It Is Surrounded By Cloisters On Three Sides,
On To Which The Rooms In Which The Pilgrims Are Lodged Open
at least that are on the ground-floor, for there are three storeys.
The chapel, which was dedicated in
The year 1600, juts out into the
court upon the north-east side. On the north-west and south-west
sides are entrances through which one may pass to the open country.
The grass, at the time of our visit, was for the most part covered
with sheets spread out to dry. They looked very nice, and, dried
on such grass and in such an air, they must be delicious to sleep
on. There is, indeed, rather an appearance as though it were a
perpetual washing-day at Oropa, but this is not to be wondered at
considering the numbers of comers and goers; besides, people in
Italy do not make so much fuss about trifles as we do. If they
want to wash their sheets and dry them, they do not send them to
Ealing, but lay them out in the first place that comes handy, and
nobody's bones are broken.
CHAPTER XV - Oropa (continued)
On the east side of the main block of buildings there is a grassy
slope adorned with chapels that contain illustrating scenes in the
history of the Virgin. These figures are of terra-cotta, for the
most part life-size, and painted up to nature. In some cases, if I
remember rightly, they have hemp or flax for hair, as at Varallo,
and throughout realism is aimed at as far as possible, not only in
the figures, but in the accessories.
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