xii TRAVELLING EXPENSES. MONEY.
Best Money for the Tour. Circular Notes, obtainable at the
principal English banks, form the proper medium for the transport
of large sums, and realise the most favourable exchange. English
and German banknotes also realise more than their nominal value.
A moderate supply of French Gold will also be found desirable.
Sovereigns are received at the full value (about 26-28 fr.) by the
principal hotel-keepers, but not in out-of-the-way places.
Exchange. Foreign money is most advantageously changed in
the larger towns, either at one of the English bankers or at a re¬
spectable money-changer's (^cambiavaluta^. As a rule, those money¬
changers are the most satisfactory who publicly exhibit a list of the
current rates of exchange. The traveller should always be provided
with an abundant supply of small notes (1, 2, and 5 fr.), as it is
often difficult to change those of large amount. When a railway-
fare has to be paid it is a wise precaution to be provided with the
exact sum beforehand in order that mistakes or imposition may be
prevented. Besides the small notes, l-l1^ fr. in copper should also
be carried in a separate pocket or pouch.
Money Orders payable in Italy, for sums not exceeding 10?., are now
granted by the English Post Office at the following rates: up to 21., §d.;
bl., Is. Gd.; 11., 2s. 3d.; 10Z., 3s. These are paid in gold. The identity
of the receiver must sometimes be guaranteed by two well-known resi¬
dents , but an exhibition of the passport often suffices. The charge for
money-orders granted in Italy and payable in England is 40c. per ll. sterling.
A convenient and safe method of carrying money for a journey in
Italy is afforded by the Libretti di Recognizione Postale, which may be
procured at the post-offices of the principal Italian towns for any sum
not exceeding 10,000 fr. (400?.). The holder of one of these small books
may then draw what sum he requires (from 200 fr. upwards) at any post-
office in the kingdom, until the amount for which the book is issued has
been exhausted. In case of loss the traveller should immediately inform
the postal authorities, giving his name and the number of the book, when
measures will at once be taken to stop payment.
il. Period and Plan of Tour.
Season. As a general rule the spring and autumn months are
the best season for a tour in N. Italy, especially May and Sep¬
tember, before or after the heat of summer has attained its climax.
Winter in Lombardy and Piedmont is generally a much colder
season than it is in England, but Nice and the whole of the
Riviera, Pisa , and Venice afford pleasant and sheltered quarters.
The height of summer can hardly be recommended for travelling.
The scenery, indeed, is then in perfection, and the long days are
hailed with satisfaction by the enterprising traveller; but the
fierce rays of an Italian sun seldom fail to impair the physical and
mental energies. This result is not occasioned so much by the
intensity as by the protracted duration of the heat, the sky being
frequently cloudless and not a drop of rain falling for many weeks
in succession. The heat generally moderates about the end of
August, when the first showers of autumn begin to refresh the