Last year, art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon and acclaimed chef Giorgio Locatelli visited Sicily, in the South of Italy, in Sicily Unpacked. This time round, they are at the opposite end of the country, not just geographically, but politically, culturally and economically.
The fertile Po valley, or the Grassa as it’s known, is closer to Europe than to the Italian capital Rome. Giorgio and Andrew visit major cities like Turin, Milan, Bologna, but also smaller gems like Mantua, Ferrara, Modena, and Cremona, exploring some of the most beautiful rural areas in Italy – landscapes of pasture lands, lakes, forests and mountains, unfamiliar to many visitors.
Each episode of the series visits a different region of Northern Italy – Emilia Romagna, Lombardy and Piedmont. The food, products and luxury goods from these regions are known worldwide, from Parmesan and Parma ham, to Ferrari and Fiat, and the art is amongst the most beautiful in the country. Yet these regions are often overlooked by tourists, as they fly over, or drive through, on their way south to Tuscany or Rome. Giorgio and Andrew want to put that right and have teamed up again to unpack the art and culture, food and landscape of an area of Italy that they are passionate about. Their aim is to put these areas of Italy back on the map, places that are far too beautiful and important to simply be passed through. Giorgio has also a more personal reason: he was brought up in Lombardy, so this Italy is his Italy!!
The series is a celebration of the art and culture which encapsulates the phrase “Made in Italy”.