Shakespeare was in love with Italy. A third of his plays are set in the country. For the Elizabethan playwright, it was the stage on which to explore his greatest themes - love and war, fidelity and betrayal, and above all, politics - and a treasure house of legend and stories that fuelled his imagination. Combining Italian travelogue with revelations about the bard's most famous works, Francesco da Mosto visits the spectacular locations, traces the Italian myths and reveals how a long dead, foreign playwright's imagination continues to influence and shape real Italian cities, even now. Francesco reveals the debt Shakespeare owes to Italian theatre and explores how Italy acted as a cloak for Shakespeare’s most dangerous observations about Elizabethan London.
Taking in Verona, Venice and Rome, the programme explores some of Shakespeare’s most well known plays including Romeo and Juliet, Antony and Cleopatra, Othello and Julius Caesar. Meeting historians, actors, and exploring the brilliant locations that pepper Shakespeare’s plays, this series offers an unexpected slant on some of the best known stage creations.