lets are exclusively performed; the first act Of an opera is usu¬
ally succeeded by a ballet of 3 or more acts, Verdi is the most
popular 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 charming co¬
medies of Goldoni are still among the most popular. — The
theatre is a favourite evening-resort of the Italians, by whom
during the performance of the music profound silence is never
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 volele?' (then
you will not?) is a remark which generally has the effect of
bringing the matter to a speedy termination. 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 percentage under the pretext that by his
recommendation the purchase has been made. In such cases it
is by no means superfluous to call the attention of the shopkeeper
to the imposition ('non conosco quest' uomo').
Cigars in Italy, France and Austria are a monopoly of Go¬
vernment; those under 7—10 soldi scarcely smokable. Passers-by
freely avail themselves of the light which burns in every cigar-
shop, without making any purchase.
XI. 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
language. Postage - stamps are sold at all the tobacco-shops.
Letters to England cost 60 c. , France 40 c, Germany 40 c,
Switzerland 30 c. , Belgium 40, Holland (via France) 50 c,
Denmark 50 c. , Norway and Sweden (via Austria) 75 c,
Russia (via Austria) 70 c., America (United-States) via Eng¬
land 80 c, via France 1 fr. 20 c.
Letters by town-post 5 c. ; throughout the kingdom of Italy
20 c. prepaid, 30 c. unpaid. Letters to Rome must be prepaid
as far as the frontier (20 c), also vice versa.
In the larger towns the post-office is open the whole day
from 9 a. m. to 10 p. m. (also on Sundays and holidays).