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Francesco's Italy: Top to Toe [DVD]
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Following his sumptuous series on Venice, Francesco da Mosto celebrates the art and beauty of Italy - its cathedrals, churches, palaces, opera houses, paintings, sculpture and music. It is a story of the Italy we all know and love, enhanced by a look at the secret side of the country that only an insider can show us. Da Mosta reveals the full glories of Renaissance Italy and the country's astonishing cultural diversity, which was only recently unified under one flag. Born into a distinguished family, with a Venetian father and a Sicilian mother, what better guide could there be than one who knows and loves this magnificent country?
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Brought as a Christmas present for my grandson as he is going to Italy with School next year.Published 2 months ago by Dawn Andrews
Lovely,lovely,lovely, Thank You! Italian vistas are lovely, the author and the guide Francesco is lovely,too, and the musics so excellently inspirational, that having watched and... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Tapio Karjalainen
A wonderful documentary about Italy. Francesco Da Mosto talks about his home country with such passion but also makes it interesting and explains things clearly to draw you in.Published 4 months ago by L Rouse
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