The Snapshots of the East

The Notes on Edmondo De Amicis’ Costantinopoli


  • Camilla Bencini University of Florence



Edmondo De Amicis, Costantinopoli, Italian literature, reportage, travel writing


Edmondo De Amicis (1846-1908) was one of the most important Italian authors of the nineteenth century whose travel reportages helped broaden the horizons of the Italian readers. The results of his explorations were collected into successful books such as Spagna (Spain, 1873), l’Olanda (1874; Holland 2011), Ricordi di Londra (1874; Memories of London 1923) and Marocco (1876; Morocco: Its People & Places, 1985). Published by Treves in 1877, Costantinopoli (Constantinople 2017) was able to shape the fin-desiècle Ottoman imagination and spread from Italy across Europe. Adolfo Veber Tkalčević, the editor of the Croatian translation of De Amicis’s work, stated in his Put u Carigrad (1886) that “even the most critical observer would not have dared add anything; De Amicis has described it so well, like no one else had done before him” (p. 91). The essay investigates the editorial path of the reportage and focuses on the narrative “snapshots” of the imperial city with a renewed emphasis on the text.






Preliminary communication