At the beginning of Naples Declared, readers will find a chronology of Naples’ history, starting with an entry for Circa 1800-1600 B.C. and ending with an entry for 2011. The bulk of the book goes on to explain this chronology in more detail, as it pertains to certain sites and attitudes in Naples. While Benjamin Taylor takes his walk around the bay, he details the ways in which the (sometimes confusing) history of Naples has resulted in its very diverse cultural practices, religious practices, architecture, and artwork.
I learned quite a bit while reading Naples Declared, but I know I would have found it much more interesting and much less confusing if I’d done the extra research the first time around.
It is clear that Taylor loves the city of Naples and put a lot of time and effort into the writing of Naples Declared (sixteen years of research and eleven stays in Naples, to be exact). He does write with passion, and in a clear and concise way. Included at the back of the book is Taylor’s list of sources for the historical information contained in Naples Declared, and I think I’ll be looking into some of those books before I read this one again.




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