I was amused this weekend when my parents showed me a program that they had recorded off of PBS. It was Visions of Italy – Southern Style. It was amusing because my husband and I have been talking excitedly – OK, perhaps obsessively – about Italy for over ten years now and own an entire shelf-full of beautiful Italy DVDs that we use to satisfy our cravings for the place until we can get back again. We have offered many times over the years to bring DVDs to show particular cities we have visited, but they have not seemed particularly interested. I can certainly understand; I, too, get turned-off when folks insist that I must see some thing or some place. I prefer to discover these gems on my own, and the objects of someone else’s affections seldom live up to the hype.
However, the Visions of Italy– Southern Style program got their attention entirely on its own. The aerial photography was captivating, and it highlighted the grandeur of the sections of Roma and further south that they chose to display. What my parents seemed to enjoy the most was the serene way that this program let the scenery do most of the talking. They understandably have little patience for the incessant chatter of many absurdly lucky travel program hosts, and just wanted to see the pictures and hear the sounds. This program is sparsely narrated by a calm, quiet female voice (Franca Barchiesi) with a lovely accent – a pleasure to listen to, and especially soothing in small, elegantly-scripted doses.
Mom and Dad were so charmed by the Southern Style program that they scheduled their DVR to record the Northern Style program coming up this week on the same station. All of the sudden, the lure of Italy becomes clear and the desire to see more of it comes from inside them – not from their overly-effusive, well-meaning offspring.
To enjoy this spectacular series yourself whenever you wish, I have included a link to the Visions of Italy DVD set below.