PLINY

C. PLINIUS GALLO SUO S.

Miraris cur me Laurentinum vel (si ita mavis), Laurens meum tanto opere delectet; desines mirari, cum cognoveris gratiam villae, opportunitatem loci, litoris spatium. Decem septem milibus passuum ab urbe secessit, ut peractis quae agenda fuerint salvo iam at composito die possis ibi manere. Aditur non una via; nam et Laurentina et Ostiensis oedem ferunt, sed Laurentina a quarto decimo lapide, Ostiensis ab undecimo relinquenda est. Utrimque excipit iter aliqua ex parte harenosum, iunctis paulo gravius et longius, equo breve et molle. Varia hinc atque inde facies; nam modo occurrentibus silvis via coartatur, modo latissimis pratis diffunditur et patescit; multi greges ovium, multa ibi equorum boum armenta, quae montibus hieme depulsa herbis et tepore verno nitescunt.

 

English Translation

You may wonder why my Laurentine place (or my Laurentian, if you like that better) is such a joy to me, but once you realize the attractions of the house itself, the amenities of its situation, and its extensive seafront, you will have your answer. It is seventeen miles from Rome, so that it is possible to spend the night there after necessary business is done, without having cut short or hurried the days work, and it can be approached by more than one route; the roads to Laurentum and Ostia both lead in that direction, but you must leave the first at the fourteenth milestone and the other at the eleventh. Whichever way you go, the side road you take is sandy for some distance and rather heavy and slow-going if you drive, but soft and easily covered on horseback. The view on either side is full of variety, for sometimes the road narrows as it passes through the woods, and then it broadens and opens out through wide meadows where there are many flocks of sheep and herds of horses and cattle driven down from the mountains in winter to grow sleek on the pastures in the springlike climate.