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BBC – Francesco’s Venice (2004) 3of4

BBC Francescos Venice 3of4

Tells the story of the birth of Venice, one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in the world, presented by Francesco da Mosto.

Part 1: Blood
Francesco da Mosto charts how the first Venetians inhabited the lagoon in the fifth century AD and created an almost impregnable location, which took the shape of the Venice known today through pioneering engineering work. He reveals the stunning interiors of the Doge’s Palace, the Basilica of St Mark and the Ca da Mosto, and uncovers a secret history – beset by violence and political intrigue.


Part 2: Beauty
Francesco da Mosto charts the changes that took place as Venice became increasingly prosperous, marking the city’s great age of trading, while artists such as Titian, Veronese and Tintoretto heralded a golden era of Venetian painting. Merchant princes began building resplendent palaces along the Grand Canal, only for disaster to strike in 1575 as plague hit the city, killing almost a third of the population.


Part 3: Sex
Francesco da Mosto studies the city during the 18th century, and its fascination with art and sex. Casanova became an overnight celebrity and courtesans openly plied their trade, while great art was produced by Canaletto and Canova, and music by Vivaldi. But the hedonism could not go on indefinitely as first syphilis then the might of Napoleon’s armies took their toll upon the city.


Part 4: Death
Francesco da Mosto investigates the truth behind the sinking of Venice and discusses the likely long-term effect of a current exodus of inhabitants leaving to find jobs elsewhere. He explains how 19th-century British artists and writers, including Turner and Dickens, wove a romantic myth around the city, and describes his family’s connection to one sexually promiscuous figure.

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