uk a run ik a.
August, when the first showers of autumn begin to refresh the
parched atmosphere. But in Central Italy nearly the whole of Sep¬
tember is apt to be sultry, and the frequent thunder-storms render
that month less favourable for travelling than is usually assumed.
The winter-months, from the end of November to the end of Fe¬
bruary, when heavy rains fall in Central and Southern Italy, are quite
unsuited for travelling. They had better be devoted to Rome.
Plan. In Central Italy the principal attraction is Rome itself, and
of the other towns described in the present volume the next in im¬
portance are Siena and Perugia, both of which afford good summer-
quarters owing to their elevated situations. Two other places of great
interest are Orvieto and Assisi, a short visit to which should not be
omitted. Arezzo, Cortona, Spoleto, Terni, with its imposing water¬
falls, and Chiusi and Corneto, with their Etruscan antiquities, are
also interesting points, situated near the railway. Volterra, San
Gimignano, Montepulciano, Oubbio, and Viterbo, though less con¬
veniently situated, are also well worthy of a visit. With regard to
the towns lying on the coast of the Adriatic, comp. pp. 98 et seq.
Besides these points of attraction there are many others in the less-
frequented districts of the interior, which the traveller who desires
more than a superficial acquaintance with Italy should not fail to ex¬
plore ; and the farther he diverges from the beaten track, the more
he will learn of the characteristics of this delightful country.
V. Intercourse with Italians. Gratuities. Guides.
In Italy the pernicious custom of demanding considerably more
than will ultimately be accepted has long been prevalent; but
a knowledge of the custom, which is based on the presumed igno¬
rance of one of the contracting parties, tends greatly to mitigate the
evil. Where tariffs and fixed charges exist, they should be carefully
consulted. In other eases the traveller should make a distinct bargain.
The fewest words are the best; and travellers will find that calm
preparations to go elsewhere will reduce obstinate hagglers to reason
much more quickly than a war of words. In Rome and the larger
towns of Tuscany the traveller will now meet comparatively few
causes for complaint, and even in smaller places he will find a little
tact and good-temper all that is necessary to avoid disputes.
Prudence is useful at all times in Italy ; but an exaggerated mistrust
is sometimes resented as an insult, and sometimes taken to indicate
weakness and timidity.
Gratuities. In public collections, where a charge for admission
is made, the keepers (custodi) are forbidden to accept gratuities. But
as a general rule, there is no other country where one has to give so
many gratuities as in Italy, or where such small sums are sufficient.
The traveller, therefore, should always be provided with an abund¬
ant supply of copper coins. Drivers, guides, porters, donkey-attend-