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Sicily Unpacked

Episode 3

Duration: 58 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC HDLatest broadcast: on BBC Two HD

In the final episode of the series, Andrew and Giorgio take the pulse of contemporary Sicily, experience the change that is sweeping through the island, and find out how the future of it is linked to its ancient past.

Over the last 100 years, Sicilians have seen their beautiful island sink under the weight of corruption, recession and the mafia. But today, Sicily is experiencing a renaissance and celebrating a rediscovery of their unique ancient heritage.

Andrew and Giorgio visit Mount Etna, the tallest active volcano in Europe, and explore the rich vegetation of its foothills and the dramatic moonlike craters of its upper slopes. Etna truly is a great beauty with a seductive dark side, just like Sicily.

During this journey, our presenters meet the ordinary people really trying to make a difference in Sicily. Including Ciccio the fisherman, who retrieved a statue dating back 2,300 years, which he generously gave back to his town rather than sell it to a private art dealer, so that his fellow Sicilians can enjoy the riches of their past. Likewise, a little museum in the small town of Aidone, which successfully reclaimed the spectacular Morgantina statue of Demeter - as old as the frieze sculptures on the Parthenon - from the Getty Museum in California.

And it's not only art that is experiencing a resurrection on the island, but agriculture too - the wine, that just 20 years ago was considered only good enough for blending vats on the continent, is now one of the most fashionable in Europe and is being exported all over the world.

Andrew and Giorgio also visit the magnificent villa of Romana del Casale in Piazza Armerina where they get a chance to help restorers in bringing back to life exquisite mosaics some 1,800-years-old.

Combining old traditions with contemporary trends is a current behind a lot of the success stories emerging out of modern Sicily. One the most exciting examples is Accursio Craparo, a Michelin-starred chef taking the best of Sicily's food traditions and putting an ingenious modern twist on them.

Andrew and Giorgio finish their journey around Sicily back in Palermo. Here they meet Prince Bernardo Tortorici, whose family have been in Sicily since the 12th century. He confirms the renaissance of Sicily that the presenters have witnessed on their travels, but insists Sicilians must not rest on their laurels. Sicily will have a brilliant, bright future if Sicilians cherish and believe in their island's great beauty and, most importantly, nurture it. Show less


Karen McGann
Series Producer:
Silvia Sacco

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