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furning eastward, they divide Italy from Germany, and bounding the bottom of the gulf of Venice, unite with a number of ranges extending into the dominions of Turkey. The height of Mont Blanc has been measured by various persons, and its perpendicular elevation above the sea bas been found to be 15,662 feet English, or very nearly three miles. Another cluster of peaks to the eastward, called Monte Rosa, is estimated to be 15,000 in beigbt. The Appennines branch off from the Alps behind Nice, and ruuning eastward round the gulf of Genoa, continue their long course down the middle of Italy to the southern extremity of the peninsula of Calabria. These mountains are much inferior in elevation to the Alps; but some peaks are of considerable height; Monte Velino, in the heart of Italy, rising 8,997 feet above the sea. The most remarkable mountain of this country is, however, the celebrated volcano Vesuvius, of a conical shape, about 30 miles in circumference at the base, and rising nearly 4,000 feet above the sea : it stands detached from all other mountains, and by repeated eruptions has now encroached very considerably on the bay of Naples, its slopes extending quite to the end of the town. From the appearance of Vesuvius, it was probably, in former times, a cone of much greater magnitude, of which the summit, from the exhaustion of the materials within, had sunk dow!; and the present cone having been produced by successive discharges of socks, ashes, and liquid lava, inay in the course of ages increase, until it coincides with the remaining slopes of the original mountain, thus forming a cone of at least double the present elevation.
Rivers. -The Po, which waters the grea: plain of Lombardy, rises in the Alps, and running northerly to Turin, there begins its long eastern course to the Adriatic, receiying a number of smaller streams, of which on the north are the Tesino, the Adda, the Mincio, and on the south are U 2
the Tanaro, the Trebia, and the Panaro, the extent of the Po being about 300 English miles. The Adige, rising in the eastern Alps, flows through the Tyrol and the Vale of Trent, by Verona, into the Adriatic, a little to the northward of the mouths of the Po. The Arno, whose source is in the Appennines, waters the beautiful vale 'to 'which it gives name, passing by Arezzo, Florence, and Pisa, and is soon after lost in the Mediterranean. The celebrated Tyber, which likewise takes its rise in the Appennines, runs southerly through the heart of Italy, and dividing Rome into two unequal parts, discharges itself into the Mediterranean, by the two mouths of Ostia and Porto. The Garigliano, the ancient Liris, springing also from the Appennines, runs southerly into the bay of Gaeta. The Ofanto, formerly the Aufidus, springing in the same central range of mountains, passes by Canosa, waters the plains of Cannæ, memorable for the signal defeat of the Romans by Hannibal, and discharges itself into the Adriatic.
Lakes.- Italy presents many beautiful and interesting Takes: the Lago Maggiore, with its ornamented isles, the lake of Como, the ancient Larius, on the eastern bank of which are still shown the fountain and vestiges of the country seat belonging to, and finely described by Pling, the lake of Garda, are all formed in the southern vallies of the Alps; the lake of Perugia, formerly noted under the name of Thrasymene, for the overthrow of the Romans by their great opponent Hannibal, is a fine piece of water situated in the bosom of the Appennines. The small lakes of Albano and Nemi, near Rome, appear to be the craters of ancient volcanoes.
Mineral productions. Italy abounds with these of the most valuable sorts: the Alps furnish gold, copper, lead, and antimony: the Tuscan inarbles have long been celebrated; and that of Carrara, on the east of the Genoese territory, is the best now known for the chisel of the statuary. Mi
neral springs of various properties are found in many parts of the country: those near Pisa have been renowned from the earliest times. The hot and sulphureous waters abounding in the vicinity of Naples and other places, evince the volcanic nature of the surrounding region.
Animals.-- The plains of Milan and Lodi nourish herus of excellent cattle; and the cheese from the latter district, but known under the name of Parmesan, has long enjoyed a high reputation. Besides the common European animals of similar latitudes, in the marshes of the Tyber between Rome and the sea, and in other tracts of the same kind, are seen numbers of buffaloes, having a general resemblance to other horned cattle, and capable of supporting great fatigue ; but their flesh is coarse, and the skin so strong as to afford the leather formerly used in armour, and from the name of the animal commonly called buff.
Vegetables.--From the great diversity of soil, situation, and temperature of Italy, its botanical treasures are very various and important. Besides the rich pastures of Lombardy, fields of excellent wheat and other grain, are there inclosed with rows of walnut, mulberry, and other fruit trees, with vines extending their branches in festoons from trunk to trunk. Rice and maiz or Indian corn, are also the growth of this highly favoured region ; and in the environs of Naples, the productions of warm climates are found in great abundance and perfection.
The Falernian, Massic, and Cæcuban wines of ancient times are now but little esteenied, while those of other tracts, as of Tuscany, the slopes of Vesuvius, &c. are much in request : and the Florentine oils are preferred to those of any other country.
ITALIAN ISLANDS. CORSICA. This island, now united to the French empire, lies in the angle between Italy and France, about
40 miles west from the former country, and 80 miles south east from the latter; it is of an oval form, the length from north to south being 90 miles, and the greatest breadth about 40. The island is very mountainous, but contains some fruitful vallies; and mines of silver, copper, lead, and iron, have been discovered. Monte Rotondo, in the centre of the island, rises to the height of about 9,000 English feet.
Corte, in a strong position in the heart of the country, was the former seat of government; but Bastia, on the east side of the island, and Ajaccio on the west, are now the chief towns, the population of the whole being calcu. lated at 166,813 souls ; the inhabitants, a hardy, warlike race, will long be remembered for their determined although unsuccessful struggle, under the patriotic Paoli, to vindicate their independence against the attacks of Genoa, supported by the best troops of France.
SARDINIA.—This island is separated from the south end of Corsica by a strait of only a few miles in breadth: its extent from north to south is about 140 miles, and the general breadth about 60 miles. Many of the mountains are so elevated as to be covered with snow for a great part of the year ; but there are also wide vallies and extensive plains in the southern parts, which, with due care and cultivation, might be rendered very productive : corn, wine, oil, oranges, lemons, and dates, are, however, raised in considerable quantities. Silver, lead, granite, porphyry, are amongst the natural productions of Sardinia ; and the fisheries on the coast, of tunny, sardinas, probably so named from this island, and anchovies, were once more valuable than in the present times. The inhabitants are very few proportionally to the extent of the country, being reckoned not to exceed 450,000. The capital, Cagliari, is situated on a fine bay, with a good harbour at the south end of the island.
This island, alone, now remains to the king of Sardinia, of all his former dominions, once comprehending the fertile and populous country of Piedmont, Savoy, and other districts of less note, situated on both sides of the western Alps.
Sicily.—This noble island is of a triangular form, the north side extending from the strait of Messina westwards, about 160 geographic miles, the south side about 150 miles, and the east side about 120 miles. Sicily is separated from the continent of Italy by the strait of Messina, but a mile and a half over at the narrowest part, and is supposed to contain about a million of inhabitants. The capital of the island is Palermo, an ancient and handsomne port on the north side, containing about 120,000 people. The other towns, once so celebrated in history, Messina, Syracuse, Agrigentum, &c. are now greatly decayed.
Sicily is most happily endowed with respect to climate, soil, and situation ; but the desolating wars to which it has been exposed, and above all, the deplorable system of administration of public affairs, under which it has long been borne down, have converted this most valuable island, once the granary of Italy itself, comparatively into a desert.
The face of Sicily is agreeably and usefully diversified by mountain, hill, and valley : of the former, the most remarkable is Etna, or more properly Ætna, now called Monte Gibello, a volcano noted for its violent and destructive eruptions, from the most remote antiquity.
This mountain rises to a height exceeding two English miles perpendicularly above the sea, and the circumference of its base is estimated at between 80 and 90 miles. The lower slopes are fertile, well cultivated, and populous; the superior region is clothed with forests, and the summit is covered with perpetual snows, in the midst of which is the great mouth, or crater, continually throwing out thick clouds of smoke; but the mouths whence have proceeded the latest