Imágenes de página


The Lombardo-Venetian kingdom forms part of the Austrian empire, and will be more properly described under that head.


Situation and Extent.) The continental part of the kingdom of the two Sicilies is called the kingdom of Naples. It occupies the southern part of the peninsula of Italy, and is bounded N W. by the States of the church, and on all other sides by the Adriatic and Mediterranean : from Sicily it is separated by the strait of Messina, which in the narrowest part is not more than two miles broad. It extends from 13° to 19° E. lon. and from 37° 50 to 42° 55' N. lat. The area of the whole kingdom is estimated at 43,600 square miles, of which Naples contains 31,000 and Sicily 12,600.

Divisions.) The kingdom of Naples is divided into the following provinces. Provinces. Population. Provinces.

Population. 1. Naples, 752,000 9. Molise,

207,000 2. Terra di Lavoro, 519,500 10. Terra di Bari, 331,000 3. Principato Citra, 444,300 | 11. Terra d'Otranto, 292,000 4. Principato Ultra, 357,000 | 12. Basilicata,

378,000 5. Abruzzo Ultra, I. 157,000 13. Calabria Citra, 341,000 6 Abruzzo Ultra, II. 223,000 | 14. Calabria Ultra, I.

419,000 7. Abruzzo Citra, 232,500 | 15. Calabria Ultra, II. 7. Capitanata, 255,000

Face of the Country, Sc.) The Apennines pass through the whole extent of the kingdom, from N. W. to S. E. and in Abruzzo there are several summits more than 8,000 feet high. Below the mountains there are many fertile hills, and extensive plains and vallies, which under the influence of an invariably mild climate present a remarkable luxuriance of vegetation. Marshes are found on various parts of the sea-coast and by their insalubrity render some of the most fertile districts uninhabitable. The soil is in general very fertile.producing corn, tobacco, vines,olives, &c. in abundance, but owing to the indolence of the people agriculture is much neglected. In many parts the grain is still separated from the straw by the trampling of cattle.

Volcanoes.] This kingdom is exposed to volcanoes and to earthquakes, which have sometimes buried whole cities in their ruins. The most celebrated volcano is Vesuvius, a solitary mountain, 6 miles E. of Naples. It rises to the height of 3,600 feet above the sea, and has been liable to frequent eruptions. The first on record is that of the year 79, when Pompeii and Hercu

baneum were completely buried by the lava. A very destructive eruption occurred also in 1794, which almost buried a town in the neighborhood, and totally destroyed 5,000 acres of rich vineyards.

Chief Towns.) Naples, the capital of the kingdom, and the fourth city in Europe in point of population, is delightfully situated the margin of a spacious bay, 12 miles in diameter, the shores of whicb rise gradually from the water, and are covered with villas and gardens, with mulberry, orange and olive groves, and with many extensive vineyards and flourishing villages. The view of the bay and surrounding country from the castle of St. Elmo, on the west of the town, is celebrated as one of the finest in Europe. The city is surrounded by a wall, but is not strongly fortified. The streets, though in general narrow are straight, and handsomely paved with lava. The Strada di Toledo, extending half the length of the city, is one of the finest streets in Europe, being broad, straight, well paved and bordered in its whole length with elegant buildings. The principal manufactures of Naples are silk fabrics. The trade, though great for so inactive a country as the south of Italy, is small when compared with that of the crowded sea ports of England, and Holland. All classes of the inhabitants, are noted for their indolence. Naples literally swarms with nobility without fortunes, priests without benefices, and beggars of all descriptions The Lazzaroni are a part of the populace without either dwellings or regular occupation. They may be said to spend their life in the streets, sauntering about during the day, and sleeping at night under a public portico, or on the steps of a church. Their number was formerly between 30,000 and 40,000 and is still considerable. The envirous of Naples are highly interesting to the antiquary and classical scholar. Vesuvius, the baths of Nero, the tomb of Virgil, and the ruins of Herculaneum and Pompeii are all in its vicinity. The population is 330,000.

Taranto, on a peninsula at the head of the gulf of Taranto, contains 18,500 inhabitants. Bari, capital of the province of the same name, is on the Adriatic, and contains 18,000 inhabitants. Salerno is on the gulf of the same name, 28 miles S. E. of Naples, and has 10,000 inhabitants. Reggin, in Calabria Ultra, nearly opposite Messina in Sicily, has 16,000 inhabitants.

Population Government, &-c.] The population of the whole kingdom is 6,618,000, of whom 4,963,000 are in Naples, and 1,655,000 in Sicily. The government is an hereditary monarchy, and the power of the king is limited by a parliament in which the clergy, the nobility, the land-holders, the universities and the merchants are represented. Sicily is governed by, a viceroy and has its separate parliament. The revenue is about 12,000.000 dollars, and of this som Sicily yields about $4,000,000. The army contains 50,000 troops, including 10,000 furnished by Sicily. The navy is inconsiderable and consists almost entirely ef small vessels..

Manufactures and Commerce. Manufactures are in a very backward state, many articles being imported from foreign countries. The commerce is principally carried on by foreigners, particularly the British. The exports consist entirely of raw produce, such as oil, silk, wool, and fruit.

Curiosities.] The most remarkable curiosities are the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Pompeii is an ancient city 14 miles from.Naples, at the foot of Mount Vesuvius, which was buried by an eruption of the volcano in the year 79, from which time it had been forgotten almost to its name, until discovered about the middle of the last century. The volcanic matter corering Pompeii being a little more than an accumulation of ashes, about a fourth part of the city has been cleared, and severaltemples and columns and numerous ancient buildings have been discovered in a state of perfect preservation. Herculaneum, which was buried at the same time with Pompeii, is 5 miles E. by S. of Naples. Several streets have been cleared, and are found to be paved and flagged on the sides. Many bronze statues have been found, likewise paintings, many of them in high preservation,various ornaments of dress, kitchen utensils, household furniture, surgical instruments, and other implements of all kinds. The wbole is calculated to convey a complete idea of the manners of the age, and to correct a number of erroneous ideas of the arts and habits of the ancients. The most valuable remains, however, are the manuscripts. These are all calcined, and a nomber of them sunk into dust when exposed to the air. About 1700, however, have been preserved, and there is reason to expect that many more may still be found, and among them, perhaps some of the missing classics. It appears that the inhabitants of this city had time to escape when it was destroyed, as very few skeletons are found, while at Pompeii the number of skeletons is very considerable.

JSLAND OF Sicily. Situation and Divisions.] Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean, is of a triangular shape, and lies between lat. 36° 40' and 38° 12' N. and between 12° 42' and 16° E. lon. It is separated from the continent by the narrow strait of Messina, on the opposite sides of which are the rocks of Scilla and the whirlpool of Charybdis, so celebrated by the ancients : the latter is on the Sicilian coast, and the former in Calabria. The area of the island is estimated at 12,600 square miles, and the population at 1,655,000. Sicily was formerly divided into three parts, viz. the Val di Mazzara, Val di Demone, and Val di Noto; but in 1815 it was divided into 7 intendancies, which derive their names from their principal towns, viz. Palermo, Messina, Catania, Girgenti, Syracuse, Trapani and Calatanisetta.

Face of the Country, Soil, &c.] A chain of mountains proceeds through the island from east to west, and throws off branches towards the south. Between the ridges are beautiful vallies, and along the coasts are extensive plains. The soil bas long been noted for its fertility, Sicily having been anciently styled the

The pro

granary of the Roman empire; the lands at present, however, are almost entirely in the bands of the barons and clergy, and tracts of many miles in extent are left uncultivated. ductions are corn, vines, olives, silk, flax, hemp and fruits of various kinds.

Volcano Etna, celebrated from the most remote antiquity for its volcanic eruptions, is a single mountain on the eastern coast of the island, 180 miles in circunference at its base, and rising by a gradual ascent to the height of 10,954 feet above the level of the sea. Over its sides are scattered 77 cities, towns and villages. From Catania, which stands at the foot, to the summit is 30 miles,and the traveller passes through three distinct zones, called the cultivated, the woody, and the desert. The lowest, or cultivated zone, extends through an interval of ascent of 16 miles, and it contains numerous small mountains of a conical form, about 300 or 400 feet high, each having a crater at the top from which the lava flows over the surrounding country, The fertility of this region is wonderful and its fruits are the finest in the island. The woody region forms a zone of the brightest green all round the mountain, and reaches up the side about 8 miles. In the desert region vegetation entirely disappears, and the surface presents a dreary expanse of snow and ice. The summit of the mountain consists of a conical hill, con. taining a crater above two miles in circumference. The approach of an eroption is indicated long beforehand by the emission of a pale smoke from the crater; this is followed, after some time, by clouds of black smoke which progressively increase in volume. After the lapse of weeks, perhaps of months, the lava begins to boil over the top of the crater, or to burst from some part of its sides; the interior commotion now ceases, and the lava flows slowly down the side of the mountain. It is pressed forward by the fresh liquid continually issuing from the mountain, and burns up every thing before it, but the inhabitants have at times diverted or absorbed it by digging canals. The whole number of eruptions on record is 31, of which not more than 10 have issued from the highest crater. The last was in 1809.

Chief Towns.] Palermo, the capital of the island, is a large and beautiful city, in an extensive plain on the western shore of a bay on the N. coast of the island, in lon. 13° 20' E. The com. merce is extensive and it has important silk manufactories, The harbor is deep and spacious, but dangerously open to the swell of the sea. The population is estimated at 130,000.

Messina is beautifully situated on the strait of the same name, which is here only three miles wide. The hårbor is one of the finest in the Mediterranean; it consists of a bay which has the city along its west shore and on the east a long tongue of land, the point of which turns inward, leaving the entrance only a quarter of a mile wide. The circumference of the harbor is 5 miles and the depth in most places not less than 40 fathoms. It is defended by a strong citadel situated on the projecting tongue of land. The commerce of the town is exten.

ive, particularly in wine and silks, which are manufactured here in large quantities. The population is 36,000.

Catania is a famous city on the east coast of the island, at the foot of Mount Etna. It has been three times destroyed by the Java of the volcano, but has always risen more splendidly from its ashes, and has a title to rank among the elegant cities of Europe. The harbor is large and the trade of the town consider. able, particularly in silks, which are extensively manufactured here. Population 50,000.

Syracuse, on the coast, about 35 miles S. S. E. of Catania, was once the metropolis of all Sicily and one of the most famous cities in the world for the stateliness of its buildings, and the immense wealth of its inhabitants. It is particularly celebrated for its defence, by the wonderful genius of Archimedes, against the the combined fleet and army of the Romans. It has a noble harbor, and the population at present is 17,000.

Lipari Islands.] These islands, 12 in number, lie off the north coast of Sicily, between 13° 15' and 15° 39' E lon. and between 38° 20' and 38° 50' N. lat. . The largest of the group is Lipari, which contains 100 square miles. The whole group hears evident marks of a volcanic origin; and in several of the islands the subterraneous fires are still in a state of activity. The most considerable of these are found in the islands of Volcano and Stromboli, The latter is the only volcano known whose eruptions are continued and uninterrupted. Of the 12 islands four only are inhabited and their population is about 20,000. The principal exports are alum, sulphur, nitre and other volcanic products, such as pumice stone, with wbich they supply a great part of Europe.

Aegation Islands.] These lie at the western end of Sicily, Dear Trapani. They are three in number, Lavenzo, Maretamo, and Favignano. The population of the whole is 12,000.


Situation and Extent.] This country, forming the temporal dominions of the pope, is a narrow crooked territory, bounded N. by the Po, which separates it from the Austrian dominions ; E. by the Adriatic ; S. E. by the kingdom of Naples ; S. W. by the Mediterranean; and W. hy Tuscany and Modepa. It extends from 10° 56' to 14° E. lon, and from 41° 19' to 45° N. lat.

The area is estimated at 14,500 square miles, and the population according to a census taken in 1815 was 2,345,719.

Divisions.] This territory, is divided into 18 delegations, which derive their names from their principal towns. 1. kome and its circuit. 2. Frosinone. 3. Rieti. 4. Viierbo. 5 Civita Vechia. 6. Perugia. 7. Spoleto. 8. Camerino. 9. Macerata. 10. Fermo. 11. Ascoli. 12. Ancona. 13. Urbino and Pesara. 14. Forli. 15. Ravenna. 16. Bologna 17. Ferrara. 18. Benevento.

« AnteriorContinuar »