Wednesday, September 14, 2011

"Francesco's Venice"

A while ago a gondolier friend told me about this great TV program on the BBC. He said the camerawork was amazing.
I jotted it down on a scrap of paper: "Francesco's Venice".

Time went by and I finally came across that piece of paper and looked it up and watched the program.
Brilliant camerawork.
Stirring images.
Aerial views that draw you in.
And the guy: Franceso da Mosto is engaging and gives a great tour through Venice's geography, and history.
He's also got some pretty good access to places we might never get to see in person.
When you get the chance, sit down and watch "Francesco's Venice".
Here are some links to get you there, along with my favorite quotes:

segment 1
favorite quotes:
"We were one of the first families to come to the lagoon. My ancestors have been everything: from merchants, to prostitutes, to explorers. The city is in my blood"

"All of Venice is built on a bed of huge wooden nails"

segment 2
favorite quote:
"Venice pioneered the production of window glass, when other cities had only canvas or rags to keep out the wind and the rain."

segment 3
favorite quotes:
"This is the Arsenale: a temple to the military and trading power"

"Because a bridge is something against nature, and you have to put yourself in the angel's hands"

segment 4
favorite quote:
"When this was built, it shocked and astonished the Venetians."

segment 5
WARNING: some nudity.
favorite quote:
"One saucy young painter took Venetian painting to a new level of beauty, sensuality, and ungodly eroticismo".

segment 6
WARNING: some graphic language - skip 1:40-2:40 if you want to avoid it.
favorite quote:
"The island is now home to no one, but a pack of stray dogs; wild - like the souls of the dead."


Tamás said...

Thanks for the heads-up! Downloaded them all and the series has a very different, insightful point of view on Venice.

Tamás said...

In the last episode "Death", there was an interesting tidbit for me. Near the end Francesco da Mosto goes to the cemetery in Isola San Michele and shows his family tomb to the camera.

I was suprised to see a hungarian name incised there as "Carlotta Bartakovics di Kis Appony da Mosto" but the years are not clearly visible.

Turns out she married count Da Mosto in 1867 and she was from the old noble family of Bartakovics, which gave an archbishop and several judges of the royal table to Hungary.

Suprisingly, my father looks very much like Francesco da Mosto, although likely 20-25 years his senior. (However, all of my ancestors from both maternal and paternal side were simple village peasants, so there is nothing to research here.)

Yet it was interesting to see the the conclusion of the TV show relate more closely somehow.