Apulia – An Armchair Traveller’s History by Desmond Seward and Susan Mountgarret is a compelling reading that links the landscape of this region to its history and early travellers.
As the writers explore Apulia area by area they unravel the local history presenting comments and observations from early travellers such as Abate Giovanni Battista Pacichelli, an extensive traveller and member of the Royal Society at London from the 17th century, Henry Swinburne, Englishman from the 18th century and author of Travels in the Two Sicilies, Charles Macfarlane a Scottish writer from the 19th century and Norman Douglas writer of South Wind and Old Calabria, just to name a few.
Learn about the landscape that makes up the heel of Italy, from the mountainous north of the Gargano to the flat Tavoliere. Marvel at the fascinating history its monuments and ruins tell and unveil the legacy of repeated invasions, from the arrival of the Greeks in 800 BC, the Goths in the 5th century to the Bourbons and the French in the 19th century, and many others in between. Discover the resourcefulness for survival shown by its people, creating cave-cities to escape the Goths and Saracens, or generating wealth exporting oil and wine while under Norman’s harsh rules or building Lecce in a Baroque style despite plague and Spanish taxation.
This book, wonderfully written, tells a riveting story that will fascinate anyone interested in the past and the impressions of early travellers who visited this little known part of Italy.
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