Pizza Napoletanismo

November 13, 2012

A Philosophy of Pizza Napoletanismo (Part 12: Imagery, Imagination, and The Art of Ciro Salvo)

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants (Library of Congress)

Once upon a time, the eminent physicist Sir Isaac Newton wrote, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” This metaphor conveys that one can gain new perspectives and insights by studying the works of great thinkers who preceded him. Indeed, René Descartes’ natural philosophy laid the groundwork for Newton’s classical physics, which in turn paved the way for Albert Einstein’s theories of relativity.

The giant that I have in mind is no physicist, but a remarkable pizzaiuolo, signor Ciro Salvo of Naples, Italy. Throughout his pizza career, he has passionately and artistically devoted himself to crafting superb Neapolitan pizzas that possess class and distinction.

Pizzaiolo Ciro Salvo

In “Part 1: Introduction” of this blog, I stated:

“Handcrafting pizza napoletana, as an artistic expression, involves self-actualization and self-expression, not devoid of devotion for the rich Neapolitan tradition—which is, figuratively speaking, the shoulders of a giant upon which a devotee must stand! The giant, dwelling in the subterranean labyrinths of Napoli, has already set the paradigm. And, there always will be a Theseus who will have to find the way out of the maze without being devoured by the Minotaur!”

Since many devotees are from non-Neapolitan backgrounds, not having been born and raised in pizzaiuolo families, it can be instrumental to adopt a mentor, however distant and silent, and carefully study his works. In the case of Ciro, there are a number of images of his dough and pizzas available on the Internet, which can train the eyes, not without difficulties, to identify certain characteristics that define Neapolitan pizza and identify certain characteristic human behavior in its production. Such pictures may reveal—often in a subtle manner—telltale clues. Such clues, which can be of highly speculative nature, may pertain to:

1. Percentage of dough hydration;
2. How lightly or intensely the dough is developed during mixing;
3. How the dough is treated and developed during the course of fermentation;
4. The degree of dough fermentation and subsequent maturation;
5. Whether the dough is fermented at room temperature or in a refrigerator;
6. Physical appearance of a leavened dough ball that has reached maturation;
7. Physical properties (such as degrees of elasticity, extensibility, and strength) of a mature dough ball that is stretched into a dough disc;
8. Physical attributes of a well-baked pizza: oven-spring, Maillard reaction, leoparding marks, cornicione configuration, crumb structure, use of toppings, cheese-melt, and et cetera.

As one acquires more and more experience through one’s own careful experiments and observations, such pictures may begin to silently communicate a wealth of information that should be cautiously examined and evaluated when one desires to incorporate them into one’s own workflow in preparing Neapolitan pizzas. Such pictures can set ideals to strive toward and, perhaps, to surpass in finding the way out of the labyrinth!

Having studied the Neapolitan pizza tradition for a number of years to the best of my ability inside and outside of Naples, and having examined Ciro’s pizzas up-close in person, I personally consider him a masterful pizzaiuolo committed to traditionalism of Neapolitan pizza. He can, also, be quite innovative in his culinary explorations without losing the ground. He has been a source of inspiration to a number of aspiring pizzaioli.

I have attached hereunder a number of informative pictures of his works. One, especially a neophyte, can learn tremendously by attentively examining the images. Nonetheless, the risk of twisting or reinventing the wheel hangs over him like the sword of Damocles! Again, hermeneutics (the art of interpretation) is of great import here. Images have the power to reveal or conceal. Furthermore, readers should take into consideration that Ciro’s style represents only one construal of the Neapolitan pizza tradition. Just as there is only one Symphony No. 9 of Ludwig van Beethoven but many interpretations thereof, there are other styles and interpretations based on the Neapolitan tradition. In my estimation, the maestro’s style strikes the right chords, i.e., the attributes that have traditionally defined Neapolitan pizza.

I would like to sincerely thank Ciro for kindly permitting me to ornament this article with his pictures. Additionally, I am grateful to Mrs. Karen Phillips for kindly allowing me to use her photos of the maestro’s works. Karen, a food & wine blogger, has also done an article entitled “A Pizza with Ciro”. At last, credits are due to Mr. Luciano Furia and Mr. Vincenzo Busiello for their great photography. My best wishes go to Ciro, who has recently fathered a beautiful baby girl. No doubts that his shoulders will alway be there for her to stand tall and proud on.

§1. Ciro’s Dough
The first set of pictures, below, depicts the maestro’s pizza dough. Looking at the images, one can curiously formulate certain questions. What was the process which yielded the dough balls shown in the last picture in this set? Were they subject to cold or warm fermentation? If “warm fermentation”, why? How about the duration of the initial and final fermentation? What factors did he use to determine the lengths of the initial and final fermentation? How did he manually form his dough balls upon conclusion of the initial fermentation? What about the level of dough maturation? If he used warm fermentation at controlled room temperature for about, let’s say, 20-24 hours, what benefits are there to be gained in terms of dough texture, structure, and flavor? What type of flour, hydration level, and amounts of salt and fresh yeast can deliver similar results, after apropos kneading and dough treatment, if one were to employ warm fermentation for 20-24 hours? The mind can wonder in so many ways. The main point is to carefully scrutinize the pictures, formulate hypotheses, and put them to test if one truly has the desire and patience to distantly and silently learn from the master.

Ciro Salvo’s impasto (dough)

Ciro Salvo forming panielli (dough balls) upon conclusion of puntata (initial fermentation)

Ciro Salvo’s Panielli (dough balls) undergoing appretto (final fermentation)

Ciro Salvo’s panielli (dough balls) having reached maturation

Ciro Salvo’s ripened panielli (dough balls) ready to be hand-stretched, dressed, and baked

§2. Ciro at the Bancone
The next selection of pictures, below, features the maestro preparing pizzas at the bancone (pizza bench). Perhaps, a novice may wonder why the maestro stretches his dough balls into dough discs by utilizing the peculiar Neapolitan method (often referred to, in English speaking countries, as the “Neapolitan slap”), and why he assembles his pizzas directly on the marble-top rather than on a pizza peel. Are there any advantages to be had by using such methods?

Young Ciro Salvo drafting a dough disc on bancone

Ciro Salvo stretching a dough disc on bancone

Ciro Salvo drafting a pizza dough disc on bancone

Ciro Salvo dressing pizza dough discs on bancone

Ciro Salvo dressing pizza dough discs on bancone

Ciro Salvo garnishing pizza dough discs on bancone

§3. Ciro’s Dressed Dough Discs and Hand Gestures 
The next assortment of pictures, below, exhibits Ciro’s further activities at the bancone. Again, a beginner may wonder why he prefers to assemble his pizzas on the bancone and slide them onto the pizza peel right before launching them inside the oven. Of note is how supple his dough discs are, and the way he picks up and holds (by lightly pinching, lifting, and inserting the finger tips under) the outer edges of the dough discs. (See the 5th picture below.) Such fine-drawn gesticulations of fingers in manipulating dough discs are characteristically Neapolitan, intended for convenience in manipulating dough discs and to maintain their integrity.

Ciro Salvo opening a dough ball

Ciro Salvo’s unbaked pizza marinara

Ciro Salvo garnishing a pizza dough disc

Ciro Salvo positioning a garnished dough disc on the peel

Ciro Salvo positioning a garnished dough disc on the peel

Ciro Salvo positioning a garnished dough disc on the peel

Ciro Salvo positioning a garnished dough disc on the peel

Ciro Salvo positioning a garnished dough disc on the peel

Ciro Salvo positioning a garnished dough disc on the peel

Ciro Salvo positioning a garnished dough disc on the peel

§4. Ciro’s Pizzas

The next collection of pictures, below, expresses, not without a certain intuitive immediacy, the maestro’s aesthetic sensibility and sensitivity bearing the fruits of his labor. These pizzas are no accidents; they are the aftermath of years of hard work and careful deliberation. They are elegant and simple, yet teasingly sophisticated . . . They communicate, yet not understood by all with that certain intuitive immediacy! Of note is the absence of overdramatized charred blisters around the cornicioni, which is implicative of the developmental methodology of Ciro’s Neapolitan pizza dough.

Pizzas by Ciro Salvo

Pizza by Ciro Salvo

Pizza by Ciro Salvo

Pizza by Ciro Salvo

Pizza by Ciro Salvo

Pizza by Ciro Salvo

Pizza by Ciro Salvo

Pizza by Ciro Salvo

Pizza by Ciro Salvo

Pizza by Ciro Salvo

Pizza by Ciro Salvo

Pizza by Ciro Salvo

Pizza by Ciro Salvo

Pizza by Ciro Salvo

Pizza by Ciro Salvo

Pizza by Ciro Salvo

Pizza by Ciro Salvo

§5. Excavation of Ciro’s Pizzas
The last arrangement of pictures, below, represents the inner workings of Ciro’s pizzas. In my opinion, when you dig and penetrate into a Neapolitan Pizza, you should discover a distant past, the tradition! Indeed, the peculiar tenderness and non-crispiness of the pizza base, along with the soft and airy cornicione that crowns the base, are considered amongst the principal attributes of traditional Neapolitan pizza. The aforementioned qualities that are visibly discerned in the images hereunder carry certain implications with regard to the developmental methodology of Ciro’s Neapolitan pizza dough.

Portafoglio napoletano (Neapolitan wallet) / libretto napoletano (Neapolitan booklet)

Portafoglio napoletano (Neapolitan wallet) / libretto napoletano (Neapolitan booklet)

Tenderness of Neapolitan pizza base by Ciro Salvo

Tenderness of Neapolitan pizza base by Ciro Salvo

Tenderness of Neapolitan pizza base by Ciro Salvo

Tenderness of Neapolitan pizza base by Ciro Salvo

Soft and fluffy cornicione by Ciro Salvo

Soft and fluffy cornicione by Ciro Salvo

Soft and fluffy cornicione by Ciro Salvo

Soft and fluffy cornicione by Ciro Salvo

Verily, I assert—without confusing “fanaticism” with “passion” and “reinvention” with the “tradition”—that the above images can serve as a source of revelations to any aspiring pizzaiolo of sensitivity.

Previous article: Part 11: Art and Passion


May 9, 2012

A Philosophy of Pizza Napoletanismo (Part 4: Fragments of History of Neapolitan Pizza)

In an interview, Sen. Ciro Leone (the proprietor of Trianon da Ciro, a prominent Neapolitan pizzeria in Naples, Italy) stated: “But there is no ‘evolution’ of the pizza. Its tradition remains.” This is a puzzling statement made by Sen. Leone; I am not sure how to interpret it. Does he mean that the Neapolitan pizza never underwent any development and diversification from its earlier forms—that it fell as a complete package from the womb of time? Surely, every time-honored tradition has a beginning, however uncertain, and undergoes a developmental phase until it is cultivated and well-rooted in the culture which nourishes it. Or, does he imply that the evolution of the Neapolitan pizza has already reached the summit of its development and perfection, that there is no more room for change? Whatever the case might be, the history of Neapolitan pizza, however scanty and fragmented, should shed some light on this issue.

Sen. Ciro Leone, the proprietor of Trianon da Ciro in Naples, Italy

Having made a very brief appreciation of history of Naples in a previous article, let us now briefly and selectively consider, in this article and other future articles, certain pivitol points in the history of Neapolitan pizza, not in a chronological order but in a backward fashion, starting before the historic visit of Queen Margherita of the Kingdom of Italy to Naples in 1889. Bear in mind that Naples became part of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861. In 1866, Francesco de Bourcard, a writer who had great passion and admiration for the Neapolitan culture, completed a two-volume book on the lives of people of Naples. The book, titled Usi e Costumi di Napoli (Traditions and Customs of Naples), has been instrumental in understanding certain aspects of daily lives of the Neapolitans within a timespan from 1847 to 1866. According to the online version of “Libreria Neapolis” (Neapolis Library, located in Naples, Italy):

“Vent’anni impiegò, dal 1847 al 1866, Francesco de Bourcard per realizzare i due grossi volumi dedicati agli ‘Usi e costumi di Napoli e contorni descritti e dipinti’. Un’opera preziosa, sia per l’accurata descrizione di usanze del tempo, di personaggi popolari, feste, cerimonie, culti, che per i cento disegni acquerellati che ‘dipingono’ le descrizioni. Il libro è un’altra testimonianza dell’interesse che avvinse a Napoli scrittori di vari paesi: il De Bourcard era oriundo svizzero, nipote del Maresciallo De Bourcard capitano generale del Regno di Napoli, distintosi nella guerra dei sette anni e nella presa di Roma nel 1789-99. Il nipote si napoletanizzò perfettamente, studiò le cose di Napoli, volle offrire un atto di amore alla terra in cui era nato, dedicandosi alla non lieve fatica di mettere insieme scrittori e artisti in un’opera che – anche per la parte grafica – può dirsi monumentale per quei tempi.”

“It took twenty years, from 1847 to 1866, for Francis de Bourcard to build the two large volumes Traditions and Customs of Naples and Described and Painted Surroundings. It is valuable both for the accurate description of the customs of the time, popular characters, festivals, ceremonies, rituals, and for one hundred watercolor drawings that ‘paint’ the descriptions. The book is another testimony of the interest that gripped Naples writers of various countries: De Bourcard was a native of Switzerland, the grandson of Maresciallo De Bourcard, who was the Captain General of the Kingdom of Naples, and who distinguished himself in the Seven Years War and Capture of Rome in 1789-99. The grandson perfectly Neapolitanized, studied the affairs of Naples, desiring to offer an act of love for the land where he was born, dedicating himself, to no small effort, to bring together writers and artists in a work—even for the graphics—that is deemed monumental for its time.”

The Book “Usi e Costumi di Napoli” by Francesco de Bourcard

Il Pizzaiuolo (watercolor drawing from Francesco de Bouchard’s “Usi e Costumi di Napoli”)

The Oil Peddler (watercolor drawing from Francesco de Bouchard’s “Usi e Costumi di Napoli”)

The Eggs Vendor (watercolor drawing from Francesco de Bouchard’s “Usi e Costumi di Napoli”)

The Coffee Peddler (watercolor drawing from Francesco de Bouchard’s “Usi e Costumi di Napoli”)

The Zeppole Vendor (watercolor drawing from Francesco de Bouchard’s “Usi e Costumi di Napoli”)

The Sorbet Peddler (watercolor drawing from Francesco de Bouchard’s “Usi e Costumi di Napoli”)

In his illuminating book, Bourcard revealed some valuable information about the pizzas of Naples:

“Le pizze più ordinarie, dette coll’aglio e l’oglio, han per condimento l’olio, e sopra vi si sparge, oltre il sale, l’origano e spicchi d’aglio trinciati minutamente. Altre sono coperte di formaggio grattugiato e condite collo strutto, e allora vi si pone disopra qualche foglia di basilico. Alle prime spesso si aggiunge del pesce minuto; alle seconde delle sottili fette di muzzarella. Talora si fa uso di prosciutto affettato, di pomidoro, di arselle, ec. Talora ripiegando la pasta su se stessa se ne forma quel che chiamasi calzone.”

“The more ordinary pizzas, such as coll’aglio e l’oglio (“with garlic and oil”), have the oil for seasoning, and over it spreads, besides the salt, oregano and finely chopped garlic. Others are covered with formaggio grattugiato e condite collo strutto (grated cheese and seasoned neck lard), and then topped with a few leaves of basil. To the first one is often added tiny fish, to the second one thin slices of muzzarella. Sometimes you are using prosciutto slices, tomatoes, clams, and etc. Sometimes folding the dough over itself as what is called calzone.”

So, in the above-quoted passage, Bourcard basically describes two types of pizzas if I am not mistaken:

The 1st Pizza:
The first pizza contains oil, finely chopped garlic, oregano, and salt as toppings. Tiny fish are often added to the preceding toppings. Perhaps, the picture below exemplifies the described pizza.

Antichissima (“ancient”) pizza by Ciro Salvo: oil, garlic, oregano, & cecenielli (whitebait)

The 2nd Pizza:
The second pizza seems to bear formaggio grattugiato (“grated cheese”), seasoned lard, and basil leaves as toppings. Thin slices of mozzarella (spelled “muzzarella”) are often added to the preceding toppings. And, sometimes prosciutto, tomatoes, clams, and etc. Perchance, the picture below can serve as an example for the described pizza.

Pizza Mastunicola by Franco Pepe: pork lard, Romano, oregano, pepper, & basil

Some are of the belief that garnishing a pizza with tomatoes became customary only after Queen Margherita’s visit to Naples in 1889. Nontheless, the above-quoted passage seems to bear witness to the usage of tomatoes as a pizza topping prior to Raffaele Esposito preparing the Pizza Margherita for the Queen in 1889.

Pizza Margherita by L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele in Naples, Italy

Next article: Part 5: Fragments of History of Neapolitan Pizza

Previous article: Part 3: The Mediterranean Phenomenon

May 1, 2012

A Philosophy of Pizza Napoletanismo (Part 2: A Brief History of Naples)

I posit that, Neapolitan pizza was not born in a vacuum!—that it is an aftermath of a tediously long historical process, which spans over a period of 2700 years. Accordingly, I think it would be beneficial to have a very brief historical perspective on the issue. In short, history of Naples is a melting pot of different civilizations (Greeks, Romans, Germanics, Byzantines, Normans, Arabs, Spaniards, French, and etc.) who have left their marks on the city that once upon a time was considered a jewel of Europe.

Naples has two distinct histories that are sometimes not easy to distinguish from one another: (1) Neapolitan history according to myths and (2) Neapolitan history according to historians. As claimed by legend, history of Naples begins when Parthenope, a Siren, was drowned and washed ashore on the Bay of Naples. When Parthenope’s singing voice could not allure Ulysses (“Odysseus”, in Greek), who was sailing past her, she became distraught and threw herself into the sea. Her corpse was washed up to the islet of Megaride (the site of Castel dell’Ovo in Naples), on the Bay of Naples, where the early Greek colonists discovered her corpse and arranged for a solemn burial on Pizzofalcone hill.

Islet of Megaride at Bay of Naples

Historians tell us that Naples was founded by a colony of Euboean Greeks of pre-antiquity, who migrated from the Greek island of Euboea to the Island of Ischia in the Bay of Naples. Around 750 B.C., they ventured onshore to Cumae, northwest of Naples. Thereafter, the Cumaeans established a settlement further inland on the hill of Pizzofalcone, which became known as the city of Parthenope. At last, around 470 B.C., the Cumaeans established another settlement further inland, which became known as Neapolis (meaning, New City), i.e., Naples.

Migration of the ancient Greeks from Euboea to the new territory, which became Naples

Neapolis (Naples), 470 BC

The ancient Greek became established as the language of the region. Later, Naples was incorporated in the Roman Republic until the Germanics, i.e., the Kingdom of Ostrogoths, took over the city after the decline of the Roman Empire around 467 A.D. Thereafter, the Byzantine Empire took over until the ducal period (the succession of dukes) commenced, whereby Naples gained its short-lived independence by about 840 A.D. Later, Naples became a kingdom as opposed to dukedom, ruled by various Neapolitan, French, and Spanish kings. For a long time, roughly from 1503 to 1714 A.D., Naples was a part of the Spanish Empire, whereby it became a center of arts, math, sciences, and philosophy. It is worthy of note that Naples has had an intimate connection to the world of music. Founded in 1737, Teatro di San Carlo in Naples is the oldest opera house in Italy and all of Europe. Once upon a time, when Naples used to be a music capital of Europe, some of the greatest composers dreamed of performing at the theater. Illustrious composers such Johann Adolph Hasse, J.C. Bach, Joseph Haydn, Christoph Willibald Gluck, Gioachino Rossini, Gaetano Donizetti, Vincenzo Bellini, Giuseppe Verdi, Giacomo Puccini, Pietro Mascagni, Umberto Giordano, and many more—they all have graced the theater with their immortal music.

Teatro di San Carlo (Naples, Italy)

Throughout the period of the Spanish occupation of Naples (1503 – 1714 A.D.), there were intermittent attempts to emancipate Naples from the Spanish Empire and make it independent again. After centuries of wars, economic hardship, and political uncertainty, by 1861 Naples joined the Kingdom of Italy (or, some assert that the Kingdom of Italy appropriated the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies) as part of the “Italian Unification” in order to put an end to foreign domination. (From 1816 to 1860, the Kingdom of Naples and Kingdom of Sicily were joined together as the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.) To this day, there are Neapolitans that are still against or are apprehensive about the Italian unification, and they view the event as an economic and political exploitation of the South by the North. There is currently a Neapolitan movement, amongst others, known as Movimento di Insorgenza Civile (Civil Insurgence Movement) which actively protests aspects of such alleged injustice against the South. Take notice, in the picture below, that only the southern half of Italy (what used to be the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies prior to the Italian unification) appears in the emblem adopted by the movement.

The official emblem adopted by “Movimento di Insorgenza Civile”

A poster by Insorgenza Civile, stating: "150 years of exploitation; You have been reduced to bone; It's time to change with INSORGENZA CIVILE!"

A poster by Insorgenza Civile, stating:
“150 years of exploitation;
You have been reduced to bone;
It’s time to change with INSORGENZA CIVILE!”

Several years after the Italian unification, the Queen of Italy, Margherita Maria Teresa Giovanna, ventured down to Naples to win the hearts of her new subjects. Reportedly, she diplomatically opted to enjoy some Neapolitan pizzas as a gesture of solidarity with the Neapolitans. According to American Heritage: Collections, Travel, and Great Writing On History, when the royal palace commissioned the Neapolitan pizzaiolo Raffaele Esposito to create a pizza in honor of the visiting Queen, he prepared three varieties. And, “of the three contenders he created, the Queen strongly preferred the pie swathed in the colors of the Italian flag: red (tomato), green (basil), and white (mozzarella).”

Queen Margherita of the Kingdom of Italy

Per La Repubblica, an Italian journal, “Three varieties [of pizza] were prepared by Naples’ best pizzaiolo: one with oil, cheese, and basil; one with cecenielli (whitebait); and one with mozzarella and tomato to which the pizzaiolo’s wife, Maria Giovanna Brandi, added a basil leaf, inspired by the color of the Italian flag.”

This event, which unfolded on June 11, 1889, either at the royal palace Capodimonte or at the establishment today known as Pizzeria Brandi, underscores the cultural importance of the Neapolitan pizza—that it is more than just a comestible item. Perchance, queen Margherita reckoned that the way to the hearts of the Neapolitan people was through their pizzas, one of which—the one garnished with tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil—was thereafter named after the Queen: “Pizza Margherita”.

La Pizza Margherita by L’antica Pizzeria da Michele

Nowadays, Neapolitans (not all!) celebrate the occasion by enacting the event of the Queen’s visit, as pictorially illustrated hereunder. Sometimes I wonder if the celebration is more about Pizza Margherita than Queen Margherita! No doubt, there is an aspect of sacredness to this humble source of nourishment. As pizzaiolo Enzo Coccia expresses, “This pizza isn’t just a food. It’s a way of beingNeapolitan. . . . The Queen did a publicity stunt in Naples to gain acceptance. In coming to Naples and eating their pizza, she let Neapolitans know she was a queen ‘of the people.'” In a future article, we shall see that Queen Margherita was not the first royalty encountering the beloved pizzas of Naples. Also, we shall see, in another future article, that it might be a dubious assumption that a pizza topped with tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil was unprecedented before Queen Margherita’s visit to Naples.

Enactment of the Queen’s vist to Naples, June 11, 2009

Enactment of the Queen’s visit to Naples, June 11, 2009

Enactment of the Queen’s visit to Naples, June 11, 2009

Enactment of the Queen’s visit to Naples, June 11, 2009

It is notable that during the 10th century A.D., after the conquest of Malta and Sicily (which became the Emirate of Sicily) by the Moslem Arabs, many Islamic influences poured into Naples, which had made alliances with the Arabs in order to ward off the hostilities from the North. The first Arab attack on Sicily occurred in 652 A.D., and they were intermittently repeated until the eventual conquest which led to a long period of occupation by the Arabs (roughly 827-1091 A.D.).

Below are five maps from five historical periods of Italy: 1000, 1494, 1796, 1810, and 1861. (For more information on the maps click here.)

Four Maps of Italy from 1000 to 1810 AD

Italian Unification (1861)

Verily, Naples has a very rich history, not divorced from its culinary tradition as we shall see. It would be imprudent not to take the historical process into account in understanding the origins and evolution of Neapolitan pizza. The pizza is a symbol of Naples’ nostalgic longing for political independence, which never became eventual. Yet, the pizza has remained as a proof of their historical identity. It is in this sense that I stated in the previous article: “A pizzaiolo napoletano is a custodian of the Neapolitan tradition that he has inherited.”

For those who have further interest in history of Naples (particularly from a cultural perspective), The book Shadow of Vesuvius: A Cultural History of Naples by Dr. Jordan Lancaster is recommended. The book is enjoyably easy to read and understand, and it can be used as a guide for those who visit Naples.

Next article: Part 3: The Mediterranean Phenomenon

Previous article: Part 1: Introduction

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