such marauders are not likely to be acquainted. Travellers,
however, especially when accompanied by ladies, should not
neglect the ordinary precaution of asking for information as to
the safety of the roads from the gensdarmes ('carabinieri', ge¬
nerally respectable and trustworthy) and other authorities.
The Brigantaggio, properly so called, is a local evil, which
it is always easy to avoid. Owing to the revolution of 1860 it
had increased in the Neapolitan provinces to an alarming extent.
The Italian Government has done its utmost to remove this
national scourge, and its efforts have in a great measure been
successful; but the evil still resembles the smouldering of an
imperfectly extinguished conflagration, which from time to time
bursts forth anew. The only notoriously bad districts are now
some parts of Calabria and Latium, and Sicily (p. 214); but even
in the most dangerous localities those who adopt the ordinary
precautions and have some acquaintance with the language may
travel with tolerable safety. Weapons cannot legally be carried
without a licence. For the ordinary traveller they are a mere
burden, and in the case of a rencontre with brigands they only
serve greatly to increase the danger.
Begging. Mendicancy, which was countenanced and encour¬
aged by the old system of Italian politics, still continues to be
one of those national nuisances to which the traveller must habit¬
uate himself. At Naples the evil has been to a great extent
suppressed under the new regime, but in many of the small
towns it is still as rife as ever. The best mode of getting rid
of importunate applicants is to bestow a donation of 2 c. or at
most 5c, or else firmly to decline giving with— 'niente', or a
gesture of disapproval.
V. Intercourse with Italians.
Travelling in Italy, and particularly in the southern pro¬
vinces, differs essentially in some respects from that in France,
Germany, and Switzerland, chiefly owing to the almost invariable
necessity for bargaining with innkeepers, cab-drivers, boatmen,
and others of similar craft. The system of fixed prices is being
gradually introduced, but it gains ground much more slowly in
Southern than in Northern and Central Italy.
The traveller is regarded by the classes in question as their
natural and legitimate prey. Deception and imposition are
considered very venial offences by Italians of the lower orders,
and they regard success in these arts as a proof of superior
sagacity. The traveller who complacently submits to extortion
is therefore less respected than one who stoutly resists barefaced
attempts upon his credulity. Among the Swiss Mountains the
judicious traveller knows well when to share the contents of his
cigar-case or spirit-flask with his guide ; but in this country such