Central Italy and Rome, Handbook for Travellers

By Karl Baedeker | Go to book overview

The Regionbetween the Tyrrhenian Seaand the Tiber is a hilly district differing considerably in its formation from the Apennines. The latter consist of long and regular chains with parallel vallcys between them, while the former is composed of numerous isolated groups of mountains and hills, which at one time, before a final upheaval of the Apennines converted the whole district into dry land, formed a group of islands like the Tuscan Archipelago off the present coast. The characteristic features of its N. portion are the valleys of Chiana, Elsa, and Era, which stretch from N.W. to S.E., while the S. portion is marked by the mighty volcanoes that dominate the entire district to the W. of the lower course of the Tiber. These volcanoes, beginning with Monte Amiata on the N., form a continuous shain, characterized by numerous large lakes, and prolonged on the other cide of the Tiber by the Alban Mountains. — Southern Tuscany offers considerable variety of scenery, with its isolated limestone mountains abounding in minerals, and its eruptive cones rising from the midst of gentle slopes of marl and clay. As a whole it is a very fertile district though the presence of gypsum makes the neighbourbood of Volterra and some other points unproductive. The Montagnola Senese and other isolated limestone ridges are covered with forests of beech; elsewhere the chief products are grain, wine, oil, and (near the sea) hay. — The 'green' land of Umbria abounds in trees, though these are generally too scattered to form woods or forests proper. — The so-called Marches (p. 119), or frontier districts of the Apennines, are naturally more rugged, being seamed with deep and narrow lateral ravines, as well as with broader and more fertile longitudinal valleys. Many of the latter, now filled with debris, were formerly lakes or morasses. On the E. side extends a very productive hilly district which, from Ancona southwards, abuts directly on the Adriatic Sea and is intersected by numerous small rivers. The chief artery on the W. side is the Tiber, which rises in the Bolognese Apennines (see p. 62) and flows to the S. through valleys connected by short transverse valleys. On one side it receives the streams descending from the Apennines, while its tributaries on the other flow through districts of clay and tufa. Its bed is thus largely filled with debris, its water turbid; and in times of flood huge masses of alluvium are washed down to the sea. Where its tributary streams run through the softer kinds of rock they have worn sharply-cut channels, and wherever two river-valleys meet have formed triangular and bastion-like promontaries (S. Etruria).


1. From Pisa to Rome.

by the Maremme.

207 M. Railway. Express in 6 ½-7 ½ hrs., ordinary train in 10 hrs.; fares 36 fr. 65, 25 fr. 40, 16 fr. 45 c. From Dec. to May there is a train de luxe ( Paris-Rome express) on Tues., Frid., & Sun, which makes the journey in 6 hrs. 40 min. (1st class only, with extra charge of 14 fr: 95 c.). Dining-cars are attached to the day express trains (B. 1 ½, déj. 3 ½, D. 4½ fr., wine extra) and several of the night trains have sleeping- carriages (11 fr. extra).

The Maremme Railway coincides with the ancient Via Aurelia. It runs inland as far as Cecina, where it approaches the coast, commanding fine views on the right of the sea with its promontories and islands. Many places on this route are subject to malaria in summer (comp. p. 4).

Pisa, see Baedeker's Northern Italy. — 9½ M. Colle Salvetti (junction of a branch-line from Leghorn: 9½ M., in 20-30 min.). — 13 M. Fauglia.

-2-

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