xvi PASSPORTS. — PUBLIC SAFETY.
is very useful, as the Italians are very partial to that language, and
it may suffice for Rome and some of the main routes; but for those
who desire the utmost possible freedom, combined with the lowest
possible expenditure, a slight acquaintance with the language of the
country is indispensable, -j-
IV. Passports. Custom-house. Luggage.
Passports, though not required in Italy, are occasionally useful.
Registered letters, for example, will not be delivered to strangers
unless they exhibit a passport to prove their identity. In the remote
districts, too, where the public safety demands a more rigorous
supervision, the traveller is sometimes asked for his credentials.
The Italian police authorities are generally civil and obliging.
Custom-House. The examination of luggage at the Italian
custom-houses is usually lenient. Tobacco and cigars are the articles
chiefly sought for. At the gates of most of the Italian towns a tax
(dazio consumo) is levied on comestibles, but travellers' luggage is
passed at the barriers (limite daziario) on a simple declaration that
it contains no such articles.
Luggage. If possible, luggage should never be sent to Italy by
goods-train, as it is liable to damage, pilferage, and undue custom¬
house detention. If the traveller is obliged to forward it in this
way, he should employ a trustworthy agent at the frontier and send
him the keys. As a rule it is advisable, and often in the end less
expensive, never to part from one's luggage, and to superintend the
custom-house examination in person.
V. Public Safety. Begging.
Brigandage. Italy is still sometimes regarded as the land of
Fra Diavolo's and Rinaldo Rinaldini's, and the impression is fostered
by tales of travellers, and sensational letters to newspapers; but
the fact is, that travelling in Northern and Central Italy is hardly
attended with greater hazard than in any of the northern European
+ '■Baedeker's Manual of Conversation in English, French, German, and
Italian, with Vocabulary, etcS (Stereotype Edit., Baedeker, Leipsic), which is
specially adapted for the use of travellers, with the addition of a pocket-
dictionary, will soon enable the beginner to make himself understood. —
A few words on the pronunciation may be acceptable to persons unac¬
quainted with the language. C before e and i is pronounced like the
English ch; g before e and i like j. Before other vowels c and g are
hard. Ch and gh, which generally precede e or i, are hard. Sc before e
or i is pronounced like sh; gn and gl between yowels like nyi and lyi.
The vowels a, e, i, o, u are pronounced ah, a, ee, p, oo. — In ad¬
dressing persons of the educated classes 'Ella' or 'Lei', with the 3rd pers.
sing., should always be employed (addressing several at once, 'loro' with
the 3rd pers. pi.). 'Voi' is used in addressing waiters,_ drivers, etc., 'tu' by
those only who are proficient in the language. 'Voi' is the usual mode of
address among the Neapolitans, but is generally regarded as inelegant or