Naples held great appeal for tourists not only because of its charming coastal scenery and awe-inspiring Mount Vesuvius, but also thanks to its customs and traditions. Particularly from the 1880s onwards, Italian-based photographers increasingly marketed studies of human beings that shaped and continually fuelled the cliché of the poor but carefree population of Southern Italy. With his outsider’s perspective on the Italian culture, the native Frankfurter Giorgio Sommer contributed to shaping the visual habits of tourists. In one series he depicted street scenes—in some cases staged—such as this one of the Pallonetto di Santa Lucia. The 1876 Baedeker travel guide for Southern Italy and Sicily likewise presented a stereotypical image of the district, claiming “The family life of the Neapolitan people unfolds here in the most uninhibited manner.” For the instant captured in the shot, the lively goings-on on the steps were simulated: in between the lines of laundry hung up to dry, numerous residents pose for the photographer’s camera.