chapter  4
23 Pages

Topographies of Poetry: Mapping Early Modern Naples

Figure 4.3 Antoine Lafréry, Etienne du Pérac, ‘Quale e di quanta importanza e bellezza sia la nobile Cita di Napole’ (Rome, 1566). Courtesy of University of Amsterdam Library

Figure 4.4 G.A., ‘Il vero disegnio in sul propio luogho ritratto …’ (Naples, 1540). Courtesy of University of Amsterdam Library

is remarkable 1540 map of Naples and its bay suggests that the introduction of a new topography, both in attitudes and in representational conventions, was mediated by an apparently recent interest in antique heritage – particularly in its literary guise – and able to produce an alternative symbolic framework for conveying meaning to locations. is conjecture conrms what recent scholarship has asserted in other geographical and chronological contexts, notably with reference to the topography of Rome and its representations. Conventionally understood in relation to pilgrimage practices, for a remarkably long time this city, which was heavily charged with symbolic meanings, continued to be understood and represented – in maps and city guides like the Mirabilia Romae – as a collection of religious topoi without any substantial context or connection.9 is only changed with the advent of a new and alternative perception of the city’s identity, oriented towards its antique heritage, which changed not only the symbolic meaning associated with the city of Rome, but also the manner of representing it.10 Not until the 1630s did Roman city guides start to cater for visitors interested mainly in the city’s antiquities.11 is new audience apparently appreciated much more detailed information which enabled the visitors to locate and contextualize the highlights of their visit. e rst guide of this kind included a separate section in the 1637 edition of Le cose maravigliose di Roma, with this title: ‘Guida romana per li forastieri che vogliono veder l’Antichità di Roma una per una’ (‘Roman guide for foreigners who want to see Rome’s antiquities one by one’).12 In maps of the city, on the other hand, this shi had already occurred some decades earlier, when Etienne du Pérac, the Rome-based author of the 1566 highly accurate map of Naples discussed earlier (Figure 4.3), started to produce his maps of ancient and modern Rome. In 1575, this culminated in his publishing the seminal series of I vestigi dell’antichità di Roma, a commercial endeavour clearly intended to satisfy the interest in antique

heritage that in the sixteenth century had started to attract a dierent kind of traveller to the Eternal City.13 It is this new audience’s interest in antiquity that activates their more exploratory travel attitude and as a result stimulates more accurate and less symbolic representations of geographical realities.14