Ferrante Fever Turns Naples into a Tourist Hotspot
Ever since the Neapolitan series of four novels by Elena Ferrante was published in English last year, the port has become a major destination for American and British enthusiasts alike. These new visitors are as keen to explore the city’s working-class streets as the more traditional attractions of historic palaces, churches and museums. This month it was announced that a 32-part Italian television series of Ferrante’s stories will be produced. Her novels showcase Naples with all its flaws and the city becomes a character in its own right. “Ferrante Fever” is gathering pace in the city itself, as bookshops and restaurants boast of their connections to the four novels – which focus on two young women growing up in a poor neighborhood, starting in the 1950s with My Brilliant Friend and concluding with The Story of the Lost Child.
The New York Times has run travel pieces such as “What to Do in Elena Ferrante’s Naples.” The mystery surrounding the author’s true identity (she writes under a pseudonym) continues to spark interest in Napoli. The books have been published in 39 countries and sales have rocketed during the past few months, with My Brilliant Friend selling over 800,000 copies in America alone.