'Thou art the garden of the world, the home
Of ali Art yields, and Nature can decree;
•E'en in thy desert, what is like to thee?
Thy very weeds are beautiful, thy waste
More rich than other climes' fertility,
Thy wreck a glory, and thy ruin graced
With an immaculate charm whieh cannot be defaced.'
I. Travelling Expenses. Money.
Expenses. The cost of a tour in Italy depends of course on the
traveller's resources and habits, but, as already stated in the first
part of this Handbook, it need not exceed that incurred in the
more frequented parts of the continent. The average expenditure of
a single traveller may be estimated at 20-25 francs per day, or at 10-
15 francs when a prolonged stay is made at one place ; but persons
acquainted with the language and habits of the country may easily
restrict their expenses to stili narrower limits. Those who travel as
members of a party also effect a considerable saving. When ladies
are of the party the expenses are generally greater.
Money. The French monetary system is now in use throughout
the whole of Italy. The frane (lira or franco) contains 100 centesimi ;
1 fr. 25c. = ls. = 1 German mark (comp. p. ii). The gold and Sil¬
ver coins of France, Switzerland, Greece, and Belgium circuiate
freely. In consequence of the present financial condition of the
country gold has almost disappeared from ordinary circulation. Gold
pieces of 10 or 20 francs should be converted into paper at a money-
changer's; for the premium on gold (2-3°/o) is not allowed for at ho¬
tels or shops. The recognized paper currency consists of the Biglietti
di Stato and the banknotes of the Banca Nazionale ; notes of the
Banca di Toscana are legai tender in Tuscany. The notes of other
large Italian banks are generally accepted at Rome. — The traveller
should be on his guard against old coins from the papal mint, Swiss
Silver coins with the seated figure of Helvetia, Roumanian, and
South American coins, which are much depreciated, and Greek cop-
per coins. Even Italian coins issued before 1863 ('Re Eletto') are
liable to refusai, as are also much-worn coins of any kind. Base
coins representing !/2, 1, or 2 francs are very common.
Best Money for the Tour.. Circular Notes or Letters of Cre¬
dit, obtainable at the principal English and American banks, form
the proper medium for the transport of large sums, and realise the
most favourable exchange. English and German banknotes also