Francesco's Italy - Top To Toe 2008

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Sit back and enjoy the ride, as architect, historian, and film-maker Francesco da Mosto drives his Alfa Romeo Spider the length of Italy, from North to South, celebrating the art and beauty of the country. Taking in architecture, cathedrals, churches, palaces, and paintings, Francesco also explores the rich cultural diversity of the country, focussing in detail on the effect the Renaissance had across the arts.

Starring:
Francesco da Mosto
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Francesco's Italy - Top To Toe - Disc 1 ages_15_and_over
  • Francesco's Italy - Top To Toe - Disc 2 ages_15_and_over
Runtime 3 hours 20 minutes
Starring Francesco da Mosto
Director Andrea Carnevali, Jonty Claypole
Genres Documentary
Studio 2 ENTERTAIN VIDEO
Rental release 18 August 2008
Main languages English

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

104 of 107 people found the following review helpful By Julie Cutler TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 19 Aug 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"This is the moment most Italian drivers fear- a Venetian getting into a car."

Finally released from 2006 this is a four part documentary (60 minutes each episode) of a trip from the North to the South of Italy in the company of the charming Francesco da Mosta. It comes in a 2 DVD set in a single case with no extras apart from the subtitles.

Very much an insider's view of the country the journey in a red Alfa Romeo Spider along the roads from Venice to his mother's former home in Palermo is not only a taste of the architecture and art of Italy but an insight into daily life and obsessions. We taste the short intense gulp of breakfast espresso, then overdose on home made pizza, pasta and ice cream. We investigate designer fashion then take part in the Passegiata- the ritual evening walk in our best clothes through the town streets. If you're learning Italian it's perfect as Francesco conducts interviews in his native tongue and occasionally finds it more expressive to slap an Italian turn of phrase mid sentence to camera- it's all subtitled so you don't miss anything.

There are scenes of magnificent palaces with rich decoration and the homes of the poor- the Basso shop/homes of Naples, the tax avoidance scam of the conical Trulli in Puglia, the cave squatters of Sassi. The span of artefacts ranges from Roman mosaics to a collection of unused giant heads of Mussolini languishing in a basement. We move from the sublime heights of Puccini's operas to the writhing dance of the Tarantella.

There's plenty of gory subjects too- frescoes of the last judgment, the dissection museum in Bologna with its wax models, flagellants in Southern Italy drawing blood with points of glass to show their devotion, underground crypts in Naples and Palermo with mummified bodies.
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144 of 159 people found the following review helpful By Mr. P. J. R. LEWIS TOP 500 REVIEWER on 18 July 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Francescos most interesting and enjoyable series shown on BBC1 two years ago has taken quite a while to reach DvD but the wait is well worth it.

Francesco who lives in his glorious Venitian palace has no use of a car so the Ferrari red Alfa Spider he drives was loaned by a friend.

Many will feel let down by his choice of cities in the North but Italy is a country of incredible diversity.The industrial North contrasted by the agricultural almost medieval way of life in southern Italy.

This is a series of great contrast.He visits Milan,a grubby city where Italian chic and designer shops are everywhere.Eve Saint Lerent makes a guest appearence and talks about Milan in general.Italian chic and fashion are taken to extreams in this city where even the Policewomen are immaculately dressed and are allowed to wear highheels.Imagine our policewomen in this country chasing after somebody in highheels?.

Bolognia the oldest university in the world aswell as the resting place of Lucretia Borgia the reformed wife of the powerfull Medici family who eventually became a nun.

Verona and the rather modern balcony that was supposed to have inspired Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet but the Bard never made a visit to this beautifull town.

Sienna that gorgeous city where a visit to the magnificent campo or square where the famous Palio horserace takes place.

Lucca the birthplace and home of the great composer Puccini.One of Francescos friends a opera singer sings one of Puccini magnificent arias in the square.Whether you love opera or not one cannot imagine such a romantic setting without the heart felt passion of Verdi or Puccini, the locals and tourists alike are captivated by the occasion.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Redaurella on 2 Mar 2009
Format: DVD
This is a delightful trip through Italy from north to south. Some of the stops en route are predictable, others are quite new. Francesco is a pleasant guide and my only complaint was that it was too short. MOre time spent at some of the locations would have made a more satisfying DVD.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tove Kolle on 19 Jun 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This trip through Italy gives meinsights I never had experienced. Iusually go the nice places like Venice, Florence, Rome and Sorrento. Seeing Matera in Basilicata was quite an eye opener to the fact that poverty is still a problem in the southern parts of Italy. But most of all, we also saw the immense beauty of the country and hitherto unseen social patterns and traditions. Coming from Venice with a Sicilian mother, he seems to be well suited to give us at bit of Italy. da Mosto is obviously from a noble family, well connected in all parts of Italy. There were no places he could not enter. He is a very charming person and no snob. Things are what they are.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By P on 27 Sep 2011
Format: DVD
If you like Italy this DVD is for you, the scenery is beautiful, makes me want to visit all sorts of interesting places.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rose on 13 Oct 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I enjoyed watching parts of the series but felt there was too much on architecture, paintings and not enough on the countryside. He did not visit the Dolomite area, nor the lakes, nor the Amalfie coast area. What about the Isle of Capri? This is a very personal opinion with very personal preferences. I suppose he looked at Italy from the eyes of an architect!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Peter Ford on 17 Aug 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It certainly seemed a very ambitious project to tour this fascinating country within the time available on two DVDs.
I was curious to see whether and if so, how Francesco would manage it. After enjoying his account of Venice and Venetian history, I was pretty confident that the result would be enjoyable. I was certainly not disappointed.

In fact, it turned out to be hugely enjoyable, largely because of Francesco"s engaging personality and his very idiosyncratic selection of routes and venues. He introduced us to novel aspects of well-known places and to interesting and delightful people. As I had expected, it turned out to be something of a whirlwind tour but nonetheless thoroughly worthwhile. I found the second disc more enjoyable than the first, but both of them amply satisfactory. It was an unexpected pleasure to have Maggie Smith join us, and a bonus to visit Sicily as well.

I'm looking forward to the pleasure of Francesco's Mediterranean Voyage.
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