exist, they should be carefully consulted; and when a certain aver¬
age price is established by custom, the traveller should make a pre¬
cise bargain with respect to the article to be bought or the service
to be rendered, and never rely on the equity of the other party.
In cases of dispute the traveller who is not thoroughly acquainted
with the language should be careful not to engage in a war of words
in which he is necessarily at a great disadvantage.
Many shops now profess to have fixed prices, but even in these
cases it is usual to offer two-thirds or three-quarters only of the
price demanded. The same rule applies to artizans, drivers, and
others. lNon volete?' (then you will not?) is a remark which gener¬
ally has the effect of bringing the matter to a speedy adjustment.
Purchases should never be made by the traveller when accompanied
by a valet-de-place. These individuals, by tacit agreement, receive
from the seller at least 10 per cent of the purchase-money, a bonus
which of course comes out of the pocket of the purchaser.
The traveller should always be abundantly supplied with cop¬
per coin in a country where trifling donations are in constant
demand. Drivers, guides, and other persons of the same class in¬
variably expect, and often demand as their right, a gratuity (buona
mano, mancia, da bere, bottiglia, caffe, fumata) in addition to the
hire agreed on, varying according to circumstances from 2-3 sous
to a franc or more. The traveller need have no scruple in limiting
his donations to the smallest possible sums, as liberality frequently
becomes a source of annoyance and embarrassment. Thus, if half-
a-franc is bestowed where two sous would have sufficed, the fact
speedily becomes known , and the donor is sure to be besieged by
numerous other applicants whose demands it is impossible to satisfy.
In Northern Italy the traveller will now find comparatively few
causes for complaint, as the system of fixed charges is gradually
being introduced at the hotels and the shops. He will generally
find the people with whom he comes in contact civil and obliging,
and if he has some acquaintance with the language he will rarely
meet with attempts at extortion.
Northern Italy is now overspread with so complete a network of
railways that the traveller will seldom use any other conveyance,
except on the Alpine routes and on the lakes. The rate of travel¬
ling is very moderate, and the trains are often behind time. The
first class carriages are tolerably comfortable, the second are inferior
to those of the German railways, and resemble the English and
French, while the third class is chiefly frequented by the lower
orders. Among the expressions with which the railway-traveller will
soon become familiar are — lprontV (ready), '■partenza' (departure),
lsi cambia convoglio1 (change carriages), and luscitd' (egress).
When about to start from a crowded station, the traveller will