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Francesco's Mediterranean Voyage [DVD]
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Venetian architect and historian Francesco da Mosto sets out from Venice to cross the Mediterranean sea - following in the wake of his ancestor, the explorer Alvise da Mosto - to discover the cities and islands where Western civilization was born. Sailing in a late nineteenth-century schooner, he starts his journey in Venice and finishes in Istanbul. Along the way he takes in spectacular ruins like the Acropolis in Athens and the Roman city of Ephesus in Turkey; sacred sites like the monasteries of Mount Athos and the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul; and beautiful Dubrovnik (destroyed and rebuilt in the last decade). Ancient history and bygone legends intertwine as Francesco visits these wonderful ancient sites, bringing the past vividly to life, and taking viewers on a thrilling cultural odyssey.
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The series spans twelve episodes, and offers some varied viewpoints courtesy of no less than four different directors. One common attribute is the outstanding photography, which by itself makes this purchase worthwhile. For the 3-month voyage, Francesco and the BBC had the excellent idea of reserving the Black Swan: an absolutely gorgeous classic sailing vessel whose majestic presence guarantees jaw-dropping visuals regardless of the surrounding scenery.
We have watched the two DVDs in the set at least a dozen times, without tiring of the spectacular cinematography. At each port of call, the presenter visits places of special interest and provides the charming, down-to-earth commentary that makes ancient history come alive and puts this rich heritage in the context of contemporary culture and daily life. It's the sort of intelligent television that we tend to want to revisit, so I'm glad we have these DVDs. A special mention should be made of the musical score, which is fabulous and the perfect complement to the sumptuous visual presentation.
We are planning to go back to Italy very soon, and would also like to visit some of the other places on this voyage.
Francesco makes the places look wonderful. He has a spirit of adventure which comes across really well and transports you along with him on his journey's, and giving his travels the personal touch. He has almost a child like enthusiasm for the places he visits and in particular in Venice where he now lives and Sicily where he is from.
I think the tourist industry should thank him for making the places look even more appealing than they would normally do.
I would recommend any of his travel DVD's to anyone.
This is really great entertainment and quite inspiring. It made me want to go everywhere Francesco went. I also have his Venice and Italy top to Toe and both are excellent.
More please Francesco.
There was so much about the Ottoman, Greek and Venetian empire I did not appreciate until viewing this DVD and Da Mosto whetted my appetite to learn more.
His enthusiasm is infectious - not at all dry, pretentious or overly scholarly. I found it a joy to watch someone so proud of their culture and heritage.
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