ceed in reducing their expenses to still narrower limits. Persons
travelling as members of a party may effect a considerable saving.
Where ladies are of the party the expenses are always unavoidably
greater; not merely because the better hotels, and the more com¬
fortable modes of locomotion are selected, but because the Italians
regard the traveller in this case as wealthier, and therefore a
more fitting object for extortion.
In the Kingdom of Italy the French monetary system is now
universal. The franc (lira or franco) contains 100 centesimi.
1 1. 25 c. = Is. = 10 silbergroschen = 35 German kreuzer =
50 Austrian kreuzer. The silver coins in common circulation
are Italian pieces of 1 and 21., and Italian or French 5 1. pieces;
gold coins of the Italian or French currency of 10 and 20 1. are
the commonest (those of 5 and 40 1. rare). Since the war of
1866 a paper-currency, at a compulsory rate of exchange, has
been introduced, in consequence of which the valuable metals
have entirely disappeared from ordinary circulation. Copper and
banknotes down to 2 1. are almost exclusively employed. The change
for gold or silver should always be given in silver; and paper
should be declined, unless 6—7 per cent in excess of its nominal
value be proffered, a premium which the money-changers generally
give. In the same way paper may be exchanged for gold or sil¬
ver, at a loss of 8—10 per cent. Two points, however, should
in the latter case be observed: (1) the notes of small amount
(2 and 5 1.) should be preferred, owing to the difficulty of chan¬
ging those of greater value in ordinary traffic; (2) public and
railway offices refuse to give change when payment is made in
paper. In the latter case the precise sum should be tendered, as
any amount in excess, or short of the fare is alike declined. In
case of emergencies, the traveller should of course be provided
with a reserve of silver. French banknotes are on a par with
gold. — States of the Church, see Part 2nd of the Handbook.
In some parts of Italy the former currency is still employed
in keeping accounts, and the coins themselves are oceasionally
seen. Thus the francesconi and crazie of Tuscany, the Roman
scudi and bajocchi still used inUmbria, the piastri and grani of
Naples, and the uncie and tari of Sicily. An acquaintance with
these now nearly obsolete currencies is, however, not essential
unless the traveller diverges from the beaten track, in which case
the necessary information will be aiforded by the Handbook.
The traveller should, before entering Italy, provide himself
with French Gold , which he may procure in England, France or
Germany on more advantageous terms than in Italy. Sovereigns
(equivalent to 27—28 lire in paper) are received at the full value
by most of the principal hotel keepers , but this is not the case
in the less frequented districts.