The Mediterranean is like a magnet for the British and the Americans. Like visitors of many other nationalities, they seem unable to resist the allure of the Inner Sea’s balmy climate, seemingly laid-back lifestyle, exoticism, and the millenia-old heritage to be found around its shores, but the attraction is no recent development. It is, indeed, of very long standing, albeit motivated by other factors. English ships have been recorded in Italian ports as early as the opening years of the fifteenth century, although Hakluyt, the renowned English historian and geographer, would seem to indicate that a presence on a certain scale was not evident until a century later.
In the centuries since, the military and commercial presence has endured and to it was added a third element – a flow of visitors which started as the Grand Tour and eventually became the flood of sun, sea and sand worshippers presently to be found peppered along the shores of the Mediterranean.
The papers presented here reflect a broad range of situations in most of the lands where the British lingered for any length of time and while a number of papers focus on the English and Americans themselves and the nature of their presence in these lands, others look at the impact which this presence has had on local societies as regards trade, politics and ideas.