"Where the little river Liris runs into the Gulf of Gaeta, seventy miles south of Rome, may be placed the natural boundary between central and southern Italy."
Thus begins "Greek Cities in Italy and Sicily," a book written by David Randall-MacIver and published in 1931. This was pretty much square in the middle of the period written about by Paul Fussell in "Abroad," his study of English literary travelogues written between the world wars; and the minor key of "Greek Cities" is indeed the travelogue.
But the major key of Greek Cities is a description of Greek architectural sites in southern Italy and Sicily in the late 1920's, with narratives about the cities where the sites are found including the cities' mythologies and most famous citizens, visitors, and political figures. The book's history, then, spans the period from about the eighth century BC to about the third century BC, when Rome displaced Carthage permanently from Sicily in the Punic Wars, and usurped the Greeks' dominance on the island.
So, I skimmed the book's first eighty pages about the Greek cities in southern Italy and started with Chapter VIII - "From Paola to Syracuse" - which begins in the book's minor key and then modulates effortlessly into its major key; and I paraphrase from Chapter VIII's first paragraphs: