George Stimpson

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Who said: "See Naples and die"?

"See Naples and die" (Vedi Napoli e poi muori) is an Italian saying of unknown origin and authorship. The idea of the proverb is that after one has seen Naples there is nothing else worth seeing, comparatively speaking. Naples occupies one of the most beautiful sites in Europe and has been a favorite with tourists for centuries. The bright sunshine in that region, the deep blue waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Bay of Naples, the Isle of Capri, the panoramic beauty of the city itself on the north shore of the bay, and Mount Vesuvius, four thousand feet high and forty miles in the distance, smoking by day and glowing by night, have long been famous in song and story. Boccaccio wrote in the Decameron: "The very ancient city of Naples is perhaps the most delightful of all Italian towns." In The Double Marriage, an Elizabethan play ascribed to Beaumont and Fletcher, are the lines:

Naples, the Paradise of Italy,
As that is of earth.
And Martin Farquhar Tupper, in Proverbial Philosophy (1838) wrote: "Naples sitteth by the sea, keystone of an arch of azure."