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Giovanni Mariti’s Treatise on Cypriot Wine

Sasha Djordjevic - PhD candidate, Department of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, University of Cyprus

 

Abstract

Although there were many travellers who had visited Cyprus throughout the centuries and mentioned Cypriot wine in their travel notes, Giovanni Mariti (1736-1806) was the first Italian to present a more complete description of the island, together with an extensive study on Cypriot wine. This text first appeared as a chapter in his travel book entitled Viaggi per l’isola di Cipro e per la Soría e Palestina (9 vols, 1769-1776) and later in a separate edition, Del vino di Cipro (1772). Mariti was neither an oenologist nor an authentic writer, and yet this text can be read as a wine study and at the same time as a particularly interesting narrative. Furthermore, Del vino di Cipro is still considered as one of the main sources about 18th-century Cypriot wine production.

The aim of this paper is to deal primarily with the narrative mechanisms employed in Mariti’s text in order to find a valid answer to the question of how it remains one of the most enjoyable narratives about the island of Cyprus, ‘abundant in wine’.

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