POST OFFICE. TELEGRAPH.
In Rome permessi for this purpose are issued by the Ministero dell' Istru¬
zione Pubblica (p. 183).
Theatres. Performances in the large theatres begin at 8, 8.30,
or 9, and terminate at midnight or later, operas and ballets being
exclusively performed. The first act of an opera is usually succeeded
by a ballet of three acts or more. The pit (platea) is the usuai re-
sort of the men, for which a single ticket (biglietto d'ingresso) is suf-
flcient ; but for reserved seats (poltrone or posti distinti) or for a box
(palco) a second tjcket must be obtained. Ladies frequent the boxes,
which must always be secured in advance. — The theatre is the
usuai evening-resort of the Italians, who seldom observe strict si-
lence during the performance of the music.
Shops rarely have fixed prices. As a rule two-thirds or three-
quarters of the price asked shouldbe offered (contrattare = to bargain).
'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 he 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 of course comes out of
the purchaser's pocket.
XI. Post Office. Telegraph.
In the larger towns the Post Office is open daily from 8 a. m. to
8 or 8.30 p. m. (also on Sundays and holidays), in smaller places it
is generally closed in the middle of the day for two or three hours.
Letters (whether 'poste restante', Italian 'ferma in posta', or to
the traveller's hotel) should be addressed very distinctly, and the
name of the place should be in Italian. "When asking for letters the
traveller should present his visiting-card instead of giving his name
orally. Postage-stamps (francobolli) are sold at the post-offices and
at many of the tobacco shops. The Italian for letter-box is Buca or
Cassetta (for letters, per le lettere; for printed papers, per le stampe).
Letters of 15 grammes O/2 oz., about the weight of three sous) by
town-post 5c, to the rest of Italy 20 e, abroad (per f estero) to any of
the states included in the postai union (now comprising the whole of
Europe as well as the United States, Canada, etc.) 28 e. The penalty
(segnatassa) for insufficiently prepaid letters is considerable. — Postcards
(cartolina postale) for both Italy (white) and abroad (green) 10 e, reply-
cards (con risposta pagala), inland 15 e, for abroad 20 e. — Book-packets
(stampe sotto fascia) 2 e. per 50grammes, for abroad 5 e. — Registration-
fee (raccommandazione) for letters for the same town and printed matter
10 e, otherwise 25 e. The packet or letter must be inscribed ('raccomman-
data') and the stamps must be affixed in front at the different corners.
— Post Office Orders payable in Italy, for sums not exceeding 101., are
now granted by the English Post Office at the following rates ; not exceed¬
ing 21., Sd.; 51., is.; 71., Is. 6<f. ; 10Z., 2s. These are paid in gold. The
identity of the receiver must be guaranteed by two well-known residents
(perhaps the innkeeper and one of his friends or assistants). The charge
for money orders granted in Italy and payable in England is 40 e. per 11.
A Parcel Post exists between Italy and Great Britain, the rates and
conditions of which may he ascertained at any post office. The parcels