In the Shadow of Vesuvius: A Cultural History of Naples I.B. Tauris, London, 2005; 2009; 2013

(published in Spanish as A la Sombra del Vesubio – Almed, Madrid, 2010)

Naples is an Italian city like no other. Drama and darkness are often associated with the city of Parthenope, which rests beneath active volcano Mount Vesuvius and is home to the Camorra – its home grown version of mafia. However, beyond this, Naples reveals itself as one of the most historically and culturally vibrant cities in Europe. From its origins and told in Homer’s Odyssey and its establishment as a Greek colony over 3,000 years ago, Naples has long attracted travellers, artists and foreign rulers – from the milords on the Grand Tour to Goethe, Nelson, Dickens and Neruda. The stunning beauty of its natural setting coupled with the charms of its colourful past and lively present – from the ruins of Pompeii to the glittering performances at the San Carlo opera house – continue to seduce all those who explore Naples today. In the Shadow of Vesuvius is a sparkling portrait of the city – the definitive companion for anyone seeking to delve beneath its enigmatic surface.

“Rich with well known events and tasty anecdotes. A delight for the soul.” – Il mattino, Naples.




Napoles – A La Sombra Del Vesubio

“At last a history to discover and describe to the international public…an historical tapestry woven from with books, ideas, myths and legends, emphasizing the common European matrix, with deep classical roots, in which Naples represents a point of entry, crossroads of traditions and birthplace of new ideas that spread throughout the entire continent…Parthenope deserved a book like this.” – Diario de Sevilla


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The Road Less Travelled: 1,000 amazing places off the tourist trail, Eyewitness Travel, London, 2010
Dr. Lancaster contributed to the “Italy” section of this highly praised volume, presented by Bill Bryson.
“A book to keep by the bedside to fuel your dreams” — The Mail on Sunday
“This is a beautifully simple idea executed with no small degree of elegance…” — The Irish Times

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