Bettany Hughes: From Paris to Rome

In the 18th century, those seeking culture and an artistic education would take a ‘grand tour’, exploring Europe’s rich heritage and cuisine. In this delightful travel documentary series historian Bettany Hughes follows in their footsteps, visiting such wonders as the museums of Paris and Rome, the canals of Venice, the cuisine of Florence and Milan and the glorious vistas of the Amalfi coast.

Watch Bettany Hughes' Grand Tour: From Paris to Rome and more acclaimed documentaries on BBC Select today. Restrictions apply*.

Bettany Hughes' Grand Tour: From Paris to Rome on BBC Select

During the 18th century, well-to-do Brits seeking culture, culinary delights and an artistic education would take a ‘
grand tour’. Heading to continental Europe, they would travel through France, Italy and beyond to discover the finest galleries, dine at exquisite restaurants and take in the stunning landscape, hoping to broaden their horizons. Not do be outdone, intrepid historian Bettany Hughes is follow ing in their footsteps in this delightful travel documentary series.

She wants us all to enhance out traveling experiences by immersing ourselves in art and culture. She starts her travels in Paris, where she’s allowed privileged access to the world-famous Louvre Museum and gets up close and personal with the stunning Venus de Milo. She also stays at a luxury hotel that has housed Oscar Wilde and Mick Jagger then visits the workshops of legendary shoe designer Christian Louboutin.

Next it’s off to Italy, where her first stop is the stunning city of Venice. After relaxing on St. Mark’s Square, she explores the magnificent Doge’s Palace, before discovering the pioneering art collection of Peggy Guggenheim. In Bologna, Bettany focuses on the culinary, delving into the city’s rich food culture, home of the renowned pasta Bolognese, before making a pilgrimage to the former residence of her favorite romantic poet Byron in picturesque Porto Venere.

In the beautiful city of Florence, Bettany discovers another artistic gem, Botticelli’s masterpiece The Birth of Venus, before indulging in that classic chocolatey treat the Florentine. Then it’s onto the glorious and gloriously expensive Lake Como, where celebrities from Napoleon to Miley Cyrus and George Clooney have relaxed in decadent luxury. Then she heads to Italy’s style capital Milan to try and find the fashionable heart of the city. Bettany then ventures south to the astonishing vistas of the Amalfi coast that have inspired poets and painters for centuries. There she eats fruit straight from the tree and dives into the clear-blue waters, searching for ancient treasures. Then it’s on to the Isle of Capri, renowned for its old-school glamor and mouth-watering culinary experiences.

Finally, Bettany reaches historic, majestic Rome where she’s allowed exclusive access to the Pantheon, one of the city’s most iconic monuments. Get ready for a whistle-stop tour of cultural and culinary delights through some of Europe’s most beautiful places.

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