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Francesco's Venice : Complete BBC Series [DVD]

4.7 out of 5 stars 215 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Francesco Da Mosto
  • Format: PAL, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: 2 Entertain Video
  • DVD Release Date: 19 Jun. 2006
  • Run Time: 235 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (215 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000F3T918
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,138 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

A breathtaking journey through the ages, telling the story of one of the world's most famous and beautiful cities. This lavish, landmark series explores how a place with no firm ground, no crops, no indigenous riches and no land army came to snatch success from the jaws of failure time and time again - right up to the present day. Step back in time to early Venice, recreated by the magic of CGI. See wooden houses on stilts replaced by the daring rebuild in stone and brick.

Witness the sacking of Constantinople and the Venice of Casanova, Napoleon, Byron and Mussolini. The stunning recreations and dramatisations in each episode are enriched by insights from charismatic aristocrat, architect and historian Francesco da Mosto. His family has lived in Venice for over a thousand years and, far from having that sinking feeling, he believes passionately in the future of this miraculous city...

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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These DVDs are a must for anyone plannng to visit Venice. They would form a basis of interest and direction for anyone's first visit. There is a historical thread from beginning to end starting with the birth of Venice and finishing with a dicussion on how Venice will fair in the future. The main historical figures are mentioned, the artists, architectects, sculptures, musicians etc and how they fitted into the fabric of Venice. This is not a stuffy historical guide, instead Da Mosto has laced the narrative with anecdotes and interesting stories, with gossip and scandal. His love for his home and birth place is infectious.

The DVDs are well shot and Da Mosto's story is well illustrated.

It is difficult to imagine how these 4 programmes could have been improved because although details are occasionally a little scant I am sure that it was never the intention to make this the definitive guide to Venice.

Francesco's Venice is a general interest guide full of facts spontaneity and humour and certainly gives anyone with the slightest interest in Venice a good idea of what the place is all about.
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If you are planning to visit Venice I recommend you invest in to this DVD and watch it before you go. This is more a historical guide than a review of the most important land marks.

As it happens Francesco ( an arcitec himself ) was born in venice and knows every corner and every dark secret of the city.

The production values are excellent and Francesco interacts with the past in a very clever way. The actors who play the main characters help to bring the history alive.

The cultural heritage is fascinating but the creation and expansion of the republic even more.

Apart from the history of his own family most the DVD refers to the most important highlights of the city and all you will need is a map to find them. There is far more information in this format than you can get in a guide book.

The DVD is made by the BBC and targeted to the British public.

Can he do Rome or Florence next ?
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If you are going to visit Venice, spending 4 hours watching this DVD will save you a lot of time (and money) since he puts the city in context and shows some of the highlights to head for. He is a master storyteller, and delights in telling you how Venetians have struggled from one disaster to another, making some magnificent buildings in the process.

The Venice on the DVD is without the hordes of tourists, overpriced tourist restaurants, and cheesy tourist shops which cram into Venice today - you will see that for yourself when you get there.
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The best reviews are always those whose author is well versed in the subject ~ seemingly an obvious point but something that is all too often ignored ~ and if the reviewer also loves his or her subject matter with a passion, so much the better.

It would be hard to find a more poetic, seductive reviewer than this super sexy man, who is clearly first a Venetian and second an Italian! Francesco draws the viewer in like an angler teasing a fish until you are well and truly hooked!

I had visited Venice briefly, many years ago but at the wrong time of year ~ high summer (definitely not recommended) without undertaking any pre-visit research (definitely another big mistake ~ it is preferable to research any country but essential in order to really 'get' Venice) and for far too short a time to really form an intelligent opinion on this unique city.

This year, I had the opportunity to return with a group of girlfriends to watch our daughters' choir perform over 4 days. Apart from the concerts/masses in which they were performing, our time was our own. Despite it being mid-May, the weather was atrocious ~ horizontal rain on one day, with only one hot sunny day which, fortunately, was the day we visited the Island of Murano.

Despite all this, having watched Francesco's Venice, I felt, so prepared, so well versed in the city's foundations, history and character, that the weather became (almost!) unimportant.

I would not hesitate to recommend, no insist, as I did with my accompanying girlfriends, that this DVD is a pre-requisite for any visitor to this amazing city.
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A stunning introduction to this marvelous city or an amazing wealth of knowledge for regular visitors, this four part series presented by a knowledgeable Venitian is wonderfully shot and scored. It perfectly gives a snapshot of the history of Venice and the Lagoon around it, some might balk at the final episode which points a finger at the tourists that have turned the city into a giant museum, but this is the quandary the city finds itself in as it tries to survive with no way of growth or any real industry. Well worth investing in.
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This was the perfect way to get ready for 3 nights in Venice. Well presented and with a good pace to it, the 4 hours flew by and we came out of this much the wiser about our short break destination. As a result, we got much, much more out of our holiday.

In these enlightened days of non-smoking the only thing that distracts is the presenter's penchant for holding a cigarette for much of the programme and even - horror of horrors - taking the occasional drag on it. When was the last time any of us saw a presenter with the chutzpah to smoke on screen?
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