From Messina,January 24. 1626.
IN continuation of my last to you concerning the favours I re∣ceiv'd [ I] from my Lord the Bishop of Syracuse, I must tell you in the first place, that on the fifth of December we were conducted by a great company of Gentry of both Sexes out of the City to several reliques of ancient Syracuse. We saw the Artificial Echo reported to have been made by Dionysius in a Prison where he kept many slaves, to hear what they talkt within; and, if I mistake not, Archimedes seems to have been the contriver of the Fabrick. Page 302 'Tis indeed one of the goodliest pieces of Art that I ever saw in the world, and perhaps was ever invented, imitating nature so exactly that the Echo returns words, sentences, sounds, and songs most intire and perfect; as was prov'd in our presence with sun∣dry Instruments. If a man strike a thick extended cloth with a wand, it renders a sound like the shot of Artillery: which to be done so well in a Grotto form'd not by Nature, but by Art, is indeed a strange thing, and shews a prodigious wit in the Con∣triver. I must not omit, that the roof of this grotto is hollow'd in the form of a man's ear, from which probably the Artificer borrow'd the Invention; since just as the voice striking the ears which are so shap'd renders the sound audible; so 'tis seen by ex∣perience, that this great artificial Ear cut by hand in hard stone, being struck in like manner produces the same effect of augment∣ing a sound; although we know not but other Natural Echoes in Caves are fram'd after the same manner. Near the place of the Echo, we saw the subterranean Cavities wherein the slaves were imprison'd, and over them the place of Dionysius's Palace, in a very goodly situation, with a Prospect extending far both on Land and Sea. And near the Palace we beheld many remainders of his great Theater, which was not built up like other Structures, but cut and hollow'd out of the hard stone, all of a piece, very large and of excellent Architecture. As we return'd home, we saw contiguous to the City on one side the Port which they call'd Marmoreo, or the Marble Port, from its being built all of Stone, and differing from the other great one which lies under the City on the other side; for at this day the City stands wholly in the Peninsula Ortygia, which is almost surrounded by the Sea, saving where it joyns to the Land by a narrow Euripus.
[ II] December 8th, I accompani'd the Bp to the Church of S. Francis, whither because it was the Feast of the Conception he went to hear Mass, being attended by the Senate, and all the Nobility of the City. After which, I went with divers Gentlemen my Friends to see the Church of S. Lucy without the City in the place where she was martyr'd; which Church, though some∣times it belong'd to Priests, yet is now possess'd by reform'd Franciscan Fryers. Under the Church we saw certain grottoes extending to a great distance every way under ground and made I know not whether for Sepulchres of the Ancients, or for places of Refuge in times of danger.
December 9th, Two Galleys of Malta, which came from Messina with Provisions for the Iland, enter'd the Port, in one of which was their present General Sig: Don Francesco Caraffa Prior della Roc∣cella, and Son of the Prince della Roccella, who had lately found∣ed this Priorate della Roccella at his own charge, always to re∣main in his own Family; though after his death, if I am rightly inform'd, it shall be no longer a Priorate or Grand Cross, but on∣ly a Commendum.
December the tenth, Accompani'd by Sig. Paolo Faraone, I vi∣sited Page 303 the said Prior della Roccella in his own Galley; having seen him several times, and contracted Friendship with him whilst I was at Malta, in which time he was created General of the Gallies upon the vacancy of the charge by the death of the for∣mer General.
December the twelfth, Being S. Lucie's Eve, Solemn Vespers were sung in her Church, whither the Bishop with the Senate and all the Nobility repair'd. At night bone-fires were made, and a Cavalcade of many Cavaliers rode about with Torches, but cloth'd in their ordinary habits; after whom follow'd the Senate likewise on Horse-back.
December the thirteenth, Being the day of S. Lucie the Patro∣ness of Syracuse, a solemn Procession was made, wherein the Images of the Saint in Silver, as big or bigger then the life, were carry'd through the chief streets upon a goodly Pedestal of silver, all the Clergy and Nobility accompanying the same. The Proces∣sion set forth from the Cathedral, and as the H. Image came out of the Church-Gate, a certain man plac'd purposely on the top of the Steeple, came flying down (as they speak) upon a rope and fell in the midst of the Piazza, which was throng'd with people assembled to see the Shew. The Procession ended at the Church of S. Lucie without the City, where a solemn Mass was sung; after which in a little Chappel hard by, call'd Sant' Agata, I saw under ground the Sepulchre of S. Lucie, where She was buried first; for now her Body is not here, but was translated to some other place long agoe.
December the fourteenth, Many Races were run both by Foot∣men, Mules, ordinary Horses, and Barb or Ginets as they call them in Syracuse, with the usual circumstances of throngs of people, Ladies at the windows, Gentlemen on Horse-back, and in Coaches about the streets.
December the fifteenth, A Mascherade of twelve Cavaliers on Horse-back, cloth'd by couples after several fashions, went about the City. In the Piazza before the Bishops Palace they ran al Saraceno, (i. e. at a wooden stock made like a Man; we call it a Turk) and at the Ring, making many Caracols (or quick Turns) at the end. Which divertisement continu'd till night; when the Maskers were entertain'd with a sumptuous Supper by the Bishop, together with the Senate and other Cavaliers.
December the sixteenth, In the Morning I went to view the Fountain Arethusa, which I had seen imperfectly many years [ III] before at my first being in Sicily. 'Tis in a Grove within the walls of the City, where issuing out of a cavern of a Hill, it de∣scends to the Sea-side, forming an indifferent Pool before its going out of the walls, where the Syracusian Women use to go to wash their Clothes. In the afternoon going out of the City, to see many courses at the Ring in the field of S. Lucie, we went to hear an excellent natural Echo between the Sea and the Walls, Page 304 which returned the sound of a Trumpet once or twice very pleasantly.
December the eighteenth, The General of the Maltese-Gallies set sail for Malta, and the next Morning two other Gallies of Malta arriv'd from Messina in the Port of Syracuse. This day we went to see the Capuchins Covent without the City, in whose Gardens are seen extream deep cavities and precipices; for the Soil being all stony, was in ancient times dig'd in that manner for stones; and one may see where goodly Pillars have been cut out all of a piece, as others might still be: nevertheless in those dark vallies and cavities there are Gardens and Trees planted, which bring forth goodly fruit; at which I wonder'd the more, because some of them are never seen by the Sun, the Soil is so low and closely surrounded with high Rocks. These are Lapidicinae, or Stone-Quarries, where the Athenian Prisoners were put, who after the loss of many battels both by Land and Sea, at last yield∣ed at Syracuse, as Thucydides relates.
December the twentieth, The Bishop made an Ordination ac∣cording the custom of Four times of the year, and this Morn∣ing ordain'd above two hundred persons of several Orders; for this Diocess is sufficiently populous; and many, to avoid the nu∣merous grievances impos'd upon the King's people, willingly put themselves into the Church.
December the one twentieth, Another Procession like the former was made in the Evening, wherein the sacred Image of S. Lucie was carry'd from her own Church, where it had been till now, to the Cathedral, in which it is usually kept in a little Chappel well guarded, and lock'd with many keyes. When the Image was come thither, and the Bishop standing at the Altar, first shew'd the Magistrate, and then the People the Reliques of the Saint, (to wit, a dark blew Mantle, and a Slipper like that of the Pope) holding the same to them to kiss, and distributing Cotton to them which the said Reliques had touch'd. After which the Bishop entertain'd the Senate with a Supper.
December the two and twentieth, The two Maltese-Gallies de∣parted for Malta, and the next Evening the General of Malta return'd to Syracuse for more provision; the Island of Malta being in great want thereof.
December the four and twentieth, The said General ship'd all the Corn he could possibly, as well by stealth as openly, (because he had not Licence for so much) and in the Evening set sail for Malta. He inform'd us that the Prior of the Church was com∣ing Ambassador extraordinary to the Pope, in order to pacifie his Holiness who was much offended at certain things which they had lately done ill at Malta: Whereof I shall give you this brief account.
A while since two or three Commendams of Malta becoming [ IV] void by the death of a Commendator, who held them all toge∣ther, Page 305 the Pope joyn'd them into a new Priorate, and gave the same to Sig▪ Don Antonio Barberino his Nephew. Hereupon the Order took distast that the Pope should give these Commendams to his Nephew, in prejudice of the Ancients who pretended to them, and making a great stir (as if the Pope were not Patron of their goods, as well as those of all other Orders) they tumultuously resolv'd to send Ambassadors to the Emperor, and to the Kings of France and Spain to complain thereof, and to intreat the said Princes to undertake their Protection that the Pope might not do them such Prejudices. This coming ro the Pope's Ears, he commanded Monsig: Visconti his Inquisitor at Malta, to endea∣vor the hindring of those Embassies; and, in case of obstinacy, to prohibit them by a Publick Act in the Name of his Holiness, admonishing the Order that they had no other Superior besides the Pope, and ought not to recurr to any about their affairs but to him. The Inquisitor us'd his utmost diligence, but seeing it prevail'd not, he caus'd the Pope's Prohibition to be signifi'd to the Ambassador's Elect, by a fit Minister. One or two of them made no stir, but another fell into such a rage that he drew a Ponyard to assault the Inquisitor's Officer that gave him the Intimation: After which all the Knights banded together, and went tumultuously to the Grand Master, who was then in the Church at Vespers, and by furious menaces of a notable sedition, caus'd him to send some Grand Crosses to desire the Inquisitor to revoke the said Prohibition, otherwise a very great tumult and the ruine of the Order would ensue. The Inquisitor, mov'd with this and other effectual Instances which they made to him not without tumult, said; He had no Authority re-call a Pro∣hibition made by the Pope; but, to prevent further mischiefs, he condescended to revoke the said Order, so far as his own Au∣thority (which he judg'd none at all in this matter) could ex∣tend: Whereupon the Ambassadors presently departed. The Pope understanding this sequel, gave the Maltese-Ambassador residing at Rome a great check, and testifi'd so great displeasure with the Order, that the Ambassador himself, who, perhaps, had been the first cause of these Tumults at Malta, by writing to the Knights there to defend their causes resolutely; that he now writ after a different manner, and so represented both to the Grand Master and the Order, the Pope's displeasure, and what mischief he might do them; That being terrify'd there-with they sent Posts after their Ambassadors to return, without negotiating at all with the said Princes. Some of them, who were not yet arriv'd at the places whither they were sent, upon this Order return'd back without doing any thing; others, who were arriv'd at the Courts of the design'd Princes, obtain'd their Letters of recommendation to the Pope, which were of little moment; but ever since this business, the Pope hath had but little good will towards the Order, and hath frequently declar'd a purpose to reform it in sundry things: As, that no Women Page 306 should live in the new City, call'd il Convento, their Simoniacal Elections of Grand Masters, and other things, of which the Knights were much afraid. To these old disgusts, another hath lately been added: Upon the loss of their Gallies taken by the Turks a while agoe, with the slaughter of many Knights, the Order, for repairing the same, thought, (and, I believe, had al∣ready resolv'd) to lay a Gabel, (whether perpetual or tempo∣ral, I know not) upon the Commendams and Possessions of the Order; which, without the Pope's leave, could not be done. The Pope extreamly dislik'd this course, conceiving no necessity of attempting it for that loss; since they had lost no∣thing but two pieces of wood; and as for the Knights, they might be recruited by the income of moneys which are paid upon the admittance of others to take the Cross; besides that as to interest, they had rather gain'd then lost, having by the death of so many Knights, gotten spoyls enough to pay the charge pretended, without burdening the possessions of the Order with any imposition. All which Reasons consider'd, the Pope hearing that they were resolv'd to impose the said Gabel without addressing to him, became extreamly displeas'd with the Knights, threatning them with Excomunications and other punishments: Whereupon the Order dispatch'd this Prior of the Church, (who is also a Grand Cross and a Priest) Ambassador extraordinary to his Holiness, to pacifie him.
December the twenty sixth, We had news at Syracuse, that an English Fleet had landed some Forces at Cadiz upon the Coast of Spain, which were valorously repuls'd by the Spaniards. They are great amplifiers of their own Exploits, and writ word that the said Fleet consisted of eighty Ships, and landed twelve thou∣sand men.
December the twenty ninth, Being desirous to visit some Ca∣valiers [ V] of the Family of la Valle in the City of Catania, where there lives many, by all circumstances, deriv'd from the same Root with us of Rome; I set forth thither this Morning in the Bishop's Coach, accompani'd by Sig: Paolo Satalia a Syracusian. We travell'd not far from the Sea-side, leaving on the right hand a little fruitful Island, near the Continent of Sicily, now call'd Manghesi, but by Virgil with good reason Tapsumque jacentem; for it is all plain and very low. A little further we left on the right hand also towards the Sea, the City Augusta, sometimes call'd Megara; whence Virgil, making mention of it, saith Megarosque Sinus. In the Evening, we pass'd through Carlo Len∣tini, built upon high clifts, and so call'd as if it were Lentini di Carlo, because Charles the Fifth, Emperor, built it, with intent perhaps to transfer the City of Lentini (which lies hard by) thi∣ther for better air. At length having travell'd twenty four miles from Syracuse, we took up our Lodging in Lentini at the house of Sig: Flaminio Mollica Baron of Bagnara, who a few days before had sent to visit me in Syracuse, and receiv'd me here with extraordinary civility.
Page 307December the thirtieth, Having heard Mass in Santa Maria di Giesu a little without the City, we went to the Church of the Saints Alfio, Philadelfo, and Cirino, three French Brethren, Martyrs and Protectors of Lentini; which City is styl'd Faecundissima Lenti∣norum Vrbs, and gives for its Arms a Lion Rampant, the anci∣ent badg of the Leontines, as appears by their ancient Medals, and I observ'd by the Bill of Health which they gave us; for by reason of the Contagion at Palermo, without taking a Bill of Health at every place, &c. After dinner we departed, and not far from Lentini, pass'd over a little River which they call il fiume di Len∣tini, and probably is the Pantagia of Virgil. Before night, we arriv'd at Catania, which lies but eighteen miles from Lentini, and lodg'd in the house of Sig: Don Angelo Campochiano di Calatagiro∣ni, who was then Vicar-General ro the Bishop of Catania, and upon the recommendation of the Bishop of Syracuse, receiv'd and treated us here with much respect, being also something al∣li'd to the Sig: della Valle of Catania.
December the thirty first, I was visited by all the Sig: della [ VI] Valle, and many other Eminent Gentlemen of several Families, their Alliances. They were so many that I shall not particularly name them; only I shall intimate that at this day there are in Catania five Chiefs of the Family of la Valle, all deriv'd from the same stock; namely, first Sig: Don Franc. della Valle Baron of Miraglia, who being newly come from abroad, was put upon his Quarantine in a Church without the City; secondly, Sig: Don Gutteres della Valle, Brother of the above-said Baron, who was absent at Palermo; thirdly, Sig: Don Diego della Valle, whom I knew many years ago at Messina; fourthly, Sig: Don Vincenzo della Valle, Baron of Schisi, which they hold to be the ancient Naxus; and fifthly, Don Franc. della Valle who was in an Eccle∣siastical Habit: with many of these Gentlemen, who did me the honour to accompany me, I went this morning to see the Mo∣ther-Church, where in a close Chappel the body of S. Agatha is kept. After which I was conducted to see the Benedictine's Mo∣nastery of S. Nicolas, (which is a handsom building,) and the Reliques kept there in the Sacristie; amongst which was shewn me a Nail of our Saviour's Cross, an Arrow of S. Sebastian's, a piece of S. George's Coat of Mail, some of S. Peter the Apostle's beard, and some of the beard of S. Zaccharias Father of S. John Baptist. I saw also the ruins of the Amphitheater and the Cirque, the Fountains without the Walls of the City by the Sea-side, which being so many Spouts on a row, make a pretty sight, near the place where S. Agatha was put into the fire.
January the first, 1626. Accompani'd by the same Gentlemen, who did me that honour at all hours, I went to see the prison of S. Agatha under ground, and her Sepulchre, where there is also another Church, and in that the place where S. Lucy appear'd to her; and a little further a little Chappel apart where her breasts were cut off. After which, I spent the day in visiting Page 308 such Gentlemen as had visited me, as also such Gentlewomen of the Family of la Valle as had sent to visit me. The next day I went to S. Francis's Church to see the Chappel and Tombs of the Family of la Valle, in whose arms I found some difference from my own as to the colours, (which was only the Error of the Painter) they giving the Lions and Stars, Or, in a field gules; but we at Rome, the Lions azure, and Stars, gules in a field Or. And being Arms are commonly taken from old Stone-monuments which have no colours, 'twas no hard matter for some Modern Painter to mistake, and put one for another. In the Evening, I was visited by the Magistrates of Catania, whom they call Guirati (Jurats); and news came that a Proclamation was publish'd at Palermo, whereby as many as were oblig'd ei∣ther by Tenure, or otherwise to military service in Sicily in in times of need, were commanded to appear forthwith in the field, in order to a General Muster, and then be distributed in∣to several places, for fear of an invasion by the English Fleet, which they said was enter'd into the Mediterranean upon de∣signs of mischief.
January the third, I return'd the Visit to the Magistrates in the City-Palace, being receiv'd by them with much honour, and at my departure accompani'd almost to the Gate. After dinner, having visited Sig: Don Francesco della Valle, Baron of Miraglia, who was upon his Quarantine in the Church of the Infirm with∣out the City, I took leave of all my honourable Friends, and departed from Catania towards Syracuse, arriving at Lentini two hours after Sun-set, where I lodg'd in the House of the Ba∣ron of Bagnara.
[ VIII] January the fourth, Having heard Mass in the Church of the Saints Alfio and his Brethren, and din'd early, we departed from Lentini, and at night arriv'd at S. Cosmano, a place twelve miles from Syracuse, famous for making Sugar. It being late, we took up our Quarters in a House, where we saw the Machins, Fur∣naces, and other contrivances for that Work.
January the fifth, About Noon, we arriv'd at Syracuse, being met without the Gate in a Coach by Sig: Paolo Faraone, Sig: Don Diego Landolnia his Couzen, Sig: Don Gasparo Diamante, and others of the Bishop's House.
January 10th, We went abroad a shooting in a boat upon the fa∣mous River Alfeo, which falls into the Port of Syracuse, just op∣posite to the walls of the City, passing first under a bridge of one arch, exactly according to the printed figure of the Pasto∣ral of Cavalier Guarini call'd il Pastor fido, wherein the River Alfeo speaks the Prologue.
January the eleventh, I saw the subterraneous Grottoes of S. John's Church without the City; they are many, great, and handsom, contriv'd almost like a Labyrinth, and appear to have been intended for Sepulchres; in some places the light is admit∣ted a little by Cupola's, which probably serv'd for the people to Page 309 assemble in, either to the Obsequies or Funeral-suppers. Yet certain Figures of ancient Saints, and other Tokens argue them to have been us'd by Christians; 'tis a goodly Fabrick for a work under-ground, being all cut out of the natural stone by hand.
January the thirteenth, Four Maltese-Galleys arriv'd at Syra∣cuse; and because they intended for Messina, and one of them for Naples, and perhaps further, to carry the Prior of the Church, who, as I said, was going extraordinary Ambassador to Rome, and was here imbarqu'd; I desir'd to take the opportunity of these Galleys to Messina: and accordingly went to speak with the General, who was gone a hunting with the Prior of the Church near the River Alfeo. The General courteously granted me passage in his own Ship to Messina: but as for going to Naples in the Galley with the said Prior, I could not obtain this favour from him: and though his excuse was, that but one Galley went thither, and that with many Passengers, and my people and goods were not few; yet I perceiv'd that the Prior, on whom the cour∣tesie depended (although he had been my Friend at Malta, and shew'd himself such here also) was unwilling to grant me the same, because I lodg'd in the house of the Bishop, with whom the Prior was displeas'd, because the Bishop had neither visited him, nor yet the General of the Galleys, as they pretended he ought to have done: but the Bishop pretended the contrary, namely, that they ought to have visited him first; so that be∣tween the punctilio's of both sides, I was fain to suffer an incon∣venience, as it commonly happens in such cases. However I re∣solv'd not to decline the General's offer of passing to Messina in these Galleys, and accordingly taking leave of the Bishop, and all other Friends after supper, I went aboard of the General's Galley with my people, and at the second watch we set sail. The winds being contrary we could not pass further then Augusta, where we anchor'd a little without the Port; but because we did not salute the City, (in regard we stood off from it, and were upon departing) a great Gun was discharg'd from thence against us with a bullet. Which though the General was offend∣ed at, yet because there was nothing else to be done, he sent a Spanish Gentleman of his Order to make excuse to the Governor for not having saluted him, (as not being the custom in such oc∣casions) and to complain of his shooting with a bullet in that manner. The Governor answer'd courteously, yet (like a Spa∣niard) held his point, and advis'd the Galleys to have patience; thereby implying, that if they would ride in that Port, they must salute the Royal Standards, otherwise they should be sunk.
January the fourteenth, The weather proving foul, our Gal∣leys made into the Port of Augusta, where we saluted the Block-houses, and receiv'd the like salutations from them again. There are three Block-houses or Forts at Augusta, one within the City Page 310 upon a high situation, another upon the mouth of the Port which is very large within, and another also within the Port divided into two, and standing upon two little rocks. Divers of our people went ashore the same day, but I did not, till the next: when after I had heard Mass said by the F. Provincial of the Je∣suits in Sicily, in a Church call'd Our Lady delle Gratie, I went to see the Capuchins Church, the Streets of the City, the Castle, and whatever was remarkable, which was very little.
January the sixteenth, The weather continuing foul with snow, the Captains upon consultation resolv'd to return back to Syra∣cuse, because the Galleys had not provision enough for a longer stay. Wherefore after dinner, we set sail back again, and arriv'd before night at Syracuse; whereof the Bishop being advertis'd, sent Sig: Paolo Faraone to fetch me, and Sig: Maria to conduct my women to his House.
January the nineteenth, The weather becoming good, the General sent us sudden notice that he would depart immedi∣ately, as accordingly we did, and at night enter'd the Port of Augusta, because it was again become somewhat tempestuous. The next Evening we departed from Augusta, and sail'd all night with a bad wind, which forc't us to make use of our Oars.
January the twenty first, At day-break we came before Capo grosso, about twenty miles from Messina, and continuing our course, arriv'd at Messina before Noon. At the mouth of the Port we were question'd by the Commissioners of Health, who were very rigorous here, and indeed were to be commended for it; since, had it not been for the exact diligence of Messina in this matter, the present Pestilence of Sicily might easily have in∣fected all Italy: for Card. Dona and others that govern'd at Pa∣lermo, to avoid damnifying that City by loss of Trade, have ha∣zarded the safery not only of the whole Kingdom (as is manifest∣ly seen) but also of all Italy by concealing the Plague of Pa∣lermo as much as they could, instead of remedying the Infection by such severe and rigorous courses as was fit, namely, by burn∣ing infected Goods and the like; yea, they rather maintain'd that the Plague was not there when it was there, and requir'd prattick to be given them everywhere, procuring Orders from Spain for that purpose: by which means many other places of Sicily, are become infected, and the Plague, which, had fit means been us'd, perhaps would soon have been extinguisht, hath continu'd above two years, and continues still; the Orders of the Viceroy and the Court of Spain, promoting the spreading thereof in despight of all. Only the City of Messina hath the glory of withstand∣ing so great mischief for the publick safety. Whilst we were un∣der examination, expecting Bills for Prattick against night, I ad∣vertis'd Sig: Francesco Faraone, and Sig: Don Palmieri di Gi∣ovanni, my ancient Friends, of my coming, who, in the Evening when Prattick was granted us, came with other Gentlemen and Gentlewomen in Coaches to the shore-side to receive me, and Page 311Sig: Maria. After I had taken leave of the General, and all the Knights of the Gallies, I went ashore and was accompany'd by the said Gentlemen to the House of Sig: Francesco Faraone, where taking up my Residence, I have been visited by most Per∣sons of quality in the City, as also Sig: Maria hath been by many Ladies; we also returning visits to all to whom we owed them.
January the five and twentieth, Sig: Don Giov. Bisogni, a Ca∣valier of Messina, Cousin to the Bishop of Syracuse, and Husband of Donna Margarita Faraone, (whom I left at Catania with three of her Sons) dying at Messina, his Son Don Francesco, (who alone was here at his Father's death) according to the custom of this City, as soon as his Father expir'd, went out of the House, leaving it and the Body yet unburi'd, to the care of other kinred, and retyr'd to the House of Sig: Franc. Faraone (wherein I lodg) as his nearest Kinsman; and here he receives condoling visits, and remaines till his Father's Body be buri'd, and the House purifi'd and fitted with mourning; which I mention as a custom not practis'd by us at Rome. We have been to see the Bodies of San Placido, and other Saints, with all the other Reliques of Messina, which were shewn us near the High Altar, where they are kept very conveniently. I have also heard one of the Moral Lectures of Sig: Antonio Mazza∣pinta, a Famous Philosopher, and Publick Reader in Mes∣sina: Which Lecture, as also many others, he read in his Extraordinary House for his own pleasure, and that of the Curi∣ous. Here I arrest my Pen, this Letter being the last of my Ori∣ental Voyages. If it please God, I shall shortly entertain you viva voce; in the mean time I commit you to his Providence, and kiss your Hands.
An account of my Arrival and Residence at Naples, in the House of Sig: Maria Schipano.
JAnuary the thirtieth, Having hir'd two Felluca's for Naples, [ I] and embarqu'd all our goods with good Bills of Health, (which in regard of Sitti Maani's Body which I carry'd with me, were more then necessary, and my Friends at Mes∣sina had procur'd to my satisfaction) in the Morning we set sail from Messina with a good wind, being accompany'd to the boat by many Persons of quality of both Sexes, from whom we separated with much tenderness. We pass'd the Pharo between Caribdis and Scilla, the Sea being sufficiently rough, though the wind favorable. On the left hand, at a good distance we left the Island of Strongile, Vulcano, and other places; at night arriving at Trupia, where, because they refus'd to give us Prattick, alledging that this was no Landing-place in these infectious times, and that certain Landing-places were ap∣pointed Page 312 for Passage-Vessels upon the Coast of Calabria, where alone Prattick was to be had; we kept out at Sea all night, and pass'd il Pizzo.
January the one and thirtieth, We pass'd by Mantea and other places, at noon arriving at Paola where I went ashore. A little without the City, amongst the little Hills we saw the Church of S. Francis of Paola, which is delicately seated amongst goodly Trees and Brooks which run between the Hills. We saw the Reliques, the Chappel of the Marquis, Lord of the place, and his Sepulchres; the Lime-kiln where S. Francis did a miracle; the Fountain and the Grotto wherein he lived, with all other things remarkable; after which we lodg'd in an Hostery or Inn upon the shore.
February the first, Having heard Mass in a little Church there, we left Paola, and passing by Scoglio del Marchese and other Islands; in the Evening we supp'd at Sea under Belvedere, and sailing all night, the next day we din'd on Land at Camerota; from whence we sail'd and came to an Anchor in the Port of Pali∣nuro; which place I beheld with pleasure, through the delight∣full remembrance of Virgil's Verses, which relate the mis∣fortune of the Pilot Palniurus, and with-all, give immortal fame to the place.
February the fourth, We departed from Palinuro, and lodg'd on shore at Acciaruolo, where Passengers are notoriously abus'd, by being constrain'd to lodg in a lewd Inn there, and pay the Host what he pleases to demand, who is also to pay the Lord of the place what Rent he desires. The next day we pass'd the Gulph of Salerno, and bocche di Capri, arriving late in the Port of Napples, under the Dogana of Corn; but because it was so late that we could not get Prattick, we slept all night in the Felluca's.
February the sixth, Sig: Andrea Pulice my Comrade, being by me advertis'd of my coming, brought Sig: Mario Schipano, and many other Friends to visit me in my Felluca; which interview, after so many years, was as pleasant as can be imagin'd. As soon as the Officers negotiated for Prattick they obtain'd it; but, for less trouble, and because I intended to stay little at Naples, I di∣spatch'd one of my Felluca's wherein was the Body of Sitti Maani, and other goods, immediately to Rome. Upon Sig: Schipano's invitation, I lodg'd in his House, together with all my people. At Naples I receiv'd the first Letters from Rome af∣ter above four years, wherein I had not receiv'd any, nor heard any certain tidings of my Relations. These advertis'd me of the death of Sig: Vallerio della Valle, which hapned four years before, and also of that of Sig: Tomasso della Valle, my Uncle, which fell out about a year before my arrival. At whose deaths I also be∣ing no longer accounted living, certain Pious Places seis'd upon part of my goods and revenues, and would have gotten all the rest with the writings, (as they attempted to do) had not my Page 213 kinred, and, particularly, SigraLaura Gaetana stoutly with-stood them, making it apparent that I was alive, by shewing some of my Letters which she had lately receiv'd; whereto nevertheless they would by no means give credit. I found entertainment for many dayes in reading abundance of Letters from Rome, which almost all my kindred and friends writ to me, and in answering the same; as also in receiving and returning the visits of many Neapolitan Cavaliers and Titolado's; and, indeed, I am much oblig'd to all the Nobility of that City for the Civilities they shew'd me in this my Return.
February the tenth, I sent to Rome authentical Certificates of [ II] my survivance, attested by many Persons of Naples, who acknow∣ledg'd me for what I was twelve years before when I departed thence; as also Letters of Attorney and other writings, to the end my Relations might make use thereof to my benefit against who-ever at Rome attempted to molest my Estate.
February the three and twentieth, A brave Tournement was publickly made at Naples with great splendor in the Piazza of the Palace, for the Birth of the Princess of Spain, the King's first-born Daughter; to behold which, there interven'd with the Duke of Alva, the Vice-Roy, the Duke of Alcala, newly ar∣riv'd from Rome, where he had been extraordinary Ambassador about the troubles of Italy. The Tourneyment was gallant, con∣sisting of abundance of Squadrons and Cavaliers, but without any Inventions, and nothing near so brave as that which I saw here in the year 1612. upon the Marriage of France and Spain.
February the four and twentieth, Which was the day of Carni∣val, a Mascherade was made in Naples, and Balls in the Palace for an entertainment to the Duke of Alcala; as also the next day, (although it was Lent) another Mascherade was made on Horse-back with a Tilting, and at night Balls in the Palace.
March the ninth, About seven a clock at night, a very great Earth-quake hapned in Naples, which shook the strongest walls as if they had been but of paper; but it lasted little, and was very short, so that (God be prais'd) it did no considerable hurt, although for the small time it continu'd, it was sufficiently dreadful.
March the tenth, The Abbess and other Nunns of San Marcel∣lino, and, particularly, Donna Feliciana, and Donna Beatrice d' Avalos, (to whom I have always had great respect) did me the favor to cause a Mass to be sung in their Church, whilst I was present, in thanks to God for my safe return into Italy; where twelve years before I had begun and took the Ensignes of my Peregrination.
March the thirteenth, The fit time for my departure by Sea to Rome, being come, I took leave of Sig: Mario Schipano, who had entertain'd us nobly all the time of my stay at Naples, (du∣ring which, we frequently review'd our Letters and Travels Page 314 with much Curiosity and Pleasure) and also of all other Friends, and after due thanks to Sig: Angelo Crescentio, and Sig: Andrea Pulice who accompani'd us to the Scoglio di Euplea, vulgarly call'd Gaiola, I went aboard and departed.