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I'm Andrew Graham Dickson and I'm an art historian.
I'm Giorgio Locatelli and I'm a chef.
We are both passionate about my homeland, Italy.
The smells, the colour, this is what food is all about for me.
The rich flavours and classic dishes of this land are in my culinary DNA.
And this country's rich layers of art
and history have captivated me since childhood.
It's enough to make you feel as if you are being whirled up to heaven.
We're stepping off the tourist track and exploring Italy's
Northern regions of Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy and Piedmont.
It's part of Italy that's often overlooked, but it drives
the whole country and I want to show off its classic dishes.
Not to mention its hidden legacy of artist, designers, intellectuals.
Wow, this is incredible.
This week we are in Lombardy, where I grew up.
I can't wait to introduce Andrew to the hearty Lombardy food of my youth.
We'll also enjoy the ingenious art and thrilling design that
reveal how this region really is the motor of Italy.
Lombardy may not be the most exotic region in Italy,
but, for me, it's special.
Bordering Switzerland, we are closer here to Zurich than Rome.
There is only one place to start our journey,
my home town of Corgeno, by Lake Maggiore.
I've cooked for Andrew many times at my restaurant,
but I'm taking him to where it all started, Casa Locatelli.
Oh, ciao, Mama.
Small daddy, he's a small daddy.
He used to be bigger than me, but now he's...
Ferruccio. Pinuccia and Ferruccio.
No, I'll remember, I'll remember. I'm hungry.
'We're here for lunch and polenta's on the menu.'
You see, what happens here is, my mum runs the kitchen
and even when I come home, I'm not allowed to cook.
So she cooks all the time.
An exception is made for polenta. Polenta is a man thing.
So my dad, as you can see, he's ready with his apron.
So we're going to leave my mum here.
No. No, no, we do it on the fire on the garden.
So we're going to cook the polenta downstairs. Let's go.
SHE SPEAKS ITALIAN
It has to taste of smoke, otherwise, it's not good.
Even though she's the captain of the kitchen,
she's still telling you how to do the polenta.
She's got to prepare the mushroom and the thing
and we go and do the polenta.
'Polenta, made from ground maize, really is the pasta of the north.
'In fact, the southerners call us Lombards, Polentoni,
'because we eat so much of the stuff.'
OK, you see, it's the most simple thing. You know, you just need a fire
and a paiolo, which is this like cast iron, and then copper inside.
And so, I remember when I was little I used to see all the shepherds
going around with their flocks, and they had the donkey
and on the donkey they will have the paiolo on the back.
So that would actually make polenta in the field? That's right.
On the open fire? That's why you make it on the open fire.
During the war, that was the only thing that they had,
polenta and when the partisan, which were striving here,
you know it's like lost... The heroes? The heroes. That lived in the woods.
Yeah, you know they were living in the woods.
They'll camp, you're duty as a, somebody that
didn't like the Fascists, obviously, at that point
was to give half of your polenta to them.
A beautiful colour! It's like saffron or something.
Beautiful yellow. This is Roberto This is your... This is my brother.
This is your brother. You look exactly, nothing like you.
No, he's been training how to do polenta for the last 20 years.
Who's the older brother? He is.
And he's the one that's getting all the training.
I'm just been around just doing Michelin starred food.
You know, something not very important.
I'm hungry. Is this the moment of truth?
This is the most important moment.
The man job is done, now we've got to go upstairs
and see what the girls have managed to... Fantastic.
I like the way, I like the way it's all swaddled up like a baby.
While we were making the polenta, my mum was busy whipping up
a meaty brochette and some delicious porcini mushrooms.
Come, sit down.
'This is the kind of food that ignited my love affair with cooking.
'Hearty and simple, just the way I like it.'
Wow. Look at the lake.
Eh, and eat the polenta. Now you are full emersion.
You smell it? This woody smell. Mmm..
You see how the flavours are so settled, so...? Mellow, gentle.
Almost like it reflects the personality of the people.
Here, the people are a bit more mellow,
and the nature determine what the people eat, but it almost
looks like you almost determine the character of the people.
Having visited Giorgio's home, it's only reinforced my sense of how
strong an influence his earthy Lombard roots have had on him.
But there are still sides to this region he doesn't know.
Lombardy is a treasure trove of surprising little known
works of art, and near the town of Bergamo there's a fascinating
masterpiece Giorgio has never seen before.
Just a few miles from where you live, there's this chapel attached
to a grand house, and inside the chapel is one of the most
extraordinary weird fresco cycles of the whole Renaissance.
Right. By an artist called Lorenzo Lotto.
Right. It's absolutely bizarre.
He's like the Renaissance version of Magritte or Salvador Dali. OK.
The frescos he created here in 1524
were commissioned for the private chapel of the Suardi family,
one of the oldest and most influential in the region.
The chapel isn't usually opened to the public,
but the family have kindly agreed to let us in.
Same. The same family from the time, so from the time of Lorenzo Lotto,
500 years later, still the same family.
Oh, that's fantastic.
Originally, the Suardis didn't reserve the chapel
for their own exclusive use.
Ordinary people who lived locally were encouraged to worship here.
The works of art inside plunge you back to 16th-century Lombardy,
a world in the grip of the Reformation.
What do you think of this extraordinary weird image?
Yeah, it's like this fingers, isn't it?
It's very weird, surreal isn't it?
It's absolutely surreal. Christ in need of a manicure.
He's got these strange...it reminds me of that German story
Struwwelpeter, the boy who lets his nails grow for ever.
If you look, you see there's a little clue at the top
actually to what's going on.
Lorenzo Lotto is the only painter who took that line from the Bible.
Ego sum vitis vos palmites.
I am the vine and you are the branches.
And he turned it into this extraordinary image.
What are all these image up there?
You've got saints growing in the...the whirls
and the curls of this vine as it reaches up.
But although it's so striking as an image,
you mustn't think of it as a single scene, cos it's not.
It's actually like a comic book.
And what it tells is this very bloody story of Saint Barbara,
Santa Barbara, and she is the daughter of Dioscoro,
this evil pagan.
And he wants to marry her off, but he wants her to be a virgin,
so he locks her into this tower. as he goes off on his travels. OK.
What he doesn't know, is that when she's in the tower,
Christ visits her, gives her a vision,
she converts to Christianity.
There she is kneeling, praying outside the tower,
always accompanied by this lovely little white dog with her.
Yeah, the dog is there.
And now this is where the story gets bloody and turns nasty.
Dioscoro, her father, has come back and there he is saying,
"Now's the time for you to get married."
And she points up to heaven and says,
"No, I'm not going to marry any man, I have become a bride of Christ."
Now he has her tortured.
He got her. Look, he's carrying her...
He's got her hair there. He's dragging her by her hair.
And it gets really nasty. I mean, it's X-rated, isn't it?
I mean, he doesn't pull his punches.
So they apply burning brands to her breasts and her genitals.
It's very physical, you know.
Lotto's living in this time that's extremely violent.
It really looks terrible, doesn't it?
And throughout this sort of bloody story,
sufferings are punctuated by little rays of hope.
And now an angel comes down from heaven
and gives her a white cloak to put around her body.
And as soon as she puts the cloak around her body, her whole
body is healed, and then her little dog is accompanying her all the way.
The thing about this fresco cycle is the date.
Hmm. It's 1524, this is a time of huge crisis in Wittenberg
and the north, just over those mountains that he's painted.
Luther is saying,
"We must split the church, we must protest against Rome."
And this fresco is the Suardi family's way of saying to
everybody who lived around here, don't buy into the idea
that this church is going to be split, stay true to the old faith.
And also, I think just the picture has these kind of normal people.
So the people kind of sympathise with that. Yeah, or...
..Can see themselves part of this thing.
Absolutely, it's saying to the people,
"This could happen in your world."
Lotto himself is actually represented in that fresco.
Oh, OK. I think that's almost like his signature.
Looks like that. And he's looking at us.
And he's got this haunted expression.
He's almost saying, "Got the message?"
I think, and for such a small chapel and with such a big...
I like that big message. I think that's what he's saying.
"Have you got the message?"
'He's an Italian artist with an Italian message,
'but Lotto's style owes a lot to the art of northern Europe.
'I love it!'
Andrew's right. Lombardy often has more in common
with northern Europe than Mediterranean south.
Progressive and pragmatic, unlike the laidback southerners,
the Lombards like to get things moving.
And you don't have to look far for examples from every era.
My favourite is located on the river Adda,
one of the greatest arteries of Lombardy.
It may not be a fresco,
but I'm pretty sure Andrew will appreciate it.
Andrew this is it, this is the bridge, this is it, we are here!
Oh, look at the drop! It's unbelievable.
Turn, turn right here.
Here you've got a lot of industry and, and, and exchange.
So this bridge was very, very important for the communication.
It is amazing.
Built in 1889, the San Michele bridge was much admired
across Europe for its elegant design and cutting edge technology.
It's simple, beautiful, and most importantly functional.
Wow. It's enormous, isn't it?
It looks so tiny from the top, now it is just so big.
What I like is, when you see it in the river,
it's like an eye staring into the 20th century.
And this is what Lombardy is all about, you know,
looking towards the future.
They built this thing in two years. Two years?!
In two years they built this thing.
Their feet were definitely in Europe.
These guys were there with everybody else with the Industrial Revolution
and building and going forwards.
They're kind of the dreamers, but they're also engineers.
Well, I think we've had enough wandering around.
It's time to go into the beating heart,
the capital of this region, Milan.
Even the road that takes you there, the A8,
expresses Lombardy's forward looking spirit.
They say it's the first motorway in the history of roads.
That's right, not the German, not the English,
but the Italians built the first.
This was the first road, straight in a very Roman way
and went through all these big fat towns and took you to Milan.
This road is also very important at a symbolic level,
for what a northern Italy wanted to represent
in the earlier 20th century.
Because throughout the 18th and 19th century,
Italy was a byword for a country living in the past,
going really nowhere.
And then suddenly this road, this road said no, no, no,
we're going somewhere and where are we going, we're going to the future.
Rome may be the capital, but Milan is the real power behind Italy.
Over 2,000 years old, it occupies a key position along
the ancient trade route between Rome and northern Europe.
Dynamic and industrious,
it remains the most important commercial centre in the country.
For me, there's only one place to start our exploration
of the city, the grand Gothic Cathedral.
Dominating the old city centre, it's the heart and soul of Milan.
All roads seem to start and end here.
Construction started in 1386 and it's one of the earliest examples
of the great Milanese gift for design and engineering.
Do you know, Giorgio, I think that's the first time... Yeah.
..I have ever seen the front of Milan Cathedral
without huge amounts of scaffolding on it.
It's the first time I've seen it so white. Yeah.
Even in the picture on the panettone, the one you buy
at Christmas, there's a picture of it and it's much greyer than that.
It's wonderful this cathedral front.
Ruskin loved it, he talked about its frost, crystalline beauty.
He thought it was almost like a snowflake
that has come down to Earth. Yes.
It's got that sort of structure of a snow flake. It's beautiful.
It is impressive, isn't it?
Shall we go inside? Let's go and have a look.
Built over six centuries,
the cathedral is one of the largest in all of Europe.
It's dedicated to the Madonna
and is still one of the great pilgrimage sights in all of Italy.
I've visited many times, and always find something new to marvel at.
'This time we're going to explore a very different part of the building.'
I love this, what a treat.
'We're on our way to the roof of the Duomo,
'the most ingenious part of its design.'
Oh, yes. How beautiful is that?!
I think we've arrived.
'We've arranged to meet one of the engineers currently restoring the roof.'
'Benigno Morlin works for the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo,
'the 600-year-old workshop that built the cathedral,
'and is still dedicated to its restoration.'
These are pieces they've remade.
OK so, they own,
they own the quarry where you actually get this stone from.
It is an historic quarry. It's an historic... It's the same.
It's the same quarry... It's the same quarry.
..They got the stone from in the first place.
'It was modelled on the Gothic cathedrals of northern Europe.
'But the Lombard builders couldn't resist adding a few
'innovations of their own.
'And the construction of its roof was completely revolutionary.'
'Talking to Signore Morlin made us
'want to see more of the Duomo's crowning glory.
'I love how what might have been a purely functional feature
'has been made a thing of beauty.
'It's as if there's a whole other cathedral here up in the clouds.
'And it's open to the public too.'
It's a phenomenon, this building. It is incredible.
I tell you, it's the only great Gothic cathedral that seems
almost designed for you to be able to enjoy
and take pleasure in the structure of its making.
Down here, you see, you've got the sort of series of walkways,
pathways, it was always made to be walked on, enjoyed. Right.
So all the different levels, you can see the structure, and as a
result of that, you know they've exercised their ingenuity,
whereas in other Gothic cathedrals, the spires and the minarets
just rise up to the sky pointing to God.
Here they've become plinths for outdoor sculptures.
You could say this is the first outdoor sculpture park.
You know what it reminds me of, it reminds me of this, you know when
you wet the sand and you make these things and they just sort of
grow underneath your hands. It has the same kind of fragility to that.
That's what's so beautiful about the Gothic, I think.
This cathedral is actually the engine room of what's made
Milan a great temple of modern technology and design,
because in the Gothic period, the mathematicians, the engineers,
the architects, the designers,
they were brought into being by the needs of this cathedral.
So yes, it's kind of a machine
that's constantly attracting to Milan, technological innovators.
'Back in the day, every great intellectual who came to
'Milan seems to have been involved with the cathedral.
'And in the Duomo's archives, there's evidence of one particular
'genius and his small contribution.'
A list of payment for everybody who collaborated to build the Duomo.
A lot of people seem to have collaborated.
Excusi, Roberto. Si.
This is, you've picked this one out for us and it's actually
evidence that Leonardus Florentinus, so Leonardo from Florence... Si.
..ie, Leonardo Da Vinci
had actually done some work for the cathedral. How wonderful.
The tiburio is the top... The cupola. That's right.
What a wonderful little detail, cos that's far less than he would be
paid for the major commissions. And yet, a wooden model for a cupola is
a very complicated thing to make, so that suggests to me that he really
wanted to work on the cathedral, he wanted to leave a mark on Milano.
He understood something. Yeah.
Well, of course, he didn't, in the end, design the cupola. Yeah.
The model never got used. No. It's been lost. Grazie, Roberto.
It's a pleasure.
'It's very revealing that Leonardo sold himself to
'the court of Milan as an engineer rather than an artist.
'He worked for the great Duke Ludovico Sforza for nearly 20 years.
'Designing bridges, boats, weapons or war.
'Design and engineering were the priorities in Milan.
'They're what its success is built on.'
'That philosophy had a radical impact on the shape of the city.
'Just a short walk from the Duomo, you can visit
'one of the most outstanding examples of technical imagination.
'La Scala is amongst the most prestigious opera houses
'in the world, and we've been allowed to take a look inside.'
I've never been here before.
This, look at this!
I think it's the world's first horseshoe shaped theatre.
That's right. And it's all designed with sound on their mind.
So it's incredible.
You know, you see the shape of each thing and how it's made as well.
You know, to not destroy the echo. The boxes? Yeah, the boxes.
I'd love to come and actually... You sing a little bit, can you sing?
THEY SING A NOTE
No. Oh. Oh, no, I can't.
It is absolutely outstanding to be here.
But we didn't just come here to admire the theatre,
I'm taking Andrew to Il Marchesini, a restaurant in the same building.
It's owned by the most celebrated Italian chef in the world,
With three Michelin stars, he globalised Italian food
and made it the success it is today.
Gualtiero is waiting for us, so come in and see.
It's like a theatre curtain.
That's what it is, we are in the theatre restaurant.
Gualtiero makes this dish, one of his creations.
And to me, it's the dish that really, really represents Milan
more than anything else that I have seen before.
What's this dish called?
Not just Milan! Italy.
He says all Italy. THEY LAUGH
With gold? Yeah, with gold. Yeah, with gold, saffron and...
We are rich. We're rich, I like it. Yeah.
One of the things that matter is to
really concentrate on the flavour.
And very neat and clear flavoured.
So even if there is a lot of creation in what he does,
it is always with a great respect for the flavours.
Hmm. So what is the essential flavour in this risotto?
The saffron. The saffron?
HE SPEAKS ITALIAN
So it's turning the procedure upside down. OK.
Or the risotto.
They also put a lot of cheese.
To give the acidity.
Then you taste only the cheese.
Mmm, wow. Acidity.
That's like erm... Very high acid.
..A beautiful reduction of wine... Wine with onions. ..With butter.
When he said gold, I thought he meant he was actually going to
put some gold leaf in it. Hold on a minute.
But he means, he means gold as in...
No, no, no, no, no, there is some gold coming.
..Metaphorical? No, no, no, no, wait a minute.
That's amazing. Go on, you've got to taste it.
I have to taste it.
Oh, what an idea. I'm just going to eat loads of gold.
HE MOANS HAPPILY
And the shape of the rice. Can you feel the rice?
Yeah, you can get the shape of each of the rice in your mouth,
which makes a difference how you flavour it.
Innovation doesn't mean that you have to complicate things
or layer it so much.
And this is a clear example of somebody expressing himself...
Simplicity. ..Without complicating things.
So express yourself in simplicity, this is so important.
I will have some more gold.
'After sampling Marchesi's gold,
'what better way to walk off the richness
'than with a passeggiata through Milan's finest galleria.
'Sophisticated and opulent,
'the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele is the oldest shopping mall in Italy.
'Strolling through this luxurious arcade, it's obvious why Milan
'is one of the fashion capitals of the world.'
Look how elegant they are.
Even the traffic wardens, look at them. Fantastic.
Those are the cops. Those are the traffic warden, not the cops.
Only in Italy. Only in Milan, you know.
It's a bit of a temple of capitalism really, as you can see.
Well, I think it's a cathedral of capitalism.
I think what's amazingly daring about it
is that the Duomo is literally there.
And the Scala is there.
And the Scala is there, so you got the temple of art,
the temple of religion there
and you've got the temple of money here.
Because, yeah, this is what it's all about.
It is and it's so grand!
1861, so it's, it's just a few years after
the Great Exhibition in London, the building of the Crystal Palace.
Because it does look like that, doesn't it? It's the same.
A Victorian sort of building.
And it's a great statement from a city to,
right in the middle of that, to really show their power.
And you know, the commercial.
You know, they are commercial animals those guys.
I think it's the only place where you can really see
and feel that sort of huge pride and self confidence,
you know, across Italy in the Industrial Revolution. Yes.
You only really feel that here.
Yeah. There is one thing that I want to show you. Yeah.
And whenever you come to this place,
there is this superstitious thing, and if you see any Milanese
walking through, they will come along and what they will do is
stand on the balls of the toro. It's called scica i ball al toro.
And you go like that. Step on the balls of the bull?
And you turn around and that's it.
Always in Italy there has to be a superstitious...
OK, is that 'cos you need balls
if you're going to pay the prices for some of these clothes?
'One of the things I love about the city is how open it is
'to new ideas and innovations.
'Although it cherishes its history, Milan isn't stuck in the past.
'Progressive, forward-thinking, it fostered one of the most
'revolutionary art movements of the early 20th century, Futurism.
'It was dreamed up in 1909
'by an eccentric poet and orator called Marinetti.'
Fillippo Tomasso Marinetti, in my opinion, wasn't a very nice man.
A lot of things wrong with him, he was a Fascist. Misogynist.
He glorified war, but he did have a vision.
And I think he's a very interesting character because what he did was,
he set out to drag Italy into the 20th century,
into the modern world.
The Futurist Manifesto, it's a guide to enjoying modern life.
Everything that an Italian perhaps at the beginning of the 20th century
might find disconcerting, that rapid movement of a tram,
a crowded street, the sudden sense that everything's moving,
And, Andrew, what was amazing is that when you travel the world
and when I went to New York and I went to the MOMA,
I was so shocked to see there is a room only of Futuristic painting.
In Italian museums, very rarely you find a whole room of Futurism.
Maybe you find one of these.
The Italians have kind of refused them this.
I think that's part of the later story, because Futurism turned dark,
became associated with Fascism, it got a bad name in Italy.
But here in Milan, it's the one exception. A home city of Futurism.
They did actually create and build a great collection,
which we're going to see and we're... Yeah.
And I think we're just about there.
Yeah, we are in Duomo, we have to get out now.
Andiamo, let's go and look at some electric art.
'We're visiting the Novecento Museum,
'home to the best collection of Futurist art in Italy.'
I really like this. It's like a little capsule of Futurism,
all condensed into just a couple of galleries.
Here they begin, they're in Paris, they're in the cafes,
they're reading the papers, they're doing what Picasso had done,
they're trying to think, "What would it be like to be a modern artist?"
And I think, suddenly, on this other wall, bang, you've got the answer.
Hmm. They turn, this is not a very well-known Futurist, Achille Funi.
But he is turning to Milan, he's not in Paris,
he's painting Milan, he's painting a man getting off a tram.
That's what it looks like for real, look at that.
It's like an explosion, isn't it?
I think what he's trying to, he's trying to capture that,
you know when we were on the tram,
that sense that the world is not still.
That there's the sound, you can almost hear the shriek of the tram.
They do take their cue, to a certain degree, from Paris.
Because Paris is the great centre of modern art,
but they're changing all the time.
Think of someone like Toulouse Lautrec painting the can-can girls.
Well, this is an Italian artist, Gino Severini
and this is what he makes of the can-can.
This is very much an artist who's read Marinetti's Futurist Manifesto.
Hmm. And he's interested in this idea that we are inhabitants
of the machine age, and when he looks at the chorus line,
it's as if he sees a group of people who've turned themselves
into a kind of animated piston engine. You know, legs kicking.
Yeah, 12 pistons going up.
It's almost like people becoming like the inside of a motor car.
They were setting themselves quite a difficult task,
which is to capture in a still frame, a sense of movement.
This picture, once you read the title, you can see the subject.
Girl Running On A Balcony.
It is there, the girls running on a balcony, literally.
Like if it was different frames of a moving image. Yeah.
The further you get, the more you can actually see the image moving.
It takes really shape. It is brilliant.
One of the things I like about Futurism is,
that they're trying to break up the language of the past.
But the real star of the movement was a man called Umberto Boccioni.
Look at this.
This is, this is Boccioni's sort of masterpiece in sculpture.
And it's called Unique Forms Of Continuity In Space.
It was based,
how appropriate for one of the masterpieces of Milan,
with its two great football teams,
is based on the image of a football player.
What do you think of it, do you like it?
I really, really like it.
It reminds me more than a footballer,
he actually looks like one of those
little robo transformers that my children used to have.
Yeah, well, I don't think it's a coincidence.
It's the Futurist man striding into what he thought was the future.
'The Futurists didn't just want to revolutionise art,
'they wanted to transform how Italians ate as well.
'Marinetti even wanted pasta banned.
'And in 1930 he compiled a radical cookbook.
'I can't resist trying out a couple of recipes on Andrew.'
What is that?
Look, here you got a sandwich that instead of having
the bread on the outside, you have the salami on the outside
and the bread is in the inside.
You have got anchovies and you got green apple.
Fantastic, it looks brilliant, doesn't it?
So it's really like a very Italian version of what they,
you know, what they thought the food of the future would be.
Do you expect me to like this?
Oh, I expect you to taste it!
You know, you know, I made an effort to make it
so you're going to have to taste it at least.
Is it delicious or what? What is that?!
I'm trying to be polite, Giorgio.
In deference to Fillippo Tomasso, but...
No, there is some...it's a quite an interesting taste, isn't it?
It's sort of a little bit disgusting when you bite into it because
you're chewing through vast amounts of thick, fatty salami.
Taste the other one. It's, do you...?
It's the other one.
So what...the other one's a strong taste. OK.
And it has got, shall I tell you what's inside?
No, let me guess. OK, bite, go.
Sandwich tasting. This is...
That is amazing. That's amazing.
I have to say, actually, I like this one.
It's got a banana in it. I know.
And what you have to think about is, you know,
this is 100 years ago.
We're talking about certain ingredients that were so far ahead.
These guys were so far out, much more than Heston Blumenthal is
with his snail porridge at the moment.
Banana. Man, they see banana once a year.
And it's got anchovies, banana, and another very important thing.
Mustard, like an English mustard.
So they look again to the outside world,
they look to the English, they look to another world,
a world more industrialised than they one that they had.
It's seriously weird. Seriously good as well, I think.
The perfect breakfast sandwich, isn't it?
It'll be really an energetic food, it's food on the go
and it's supposed to inspire you, and make you feel
like you are a modern man, that's what it's all about.
Bizarrely, if you told me what you were going to put in there,
I wouldn't have even touched it. Right. But it's fantastic.
How many recipes in the Futurist Cookbook did you look at?
I read them all.
And how many did you think actually could be
turned into food you could eat?
Eh, two. THEY LAUGH
So we're eating the only two recipes you thought... Yeah.
..And I thought one of them was disgusting anyway, so.
I think the only way to toast a banana and anchovy sandwich
is with pineapple liqueur champagne cocktail.
What are we doing?
'For all their exuberance,
'Marinetti and many of the Futurists were politically misguided.
'When Mussolini and the Fascists came to power in 1922,
'they embraced his radical policies to modernise Italy.
'Mussolini would bring Italy to its knees and into the Second World War.
'And there's one artist, Mario Sironi, who I think
'captures the darkness of this time better than anyone else.
'His work in the Novecento is a poignant reminder of how
'Fascism devastated Italy.'
These are some of Sironi's pictures in the '20s and '30s.
And here, Sironi seems,
I think, to be painting a kind of dark portrait of Italy
as it moves into the Fascist years,
as it moves towards totalitarians and...
It's very difficult to think that this guy
was associated with that movement. Yeah.
I mean, what we see downstairs is this explosion of colour
and energy, and things in here are just like monochrome.
There is no hope in this picture isn't there?
It's like the guy is almost fading away, isn't he?
And the other one is in desperation completely.
Like there is no future.
Sironi had it from both angles because the Fascists, who he was
supposedly working for, didn't like what he produced for them.
And the avant-garde, the rest of Italy, as well,
didn't like him because he was Fascist.
And his work became ever increasingly melancholic.
If we look at this picture,
I mean, if anything, it's even darker than the other one.
This melancholy figure, as it were,
stranded among the ruins of this new modern Italy
by a sort of shattered aqueduct.
A night sky, it's all darkness, it's all despair.
Do you think these pictures do get to the heart of
this dark moment in Italian history?
Definitely. Definitely, both of them.
They really are very, very sad pictures.
You know, because my family have been through that.
My uncle got shot by the Fascists. He was a partisan?
He was a partisan and he got killed.
All the family were involved in the Resistance.
When you hear my father talking about those years,
they just, you know, they were really suffering, there was no food.
The Americans were coming and bombing,
the Germans were running away,
you know, it's just really like a social implosion, the wars.
You know, somewhere along the line you understood that this was
what was going to happen.
It's a rollercoaster ride, Italian history.
'Despite the trauma suffered at the hands of the Fascists,
'the country bounced back.
'After the Second World War, Lombardy rolled its sleeves up
'and kick started the economic boom of the '50s and '60s,
'that transformed Italy into a modern country.'
'Even though they never stand still,
'the people of Lombardy never forget their roots.
'Much of Lombard life is rooted in our food,
'the kind of staple dishes I grew up eating.
'After a busy day, I think it's time for Andrew
'to experience a local classic.'
We've been poncing around a lot. Poncing around?
Yeah, we've been, we've been in the super shops
and things like that, I want to show the heart
that's really what the people eat, you know.
So you're going to de-poncify us through food.
Yes, that's right.
So we have check out one very important ingredient.
It's very early in the season, see if we've got any cabbage.
If we've got cabbage, I can cook you Cassoeula.
'Hearty and earthy, the Cassoeula is just as representative
'of Lombardy as Marchesi's delicate risotto.
'With the vegetables chosen, it's time to go to the butchers,
'the Macelleria of Roberto Faravelli.'
See, this is the Macelleria.
This has been here for 50 years, Andrew, you know.
We're going to meet the son.
'The meat is the most important part of the Cassoeula.
'This is real nose-to-tail eating.
'And I know Roberto will sort us out with the best cuts.'
HE SPEAKS ITALIAN
This is puntina. Pork, spare ribs. Spare ribs, yeah.
Sexy Italia, eh!
The nose. The nose. Si.
So you put the pig's nose in to make, to make it gelatinous?
Nice and cruchant. Cruchant.
How do you say in Italian, that's a meal to put hairs on a man's chest?
Grazie! Arrivederci, grazie.
'Now it's time to get to work, and there's quite a lot of work to do.
'It's ages since I've cooked it.'
Beautiful, isn't it?
The smells, the colour,
you know, this is what food is all about for me.
This is the smell that I used to smell as I came home from school.
As soon as I got to the gate of the house, I knew that my
grandmother was cooking this, because you could smell it from outside.
Red wine. Red wine.
Mmm, it's such a good smell. It is, isn't it?
Now it's cooking. So we're going to add the rest of the pig.
Do you want me to shave the pig's ear?
That's right. Well, I want you to take away the hair.
Just like that, yes.
And in the meantime, while you're doing that,
I'm going to add the other pieces. The tail, the snout.
This feels to me, like a recipe that people have been
cooking for many centuries.
The idea is, they're using these parts because they are the parts
that are ready to be used straight away when you've killed the pig.
The rest of the meat, if it's hanged for a bit, it's better.
The ham will go and be cured, the back will be back heated and slice.
Oh, cos this is the dish for the day of killing of the pig, right.
That's right, that's right.
OK. Oh, it all begins to make sense.
Here I've got the cabbage.
Cabbage and pig, it's a classic combination, isn't it?
And now all we have to do is wait for a couple of hours.
OK, we are happy.
'Finally, it's ready and time for Andrew to taste Lombardy.'
Andrew, I introduce you to the Cassoeula.
Mmm. Smell that.
It looks lovely.
I'm going to have the ears.
Is there another ear? I'll give you half of my ear.
Then, Andrew, what you do...
You excavate some cabbage.
The cabbage is fantastic,
it's completely permeated with the meat juices.
And kind of sweet, you know.
It's a bit of ear.
It's like cutting into jelly, fantastic.
Mmm, it's really good.
Completely melts in your mouth, doesn't it?
It's fantastic food.
I love food that belongs to somewhere, to a culture.
And this, for me, it's Lombardy.
And the next two hours eating.
That's OK. We got time. Pace yourself.
I know, we've got a lot to get through.
'The Cassoeula was the perfect dish to change gear
'and lead us out of Milan.
'We've come to Mantua, in the Po Valley,
'one of Lombardy's great treasures.
'Tranquil and elegant, it's home to the second great masterpiece
'I want us to visit.
'The work of art is to be found inside the Palazzo Te,
'a hunting lodge built in 1525 for the powerful Duke Federico Gonzaga.
'I think Giorgio may even like it more than the frescos
'we saw at Villa Suardi.'
Prego signore. Cavaliere.
'Inspired by the grand villas of Rome,
'the palace was designed by architect and painter Giulio Romano.'
So, Giorgio, welcome to the Palazzo Te.
These guys used to live in luxury, didn't they?
Well, I think of this as the house of fun.
The whole place was once full of jokes.
This courtyard, originally, there was a labyrinth,
so even trying to get into this place, you'd get lost.
Unless you were with the Duke, who would take you through.
Oh, right. It was just full of little games.
So here we are.
Now this palace was not a place for serious thought.
It wasn't a place for the administration of his estates.
It wasn't a place for business.
It was, so to speak, a place for monkey business.
And er, I think the theme of this set of illustrations,
or decorations, is basically sex and drinking.
'Inside, Giulio combined his skills to create some truly
Everything I've shown you so far
is a prelude to Giulio Romano's piece de resistance.
Wow! Oh, my God!
Come in the middle, come in the middle.
It's so brilliant.
It makes you almost feel sick, doesn't it?
It's like it's falling down, the whole thing.
Is it not straight or something?
No, it's not straight at all. The room's got no corners, you see.
So that's why you feel like you really fell down, doesn't it?
And originally, the floor was undulating,
so when you came in, you would almost stumble
and feel like you were taking part in the scene,
because the subject, in a sense,
is the biggest earthquake in mythological history.
It's called the Sala Dei Giganti.
And the story is, that the giants had tried to
rebel against Jupiter in heaven.
And Jupiter punishes the giants
by striking them with the thunder and lightning.
Oh, this is incredible!
Giulio Romano was taught by Raphael,
the great master of the High Renaissance.
And master of the calm and tranquillity, order, reason.
And this, so to speak, is the first thing that Giulio Romano does
after he gets out of school.
He's rebelling against his teachers.
It's almost as if he's bringing down the great edifice
of the High Renaissance.
He's bringing it down with his jokes and his games,
poking fun at it, making fun of it.
This style of art is called, Maniera, Mannerism.
It's a reaction against all that purity, all that classicism.
What a place, eh!
I'm glad you liked it.
'Palazzo Te certainly packs a punch.
'But it's not just architecture and painting
'that Lombardy does brilliantly.
'A short drive away in Cremona, is another example of
'the perfect marriage of tradition and innovation.
'It's the home of the Stradivari violin.
'Antonio Stradivari perfected the art of violin-making
'here in the 18th century.
'The Lombards have always been proud of their excellent craftsmanship,
'and they are still making instruments
'to the Stradivari standard today.
'We are visiting the International School Of Violin Making.'
Number five, here we are.
When I was little, I used to go in Varese
and there was this shop where these guys made violins.
And I was so fascinated by how they made them.
Signor Daniele, buongiorno. Buongiorno.
Signor Andrea. Piacere.
Look at those tools that they have to make it.
I love the precision and it takes...
..50 days to make a violin. 50!
50 working days. So it is a work of love.
I notice that he's...
One little stroke of that wrong, you can just mess it all up.
So, to me, this is artisan work taken to a different level.
Look at that. Beautiful!
Every liutaio goes and chooses his own wood,
like an artist would choose his own colours.
Michelangelo going to Carrera to choose his marble.
Or a chef choosing his own ingredients. Yeah.
You know, the principle ingredient is the wood.
'Stradivari violins are the most valuable in the world.
'In the town's museum, there is an unrivalled collection
'of some of the Master's original instruments.
'To preserve their sound, they must to be played regularly.
'I've arranged for us to have a private audience with Maestro Bosco,
'the person responsible for keeping these precious objects alive.'
We're going to hear a Stradivarius. Yes.
And it's called Vesuvius. Vesuvius.
'I can't quite believe we're going to have our own private concert
'played on an original Stradivarius.'
HE PLAYS THE VIOLIN
'This is such a treat.
'I never realised that Stradivari was from Lombardy,
'but it all makes sense.
'The attention to detail, the beautiful design,
'the utter fitness for purpose.'
'There is one last stop for us in Lombardy.
'A place that for me epitomises the spirit of the region,
'the Taccani power station.
'Built in 1904, it was one of a series of hydro electric plants
'on the river Adda, that powered the modern success of Lombardy.
'My father and his father before him were hydraulic engineers,
'so places like this are special to me.'
Going and seeing my father when he was working,
I spent a lot of time in places like that.
But, you know, it is so important
because this is the blood of Lombardy.
They found themselves with a really enormous light industry that
needed energy to propel it forward.
They didn't have anything to burn, so they harnessed the power
of these mountains and this water coming down.
I love these old machines, I think they are wonderful.
They are incredible, aren't they?
This is like a...it's really an expression of what the
Lombards are, which is about movement, energy, going forwards,
building, you know, just getting things moving all the time.