2.08 Sarnelli 1709

Pompeo Sarnelli, La guida de’ forestieri curiosi di vedere e di riconoscere le cose più memorabili di Pozzoli, Baia, Cuma, Miseno, Gaeta […] arricchita di molte figure in rame […], Naples 1709

Be 4018-2970/a raro II

To Pompeo Sarnelli, an ecclesiastic of Apulian origins, prolific author of Church history and hagiography, archbishop of Benevento and bishop of Bisceglie, we owe two fundamental texts of Neapolitan periegesis. His guides to Naples and Pozzuoli, both published in 1685, had an incredible publishing success and were reprinted several times, including in French. The Bibliotheca Hertziana possesses numerous copies of the Pozzuoli guidebook (in Italian those of 1691, 1768, 1784; in Italian and French those of 1697 and 1709). The volume on display, with French and Italian text facing each other, also includes additions to the first edition: the description of the thermal baths of the island of Ischia (pp. 151ff.) and that of the main attractions of Gaeta (pp. 174ff.). The work, as stated in the title page, is accompanied by numerous engravings that, alongside the traditional mirabilia of the Phlegrean Fields, include a series of plans and sections of sites and buildings of the area. There is no lack of curiosities for travelers, such as that relating to the sale on the coast between Agnano and Pozzuoli of small ancient objects found on the shoreline and of “a certain kind of dry fish, called sea horse” (reproduced in a plate to make it recognizable to tourists), which was sought after for its alleged therapeutic properties. [ES]

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