indeed any other. Interventions of this description invariably
tend to increase prices, and are often productive of still more-
serious annoyances. This remark applies especially tovillages and
small towns, v.hether on or out of the regular track.
X. Churches, Theatres, Shops etc.
Churches are open till noon, and usually again from 4 to 7
p. m. Visitors may inspect the works of art even during the
hours of divine service, provided they move about noiselessly, and
keep aloof from the altar where the clergy are officiating. The
verger (sagrestano, or nonzolo) receives a fee of i/-i 1. or upwards.
if his services are required.
Theatres. The representations in the large theatres begin at
8, and terminate at midnight or later. Here operas and ballets
are exclusively performed; the first act of an opera is usually-
succeeded by a ballet of 3 or more acts. Verdi is the most po¬
pular composer. The pit (platea) is the usual resort of the men.
A box (palco) must always be secured in advance. — A visit to
the smaller theatres, where dramas and comedies are acted, is
especially recommended for the sake of habituating the ear to the
language. Representations in summer take place in the open air,
in which case smoking is allowed. — The theatre is the usual
evening-resort of the Italians, by whom during the performance of
the music profound silence is never observed.
Shops rarely have fixed prices. As a rule two-thirds or three-
quarters of the price demanded should be offered. The same rule
applies to artizans, drivers and others. "Non volete?" (then you will
not?) is a remark which generally has the effect of bringing the
matter to a speedy adjustment. Purchases should never be made
by the traveller when accompanied by a valet-de-place. These
individuals, by tacit agreement, receive at least 10 per cent of the
purchase-money, which naturally comes out of the pocket of the
purchaser. This system of extortion is carried so far that, when
a member of the above class observes a stranger enter a shop.
he presents himself at the door, and afterwards claims his per¬
centage under the pretext that by his recommendation the pur¬
chase has been made. In such cases it is by no means super¬
fluous to call the attention of the shopkeeper to the imposition
("non conosco quest' uomo1').
Cigars in Italy (Sicily excepted) and the States of the Church
are a monopoly of Government, and bad; those under 3 — 4 sol.
XL Postal Arrangements.
The address of letters (whether poste restante or to the tra¬
veller's hotel) should, as a rule, be in the Italian or French