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Descrivere una città: Early Modern Guidebooks in Naples

In name, a guidebook assures the reader of clarification and direction, but the term only seems to neatly define what to expect from these volumes. Instead, the claim to make sense of the unknown is complicated by shifting narrative strategies, choices of language, and the inclusion of illustrations. Recent interest in issues of orientation and subjectivity has shed new light on guidebooks; in addition, a profusion of new printed and digital editions of these works have reinvigorated a discussion of guidebooks as a form of knowledge produced at the intersection of description and dispersal. This workshop investigates the genre’s development in Naples and its resonance in a wider Italian context. While similar interest in the description of major cities grew across Europe, the richness of Neapolitan production and shared concerns around the antique, artistic, and natural landscapes make it a promising point of departure. Examining these guides as negotiations of the city's extraordinary and ordinary dimensions will open up the potentials and limitations of a tool intended to traverse time and space.

Chiara De Caprio (Naples)
Immagini di città, immagini di lingue

Harald Hendrix (Rome)
L’invenzione di un nuovo prodotto editoriale: le prime guide illustrate dedicate a Napoli e al suo distretto

Lorenza Gianfrancesco (Chichester)
Guidebooks in early seventeenth-century Naples: Patronage, propaganda and civic identity

Melissa Calaresu (Cambridge)
Making Naples: Illustrated guidebooks and the creation of a visual tradition

Niall Atkinson (Chicago)
Early modern Florentines abroad: Measuring, counting, and describing foreign cities

Francesco Caglioti (Naples)
Luoghi reali e <> nelle guide e nelle visite di Napoli: per un’elaborazione digitale


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