POST OFFICE. TELEGRAPH.
commissionnaire, as any such intervention tends considerably to in¬
crease the prices.
Theatres. Performances in the large theatres begin at 8, 8.30,
or 9, and terminate at midnight or later, operas and ballets being
exclusively performed. The first act of an opera is usually suc¬
ceeded by a ballet of three acts or more. Verdi is the most popular
composer. The pit (platea), to which the 'biglietto d'ingresso' gives
access, is the usual resort of the men, while the boxes and some¬
times the stalls (scanni chiusi, sedie chiuse,poltrone, or posti distinti)
are frequented by ladies. A box (palco) must always be secured
in advance. — A visit to some of the smaller theatres, where
dramas and comedies are acted, is recommended for the sake of ha¬
bituating the ear to the language. Performances in summer take
place in the open air, in which case smoking is allowed. — The
theatre is the usual evening-resort of the Italians, who seldom ob¬
serve strict silence during the performance of the orchestra. The
instrumental music is rarely good.
XL Post Office. Telegraph.
Letters (whether lposte restante", Italian lferma in posla\ or to
the traveller's hotel) should be addressed very distinctly, and the
name of the place should be in Italian. When asking for letters the
traveller should present his visiting-card instead of giving his name
orally. Postage-stamps (francobolli) are sold at the post-offices and
at many of the tobacco-shops. — Letters of 15 grammes (!/2 oz.,
about the weight of three sous) to any of the states included in the
postal union (now comprising the whole of Europe) 25 c.; post-card
(cartolina postale; for foreign countries, per Vestero) 10 c.; book-
packets (stampe sotto fascia) 5 c. per 50 gr. ; registration-fee (rac-
comandazione) 30 c.
Letters by town-post 5 c. ; throughout the kingdom of Italy 20 c.
prepaid, or 30c. unpaid. Post-card 10c, with card for answer
attached 15 c. Book-packets, 20 c. per 40 grammes (li/3 oz.).
In the larger towns the post-office is open daily from 8 or 9 a. m.
to 10 p.m. (also on Sundays and holidays); in smaller places it is
generally closed in the middle of the day for two or three hours.
Telegrams. For telegrams to foreign countries the following
rate per word is charged in addition to an initial payment of 1 fr. :
Great Britain 47 c, France 14, Germany 25, Switzerland 14, Austria
6-22, Belgium 26, Denmark 37, Russia 66, Sweden 44, Norway
50 c — To America from 33/4 fr. per word upwards, according to
Within the kingdom of Italy, 15 words 1 fr. , each additional
word 10 c. ; telegrams with special haste (telegrammiurgenti) which
take precedence of all others, may be sent in Italy at, five times to
foreign countries at thrice the above rates.