SEASON AND PLAN OF TOUR.
forward it, he should employ a trustworthy agent at the frontier and
send him the keys. Comp. p. xiv.
IV. Season and Pian of Tour.
Season. The season selected for the tour must of course depend
on the traveller himself, but the hest time for Central Italy is spring,
from the end of March to the end of May, or autumn, from the end
of September to the middle of November. In summer the neigh-
bourhood of Rome as well as parts of the city itself are exposed to
malaria, but even apart from that fact, the suitability of this season
for the tour depends to a great extent on the constitution of the
traveller. The scenery indeed is then in perfection, and the long
days are hailed with satisfaction by the active traveller; but the
fierce rays of an Italian sun seldom fail to sap the physical and
mental energies. The heat generally moderates about the end of
August. when the first showers of autumn begin to refresh the
parched atmosphere. But in Central Italy nearly the whole of Sep¬
tember is apt to be sultry, and the frequent thunder-storms render
that month less favourable for travelling than is usually assumed.
The winter-months, from the end of November to the end of Fe-
bruary, when heavy rains fall in Central and Southern Italy, are quite
unsuited for travelling. They had better be devoted to Rome.
Pian. In Central Italy the principal attraction is Rome itself, and
of the other towns described in the present volume the next in im-
portance are Siena and Perugia, both of which afford good summer-
quarters owing to their elevated situations. Two other places of great
interest are Orvieto and Assisi, a short visit to which should not be
omitted. Arezzo, Cortona, Spoleto, Terni, with its imposing water-
falls, and Chiusi and Corneto, with their Etruscan antiquities, are
also interesting points, situated near the railway. Volterra, S. Oi-
mìgnano, Montepulciano, and Viterbo, though less conveniently
situated, are also well worthy of a visit. "With regard to the towns
lying on the coast of the Adriatic, comp. pp. 90 et seq. Besides these
points of attraction there are many others in the less-frequented
districts of the interior, which the traveller who desires more than
a superficial acquaintance with Italy should not fail to explore ; and
the farther he diverges from the beaten track, the more he will
learn of the characteristics of this delightful country.
V. Intercourse with Italiana. Gratuities. Valets de Place.
In Italy the pernicious custom of demanding considerably more
than will ultimately be accepted has long been prevalent; but
a knowledge of the custom, which is based on the presumed igno-
rance of one of the contracting parties, tends greatly to mitigate the
evil. Where tariffs and fixed charges cxist, they should be carefully
consulted. In other cases the traveller should make a distinctbargain.