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Pedestrian Tours of 6 Weeks or 2 Months chiefly
in the Alps of Savoy and Piedmont.
Carriage Road. Char Road. + Mule Road. S Footpath.--All names following the marks indicated are the same as the last. Geneva to Salenches, or St. Pella-Lake of Orta, boat Martin. (115.)
Omegna. + Tête Noire to Trient. (116.) Vogogna. (59. and 105.) Col de Balme lo Chamouny. † Macugnaga-Monte Rosa. (117.)
S Col de Moro. Breven.
Saas. Montanvert, le Jardin. + Visp, in Valais. Chamouny to Cormayeur,
** Pass of the Simplon. (59) by the Col de Vosa, Col Arona - Lago Maggiore. de Bonhomme, and the Borgomaniera. (101.) Col de la Seigne. (118.).
Biella (103.) ** Cormayeur to Aosta. (107.) Ivrea. (107.) * St. Remy. (108.)
Aosta. + Hospice of the Great St. † Cogne. Bernard,
Pont-Val d'Orca. Liddes.
Cereso). Martigny. (see Switzerland, S Col de Galèse, and return to Route 59.)
Chapis. Visp in Valais.
+ Col de Croix de Nivolet. * Pass of the Mont Cervin. Val Savaranche. (106.)
Villeneuve - Val d'Aosta. Chatillon, Val d'Aosta. St. Didier. Col de Jon. (104.)
† The Crammont, the BelviBrussone.
dereand Pass of the Little Col de Ranzola,
St. Bernard. (114.) Gressoney
Bourg St. Maurice. Col de Val d'Obbia.
Moutiers Tarentaise.(122.) Riva.
** L'Hôpital Conflans. Varallo, Val Ses ia. (101.) Ugine. Rocco. (102.)
Six Weeks' Excursion. If extended to 2 Months,
Baths of Brida. + Pralorgnan.
Col de Vanoise.
Lanslebourg. (127.) ** Pass of the Mont Cenis.
Susa. + Cesanne. (131.) + Col de Sestrieres.
tant valley. (132)
ARONA ON THE LAGO MAGGIORE TO VARALLO IN THE VAL
An excellent carriage road leads in less than two hours from Arona (Route 59) to Borgomaniera, a large well-built town in the direct road to Vercelli and Turin, from Arona. From Borgomaniera a good carriage road lies through the village of Gozzano to Buccione, a village at the head of the lake of Orta (anciently the Lacus Cusius), which may be reached in an hour from Borgomaniera. The scenery on the road, especially the approach to the lake of Orta, where this beautiful lake is seen backed by Monte Rosa, is scarcely rivalled by any lake and mountain scene, from one end of the Alps to the other. At Buccione boats may be had to take carriages to Omegna at the lower end of the lake, distant 9 miles, and thence to Gravedona in the route of the Simplon, beyond the Lago Maggiore.
From Borgomaniera there is an excellent road to the little town of Romagnano on the Sesia, where the inn is good. From Romagnano the road up the course of the Sesia is singularly beautiful; the mountains as they are approached pisering richly wooded slopes, and the masses are relieved by
castles, churches, and oratories. The vegetation is most luxuriant; several villages are passed.
The principal place before arriving at Varallo is Borgo Sesia; here the valley becomes narrower, and the road offers some striking scenes, though the range of view is more limited in the narrow parts of the Val Sesia. It opens again in the neighbourhood of Varalio, where the situation of this town, and the sanctuary on its celebrated Sacro Monte-La Nuova Gerusalemme nel Sacro Monte di Varallo, às the guidebook calls this extraordinary place of pilgrimage — form singular and interesting scenes. The Grand Falcone is an excellent inn, and the best in a place where many are required to provide for the bodily wants of the spiritual visitors to the Sacro Monte, who, especially on the Festas of the Church, crowd here as devotees.
Varallo, from every point of view, is highly picturesque, but it is so in a striking degree when seen from the bridge acro:'s the Sesia, which is very lofty and narrow, having three arches. From the dry bed of the river below the bridge; the Sacro Monte seen through its arches, the old houses which overhang the torrent, and the richly wooded slopes of the mountains which descend to the Val Sesia, form a tableau that few sketchers fail to possess.
The Sacro Monte is however, the great object of attraction and pilgrimage. It rises immediately above the town by a paved path, which winds up the side of the hill, and offers from every turn the most picturesque and beautiful scenes. Just before the summit is altained, ihe visitor passes a chapel and crucifix, the ex voto of a pious German sergeant-major, as duly announced by an inscription, which informs the visitor that, in honour of God and the Virgin Mary, John Pschel raised this chapel.
A troop of vagabonds, always ready to serve the traveller, offer themselves as guides; and to facilitate the visit to this extraordinary place, one is necessary, to point out all the chapels or oratories in the order of their numbers, an affair of research by no means easy; for though the spot of ground which they occupy is small, it seems, from its varied surface, and its labyrinth-like arrangement, to be very extensive.
This remarkable place has fifty chapels, or oratories upon il, besides the great church, fountains, etc. These oratories: contain groups of figures modelled in terra-cotta, painted and clothed, placed and composed on the floors. They chiefly represent some of the principal events in the history of Christ, in the order of their occurrence. These places are never entered; they are merely frames or cases for the subjects grou-' ped within thein, which, seen from 2 or 3 peep-holes in front,
like those in raree-shows, excite the dovotion of the faithful, and the disgust, except in a few instances where they exbibit skill as works of art, of the merely curious. Externally, these oratories are rich in the architectural display of façades, porticos, domes, etc. : the figures within are the size of life.
The subjects are in the order of the numbers on the chapels. 1. The Fall of Man.
26. The Repentance of Saint 2. The Annunciation.
Peter. 3. The Visitation.
27. Christ in the House of Pi4. The Angel announcing to
late. Joseph the Miraculous 28. Christ in the House HeConception.
rod. 5. The Star of the East.
29. Christ Reconducted to Pie 6. The Nativity.
late. 7. Joseph and Mary adoring 30. The Flagellation. Christ.
31. Christ Crowned with 8. The Presentation in the Thorns. Temple,
32. Christ again Conducted to 9. The Angel advising Joseph Pilate.
to Fly into Egypt. 33. Christ Shownt ot he Peo10. The Flight.
ple. 11. The Murder of the Inno- 34. Pilate Washing his Hands. cents.
35. Christ Sentenced to Death, 12. The Bap:ism in the Jordan. 36. Christ Bearing the Cross. 13. The Temptation.
37. Christ Nailed to the Cross. 14. Christ and the Woman of 38. The Crucifixion. Samaria.
39. Christ taken down from 15. Christ Curing the Paralytic the Cross. 16. Christ Raising the Wi-40. The Pieta — the Women dow's Son.
around the Body of Christ. 17. The Transfiguration. 41. The Body wrapped in Li18. The Raising of Lazarus. nen. 19. The Entrance into Jerusa- 42. San Francesco. lem.
43. Christ Lying in the Se20. The Last Supper.
pulchre. 21. Christ in the Garden. 44. Saint Anna. 22. Christ finds his Disciples 45. An Angel announcing 10 Sleeping
the Virgin Mary her Tran23. Christ Betrayed by Judas. sition to Heaven). 24 Christ in the House of Anna. 46. The Sepulchre of the Vir25. Christ in the Hands of gin Mary.
Caiaphas. In the first of these, representing the Fall of Man, Adam and Eve are seen amidst animals of all sorts and sizes, from the elephant to the rabbit. In the second, the series which
refer to Christ, commences with the Annunciation. One of the large compositions, representing the Murder of the Innocents, No. 11., contains above 60 figures, the size of life, besides the painted groups on the walls; so arranged as to assist the composition. All the walls are thus painted, and many of the pictures are masterly productions, not unworthy of the reputation of Pelegrini Tibaldi, whose name is found in the list of those who were employed upon the works of the Sacro Monte di Varallo; together with that of Gaudenzio Ferrari, a pupil and companion of Raphael, Fiammingho, the famous sculptor of children, and many other artists of eminence, as painters, sculptors, and architects. The valleys of the Novarais, of which Val Sesia is the principal, are remarkable for the number of painters they have produced, and the names of many are preserved here as having proudly contributed to the embellishment of this singular sanctuary in their own country.
The subject of the Transfiguration is represented upon an enormous scale; the group in the foreground contains the demoniac boy; on the mountain, an immense modelled mass, are the three disciples, above them Christ, with Moses and Elias ; over these, painted on the walls and ceiling of the dome, are the host of heaven; and above all, the Almighty. This vast composition occupies the bighest and largest of these structures; and the height of the whole composition, modelled and painted, is nearly 100 feet.
Much effect is produced by the appropriate situation of some of the subjects. The access to the place where Christ is laid in the sepulchre is by a vault, where little light is admitted; and as it is difficolt on entering from the open day to distinguish at first any object, the effect is very imposing.
Many of the figures are clothed in real drapery, and some have real hair, which appears very grotesque; yet the character and expression of the heads is, in many, finely modelled. There is in the subject of the Visitation the head of a female strikingly fine. The executioners conducting to Calvary, or otherwise employed in inflicting suffering on Christ,
to increase the disgust for their characters, modelled with goîtres appended to their throats - a proof that these are not considered beauties here, in spite of the traveller's tale. The models are painted, but no offence to taste in their class of art arises from this, because, as the subjects can only be seen through peep-holes in front of the prie-dieus of the oratories, and not in passing from one of these to another, as much illusion is produced in seeing them as in observing a picture.
Among the objects of religious reverence here is a flight of steps, called the Scala Santa, recommended to the especial