Italy Unpacked – To the Centre of the Earth

Close friends, close talkers: Giorgio Locatelli and Andrew Graham-Dixon enthuse about Italian art and cuisine to each other at a distance of about five inches, taking turns to be demonstrative expert and eager pupil. It regularly topples into self-parody, but it well evokes Italy’s rich flavours and uninhibited passions.


The second leg of Andrew Graham-Dixon and Giorgio Locatelli’s journey takes them to the heart of Italy and the regions of Le Marche and Umbria.

After a snack of Le Marche style stuffed olives they uncover the Renaissance city of Urbino and the palace of Federico da Montefeltro. Scholar, connoisseur and commander of a private army; Federico is one of the driving forces of the Italian Renaissance. Then, in the dark depths of the Apennine Mountains, they explore one of the largest underground caves in the world, the Grotte di Frassasi.

In Umbria, the green heart of Italy, Andrew shows Giorgio one of the greatest Renaissance paintings by Pinturicchio in the little town of Spello. Giorgio takes Andrew to the Norcia Valley where for centuries people have made mouth-watering pork sausages and salamis. Giorgio makes a succulent dish using the ingredients from the fertile land – fresh pork sausages and lentils.

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