Francesco’s Mediterranean Voyage 25 June 2022: Saturday on BBC Four
The Peloponnese – Episode 7 of 12 – Architect and historian Francesco da Mosto embarks on a journey across the Mediterranean sea. The Black Swan docks near Athens – on route for Istanbul – so Francesco heads off alone on motorbike into the wild west of Greece, the Peloponnese. Here the people in the south have a reputation for, at best, unfriendliness, and it isn’t long before Francesco runs into trouble with the locals. But there is plenty to marvel at.
Mystra, the ruined Byzantine town, once known as ‘the Florence of the East’, the ancient theatre at Epidaurus where a stage-whisper can be heard throughout an auditorium seating thousands, a tiny cave-like church that boasts incredible frescoes, and Vathia – the abandoned town of towers where neighbour fought against neighbour to get the upper hand.
Meanwhile, in the aptly named region of Arkadia, Francesco finds a sweet surprise – a field of beehives where the bees make the best honey in Greece and the biggest worry bead shop in Greece. At Methoni, he visits a great Venetian fortress at the sea’s edge, the site of a massacre of his ancestors at the hands of the Ottoman empire.
The Cyclades – Episode 8 of 12 – Francesco da Mosto continues his sea tour around the Mediterranean from Venice to Istanbul by visiting the magical, mystical Greek islands known as the Cyclades.
First stop is the most sacred island of all, Delos, the birthplace of the god Apollo. Francesco encounters the lions of Delos and the great phalli of Dionysus.
On Tinos, a place of miracle and pilgrimage, he meets a woman who crawls on her hands and knees for a kilometre uphill to give thanks to the Virgin Mary for the recovery of her sick husband.
The island of Naxos was a key port for the Venetian empire and even the houses feel Italian – a home-from-home for the travel-weary Francesco, who enjoys the island’s traditional and very strong liqueur.
After a spot of octopus hunting, Francesco arrives at the great sunken, flooded volcano of Santorini which boasts a civilisation older than the Classical world and the best sunset in Greece.
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About Francesco’s Mediterranean Voyage
Architect and historian Francesco da Mosto embarks on a journey to cross the Mediterranean sea
This show is broadcast on BBC Four, also known as the British Broadcasting Corporation.
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