we meet here on the 
threshold and with whom we may pass through the vast 
deserted rooms, but Isabella Boschetti, the beautiful 
wife of Francesco Gonzaga of Calvisano, the beloved 
mistress of his kinsman, Federigo ii. of Mantua. It was 
for her Federigo had built the beautiful Palazzo, now 
Palazzo di Giustizia, in the Via Poma, within the gates ; 
but it is here in his own pleasure-house that she seems 
to live even yet in Mantua, not only because Giulio 
Romano has painted her as Psyche among the Bacch- 
anals in the second room of the Palace, but because it is 
she who has most truly lived here and informed the 
whole rich and fantastic place with her presence, her 
strange smile, her languid and perverse beauty. The 
other Isabella, Isabella d' Este, the mother of Federigo, 
hated her, and not without excuse, since in her eyes she 
had ruined Federigo's life. This young prince on his 
return from France in 15 17 had married by proxy 


Maria Paleologa, daughter of the Marquis of Mon- 
ferrato, and when the Marquis died in the following year 
and was succeeded by his son, a delicate boy of five, 
it seemed possible that Federigo through his wife might 
claim the lordship. All this was doubtless noted by the 
ambitious lady at the Reggia. In 1524 it was time for 
Federigo to bring home his bride to Mantua, but to the 
astonishment of all, and especially of his mother, this is 
just what he declined to do. For meantime he had 
fallen in love with Isabella Boschetti, and had made 
her his mistress, a son being born to him in 1520. In 
1528 a conspiracy was discovered to poison Isabella, and 
it was found that her husband, Francesco Gonzaga, was 
concerned in it. He fled to Mantua, where Federigo 
had him murdered. But the Marquis suspected others 
beside the wronged husband, and especially he suspected 
his mother-in-law, Anne d'Alen9on. Therefore he per- 
suaded the Pope to annul his marriage with Maria, and 
succeeded in winning his reluctant consent. 

For this cause, then, Isabella d' Este hated Isabella 
Boschetti, and would sit lonely in the Reggia, while 
Federigo rode with his mistress gaily through the city on 
a gala day surrounded by courtiers and ladies. Every- 
where in the rooms of Isabella at the Reggia we see a 
strange device displayed, a many-branched candlestick ; 
and this has puzzled so many that I may perhaps note 
here that Mrs. Ady, who has given such loving care and 
study to all that concerns Isabella d' Este, tells us that it 
was in her misery at this time, face to face with the other 
Isabella, that she adopted it. Paolo Giovio explains 
why. " The device," he writes, " Madama caused to be 
painted in her rooms of the Corte Vecchia and on her 
villa of Porto, and I who was always her loyal servant 
gave her the motto, Sufficit unum in tenehris, which 
recalls Virgil's line, Unum pro multis." 

How dreary is the Palazzo del Te now, and how for- 
lorn, the most forlorn thing in forlorn Mantua, a palace 


of faery that arose out of the mists of the lagoons and 
might seem already to be dissolving into mere damp and 
desolation. Yet once it seemed to be the wonder of the 
world, and that to Vasari, too, who had seen so much of 
what was best worth seeing everywhere in Italy. He 
writes a page full of curious enthusiasm on what he 
considers Giulio Romano's painting in the Sala dei 
Giganti in the Palazzo del Te. But the room which was 
decorated by Rinaldo Mantovano is rather fantastic than 

No. Mantua once the glorious is now the forlorn. 
Robbed as she has been of her pictures, there remain 
little more than these two palaces, or the two churches 
that Alberti designed, with the fading frescoes of Man- 
tegna and Giulio Romano to see. Only the memories 
of two women beautiful and rare, of the same name, 
haunt us still in her fantastic silences, her burning sun- 
shine and the awful damp of her autumn nights. Over 
her gates seem to be engraven the words, " Ave atque 
Vale," and over her tomb those which repeated the in- 
decision of a woman's soul, over and over again to itself, 
" Forse che Si, Forse che No." 


THE way from Mantua, forlorn upon her lakes, to the 
beautiful and harmonious city of Cremona, takes 
you first through Curtatone, on the Lago Superiore, 
out of the Porta Belfiore, where, on May 29, 1848, a 
very bloody action was fought between the Austrians 
and the Tuscan allies of Carlo Alberto of Piedmont. A 
great monument rising out of the marshy Seregna 
commemorates the noble deed. Nor is this the only 
sanctuary upon this road, for, not much farther on, 
about three and a half miles from Mantua stands one of 
the most astonishing pilgrimage churches in all Italy. 
S. Maria delle Grazie was first built in 1399 by Francesco 
Gonzaga, who wished to render thanks to the Madonna 
for having freed the city of Mantua from the plague. 
He therefore decided to build this new church, which 
was completed and consecrated in 1406 upon this site, 
anciently sacred to the Blessed Virgin. In 1419 the 
place was enlarged and became one of the most im- 
portant religious houses in Lombardy. The whole place 
is a shrine of the Madonna, full of every sort of votive 
offering, from cannon-balls that fell harmless into 
Mantua in the famous siege of 1522, and which Federigo 
placed here, to piles of crutches, shoes, wax arms and 
legs, silver hearts and the usual litter of a shrine. More 
amazing is it that not so much the worshipped as the 
worshipper is represented here in efiigy. For, on 
coming into the church, you find yourself in an avenue 


of figures, life-size, and dressed in every sort of costume, 
in niches along the walls. These are they whom the 
Madonna has heard and answered here in her Church of 
the Graces. Among these favoured petitioners we find 
figures of Pope Pius ii., the Emperor Charles v. and the 
pillager of Rome, the Constable Bourbon, whom Cellini 
swears he shot. Beneath each figure the story of his 
petition is told in rude verse, evidently of local manu- 
facture. Here, amid all this amazement, lie the princes 
of the House of Gonzaga : and among them the pattern 
of courtiers, Baldassare Castiglione, the author of II 
CortegianOy which in those happier days was as eagerly 
read in the best and most cultured society through- 
out Europe as the French novel is on the Continent, 
or the Daily Mail newspaper in England to-day. For 
the tomb of this man, who was literally the first gentle- 
man in Europe, Bembo composed this epitaph, for the 
body of Castiglione had been brought at his own desire 
all the way from Toledo, where he died, in order that 
it might be laid here m the tomb of his young wife. 

Non ego nunc vivo, conjux dulcissima : vitam 
Corpore namque tuo fata nieani abstulerunt ; 

Sed vitam, tumulo cum tecum condar in isto, 
Jungenturque tuis ossibus ossa mea. 

Hippolytae Taurellae, quae in ambiguo reliquit, utrum 
pulchrior an castior fuerit. Primos juvcntae annos vix. Bal- 
dassar Castillion insatiabiliter moerens posuit ann Dom. mdxx. 

S. Maria delle Grazie is a little off our true road, 
which lies along the great highway to the south of it. 
Pushing on our way we come first to Castellucchio, 
some three miles from S. Maria delle Grazie, and there 
is the old castle of Marcaria, where we cross the Oglio, 
and come presently to the old republic of Bozzolo. And 
hence certainly, if not from Mantua, I advise the train. 
These Lombardy roads, good for a mile or two, are far 
too monotonous for the joy of walking if they are merely 


of the plain. There is, too, next to nothmg to be seen 
on the road between Mantua and Cremona that cannot 
be easily seen from these cities, where it is a pleasure to 
linger and draw out the days. Whereas, on the road in 
Lombardy if it rains you are involved in a sea of mud 
indescribable, and if the weather be dry for long you 
are overwhelmed and utterly brought to nothing by 
the desert of dust which the plain then becomes. 
The best season for the walker and automobilist is an 
early but not a rainy spring, or a late but not a wet 
autumn. Even then there are risks to be run, but the 
country is worth them, for if you be lucky the plain is 
only a vast garden full of delight, inexhaustible and 
lovely, and especially commendable to the automobilist. 

I can never make up my mind which is the most 
beautiful city in Lombardy, whether it be Bergamo, 
Mantua or Cremona, but I know that I love Cremona 
best. Picture to yourself a city like a pale rose growing 
in the midst of the great green plain, that, when the 
mulberry flowers, is all a sea of white blossom. You 
enter this city and find it silent but not forlorn, smiling 
though the grass grows in its beautiful great Piazza 
and the wide streets which the sun fills with gold ; the 
great palaces are often deserted, the tall and beautiful 
towers that here and there rise to watch the plain are 
crumbling and make no sign, for Cremona is very old, 
the oldest Roman town in all the plain, and, in truth, 
here in Cisalpine Gaul she seems in her nobility like a 
stranger, some old centurion still on guard amid the 
dykes and the endless ways, in the service of the Senate 
and the Roman people. 

Cremona, as we have seen,i was the first colony the 
Romans established north of the Po. It was a fortress 
established at the end of the Gallic war in 225 B.C., 
only seven years before Hannibal crossed the Alps and 
by his astonishing act revived the Nationalist hopes, 
^ See supra. 


as it were, of all the Gallic peoples whom the Romans 
had just, as was thought, finally vanquished. In the 
year 225 Rome settled two colonies of 6000 men each in 
Cisalpine Gaul, one at Piacenza on the Italian side of the 
great river, the other, the more adventurous establish- 
ment, was made at Cremona to the north of the Po : 
they were doubtless very strong, and entrenched places 
defended by art, and chosen, in the first place, for their 
natural strength, Cremona lying not only in a marsh but 
in close relationship to the Po and the Adda, which ran 
into it not six miles to the westward. 

This colony had noft been founded seven years when 
Hannibal crossed the Alps and persuaded the Gauls, 
the Boians and the Insubrians to enter his service. 
In the war that followed, however, neither of these two 
fortresses fell; they remained during all those critical 
years the only hope of Rome north of the Apennines ; 
but in the year 200 B.C., when Lucius Furius finally 
defeated the Gauls under the walls of Cremona, it was 
found that the colony had suffered so severely that 
in 190 B.C. a fresh body of colonists was sent to her, 
and six thousand new families were divided between 
Cremona and Piacenza. 

From this tune till the civil war, which followed upon 
the death of Csesar, we know little or nothing of Cremona 
beyond the fact that she flourished exceedingly. In that 
unhappy contest she had the misfortune to side with 
Brutus, and it is to this that Virgil alludes in the line 
about Mantua — 

Mantua vae miserae niinuun vicina Cremonae. 

For it seems that some territory of Mantua, as well as 
all that of Cremona, was confiscated after the war and 
assigned to the veterans of Augustus. Cremona, how- 
ever, continued to flourish, and it was not till the civil 
war of 69 A.D. that her prosperity was seriously affected. 
In that war Cremona was burned to the ground ; nothing 


seems to have escaped, and Vespasian, when he had estab- 
lished his power, was compelled by public opinion 
throughout Italy to rebuild the city ; which never seems, 
however, to have recovered her old prosperity, though she 
appears to have remained a military port of importance. 

That Cremona suffered with the rest of the cities of 
the plain in the invasion of the barbarians in the fifth 
century is certain, though we have few records of her 
story in that appalling misfortune. We know that Narses 
incorporated her with the exarchate, and then with the 
advent of the Lombards comes the first real break in 
her history. Cremona alone had been able to resist the 
assaults of Alboin ; for thirty-three years she withstood 
these barbarians, till Agilulf came with a ponderous 
multitude furnished with towers, catapults, engines and 
battering-rams against her, and destroyed her with her 
neighbour Volturnia in the year 603. Her people, such 
as escaped this barbarian deluge, hid themselves, as the 
refugees farther east had done, in the lagoons, in the 
islands and marshes and woods, and thus came into 
existence those little places we know, Aguanegra, 
Bagnolo, Le Isole, Le Fosse ; and the territory of Cremona, 
abandoned to the barbarians^ became desolate, the Po 
and the smaller rivers and streams overflowed the fields 
about her and left her silent in a vast lagoon. 

But the position of Cremona forbade that, like Aquileia, 
it should be utterly abandoned and forgotten. It was 
presently repopulated and rebuilt, and in the ninth, the 
tenth and the eleventh centuries it presented one of 
the first examples of the rule of the Bishop, the revolt 
of the merchants and the feudatories, and the rebellion 
of the plebs, which took place in every city of Lombardy, 
and which we know as the establishment of the Commune. 
This struggle, which began in 916, terminated in 1080, 
when we find the Commune established with its magis- 
trates and consuls, independent of the Bishops and the 
Counts, with its own army, its treasury and its Carroccio. 


There followed here, as elsewhere, two centuries of munici- 
pal contests, while her exterior relations are extraordin- 
arily complex. In 1109, Cremona is allied with Lodi 
against Milan and Brescia, who sacked and burned her. 
In 1 121 she is allied with Milan, and sends a contingent 
to help the Milanese against Como. There followed the 
bitter wars with Crema, the neighbouring city, which 
Cremona wished to subjugate to her secular dominion, 
for Crema had been within her ecclesiastical rule. 
This brought Milan against her, and Brescia and even 
Parma and Piacenza. When Frederick Barbarossa came 
into Italy she sided with him for her own sake, and took 
a great part in the destruction of Crema in 1160, and of 
Milan in 1162. But she soon grew weary of the tyranny 
of the Imperial vicars and joined the Lombard League, 
assisted to found Alessandria and to rebuild Milan. 

In 1 175 she elected her first Podesta, for a year and 
six months. The city was governed by consuls, a 
general council of nobili and popolo to the number 
of more than a hundred, and a restricted and secret 
consiglio di credenza. It was divided into quarters, that 
took the names of the gates,i and numbered at this time 
some 16,000 combatants. 

It was during this communal period, in 1107, ^^^'^^ the 
Cathedral was built, and ten years later the Baptistery. 
The Palazzo Comunale was begun in 1206 and t; 
Torrazzo in 12 19. This heroic period was here, as eh 
where, brought to an end by the madness of the factionsj 
the accursed) quarrel of Guelph and Ghibelline, whichj 
however^ was not so fiercely contested in Cremona, 
for Cremona was almost altogether Ghibelline, becaus 

* These were Porta Postumia, Porta Natali, Porta Ariberti 
and Porta Pertusa : each had its own standard — a blue lion on aJ 
gold ground, a gold lion on a blue ground, a red lion on a white] 
ground, and a white lion on a red ground, respectively. Cremona! 
grew very much during the twelfth century, and a new circle of 
walls was built to include the borgo in 1 1C9. 


Milan, her arch enemy, was Guelph. She favoured Fred- 
erick II. with all her heart, and in return he showered 
privileges upon her, called her his " beloved and chosen 
city/' and used her as his general quarters in his Lombard 
wars. But when Frederick was dead, Cremona fell into 
the hands of Ezzelino, and the reaction which naturally 
followed left her at the mercy of the Guelphs. Against 
this party Henry vii., when he came into Italy, moved in 
1310. Marching on Cremona with his whole army and 
with the Ghibellines round about, he took the city and 
gave it up to be burned and sacked, in spite of the 
prayers of three hundred citizens who went out to meet 
him at Paderno and prayed him to spare the city. The 
ruin of Cremona was such that when, in 1322, Galeazzo 
Visconti saw his chance and took it, he had little diffi- 
culty in incorporating Cremona in his vast dominions. 

All roads in Cremona lead at last to the centre of the 
city, the beautiful Piazza del Duomo, about which are 
grouped the great buildings which lend to Cremona her 
special charm and character : the Cathedral and 
Baptistery, the Torrazzo and the Palazzo Comunale 
opposite to them. Let us begin with the Cathedral, 
which is one of the most remarkable buildings in Lom- 

The Cathedral of S. Maria Assunta in Cremona, like 
the cathedrals of Modena, Parma and Piacenza, with 
which it should be compared, is a magnificent and 
austere basilica in the Lombard style, flanked by the 
Torrazzo, the noblest tower in all this country. 

Begun on August 15, 1109, on which day the Bishop 
Gualtiero of Cremona laid the first stone, the Cathedral 
was scarcely finished when it was utterly ruined by 
an earthquake in 11 17. This seems to have given 
pause to the people of Cremona, and it is not till May 
1 190 that we read of the church being consecrated 
with much pomp by the Bishop Sicardo Casalano. 
This church was undoubtedly a pure basilica, the 


nave being vaulted, but not the aisles, which were 
added later ; the northern about 1288, the southern 
later still ; the vaults we see are of the fourteenth 
century. We know nothing of the architects of this 
church, but the transepts are the work of Giacomo da 
Camperio and Bartolino Bragerio. 

The facade of the church, one of the most striking 
anywhere to be seen, was in its origin of pure Lombard 
style, such as we see in one of the intarsias of the choir, 
or on medals conserved in the Museo Civico. But it 
was divided into three compartments corresponding 
to the three naves, the loggia to the left, under the 
Torrazzo, being added in the end of the fifteenth century 
from the design of Lorenzo Trotti. It was at this time 
that the fagade of the cathedral was largely modified 
by Alberto Severo di Carrara, who, being a Tuscan, 
with little understanding of the Lombard style, spoilt 
it as a work in that manner, but made of it the pictur- 
esque thing we see. Ten years later his work was 
heightened and the pediment and frieze of fine statues 
beneath it were added : these statues represent S. 
Pietro Martiro, S. Marcellino, S. Imerico and S. Omobono. 
The great rose window of the fa9ade, however, is a fine 
work of the thirteenth century by Giacomo Porato da 
Como. As we see it then, the fa9ade has three doors : 
the great door in the midst is the work of Porato da 
Como. It is furnished with a fine portico, the work of 
Sebastiano Nani in 1560. This is borne by two columns 
resting on the backs of two lions in red Verona marble, 
which themselves lie upon great pedestals, while 
above the porch are four other little lions bearing the 
Loggia, in which, between two saints, Madonna stands on 
a pedestal, with her child in her arms. These statues 
are also by Sebastiano Nani. The frieze beneath 
these statues should be especially noticed. It repre- 
sents the people at work at home and in the fields, 
according to the seasons, and bears the signs of the 




ac with the emblems proper to them. In the 

midst, exactly under the statue of the Madonna and 

^hild, the figure of a bishop is carved in high relief, 

I^H some thought to be S. Barnabas, to whom legend 

i^Signs the foundation of the Church of Cremona. 

The two porticoes, or logge, on either side the central 

door, were added in 1497, and in 1758 the statues of 

saints upon their parapets were placed there. 

Within, the church is disappointing : it is 67 metres 
and more in length, and the breadth of the nave is 
more than 30 metres, while the two transepts are 
67 metres long and more than 21 wide ; yet spacious 
as the church is, it does not look half its size. The 
nave, too, has been completely modernised, except in 
the vault and the triforium. The whole interior is a 
vast field of colour and gilding, the church being covered 
with frescoes by the painters of Cremona. 

In the nave, on the left, above the arches, Boccaccio 
Boccaccino of Cremona, a distinctive artist, who seems 
to unite in himself much of the prettiness of the later 
Milanese with the colour sense of the Venetians, after 
some provincial manner of his own, has painted in 
fresco certain scenes from the Life of the Blessed 
Virgin, the Nativity of our Lord, the Circumcision 
and Christ among the Doctors. In the apse, too, we 
find the work of this painter in a fresco, perhaps the 
best work of his in the church, of Christ and the 
four patron saints of Cremona, S. Peter Martyr, S. 
Marcellino, S. Imerico and S. Omobono : and again 
an Annunciation ; these painted in 1506. 

On the right wall of the nave, at the eastern end of it, 
we see the Last Supper, and scenes from the Passion of 
our Lord, frescoes by the Cremonese pupil of Romanino, 
known as Melone. Romanino himself appears in 
the frescoes that follow : of Christ bound to the pillar 
and Christ before Pilate, and we probably see his hand 
in the two frescoes just assigned to Melone, the Crown- 


ing with Thorns and the Mocking of Christ. The last 
three frescoes he re, with the Crucifixion, are by Pordenone, 
as is the Crucifixion over the main door and the Deposition 
to one side of it. On the other side of the main portal 
is a fresco of the Resurrection by Bernardo Gatti, 
painted in 1529. To this painter is due also the famous 
Assumption over the high altar ; it was his last work, 
and he left it unfinished at his death, when Sammachini 
of Bologna completed it. 

The intarsia work of the stalls of the choir, which 
should not be missed, is by Platina (1484). The two 
pulpits are adorned with reliefs of the Massacre of 
the Innocents, from an old altar by Amadeo. 

Turning now to the chapels : in the first chapel, 
on the right, is a picture of the Madonna and Child, 
enthroned between S. Dominic and S. Paul, with 
Donor, painted in 1522. The Chapel of the Blessed 
Sacrament, to the right of the choir, is most elaborately 
painted in fresco by Giulio Campi, with pictures of the 
Last Supper, and the Gathering of the Manna, which 
prefigured it. The similar chapel to the left of the 
choir is also painted in fresco by this Cremonese master, 
with scenes from the life of S. John Baptist, his Preach- 
ing and the Baptism of Our Lord. In the left transept, 
too, we find a S. Michael from his hand, and in the right 
transept a series of frescoes, the History of Esther. 

To the south of the Cathedral stands the lofty 
octagonal baptistery founded in 1167. It once had 
three doors, but only one remains, that on the north 
towards the Piazza. This has a fine porch supported 
by columns resting on the backs of lions. Within, the 
baptistery is bare and austere; the very noble font, 
hewn out of a single block of red Verona marble, was 
erected here in 1520. 

To the north of the Cathedral stands the Archivio, 
and behind this rises the great and beautiful Torrazzo, 
the noblest tower in Lombardy, and, as is said, the 


loftiest in all Italy : it rises to a height of 396 feet. 
It was built, probably, on the site of an earlier tower 
destroyed in the earthquake of 11 17, in 1284. In the 
thirteenth century it stood alone, and since the sixteenth 
century it has consisted of three stages, the first four- 
sided, the second octagonal, the third again octagonal, 
covered by a lofty spire. Nothing can be more graceful 
and lovely than these open octagons, superimposed 
the one upon the other. An enormous clock, placed 
here in 1594, still tells the hours. 

Opposite the cathedral, on the other side of the 
Piazza, stands the battlemented Palazzo Comunale, 
supported on lofty pointed arches, and built in the first 
years of the thirteenth century. Within is a small 
cloister, and in the upper floor the Pinacoteca. 

Close by is the Palazzo dei Gonfalonieri, dating from 

All one's time in Cremona seems to be spent in and 
about the Piazza and the Cathedral, and rightly so. 
For whether you come there by day or by night, at 
dawn when the first light catches the lovely lantern of 
the Torrazzo, or at evening when the whole city resounds 
and thrills to the ringing of the Ave Maria, there is 
nothing at once as spacious and ordered and as pic- 
turesquely delightful as this square, in which the whole 
story of old Cremona seems to have been gathered and 
to live. 

Yet, if you be a devotee of the North Italian schools 
of painting, there is plenty to see in Cremona beside the 
Duomo ; for in her quiet way Cremona too had a school 
of painting, which if we leave Boccaccino's works in the 
Cathedral on one side, might seem to consist so far as 
Cremona is concerned of the works of Giulio Campi 
(1502-72), the pupil of Romanino and the disciple of 
Giulio Romano, his brothers Antonio and Vicenzio and 
his cousin Bernardino. The churches of Cremona 
abound in their works, and a lazy day or two, with the 


beautiful Piazza as a kind of refuge and refreshment, 
may be very happily spent among these neglected wild- 
flowers of the Lombard by-way. 

But before proceeding to explore the churches of this 
charming city, I suppose it is one's duty to visit the 
Museo, where the spoil of too many of them has been 
gathered, chiefly after all for our delight. 

The Museo Civico, in the Via Ala Ponzone, is found in 
the Palazzo Reale. There is a fine altarpiece of the 
Madonna and Child enthroned between S. Anthony and 
S. Stephen, painted in 1518 by Boccaccio Boccaccino, 
and a host of curiosities beside, a few Ferrarese pictures, 
notably a Madonna with S. Peter and S. Andrew, a 
late work by Mazzolino, the pupil of Ercole Robert i, 
and two pictures of the Nativity by Bernardo Parenzano, 
that eclectic painter of the last decades of the fifteenth 
century who followed so many masters, Ercole Roberti, 
Domenico Morone, Mantegna and Buonsignori. 

But it is not here we shall really find the Cremonese. 
We do come upon them, however, feebly enough, in the 
neighbouring Church of S. Pietro al Po, built by Ripari 
in 1549, where over the third altar on the right stands a 
picture of the Madonna and Saints by Gian Francesco 
Bembo, and on the ceiling some rich if feeble decorations 
by Antonio Campi and his friends. 

But the most delightful and simple shrine left to us in 
Cremona is to be found in the fourteenth-century Church 
of S. Agostino, a building of rosy brick with a grass- 
grown piazza before it. Here, in the first chapel on the 
right, is a Pietll by Giulio Campi, and in the last chapel 
but one on the same side of the church a miracle indeed, 
a Madonna and Child with S. James and S. Augustine, 
painted in 1494 by Pietro Perugino. On the throne is 
inscribed : petrus pervsinvs pinxit mcccc lxxxxiiii. 
Crowe and Cavalcaselle believe this picture to have been 
painted in Florence, but there is just a chance that the 
Umbrian master may have painted it in Cremona itself. 


for in 1494 he was in Venice, as we know, and Cremona is 
but a little way thence. The picture is one of great 
beauty. Within one of the arches of the Palazzo 
Comunale, as it were. Madonna sits enthroned, perhaps 
before her own beautiful Cathedral, her Divine Child in 
her lap. On either side stand S. James and S. Augustine, 
S. James with a pen in his hand and a book, S. Augustine 
with crozier and mitre. Nothing more surprising and 
more welcome is to be seen in all this country. 

Opposite this divine vision from Italy, between the 
third and the fifth altars on the north side of the church, 
we find two portraits of Francesco Sforza and his wife, 
Bianca Maria, the natural daughter of the last Visconti. 

We leave S. Agostino with regret, and proceeding down 
the Via Guido Grandi we come to the little Church of 
S. Margherita that Giulio Campi built and painted about 
1547. This church was originally under the dedication 
of S. Pelagia, and in 1542 the Cremonese poet Monsignore 
Girolamo Vida was its rector. He became Bishop of 
Alba, and in 1547, wishing to rebuild his church in 
Cremona, employed Giulio Campi, his fellow- townsman, 
to carry out the work, which he did, both building the 
church and enriching it with frescoes. 

We find more of the work of this artist in the Church 
of S. Agata in the Piazza now named after Garibaldi, 
originally built in 1077, and rebuilt in 1495, where in 
the choir we find four large frescoes of the Martyrdom of 
S. Agatha. 

Quite on the other side of the city, by the Porta Venezia, 
we come upon Campi' s work again in the Church of 
S. Abbondio, with a beautiful tower. Here, behind the 
high altar, is one of his best pictures, the Madonna and 
Child with SS. Nazaro and Celso. A later work, a Cruci- 
fixion, is also to be seen in the neighbouring Church 
of S. Michele. 

But the most interesting Cremonese church is not 
after all to be found in Cremona, but some two miles 


outside the Porta Venezia, on the road to Casalmaggiore. 
S. Sigismondo, as we see it, owes its existence to Francesco 
Sforza. That astute and extraordinary adventurer, 
who always seems to me to be the most modern figure 
in all the fifteenth century, began his life, as we know, as 
a free lance, a soldier of fortune, a condotliere with a 
band of brigands to sell to the highest bidder. By 
hook and by crook he gradually managed to possess 
himself of the city of Ancona, of which with the March he 
made himself lord. This, however, but whetted his appe- 
tite. He was a great unscrupulous adventurer, and just 
as to-day in England or America we should have found 
him engaged in finance, so in fifteenth-century Italy 
we find him busy with the nobler affair of arms. But 
it was not by arms alone that he hoped to establish 
himself among the lords of Italy. He had more than 
once rendered some service to the Visconti of Milan, 
and when the opportunity offered again he asked as 
reward the hand of Bianca Maria, Visconti's natural 
daughter, for he had no legitimate offspring. Visconti 
was at length compelled to promise him Bianca, but for 
many years he refused to fulfil his bargain. Then, in 
1441, Visconti found himself unable to make headway 
against Venice, and generally threatened by the Floren- 
tines, in whose pay Sforza then was. In his hour of need 
he turned to the ablest man he knew, Francesco Sforza, 
his prospective son-in-law, and begged him to act as 
arbiter between Venice and himself. Sforza agreed, 
but when he drew up the treaty he included a clause 
which forced Visconti to give him Bianca Maria. This 
time Visconti could not get out of the bargain, and 
as a marriage portion he bestowed upon Bianca 
Cremona and Pontremoli. He gave Cremona because 
he could not hold it successfully, for it lay too far 
on the border-land of the Veneto, and its acquisition had 
long been desired by the Venetians. He gave Pontremoli 
because it, too, was far and upon the Florentine border. 


The marriage was celebrated upon October 26, 1441, 
in the Church of S. Sigismondo, outside the city of 
Cremona, on the road to Casalmaggiore ; and the bride 
and bridegroom made a triumphal entry into Cremona, 
where many of the Marchigiani had gathered at Sforza's 
orders to greet him and his bride. 

The little church in which they had been married 
had been founded by the Benedictines in 990 and dedi- 
cated to SS. Giacomo and Filippo. In 1253 Innocent iv. 
had given it to the Vallombrosans, who had dedi- 
cated it to S. Sigismondo. Francesco Sforza, however, 
was not satisfied that the church which had seen the 
fulfilment of so many of his ambitions should remain 
the magnificent place it was. Therefore in 1463, when 
through his marriage he had actually possessed himself 
of the Visconti lordship, he pulled down the little 
church and built in its place by the hands of Barto- 
lommeo Gazza the rich and sumptuous temple we see. 
He also rebuilt the monastery. 

As we see it to-day the church of S. Sigismondo is the 
shrine of Giulio Campi, just as the Arena Chapel at 
Padua is of Giotto. It is covered with his frescoes, and 
on the high altar stands one of his most precious works, 
in which we see the Madonna appearing to Francesco 
Sforza and his bride. Nor is this all, for around the 
western window he has painted the Annunciation, and 
indeed in nave and transept he has left us a rich legacy, 
in which we see the work of himself, his brothers and 
his cousin Bernardino. 

It is impossible to leave Cremona without reminding 
oneself what an harmonious and musical city it is; 
that it is the birthplace of the Amati, the great Stradi- 
varius and of Guarnerius, who here made their violins, 
the necks of which were like the necks of rare and 
lovely birds, and which even to-day are softer and 
sweeter than any other instruments. 


WHEN one does pluck up courage to leave Cremona 
at last, to forgo quietness for the noise of the 
railway, and the sunshine and delight of that exquisite 
town for the chances of travel, it must, of course, be 
for Crema that one sets out — Crema that has almost 
no history worth knowing, but that remains one of the 
dearest and most hidden places in all this wide and 
beautiful Lombard country. 

I often wonder now I am set down to write 
about Lombardy, as I did when I made my way 
along the Lombard roads, whether we who go our 
ways up and down from city to city, from church to 
church, from one building to another, ever really are 
aware how beautiful a country Lombardy is under its 
wide, incomparable sky, half lost in its own vastness. 
It is easy to see Tuscany ; the Umbrian valleys draw 
you on, and from day to day in the Veneto you pass 
and repass from the plain to the mountains, from the 
mountains to the plain. But Lombardy is hard to seej 
difficult to find out and impossible to possess onesel] 
of, without much fatigue, weariness, mud and dust. Th< 
roads are all endless there, the cities always far awaj 
and often when they are but market towns worse thai 
nothing — places from which one hurries away in the first 
train that comes by, places that one tries to forget. 
Such are many of the towns that hold, it may be, just one 
thing one longs to see, and because they are many and 



le to loom large in the memory, more than half of 
our pleasure in Lombardy is ruined by them. But the 
country : I think, indeed, no one ever sees that here in 
the great plain. It is too big, too vague, too empty to 
allure us from the security and curiosity of the towns ; 
yet it is a background full of peace to all those peaceful 
and lovely places : Cremona in the green meadows, 
Mantua amid the quietness of the lagoons, and last but 
not least Crema, where the white oxen gather in the 
streets at evening drawing their great creaking carts 
]aden with all the wealth of the purple vintage that 
shall presently, by the winepress, stain the streets and 
perfume the whole city. 

Crema is a little place, no one goes there, yet it is easy 
to reach from Cremona by train to and fro in a day if you 
will, and it is very well worth seeing. Besides, if you 
have the heart, you might do many worse things than 
walk thither, you might give up going at all, and 
lest you should indeed do that, I state here once and for 
all : it is easy to go to Crema and back from Cremona by 
train in one day. 

There is no church more beautiful in all Lombardy 
than the Cathedral of Crema, and it has a campanile 
crowned by a lantern that is as graceful and as airy 
but not as tall nor as strong as the Torrazzo of Cremona. 
Yet it is a thing to love and to be proud of, and the 
people of Crema justly hold it high in their affections, 
for it is not only beautiful and full of daring, it is also 
unique : there is nothing quite like it anywhere else in 
the world. 

As much in the way of originality cannot be said for 
the beautiful fagade of the Catheckal of Crema. Fine 
as it is, it must be confessed that it is very like all the 
other Lombard facades we have seen : it has nobility, 
grace even, and some splendour, but it is unmistakably 
of the family, and especially by this should we know and 
recognise it, for it has no relation at all to the church 


which it suddenly and as it were by brute force closes 
and ends. Just where it might have been astonishingly 
original, so that its fame would have been blazed in 
every guide-book of the world, it has with a certain 
becoming humility followed the tradition — alas ! a bad 
one — and taken after the family. 

Within, however, the Cathedral has something to 
show us, namely, a picture of S. Sebastian between 
S. Christopher and S. Roch, painted in 1518 by 
Civerchio, the founder, with Ferramola, of the Brescian 
school : this over the second altar on the north. 

There is one other church in Crema that has something 
to offer us in the way of painting : this is SS. Trinita, 
where over the third altar on the north is a Madonna 
and Child enthroned between S. Peter, S. Paul, S. 
Sebastian and S. Roch, painted in 1535 by Calisto 
Piazza da Lodi, the follower of Romanino. 

If there is little for the mere tourist in the streets of 
Crema — and I have said nothing of the fa9ade of S. 
Maria Maddalena, which is of the early Renaissance, and 
now fronts a theatre — there is undoubtedly a church 
without her walls that will astonish him : I mean the 
round church of S. Maria della Croce, which is rather 
polygonal than round after all, and built of brick in the 
true Renaissance manner, and reminds one of nothing 
so much as of that heavenly building Raphael saw in 
the background of his picture in the Brera. It is a 
work by Giovanni Battagio of Lodi, a disciple of 
Bramante's. I say it reminds one of nothing so much as 
of Raphael's temple there in his picture of the Sposalizio. 
Well, it has just the tranquillity, the lightness, and the 
graceful dignity of that visionary building, and it 
stands under its clustered domes and cupolas really 
like something in a dream, something not made with 
hands, that would actually be impossible in any other 
land but this. And if it be true, as Pater has told us, 
that " all art aspires towards the condition of music," 


here, I think, for once it has been completely successful. 
For it is as though suddenly, as we listened, some 
Magnificat by Palestrina or Marenzio had taken visible 
shape and " materialised itself," as we say, before our 
eyes in a temple not made with hands, in which it 
might please the Queen of the angels a little to abide 
our coming. 

From Crema, it is not far — there is a tramway beside 
the road all the way — to Lodi, where it is very good 
to come if only to see the beautiful church of the 
Incoronata, another building by Giovanni Battagio, 
who was born here. 

The city known as Lodi to-day, however, and set 
on the right bank of the Adda, is not the ancient city 
which the Romans called Laus Pompeia, perhaps after 
Pompeius Strabo, who conferred the rights of Latin 
citizens upon the municipalities of Transpadane Gaul. 
The ancient town was set in the plain some five miles to 
the west of Lodi, and is known — for there is there to-day 
a considerable village — as Lodi Vecchio. 

Lodi Vecchio, which is not worth a visit, has a very 
strange and tragic history. A city of the Gauls, situated 
in Roman times sixteen miles south-east of Milan, on 
the high road between Milan and Placentia, it had, 
according to Pliny, been a stronghold of the Boii. It 
figures not at all in Roman history, we know nothing of 
it save that it existed, but in the end of the Dark Ages 
Lodi had become important, and by the end of the 
tenth century an independent republic. 

Now in those days, as everjwhere in Italy, but 
nowhere so fiercely and so persistently as in this Cis- 
alpine plain, the cities fought for land and power and 
wealth and the harvest, the one with the other, and the 
nearer neighbour the greater the foe. The two captains 
of this formless and confused and continual civil war 
were Milan and Pavia, for they were the two strongest, 


and therefore, and because they were close neighbours, 
they were deadly foes. They did not directly attack 
one another — at least, in the beginning they did not, 
for they would not risk everything in a single throw ; 
but they each warred against their feebler neighbours, 
so that in a brief space the whole plain was divided 
into two leagues or parties headed by these two cities. 
Cremona, which was at this time the third city in the 
plain, was ever the enemy of Milan ; it desired greatly 
to conquer Crema, and therefore Crema held to Milan, 
yet in the year iioo Crema fell. Milan then looking 
around assailed Lodi and Novara; and Pavia, not to 
be outdone, attacked Tortona. The thing was a sort of 
game, but a bloody one, in which the weak, unless they 
could win help, were without hope, and therefore each 
terrified city attached itself to that great city of which 
it had least apprehension : Crema and Tortona looked 
to Milan ; Pavia and Cremona joined hands, and Lodi 
cried aloud to them for help, as did Novara. Brescia, 
however, because she was near to Cremona, looked to 
Milan, as did Parma and Modena, while Piacenza and 
Reggio stood with Pavia, 

It is impossible for us to conceive of the state of 
things which followed. A kind of border war, private 
war and piracy ensued, in which no man's property or 
life was safe ; nor could any man be sure of the harvest,j 
or indeed of anything but danger. At any moment 
the great bell might ring in the Tower, and all the 
able-bodied citizens would gather round the carroccic 
and go forth to battle. If you fell you were dead, bul 
God help your wife and your children ; if you were 
taken prisoner, you were subject to the most amazing 
insults, as that which the Milanese in 1108 inflicted 
upon certain of Pavia whom they had come by in 
battle. These they first stripped naked, and when 
they had brought them into the Piazza, they affixed 
lighted torches to the least noble part of their persons, 


and hooted them out of the gates. Every war did not, 
however, end in so harmlessly farcical a fashion. In 
the year 1107 the league against Milan was less united 
than it should have been, and Milan, seeing her chance, 
attacked Lodi, her nearest foe. This war lasted for 
four years. Lodi was sometimes victorious, but she 
had not the population of Milan, and when her harvests 
were taken or burnt year after year, in spite of assistance 
sent by Cremona and Pavia, Lodi began to despair, and 
in this despair was taken by assault in the year mi 
and utterly destroyed, the houses levelled with the 
ground, the walls thrown down : Milan left not one 
stone upon another. As for the Lodesi, they were all 
reduced to a kind of serfdom and distributed among 
six villages, where they were kept in order. 

The fate which overtook Lodi stands alone in the 
history of Lombardy, as does her resurrection. 

In the yearJii54,Frederick Barbarossa, Emperor-Elect, 
descended into Italy, ostensibly to put an end to the 
appalling state of anarchy and civil war which obtained 
there and which had already cost Lodi her life. In the 
previous year, 1153, ^t Constance, where he had presided 
at a dietjtwo citizens of Lodi had made their way through 
the throng of princes and nobles and had cast themselves 
weeping at his feet, beseeching him to release them 
from the tyranny of the people of Milan. They bore, 
publicly at least, no commission from their fellows, but 
Frederick immediately sent an officer to Milan to bid 
the Milanese to renounce their jurisdiction over the 
Lodesi and to render to them their ancient lands. " The 
Imperial messenger," we are told, "was sent first to the 
Lodesi to acquaint them with the nature of his mission. 
In vain they regretted the inconsiderate rashness of the 
unauthorised appeal that had been made ; they dreaded 
lest the Milanese should reply to the mandate of the 
Emperor by burning their houses and crops ; they 
pointed out that it would be at least a year before the 


Imperial troops could arrive to protect them ; already 
they had endured servitude for two generations. ..." 
In spite of their protests, the envoy went to Milan. 
The consuls received him in a full meeting of the people ; 
but the crowd, beside itself with passion, snatched the 
missive from the hands of him who read it and trod it 
underfoot. The Emperor was defied, and it was only 
with difficulty his messenger escaped with his life. The 
Lodesi are said to have taken to the woods ; but in a 
calmer moment the Milanese themselves grew afraid, 
and with the other cities of the plain sent delegates with 
the customary donation to the new Emperor. Pavia and 
Cremona, however, were not slow to accuse her, nor she, 
as answering them, to invade their territories. It 
was thus into a veritable pandemonium that Frederick 
descended when he entered Cisalpine Gaul in 1154. 

He came down the Adige valley to Roncaglia. There 
in comitia he decided what to do — namely, to support 
the weaker of the two factions in Lombardy : that is to 
say, the faction led by Pavia, to which Lodi belonged. 

The first town to feel the weight of his arms was 
Tortona. He took it after a brave defence of sixty-two 
days, and when its people had departed burnt it to the 
ground. He then marched to Pavia, where he received 
the Iron Crown, and so to Rome to receive the Golden 
Crown from the Pope, and returned over the Alps, 
having achieved nothing but a threat. 

Meanwhile Milan, knowing what to expect, tried, in 
the year 1158, to make friends with the Lodesi ; but the 
Lodesi would not, for they knew that Frederick was 
on his way back into Italy. At or near Brescia he held 
diet, and there forbade private war and summoned the 
Milanese deputies to come before him. They came, and 
tried to bribe him with money and to befool him with 
excuses. He refused the bribe and would not hear the 
excuses. War was declared upon Milan. But first 
Frederick crossed the Adda and laid the foundation- 


stone of the new city of Lodi. The village chosen for 
this honour was known as Monteghezzone. What 
recommended it was its situation on the river, well 
defended, and, as Frederick believed it to be, the key to 
Lombardy. This new city thus founded is, of course, 
the Lodi we know. 

There is not perhaps very much to see in Lodi — a few 
churches, and here and there a picture — but a spot so 
famous is well worth a visit ; nor indeed is it without 
interest for us to-day, and for this cause that it was at 
the passage of the Bridge of Lodi, on May 10, 1796, that 
Napoleon led his grenadiers not without heroism. But 
now let us see what this little town so strangely famous 
has to offer us. 

And first there is the Duomo. This, so far as the 
exterior goes, is a building in the Lombard style, probably 
modelled on the mother church of old Lodi. The porch 
is fine in the usual Lombard manner, borne by pillars 
resting upon two lions. Within the church has been quite 
modernised ; but it contains certainly a relic from the 
mother city in a relief of the Last Supper, which is 
probably older than the advent of the Lombards into 
Italy. Here, too, is a polyptych by Calisto Piazza da 
Lodi, painted in 1529. 

No one who visits Lodi should omit to visit the 
Church of S. Francesco, a Gothic building of the fourteenth 
century, for it has some old frescoes; but the really 
great sight in Lodi is, as I have already suggested, the 
Church of the Incoronata, a work of Giovanni Battagio, 
who built the Sanctuary of the Madonna outside Crema. 
The Incoronata was begun in 1476. It is an octagon 
in form, and though not, I think, so fine as the Sanctuary 
outside Crema, is an exquisite and delightful thing. 
It is, too, very charmingly decorated and has a beautiful 
carved cantoria, while Calisto Piazza da Lodi has 
covered it with his paintings. This follower of Romanino 
has left us over the entrance door an Adoration of the 


Magi. In the chapel of S. John Baptist are four scenes 
from the life of that saint — the Preaching, the Baptism 
of Christ, the Feast of Herod and the Decapitation 
of S. John. In the chapel of the Crucifixion are five 
scenes from the Way of the Cross — Christ taken Captive, 
the Flagellation, the Way to Calvary, the Nailing to the 
Cross and the Crucifixion. In the chapel of S. Paul we 
have the Conversion of S. Paul, which is his in part, 
and in the chapel of S. Lorenzo a fresco of the marriage 
of S. Catherine that is doubtfully his. Other works, too, 
are to be seen here. 

But when all is said and done,Lodi is chiefly interesting 
to us for its curious foundation and for that terrible 
fight on May lo, 1796, in which Napoleon bore so fine 
a part, in which he utterly defeated the Austrians, and 
was able therefore five days later to enter Milan. Surely 
Lodi, if she was not avenged in 1162, was avenged 


IT is but twenty- two miles, less than an hour's 
journey in the train from Lodi, through Casale 
Pusterlengo and Codogno, and so across the Po for the 
first time in our journey, into Piacenza, an old and a 
. famous city of the Romans. Even though one comes by 
train that crossing of the Po impresses itself upon the 
mind, while by road the passage is never to be forgotten, 
for you make it by a bridge of boats, with the swirling, 
cruel river within a few feet of you, and horribly strong 
and overwhelming. And it is well that this should be 
so ; for, by crossing the Po, we leave Lombardy proper 
and come into that part of the new province of Emilia 
which, since the sixteenth century, has been known as the 
Duchy of Parma, over which ruled the House of Farnese. 
I say that the province is now known as Emilia, nor 
is this name in any sense a new one ; for all this country 
south of the Po, between Piacenza where it ended and 
Rimini where it began, was traversed and fed from the 
end of the Second Punic War by the great Roman high- 
way, the Via ^Emilia, so called after M. ^Emilius, the 
consul who constructed it. Piacenza, or Placentia, 
as the Romans called it, was the true terminus of this 
road, and the true nodal point of all this country from 
which various roads departed again, north, south, east 
and west, crossing Cisalpine Gaul with highways. Why 
was this ? To answer that question we must say 
something of the history of the city. 


No traveller, no observant traveller at any rate, can 
come to Piacenza to-day without being impressed by two 
things about it : first, that it is situated in an open plain, 
sandy and liable to flood, and open to all the winds of 
heaven ; second, that strategically its position on the 
right bank of the Po, with two great loops of that river 
thrust forward on either side before it, and flanked on 
the west by the Trebbia and on the east by the Nure, 
is enormously strong. It will not, therefore, surprise 
him to learn that Placentia was the first fortress the 
Romans established upon the Po after the end of the 
Gallic War in 219 B.C. ; they placed 6000 colonists 
within it and gave them Latin rights, and bade them 
hold it against all comers. 

It was doubtless their intention to proceed from this 
strong place, and from Cremona to the north of the 
great river, which they founded about the same time, 
to the conquest and the administration of all Cisalpine 
Gaul. They were already busy with plans for the road 
which should connect Piacenza with Rimini, through 
Mutina (Modena), a strong place of the Gauls already 
in their hands, when a tremendous disaster prevented 
them. That disaster was the advent of Hannibal into 
this plain, scarcely quiet and certainly not pacified 
after the long war. 

Hannibal's advent, as might be expected, put new heart 
into the Gauls, and the rising of the Gauls put new 
heart into the Carthaginians. The former attacked 
Placentia and ravaged its territory, and drove many of 
the colonists to take refuge in Mutina ; but the city held 
out bravely none the less, and became the head-quarters 
of the army with which Scipio meant to face Hannibn' 
It might seem that the genius of Hannibal, the unpi 
cedented daring of his great march from Spain througii 
Gaul and over the Alps, had taken the Romans utterly 
by surprise. The troops that were on the Po were there 
not to face a great army, but to keep the irregular and 



foken Gauls in order. When they rose at the rumour 
Hannibal's approach, the praetor, Lucius Manlius, 

10 held the chief command at Rimini, hastened up 
with a single legion to relieve Piacenza if he could, and 
at least Mutina. He was unable to do either, for he was 
surprised in the woods, surrounded, and only able to 
defend himself in his camp by submitting to a siege 
till Lucius Atilius, with a second legion, then on his way 
from Rome to support him, reached him, as he did, and 
relieved both the camp and the fortress of Mutina. 
It was not till the autumn that Rome, now thoroughly 
aware of Hannibal's achievement, sent Publius Scipio 
with a Roman army, though a weak one, to meet him. 

Scipio crossed the Po at Piacenza and marched up 
stream to find his enemy, who had already captured 
Turin and was on his way east and south. It was on 
the plain, not far from Vercelli, that the Roman cavalry, 
which was weak, got into touch with the Carthaginian 
horse, and there followed the first battle of the Second 
Punic War, an affair solely of cavalry, in which the 
Romans were beaten. 

Scipio then, though severely wounded, recrossed the 
Po very cleverly under the eyes of the enemy, broke down 
the bridge, and, though this cost him 600 men, succeeded 
in retreating on Piacenza, where he took up his position 
in the plain with the Trebbia and the city behind him. 
This position, however, he was not able to hold, for the 
Gallic insurrection breaking out again, with the approach 
of Hannibal, the Roman was forced to put himself upon 
the hills behind the Trebbia, that is to say, he crossed 
the river, and thus came into that great natural quadri- 
lateral which to this day makes Piacenza so strong. 

Then when this was done, and all made safe, Scipio 
seems to have felt his wound, which was no light matter, 
and for the time the consul Tiberius Sempronius took the 
command. His term of office as consul was to expire 
in a few months, and he knew that if he were to get 


the credit of victory he must act at once. In these cir- 
cumstances Scipio's tactics did not appeal to him, and 
Hannibal, who had his spies everywhere, knew it. There- 
fore the Carthaginian laid waste the Gallic villages that 
were faithful to the Romans, and in the encounters of 
cavalry that happened in consequence, he allowed the 
Romans to find themselves victors. Then on a raw 
and rainy day he suddenly developed his plan ; what 
had looked like a skirmish developed into a general 
engagement : the Romans seemed to be winning ; the 
Carthaginians retreated over the Trebbia, the Romans 
followed ; suddenly the vanguard, which had crossed the 
river, found itself face to face with the Carthaginian 
army, and on a field chosen by Hannibal. Nothing 
could save it but the advance of the main body, and this 
Sempronius was forced to send. It struggled across the 
swollen river, and in spite of every disadvantage the 
infantry more than held their own, when it was dis- 
covered that it was not only the Romans who had ad- 
vanced across the stream. On his side Hannibal had 
secretly advanced looo foot and looo horse under his 
brother Mago, and these suddenly fell upon the Roman 
rear, already half in confusion, slipping in the mud 
churned up by the main body and crushing to the 
advance. A frightful scene followed, in which we see 
a broken and surprised army, trampled under foot by 
elephants, sliding and slipping in the mud, return upon 
itself and endeavour to recross the river where two 
thousand of the enemy remained to deal out slaughter 
to it ; a certain number in utter disarray managed 
to regain the camp. Meanwhile, however, 10,000 of 
the best Roman infantry had cut their way obliquely 
through the enemy and had reached Piacenza. 

Such was the battle of the Trebbia, fought in the rain 
in the autumn of 218 B.C. As Mommsen rightly says, 
" Few battles confer more honour on the Roman 
soldier than this on the Trebbia, and few at tlu 



same time furnish graver impeachment of the general 

Lgtt command." 

^BThus Piacenza enters history as the scene of one of 
tne great battles of the world. We hear curiously 
little of it after the end of the long war, even though 
it then became the terminus of the Via ^Emilia, 
but in Caesar's time it seems to have always held 
a great garrison, for which its position as the nodal 
point of all the great roads running north and west 
would especially fit it, apart from its own strength. 
Tacitus speaks of it as one of the most flourishing 
and populous cities in this part of Gaul, and S. Ambrose 
tells us that it suffered with the rest in the last years 
of the fourth century. It survived, however, all the 
ravages of the barbarians, and was only taken by 
Totila in 546 by famine, after a year's siege, in which 
it is said the inhabitants had been reduced to eat 
human flesh. But it soon revived, and, partly owing 
to its position on the Po, was one of the first cities to 
enjoy the revival of commerce in the early Middle Age : 
even in the tenth century its fair was perhaps the 
greatest in Italy, and it soon organised itself as 
an independent commune. In the beginning of the 
twelfth century, Piacenza and Reggio sided with 
Pavia against Parma and Modena, who stood with 
Milan ; but after the destruction of Milan, it took part 
in the war of the League against Frederick, and indeed 
became one of the principal members. In the middle of 
the thirteenth century it fell into the hands of Uberto 
Pallavicino, then into those of Charles of Anjou, who, 
in 1290, was followed by Alberto Scotti. In 1313 the 
Visconti held it, and, broadly speaking, it remained 
in their hands and in those of their Sforza successors 
— Francesco Sforza plundered it in 1477 — till 1499, 
when it fell to the French, and, a century later, after 
the battle of Ravenna, the Pope got it, and, save for a 
short interval, when it was in the hands of Francis i.^ 


it remained papal, at any rate from the time of Leo x. 
till Paul III., the Farnese who raised it to a duchy 
and gave it to his bastard, Pierluigi Farnese, who, in 
1545, united it to Parma. 

Piacenza can never claim to be, I think, one of the 
more beautiful cities of Lombardy, yet it is one of the 
most picturesque by reason of its colouring and its 
vast, empty piazzas, churches and palaces, the beautiful 
vistas of its streets and the sense of space and bigness 

The most famous thing in it is its great Piazza — 
Piazza de' Cavalli — which seems so large, so romantic 
and so like something on the stage, or in a dream, 
with its magnificent Palazzo del Comune thrust out 
into it on one side, the modern Palazzo delle Preture 
on another, the weirdly uncompromising facade of 
S. Francesco on a third, and everywhere long vistas 
of streets opening out of it on all sides and at every 
angle and corner. Nor is this all. The Palazzo del 
Comune is perhaps the finest palace of the sort in Italy : 
yet how much its effect here in this Piazza is enlarged 
and added to by the great bronze equestrian statues 
which rear before the great facade — " insignificant men, 
exaggerated horses, flying drapery " — yes, as baroque 
as you please, but splendid here, both in gesture and in 
colour — vivid green against the terra-cotta — and placed 
there by a master. 

Nothing in Piacenza is half so well worth seeing as 
this Piazza seemed to me to be on an autumn evening 
after rain. It then literally is a vision that slowly 
vanishes away in the twilight, from glory down to 
glory into the blue night : and this once seen 
can never be forgotten. But when we return in th( 
morning sunlight, though the Piazza still remain- 
magnificent, it is no longer a vision : all its poor 
details stand out in the hard glitter of light, that 
nevertheless, I think, alone can reunite us with those 


affected equestrian statues of the Dukes Alessandro 
and Ranuccio Farnese, seventeenth-century work from 
Tuscany, all but the colour and gesture of which is 
veiled by the evening. 

Duke Alessandro (1562-92), who seems here to be 
reining up his steed, while his successor, Ranuccio, is 
in an attitude of command, was the great-grandson of 
Pope Paul III., whose unspeakable bastard, Pierluigi, 
the Pope had made Duke of Parma and Piacenza, 
though he had no provable right to either of them. 
Pierluigi was very rightly murdered by his enforced 
and long-suffering subjects, and his son, Ottavio, never 
reigned in Piacenza, though he did in Parma. Aless- 
andro, however, his son, who succeeded him in 1562, 
got Piacenza as a Spanish fief, as a reward for services 
in the Low Countries where he was governor, of which 
services the reliefs on the pedestal of his statue speak, 
among them of his interview with the envoys of our 
great Elizabeth in 159 1, when he tried near Ypres to 
negotiate peace. Alessandro, who, for all his spurious 
ancestry, was a man, was succeeded by his son, Ranuccio, 
in whom Pope Paul iii. seems to have come to life again. 
"A gloomy and suspicious man, he was at once courteous 
and cruel and a coward, and if Piacenza can tell many a 
tale of horror of which he was the author, Parma can 
speak of that 19th of May 1612, in which, with 
savage joy, he watched the work of his headsman 
before his palace, during four hours, ridding him of 
his nobility." 

From the ridiculous statues of the Farnese we turn 
to the noble Palazzo del Comune. This was built when 
Piacenza was a free city. It dates from 1281, and is one of 
the earliest and noblest Gothic buildings in Italy. Below 
is an open arcade, in which pillars of marble, supporting 
pointed arches, support the palace proper, consisting 
of brick with six round-arched windows of terra-cotta, 
and over , all a marble cornice and battlements, with a 


tower at the angles. Opposite to it stands the Palazzo 
del Governo, a modern building ; but to the right, behind 
the marble statue of that Romagnosi who drew up the 
code for the Napoleonic kingdom of Italy, is the church 
of S. Francesco, a Gothic building of brick, begun in 
1278, an excellent thing in itself. 

Passing S. Francesco, the Via Venti Settembre brings 
us to the large Piazza del Duomo. Here stands the 
great Lombard church that is now the Cathedral of 
Piacenza. It was consecrated by Pope Innocent 11. in 
1133, but was added to later. The superstructure is of 
the thirteenth century, and the central porch dates from 
the sixteenth, while the whole building has suffered 
restoration m our own day. Taken as a whole, the 
Duomo is reverend rather than noble ; it cannot com- 
pare with the cathedrals of Pavia or Cremona, or with 
S. Michele at Monza. Indeed, within, the effect is almost 
completely Gothic rather than Lombard, or rather it is 
like a church of the transition, and it fails where Pisa 
has succeeded in the problem of the cupola, which here 
is altogether without assurance or harmony. The 
whole church is heavy and without life. Under the 
choir is a vast crypt, borne by a hundred columns, 
consisting of a nave and double aisles, and a transept 
with single aisles. 

The dome is without assurance or harmony, I said, 
but it contains some admirable frescoes by Guercino 
of the Prophets and Sybils and Angels, and in the arches 
before the choir Ludovico Caracci has painted angels 
strewing flowers, and in the vault of the apse a very fine 
picture of the Madonna and Child, with angels and saints. 
The choir stalls are of the fifteenth century. 

Other work by Ludovico Caracci is to be found in the 
Chapel of S. Martin to the left of the choir, where he has 
painted S. Martin sharing his cloak with a beggar. In 
the chapel, on the right, is an amazing picture of 
ten thousand crucified martyrs — a whole Roma 


army miraculously converted and martyred under 

Over the main door appears a magnificent carved 
altarpiece that once stood over the high altar here. 
Originally that altar was, of course, isolated, approached 
on all four sides, as is the high altar of S. Peter's in Rome 
to-day. Later, from the north was introduced the 
fashion of these great and beautiful carved altarpieces 
which, in their turn, gave place to pictures and statues, 
as here at Piacenza. 

But this great church was not always the Cathedral 
of Piacenza ; the seat of the Bishop was of old at S. 
Antonino, a church founded in 324 upon the very spot, 
as it is said, where S. Barnabas had preached to the people 
of Placentia. The present church dates mainly from 
the twelfth century, with additions of the fourteenth and 
sixteenth. Here the Lombard League met in 1183 
to approve the peace of Constance. The church is 
a curious building, remarkable for its great north 
Porch or Paradiso, built in 1350, above which rises the 
old tower borne by eight great round columns. 

A church, not as old as S. Antonino, but still dating 

as far back as the tenth century, is that of S. Savino, 

on the other side of the Duomo ; here the crypt would 

seem actually to belong to the original church ; the rest 

I of the building is, however, of the sixteenth century. 

From S. Antonino it is easy, before going farther on 
our way, to visit the church of S. Agostino hard by, 
built by Vignola ; but more interesting, perhaps, is the 
church of S. Giovanni, to which the Strada del Teatro 
will lead us. This was founded by the Templars, and 
in the cloisters are the remains of early frescoes. 

From S. Giovanni we return to the Strada Garibaldi, 
behind the Piazza, and proceeding to the right along it, 
at the fork, take the Via di Campagna, which brings us 
presently on the right to the church of S. Sepolcro, 
a fine specimen of Braraante's brick churches, and, a 


little later, to S. Maria di Campagna, which the same 
artist originally designed, but which has been ruthlessly 
altered. But we must forget the hurt of Bramante, for 
here is, as it were, the shrine of Pordenone. 

This younger contemporary of Lotto, always impetu- 
ous, full of aristocratic prejudices and worldly, was hk 
complete opposite both in his life and in his art. Born 
at Pordenone in 1483, he died at Ferrara in 1539. He has 
been compared with Rubens, both on account of the 
vivacity of his temperament and his love of colossal and 
well-developed forms. But, as Morelli rightly reminds 
us, while the Fleming was prolific, prudent and cal- 
culating, the Italian was " passionate, excitable, ill- 
regulated and swayed by pride and ambition." It is 
certain that he never attained the position of ease and 
luxury which Rubens won, but at the same time he 
never sunk into conventionality. " Original, highly 
gifted at times, even strikingly grand, he at one period 
sought, not unsuccessfully, to rival Titian." His great 
strength lay in fresco painting, and his most interesting 
frescoes are, I think, these in Piacenza ; at any rate 
they are more accessible than those near Conegliano and 
those at Treviso. 

We see something of his gifts in the curious figure of 
S. Augustine by the entrance, and more in that splendid 
Adoration of the Magi in the first chapel on the north 
side of this church, in the Nativity in the lunette, and 
on the wall the Birth of the Blessed Virgin, and above 
it the Flight into Egypt ; and again in the Chapel of ' 
S. Catherine, which he entirely painted, even the altar- 
piece of the Marriage of S. Catherine being from his , 
hand. But what are we to say of those marvellous 
Prophets and Sibyls on the cupola, but that there fresco 
painting actually passes into a kind of glorious music, 
into movement, colour and light. 

Hard to see as these works are, badly as they have 
been treated, they remain masterpieces that we come back 


to again and again, that return to the mind when one is 
I far away, as indeed do all his admirable works in this 
ij church. Piacenza is to be loved for them ; and because 
iof them we are not too sorrowful that the Church of 
S. Sisto here no longer holds that " Sistine " Madonna 
which Raphael painted for it in 15 15, and which was sold 
! in 1753 for 20,000 ducats to the King of Poland, who was 
' also Elector of Saxony, and which remains at Dresden. 

No visitor to Piacenza will omit to visit the dilapidated 
palace of the Farnese Dukes — from a window in which 
Pier Luigi's murdered body was shown to the shouting 
populace before it was hurled into the ditch below — 
which is now a barracks ; but one is likely to miss the 
Museo Civico because it is but newly opened, and since 
it possesses more than one fine work it should on no 
account be overlooked. Besides the tapestry, which is 
precious and Flemish, the Ecce Homo by that rare 
master, Antonello da Messina, should be noticed, and a 
Madonna and Child with Angels by Sandro Botticelli. 

I cannot refrain from speaking here of one of the true 
patrons and benefactors of Piacenza, I mean S. Roch, 
whose life is so exquisitely told by Voragine. 

When leprosy became less prevalent, then the plague, 
at least in Lombardy, became often epidemic, and this 
might seem to have been especially the case at Piacenza, 
which lies so low beside the river among the marshes. 

S. Roch was the great deliverer from this pestilence, 
and his presence in Piacenza is one of the great events 
in the life of the city. 

If the traveller will go some three miles along the 
Lodi road he will come to S. Rocco al Porto. This was 
the hermitage of S. Roch, where the beasts came and 
bowed to him gravely, all of which Voragine tells us 
i ir better than I can hope to do. Therefore hear him : 

S. Roch, or S. Rocke, as Voragine calls him, was, 
according to the Golden Legend^ born in Montpelier of 
noble parentage. "After many desert places he came 


to Rome, but tofore he came into a town called in Latin 
Aquapendens, wherein'was a common and hard pestilence, 
which when Rocke knew of many by the way, he 
desirously went into the hospital of that town called 
Water-hanging and gat with great prayers and labour of 
one Vincent, which had the rule of the hospital, that he 
might there, day and night, serve the sick people. 
Vincent was afeard, and dreaded lest Rocke, which was 
a young flowering man, should be smitten with the pesti- 
lence. But after he came, them that were sick he 
blessed in the name of Christ, and as soon as he had 
touched the sick men they were all whole. And they 
said and confessed as soon as this holy man Rocke 
was come in. All they that were vexed and sick, and 
the fire of pestilence had infected, he extincted it and 
delivered all the hospital of that sickness. And after 
he went through the town, and each house that was 
vexed with pestilence he entered, and with the sign 
of the Cross and mind of the Passion of Jesu Christ he 
delivered them all from the pestilence. For whomsoever 
Rocke touched, anon the pestilence left him." S. Roch 
stayed three years in Rome with a Cardinal whom he 
had healed, and when this Cardinal was dead of 
age he forsook Rome and came to Rimini, which he 
delivered from pestilence. " And when that town was 
delivered he went to the city of Manasem (? Mantua) in 
Lombardy, which was also sore oppressed with sick men 
of the pestilence, whom with all his heart he served 
diligently, and by the help of God made that town quit ' 
of the pestilence. And from thence went to Piacenza, 
for he understood that there was great pestilence. ^ 
And so an whole year he visited the houses of poor men, 
and they that had most need, to them he did most 
help, and was always in the hospital. And when he 
had been long in the hospital of Piacenza and had helped 
almost all the sick men therein, about midnight he heard 
in his sleep an angel thus saying : ' O Rocke, most 


' devout to Christ, awake and know that thou art smitten 
I with the pestilence; study now how thou mayst be 
I cured.' And anon he felt him sore taken with the 
i pestilence under his both arms, and he thereof gave 
thankings to Our Lord. And he was so sore vexed with 
the pain that they that were in the hospital were 
deprived of their sleep and rest of the night, wherefore 
S. Rocke arose from his bed and went to the utterest 
place of the hospital, and lay down there abiding the light 
of the day. And when it was day the people going by 
saw him and accused the master of the hospital of 
offence, that he suffered the pilgrim to lie without the 
hospital, but he purged him of that default, saying that : 
The pilgrim was smitten with the pestilence, as ye see, 
and, unwitting to us, he went out. Then the citizens 
incontinent put out S. Rocke from city and suburbs 
lest by him the city might be more infected. Then 
S. Rocke, sore oppressed with fervent pain of the pesti- 
lence, suffered patiently himself to be ejected out of 
Piacenza, and went into a certain wood, a desert valley 
not far from Piacenza, always blessing God. And there 
as he might he made him a lodge of boughs and leaves, 
always giving thankings to Our Lord, saying : O Jesu, 
my Saviour, I thank Thee that Thou puttest me to 
affliction like to Thine other servants by this odious 
ardour of pestilence, and most meek Lord, I beseech 
Thee to this desert place give the refrigery and comfort 
of Thy grace. And his prayer finished, anon there 
came a cloud from heaven by the lodge that S. Rocke 
had made within boughs, whereas sprang a fair and 
bright well, which is there yet unto this day. Whose 
water S. Rocke drank, being sore athirst, and thereof 
had great refreshing of the great heat that he suffered of 
the pestilence fever. 

"There was nigh unto that wood a little village in 
which some noblemen dwelled, among whom there was 
one well beloved to God named Gotard, which had great 


husbandry, and had a great family and household. This 
Gotard held many hounds for hunting, among whom he 
had one much familiar, which boldly would take bread 
from the board. And when Rocke lacked bread, that 
hound by the purveyance of God brought from the 
lord's board bread unto Rocke. Which thing, when 
Gotard had advertised oft, that he bare so away the 
bread, but he wist not to whom ne whither, whereof 
he marvelled, and so did all his household. And the 
next dinner he set a delicate loaf on the board, which 
anon the hound by his new manner took away and bare 
it to Rocke. And Gotard followed after, and came to 
the lodge of S. Rocke, and there beheld how familiarly 
the hound delivered the bread to S. Rocke. Then 
Gotard reverently saluted the holy man and approached 
him ; but S. Rocke, dreading lest the contagious air of the 
pestilence might infect him, said to him : Friend, go 
from me in good peace, for the most violent pestilence 
holdeth me. Then Gotard went his way and left him, 
and returned home, where, by God's grace, he said 
thus to himself all still : ' This poor man whom I have 
left in the wood and desert certainly is the man of God, 
sith this hound without reason bringeth to him bread. 
I therefore that have seen him do it, so ought sooner 
to do it, which am a Christian man.' By this holy 
meditation Gotard returned to Rocke and said : Holy 
pilgrim, I desire to do to thee that thou needest, and am 
advised never to leave thee. Then Rocke thanked God 
which had sent to him Gotard, and he informed Gotard 
busily in the law of Christ. And when they had been 
awhile together, the hound brought no more bread. 
Gotard asked counsel how he might have bread, for more 
and more he hungered, and asked remedy of S. Rocke. 
S. Rocke exhorted him after the text, saying : * In the 
sweat of thy visage thou shalt eat thy bread,' and 
that he should return to the town, and leave all his 
goods to his heirs, and follow the way of Christ, and 




demand bread in the name of Jesu. Then Gotard was 
ashamed to do so where he was known, but at last by the 
busy admonition of S. Rocke Gotard went to Piacenza, 
whereas he had great knowledge, and begged bread and 
alms at the door of one of his gossips. That same gossip 
threatened sharply Gotard, and said he shamed his 
lineage and friends by this foul and indecent begging, 
and put him away, being wroth and scorning him. For 
which cause Gotard was constrained to beg busily at 
the doors of other men of the city. And the same day 
the gossip that had so said to Gotard was taken sore with 
the pestilence, and many others that denied alms to 
Gotard. And then anon the city of Piacenza was infect 
with contagious pestilence, and Gotard returned to 
the wood and told to S. Rocke all that was happed. And 
S. Rocke told to Gotard tofore, that his gossip should 
hastily die, which was done indeed. And S. Rocke, 
moved with pity and mercy, being full sick, went 
into Piacenza being full of pestilence, and left Gotard 
in the wood. And though S. Rocke were sore vexed 
with the pestilence, yet he with great labour went to 
Piacenza and with touching and blessing he helped 
and healed them all, and also cured the hospital of the 
same city. And he being sore sick and almost lame, 
returned again to Gotard into the wood. And many 
that heard that he and Gotard were in the place of the 
desert valley came to them, whom they found all with 
Rocke, and tofore them all he did these miracles. The 
wild beasts which wandered in the wood, what hurt, 
sickness or swelling they had, they ran down to S. Rocke, 
and when they were healed they would incline their 
heads reverently and go their way. And a little while 
after, Gotard and his fellows, for certain necessities and 
errands, returned into Piacenza, and left that time 
S. Rocke alone in the valley. And S. Rocke made his 
prayers to Almighty God that he might be delivered 
from the wounds of pestilence, and in this prayer he fell 


asleep. And in the meanwhile returned Gotard from the 
city, and when he came and joined him to Rocke 
sleeping he heard the voice of an angel saying : * 
Rocke, friend of God, Our Lord hath heard thy prayers ; 
lo, thou art delivered from the pestilence, and art made 
all whole, and Our Lord commandeth that thou take 
thy way to thine own country.' With this sudden voice 
Gotard was astonished, which never tofore knew the 
name of Rocke. And anon Rocke awoke, and felt 
himself all whole by the grace of God, like as the angel 
said. And Gotard told unto Rocke how he had heard 
the angel and what he had said. Then S. Rocke prayed 
Gotard that he should keep his name secret and to tell 
it to no man, for he desired no worldly glory. Then 
after a few days S. Rocke with Gotard and his fellows 
abode in the desert, and informed them all in godly 
works, and they then began to wax holy, wherein he 
exhorted them and confirmed, and left them in that 
desert valley." 

Whatever else one does while at Piacenza, one should 
not omit to visit that most famous shrine of a great 
British or rather Irish saint at the old and splendid 
Abbey of Bobbio. 

It is a long and a hard journey. Nevertheless, it 
should be attempted. The only way to do the whole 
journey in a single day is by carriage, for Bobbio lies 
at the end of a difficult road, some thirty-two miles 
to the south of Piacenza in the mountains. It is true 
that you may go ten miles, as far as Grazzano, by steam 
tram, and from there to Rivergaro, another five miles, 
by a little train, but at Rivergaro you will not get so 
fine a carriage as at Piacenza, and you have still more 
than seventeen miles to go. 

But what, the reader may ask, is Bobbio, and why 
should one go there ? After all, the British Isles are 
full of the forgotten shrines of early British saints and 


no one marks them; indeed, these same early British 
saints are more utterly neglected and forgotten than 
any other sort of beings. All the same, if you care 
anything for holiness, if you care at all for great achieve- 
ment, if you have any reverence for learning and the old 
great masters of letters, you must go to Bobbio, for there 
S. Columban had his home and thence "all the palimpsests 
known in the world have emerged." ^ I wish in three 
words I could make known to you this Irishman 
who was as it were S. Benedict and S. Francis and 
S. Bernard all in one. I wish in three hundred words, or 
even in three thousand, I could tell you the man he was, 
and the great Abbot and leader, and above all the 
great Saint. I know I can do none of these things, and 
I fear that even the boldest adventurer who lingers in 
Piacenza will, for all I can say, refuse to go to Bobbio 
in the woods of the upper valley of the Trebbia. Yet 
I will do my best. 

S. Columban was born at Leinster in 543, the very 
year that S. Benedict died at Monte Cassino. He was 
as a young man beautiful and studious, and the first 
led him into grave temptation, for his countrywomen 
also were very fair, and they loved him ; but his study 
saved him, for when he saw he had entered into 
temptation he gave himself wholly to such things as 
grammar and rhetoric and geometry; and even so at 
last he fled away. On the advice of an aged woman 
he went first to Bangor by the sea, and then in 
585, when he was forty-two years old, he set out for 
Gaul, where he came into Burgundy. There the king 
received him graciously, but he sought the mountains, 
the Vosges. Columban loved solitude and all dumb 
things : birds would come to him and perch on his 
shoulder that he might caress them, and in the forest 
even the squirrels would come to him and nestle in his 

1 We owe to it, for instance, the De Repuhlica of Cicero, and 
the works and letters of Cornelius Fronto. 


cowl; a bear is said to have resigned its cave to him. 
Such a man was not long without disciples, and when 
they grew in numbers he founded monasteries at Anne- 
gray, at Fontaines and at Luxeuil, where he instituted 
the hard rule known as the Irish Rule ; yet he was 
full of sweetness to all, and called his monks " my sweet 
sons," " my pupils," " my very brothers," and himself 
" sinner.' ' His hard words he kept for the wicked, among 
them the young King of Burgundy, who presently sent 
him into exile. His journey soon became a triumphal 
progress, and after preaching to the heathen on the 
banks of the Rhine, with S. Gall, he passed through 
Switzerland, where he left his friend, into Italy. There 
Agilulf, King of the Lombards, welcomed him, as did 
Theodolinda his wife, and he at once set himself to 
fight that very pestilent blight of Arianism which at that 
time lay on all Cisalpine Gaul. In the mountains 
as in Burgundy, he founded his house, at Bobbio, in the 
valley of the Trebbia, to be his citadel against heresy. 
That was in 612. He himself lived in a cave near a 
chapel he had built to the Blessed Virgin, but he 
founded a church and monastery on the other side of 
the river, which though ruined remains to this day. 
Yet he was but three years at Bobbio, for he died 
in 615. 

That Bobbio which he had founded became the most 
famous and the most intellectual of the monasteries 
of Italy: it was the hope of the seventh century, and 
may be said to have achieved as much in the salvation 
of Europe as any other place whatsoever. When that 
was accomplished in the eleventh century it began to 
decline, later its precious library was distributed, and 
in the seventeenth century it was but a shadow of 

The church which S. Columban founded stands in 
the upper part of what is to-day the town of Bobbio. 
It is an interesting building, but its chief treasure 


is on the altax in the crypt, where in a curious shrine 
the bones of the great Irishman await the last great 
trumpet. The huge monastery, in ruin, is desecrated, 
only the church remains, and, in the town, the Duomo, 
with its vast Lombard nave and aisles as low as those 
of S. Columban are lofty. Yet Bobbio is a place to 
linger in, to remember our Saint, and to search out 
the mountains as he did, and stray about the woods, 
where the dawn is all yours and the sunset and the 
night, and where one day telleth another of the ancient 
glory of God. 


PIACENZA, as I have said, was the terminus of the 
Via Emilia which the consul iEmilius Lepidus 
built between Ariminum and Placentia in 187 B.C. 
The distance between these two cities was 180 miles, 
and the road thus constructed, and based upon the 
Flaminian Way which joined Rimini with Rome, became 
the means of civilisation for the whole plain. So great 
indeed was its influence that in time the vast province 
which it traversed and fed came to be known as Emilia, 
and that name, which was in popular use long before it 
became officially recognised, has in one way or another 
persisted till to-day, when the new Italy has officially 
revived it and merged again into one province those 
parts of old ^Emilia which for so many centuries were 
known as the Duchies of Parma and Modena, and the *, 
province of Romagna. 

It is not my intention to deal in this book with the 
whole of this new province, for the Romagna with 
Bologna as its capital no longer makes a true part of 
Cisalpine Gaul, as it once did. Crushed between the 
Veneto on the north and Tuscany on the south, for many 
ages in the hands of the Church, the Romagna runs 
rather with that part of Italy which we call the Marches, 
and it is with them that I intend to treat of it. Nor is 
such a division by any means arbitrary or even modern. 
It has always appeared in the mind of the historians, 
and even of the administrators of this country. Strabo 



indeed asserts, though I think without reason, that the 
iEmilian Way was at first only built between Rimini 
and Bologna, and that there it met the road to Aquileia. 
It is, however, practically certain that the great road 
was thrust forward to Placentia as quickly as possible, 
and the way to Aquileia might seem to be of far later 
origin. Nevertheless, Strabo's opinion bears witness 
to the fact that the eastern part of Cisalpine Gaul, 
what the Middle Age knew as Romagna, is in fact 
separate from those great provinces to the north and south 
of the Po that lie westward, and ''hich we know as 
Lombardy and Emilia. 

The mainspring of this province of Emilia, whose key 
and first city was and is Piacenza, is the great road which 
lies in a straight line south-east right across it, and we 
shall best appreciate and understand it if we follow 
the road along which the cities and towns are strung 
like great glittering beads : Piacenza, Borgo S. Donnino, 
Parma, Reggio, Modena, and so into Romagna to 
Bologna, the sea and the Flaminian Way, at Rimini. 

If a man is bent on seeing Emilia proper, between 
Piacenza and Modena, and will not take a carriage 
but is determined to go afoot, let all honour be given 
to him, but let him choose fine and cool weather in 
spring or in autumn, for these eighty miles are stretched 
out in the Roman fashion straight and monotonous, 
and though the great hills of the Apennines come ever 
closer as he proceeds, on the south, the way is monotonous, 
and can be unbearable, in the heat by reason of the 
dust, and in the rain by reason of the mud. 

Choosing, then, a fortunate day, and starting early 
out of the S. Lazarus gate of Piacenza, such a traveller 
in something under a mile will come to the great leper 
hospital of S. Lazzaro, which Cardinal Alberoni in the 
eighteenth century turned into an ecclesiastical seminary. 

Most great cities, especially in Cisalpine Gaul and 
Venetia, had of necessity at their gates a great hospital 


for lepers, for plague and leprosy were endemic in the 
low countries of the Po vaUey. We shall come upon 
just such a house as this outside Parma, Reggio and 
Modena, and in exactly the same position, — that is, out- 
side the Roman gate, — and every visitor to Venice knows 
the island of S. Lazzaro in the great lagoon ; but we 
may well ask why S. Lazarus was the guardian of 
such places. Doubtless the original intention was to 
place lepers under the protection of him who full of 
sores lay (mark this) at the rich man's gate. Thus 
often we see S. Lazarus depicted as a medieval leper 
carrying a clapper, and in England we have the prayer 
of the lepers : " Receive my soul into the bosom of 
Abraham with Lazarus, whom he did not despise but 
cherished." This Lazarus, rightly or wrongly, was 
soon identified with Lazarus of Bethany, the brother 
of Martha and Mary Magdalen, whom Christ raised 
from the dead. Indeed, at Sherborne the leper 
hospital was founded "in honour of the Saviour, the 
Blessed Virgin, S. Lazarus and his sisters Martha and 
Mary Magdalen," the last the most popular leper saint 
in England. S. Lazarus, as we know, coming with 
S. Mary Magdalen to Marseilles, became Bishop of 
that See; but as guardian of lepers he owes a very 
great deal to the influence of the Order of Knights 
Hospitallers and to the much smaller Order of Knights 
of S. Lazarus. 

S. Lazzaro now, however, is no longer a hospital but 
an ecclesiastical seminary, to which Cardinal Alberoni 
left all his property, as well as a few pictures, among 
them two which pass for the work of Borgognone, two 
warriors on horseback. 

Six miles from Piacenza the Nure is crossed just 
before Pontenure, which was a Roman town or village 
holding the bridge : Roman pavements and mosaics 
have been taken from here to Parma, where we shall 
find them in the Museo. 


Proceeding on our way, the road visible for miles 
ahead of us, we pass Cadeo, and Fontana Fredda, 
where Theodoric had a palace. Cadeo is famous for 
the hospital which a citizen of Piacenza, Gisulphus, 
founded there in mo and called Ca Deo. At Fons 
Fredda Theodoric is said to have founded the parish 

It is now that the great hills and mountains of the 
Apennines begin to come in sight on the south and to 
make splendid the landscape. 

Just beyond Fontana Fredda a perfectly straight by- 
way turns off to the left across the railway to Corte- 
maggiore, some three miles away in the plain, beside the 
Arda torrent. This was one of the seats — the chief was 
the town of Busseto, to which Charles v. gave the title 
of city when he conferred there with Paul in., some six 
miles east of Cortemaggiore — of the Pallavicino family, 
who ruled all the country between the great road and 
the Po, and called it their State. In the twelfth century 
they extended it to the Apennines, and arranged to get 
it erected into an imperial vicariate. At Cortemaggiore 
in the parish church are two fine fifteenth-century tombs 
of the Pallavicini ; two altarpieces by Pordenone, in the 
Annunziata, are not so fine that, if time presses, it is 
worth going five miles to see them. 

Passing along the great Roman highway, we come to the 
considerable town of Fiorenzuola, the ancient Florentia, 
of which we know nothing but that it was a station 
upon the ^Emilian Way. Nothing remains of the Roman 
town, but in the Church of S. Fiorenzo there are some 
fine remains of the Middle Age. Better, however, 
than anything in Fiorenzuola is the church and cloister 
of Chiaravalle della Columba, a few miles to the north- 
east.and easily reached by a road that leaves the ^milian 
Way some three miles beyond Fiorenzuola. This was a 
Cistercian abbey, founded by the Pallavicini in 1136, 
and doubtless built in imitation of that founded two 


years before at the gates of Milan by S. Bernard 

After leaving Fiorenzuola, we skirt the foothills of 
the Apennines, and passing through Alseno come into 
Borgo S. Doninno. 

Borgo S. Donnino is the Roman Fidentia, a place 
only known to us as a station on the ^milian Way, 
fifteen Roman miles from Parma, and as the scene of a 
siege and battle in the civil wars between Marius and 
Sulla. It seems to have been a place of very little 
importance, the Itineraries calling it " Fidentiola vicus," 
and later " mansio." 

In the year 362, however, Fidentia changed its name 
by a miracle, for the Bishop of Parma was in that year 
" admonished by a dream " to call it after S. Donnino, 
a martyr under the Emperor Maximian, in whose honour 
a church was then founded. 

This S. Donnino was a soldier in the army of that 
Emperor and had served in Germany. Later he 
became a Christian, and when Maximian issued his 
edict that Christianity should not be professed on pain 
of death, Donnino fled, but was overtaken near Julia, in 
the iEmilian Way. In 362 the Bishop of Parma dis- 
covered the body of the martyr, and a chapel was erected 
to receive his remains, and from that time his shrine 
became one of the most sought-after in Italy. Evenj 
to-day there is nothing whatsoever to see in Borgo] 
S. Donnino but the great and beautiful church that] 
stands over his shrine. It has one of the noblest and] 
most beautiful fa9ades in the Lombard manner any- 
where to be seen, and should on no account be missed. 

From Borgo S. Donnino the way into Parma is' 
rendered magnificent by reason of the nearness of the 
mountains. If no other part of the road be taken afoot | 
or in a carriage, for this at least the train should be left. 
It is true that there is almost nothing to see, but who 
would look for pictures or churches when he may have 


the hills, and who would poke about cities if the open 
road were always as fine a walk as is this ? In the 
train all is missed, for though it slavishly follows the 
road, it passes too swiftly for reverence and too noisily 
for enjoyment. 


PARMA is one of the few little cities in Italy that 
I have never somehow or other been able to love. 
I do not excuse myself, and I cannot explain it, for 
Parma is as fair a city as can be, the city of Correggio 
too, with noble palaces, a great and splendid Cathedral, 
Baptistery and Tower, pleasant ways, interesting 
churches, a good picture gallery and an electric tram- 
way — everything, indeed, to make glad the heart of man ; 
yet whenever I find myself there I feel a little in distress. 
Perhaps in some former existence — if indeed that can be, 
and I do not believe it — I have had reason to dislike 
Parma, for I have none certainly in this : and indeed 
the only way such things as these likes and dislikes can 
be explained at all is by acknowledging the truth of that 
rhyme about Dr. Fell. Parma is my Dr. Fell. 

A Roman colony upon the JEmi\ia.n Way was, so far 
as we know, the origin of Parma, which alone of these 
Cisalpine towns is still known by its exact Roman name. 
It was founded in the same year as Mutina was entrenched 
— that is to say, in 183 B.C. — in order to hold securely the 
new road to Piacenza. Parma was a colonia civium — 
that is to say, its colonists retained their privileges as 
Roman citizens. There were some 2000 of them settled 
here, and each received eight jugera of land. It soon 
became a flourishing place, as did all the colonies upon 
the great road, but we hear almost nothing of it till in 
the civil war that followed Csesar's murder we find it 

PARMA 269 

on the side of Brutus, so that Antony took it and gave it 
to his troops to plunder. Augustus re-established and 
re-colonised it, and it soon became as flourishing as before 
the war. It was situated in a great pasture land, and its 
wool was said by Martial to be inferior only to that of 

Velleribus primis Appulia, Parma secundis 
Nobilis : Altinum tertia laudat ovis. 

In the year 377 a.d., a generation before the invasion 
of Alaric, Gratian settled a colony of Goths in the terri- 
tory of Parma, perhaps because it was then suffering 
from that decadence and poverty of population which 
S. Ambrose speaks of. Whether or no Alaric smote it 
we know not, but it is probable that it did not escape 
Attila. If it did not, nevertheless it survived the 
calamity, was restored by Theodoric and as a city of the 
Exarchate was called Chrysopolis, Parma Aurea, the 
golden city, and after the Lombard conquest, which 
spoiled if it did not destroy it, was rebuilt in 774 by 
Charlemagne. In the anarchy of the ninth century we 
find Parma in the hands of her Bishop Grazioso, vescovo 
della santa chiesa parmense. In the tenth century cer- 
tainly the Bishop had the title of Count, and thus the 
first step was taken towards a resurrection of communal 
power. By 1024 the power of the Bishop was waning, 
and Parma, in exchange for large privileges, gave herself 
to Conrad 11. and to Henry in. Then came that re- 
doubtable prelate Cadalo. He would have restored the 
power of the Bishops in Parma. He was a Veronese of 
good family, and became Bishop of Parma in 1046, and 
in 1061 the schismatic Bishops of Lombardy and 
Germany gathered at Basle elected this man Pope as 
Honorius 11. With an army he marched on Rome, but 
was twice defeated, at last by the Countess Matilda. 
He returned to Parma, which he ruled till his death, and 
it is to him we owe the foundation of the Cathedral. 


Parma was at this time, so to speak, wholly Ghibelline 
and held strongly with Henry iv. in his humiliation at 
Canossa, and it was not till after the Emperor's dcntli 
that the city was reconciled to the Papacy. This \\ 
done at the Council of Guastalla, and thereafter the Pope, 
with the Countess Matilda, a host of prelates and knights, 
came to Parma. In the vigil of All Saints the Pope 
consecrated the Cathedral which Cadalo had built, and 
the Parmigiani swore him fealty. 

Now that religious dissensions were brought to an 
end, Parma had time to quarrel with her neighbours. 
In 1152 she burnt Borgo S. Donnino, and in the 
following year was at war with Cremona. Barbarossa 
when he came into Italy in 1154 and 1158 did not touch 
Parma, for the city was on his side against Milan ; but 
Parma joined the glorious League which rebuilt Milan 
after her horrible destruction in 1163. 

After the Peace of Constance Parma found herself 
a free commune. But she did not long enjoy her 
liberty. The rise of the factions which followed hard 
upon Liberty saw in Parma the families of Rossi, Palla- 
vicini, Correggio and San Vitale striving for mastery, 
and to these troubles were added famine in 1182, pesti- 
lence in the following year and the unfortunate wars with 
Reggio and Piacenza. Upon these followed the in- 
credible anarchy of Guelph and Ghibelline, which endured 
till the death of Frederick 11. Fifty years later, however, 
the Commune was dead, for in 1303 the people electee 
Giberto da Correggio as their lord. This man was soonj 
disposed of by the Rossi and San Vitale, and in 132^ 
Parma found herself in the hands of the Pope John xxii.l 
Weary of him, she gave herself in 1328 to Louis of' 
Bavaria, and later to John of Bohemia, who happened 
to pass through the city. In this restlessness it is easy, 
to discern weakness, and in the year 1335 Parma at' 
last found herself really held by a foreigner, Alberto 
della Scala. From him she passed to a strong man, 

PARMA 271 

Luchino Visconti, in 1341. The Visconti held Parma 
till the death of Bernabo Visconti in 1385, when the city 
came into the hands of Ottobuono Terzi, a cruel tyrant 
1 who was presently murdered by order of Niccolb 
j d' Este, who had himself proclaimed lord. He ruled 
well, but at his death Parma fell to Filippo Maria 
Visconti, and after his death, in 1449, submitted to 
Francesco Sforza. The Sforza held Parma securely 
till their end. In 1499 the city gave itself to Louis xii. 
In the confusion of the following years the Pope 
claimed Parma in the name of the Church. Leo x. 
was able to barter it and Piacenza to and fro to suit 
his politics, and the Popes continued to hold it till 
Paul III. gave both it and Piacenza, as we have seen, to 
his bastard, Pierluigi Farnese, who took possession of 
Parma in 1545. He held it for two years till he was 
assassinated in Piacenza in 1547. He was succeeded 
by his son Ottavio, who later obtained the whole 

I" ducato " in 1556, and ruled well. When he died in 
1584 his son Alessandro, who was fighting in Flanders, 
delegated his son Ranuccio, born in 1569, to rule his 
state. To these two princes Parma owes most of her 
secular splendour. To Ranuccio i. succeeded Ran- 
uccio II., another good and cultivated ruler: he died 
in 1694. The house came to an end in 1727. During 
the Farnese rule the city had no political existence ; it was 
ruled by absolute princes, who adorned it with buildings 
and filled it with works of art, till indeed it became a 
temple of beauty. To them succeeded the Austrians 
and the Bourbons of Spain, who utterly ruined the city 
and the state, and the latter, in the person of Don 
Carlos, Infant of Spain and King of Naples, carried off 
from it no pictures, including works by Michelangelo, 
Raphael, Correggio and Titian, and many other works 
of art. In 1802 the Duchy was incorporated with 
the Republic, but at the Congress of Vienna the 
Empress Maria Luisa obtained Parma, Piacenza and 


Guastalla. She ruled well and gently, and was followed 
by the last Bourbons, Charles ii. and Charles iii., wlio 
remained till 1856, when Parma was united to Italy. 

Such in briefest outline is the story of Parma, a 
restless and an unhappy story which sinks into a kind 
of material well-being and happiness under the Farnese 
and later Bourbons. 

But it is not as the city of the Farnese princes, still 
less of the Bourbons, that we think of Parma to-day, 
but rather as the city of Correggio, where some of his 
most astonishing works may still be seen, and a few of 
his loveliest pictures. Yet there is in truth much else 
in Parma for our reverence and affection. Its Cathedral 
is one of the finest in this part of Italy and its churches 
are often delightful, while its great palace is perhaps 
the greatest building of the kind north of the Apennines 
and south of the Po. Its situation, too, is delicious, at 
the foot of the great hills in a thousand meadows, and 
its towers and streets and squares, silent now but still 
not without gaiety, and, it must be confessed, utterly 
modern in appearance, lend the city a charm which, 
as we know, not many have known how to retain amid 
the vulgarity of our day. 

I suppose no one ever comes to Parma who does not 
go first to the Duomo in its noble piazza. A church 
has certainly stood here since ^'j'j^ but that early build- 
ing was burnt in the first years of the tenth century. 
Rebuilt, it was burnt again about 1055, when Cadolo, 
the Bishop and future antipope, rebuilt it once for all 
and gave us the magnificent church we see. This, how- 
ever, was not completed till the thirteenth century. 
It is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, as is the Duomo 
of Cremona, and, like that church, it suffered grievously 
in the earthquake of 11 17. The noble fa9ade, of cov.'^'' 
uncompleted, remains to us almost intact from tii.ii 
time, a magnificent specimen of the Lombard style. 
Its three doors are flanked by lions of red marble, and 

PARMA 273 

it in the midst is covered by a double portico resting 

m them. These lions are the work of Bono da 

sone at the end of the thirteenth century ; and the 
!bther sculptures here are later still, being the work of 
''Bianchini at the end of the fifteenth. 

The church is a cruciform building under an open 
octagon surmounted by a dome ; the choir is raised 
above a crypt, and from the outside the arcaded apse 
is, I think, its most beautiful feature. But the church 
as seen from the street is arcaded everywhere : on the 
facade we have a triple columnar gallery ; each arm 
ends in a quadrilateral, itself arcaded, to which is added 
a semicircular apse again arcaded. Nothing more noble, 
rich and charming can be imagined. Moreover, as we 
pass round the church we come upon more than one 
Gothic detail ; and especially upon that Gothic chapel 
of brick and terra-cotta on the north side which has one 
of the loveliest windows in all Italy, something that 
brings one's heart into one's mouth to see suddenly at a 
turning of the way, — a thing to pray to. 

Within, of course, the church is less satisfactory; 
yet, save for a few Gothic additions and modern imperti- 
nences, it remains a noble Lombard building with a fine 
triforium too, and in this it is far better than the church 
at Piacenza. 

The great spectacle of the church, however, is of 
course the overwhelming frescoes of Correggio in the 
dome, which every one who comes at all to Parma comes 
to see. For myself, they seem beyond anything else 
to be found in Parma, and indeed among the most 
' ^tonishing things in all Lombardy. 

Correggio' s first frescoes had been painted for the 
Camera di S. Paolo, fortunate and lovely works, and 
later he had decorated the cupola of S. Giovanni Evan- 

'lista. It was therefore with a full knowledge of his work 
liat in 1522 he began to cover the dome of the Cathedral 
vith these frescoes of the Assumption of the Blessed 


Virgin, to whom the church was dedicated, while 
below stand the Apostles and the four patron saints of 

Nothing else, I suppose, in European art has quite the 
sense we find here, the sense of flight. Madonna caught 
up from death, from the earth and all earthly things, is 
borne in an ecstasy, her arms stretched open wide, by a 
glad crowd of angels and cherubs, one of whom, laughing 
for joy, nestles in her bosom, into the heaven of heavens, 
a vast dome of light, built of angels, circle after circle, up 
to the brightness which is the smile of God. And out of 
that dazzling firmament one peerless archangel, Gabriel, 
God's messenger, has hurled him down, trembling for 
joy, to meet her and welcome her, the Queen of all. 
Nothing else in Europe, I think, expresses so fully and so 
unreservedly that sense of flight — the eagerness, the joy, 
and the confident, radiant power of flight — as does this 
matchless fresco. It is impossible to look upon it with- 
out emotion or to doubt for a moment that the painter 
had seen a vision. One simply disregards the painter's 
foibles and weaknesses : the thing is a rhapsody more 
wonderful than a Magnificat by Marenzio, almost in- 
articulate, if you like, for joy ; a musical rapture that is 
beyond music, that is the expression once and for all of 
the highest religious emotion. And to those who would 
criticise it, I would give the reply Titian, who had also 
painted an Assumption, gave : " Turn it upside down and 
fill it with gold, and you will still come short of its proper 
price." It has been tended with careless hands, and it is 
to-day but a wreck of what once it was. Yet in colourj 
stni, as in gesture and delight, it remains somethin 
beyond the power of words to express, something that 
never was in the world or is here in no satisfying quantity. 

Coming out from the Duomo and passing the great 
square Campanile we have before us the Baptistery, 
an irregular octagon of red and grey Verona marble, j 
begun in 1196 by Benedetto Antelami in the Lombard 



PARMA 275 

manner. The Baptistery, six stories high; was finished 
in 1270, when it was consecrated. Some thirty years 
later the Gothic story on the top was completed. 
The three doors by Antelami are noble and beautiful, 
and are named after the Redeemer and the Blessed 
Virgin, and the Gate of Life. In the architrave of 
each is a corresponding relief of great beauty, and 
all round the building runs a series of reliefs in the 
Lombard fashion. The interior is beautiful and almost 
wholly of the thirteenth century — indeed, one of the 
loveliest interiors I know in Italy. Every one bom in 
Parma since 1216, when Antelami finished the build- 
ing, has been christened here, though not at this noble 
font, which dates from 1294. 

Behind the Duomo stands the Church of S. Giovanni 
Evangelista, a Renaissance church of 15 10 with a 

1 seventeenth- century facade and tower. Of old it was the 
sanctuary of a Benedictine monastery and is now used 
as a barracks ; and the only reason one comes to it at 
all is that before he painted the dome of the Cathedral 
Correggio here painted the Ascension. His work is 
utterly spoilt, and one can get but little delight 
from it, nor can it ever have had the passionate joy 
of the Assumption in the Cathedral ; nevertheless, it 
is interesting as leading up to that great masterpiece. 
Better than gazing upon this ruin is it to find delight in 
the church itself, in the beautiful Renaissance capitals, 
and the magnificent stalls of the choir, and the superb 
organ and cantoria. Nor should a painting from the 
master's hand in the archway of the door of the sacristy 
(itself a very beautiful chamber), representing the patron 
saint of the church, be missed; nor the altarpiece by 
Gottesaldi in a magnificent Renaissance frame of 1518. 
The cloisters, too, are worth a visit, though hard to see. 
It was Bernardino Zaccagni who built this church in 
1510; ini52ihe also built the Madonna della Steccata 


Goveriio in the Piazza Garibaldi. This is a noble 
building, a great cross under a splendid dome. Within 
are the tombs of Ottavio Farnese and of Sforzino Sforza. 
The frescoes on the choir arch are by Parmigianino. 

We turn now to the Palazzo della Pilotta, an immense 
and unfinished block of buildings facing the Strada 
Garibaldi, the Palace of the Farnese. 

Up to 1564 the Farnese lived and held their court in 
the Episcopio. In that year, however, they began to 
buy various houses and buildings where now the Pre- 
fettura stands, and began to build the Palazzo Ducale, 
that has served as residence for every Duke of Parma 
since. At the death of Ottavio Farnese, the beginner 
of this vast palace, the work for a time was stayed, and 
was not continued till Ranuccio i. became lord. In 
1618 Ranuccio began the gigantic fa9ade, and with 
him the work ended : his splendid dream was never 
fulfilled. But we ask, why is the Palace called " della 
Pilotta"? It is so called from the game of Pilotta 
which was played in the great cortile on the north, called 
now del Guazzatoio.^ Whatever we may think of the 
Farnese, we have to admit here that they had great 
ideas. I do not say that this is the largest palace in 
Italy, but I do say that no other can show such cortili, 
or, I think, such an atrium, or such a staircase. The 
whole effect is noble, and certainly forces us to think 
that the position of Parma in the kingdom of United 
Italy is not what it was as the capital of an independent 

The Palace, too, contains some collections of antiquities 
and pictures, all that have been left after the truly 
mighty theft of Don Carlos. 

In the Museo di Antichit^ we have certain bronzes 
discovered here and at Velleia, a little town that was 

1 Cf. Lauded eo Testi, Parma (Bergamo, 1905). P- 99- This 
is the best work on Parma as an art city to be had, and it is very 
well illustrated. 


PARMA 277 

suddenly long ago overwhelmed by a landslip. In 
another room we find fragments from Antelami's pulpit 
for the Cathedral, and I know not what else. 

In the Pinacoteca on the first floor, we have, how- 
ever, some really beautiful things. To the Venetians 
we owe the four exquisite Cimas : the Endymion 
(370), the Apollo and Marsyas (373), the Madonna 
with SS. Cosmas and Damian (360) and the truly jewel- 
like Madonna with S. Michael and S. Austin (361). This 
last work is a marvel of colour and miniature-like beauty. 
In the shadow of a Roman ruin, a triumphal arch, the 
Madonna rests, her Child seated on the ledge of marble, 
her arm about Him. Close to Him stands an old saint — 
is it S. Austin ? — leaning on a tall cross of wood, listening 
to what He seems to be saying. On the other side of the 
Madonna, where the arch casts its shadow, stands the 
young S. Michael, his tall spear, slender as a lily stem, 
in one hand, his balances in the other. He seems to 
await the advent of some one unseen. And all this is 
set in a divine Italian landscape, at the foot of a little 
hill set with groves and trees, up which a country road 
runs to the little city on its top. In the sky float the 
few gossamer clouds of a summer afternoon. 

The other Venetian picture here is by Tiepolo, S. 
Fedele of Sigmaringa and the Blessed Giuseppe of 
Leonessa overcoming Heresy, a remarkable work. 

Three works by Francia — a Pieta (123), a Holy Family 
(359) and an altarpiece of the Madonna enthroned 
under a semicircular baldachino, her Child on her knee, 
surrounded by S. Benedict, S. Placidus, S. Scholastica 
and S. Justina, with the child Baptist in the foreground 
on the first step of her throne — should be noticed. The 
beautiful landscape is as lovely as though Perugino had 
conceived and painted it. 

Before turning to the Correggios, we come to the 
magnificent portrait of the young Alessandro Farnese 
by Antonio Moro, a very fine picture, and to Van Dyck's 


bust of Isabella Clara Eugenia of Spain. Here too is 
one of Holbein's portraits of Erasmus, and a good 
portrait, though unfinished, of Pope Clement vii. by 
Sebastiano del Piombo. 

In another room are two pictures and some drawings 
by Parmigianino, and then we come to the Correggios. 
The greatest painter of North Italy is seen here almost 
at his best in the magnificent Madonna and Child, with 
S. Mary Magdalen, S. Jerome and two angels, in a 
marvellous far-stretching landscape, called II Giorno. 
Commissioned in 1523, the picture was not finished till 
1527, and the painter was paid 400 imperial lire — 
about fifteen pounds — for it. Napoleon carried it off 
to Paris, and there Turner, who has left some notes 
upon it,^ saw it. A noble and lyrical work, it is perhaps 
the finest of Correggio's religious pictures. It certainly 
needs a German critic to decry its " deficiencies/' and 
to insist that " the attitude of Jerome is affected and 
insecure," and to add that " Correggio is never happy 
in grand things." It is true that no Latin people 
can support the ridiculous parade that is essentially 
barbaric and German, but it would need more than 
Teutonic muddle-headedness to convince us that the 
cupola of the Duomo is not a " grand thing," carried out 
with the astonishing success that is the result of genius, 
and that no amount of plodding and painstaking work 
can ever hope to achieve, or apparently to understand. 

The Madonna della Scodella, in which we see the 
Madonna and Child with S. Joseph resting on their 
return from Egypt, while above child angels dance among 
the clouds and lurking in the background watch over 
them, is a later work than II Giorno, though only by 
a few years. It originally stood in the Church of S. 
Sepolcro in this city. These two works are the most 
splendid of Correggio's pictures remaining in Parma 
and among his greatest. 

^ T. Sturge Moore, Correggio (Duckworth, 1906), pp. 79-80. 


Gal {fry of Parma 


PARMA 279 

nme spoiled Pieta (352) and the Death of SS. Placidus 
and Flavia (353) we have work nearly contemporary 
with II Giorno and of much charm. Both works were 
painted to the commission of Placido del Bono, the 
confessor of Paul iii., for a chapel in S. Giovanni 
Evangelista. The Pieta is totally ruined, but the 
latter work is in excellent preservation and everyway 
a delight. 

Of the two frescoes here by Correggio, the fragment 
called the Madonna della Scala, and the Annunciation, 
thelatter comes from the Annunziata, and both are ruined. 
But if we wish to see what Correggio was capable of 
as a decorator and fresco painter when dealing with 
spaces less heroic and less inaccessible than the cupolas 
of the Duomo and of S. Giovanni, we may do so in the 
Convento di S. Paolo, once a Benedictine nunnery where 
for the famous Abbess Giovanna da Piacenza in 15 18 
he painted his first work in fresco. Unfortunately, the 
triumph of colour which he doubtless achieved is gone, 
and all that remains is a charming design upon a pagan 
theme, in which we see Diana surrounded and peeped 
at by naked cupids, Juno naked and unashamed 
suffering punishment — a whole bower of delight filled 
with magic light and shade and pleasure. 

Little more remains to be seen in Parma. The 
Library in the great lonely Palace and the Teatro 
Farnese there should be visited, and the lovely Palazzo 
del Gardino across the river with its fine frescoes by 
Agostino Carrocci : and then Parma is done with. Yet 
before finally leaving this city of dead and despicable 
princelings, that yet contrived so many lovely and ador- 
able things, some light upon this contradiction which in 
some way I think spoils Parma for me may be had 
at Fornovo, a little place in the narrow and lofty valley 
of the Taro to the south, easily reached from Parma by 
a train. 

The significant and as it now would appear really 


important battle which took place here in the year 
1495, and which should have prevented the retreat of 
the carnival army of Charles viii. from Italy, shows us at 
least, though it does not explain, the amazing decadence 
and anarchy of a people that had almost single-handed 
re-created Europe. 

The French march through Italy had, as we know, 
been rather a pageant than an invasion. Invited into 
Italy by Ludovico il Moro in 1494, who held out to 
Charles the bait of Naples, the French had been greeted 
by Italy at large with a kind of cynical indifference, as 
though the invasion of their country were a matter which 
little concerned them. But Charles had not long been 
established in Naples when Italy took fright, and 
realising the almost certain consequences of his conquest, 
attempted by some act to redeem her lost soul. The 
event proved that she was incapable of action any 
longer, as it proved that she had irredeemably lost her 
soul. That event was the battle of Fornovo. 

A great opportunity, to be seized at once by a virile 
people, presented itself to the Italians. Ludovico the 
traitor already repented him of the evil he had done. 
He hastily patched up a league with Venice, Ferdinand 
of Naples and Maximilian the Emperor ; and Charles 
awoke one morning in Naples to find himself in a trap. 
The Neapolitans were his enemies ; and Charles, seeing 
that almost everything was already lost, began at full 
speed his long retreat through Italy. He had to cross 
the Apennines, and his only road lay over the Cisa Pass, 
which debouches by the valley of the Taro upon 
Fornovo and Parma. Here, and rightly here, the 
Venetians and the Milanese awaited him with an over- 
whelming force. 

In his anxiety Charles gave his enemies every oppor- 
tunity of revenge. His army was weakened by disease 
and by many a minor expedition which had been 
detached from it. Nor was he careful of conciliation. 


PARMA 281 

The wanton destruction by the Swiss of Pontremoli 
would have roused the indignation of any people still 
capable of anger. But Italy was spiritually bankrupt. 
Slowly, for all his haste, the French and their Swiss 
allies crossed the summit of the mountains, slowly they 
descended into Lombardy by the left bank of the Taro, 
until their vanguard, thirty miles in advance, reached 
Fornovo on July 2, and halted there three days till the 
king should arrive. 

The Venetians and Milanese were encamped at 
Giarola in the plain under the last spur of the moun- 
tains between it and the Taro. They had the French 
vanguard at their mercy, and, that destroyed, the whole 
army, encumbered with artillery, would have been an 
easy prey in the exhaustion of that long passage. Oppor- 
tunities so precious are seldom offered to despairing 
men, and, once lost, can never be retrieved. The 
Italians did not even attack. 

We may estimate the total forces so amazingly 
opposed in the trap of the Taro valley at some nine 
thousand on the French side, as opposed to some thirty- 
six thousand of the Venetians and Milanese. The 
Italians thus had it four to one, and the whole position 
was so profoundly in their favour that had they been 
outnumbered still their victory seemed inevitable. 
Yet the Italians consented to negotiate : they " wished 
to let the king pass, without perilling their cause by a 
general action, which, as all know, is essentially hazardous, 
and ought therefore to be avoided." ^ 

Meanwhile the French had crossed the Taro, and 
both forces were now upon the right bank. At eight 
on the morning of July, 6 the French, their army 
united, resumed their march. The king was with the 
main body, the artillery followed the advance and 
the baggage was on the left. A Venetian gun opened 

1 Sanuto's own words : Guicciardini inculpates the others as 
well as the Venetians. 


the battle (if battle it can be called), and was promptly 
dismounted by the artillery of the enemy, who then 
recrossed the Taro and marched on for about a mile. 
Then came the one incident of the day, which, though 
it may be called an act on the part of the Italians, 
only completes their shame. The Marquis of Mantua, 
at the head not of an Italian but of a Dalmatian 
force of irregular horse, charged, and had nearly suc- 
ceeded in cutting his way to the king, when his undis- 
ciplined men spied the baggage, and gave themselves 
up to pillage. Meanwhile, the Italians had yielded 
everywhere, four to one though they were, and at 
last, as the French pushed onward, the Italian army, 
broken and fugitive, poured back across the Taro in 
utter confusion, and fled towards Parma. 

Charles forbore to press his advantage, his business 
was the safety of his retreat. He encamped his weary 
army about a mile from the field. Even next day the 
Italians might have struck a blow which would for long 
have preserved their country from foreign invasion. 
They did nothing : jealousy distracted their leaders, 
and they contented themselves with announcing their 
"victory" to their respective Governments, the Venetians 
even ordering triumphant festivities " on the strength 
of having captured the King's baggage, of having carried 
off his rosaries and a portfolio of portraits of the ladies 
of his harem." 

Such was the battle of Fornovo, which closed the 
fifteenth century in Italy and led to the long paralysis 
and captivity which has only passed away in our own 
day. A visit to Fornovo reconciles us even to thei 
Farnese rule in Parma, for Italy deserved nothing better. 


THE road from Parma to Reggio, some eighteen 
miles of the ^milian Way, is far less attractive 
than the way between Piacenza and Parma, yet it has 
a charm of its own, and I for one never tire of those vast 
spaces of country subject to the sky, where the earth 
lies spread out infinite and quiet to the mountains on 
the south and to the far low horizon on the north. 

Just as outside Piacenza we found a leper hospital 
about a mile from the city, so we do outside Parma and 
at about the same distance. Nearly a mile before 
we come to S. Ilario we cross the Enza and come out 
of the Duchy of Parma into the Duchy of Modena. 
Thence the road runs as straight as a ruled line into the 
little city of Reggio. 

Reggio, so far as we know or can ascertain, was a mere 
stronghold founded by iEmilius Lepidus to serve and to 
guard his great highway. It seems to have no Gallic 
origins whatever, indeed its earliest name was Forum 
Lepidi, and the origin of its later appellation, Regium 
Lepidi, is unknown. It did not become a colony like 
Parma and Mutina, and never rose to the wealth and 
prosperity that they achieved, yet it has this claim to 
fame that it was here Marcus Brutus, the father of the 
murderer of Caesar, was put to death by Pompey in 
79 B.C. 

That Reggio was little more in the time of the Empire 

than a mere country town is confirmed to us by 



S. Ambrose, who speaks of its bareness and decay, and like 
Parma it was one of the places in which Gratian settled 
his Gothic captives. It suffered, of course, in the Dark 
Ages from the incursions of the barbarians, and was 
then, in so far as its central part about the Cathedral was 
concerned, surrounded by a wall. About this, in time, 
rose the borghi, that on the west being at first limited 
by the torrent Crostolo, whose bed has now become the 
Corso Garibaldi. 

Like every other Lombardy town, it benefited by the 
Peace of Constance in 1183, and established the lordship 
of its Commune upon the surrounding territory, enclosing 
then its borghi with the wall which in some sort we 
still see ; the principal gates being those of S. Croce, 
S. Pietro, S. Stefano and Castello, which named the 
quarters of the city. 

In 1339 Luigi Gonzaga had obtained the lordship of 
Reggio, and he then built the Cittadella, in the place 
now occupied by the Passeggio Pubblico, on the ruins 
of a hundred and twenty-five houses and a ruined con- 
vent within the city, and twenty-four other buildings 
without it. The Cittadella besides being a fortress con- 
tained the parochial Church of S. Nazaro and the Ducal 
Palace, and it is now thought that Ariosto was born 
within its walls on September 8, 1474. 

In 1409 Reggio was united by Niccolo d' Este to 
Modena, which his house had obtained in 1288. The 
last Este to reign was that Hercules in. who lost his 
dominions at the Peace of Luneville, when Reggio 
came with the rest of the dukedom of Modena to 
the Austrian House, from which it only passed in 
1859, when Vittorio Emanuele proclaimed United 

The centre of Reggio for ages has been the Piazza del 
Duomo, now called after Victor Emmanuel; it is the 
heart of the city now as in old days, and there stand 
the Cathedral, the Bell Tower and the Palazzo del 


Comune, now the Monte di Pieta. Beside the Palace 
open the arcades of the Peschiera, where opposite the 
Municipio is Albergo della Porta, known in the seven- 
teenth century as the Osteria del Cappel Rosso. In 
front of the Monte di Pieta stands the Municipio, built in 
1414, and here in the great Sala del Consiglio was held, 
on January 7, 1797, the Congress of the cities of the 
Emilia which created the short-lived " Repubblica 

On the eastern side of the Piazza stand the Duomo 
and the Palazzo Vescovile, to the left of which is the 
Palazzo dei Canonici. Opposite is the house of Ariosto. 
The Palazzo Vescovile is of great antiquity of founda- 
tion, but as we see it is a building largely of the sixteenth 

The Duomo, originally a Lombard church of the 
twelfth, was largely re-erected in the fifteenth and six- 
teenth centuries. Thus its fa9ade is, in so far as it is 
finished, of the Renaissance, with recumbent figures, in 
the manner of Michaelangelo, of Adam and Eve by 
Prospero Clementi over its main doorway, and the four 
statues in the niches representing S. Grisante, S. Daria, 
S. Venerio and S. Gioconda are by his pupils. Above, 
in the beautiful octagonal tower, is a bronze group 
of the Madonna and Child with two Donors, Giroldo 
Fiordibelli and Antonia Boiardi, by Bartolommeo 

Within, the Cathedral has a lofty choir over a crypt, 
but it has suffered many restorations. Here we find the 
best works of these two Reggiani sculptors, Bartolommeo 
and Prospero Clementi. To the former belongs the 
tomb of Valerio Malaguzzi, uncle of Ariosto, in the 
third chapel on the right, and the tomb of Bishop Buon- 
francesco Arlotti in the chapel to the left of the choir ; to 
the latter the tombs of Ugo Rangoni, Bishop of Reggio, 
and Paul in., nuncio at the court of Charles v. In the 
chapel to the right of the choir, the beautiful Christ 


upon the aitar and the tomb of Cherubino Sforzani in 
the left aisle are also his. 

Behind the Duomo, in the Piazza di S. Prospero, 
stands the church of S. Prospero, built on the foundation 
of an old Lombard building by Gasparo Bisi in 1504. 
The aspect of this Pt^zza is very charming, not only by 
reason of the Church of S. Prospero and the fine old 
octagonal to'wer which stands beside it, but because the 
three apses of the Duomo, so gracious from here, look 
into the square and add something strange and lovely to 
its quietness. Unfortunately, the fa9ade of S. Prospero 
is of 1748, but the six lions in red Verona marble are by 
Bisi and were carved in 1503. 

Here again we find the work of the Clementi. To 
Bartolommeo is due the tomb of Rufino Gabloneta over 
the entrance, and to Prospero the fine statue of the 
Madonna in the right transept. Here, too, by the 
fourth altar on the south side is a picture, perhaps by 
Sodoma,^ welcome in so poor a place as Reggio. This 
work, S. Homobonus giving alms, is a remarkable and 
powerful picture, with certain cirious and almost gro- 
tesque faults. Mr. Cust, whose book on Sodoma is a 
mine of carefully gathered information, suggests that 
Anselmi was Sodoma's partner in this work. There 
are two altarpieces, as it happens, by Anselmi in this 
church, a fine S. Paul and a Baptism of Our Lord. 
It is interesting to compare them. The frescoes by 
Bernardo Campi of Cremona in the choir have been 

Returning to the Piazza del Duomo and taking the 
Via di S. Pietro Martire, and then turning to the right up 
the Corso Garibaldi, we come to the Madonna dclla 
Ghiara. This is a beautiful church in the form of a Greek 
cross built in Bramante's manner, and of fine proportions. 
In the right transept is a Madonna by Lelio Orsi. Now, 

^ Vcnturi gives it to Bernardino Zacchctti, an obscure 
Reggian painter. Cf. L'Arte, 1901, Sept.-Oct. fasc. ix.-x. 


till I came to Reggio all I knew of Lelio Orsi was that he 
had a very original picture, the Walk to Emmaus (1466), 
in the National Gallery. He was probably a son of that 
Bernardino Orsi a picture by whom I find in the Duomo 
of Reggio. He was certainly employed to decorate 
some triumphal arches erected in honour of Ercole 
Gonzaga's visit to Reggio in 1536, and it has been 
thought that he was a pupil of G)rreggio. In 1546 he 
was banished from Reggio for some unknown offence, 
and in 1552 he was pardoned and allowed to return. 
During these years he lived at Novellara, to the north of 
Reggio, on the line to Guastalla and within easy reach 
of the city. There some of his works remain, as do 
more than one in the Museo here in Reggio. 


NOTHING of much interest is to be found on the 
great road between Reggio and Modena. A mile 
or more outside the Roman gate of Reggio we find, as 
before at Parma, a leper hospital under the dedication 
of S. Lazzaro. At S. Maurizio we pass a villa of Ariosto's, 
and at Rubiera we are in a fief of Boiardo, the author 
of the Orlando Innamorato, who was not only a poet, but 
lord of Scandiano, five miles away to the south at the 
foot of the great hills. Then, after crossing the Secchia, 
the great road curves suddenly northward, really the 
first turn it has made since it left Piacenza : and we 
enter the city of Modena. 

Modena, the Roman Mutina, a Gallic city, probably of 
Etruscan origin, belonged to the Boii, and seems to have 
come into Roman hands in 222 B.C., at the close of the 
Gallic War. They fortified it, and at the opening of the 
Second Punic War, in 218 B.C., it was already a consider- 
able place, and there the triumvirs took refuge when 
the Gauls rose to greet Hannibal and Placentia \\. 
no longer safe. It was thus a walled town before 
Piacenza or Cremona, and it is probable that even in 
Gallic times it had been a stronghold. In 183 B.C. the 
Republic determined to establish a colony here and at 
Parma : these were both coloniae civium, and their 
2000 settlers enjoyed the full rights of Roman citizens. 

Mutina, however, had not been long founded when it 
suffered disaster. The Ligurians of the hills swept 




down upon it in 177 B.C., and succeeded in taking the 
town, but Caius Claudius was at hand, and is said to 
have retaken the place easily enough, slaughtering 8000 
of the enemy. It then rose rapidly to prosperity, and 
alone of the Cisalpine towns bore a conspicuous part in 
the Social War as it did in the Civil War that followed 
the death of Caesar, so that Suetonius, recounting its 
adventures, speaks of the Bellum Mutinense, and 
Cicero speaks of it as firmissima et splendidissima populi 
Romani colonia. In the time of the Empire it was still 
wealthy, but we hear little of it till in 312 a.d. Con- 
stantine the Great took it during his war with Maxentius, 
and before the end of that wonderful century it had 
begun to feel the great decline of which S. Ambrose 
speaks, in which these cities along the ^Emilian Way 
feU into ruin and decay, and their territories into a 
barren wilderness. 

In the early Dark Age it was ravished by Attila per- 
haps more severely than any other town of Emilia, but 
under the Lombard Kings it again rose to importance as 
their frontier city towards the Exarchate ; yet the wars 
brought it to decay, and in the tenth century we have 
a lamentable picture of its ruin, its territory little 
better than a morass, and itself covered with mud and 
water. In the eleventh century Modena came into 
the hands of the Canossa, but after the death of the 
^eat Countess, in the first years of the twelfth century, 
we see it developing a commune at first owing allegiance 
to the Empire, but presently joining the Lombard 
League against the Emperor. Then the usual wars of 
the factions brought it into the hands of a lord. This 
was Obizzo d' Este of Ferrara. It is true he was dis- 
posed of in 1306 after a defeat at the hands of the 
Bolognesi, and a short period of popular government 
followed. But soon the Bonacolsi had it, and then the 
Este house again. The Este had now come to remain, 
^vhich they managed to do till 1796, when the French 


entered and made of Modena a province of the Cisalpine 
Republic and later of the Italian kingdom. In 1814, 
however, the ducato was restored under an Austrian 
house, only to be ended in 1859, when Modena became 
a part of the kingdom of United Italy. 

In its great days, surrounded completely by its walls 
and strong in its citadel, Modena must have seemed a 
formidable place, very different from the open city 
we see to-day, now that what is called " progress " has 
demanded and obtained the destruction of both fortress 
and walls. Four gates have always given access to 
the city : the Porta Bologna on the east, the Porta 
S. Agostino on the west, the Porta S. Francesco on the 
south and the Porta Mirandola on the north. 

The centre of Modena beside the ^milian Way, which 
traverses Modena from end to end as it does Parma and 
Reggio, is the Piazza Grande, in which stands the Duomo. 
This great church is still one of the noblest in Lombardy. 
It was begun in 1099, before Modena had erected her 
Comune, and was finished in 1184. Its builder was 
Lanfranc ; but, ages before he began to build the 
church we see, the Bishop of Modena, in the year 400, 
had built a basilica here over the tomb of S. Gimignano. 
This building fell into ruin in the year 1000. It is prob- 
able that the present church owes much to the Countess 
Matilda : it was consecrated by Pope Lucius iii. when 
he passed through Modena in 1184. There are, how- 
ever, certain fragments from the older basilica in the 
present building. The facade, which is richly sculptured 
with scenes from the history of man down to Noah, the 
work of Nicolaus and Wiligelmus, is adorned with a 
lovely rose window above the main portal and with a 
delightful colonnade which girdles the whole church and 
consists of the three arches borne by small columns within 
a larger arch supported by pilasters, and an engaged 
column springing from the ground. The main portal, 
flanked by two simple round arched doors, is covered 



%y a double canopy borne by columns resting upon the 
usual lions of Verona marble. 

The most delightful part of the exterior of the church, 
however, is the semicircular choir and crypt to the east, 
flanked on either side by smaller semicircular apses, 
and guarded by two delightful turrets, between which 
rises the eastern wall of the nave. The southern side 
of the church has two good doorways, each with a 
canopy borne by lions : here, too, is a pulpit and some 
reliefs of the story of S. Gimignano by Agostino di 
Duccio, fifteenth-century work. 

The interior, unfortunately, has been so amazingly 
restored that the effect of antiquity has quite passed 
from it. The nave and aisles with pointed vaulting 
are borne by alternate pillars of brick and columns of 
marble, above which is a triforium. The choir is raised 
over a lofty crypt borne by thirty lovely columns of 
marble for the most part with Renaissance capitals. 
Here is the tomb of S. Gimignano. 

In the right aisle of the church by the third altar is a 
curious terra-cotta group representing the Presepio by 
Antonio Begarelli, a work of the early sixteenth century. 
Over the second altar in the left aisle are some fine 
reliefs, and over the third altar a beautiful Coronation 
of the Blessed Virgin by Serafino de' Serafini, painted 
in 1385. It bears the inscription : Seraphinus de Sera- 
phinis pinxit 1385 die Jovis xxiii Marcis. This is 
generally said to be the earliest work of a Modenese 
painter. Close by over the next altar is a Madonna on 
high with S. Jerome, S. Sebastian and S. John Baptist, 
painted in 1522 by Dosso Dossi of Ferrara : it was 
painted for the comuna, an association of the priests 
serving the Cathedral. 

Opposite this altar upon a pillar is the beautiful 
Gothic pulpit which Enrico da Campione made in 

In the choir we come upon a tomb, that of Francesco 


Molza, erected in 15 16 by Bartolommeo Clementi of 
Reggio, and not far away some curious sculptures of 
the Passion of the twelfth century; above are some 
spoiled frescoes. The stalls here are of the fifteenth 
century from the hand of Cristoforo da Lendinaria. 

United now to the Cathedral by two modern arches 
rises the lovely campanile called La Ghirlandina, begun 
at the same time as the Cathedral, and finished as we 
see it in 13 19. It has often been struck by lightning, for 
it is 335 feet high, and though properly a bell tower 
has in the Middle Age been used as a defence. 

To the east of the Duomo, across the Piazza, before 
the apse, is the Palazzo della Ragione, now a savings 
bank. To the south is the Palazzo di Giustizia, and to 
the west, in a corner, the Arcivescovado. 

Apart from the Duomo, the churches of Modena have 
little interest. S. Francesco, however, which is beauti- 
ful, should be visited, for it is of the fourteenth century, 
and contains a vast terra-cotta, consisting of thirteen 
life-sized figures representing the Deposition. It is by 
Begarelli. Not far from S. Francesco, too, is the Church 
of S. Pietro, with a lovely fagade of the Renaissance 
and several of Begarelli's works. Here, too, is a striking 
altarpiece by Francesco Bianchi of the Madonna en- 
throned with S. Jerome and S. Sebastian, while three 
piitti make music at her feet. In the predella are scenes 
from the story of S. Sebastian. Nor, I suppose, should 
S. Agostino, the Pantheon d'Este, be omitted, one of the 
finest baroque churches in existence. 

But the true interest of Modena does not reside in 
her churches, which with the exception of the Duomo 
are of altogether mediocre importance. The delight and 
splendour of Modena lie in her picture gallery in the 
Albergo Arti, after those of Milan and Bergamo the 
finest in all Lombardy. The collection, which was 
presented to the city by Francis v. in 1869 and has since 
been enriched by the addition of the Campori collection. 



^ptinfortunately has no catalogue. We will, however, 
^^take the schools separately, beginning, as is here but 
! good manners, with that of Ferrara, from which the 
Modenese sprang. 

We begin, then, with a very late work by Cosimo Tura, 
a full-length figure of S. Anthony of Padua. He is at 
Rimini by the sea, and seems about to turn round and 
preach to the fishes, as we know he did there. It is 
painted almost in monochrome, and probably formed 
part of an altarpiece once in the Chapel of S. Niccolo 
at Ferrara. 

By Ercole Roberti, the pupil of Tura, we have here 
also a later picture, one of those classical subjects he 
executed for the Ferrarese Court. It represents the 
Death of Lucrezia, and is charming but much damaged. 

From Tura and Ercole Roberti we pass to Francesco 
Bianchi, and so to the Modenese school. Bianchi was 
probably the pupil of Tura, and certainly the follower 
of Ercole Roberti. Here in his native city there are 
most of the works from his hand that are now known. 
The altarpiece in S. Pietro we have already noted. 
For the Duomo he painted three medallions with the 
Madonna and S. Sebastian and S. Gimignano in fresco 
on the ceiling of the sacristy. Here in the Pinacoteca 
are two certain and two doubtful pictures. The works 
certainly his are the early Crucifixion (442) and the 
Annunciation (476) which he left unfinished at his death. 
The Crucifixion clearly shows the influence of Roberti, 
and so indeed does the Annunciation, painted in 1506. 
Here in a noble court, through the beautiful Renais- 
sance arch of which we catch a glimpse of the hill 
country, Madonna kneeling at an elaborate prie-Dieu 
is roused from her prayer by Gabriel, who trips softly 
across the court, dropped from the summer sky whence 
God the Father amid the cherubim speeds the Dove, 
His hand raised in blessing. A delightful if a mannered 
picture we may think, and assuredly Bianchi had had 


many forerunners in Modena before the school was 
absorbed by that of Ferrara, such as that Serafino 
Serafini whose sole work remains in the Duomo, Such 
were Tommasso da Modena (1325-26), a small Polyp- 
tych (489) by whom is to be found here, and his 
younger contemporary, Barnabi da Modena (c. 1367- 
13S3), by whom also we have here a Polyptych of the 
Madonna and Child with S. Catherine and the Baptist, 
the Annunciation and the Crucifixion (486) ; and the 
Fra Paola da Modena, who is the author of that Madonna 
deir Umilt^ where Madonna seated on the ground 
gives suck to her Child, while a friar kneels in adoration. 
This work, which is signed and dated, was painted in 
1370, but it has been entirely repainted. 

Nor besides these fourteenth- century painters must 
one forget to mention others of the fifteenth century, 
less famous than Bianchi, but who were influenced as 
he was by Tura. Such are Agnolo and Bartolommeo 
Erri, who in 1465 painted a Triptych of which the chief 
subject is the Coronation of the Blessed Virgin, now in 
the Pinacoteca here (unnumbered). Tura had in Modena 
his mere imitators, too. Such were Cristoforo da 
Lendinara, who in 1482 signed and painted the picture 
of the Madonna and Child here (485), and Bartolommeo 
Bonascia, the author of a striking Pieta (486). 

But in truth, however we look at it, the school of 
Modena was but a branch of the Ferrarese. A pupil of 
Ercole Roberti, who though not a Modenese may well 
be mentioned here, was Correggio, by whom this gallery 
can boast a single picture, a Madonna and Child (17), 
a much damaged and badly repainted picture from the 
Campori collection. 

Returning now to the Ferrarese pictures, we come 
upon a group of works by Dosso Dossi (1479-1541). 
In his earlier and better work this master came under 
the influence of Giorgione. A comparatively early 
picture and a delightful one is the Jester (474) here. 


^Rvrhich Mr. Gardner declares holds the same position in 
^^Dossi's art as the Mona Lisa does in Leonardo's. What- 
ever we may say to that, we cannot but be fascinated 
by this jolly clown nursing a sheep under a tree in a 
wide countryside, and laughing at us heartily enough 
straight out of the picture. But Dosso Dossi can paint 
an altarpiece as well as the laughter of a clown or the 
mystery of Circe, and we have perhaps his best in the 
Madonna and Child in the heavens surrounded by 
winged cherubs with S. George and S. Michael, the 
devil under his foot, below in our world (437). 

As a portrait painter Dosso also excelled. The por- 
trait of Ercole d' Este here (450) is, however, a post- 
humous reconstruction of the Duke. It was painted 
in 1524. Nor was he anything but the first of the 
decorators of his day, though the fragments of what 
would seem to have been a fine work of the kind here 
are too much damaged for us to appreciate them. 

Several works from the hand of Dosso's brother, 
Battista Dossi, are to be found in the Pinacoteca. Among 
them is that fine Nativity (440) in which it would seem 
we have portraits of Alfonso i. and Ercole 11. A Portrait 
of the former (450) and a Madonna and Child with 
S. Francis and S. Anthony and the Confraternity of 
S.Maria della Neve below (446), should also be mentioned. 

Dosso Dossi was born in 1478 ; Garofalo, in whose 
making he had some influence, in 148 1. From his 
hand we have a Deposition (285) painted in 1527 and a 
Madonna and Child enthroned with angels and saints, 
S. John Baptist, S. Lucy and the Beato Contardo 
d' Este, painted in 1533 ; and from his pupil Girolamo 
da Carpi, we have a Portrait of Ercole d' Este (471). 

We now turn to the school of Cremona. By Boccaccio 
Boccaccino (1467-1525 c.) we have a Madonna and 
Saints (426) ; by Giulio Campi, the Portrait of a Man in 
Black (217) ; and by Sofonisba Anguissola, a Portrait of 
a Man, a tondo (301). 


The Veronese school is represented by a single picture 
of Caroto's, a delightful thing, the Blessed Virgin sewing, 
painted in 1501. 

From Verona we pass to Venice. In the Portrait 
of a Man (319) we have a doubtful Alvise Vivarini, 
but we have the veritable hand of his pupil Bartolommeo 
Montagna in a picture of the Madonna and Child (5), 
painted in 1503. Cima, another of Alvise's pupils, 
is here in a Piet^ (i43). and Catena in a picture of the 
Madonna and Child with Two Saints (404). 

By the Tuscans we have four pictures : the Madonna 
and Angels adoring the Divine Child (449) by Botticini, 
a Madonna and Child with the infant John Baptist 
(334) and an early work by Franciabigio, the Birth of 
the Baptist (223). Best of all these, perhaps, we have a 
delightful little panel of the Nativity (457) by Giovanni 
di Paolo the Sienese. 

But the treasure of the gallery as it happens is not 
any Italian picture, but the noble Velasquez, which 
alone would make a visit to Modena a necessity. This 
is a portrait of Francis d' Este, Duke of Modena and 
Reggio, and was painted in Spain in 1638. "The 
Duke," Palomino tells us, " highly honoured Diego 
Velasquez, and praised his rare gifts ; and when Diego 
painted him, much to his satisfaction, he generously 
rewarded him, especially with a rich gold chain, which 
Velasquez generally wore, as was customary, upon 
feast days in the palace." This magnificently virile 
picture for long passed as a Van Dyck, but I have 
seldom seen a work v/herein at the first glance the 
painter's name more certainly leaps to the mind. 



Oailery. Afodfra 



IT would be a good thing to take the opportunity of 
the general dullness both of Reggio and Modena to 
visit Novellara, if only for the sake of Lelio Orsi, or, from 
Modena, Mirandola, if only for the sake of Pico the 
humanist, but that a far more interesting and adven- 
turous journey offers itself as one lingers in Reggio, 
and at length so insistently that it cannot be denied. 
I mean a journey into the high Apennine to that castle 
of the great Matilda where Pope Gregory vii. humbled 
the Emperor Henry iv., and so thoroughly that even 
Bismarck remembered it, saying to Leo xiii. that he 
would not go to Canossa whatever else he might do ; 
but, as we know, in the quieter fashion that even the 
Germans have learnt to adopt in our day, he went all the 
same. Canossa remains in the imagination of the world 
as the symbol of the mighty work that Rome achieved 
during the Dark Ages, I mean the creation of the 
Papacy that was not only to dominate but to civilise 
Europe, and when Hildebrand on that bare and pallid 
rock broke Henry in the cruel winter of 1077 that 
creation was proclaimed to Europe and the two succeed- 
ing centuries were already secured. 

There are half a dozen ways from Reggio to Canossa. 
That is the easiest and I think the best which takes you 
afoot, by carriage or by train, into the valley of the 
Enza at S. Polo, and so to Ciano. At Ciano you may get 

a mule, or you may walk by Rossena to that magnificent 


and isolated spot where the destiny of Europe for more 
than two centuries was decided. All the way is fair, and 
nothing in the world is more inspiring than the splendid 
climb from Ciano to Canossa. The lords of Canossa 
held in their day not only these mountains and all the 
passes into Italy across them, but a vast part of Lom- 
bardy, including Parma, Reggio, Mantua and Brescia, 
to say nothing of Tuscany and Spoleto. One feels at 
once on leaving Reggio and entering the region of the 
hills that one is at last really in their country. 

The first founder of Canossa, that Sigifredo who came 
up from the Amo valley probably by the Cisa, the way of 
Hannibal before him, and the way of all the Emperors 
and of Charles viii., was very rich, and when he saw the 
pleasant wealth of Lombardy perhaps from the spurs 
of these very hills as we may see it to-day, he bought 
lands and signory in Reggio, and left his children when 
he died, in 945, what was in truth a kingdom. Azzo his 
son had Canossa, which he fortified and where he lived, 
and thither the beautiful Adelaide came for safety from 
Berenger, titular King of Italy, who when she rejected his 
suit imprisoned her on the Lago di Garda. She fled to 
Mantua, dressed as a man, where Azzo, to whom she had 
appealed, found her and bore her off in safety to his eyrie. 
And when Otho the Emperor appeared in Italy, sought 
her and married her, Azzo was heaped with honours so 
great that Berenger was forced to attack him in Canossa. 
The siege which followed lasted for three years. When 
Azzo died he was ruling not only in the mountains, 
but the whole northern plain between Reggio and 

He was succeeded by his son Tebaldo, and he by his son 
Bonifazio, and both increased their power, Bonifazio 
adding the Duchy of Tuscany to his lordship and ruling 
like a sovereign king. Henry iii. the Emperor certainly 
went in fear of him. But with Bonifazio the Canossa 
house seemed likely to end, for by his marriage with 


Beauice of Lorraine he had but one daughter, Matilda ; 
in fact, however, she was the greatest of her house, the 
gran donna d' Italia, the friend of Hildebrand and the 
handmaid and protectress of the Papacy and the Church, 
she who reminded Dante of Persephone as she went 
alone singing and plucking flower after flower that 
strewed her way. We shall meet her again at Canossa. 
She lived a virgin, and on her death her vast inheritance 
passed by her will to the Holy See. 

Such was the house that ruled all this country, the 
centre of whose power was set here high among the 
everlasting hills. 

If you set out from Reggio by train, you will go through 
Bibbiano to S. Polo, if by road you will pass the Quattro 
Castella. In Bibbiano there is nothing to see, and no 
time to see it if there were ; but the Quattro Castella 
offers the traveller one of the most astonishing spectacles 
in Italy. Four conical hiUs rise from the vast hillside 
all in a line barring the way, and each crowned by a 
castle. They are the first outworks of that vast system 
of defence which guarded Canossa. The most in- 
teresting is Bianello, for it alone conserves something 
of Matilda's time. It is the second of the four, the first 
to the east being Monte Vecchio, the third Monte Lucio, 
the fourth Mongiovanni, where stood the Chapel of 
S. Niccolb, in which, it is probable, Henry, coming from 
Bianello, met Matilda and the Abbot of Clugny in con- 
ference. This BianeUo was founded by the great 
Countess, who often lived there. In 1077 it received 
Henry iv., and in that same year the Pope, while it 
was here Matilda took refuge when Henry assaulted 
Canossa in 1092. But neither Canossa nor Bianello 
was the habitual residence of Matilda. Her home was 
in the castle she had built at Carponetti, the beautiful 
ruin of which still remains in the high Apennines almost 
due south of Canossa. 

S. Polo, where the train takes you before bringing you 


to Ciano, is also a bright village that appertained to the 
great Countess, as did all in this country. It was united 
to the feud of Bianello. In 1372 it came into the hands 
of Bernabb Visconti, and later into those of Niccolb 
d' Este. The hill that rises behind S. Polo towards Parma 
is Guardasone. Its castle was probably the Guardia 
d'Azzone, hence the name, but this Azzo was not he of 
Canossa, but Azzo da Correggio, lord of Parma in 1341 
and the friend of Petrarch. 

At Ciano, where one leaves the train, there is nothing 
to see. A horse or mule hence to Canossa costs 
four lire. The Trattoria of Filippo Quirino musters 
seven beds in all, and they cost a lira apiece. It 
is possible to sleep here, but only advisable if it is 

As one leaves Ciano, the great red hill and castle of 
Rossena come in sight, and from Rossena, you who have 
come by train, and we who have come afoot, go on 
together by the same road. 

Rossena was a fortress of Bonifazio Canossa, but 
there is not much to be said about it. It is a splendid 
thing rather than a famous one, and yet it is famous 
too by reason of the pitiful legend of Everelina. In 
the dungeons of Rossena lay in mortal fear Cildo, 
flung there by the tyrant Usualdo. His daughter 
Everelina, " bella come 1' amore e la speranza," maddened 
by her father's captivity, fled one night from her mother's 
house and ran to the castello of Usualdo, where, flinging 
herself at his feet, she offered herself in exchange for her 
father. Usualdo agreed. Cildo was given up, and when 
Usualdo would have brought Everelina to his bed, she 
begged that she might offer one prayer to the morning 
star from her balcony. This was permitted her, and she 
flung herself into the bottomless ravine, never to be seen 
again by mortal eyes. 

Beyond Rossena, but not directly upon the way to 
Canossa, is the delicious and wooded spot known as 



^■vapiana, where Petrarch was the guest of Azzo da 
IBrreggio in the summer of 1341, and here he began 
tiis Africa, completed later in Parma. 

After Rossena, the great white and naked rock of 
Canossa crowned by its ruin comes in sight, in wonderful 
contrast with Rossena itself. Here in the winter of 
1077 the two great forces of the world met in combat, 
and the Emperor fell. 

It is almost impossible for us in our confused and wholly 
material age to understand the drama that was played 
out upon this naked upland, as it were upon the top of 
the world, in the three days and nights of that bitter 
January. The Emperor had come from his Germany 
into Italy with the intention of making the Pope prisoner. 
He knew not what he was proposing. To humble the 
Latin world, which the Papacy expressed, was in itself 
a barbarian, if an honourable, adventure ; but to break 
the heart and the soul of Europe was to achieve what 
even Attila had failed to do. As the event proved, when 
the two men were face to face it was the barbarian who 
was to go down, and that not by force of arms but by 
force of will. Henry, after all, apart from his position, 
was not a great man. At war with his German feud- 
atories, hated by his sons, unfaithful and cruel to 
his wife, weak in all his ways, he was always dis- 
trusted by Gregory, and these disagreements had 
ended at last in his excommunication. Abandoned by 
his nobles, the Emperor summoned a council in Augsburg, 
and the Pope set out with Matilda in December 1076 to 
attend it. He got no farther than Vercelli when he 
heard that Henry was on his way into Italy at the head 
of an army. Then the great Countess persuaded the 
Holy Father to place himself in her keeping in her 
Castle of Canossa. Hildebrand agreed, and the end of 
the year saw him in safety upon the Apennines, within 
the strongest fortress in Italy. 

Henry, however, could only threaten. He entered 


Italy indeed, but only as a fugitive, with his wife Bertha 
and his little son Conrad, and but a single servant. 
He crossed the Mont Cenis in disguise, accepting the 
hospitality of shepherds, who, amid incredible hardships 
in the snow, led and lowered him by ropes over the 
almost impassable mountains. He reached Turin, and 
set out for Canossa. All the world now watched him 
on what was little more than a pilgrimage of penance. 
But Italy was not Germany, and he found in the Cis- 
alpine plain more friends than he had expected. As 
time went on, he found himself at the head of a great 
force, and, like the barbarian he was, he dreamed that 
this might avail. He had not begun to understand 
what he would have opposed. 

At Canossa everything was ready for an attack. 
Azzo d' Este was there and Hugh, Abbot of Clugny, and 
over them all the great Countess. Uplifted before all 
Europe, the Emperor and the Pope faced one another 
to decide who should be master. 

Henry came. Was it the mountains that had broken 
him, or the astonishment of Italy, or the hand of God ? 
Whatever it was, he was broken. His first act was to 
beg intercession from Matilda, who with Hugh the 
Abbot met him when he begged it at Bianello. The 
Countess, who was his cousin, undertook to plead his 

Then Hildebrand said : " If Henry is indeed repentant, 
let him lay down crown and sceptre, and declare that 
he is unworthy of the name of a king." 

There spoke the soul of Europe that cannot be broken. 

Henry did as he was ordered. It was the end of 
January ; the earth was covered with snow, the streams 
were silent with frost. In the thin garb of a penitent, in 
a shirt of white linen, the successor of the Caesars, nay 
Caesar himself, slowly climbed the rocky path to the outer 
gate of Canossa. And they all looked upon him as he 
stood before the closed inner gate. There, in the bitter 


weather, he waited fasting for three days and three nights. 
On the fourth day, half dead with cold, the wretched 
Emperor was brought into the presence of God's Vice- 
gerent. He prostrated himself in the dust, crying for 
pardon. Then Hildebrand placed his foot upon the 
Emperor's neck and spoke : "Super aspidem et basiliscum 
ambulabis et conculcabis leonem et draconem" : Thou 
shalt tread upon the lion and the adder : the young 
lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under thy 

After this Gregory said Mass and permitted Henry to 
receive the Blessed Sacrament. 

That scene will live for ever in the mind of man, for 
it is the most perfect expression of that Europe out of 
which we are come and to which we shall return. 
Canossa is its monument, a place worthier of pilgrimage 
by us who are European than ever was Becket's tomb 
at Canterbury, holy though that was and famous 
through the world. Canossa was a bigger victory than 
Canterbury, and Italy a bigger stage than England. 

Look you, then, how the mountains shine hence, and 
all Lombardy is spread out before them, and Italy far 
away thrice guarded there to the south. It is well that 
our journey should draw to an end in such a famous 
place as this, where we may look back upon our many 
days of going, and possess them all in a single heart's 
beat, a single glance, as Hildebrand looked over the 

There lies Cisalpine Gaul, jewelled with cities — 
Modena, Parma, Verona, Mantua; girdled with her 
mighty river, the glistening belt of the Po ; islanded by 
the Euganeans, and ringed and fortressed by the Alps. 
Here are the Apennines, yonder is Italy : and the story 
of Europe, that noble tale of great Rome turned Chris- 
tian, and all our past, at our feet. 


Abelard, 129, 185 

Acerrae, 9 

Acqua Fredda, 46 

Adalbert 11., 152 

Adaluald, 164, 165, 167 

Adda, the, 6, 9, 25, 40, 45 

Adelaide, Empress, 152, 298 

Adige, the, 6 

Adolphus succeeds Alaric, 23 

Ady, Mrs. See Cartwright 

iEmilian Way, 13, 243, 262, 

283, 289 
Agilulf the Goth, 164, 165, 208, 

223, 260 
Agrate, Marco, his work in 

Milan, 95, 102 
Aguanegra, 223 
Aix-la-Chapelle, treaty of, 76 
Alaric invades Italy, 19, 21, 

22, 23, 28, 59, 93. 94. 

Alba, 7, 68, 69 

Bishop of, 231 
Alberoni, Cardinal, 263, 264 
Alberti, Leon Battista, his 

work in Mantua, 209, 

210, 215, 218 
Albertinelli, 127, 179 
Alboin, the, 26, 149, 223 
Alciato, 73 

Alemanna, Antonio d', 173 
Alemanni, the, invade Italy, 


Alessandri, Cardinal Longo 

degh, 174 
Alessandria, 68, 224 
foundation of, 66 
Alessi, Galeazzo, his work in 
Milan, 113, 114 
his work in Pa via, 1 45 


Alexander iii.. Pope, opposes 

Barbarossa, 65, 66 
Alfred, King, 157 
Alps, the, the gates of Italy, 

2-4, 14, 16, 17 
Alseno, 266 
Altenburg, 179 
Altichiera of Verona, his work 

in Milan, 117 
Altinum, 24 
Alzano, 183 
Amadeo, Giovanni Antonio, 

his work at Bergamo, 174, 

his work at Pavia, 141, 145, 

146, 147 
Amalie, Princess, 127 
Amati, the, of Cremona, 233 
Ancona, 27, 232 
Andreassi, Bishop Giorgio, 211 
Angelico, Fra, 143, 179 
Anghera, Castle of, 34 
Angilbertus 11., Archbishop, 90, 

91 note 
Anguissola, Sofonisba, 181, 295 
Anne d' Alengon, 217 
Annegray, 260 
Anselmi, 286 
Anspert, Bishop, rebuilds 

Milan, 60 
Antelami, Benedetto, 274, 277 
Antonello da Messina, 253 
Antony, Mark, 269 
Apennines, the gates of Italy, 

2-4. 17 
Apulia, 269 

Aquileia, 20, 23, 24, 223, 263 
Arcevia, 126 
Arcimboldi, the, 103 



Arco, Castle of, 202 
Areola, battle of, 203 
Arduin of Ivrea, 152 
Arezzo, 7, 158 

Niccoldd', 102 
Argegno, 47, 49 
Aribert, Archbishop, loi, 102, 

Ariminuin. See Rimini 
Ariosto, 114, 209, 288 

birth of, 284, 2S5 
Arlotti, Bishop Buonfrancesco, 

Arnold of Brescia, 185, 186 
Arona, 32, 34 
Aspertus, Bishop, rebuilds 

Milan, 87, 97 
Assisi, S. Francesco, 139 
Asta, battle of, 23 
Asti. 68, 69 
Ataulphus, marriage of, 94 

tomb of, 93 
Atilius, Lucius, 245 
Attila invades Italy, 21, 24, 59, 

149, 185, 203, 269, 289, 

Augsburg, 301 
Augustus Caesar conquers the 

Inalpini, 5, 14, 15, 16, 

148, 269 
founds the Empire, 4, 17 
Austrians, the, in Piedmont, 

187, 202-204, 209, 219 
rule in Lombardy, 77-79 
Autharis, King, 162-164 
Averoldo, Altobello di, 193 
Avignon, 68 

Auxentius, Bishop of Milan, 84 
Azzo da Correggio, 300, 301 

Bacchiacca, 179 

Badile, 197 

Bagnolo, 223 

Baiae, 40 

Balducci, Matteo, his work in 

Bergamo, 180 
Balduccio, Giovanni di, his 

work in Milan, 95-97, 

107 note, 159 
Bandinelli, Baccio, 180 
Bangor, 259 
Barbarossa, Frederick, destroys 

Milan, 81, 95 

Barbarossa, Frederick, invades 
Italy, 45, 63-66, 130, 
166, 167, 186, 224, 238- 
241, 270 
Barbiano, Alberigo da, 69 
Barcelona, 94 
Barnabi da Modena, 294 
Basaiti, Marco, 180 
Basella, 175 
Basle, 269 
Battagio, Giovanni, 236, 237, 

Baveno, 32, 34 
Bayard, Chevalier, 186 
Beatrice of Canossa, 209 

of Lorraine, 299 
Beauhamais, Eugdne de, 77, 

213, 214 
Beaune, 129 
Becket, Thomas k, 303 
Begarelli, Antonio, 291, 292 
Belisarius, 25, 27, 59 
Bellaggio, 39, 40, 45, 46 
Bellavista, 29 
Bellini, Gentile, his work in 

Milan, 124 
Bellini, Giovanni, 121, 125 
his work in Bergamo, 177, 

his work in Mantua, 213 
his work in Milan, 124 
school of , 175, 177, 178 
Bellini, Jacopo, 194 

his school, 118, 119 
Bellinzona, 42 

Bembo, Cardinal, in Mantuai 
209, 213 
on Castiglione, 220 
Gian Francesco, 230 
Benacus, 197 

Benedetto da Maiano, 182 
Benedictine Order, the, 136 
Benevento, 26 
Benzi, the, 51 
Ben zone of Cremona, 174 
Berengarius, 167 
Berenger, King, 152, 298 
Berenson, B., on Borgognone, 
at Castiglione, 55 
on the Morelli Collection, 
179, 182 
Bergaraesque Alps, 1 83 



Bergamo, 68 

Accademia Carrara, 176-182 

Attila at, 24 

Bishop of, 28 

Cappella Colleoni, 171-175 

Cenomani in, 6 

Churches of, 1 75 

Citti Alta, 169, 170 

Cittk Bassa, 169, 170 

history of, 1 70 

S. Maria Maggiore, 171-174 
Bernardino da Novi, 146 
Bernese Oberland, 29 
Bertani, 212 
Bertha, 302 

Bertolino da Novara, 215 
Bianchi, Francesco, his work 

in Modena, 292, 293 
Bianchini, 273 
Biandronno, 53 
Bianello, 299, 300, 302 
Bibbiano, 299 
Bishops, temporal power of 

the, 28, 60-62 
Bisi, Gasparo, 286 
Bismarck, 297 
Bizzozero, 54 

Blanchis, Andreolo de, his 
work at Bergamo, 173, 

Bobbio, Abbey of, 69, 258-261 
Boccaccino of Cremona, Boc- 
caccio, 227, 229, 230, 

Boccaccio, Decameron, 209, 214 
Boethius, 157, 189 
Bohemia, II Medeghino, Vice- 
roy of, 42-44 
Boiardi, Antonia, 285 
Boiardo, 288 

Boii, the, 6-12, 222, 237, 288 
Bologna, Boii in, 6 

bought by Milan, 69 

coronation of Charles v. at, 

founded by Rome, 13 
S. Domenico, 158 
Bolognese school of art, 125 
BoltraflB.0, his work in Milan, 

Bonacolsi, the, 208, 212, 289 
Bona di Savoia, 72 
Bonascia, Bartolommeo, 294 

Bonifazio of Tuscany, 125, 209 
Bono da Bisone, 273 
Bono, Placido del, 279 
Bonsignori da Verona, 177, 180 
Bordone, Paris, 178 
Borgia, Cesare, 213 

Lucrezia, 114 
Borgognone, 264 

his work at Bergamo, 170, 
176, 177, 181 

his work in Milan, 115, 121, 

his work at Pavia, 141, 143, 

Borgo S. Donnino, 68, 263, 266, 

Bormio, 42 

Borromean Islands, the, 33 
Borromeo, Cardinal Federigo, 

family, the, 34, 42, 75 
Boschetti, Isabella, 216 
Boston, 179 

Botticelli, Sandro, his work in 
Bergamo, 179 
his work in Milan, 115, 

his work at Piacenza, 253 
Botticini, Francesco, 179, 296 
Bourbon, Constable, 73, 220 
Bozzolo, 220 

Braccio da Montone, 174 
Bragaglia, the, 39 
Bragerio, Bartolino, 226 
Bramante d' Urbino, his work 
in Como, 50 
his work in Milan, 73, 92, 107, 

112, 115 
his work in Piacenza, 251, 

school of, 158, 236 
Bramantino, 146 
Breakspear, Nicholas, 186 
Brenner Pass, the, 16, 17 note 
Brescia, 64 note, 68, 70, 145, 
Attila at, 24 
Cenomani in, 6 
churches and pictures of, 

history of, 185-187, 195, 224 
painters of, 123 
Brescian Alps, 183 



Brioschi, Bernardino de, 1 46 
Brivio, Francesco, 122 
Bronzino, 180 
Brunate, 49 
Bninichildis, 162 
Brusasorci, 197, 212 
Brutus, Marcus, 222, 269, 283 
Buonacolsi, the, in Mantua, 

208, 212, 289 
Busentino, the, 94 
Busi, Giovanni, his work in 

Bergamo, 177, i8i 
Busseto, 265 
Busti, Agostino, his work in 

Milan, 102, 103, 107 
Butinone, his work in Milan, 

121, 122 
Byron, Lord, 37 

Cadalo, Bishop, 269, 270, 272 

Cadenabbia, 39, 46 

Cadeo, 265 

Cagliari, 158, 159 

Caleppio, 184 

Calisto, 197 

Calisto Piazza da Lodi, 236, 

Calvisano, 216 
Cambray, 186 
Campania, battle of, 25 
Camperio. Giacomo da, 226 
Campi, Bernardo, 286 

Giulio of Cremona, 228- 

233, 295 
Campiglione, Giovanni da, 172, 

Campione, Bonnino di, 159 

his work in Milan, 97, 107 
Campione, Enrico da, 291 
Campione, Matteo di, 50, 159 

his work at Monza, 164, 
Campione, Ugo da, 173, 174 
Campori Collection, the, 292 
Cane, Facino, 69 
Caninius Rufus, 46 
Cannae, battle of, 11 
Cannobbio, 36, 49 
Canossa, Henry iv. at, 270. 

Countess Matilda, 208, 209, 
269, 270, 289, 290, 297, 

Canossa, Counts of, 208, 209, 

289, 298 
Azzo, 298 
Bonifazio, 298, 300 
Sigifredo, 298 
Tebaldo, 298 
Canterbury, 303 
Cantvi, quoted, 166 note 
Capolago, 29 
Caracci, Ludovico, 250 
Caracciolo, Cardinal Marino, 

Caravaggio, Benedetto, 177 
Carducci, 199 
Carelli, Marco, 102 
Cariani, his work in Bergamo, 

176, 177, 181 
Carinus, 96 
Carlo Alberto of Piedmont, 

28, 78. 219 
Carlos, Don, King of Naples, 

271, 276 
Carmagnola, 70 
Caroline of Brunswick, Queen, 

Caroto, Francesco, 176, 180, 

212, 296 
Carpaccio, his work in Milan, 

school of, 177 
Carpi, Girolamo da, 295 
Carponetti, 299 
Carrara, Conte Giacomo, 176 
Carraresi, the, 68 note, 69 
Carrocci, Agostino, 279 
Carthaginians, the, in conflict 

with Rome, 11, 12 
Carthusian Order, the, 136, 137 
Cartwright, Julia, Isabella d' 

Este, 210 note, 213 note, 

Casalano, Bishop Sicardo, 2 
Casale Pusterlengo, 243 
Casalmaggiore, 232, 233 
Casio, Girolamo, his work in 

Milan, 123 
Cassano, Bridge of, 186 
Castello Costa di Mezzate, 184 
Malpaga, 183 
Marcaria, 220 
Castellucchio, 220 
Castiglione d' Olona, 35, 52-56, 

204, 205 




jtiglione, Baldassare , 213, 

; Cardinal Branda da, 54, 55 

family, the, 54 

istignola, 31, 39 
'Catena, 296 
Cathari, the, 95, 131 -5 
Cato the elder, on the Gauls, 6 
Catullus, birth of, 18 

quoted, 185, 197-199 
Cavazzola, 181 
Cavour in Stresa, 32 

quoted, 204 
Cellini, Benvenuto, 180, 220 
Cenomani, the, 6-13, 185, 207 
Certosa of Pavia, 136-147 
Cesano, 52 

Charlemagne, coronation of, 

invades Italy, 149-152, 157, 
165, 269' 

re-establishes the Empire, 4, 
16, 27, 28, 59, 60 
Charles 11., 272 
Charles iii., 272 
Charles iv., 153 
Charles v., coronation of, 166 

in Milan, 74, 75 

invades Italy, 44, 153, 220, 
265, 285 
Charles vi.. Emperor, 76 
Charles viii. invades Italy, 73- 

75, 280-2 
Charles Albert, 28, 78, 219 
Charles Emmanuel iii., 76 
Charles of Anjou, 247 
Charterhouse, London, 138 
Chartreuse, Grande, 136, 137 
Chiaravalle, 128-136, 155 

della Columba, 265 
Chiavenna, 42, 43 
Childebert, King of Austrasia, 

Chiudino, 184 

Chiusi, sacked by the Gauls, 9 
Chlodosinda, 162 
Christianity the soul of armies, 

Chrysopolis, 269 
Ciano, 297, 298, 300 
Cicero, 259 note, 289 
Cildo, 300 
Cima, his work in Bergamo, 180 

Cima, his work in Milan, 124 
his work in Modena, 296 
his work at Parma, 277 
Cisa Pass, the, 280 
Cisalpine Gaul. See Lom- 
bardy. Plain of 
Republic, 76, 77 
Cistercian Order, the, 129, 130, 

Citeaux, 129 
Civerchio, 181, 197, 236 

his work at Brescia, 188, 192, 
Clairvaux, S. Bernard at, 128, 

Claudian, quoted, 40 
Claudius, Caius, 289 

Emperor, constructs the 
Brenner Pass, 16 
Clement vii.. Pope, 75, 278 
Clementi, Bartolommeo, 285, 
286, 292 
Prospero, 211, 285, 286 
Clugny, Hugh, Abbot of, 299, 

Cluniac Abbot of Molesme, 

Robert, 129, 136 
Cluny, 129 
Clusium. See Chiusi 
Cocai, Merlin, 198 
Codogno, 143 
Col di Tenda, 32 
Colico. 39, 40, 41, 43 
Colleoni, Bartolommeo, 1 74, 

175, 183 
Cologne, Cathedral, 65 note, 

95, 136 
Columbus, Christopher, at 

Pavia, 157 
Comabbio, 53 
Commachio, 27 
Commune, the, rise of, 60-62 
Como, 31, 39. 40. 45. 49, 63, 

68, 224 
Duomo of, 49-51 
S. Fedele, 155 
taken by Rome, 12 
Concordia, 24 
Conegliano, 252 
Conrad the Salic, 152, 302 
Conrad 11., 269 
Consentia, 94 
Constance, Diet of, 239 



Constance, Peace of, 66, 167, 

251, 270, 284 
Constance, Queen of Bohemia, 

Constantine, Emperor, 289 
crosses the Alps, i6 
m Milan, 19, 58 
Constantinople, 20 
Cordoba, Gonsalvo da, 73 
Corenno, 31, 42 
Corio, 73 

Correggio, his work in Mantua, 
his work in Milan, 125 
his work in Modena, 294 
his work in Parma, 268, 

school of, 287 
Correggio family, the, 68 note, 
Giberto da, 270 
Cortemaggiore, 265 
Corteolona, 152 
Cortine, 199 
Cossa, his work in Milan, 119, 

Costa, Lorenzo, his work in 
Mantua, 211, 213, 214 
his work in Milan, 119, 120 
Cotignola, 71, 104 
Cottian Alps, passes of, 16, 

17 note 
Cottius, Prince of Susa, 16 
Credi, Lorenzo di, 179 
Crema, 64 note, 68, 171, 234 
history of, 224, 238 
pictures of, 236 
Cremona, 26, 63, 68, 171, 207, 
250, 272, 295 
buildings of, 225-233 
Cenomani in, 6 
history of, 10-13, 67, 221- 
225, 232, 238-240, 244, 
school of painting, 181, 229 
Crespi, 147 

Crivelli, Carlo, his work in 
Bergamo, 177 
his work in Milan, 124 
Crivelli, Lucrezia, 107 
Crowe and Cavalcaselle, History 
of Painting in Italy, 
quoted, 55, 230 

Curtatone, 219 

Cust, Mr., on Sodoma, 286 

Custozza, battle of, 78 

Dante, 299 

Danube, the, 21 

Delia Torre, family of, at 
Milan, 67 

Desenzano, 197, 198, 200 

Desiderius, King, 149-151, 165, 

Desio, 67 

Dickens, Charles, on Mantua, 
206, 207 

Diocletian, Emperor, his parti- 
tion of the Empire, 19, 

Dolabella, P. Cornelius, defeats 
the Senones, 7 

Domenico, Fra, 96 

Domodossola, 32 

Donatello, his work in Ber- 
gamo, 182 
school of, 107, 1 1 8, 119 

Dossi, Battista, 295 

Dossi, Dosso, 125 

his work in Mantua, 213 
his work in Modena, 291, 

294. 295 
Dresden, 253 
Drusus, 16, 148 
Duccio, Agostino di, 116, 291 

Edward hi., 69 
Elizabeth, Queen, 249 
Embriachi, Baldassare degli, 

Emilia, province of, 4, 76, 243, 

262, 289 
Erasmus, 278 
Eremitani di S. Agostino, the, 

Erri, Agnolo and Bartolommeo, 


Escorial, the, 140 

Este, the, of Ferrara, 69, 
Alfonso d', 295 
Azzo d', 302 
Beato Contardo d', 295 
Beatrice d', 72, 130, 144 
Ercole iii. d', 284. 295 
Francis d', portrait of, 296 



J, Isabella d', in Mantua, 
Leonello d', 180 
Niccol6 d', 271, 284, 300 
Obizzo d', 289 
Etruscans, the, in Lombardy, 5 
march on Rome, 8 
Eugene of Savoy, Prince, 76 
Everelina, 300 

Ezzelino da Romano, 67, 167 
at Brescia, 186 
at Cremona, 225 
at Mantua, 208 

Fabriano, 126 
Faesulae. See Fiesole 
Fano, 27 
Farinata, 212 
Farinati, Paolo, 201 
Farnese, the, 243, 271, 276, 
Alessandro, 249, 277 
Ottavio, 249, 271, 276 
Pierluigi, lord of Parma and 
Piacenza, 248, 249, 253, 
Ranuccio, 249, 271, 276 
Federigo 11. of Mantua, 216, 

Ferdinand, King of Naples, 280 
Ferramola, 197, 236 

his work at Brescia, 188, 
Ferrara, 27, 252 
the Este of, 69 
Lingones in, 6 
Peace of, 186 
Ferrarese school of painting, 

119. 177, 293 
Ferrari, Gaudenzio, his work 
in Lombardy, 36, 51, 
56, 123, 143 
Fidentia, 266 
Fiesole, battles at, 9, 23 
Fino, 52 

Fiordibelli, Giroldo, 285 
Fiorentino, Pier Francesco, 179 
Fiorenza di Lorenzo, i8o 
Fiorenzuola, 265 
Flaminian Way, 10, 262 
Flaminius, C, 9 
Florence, at war with Milan, 
69, 71 

Florence, Certosa, 138 

expels the Medici, 108 

Or San Michele, 158 

S. Casciano, 96 
Foix, Gaston de, 73, 74, 107, 

115, 153, 186 
Folengo, Teofilo, 198 
Fontaines, 260 
Fontana, 146 

Fredda, 265 
Foppa, Vincenzo, his influence, 

his work at Bergamo, 176, 

177, 181 
his work at Brescia, 188, 

192, 193 
his work in Milan, 97, 121 
Forli, 96 
Fornovo, 74 

battle of, 279-282 
Foro di S. Alessandro, 171 
Francesca, Piero della, his 
work in Milan, 126, 127 
Francia of Bologna, 120, 277 
Franciabigio, 296 
Francis i. defeated at Pavia, 


invades Italy, 43, 107, 247 

occupies Milan, 74 
Francis v., 292 
Franks invade Italy, 25, 28 
Frederick 11., 270 

besieges Brescia, 186 

in Cremona, 225 

threatens Milan, 67 
Fredi, Maestro, 172 
Freundesberg, 7 
Friuli, 26, 152 
Frizzoni, Signor, 178 
Fromentone of Vicenza, 189 
Fronto, Cornelius, 259 

Gabloneta, Rufino, 286 
Gaddi, Agnolo, 179 
Gaiseric invades Italy, 24 
Galerani, Cecilia, 107 
Galileo, 114 
Galla Placidia, Empress, 94, 

Gallic wars, the, 5 
Gallio, Marchese Giacomo, 

Gattamelata, 175 



Gatti, Bernardo, 228 

Garda, 202, 203 

Gardner, Edmund, quoted, 

Gardone, 201 
Gargnano, 201 

Garibald, Duke of the Bavar- 
ians, 163 
Garibaldi at Solferino, 204 
Garofalo, 295 

Gauls invade Lombardy, 5 
Gazza, Bartolommeo, 233 
Geneva, lake of, 40 
Genoa, 12, 14, 204 

Duchess of, 32 
Gentile da Fabriano, school 
of, 117 

his work in Milan, 126 
George iv,, 49 
Gera, 9 

Germanicus, Emperor, 148 
Ghibellines, Guelphs at war 
with, 67, 68, 208, 224, 
Ghirlandi, Fra Vittore, 176 
Giarola, 281 

Gibbon, Edward, quoted, 16 
Giolfino, Niccold, 181 
Giorgione, school of, 125, 177, 

Giotto, 233 

his influence in Milan, 116, 
117, 120, 179 
Giovio, Paolo, 46, 217 
Girolamo dai Libri, i8i 
Gisalberto, Abbot, 97 
Gisulphus, 265 
Gmiind, Arler di, 99 
Goito, 205 

Gonzaga family, the, 68 note, 

at Mantua, 208-218 

Barbara, 215 

Ercole, 287 

Federigo, 215-217 

Ferdinando, 209 

Francesco, 215-217, 219 

Guglielmo, 212 

Guido, 208 

Ludovico, 215 

Luigi, 208, 209, 284 

tombs of, 220 
Gorlago, 184 

Gotard. 255-258 
Goths invade Italy, 19 
Gottesaldi, 275 
Gozzoli, Benozzo, 126 
Graian Alps, 6, 16, 17 note 
Gratian, 269, 284 
Gravedona, 31, 41, 43 
Graziosa, Bishop, 269 
Grazzano, 258 
Great St. Bernard Pass, 6, 16, 

17 note, 150 
Gregorio, Bishop of Bergamo, 

Gregory vii.. Pope, at Canossa, 

164-168, 297 
Grenoble, 136 
Gries Pass, 16 
Griffo, Leonardo, his work at 

Castiglione, 55 
Grisons, the, 37, 42, 43 
Grotte, 199 
Grumello, 184 
Gualtiero of Cremona, Bishop, 

Guardasone, 300 
Guardi, 178 
Guarnerius, 233 
Guastalla, 270, 272, 287 
Guelphs. See Ghibellines 
Guercino, 250 
Guicciardini, 281 note 
Guido, Archbishop, 56, 62 
Guglielmina, heresies, of 96, 

Gundiberg, 165 

Hadrian, Emperor, 16 

Hadrian iv.. Pope, 149-152, 186 

Hals, Franz, 182 

Hamilcar, 12 

Handel, 115 

Hannibal, his invasion of Italy, 

3, 10-12, 16, 148, 221, 

222, 244, 288, 298 
Harding, Stephen, 129 
Hasdrubal, defeat of, 11, 12 
Haynau, 187 
Henry 11., Emperor, 152 
Henry ill., Emperor, 269, 298 
Henry iv., Emperor, at Canossa, 

270, 297-303 
Henry vii., Emperor, 68, 167, 





Herulian revolt, the, 24 
Hildebrand, Pope, 61, 62, 297, 

299, 302 
Hinton Charterhouse, 147 
Hippo, 24, 158, 159 
Holbein, 278 
Honorius, Emperor, 94, 189 

flees from Milan, 19, 23, 59 
Honorius 11., Pope, 269 
Hunnish invasion of Italy, 24 

Iberian troops, Hannibal's, 10, 

lUyrian tribes, 15 
II Medeghino, 42-44 
Inalpini, the, 5, 15 
Innocent ii., Pope, 250 
Innocent iv.. Pope, 96 
Insubres, the, 6-13, 58, 222 
Intra, 34, 35 
Isabella Clara Eugenia of 

Spain, 278 
Iseo, 197 
Isola Bella, 33, 34 

Comacina, 46, 47, 50 

dei Pescatori, 33 

Madre, 33, 34 
Isolfo, Bishop, 209 
Isonzo, the, 25 

Italy, its relation to Europe, 3 
Ivrea, 152 

John of Bohemia, 270 
John XXII., Pope, 270 
Joseph II., Emperor, 139, 158 
Julia, 266 

Julian Alps, the, 19, 20, 23, 26 
7ulier Pass, the, 16, 17 note 

[ulius II., 74 

fungfrau, the, 32 

[ustina, Empress, 86 

fustinian, Emperor, 25 

fuvara, 210 

Lago di Bolsena, battle of, 8 
Como, 31, 39, 45, 53 
Garda, 4, 196-203, 298 
Iseo, 196 
Lecco, 39 
Lugano, 30, 37 
Maggiore, 31 
Monate, 32 
Orta, 31 

Lago Superiore, 219 

Varese, 32, 53 
Lake Vadimon, 8 
Lampadms, 189 
Lampagnani, 72 
Lanfranc, Archbishop of Can- 
terbury, 157, 290 
Lannoy, 73 

Latium, Gallophobia in, 7 
La Turbie, 15 
Lautrec, 73, 153 
Laveno, 35 
Lazise, 203 
Lecco, 39, 40, 43-45 

Count of, 42-44 
Lechi, 200 
Le Fosse, 223 
Legnano, battle of, 66 
Leinster, 259 
Le Isole, 223 
Lendinaria, Cristoforo da, 292, 

Lenno, 41, 46 
Leo, Pope, turns back Attila, 

21, 24, 203, 248, 271 
Leoben, 203 

Leoni, Leone, his tomb of II 
Medeghino, 44 

his work in Milan, 102 
Lepontine Alps, 16 
Leyva, Antonio de, 73, 75 
Lezzono, 46 

Liberale, his work in Milan, 

school of, 180, 181 
Libyan troops, Hannibal's, 11 
Licinius Sera, 48 
Lierna, 44 
Ligures, the, 10 
Liguria, province of, 5 
Limone, 202 
Limonta, 44 
Lingones, the, 6, 9 
Lippi, Fra Lippo, 179 
Little St Bernard Pass, 6, 
17 note 

Hannibal crosses by, 10, 16 
Liutprand, King, 159' 
Livy, quoted, 5, 7, 58 
Locarno, 31, 36 
Loches, 144 
Lochis, Conte, 176 
Lodi, 224 



Lodi, Bishop of, 28 

Lodi, churches of, 241, 242 

history of, 63, 65, 68, 237- 

Vecchio, 237 
Lombard architecture, 154 

League, 65, 66, 224, 251, 

school of painting, 116 
Lombards, the, invade Italy, 

20, 26-28, 47, 64 
Lombardy, plain of, 5, 18 

iron crown of, 162, 165-168 

its ethnography, 3 

its relation to Italy, 2, 3, 

Longhi, Pietro, 180 
Lorenzetti, Pietro, 127 
Lorenzo da Pavia, 213 
Lo Spagna, 127 
Lothair, King of Italy, at 

Milan, 60 
Lotto, Lorenzo, 183, 184 

his work at Bergamo, 169, 
170, 176, 178 

his work in Milan, 125 
Louis VII., 129 
Louis XII., 74, 153, 271 
Louis of Bavaria, 68, 208, 270 
Louise of Savoy, 153 
Lovere, 197 
Lozza, 54 
Lucca, 175 
Lucifer, Bishop, 85 
Lucius III., Pope, 290 
Lucius Furius, 222 
Ludovico il Moro, portrait of, 

143. 144 
Lugano, 29, 31, 38, 39, 42 
Luino, 31, 35-37 
Luini, Bernardo, his work in 
Como, 51 
his work in Lugano, 39 
his work in Luino, 36 
his work in Milan, 115, 123 
his work at Pavia, 141, 143, 


his work in Saronno, 56 

his school, 181 
LuneviUe, Peace of, 284 
Luther, Martin, 36 
Luxeuil, 260 
Lyons, 77 

Maderno, 146, 201 
Madonna del Frassine, 203 

del Monte, 53 

della Pace, 45 

del Sasso, 36 

del Soccorso, 46 
Magenta, battle of, 79, 204 
Maggia, the, 32 
Maggiore, 38 
Magi, tomb of the, 65 note, 

Mago, 12, 246 
Maguzzano, 198 
Malaguzzi, Valerio, 285 
Malatesta, Pandolfo, 171 
Malcesine, 202 
Malpaga, Castle of, 183 
Manerba, 200 
Manichees, the, 131 
Manlius, Lucius, 245 
Mantegazza, Antonio and 

Cristoforo, 142 
Mantegna, Andrea, 176, 180 

his work in Mantua, 210, 
213, 215, 218 

his work in Milan, 118, 119 
Mantegna, Francesco, his work 

in Mantua, 210 
Mantovano, Rinaldo, 218 
Mantua, 120, 254, 303 

churches of, 209-212 

forlomness of, 206, 218 

history of, 5, 6, 26, 68 note, 
69, 203, 207-209, 219 

Marquis of, 282 

palaces of, 212-218 

Virgil's birthplace, 206, 208 
Manzone, Fabio, his work in 

Milan, 114 
Marcellus, M. Claudius, 9 

Marcus, 58 
Marches, the, 262 
Marchigiani, the, 233 
Marcignago, 63 
Marenzio, 237, 274 
Maria Luisa, Empress, 271 
Maria Theresa, Empress, 158 
Marignano, battle of, 74, 141, 

Mariotto. Bernardino, i8o 
Maritime Alps, Coast Road, 16, 

17 note 
Marius, 21, 266 




[arlborough, John, Duke of, 

[armirolo, 205 
' iroggia, 50 
[arseilles, 14, 151, 264 
Martial, 269 

Martinenghi, the. 183, 200 
Masolino, his work at Castig- 

lione, 54, 55 
Mattei, Cristoforo de', 145 
Mavino, 199, 200 
Maxentius, 289 
Maximian, Emperor, 266 
Maximilian, Archduke, 78 

Emperor, 72, 280 
Maximus Hercules, in Milan, 19, 

Mayfreda, Papessa, 133, 134 
Mazzardi family, the, 36 
Mazzolino, 230 
Meda, Giuseppe, his work in 

Milan, 114 
Medea, 175 

Medici family, the, 44, 108 
Alessandro de', 180 
Gabriele de', 102 
Gian Giacomo, 42-44 
Giovanni Angelo, 42 
Giuliano de', 179 
II Medeghino, 42-4, 102 
Lorenzo de', 213 
Mediolanian. See Milan 
Medo, 58 
Mddole, 205 
Melone, 227 
Melpum, 5 
Melzi, the, 77, 142 
Menaggio, 37, 39, 44, 45 
Merula, 73 
Metaurus, the, 11 
Metellus, L. Caecilius, relieves 

Arezzo, 7 
Metz, 152 

Michelangelo, 213, 271, 285 
Michele da Verona, his work 

in Milan, 125 
Michelozzo, his work in Milan, 

95. 97. 107 
Milan, Ambrosian Library, 114, 


Austrian rule in, 76-79 
Borromean influence in, 75, 

Milan, Brera, 107, 1 18-127 
Castello of the Sforza, 104- 

108, 121 
commercial importance of, 

80, 116, 
destroyed by Goths, 24, 25, 

Duomo, 44, 70, 77, 98-103, 

139, 144 
her relations with Cremona, 

224, 238 
history of, 9, 15, 19, 24, 58- 

II Medeghino of, 42-44, 102 
Insubres in, 6, 9 
in the Cinquecento, 113-116 
Napoleon i., in, 76, 77, 203 
Palazzo della Ragione, 97 
power of the bishops in, 60- 

rebuilt by Bishop Anspert, 60 
republic of, 62-64, ^6, 71 
Roman columns, 81, 82, 

S. Ambrogio, 82, 86-91, 93, 

115, 155, 168 
S. Ambrose, Bishop of, 83-91 
S, Babila, 97 

S. Carlo, Archbishop of, 34 
S. Eustorgio, 95-97, 121, 

SS. Gervasius and Protasius, 

S. Lorenzo, 91-95 
S. Maria delle Grazie, 108- 

113, 144 
S. Nazaro, 104 
S. Satiro, 97, 112 
S. Vincenzo in Prato, 97 
S. Vittore, 88 
under the Sforza, 71-74, 103- 

108, 113 
under the Visconti, 67-70 
Mirandola, 297 
Modena, 204, 225, 238, 243, 

247, 263, 283 
Albergo Arti, 292-296 
Bishop of, 28 
buildings of, 290-292 
Duchy of, 4, 5 
history of, 10, 13, 24, 27, 268, 

284, 288-290 
Treaty of, 167 



Molesme, Abbot of , 129, 136 
Molza, Francesco, 292 
Mommsen, Theodor, quoted, 10 

note, 15 note, i6, 246 
Monaco, 15 
Monaco, Lorenzo, his work in 

Bergamo, 179 
Monate, 53 
Mongiovanni, 299 
Monselice, 26 

Montagna, Bartolommeo, 146, 

his work in Bergamo, 127 

his work in Milan, 125 
Montalto, Barbara di, 37 
Mont Cenis, the, 16, 150, 302 
Monte Cassino, 259 

Cervano, 53 

del Castello, 184 

Generoso, view from, 29-31, 
37, 38, 57 
Monteghezzone, 241 
Monte Lucio, 299 

Motterone, 32, 35 

Rosa, 32, 53, 171 

Salvatore, 39 

Vecchio, 299 

Viso, 32, 53, 171 
Montferrat, Marquis of, 68 note, 

69, 217 
Mont Gen^vre Pass, 16, 17 

Mont' Isola, 196 
Montpelier, 253 
Monza, 59, 65 note 

coronations in, 162, 165-168 

history of, 162, 165, 167 

S. John Baptist, 164-168 

S. Michele, 250 

Theodolinda at, 162-167 
Moore, Sturge, Correggio, 278 

Morcote, 31, 39, 
Morelli, Giovanni, 178 

on Pordenone, 252 
Moretto, his work in Bergamo, 
176, 177, 181, 184 

his work at Brescia, 188, 190- 

his work in Milan, 123 
Morigia, Buonincontro, 164 
Morignano, Marquis of, 42-44 
Moro, Antonio, 277 

Morone, Domenico, 181, 197, 

Moroni, Francesco, his work in 

Bergamo, 170, 176, 181 
his work in Milan, 115, 123, 

Moroni, Giovanni Battista, 184, 

Mozzanica, battle of, 71 
Muratori on Guglielmina, 131 

note, 132 note, 135 
Musso, Marquis of, 42-44 
Mutina. See Modena 

Nani, Sebastiano, 226 
Naples, 27 

Charles viii. claims, 73, 74 
Napoleon i., 278 

at Pavia, 154 

coronation of, 166 

crosses the Alps, 16, 76, 77 

defeats the Austrians, 202, 
203, 241, 242 

enters Milan, 76, 77, 100 

in Mantua, 203, 214 
Napoleon iii. enters Milan, 79 
Narbonne, 94 
Narses, 25, 27, 223 
National Gallery, London, 142, 

143, 287 
Naviglio, the, 64 
Nero, C. Claudius, defeats Has- 

drubal, 11 
Nesso, 47 

Newman, Cardinal, 90 
Niccold da Fohgno, 180 
Nice, 202 
Nicolaus, 290 
Niel, Marshal, 205 
Nobiallo, 45 
Novara, 64 note, 68, 74, 114, 

Novellara, 287, 297, 
Nufenen Pass, the, 16 

Odoacer, crushed by Thco- 

doric, 24, 25 
Olano, 58 

Oldrado da Lampugnano, 144 
Olger, Kmg, 150 
Olgiate, 52 
Olgiati, 72 
Ombrone, the, 9 



izio, Pomponeo, 205 

L. 31. 39 

rsenigo, Simone da, 98, 99 

rsi, Bernardino, 287 

Lelio, 286, 287, 297 
Ortler, the, 32 
Orto, Pietro dell', 56 
Orvieto, 26 

Ostrogoths invade Italy, 19, 24 
Otho, Emperor, 298 
Othoi., 152 
Otho III., 1 66 

Paderno, 225 

Padua, Arena Chapel, 233 

burnt by Attila, 24 

seized by the Lombards, 26 

S. Giustina, 118 

under the Carraresi, 68 note, 
Paduan school of art, 118 
Palavicini, Oberto, 67 
Palazzuola, 184 
Paleologa, Maria, 217 
Palestrina, 237 
Palladio, 189 
Pallanza, 34 

Pallavicini, the, 265, 270 
Pallavicino, Uberto, 247 
Palma Giovane, 201 
Palma Vecchio, school of, 127 

his work in Bergamo, 1 78 
Palomino, 296 
Paola da Modena, Fra, 294 
Paolo, Giovanni di, 296 
Papus, L. iEmilius, 9 
Parenzano, Bernardo, 230 
Paris, S. Denis, 140 
Parkminster, 138 
Parma, 164, 204, 224, 225, 238, 
263, 264 

bishop of, 28, 266, 269 

Correggio's work at, 272-279 

Duomo, 272 

history of, 6, 13, 25, 247, 248, 
268-272, 284 

province of, 4, 5 
Parmigianino, 276, 278 
Parmigiano, 197 
Patarini, the, 62, 200 
Pater, Walter, 236 
Paul III., 248, 249, 265, 271, 
279, 285 

Paul v., Pope, 34 
Pavia, 240, 247, 250 

Certosa, 102, 136-147 

churches of, 158-161 

Duomo, 157 

history of, 24, 26, 43, 69, 
74, 148-154, 237-239 

rivals Milan, 59, 64, 65, 
66 note 

S. Michele Maggiore, 152, 

154-157. 172, 173 
Stilicho at, 23 
University of, 146, 154, 


Pax Romana, the, 17 

Pellegrino, Galeazzo, 145 

Pennine Alps, the, passes of, 6 
16, 17 note 

Perugia, 26, 107 

Perugino, Pietro, 127, 277 
his work in Cremona, 231 
his work in Pavia, 142 

Pesaro, 27 

Peschiera Maraglio, 24, 196, 

Pesellino, Francesco, 127, 179 

Petrarch, 114, 300, 301 
in Mantua, 209, 214 
in Pavia, 157 

Piacenza, 67, 68, 149, 222, 224, 
237, 238, 263, 283 
Abbess Giovanna da, 279 
buildings of, 248-253 
history of, 6, 10-13, 26, 27, 

71, 243-249, 270, 271 
S. Roch at, 253-258 

Piccinino, 105 

Pico, 297 

Piedmont and Ligufia, 5 note 

Piedmont, province of, 4, 5 

Piermarini, his work in Milan, 

Piombo, Sebastian del, 278 
Pisa, 9 

Council of, 128 
Pisanello of Verona, 1 80 

his work in Milan, 117, 120, 
Pisogne, 197 
Pius II., Pope, 220 
Pius IV., Pope, 42, 102 
Placentia. See Piacenza 
Platina, 228 



Pliny on Como, i8, 40, 41, 42, 

45-49. 51 

on Pavia, 148 

quoted, 5, 196, 197, 237 
Po, the river, 3, 4, 20, 243, 244 
Pola, Bishop of, 193 
Poland, King of, 253 
Poliziano, Angelo, 215 
PoUentia, battle of, 23 
Polli, Bartolommeo dei, 145 
Polybius, quoted, 7, 9, 13 
Pompey, 16, 283 
Ponte di Cassano, 67 
Pontenure, 264 
Pontida, 65 
Pontormo, 179 
Pontremoli, 68, 232. 281 
Porato, Giacomo, 226 
Porcia, Conte Antonio, 125 
Pordenone, 228, 265 

Castel Porcia, 125 

his work in Piacenza, 252 
Porlezza, 39 
Porta, Girolamo della, 104 

Paolo, 56 
Portinari, Pigallo dei, 97 
Porto Mantovano, 205 

Tresa, 37 
Pozzo Bianco, 176 
Pozzolengo, 204, 205 
Predis, Ambrogio de, 115, 122, 

Previtale, 176 

Punic War, Second, 12, 245, 

QuATTRO Castella, the, 299 
Querela, 182 
Quirino, Filippo, 300 

Radagaisus invades Italy, 23 
Radetzky, 78, 187 
Ramperto, Bishop, 190 
Rangoni, Ugo, Bishop of 

Reggio, 285 
Raphael, 236, 271, 

his Sistine Madonna, 253 
his work in Bergamo, 1 76 
his work in Milan, 115, 120, 
Ravenna, 103 
as a capital, 19, 23, 24, 25, 
27. 59 

Ravenna, battle of, 153, 186, 
187, 247 
Stilicho at, 23 
S. Vitale, 92, 94 
Recared of Spain, 162 
Reformation, the, 36 
Reggio, 238, 247, 263, 270 
history of, 283, 284 
buildings and pictures of, 
Regulus, L. Atilius, defeats 

Gaul, 9 
Rembrandt, 127, 182 
Repubblica Cispadana, 285 
Rhaetian Alps, the, 15, 16, 

17 note 
Rheims, 136 
Rienzi, 186 
Rimini, 244, 262, 293 

held by Rome, 8, 10, 13, 

Senones in, 6 
S. Roch at. 254 
Rinaldus, Archbishop, 95 
Ripari, 230 
Riva. 202 
Rivergaro, 258 
Rivoli, battle of, 202, 203 
Robert of Anjou, 68 
Roberti, Ercole, 230, 293 
his work in Milan, 119, 
Rocca di Frezzo, 174 
Rodari brothers, the, 50 
Romagna, province of, 4, 5, 27, 

76, 262 
Romagnosi, 250 
Roman Empire, apogee of, 
decline and fall of, 17, 19-28 
partition of, 21 
Romanino, his work in Ber- 
gamo, 169, 181, 201 
his work at Brescia, 188, 

his work in Cremona, 227 
his work in Milan, 123, 124 
school of, 227, 236, 241 
Romano, Ezzelino da, 67, 167 
Gian Cristoforo, 146 
Giulio, his work in Mantua, 
211, 212, 213, 216, 218 
school of, 229 



tomans, the, cross the Alps, 
15, 16 

invade and settle Cisalpine 
Gaul, 7-10, 13, 14 
Romanus, Pliny's letter to, 40 
Rome, compared with Milan, 81 

sacks of, 5, 7, 23-25 

Vatican, 115 
Romeo at Mantua, 206, 207 
Romulus Augustulus, 24 
Roncaglia, 240 
Rondinelli, 125 
Rossena, 297, 300 
Rossi, the, 68 note, 270 
Rovegnano, 128, 135 
Rubens, 252 
Rusca, Roberto, 135 

Salinator, M. Livius, 11 
Sallust on the Gauls, 6 
Said, 200, 201 

S. Ambrose, Father of Milan, 
19, 59, 82-89, 102, 103 

quoted, 247, 269, 284, 289 

relics of, 90, 91 
Sammachini of Bologna, 228 
Samnites, the, 7 
Sandro, Amico di, 179 
Sangallo in Milan, 92 
Sansovino, Jacopo, 189, 200 
Santi, Giovanni, 126 
Sanuto, quoted, 281 
San Vitale, the, 270 
S. Apollonio, 190 
Saracens in Sardinia, 159 
Saramita, Andrea, 131, 134 
Sardinia, 9 

Saronno, 36, 52, 56, 57 
Sasso di Ferro, 35 
Satyrus, 84, 85, 88 
S. Augustine, death of, 24 

in Milan, 83, 86 

shrine of, 158-160 
S. Austin in Milan, 87 
Savona, 202 
Savonarola, 108 
Saxe-Meiningen, Duke of, 46 
S. Barnabas, 251 
S. Bartholomew, 102 
S. Benedict, 129, 136, 259 
S. Bernard, 185, 266 

founder of Chiaravalle, 128- 

S. Biagio, 200 
S. Bruno, 136 
Scala, Alberto della, 270 
Scaligers, the, at war with the 
Visconti, 69 
castles of, 186, 200, 202, 203 
Scamozzi, 171, 172 
Scandiano, 288 
S. Candida, 89 
S. Carlo Borromeo, 34, 42, 75, 

113. 114 

tomb of, 103 
S. Caterina del Sasso, 31, 35 
Scipio Africanus, 10 

Cornelius, 9, 58 

Publius, 10, 244, 245 
Scotti, Alberto, 247 
Scotti, the, 68 note 
S. Columban, 259-261 
Scolza, 174 
S. Donnino, 266 
Secchi, Father, 90, 91 
Selvapiana, 301 

Sempronius, Tiberius, 245, 246 
Senigaglia, 6 
Senones, the, 6, 7 
Sentinum, battle of, 7 
Serafini, Serafino de', 291, 294 
Serbelloni, Cecilia, 42 
Seregna, 219 
Seregno, Vincenzo, his work in 

Milan, 113, 114 
Seriate, 183, 184 
Sesia, the, 32 
S. Eustorgius, Archbishop of 

Milan, 95 
Severo, Alberto, 226 
Severus, a butcher, 87 
S. Filastro, 190 
Sforza, the, their rule in Milan, 


Bianca Maria, 107, 115 

Francesco, 247, 271 
career of, 104-106, 232 
employs 11 Medeghino, 42- 

his rule in Milan, 71 
portrait of, 231, 
Galeazzo Maria, 72, 108, 140 

at Pavia, 157, 158 
Gian Galeazzo, 72, 
Ludovico il Moro, 97, 104, 



Sforza, Ludovico il Moro, at 

Pavia, 157 
his rule in Milan, 72-74 
invites Charles viii. into 

Italy. 280 
Sforzino, 276 
Sforzani, Cherubino, 286 
S. Gall, 260 

S. Gervasius, 86, 89, 91 
S. Gimignano, 290, 291 
S, Giovanni, 47 
S. Gotthard Pass, the, 16 
Sherborne, 264 
S. Hugh, 136 
Sicily, 27 
Signorelli, Luca, his work in 

Bergamo, 180 
his work in Milan, 126 
S. Ilario, 283 
Simplon, the, 16, 37 
Sinigaglia, founded by Rome, 8 
Sion, Cardinal, 73 
Sirmione, 197-200 
Siry, Sixtus, 175 
Siviano, 196 

S. Lazzaro, 263, 264, 288, 
S. MarcelUna, 84, 85, 89 
S. Maria delle Grazie, 219, 220 
S. Martin, 89 
S. Martino, 205 
S. Mary Magdalen, 264 
S. Maurizio, 288 
S. Mona of Milan, 44 
Sodoma, 182, 286 
Solari, Andrea, 144, 146 
Cristoforo, 50 

his work in Milan, 102, 123 
his work at Pavia, 144 
Solferino, battlefield of, 194, 

195. 203 
Spani, Bartolommeo, 285 
S. Peter, patrimony of, 27 
S. Peter Martyr, 95, 107 note, 

S. Pietro all' Orto, 131, 134 
Spliigen Pass, the, 16, 39 
Spoleto, 26, 298 
S. Polo, 297, 299 
S. Protasius, 86, 89, 90 
Squarcione of Padua, school of, 

118, 119, 121 
S. Rocco al Porto, 253 
S. Roch, life of, 253-2 58 

S. Satiro, 88 

S. Siro, 157 

Stihcho, 21, 23, 40 

Strabo, Pompeius, quoted, 14, 

15, 237, 262. 263 
Stradivarius, 233 
Street, Mr., quoted, 49, 142 
Stresa, 31-33 

Strozzi, Pietro, tomb of, 2H 
Suetonius, 289 
Sulla, 266 
Suvorov, 76 

Tacitus, quoted, 148, 247 
Taro, the, 281 
Tarquinius Priscus, 5 
Tasso, 114, 209 
Tavernola, 197 
Teietto, 216 
Telamo, battle of, 9 
Templar, the ICnights, 251 
Tennyson, Lord, quoted, 199 
Terzi, Ottobuono, 271 
Theodolinda, Queen, 121, 162- 

167, 194, 260 
Theodoric, Emperor, invades 
Italy, 19, 24-27, 265, 269 

at Monza, 162, 165 

rebuilds Pavia, 149 
Theodosius, Emperor, 59, 94 

absolved by S. Ambrose, 86, 
88, 103 
Thessalonica, 86 
Thrasmund, King, 159 
Tibaldi, Pellegrino, his work in 

Milan, 113, 114 
Ticino, the, 10, 32 ":, 

Ticinum. See Pavia 
Tiepolo, 198, 277 

his work in Bergamo, 1 75, 1 78 ^ 
Tintoretto, his work in Brescia, 

his work in Milan, 125 
Titian, his work in Brescia, ' 

his work in Mantua, 213 

his work at Mddole, 205 

his work in Milan, 125 

on Correggio, 271, 274 
Titus Manlius, tradition of, 7 
Toce river, the, 32 
Toledo, 220 
Tommasso da Modena, 294 



Tommaso of Savoy, Prince, 153 

Torbido, 201, 202 

Torbole, 202 

Torno, 41, 49 

Torre, Martino deila, 67, 167 

Torri, 202 

Torriani, the, 68, 167 

Torriggia, 49 

Tortona, 64, 238, 240 

Toscolano, 201 

Totila, 25, 247 

Tours, 89 

Transpadana, 13, 14 

Trasimenus, battle of, 1 1 

Trebbia, battle of the, 11, 245, 

Tremezzo, 46 
Tremosine, 201 
Trent, 25, 202 
Tresa, the, 32 
Trescore, 184 

Tresseno, Podesta of Milan, 98 
Treviso, 252 
Trezzo, 139 
Trieste, 14 

Triviilzi, tombs of the, 104 
Trivulzio, Antonio, 104 

Gian Giacomo, 104 

Prince, 118 
Trotti, Lorenzo, 226 
Tura, Cosimo, 177 

his work in Milan, 119, 120 

his work in Modena, 293, 294 
Turin, 204, 302 

history of, 245 
Turner, J. M. W., 278 
Tybalt, 206 
Tyrol, the, 77 

Uraias the Goth, 59, 65, 81, 87 
Urbino, Bramante of, 121 

Duchess of, in Mantua, 

Duke Federigo of, 126 
Usualdo, 300 
Utrecht, Peace of, 76 

Val Benedetto, 46 
Valentinian, Emperor, 86, 189 

at Milan, 19, 59 
Val Introgno, 35 
Valtellina, 42, 43 
Vandals, the, invade Italy, 24 

Van Dyck, 277, 296 

his work in MUan, 127 
Varese, 35, 52, 53, 139 
Vasari, 55 

on da Vinci, 108-112 

on Mantua, 218 

on Perugino, 142 

on Sodoma, 182 
Velasquez, his portrait of 

Francis d' Este, 296 
Velleia, 276 
Venegono, 56 
Venetia, province of, 4, 5 

invasions of, 23-27, 77 

its alliance with Rome, 8, 10, 

Venetian school of painting, 

Venice acquires Brescia and 
Bergamo, 186, 187 

at war with Milan, 70, 71 

Barbarossa in, 66 

Colleone statue, 174 

proceeds against Charles viii., 

S. Lazzaro, 264 

S. Maria Nuova, 125 
Venice and Venetia, 5 note, 87 

Venturi, quoted, 286 note 
Vercelli, 10, 68, 245, 301 
Verona, 59, 184, 206 

Alaric at, 23 

Attila at, 24 

Odoacer at, 25 

rival of Pa via, 148 

Scaligers' rule in, 68 note, 

S. Peter Martyr, 95 

taken by the Lombards, 26 
Verone, Giacomo del, 69 
Veronese, Paolo, 194 

school of painting, 118, 125, 
180, 296 
Verrocchio, Andrea, 127, 174 
Versailles, 216 
Vespasian, 188 
Viani, Antonio, 209, 210 
Vicenza, 69 

Attila at, 24 

taken by the Lombards, 26 
Victor Emmanuel, 204, 284 

enters Milan, 79 



Victoria, Queen, 32, 161 
Vida, Monsignore Girolamo, 

Vienna, Congress of, 77, 271 
Vignola, 251 
Villa Arconati, 46 
Villa d' Este, 49 
Villafranca, 79 
Villa Giulia, 44 
Villani, quoted. 66 
Villa Pliniana, 47 
Serbelloni, 40, 41 
Tavema, 49 
Vincent, 254 

Vinci, Leonardo da, 36, 213 
his Cenacolo, 109-113 
his Mona Lisa, 295 
influence of, 56, 181, 182 
in Milan, 73, 92, 107-113, 115 
Virgil, 45, 114, 

at Mantua, 18, 206 
quoted, 217, 222 
Visconti, the, 34, 45, 72, 186 
at Piacenza, 247 
their rule in Milan, 67-70, 
103, 105 
Archbishop Giovanni, 96, 

Archbishop Ottone, 130, 135 
Astorre, 43 
Azzone, 45, 68 
Bemab6, 69, 107, 138, 271, 

Bianca Maria, 231, 232 
Duchess Litta, 125 
FiUppo Maria, 70, 71, 103, 

105, 140, 145, 271 
Galeazzo, 68, 69, 72, 130, 
138, 225 

Visconti, Gaspare, 97 
Giovanni, 68, 138 
Giovanni Galeazzo, 106, 107, 

builds the Duomo, 98 
his affection for Pavia, 

138-141, 148, 153, 157 
his rule in Milan, 69 
Giovanni Maria, 70, 95 
Luchino, 68, 271 
Matteo, 68, 69, 138, 167 
Otto, 67 
Ottone, 102 
Stefano, 97 
Uberto, 67 
Visigothic invasion of Italy, 

Viti, Timoteo, his work in 

Milan, 120 
Vivarini, the, 180 
Alvise, 124, 296 
Volpi, Ambrogio, 145 
Volturnia, 223 

Voragine on S. Roch, 253-258 
Vuolvinio, 90 

Wenceslaus, Emperor, 145 
Westminster Abbey, 140 
Whistler, J. M'N., 122 
Wiligelmus, 290 
Wiirtemberg, Duke of, 215 

Ypres, 249 

Zaccagni, Bernardino, 275 
Zacchetti, Bernardino, 286 note 
Zama, battle of, 1 2 
Zenale, his work in Milan, 122 
Zxirich, 185 

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