Val di Noto in southeastern Sicly appears with its late baroque towns and their grandiose palazzos and churches. Ragusa, Modica, Scicli, Noto, Avola and Palazzolo Acreide disclose impressive urban structures rich in culture and art. This is the land of Caltagirone Ceramics and of the beautiful mosaics of Villa del Casale of Piazza Armerina. The coastline between Gela and Punta Secca is literally facing Africa. The natural reserve of Pantani di Vendicari discloses ancient treasures in the Necropolis of Pantalica. The journey ends in the fascinating coastal town of Siracusa.
From Caltagirone to Siracusa
Season 4 | Episode 1
Palermo, main city of Sicily,discloses its magnificence right from the sky: its villas and gardens, theatres, museum and churches bear all its cultural and artistic past. From the beach at Mondello to the Dome of Monreale the journey continues along the northern coast between Capo Zafferano and Capo Milazzo. The villas of Bagheria -hometown to the italian artist Guttuso and movie director Tornatore –the castle of Cefalù and the Sanctuary at Tindariare among thearea’s most beautiful landmarks. Behind a mountain land overlooks the Eolie: seven stunning volcanic islands that attract with their charm and wildness.
From Mondello to the Eolie Islands
Season 4 | Episode 2
The Castle of Mussomeli on top of a steep and pointed rock is a real challenge for the gravity force, whereas Caltanissetta and Enna are worth a visit. All around the cultivated fields that remind the old times of the large landowners of Sicily so well depicted iby Giovanni Verga’s novel. The author’s house can still be visited in Catania, alongside the residence of another famous citizen:composer Vincenzo Bellini. The fascination of Etna with its high energy contrasts with the tranquility of villages like Bronte, Adrano and Randazzo.The journey continues along Acicastello, Acitrezza and Acireale up until Taormina, where jet set meets history. Messina, the northest coastal city of Sicily, is our final destination.
From Mussomeli to Messina
Season 4 | Episode 3
The discovery of Puglia is like a chromatic experience: from the all white Monopoli and Ostuni to the emerald green and deep blue of northern Salento. The region that stretches from the Adriatic to the Ionian Sea discloses natural reserves like Torre Guaceto and the Saline of Punta della Contessa, with its archeological diggings disclosing the Messapi’s megalithic walls in Manduria. Brindisi and Taranto are two busy harbour towns and two ideal starting points for travelling south along the coast through XVI century watchtowers and sandy bays like stunning Portoselvaggio.
From Monopoli to Portoselvaggio
Season 4 | Episode 4
Salento, marks the End of the Land with its Finibus Terrae Sanctuary rising up on the southernmost point of the region in Santa Maria di Leuca. Cliffs pointed by caves and watchtowers run along the coastline to Otranto. The main city of Puglia, Lecce the Baroque, takes its name from the forest of live oak whose hints can still be found in the Riserva delle Cesine..The Olive tree, another symbol of the region,can be found mainly around the Trulli, Puglia’s iconic stone buildings and ideal setting for the rhythms of Pizzica and Taranta, Salento’s tribal dance and music. Next Porto Cesareo and Gallipoli on the Ionian Sea and back to the lighthouse in Santa Maria di Leuca, where our journey started.
Lecce and the Salento
Season 4 | Episode 5
A hot air baloon waiving at sunset above the lake of CIngoli becomes metaphor of the slow and romantic tour of the hills between the Appennines and the Adriatic sea. Macerata, Fermo, Ascoli Piceno are fascinate with beautiful historical centres. Tolentino and Recanati are best visited following the steps of San Nicola and Giacomo Leopardi, whereas Montelupone, Offida and Monte falcone Appenino inspire off the beaten tracks. The region Marche offers both sea and green hills, from the coastal towns of Grottammare and San Benedetto del Tronto to the beautiful and pristine Monti Sibillini and their abbeys, castles and palazzos.
From Cingoli to Montefalcone Appennino
Season 4 | Episode 6
North-Western Toscana appears as a pointed shape between Liguria’s inland and Emilia’s Appennines. Woods and small villages uphill crossed by pilgrims running along the Via Francigena hide mysterious and fascinating places like the Cave of the Wind. Green and hilly routes take us to the Alpi Apuane and their marble caves that made Carrara famous in the world. On one hand the mountains and the Garfagnana on the other the Tirreno and the Versilia coast with posh Forte dei Marmi and picturesque Massa. Nearby Viareggio features one of the oldest and well known Carnivals of Italy. Behind art cities like Renaissance Lucca and Medieval Pistoia recall the finest history of Toscana.
From the Alpi Apuaneto Viareggio
Season 4 | Episode 7
The circuit with its curves, races and speed is what comes to mind when speaking of Mugello but this area where the Appeninic Passes mark the boirders with Romagna reveals a fascinating yet unknown corner of Tuscany. From the Lake of Bilancino with its warm light,the Villa Medicea and historic Prato to the poetic village of Fiesole. This is also a land of woods and hidden monastery like the one in Camaldoli. Artisti Piero della Francesca, born in the nearby Sansepolcro, lived and worked mainly between Monterchi and Arezzo, the city whose medieval atmosphere comes back to life during the Giostra del Saracino. Castel Fiorentino and Cortona with their olive trees and vineyards announce the warm colours of Tuscany’s Valdichiana.
From Mugello to Valdichiana
Season 4 | Episode 8
The Piacenza area sums up the variety of Emilia‘s territory: from the southern narrow Appeninic Trebbia Valley, where kayaking is most recommended to the Valley of Arda with its impressive sceneries. Back to lowland Gazzano Visconti and Montechiaro are medieval towns.The city of Piacenza appears deeply influenced by the Farnese Family. Nearby Busseto, was hometown to composer Giuseppe Verdi, who lived most of his life in his villa by Villanova sull’Arda. Fidenza with its Dome on the Via Francigena is a starting point for a journey across the Appenines to Romagna’s Castrocaro and Faenza with its ceramics. Final destination the Rivera Romagnola for a night of fireworks.
From Bobbio to Cesena
Season 4 | Episode 9
River, Sea and Man are the three forces regulating life in the Veneto’s Regional Park of Delta Po. Following Po’s currents we get to Polesine and from there to the area’s main town Rovigo. Travelling towards north we encounter Colli Euganei, the place known for its natural spring and thermal baths: from the Abano Terme waters to the muds of Montegrotto. This is a land of beautiful villas and grandiose gardens, castles and villages like the one where Poet Petrarca used to live. The journey continues along the Lessinia and the massive of Pasubio, the mountains of the Cumbri peoples. Old traditions are here juxtaposed to the hi-tech observatory of Asiago and the contemporary art at Park of Sojo.
From the Delta Po to Asiago
Season 4 | Episode 10
It all starts from the lunar landscape at Gavia Pass, all around peaks, natural reserves, lakes and mountain huts. Concarena and Pizzo Badile Camuno stand up high with their concave and convex shapes referred to by the Camuni peoples as symbols for the masculine and feminine deity. West of Adamello, in the pastures surrounding Europe’s largest glacier, Valcamonica appears flanked by villages grown after the hydro-electrical power development. The steep massive of Presolan in Val di Scalve has nothing to envy to the Dolomites. The landscapes along River Adda inspired Leonardo Da Vinci, from the blue collars village at Crespi D’Adda to the Abbey of Chiaravalle. The pointed peaks of Grigne offer the last taste of Lombard Mountain.
From the Gavia Pass to Grigne
Season 4 | Episode 11
A journey through Piemonte following the steps of Pilgrims along the Via Francigena: from the Montalto Dora Castle to the streets of Ivrea with its industrial past. Dozens of castles point the landscape that was historically dominated by small feuds in war with each other.The Canavese area is a clear example with the Residence of Masino, the Castle of Pavone Canavese, Agliè and Valpenga. But this is also a land of spirituality with the Sacred Mount of Belmonte, UNESCO’s heritage,and the Abbeys of Vezzolando and Staffarda. From the mountains to the valleys of Lanzo and Chisone, where the sound of a ghronda is the perfect soundtrack to the Occitan culture. These are among the things not to miss on the way to the source of Italy’s biggest River Po at the feet of Monviso.
From Ivrea to Monviso
Season 4 | Episode 12