Four women united by a common passion have created an extraordinary tribute to the city they love.
Barbara Zaragoza moved to Naples for her husband’s work and for three years she set off, kids in tow, to explore Naples and beyond, recording her adventures in her blog, The Espresso Break. Soon after returning to the U.S., those blog pages became the guidebook, The Espresso Break: Tours and Nooks of Naples, Italy and Beyond. Barbara enlisted Penny Ewles-Bergeron, a writer and artist living in the heart of Naples at the time to edit The Espresso Break.
Around the same time, Bonnie Alberts was busy creating Napoli Unplugged, a website that has become the English language voice of Naples and a true labour of love as, day by day, she presents her adoptive city to the world. She and Penny met through the website and became fast friends, bonding over their shared fascination with the city and serial plates of pasta genovese (research). The trio’s current venture brings together content from Barbara’s book and blog and Bonnie’s website along with a substantial quantity of new material written by Bonnie and Penny, who also served as editor-in-chief.
Erin Romano, a graphics designer who lives in Positano, completes this quartet of women who share a passion for Naples. The layout and design of the book is owed entirely to Erin’s creative vision.
The book is illustrated by a blend of Bonnie’s photographs enlivened with ink and watercolour paintings by urban sketchers Lorenzo Dotti and Simonetta Capecchi. Rome-based plein airpainter Kelly Medford was commissioned to paint four new views of Naples in oil and these feature in the book, one of them providing the beautiful cover illustration and she is the brush behind the maps in Rambles Through Naples.
Rome blogger, tweeter, beach girl and author of the Amalfi Coast Travel Essentials iPhone app, Gillian Longworth McGuire added her expertise to the Seaside Delights: The Bay of Naples & The Amalfi Coast. Finally, Holly Willmott, an English teacher living in Naples and whose mastery of the Italian language rivals that of her native tongue, was relentless in tracking down every last detail in the “Plan Your Visit“ sections and navigating the various Italian bureaucracies in hot pursuit of photo permissions. And as the Napoli Unplugged News and Events Co-ordinator, Holly kept the website humming while Bonnie was otherwise consumed with the book.
Founder & CEO
Veteran traveler, travel writer, photographer, indie publisher and webmaster, Bonnie Alberts is an entrepreneur with an affinity for artistry and the creative and an unabashed Napoliphile. Bonnie splits her time between running Partenope Press, developing new titles, editing Napoli Unplugged (the website), writing Bindu Itineraries and contributing travel articles to websites, books and magazines.
Artist, Writer, Editor
Writer and artist Penny Ewles-Bergeron is the English half of an Anglo-American couple who met through an advert in satirical magazine Private Eye. Their love affair with Italy began with a honeymoon in San Gimignano. For seven joyful years they enjoyed a wildly different part of the country, living in the very heart of Naples. Though they now reside in England, Penny’s passion for the city continues to find daily expression on social media, as her numerous Twitter followers can attest. She was delighted when Barbara Zaragoza invited her to edit The Espresso Break and returns to her favourite subject as editor and contributor to the Napoli Unplugged Guide to Naples.
Barbara Zaragoza is a freelance writer whose prose embraces history, local cuisine, myth, archaeology, politics and more. While living in Naples she penned The Espresso Break blog and went on to write The Espresso Break: Tours and Nooks of Naples, Italy and Beyond. Since moving back to California, Barbara has continued to be a freelance writer of many books, articles and websites.
Growing up in a number of foreign countries, Erin Romano had wanderlust from an early age. Travelling and exploring were like food and water, and thanks to her career as a graphic designer, she was able to continue working as she roamed. She eventually found herself in Florence, Italy studying Italian and immersing herself in the culture. A couple of years later, she met her now-husband while traveling in the South. They currently live on the Amalfi Coast with their son.
Published by Partenope Press
2015, 376pp,216 x 140 mm, Illustrated, Smyth Sewn Paperback
U.S. $22.95, UK £14.95, €EU 18.95
Ebook – EPUB ISBN 978-0-9908051-1-3
Ebook – Kindle ISBN 978-0-9908051-2-0
The Napoli Unplugged Guide to Naples is not your typical guidebook. Written for the intrepid traveller seeking a more profound experience, the NU Guide delves deep – deep enough to catch the cultural heartbeat of the city. It’s a must-have for anyone with more than just a passing interest in Naples and you’ll want to revisit the book again and again, long after your return home. There’s also plenty here to satisfy the wanderlust of armchair travellers. Written by four women united by a common passion – Napoli – who love to wax lyrical about their adoptive city, it makes you feel you’re seeing Naples through the eyes of your best friends. Their own enthusiasms are multiple: art, archaeology and architecture; history and mythology; music, dance and theatre; food and wine, the islands and the beach – even shopping – and each subject has its narrative moment in the spotlight. The prose is embellished by many beautiful photographs, urban sketches and plein-air paintings by artists who couldn’t resist the siren call of Parthenope.
From the parallel city hidden below Naples’ bustling streets to the summit of Vesuvius, the authors explore the city – one of the oldest in the Western world, the bay – surely the most stunning, and a little further afield in Campania. Rambles Through the City explores Naples by the neighbourhood – its historic and municipal centres as well as its hill districts and is enhanced by creative cartography to orient the reader; Outings in the Outskirts dives into the Bay of Naples and a bit beyond – the Vesuvius Excavations, the Phlegraean Fields and the glories of the Amalfi Coast; Ventures in a Different Veinfeeds the mind and delights the senses with a section dedicated entirely to Naples’ history, and finally, the authors outline an immersion course in the city’s music, theatre and food and wine cultures. Each section is equipped with practical advice on transport, opening hours, essential numbers – and the book is topped off with a thematic index offering the reader other pathways of discovery into the city. Visit Naples, discover Napoli!
2015 USA Best Book Awards
Travel: Guides & Essays
2015 International Book Awards
Travel: Guides & Essays
Press & Praise
Take Napoli Unplugged with you! You’ll have the best guidebook to this complex city. The writers are insiders with in-depth knowledge of the distinct neighborhoods, history, and unique pleasures of this most beguiling of cities.Frances Mayes
This looks like all you need to know to get the most out of a visit to Naples… one of my favourite cities.Professor Mary Beard
A wonderful, comprehensive guide to the jewel of southern Italy – filled with charming images, candid descriptions, interesting & quirky facts, it’s an essential on any Italophile’s bookshelf.Gennaro Contaldo
Informative, up to the minute and as lively and fun to read as the incredible city it covers.Ben Hatch
Napoli Unplugged is perfect. A friendly, assured, unintimidated companion for the great city of extremes.David McConnell
Love the book. Part guide book, part history lesson, part culinary tour. I feel like I’ve been there already! First thing into the suitcase.Will Stirling
I missed dinner because I was so engrossed in the book. It includes history, stories, detailed info on art, architecture, neighborhoods, markets, and more. What I love most are the stories on notable Neapolitans & those they call “spirited SHE-apolitans. So much more than a travel guide, it’s a guide to understanding and loving Napoli, just as these ladies do.Kathy Ayer
What a fabulous book! So much info. This will be a Godsend on our annual hols. And very fast delivery – I only paid for it on Thursday! Thank you all, one very happy customer!Debbie Sewter
Penny, my copy of Napoli Unplugged arrived today, and it is magnificent! The engaging writing style captivates the reader, and the book provides a wealth of useful information. I can hardly put it down! A million thanks to you and your team for creating such an incredible resource. I am going to order a copy for my friend who will be traveling with me to Naples this fall.Melissa Nabbe Matusevich
Totally agree (with Gennaro Contaldo). I haven’t read a Naples Guidebook in a long time because they just don’t get what the city is about, they don’t understand the stories and what they mean to the heart of the city, they don’t capture the present day humans of Naples – but this book does. Kudos to you Bonnie and your team. Terrific book.Melissa Ussery
Napoli Unplugged is more than just a guidebook. It’s an intimate look at the fascinating city of Naples through the eyes of those who know it well. Beautiful artwork, maps, detail, this fabulous resource offers something for every traveler. I found myself absorbed in the descriptions and passion for this ancient city and can’t wait to have this in hand on my next trip to Naples.Jennifer Criswell
I usually go for another well crafted travel series of books for reading a great travel guide when about to go on vacation, but this one is such a fabulous encyclopedic guide to majestic Naples, Italy and the wonderful surrounding area, I would choose this book instead to carry with me, or to research ahead of my visit. Napoli Unplugged is pure treasure! Read the entire review on Goodreads.Susan on Goodreads