Watch The Guide to Essential Italy
- 1 Season
The Guide to Essential Italy is a captivating journey through the wonders of Italy from The Great Courses Signature Collection. Starring the renowned historian Kenneth Bartlett, who is also a seasoned traveler and Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto, the show takes viewers on an unforgettable trip across the country's most famous sites, uncovering hidden gems and historical facts along the way.
Throughout 24 captivating episodes, Bartlett shares his expert knowledge and passion for Italy, exploring key cultural, artistic, and historical landmarks, from Rome's Colosseum and the Vatican to Venice's canals and Florence's museums. Through his engaging and insightful commentary, viewers gain a deeper understanding of Italy's rich history, architecture, and art, as well as its cuisine, customs, and people.
The show covers a vast number of essential landmarks, delving into the country's Roman, Renaissance, and Baroque eras. Bartlett takes us on a breathtaking journey through Rome's iconic monuments, such as the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps, and the Trevi Fountain. He explains how the city's art and architecture have been shaped by the Roman Empire, the Catholic Church, and the Renaissance. He also takes us to Vatican City, home of the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica, unveiling fascinating information about its history, art, and religious significance.
The Guide to Essential Italy also explores northern Italy's wealthy and cosmopolitan cities. Viewers are taken on a canal tour of Venice, showcasing its vibrant architecture, art, and culture, while explaining how the city has thrived despite its many challenges, from flooding to political instability. Bartlett also takes us to Milan, Italy's fashion and design capital, where the magnificent Duomo Cathedral and Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper await.
Tuscany and Florence are other highlights of the show, where viewers are transported back to the Renaissance era of art, literature, and culture. Bartlett shows us the birthplace of Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Galileo, and introduces us to masterpieces like Michelangelo's David, the Uffizi Gallery, and Palazzo Pitti. The show also covers other lesser-known, yet equally fascinating attractions, such as Pisa's Leaning Tower and Siena's Palio horse race.
The Guide to Essential Italy goes even deeper into the southern region, offering a glimpse into the cultural significance of Naples, Sorrento, Capri, Pompeii, and the Amalfi Coast. From the colorful streets of Naples and the charming villages of Sorrento, to the beauty of Capri Island and Pompeii's haunting ruins, viewers learn about the history, geology, and cultural significance of each location. Bartlett also shows us how southern Italy's regional cuisine has shaped the country's famous foods, such as Neapolitan pizza, mozzarella, and limoncello.
What makes The Guide to Essential Italy so unique is Bartlett's enthusiasm for his subject matter. As a seasoned traveler, he provides valuable tips on how to navigate the country's diverse cities, how to avoid potential tourist traps and scams, and how to best experience the country's true essence. He also shares his own personal insights into Italian hospitality, customs, and lifestyle, making viewers feel like they're receiving insider knowledge.
Overall, The Guide to Essential Italy is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to experience Italy's diverse culture, art, and history, all of which make the country so unique. Through Kenneth Bartlett's expertise and passion, viewers will gain a new appreciation for Italy's past and present, catch a glimpse into its people's souls, and be inspired to visit the country and explore its riches for themselves.
The Guide to Essential Italy is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (36 episodes). The series first aired on August 21, 2015.