terior of the country south of Tuscany, though the Mediterranean
coast road is commonly followed to Rome, or even as far south as
Naples. The Adriatic coast, except along frequented stretches of
road, is best left alone. Venturesome riders may, however, be inter¬
ested to know that the Peninsula has been and is occasionally
cycled over in all directions wherever there is a rideable road. But
that applies to men only; ladies must not under any circumstances
ride alone. On the whole the country is not suitable for cycling
expeditions pure and simple: the wheel should be used only in con¬
junction with the railway, and the train should be taken to traverse
regions of doubtful safety or of malarial character. Rome, however,
is an excellent centre for cyclists.
The rule of the road varies in different parts of Central Italy.
In Rome and its vicinity the rule is the same as in England; i e.
keep to the left in meeting, to the right in overtaking vehicles.
Riders in Rome require a police-licence (10 fr.); apply at the
Questura, Via Santi Apostoli 17. Comp. also pp. 131, 142.
The great bugbear of the cyclist who takes his machine into Italy
is the Customs. On entering the country he receives a bolletta, usu¬
ally available for six months; a leaden seal is attached to his machine,
and he is called upon to deposit the sum of 80 fr. in gold (about
'61. 4s.), of which sum 40 fr. represents the duty, and the remainder
an 'eventual fine' which is leviable should the cyclist fail to comply
with the customs regulations. In addition, there is a varying fee of
about 5 fr. to be paid for the bolletta and for the sealing. The sum
deposited (in some cases only 40 fr. to cover the duty is required)
is refunded when the machine is re-exported, provided the seals are
still intact and the time limit has not expired. The recovery of the
duty at a frontier station often entails considerable delay owing to
the cautiousness of the customs officials, who are personally re¬
sponsible for money paid out in error, and riders sometimes find
themselves in an unpleasant dilemma, forcing them to decide either
to continue their journey and forfeit the deposit, or to lose their ex¬
press train and remain stranded on the frontier.
For this reason and for many others everyone taking a wheel into
Italy — more especially those unacquainted with the language of
the country — would do well to join the Cyclists' Touring Club (47
Victoria Street, Westminster, London, S.W.), whose members are
exempted from making deposit of the duty, and are required only
to show the tickets supplied them by the Club and to comply with
a comparatively simple set of formalities. This Club has concluded
agreements with a great number of hotels and restaurants whereby
reduced prices are secured to its members. It keeps in stock the
best maps and road books for the cyclist, and its Touring Bureau
is ready to assist intending tourists with information of every kind