Local guides are sometimes useful in saving valuable time or in getting a general view of large foreign cities before formal sight seeing begins. Otherwise they are more annoyance than help, and much less reliable on the whole than a good guidebook. The average charge for a guide is around $5.00 a day in Europe, in addition to his transportation. This charge will vary, however, in different places. In Spain, Naples, and a few other places, he may be worthy his hire for driving off beggars and other annoying persons. But the average American tourist will find his enjoyment of museums, works of art, and double-starred sights reduced by the prattling of a cicerone. Regular tourist parties will be supplied guides and conductors where necessary, and those traveling “on their own” will do well to maintain that status as much as possible. The memory of a moonlight stroll to the Colosseum will be far more pleasant than reminiscences of a guide’s peculiar accent and facial deficiencies.
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