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vegetation, and the sky are all Italian ; even the people are
The principal buildings in the town are the churches, and
The market at Locarno, held once a fortnight, is frequented by the natives of the neighbouring valleys from far and near, and exhibits a singular mixture of costumes.
The traveller will be surprised to hear that in this little paltry town the distinctions of rank are more punctiliously observed than in many of the great European capitals. No less than seven grades or castes are numbered among its inhabitants. At the head stand the signors (nobili); next to them the borghesi, or burghers ; below them the cultivators, terrieri, or old landholders: these 3 classes have the right of pasture on the common lands, an almost worthless privilege, owing to the neglect into which they have fallen. Below these, as to privileges, rank the oriondi (settlers from the villages), and the sessini; and the quatrini and mensualisti, foreign settlers.
The decay of the prosperity of the town is traced to the intolerance of its Romish inhabitants, who, instigated by their priests, compelled those among their fellow-citizens who had adopted the reformed faith to emigrate. In March, 1553, 116 persons, including women and children, who had refused to purchase the privilege of remaining by the sacrifice of their religion, were banished by a decree of the Swiss diet, and quilted their homes for ever, With them went industry and prosperity; they settled at Zurich, transferring thither the manufacture of silk, which is now of such vast commercial importance to that city. The day after the sentence of exile bad been pronounced the papal nuncio arrived with two inquisitors : he indignantly objected to the mildness of the sen
tence, and urged the deputies of the diet, under pain of the pope's displeasure, lo couple with it confiscation of the goods of the heretics and separation of them from their children, in order that they might be educated as papists. To this demand, however, the deputies did not yield obedience. The doctrines of the Reformation were preached here first by Beccaria, a Milanese monk, about 1534 : he was soon expelled, and took refuge in the Val Misocco.
The criminal statistics of the district around Locarno show a large amount of crime in proportion to the number of inhabitants. The neighbouring valley of Verzasca is in evil repute for the number of assassinations committed in it. Bonstetten, who travelled through it in 1795, says that the men all wear at their girdle, behind, a knife a foot long, called falciuolo, to kill one another. He states that the average number of law-suits among a population of 17,000 souls was 1000 yearly. Whether this statement were true or not at the time, a great improvement has certainly taken place since; at present the number of offences in the same district, whose inhabitants have increased to the amount of 3000 souls, shows an average of 100 crimes against person and property yearly. Acts of violence, murder, etc. are, however, still very common, and The people have the reputation of being very litigious.
There is a path up the Centovalli, a secluded and littlevisited valley, very winding and narrow, to Domo d'Ossola on the Simplon (Route 59). The path is a bad one.
The Val Maggia (Germ. Mayenthal) opens out about 2 miles to the N. W. or Locarno, beyond the narrow pass of The Ponte Brolla. A tolerable cross carriage-road has been carried up it to Cevio, the chief village, and thence to Peccia. Il cost the canton nearly 300,000 Swiss fr. The distance from Locarno to Cevio is 9 Talian miles; and thence to Fusio, the highest village, 10 1/2 miles.
LAGO MAGGIORE. The steam-boat from Magadino calls every morning off Locarno, Canobio, Canaro, Intra, the Bɔrromean Islands, Belgirate, Arona, and Sesto, for passengers both going and returning. It quits Magadino between 5 and 6, in summer, and returns about 7, keeping near the W. shore.
Sailing-boats may always be hired at any of the ports on the lake io make short excursions.
The Lago Maggiore, the Lacus Verbanus of the Romans (Germ. Langen See, or Lager See), is about 52 miles (47 Italian=12 German (miles) long, and about 9 miles wide at its greatest breadth. Only a small portion, at its N. extremity, which is often called Lago di Locarno, belongs to Switzer
land. About 7 miles S. of Locarno, the Austrian frontier occupies the E. shore, and the Sardinian the W. The navigation of the lake is free to the three states which form its inargin; but the Austrians have established a sort of lake police upon its whole extent. The 3 chief rivers by which it is fed, are, the Ticino, flowing from the St. Gotthard; the Tresa, which drains the Loga Lugano; and the Toccia, or Tosa, descending from the Val Formazza, by Domo d'Ossola. The scenery of its upper end is bold and mountainous; so is the bay of Bayeno (to call by that name the W.arm, containing the Borromean Islands, and overhung by the snowy peaks of the Alps); but, towards the S. and E., its shores are less lofty, subsiding gradually into the Plain of Lombardy.
The principal places on the W. shore are Ascona, surmounted by a castle; Brissago, a charming spot, conspicuous with its white houses, and avenue of cypress, leading to the church. Its inhabitants are wealthy and industrious. Terrace rises above terrace against the hill-side; and the vine, fig, olive, pomegranate, and myrtle, flourish in the open air. Beyond this, the Swiss territory ends. Canobbio, situated at theen trance of the Piedmontese valley Canobina, contains a church designed by Bramante. The two islands off Canero were, in the fifteenth century, the resort of five robberbrothers, named Mazzarda, who committed depredations all along the shores of the lake. Intra is a very industrious small town, with several manufactories. A road has been commenced along this shore of the lake, by the Sardinian government, to connect Baveno, on the Simplon, with Bellinzona and the St. Gotthard.
The places on the E. side of the Lago Maggiore are St. Abbondio (Swiss); Macagno (Austrian); Ludino, whence a good, road runs by Ponte Tresa to Lugano (Route 93.); Porto and Laveno, nearly opposite Intra whence a carriageroad runs to Varese and the Sacro Monte.
The Borromean Islands and the S. extremity of the lake are described in Route 59.
BELLINZONA TO LUGANO' AND COMO BY THE MONTĘ CENERE.
To Como, 5 posts=33 1/2 English miles.
To Lugano, 5 1/3 Swiss stunden=16 Italian miles=17114 English miles.
Diligences daily to Lugano.
This road turns out of the valley of the Tessin at Cadenazzo (p. 306.), about 4 miles below Bellinzona, and begins to ascend the Monte Cenere, a steep ridge surmounted by
beds about a foot thick. “The further we advance, the more we find the beds of limestone traversed by small veins, lined with rhombs of dolomite. As we advance, the rock appears divided by fissures, the stratification ceases to be distinci, and, where the face of the mountain becomes perpendicular, it is found to be formed entirely of dolomite, which becomes gradually purer and more white, until a little way from Melide, where it is succeeded by a dark augite porphyry.” The celebrated geologist Von Buch considers that the gas discharged from this latter igneous rock, at the time when the mountain was upheaved by volcanic forces from below, has penetrated the fissures of the limestone, and changed the part of it nearest to the porphyry into dolomite. The change in colour and substance, from a grey limestone into a white crystalline marble, like loaf-sugar, may be easily traced in its gradual transition by the road-side.
At Melide, a promontory projects into the lake, from the point of which a serry-boat conveys passengers and carriages across it, in a few minutes, to Bissone, on the opposite side. Melide is the birthplace of Fontana, the architect who, in 1586, transported the Egyptian obelisk from the Colisseum at Rome, and erected it on the square in front of the Vatican.
After a delightful ride along the shore of the lake, the road quits it at Capolago, and soon reaches Mendrisio, which, though a small town of 1700 inhabitants, contains 3 convents. It is supposed to be the cradle of the once-powerful Milanese family Della Torre, or Torriani. The famous tower, from which they derived their name, was destroyed in the civil wars of the fourteenth century.
The inhabitants keep their wine in caves in the mountains, which form capital cellars. The Austrian custom-house and police-office is reached a little beyond Chiasso, and within 2 miles of
2 1/2 Como. See Hand-book for Italy.
LUINO, ON THE LAGO MAGGIORE, TO MENAGGIO ON THE LAGO
DI COMO, ACROSS THE LAGO LUGANO. Luino, a small village, on the E. shore of the Lago Maggiore, has a tolerable inn. A good carriage-road leads hence to Lugano, a drive of 3 or 4 hours, ascending directly from the margin of the lake the sleep heights bebind Luino, which command a fine prospect. It then follows the rt. bank of the Tresa, upwards, at à considerable height above that river, through a beautiful valley, crossing the Swiss frontier about 3 miles from Luino, and 9 from Lugano.
* Ponte Tresa, a village of 365 inhabitants, is named from an old wooden bridge which leads across the river into Lombardy. At the furiber end stands the Austrian toll and custom-house; and, on this side, a Swiss toll is exacted. A great proportion of the cattle, with which Lombardy is supplied by Switzerland, pass over it. The village is prettily situated on a bay of the Lago Lugano, so completely landJocked as to seem a distinct lake.
Another of the winding reaches of the lake stretches N. about half a mile on the E. of our road, as far as
Agno, a village of 600 inhabitants, placed at the spot where the Agno, or Bedagio, empties itself into the lake.
One of the prettiest scenes on this very picturesque road is that presented by the small lake of Muzzano, which lies on the rt. of the road to
Lugano (see p. 310.)
The Lago Lugano (called also Cerisio) is exceedingly irregular in shape, making several very acute bends, so that the conspicuous mountain Salvadore stands on a promontory, washed on two sides by its waters : its greatest length about 20 miles. Its E. and W., and one of its S. arms, terminate in the Austrian territory, and travellers must have an Austrian visa on their passports, to enable them to land there.
The scenery of this lake is exceedingly beautiful, and has a character distinct from that of its two neighbours Como and Maggiore, in being more gloomy, rugged, and unculiivated. It at the same time presents great variety; near Lugano its shores are as smiling, as frequently speckled with white villas and churches, and as richly, fringed with vines, fig-trees, and walnut groves, as the more garden-like borders of the Lago di Como; but, in penetrating its E. bay from Lugano to Porlezza, the mountains gradually assume a more wild and precipitous outline, and the darker foliage of the pine forests furnishes the predominating colour.
Boats for passengers and carriages may be hired at Lugano for Porlezza; it takes 3 ho to row thither, and the charge for a boat with two rowers is 8 fr. There is no road along tbis part of the lake.
Porlezza lies within the Lombard frontier, and is the station of the Austrian police and doganiers. Chars may be hired here to go to Menaggio; the road is bad and only practicable for light vehicles. It traverses a very pretty valley, passing on the rt. the little lakes of Piano and Bene. It is a walk of about 2 hours to reach
Menaggio, an unimportant village on the W. shore of the Lago di Como. Instead of stopping here the traveller had beller either proceed a little way down the lake to Cadenab