From The Strangled Queen (1955)
Translated by Humphrey Hare
There are cities that defy the centuries; time does not change them. Empires succeed each other, civilisations leave their remains in them like geological strata, but they preserve their character through the ages, their peculiar ambience, the sound and rhythm which distinguish them from all other cities upon the earth. Naples is one of these cities, and it appears to the traveller today, as it was in the Middle Ages, and doubtless a thousand years before, half-African, half-Latin, with its terraced alleys, its street-cries, its smell of olive oil, charcoal, saffron and frying fish, its sun-coloured dust, the sound of bells ringing on the necks of horses and of mules.
The Greeks founded it, the Romans conquered it…
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