Italy: The Gold of Naples

From the half-moon of its island-dotted bay, the city of Naples climbs up to the hills where the rich nestle in their gardened villas. Lining the stepped streets below, gurgling with underground drains, are the crowded tenements where live a million Neapolitan poor. It is a city that delights the eye as often as it offends the nose. "You may say, narrate, paint what you will, here is more than all of it put together," wrote Goethe. "I pardon all those who have lost their minds in Naples."

Regrettably, visitors often lose more than their minds. A charming but light-fingered...

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