Top positive review
Excdeptionally good series about Italy, food and the simple things of life.
8 February 2014
I caught the odd episode of series one and two, but missed the majority of episodes, so I was glad to see them both as a box set. Together, the 4 DVD's cover the key regions of Italy, but exclude Sicily and Venice - perhaps something to look forward to. Having left Italy more than 50 years ago, Antonio Carluccio and Gennaro Contaldo are keen to explore the country of their youth, north and south, and see how much it has all changed. Each of the series has a particular focus, explored mainly in a single episode: the first is cucina povera, or poverty cuisine and the second is arrangiarsi, the art of making do and both are elements of keeping body and soul together during and immediately after the war. The people they meet and talk to are interesting and show how the country is changing, along with the styles of cooking and also how some of the traditions, especially away from the big cities, are being kept alive; the biggest change is in the make-up of the Italian family and gender roles. The production values are high and the relationship between the two cooks is real, with both humour and a strong bond apparent. Along the way, they taste a wide range of different foods and cook some superb dishes. An affectionate documentary about what it means to be Italian, it also serves to describe and demonstrate some simple, timeless dishes that show the extensive range of Italian cuisine. Perfect for winter viewing and for anyone interested in Italy, food and the whole mediteranean lifestyle. Fantastic.