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Italy Unpacked

Series 1

Episode 1: The Art of the Feast

Duration: 1 hour

First broadcast: on BBC HDLatest broadcast: on BBC Two England

On their tour of Northern Italy, Andrew Graham-Dixon and Giorgio Locatelli begin in Emilia-Romagna, the real cornucopia of Italy, an area covered with grain fields during summer, one of richest and more fertile regions in Italy.

The pair start their trip from Bologna, the capital, to discover why the town is called la Dotta (the Learned), la Grassa (the Fat) and la Rossa (the Red). They find the answer to their quest visiting the oldest university in the world, the still-thriving traditional shops and the town art institutions.

Leaving Bologna, Andrew and Giorgio immerse themselves in this beautiful region. The people in Emilia have a strong feeling of friendship and belonging, they love to meet up and spend time together. Giorgio wants to introduce Andrew to 'il Padellone' (the big 'padella', the big frying pan), a shack on the Adriatic Sea at the mouth of the River Po, where the co-owners meet to spend time together while lazily fishing from very big nets.

From there a short journey brings them to Ferrara and the legacy left by the famous dynasty D'Este, and to Modena, home of the famous balsamic vinegar, and of one of the jewels of the Italian manufactory industry - Ferrari cars.

The end of this tour sees Giorgio going to the source of modern Italian cuisine as we know and love - at the Palatina library in Parma he has the chance to admire an original manuscript of Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well by Pellegrino Artusi, the first cookbook of the newly-united Italy, while Andrew has his own bliss with the innovative Correggio's fresco of the Madonna ascension in the cathedral dome. Show less

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