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 There is nothing in Italy,more beautiful to me,than the coast-road between Genoa and Spezzia. On one side:sometimes far below, sometimes nearly on a level with the road,and often skirted by broken rocks of many shapes:there is the free blue sea,with here and there a picturesque felucca gliding slowly on;on the other side are lofty hills,  ravines besprinkled with white cottages,patches of dark olive woods,country churches with their light open towers, and country houses gaily painted. On every bank and knoll by the wayside, the wild cactus and aloe flourish in exuberant profusion;and the gardens of the bright villages along the road,are seen,all blushing in the summer-time with clusters of the Belladonna, and are fragrant in the autumn and winter with golden oranges and lemons.


    Some of the villages are inhabited, almost exclusively, by fishermen;and it is pleasant to see their great boats hauled up on the beach,making little patches of shade,where they lie asleep, or where the women and children sit romping and looking out to sea,while they mend their nets upon the shore.There is one town,Camoglia, with its little harbour on the sea,hundreds of feet below the road; where families of mariners live, who, time out of mind,have owned coasting-vessels in that place, and have traded to Spain and elsewhere. Seen from the road above, ii is like a tiny model on the margin of the dimpled water, shining in the sun. Descended into,by the winding mule-tracks it is a perfect miniature of a primitive seafaring town; the saltest, roughest, most piratical little place that ever was seen. Great rusty iron rings and mooring-chains, capstans, and fragments of old masts and spars,choke up the way;hardy rough-weather boats,and seamen's clothing,flutter in the little harbour or are drawn out on the sunny stones to dry;on the parapet of the rude pier, a few amphibious-looking fellows lie asleep,with their legs dangling over the wall,as though earth or water were all one to them, and if they slipped in, they would float away, dozing comfortably among the fishes;the church is bright with trophies of the sea,and votive offerings,in commemoration of escape from storm and shipwreck. The dwellings not immediately abutting on the harbour are approached by blind low archways,and by crooked steps, as if in darkness and in difficulty of access they should be like holds of ships, or   inconvenient cabins under water; and everywhere,there is a   smell of fish, and sea-weed, and old rope.


      The coast-road whence Camoglia is described so far below,is famous, in the warm season,especially in some parts near Genoa, for fire-flies. Walking there on a dark night,[have seen it made one sparkling firmament by these beautiful insects:so   that the distant stars were pale against the flash and glitter that   spangled every olive wood and hillside, and pervaded the whole   air.


    It was not in such a season, however,  that we traversed this road on our way to Rome. The middle of January was only just past, and it was very gloomy and dark weather; very wet besides. In crossing the fine pass of Bracco, we encountered such a storm of mist and rain,that we travelled in a cloud the whole way. There might have been no Mediterranean in the world,for anything that we saw of it there,except when a sudden gust of wind,clearing the mist before it, for a moment,showed the agitated sea at a great depth below, lashing the distant rocks and spouting up its foam furiously. The rain was incessant; every brook and torrent was greatly swollen;and such deafening leaping, and roaring, and thundering of water, I never heard the like of in my life.


    Hence,when we came to Spezzia,we found that the Magra,an unbridged river on the high-road to Pisa, was too high to be safely crossed in the Ferry Boat, and were fain to wait until the afternoon of next day, when it had, in some degree, subsided. Spezzia,however, is a good place to tarry at; by reason,firstly, of its beautiful bay;secondly, of its ghostly Inn;thirdly, of the head-dress of the women, who wear, on one side of their head, a small doll's straw hat, stuck on to the hair; which is certainly the oddest and most roguish head-gear that ever was invested.


    The Magra safely crossed in the Ferry Boat-the passage is not by any means agreeable, when the current is swollen and strong-we arrived at Carrara, within a few hours. In good time next morning, we got some ponies, and went out to see the marble quarries.


    They are four or five great glens, running up into a range of lofty hills, until they can run no longer, and are stopped by being abruptly strangled by Nature. The quarries, or "caves,”as they call them there, are so many openings, high up in the hills, on either side of these passes,where they blast and excavate for marble: which may turn out good or bad:may make a man's fortune very quickly, or ruin him by the great expens of working what is worth nothing. Some of these caves were opened by the ancient Romans, and remain as they left them to this hour. Many others are being worked at this moment; others are to be begun tomorrow,  next week,next month;others are unbought,unthought of and marble enough for more ages man has passed since the place was restored to,lies hidden everywhere:patiently awaiting its time of discovery.


    Carrara, shut in by great hills, is very picturesque and bold Few tourists stay there;and the people are nearly all connected,in one way or another, with the working of marble. There are also villages among the caves, where the workmen live. It contains a beautiful little Theatre,newly built; and it is an interesting custom there,to form the chorus of labourers in the marble quarries, who are self-taught and sing by ear. I heard them in a comic opera,and in an act of "Norms";and they acquitted themselves very well;unlike the common people of ltaly generally, who (with some exceptions among the Neapolitans) sing vilely out of tune, and have very disagreeable singing writes.


    From the summit of a lofty hill beyond Carrara, the first view of the fertile plain in which the town of Pisa lies-with Leghorn,a purple spot in the flat distance-is enchanting. Nor is it only distance that lends enchantment to the view; for the fruitful country, and rich woods of olivetrees through which the road subsequently passes, render it delightful.


    The moon was shining when we approached Pisa,and for a long time we could see, behind the wall, the leaning Tower,all awry in the uncertain light;the shadowy original of the old pictures in school-books, setting forth“The Wonders of the World".Like most things connected in their first associations with school-books and school-times, it was too small. I felt it keenly. It was nothing like so high above the wall as I had hoped. It was another of the many deceptions practiced by Mr.Harris,Bookseller, at the corner of St. Paul's Churchyard,London. His Tower was a fiction,but this was a reality-and,by comparison,a short reality. Still,it looked very well,and very strange, and was quite as much out of the perpendicular as Harris had represented it to be. The quiet air of Pisa too;the big guard-house at the gate, with only two little soldiers in it; the streets with scarcely any show of people in them;and the Arno, flowing quaintly through the center of the town;were excellent.So, I bore no malice in my heart against Mr. Harris (remembering his good intentions),but forgave him before dinner, and went out, full of confidence, to see the Tower next morning.


    I might have known better;  but, somehow,  I had expected to see it, casting its long shadow on a public street where people came and went all day. It was a surprise to me to find it in a grave retired place,apart from the general resort, and carpeted with smooth green turf. But, the group of buildings, clustered on and about this verdant carpet: comprising the Tower, the Baptistery,the Cathedral, and the Church of the Campo Santo:is perhaps the most remarkable and beautiful in the whole world;and from being clustered there, together, away from the ordinary transactions and details of the town,they have a singularly venerable and impressive character. It is the architectural essence of a rich old city, with alt its common life and common habitations pressed out, and filtered away.

    我本应对斜塔了解甚详的,可是我想象中的斜塔却是这样的:它将倒影落在大街上,在那里人们终日来来去去。我惊讶地发现,斜塔是在一座荒旧的墓地里,这与一般的观光胜地不同;塔的四周有郁郁葱葱的草地;草地四周有一些建筑群其  中有斜塔、洗礼堂、大教堂、圣广场教堂。或许,圣广场教堂是世界上最雄伟的、最显著的建筑物。它们都坐落于此,远离世俗与城市的喧嚣,给人异乎寻常的庄严和肃穆。它们是绝经沧桑的古老城市的建筑精华,渗透并浓缩了老城中的平凡生活和平凡居所。


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