Having travelled extensively all his life, Francesco da Mosto, author of the bestselling Francesco's Venice, has always been fascinated by the differences in language, traditions, cuisine, art, architecture and landscape of each region of his country, despite their proximity to each other. He believes such rich variations and surprising contradictions reflect the true nature of Italy and this is the subject of Francesco's Italy, which explores the history, culture and everyday life of Italy.
Accompanying a vibrant BBC2 series, Francesco's Italy takes the form of a journey. From Venice, his birthplace and home, Francesco travels southwards to the Sicilian capital Palermo, his mother's hometown. As he visits the spectacular lakes and fashionable cities of the north, and passes through the hills of Tuscany, heading south towards Rome, Naples and finally Palermo, Francesco describes the local artistic and architectural treasures and cultural traditions, while exploring the historical background and uncovering fascinating legends. He introduces us to many of the characters who populate Italy's history, from Federico da Montefeltro, quintessential Renaissance man and illegitimate brother of the Count of Urbino, who unexpectedly rose to power in the fifteenth century after his brother's assassination, to Michaelangelo and his difficult relations with Pope Julius II while painting the frescoes in the Sistine Chapel in the early sixteenth century.
Francesco's narrative journey also encompasses Italian society and the Italian people as they are today, and he delights in sharing anecdotes from his own family life as well as stories he picks up from friends and unusual characters he meets on his travels. Illustrated with stunning photographs by John Parker, Francesco's Italy brings together the Italy we all know and love and the secret side of the country that only an insider can reveal.
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