I KNOW not when the desire possessed me first, but from my boyhood days, I longed to walk the streets and visit the palaces and behold the monuments of eternal Rome ; and when, at length, what had been life’s dream became a reality, my heart thrilled and trembled as I caught sight, for the first time, of the world-renowned Capitol.
And now again, together with you, I am to see Rome; to have the old feelings of being in the very presence of the ancient city’s streets and ruins, beneath the Italian sky and sun. Not only may we see Rome before us, solid and substantial, not only are we to get the same clear, accurate visual ideas, as does the person who visits Italy, but with our eyes shut in by the hood of the stereoscope, we may have a distinct sense or experience of location here and there in Italy. This will mean that we may be thrilled with the very same emotions one would have were he actually on the spot. We shall not only see the ancient Arch of Constantine, even to the words in-scribed upon it, but we may and should enjoy the very same feelings the tourist experiences after his journey of many thousand miles. The feelings and emotions which we may have in the presence of these marvelous representations may, and probably will, differ from those we might have in Italy in quantity or intensity, but not at all in kind. And, inasmuch as we may come to these representations many times and ponder over them as long as we choose, it is possible for us to approximate, perhaps, to the full experience of the traveler.
First of all we shall need to obtain a very clear sense or consciousness of our location in each place represented before us by each particular stereograph. This means that we must know where on the earth’s surface each place we see is located, and also our relation to this place with regard to the points of the compass.
Accordingly all of us who are not very familiar with Italy should turn first, to the general map. of Italy (Map No. 1), in the pocket on the cover of this book, and get a clear idea of that section of the world and the places we are to see in it. Especially should we notice that in about the center of this peninsula on the western side, near the sea, is Rome. The red line which starts from that place, curving around through the country and over the sea, indicates the route along which the places we are about to see are located ; the small rectangles in red mark out the territory that is shown on a larger scale on special sectional maps. We are to note that we go first in a southeasterly direction from Rome, about one hundred miles to Naples, Vesuvius and Pompeii, then northwest some four hundred miles to Genoa; south-east again sixty miles to Carrara, then, twenty-five miles to Pisa, ten miles inland on the Arno River ; then forty miles farther up this river to Florence, almost directly north of Rome. We are to go next to Milan, one hundred and fifty miles northwest of Florence; then about seventy-five miles to Verona; and finally about fifty miles farther east to Venice, the Bride of the Adriatic.
Now we are ready to turn to our large sectional map of Rome (Map No. 2). As soon as possible we need to get in mind the location of the great centers of interest here, not merely that we may know the position of any particular place, but also to be able more and more, in whatever particular place we may be, to know and feel the Rome all about us. We can see at a glance that this map (No. 2) just encompasses the walls of the city. There is scarcely a half inch between some part of the old Aurelian wall on every side and the map margin. Nearer the left hand side of the map is seen the Tiber winding in the form of an S down through the city from north to south. To the left of the Tiber, in the upper part of the map, we see the location of St. Peter’s, called there Basilica di S. Pietro in Vaticano. To the right of St. Peter’s on the very bank of the Tiber, are the triangle out-lines and black center of the Mausoleum of Hadrian, or Castle of St. Angelo. A little below the center of the map, in the Tiber River, is the Island of the Tiber, and a few inches to the right or east of this island, we find what was the ruling center of the world for so many years – the Forum (Forum Romanum) with the Capitoline and Palatine Hills, and the Colosseum, grouped about it. The remaining five of the ” seven hills,” the Quirinal, Viminal, Esquiline, Caelian and Aventine, we see arranged in an outer half circle about the Forum from north to south. Now we are ready to locate our first position in Rome. Note a circle, with the figure i in it, both in red, a little below and to the right or southeast of the Is-land of the Tiber. At this place is situated the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin. Notice also two red lines which start from this point, and spreading apart, extend toward the northwest. We are to stand first at the place from which these two lines diverge, that is in the bell tower of the old Santa Maria in Cosmedin church, and look out over that particular portion of Rome which the lines enclose.