A portrait of the sun-drenched volcanic city from an American who has lost his heart to the place and to a beguiling and mysterious Neapolitan woman. Weaving the tale of an elusive romance with a vivid and haunting evocation of a legendary metropolis, Dan Hofstadter brilliantly reveals Naples to us. He is our guide to the dilapidated architectural beauty and the irrepressible theater of the city's everyday life; the centuries-old festivals that regularly overtake the jumbled streets; the conversations in dialect that start in the cafés after work and continue into the night; the countless curio shops where treasures mingle with kitsch. And he brings to life on the page the natives he befriends, people whose gestures and superstitions seem as ancient as Vesuvius: a master baker who'd rather be playing the stock market; an agoraphobic aunt who must meddle by pho≠ and, always, Benedetta, the object of our narrator's fascination and affections, and, like her lifelong home-city, at once inviting and unfathomable. Hofstadter's Naples is an amalgam of equivocal beauty, vestigial beliefs, betrayed resolves, and half-concealed secrets, a wounded city whose commonplace wonders are vividly conjured in this rich and lyrical book.