RESTAURANTS AND CAFES.
ficnlty to reasonable limits, and even when no previous agreement
has been made an extortionate bill may sometimes be successfully
disputed, though never without long and vehement discussion.
The best hotels have fixed charges. Attendance, exclusive of
boots and commissionnaire, is charged in the bill. This is not the
case in the smaller inns, where 1 fr. per diem is usually divided
between the waiter and the facchino, or less for a prolonged stay.
Copper coins are never despised by such recipients.
Hotels Garnis and Private Apartments are recommended
for a prolonged residence. A distinct agreement as to rent should
be made beforehand. When a whole suite of apartments is hired, a
written contract on stamped paper should be drawn up with the aid
of some one acquainted with the language and customs of the place
(e.g. a banker), in order that 'misunderstandings' may be prevented.
For single travellers a verbal agreement with regard to attendance,
linen, stoves and carpets in winter, a receptacle for coal, and other
details will generally suffice.
The popular idea of cleanliness in Italy is behind the age, dirt
being perhaps neutralised in the opinion of the natives by the bril¬
liancy of their climate. The traveller will rarely suffer from this
shortcoming in hotels and lodgings of the best class; but those who
quit the beaten track must be prepared for privations. Iron bedsteads
should if possible be selected, as they are less likely to harbour the
enemies of repose. Insect-powder (polvere di Persia , or Keating's)
or camphor somewhat repels their advances. The zanzare, or gnats,
are a source of great annoyance, and often of suffering, during the
autumn months. Windows should always be carefully closed before
a light is introduced into the room. Light muslin curtains (zan-
zarieri) round the beds, masks for the face, and gloves are employed
to ward off the attacks of these pertinacious intruders. The burning
of insect powder over a spirit-lamp is also recommended, and pas¬
tilles may be purchased at the principal chemists' for the same
IX. Restaurants, Cafes, Osterie.
Restaurants (trattorie) are chiefly frequented by Italians and
gentlemen travelling alone, but those of the better class may be
visited by ladies also. Dinner may be obtained a la carte, and
sometimes a prezzo fisso, at any hour between 12 and 7 or 8 p. m.,
for 2-5 fr. ; the waiters expect a gratuity of 2-5 soldi. The diner
who wishes to confine his expenses within reasonable limits, should
refrain from ordering dishes not mentioned in the bill of fare.
l'.csides the old-fashioned trattorie, a number of 'restaurants' of a
better class have recently been opened in Rome. The cookery is
generally French, and the charges and arrangements are similar to
those in the other European capitals. The waiter is called came-