Naples: Life, Death & Miracles  © 2002-2017       contact:     Jeff Matthews  
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Naples: Life, Death & Miracles
A Personal Encyclopedia
Welcome & Introduction

Naples: Life, Death, and Miracles is a miscellany of entries written from October 2002 through the present. In a previous version on the internet, it was called the Around Naples Encyclopedia. It is purposely an idiosyncratic presentation of my personal observations on the general culture of Naples—history, art, archaeology, music, traffic, geology, literature, the evil eye, pizza and anything else that struck and still strikes my fancy. I have included a  number of items about southern Italy, in general, beyond the immediate area of Naples. There is also an additional section on the island of Sardinia.

The logo table at the top of this page (and all pages) tells you what you can expect to find on the site. You are now reading the "welcome" page (second from left, logo table, top). Most of the others are self-explanatory. The "site map" (third from left) provides precise descriptions. Other than the main entries on Naples, there are some miscellaneous entries accessible under "other articles". The material in the "other articles" section was originally written by Jeff Matthews or David Taylor, authors of A Brief History of Naples and Other Tales  (©Fotoprogetti Press, Naples, 1994). (Occasional third authors are indicated in the by-lines.) All of the items in that book originally appeared in  the Lion Magazine, an English-language magazine about the Naples area, founded by Tony Quattrone and subsequently written and edited by him, Matthews and Taylor. It was published monthly between 1987 and 1996 in Naples and is essentially the nucleus of this entire site.

napleslifeIf you just want to start looking for things to read, go to "other articles", the "index" or the "portal index", a grouping into rough subject areas such as "music" and "literature." If you already know what you want, try the alphabetical index, first. There is a google search (by word or phrase) on the main index page and here. Most entries have at least one internal link that will take you to additional, relevant items as you read. If you want to read a straight, chronological history of Naples, open "articles" and look at the top section, marked "chronological history". Also, there are currently 67 Naples Miscellany pages with shorter items not necessarily in this general index. Those pages are chronological from May 2007 to the present and start here; the current page (67) is here. (There is an Early Miscellania page for items before 2007.)

The phrase "Life, Death  Miracles" is a translation of the Italian expression, Vita, Morte e Miracoli. If you say in Italian that you "know the life, death, and miracles" of something, that is like saying that you know "everything there is to know." I don't flatter myself that everything you want to know about Naples is in these pages, but it's a good start and, besides, I like the expression. Thank you for your interest.

This page is maintained by me, Jeff Matthews. You can email me by clicking on my name, underlined in the previous sentence. I welcome comments. Note: Please respect the "fair use" principle in your use of the contents of Naples: Life, Death & Miracles. That is, please don't copy it, distribute it, or otherwise "borrow" it without my permission. Also, if you quote it, please acknowledge the source. 

(update: January 2010) About me: I grew up in Los Angeles, California, but have lived and worked in Naples for about 35 years. Most of the time I've taught English as a Second Language to Italian students at the Orientale University as well as to military personnel from many nations stationed at the NATO base in Bagnoli. I am also involved with the continuing education program for the University of Maryland University College in Naples, where I've taught English composition, literature and linguistics to US military personnel. I also teach Music History of Naples for the ElderHostel program in Sorrento. I have an M.A. in Linguistics from the University of Hawaii but have also attended the U. of Heidelberg, Germany (I have no dueling scar) and the Music Conservatory in Graz, Austria. At various times in my life, I have been a mailman, a taxi driver, a trombone player and an oil refinery roustabout. I seem to have a short attention span, which is why I write about so many different things in this encyclopedia. I have grown to love history, but astronomy is pretty nice, too, as is juggling. I once rode a bicycle across the US.  (I think I also wrote a sentence one time that did NOT start with 'I'.) I am intensely concerned about whether or not quantum entanglement violates the Theory of Relativity. If you know, please tell me. The last book I read was a German translation of an Agatha Christie novel. You may read about that experience here.

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