SEASON AND PLAN OF TOUR.
is very useful, and it may suffice for Rome; but for those who desire
the utmost possible freedom, combined with the lowest possible ex¬
penditure, a slight acquaintance with the language of the country is
indispensable. + — Those who spend any time in Rome are recom¬
mended to take Italian lessons; teachers may be heard of at the book¬
III. Passports. Custom House. Luggage.
Passports, though not required in Italy except for receiving re¬
mittances of money and registered letters at a poste restante (p. xxiv),
are always convenient. The countenance and help of the British
and American consuls can, of course, be extended to those persons
only who can prove their nationality.
Foreign Office passports may be obtained in London through C. Smith
& Sons, 63 Charing Cross, E. Stanford, 26 Cockspur Street, Charing Cross,
W. J. Adams, 59 Fleet Street, or Buss, 440 West Strand (charge 2s., agent's
fee is. 6d.~).
Custom House. The examination of luggage at the Italian
custom-houses is usually lenient. Tobacco and cigars (only six pass
free) are the articles chiefly sought for. The customs-receipts should
be preserved, as they are sometimes asked for even in the interior.
As a rule it is advisable, and often in the end less expensive, never
to part from one's luggage, and to superintend the custom-house
examination in person. If the traveller is obliged to forward it, he
should employ a trustworthy agent at the frontier and send him the
keys. Comp. p. xv.
IV. Season and Plan of Tour.
Season. The best time for a tour in Central Italy is spring,
from the end of March to the end of May, or autumn, from the end
of September to the middle of November. In summer the neigh¬
bourhood of Rome as well as parts of the city itself are exposed to
malaria, but even apart from that fact, the suitability of this season
for the tour depends to a great extent on the constitution of the
traveller. The scenery indeed is then in perfection, and the long
days are hailed with satisfaction by the active traveller; but the
tierce rays of an Italian sun seldom fail to sap the physical and
mental energies. The heat generally moderates about the end of
t) A few words on the pronunciation may be acceptable to persons
unacquainted with the language. C before e and i is pronounced like the
English ch; g before e and i like j. Before other vowels c and g are
hard. Ch and gh, which generally precede e or i, are hard. Sc before e
or i is pronounced like sh; gn and gl between vowels like nyi and lyi.
The vowels as, e, i, o, u are pronounced ah, a, ee, o, oo. — In ad¬
dressing persons of the educated classes 'Lei', with the 3rd pers. sing.,
should always be employed (addressing several at once, 'loro' with the 3rd
pers. pi.). 'Voi' is used in addressing waiters, drivers, etc.
Baedeker's Conversation Dictionary (in four languages; price 3s.),
Baedeker's Manual of Conversation (3s.), and Part III of The A. B. C. Series
of Conversation Books (Dulau <fc Co., Is.) will all be found useful by the
beginner in Italian.