Friday, May 17, 2013


A Place In The Sun adapted and re-contextualized the Australian model [ Neighbours ] to a considerable extent, introducing features and contents that were specifically and unmistakably Italian into the world of the serial, starting from the multi-layered articulation of the 'place'.
Un posto al sole is set in the southern city of Naples, where is also produced and shot. Naples is a highly recognizable and familiar setting for Italians, owing to its traditional presence in popular films, music and theatre.
A Place In The Sun exploits Naples as a sumptuos scenographic resource for the numerous scenes shot on location, giving this soap a brightness that is unusual in the genre, and as a linguistic and stylistic resource - the Neapolitan accents, the humorous tone of som of the characters and situations - which reinforce the overall effect of cultural proximity and recognizability.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


In the summer of 1960 Elvis released a single that created as permanent division among his following. It's Now or Never was an ornately orchestrated rewrite of the classic Neapolitan ballad O Sole Mio, an awfully long way from what purists believed to be his roots in the vernacular music of dirt-poor Tennessee. 
It prefigured Kitsch Elvis – the Presley of Are You Lonesome Tonight, Wooden Heart, Surrender, Bossa Nova Baby and Viva Las Vegas – and thereafter his music tended to be a highly personal mixture of Nashville, New York and Naples (and occasional detours to Nazareth).

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


This book came about because of a chance visit to an old library in a 14th-century building in the centre of Capri.
My attention was caught by a title called simply ‘Capri’ by John Clay MacKowen, published in Naples, in English, in 1884.  A frail little book – now apparently unobtainable even via antiquarian websites – was duly brought and I began to read.  It turned out to be a compelling account of just about everything to do with the island – its prehistory, geology and palaeontology, its grottoes and spectacular landscape, the splendour of its residence for twenty years as the seat of the Emperor Tiberius, the richness of its archaeology, its turbulent political years during the Middle Ages and start of the modern era, and on through to the later part of the nineteenth century when Capri became a magnet for travellers, writers and scholars, holding them all with the magic that still brings its visitors back year after year.
I’m a publisher by trade and felt that there could be other people who would be equally pleased to read this informative and spirited story. The new chapters [ that take the original material up to the present day ] are illustrated and fully referenced, and the book is completed by a bibliography and a detailed index.
But how much was known about John Clay MacKowen?  Our efforts to find out more led to some interesting seams of unexpected information. It was correctly known that he had fought in the American Civil War and that he had come to Capri in later life, making his home in an old Aragonese tower in Anacapri on the western side of the island.