Books

Francesco's Mediterranean Voyage

Francesco Da Mosto

Venetian architect and historian Francesco da Mosto sets out from Venice to cross the Mediterranean - following in the wake of his ancestor, the explorer Alvise da Mosto - to discover the cities and islands where Western civilization was born. Sailing in a late nineteenth-century yawl, his journey starts in Venice and finishes in Istanbul. Along the way he takes in spectacular ruins, like the Acropolis in Athens and the Lycian Tombs in Turkey; sacred sites like the monasteries of Mount Athos and the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul; and beautiful Dubrovnik (destroyed and rebuilt in the last decade). Ancient history and bygone legends intertwine as Francesco visits these wonderful ancient sites, bringing the past vividly to life, and taking readers on a thrilling cultural odyssey. Beautifully illustrated throughout, this book will be a must for fans of Francesco everywhere.

Francesco's Kitchen

Francesco Da Mosto

Francesco da Mosto follows his bestselling books on Venice and Italy with his personal quest for the authentic flavours and food of Venice. In this superbly illustrated book Francesco invites us into his family's kitchen in his 16th-century Palazzo in the heart of the city where he acts as the perfect guide to the unique culinary character of traditional Venetian cooking.

Francesco shows us how to prepare 150 classic Venetian recipes ranging from Antipasti, sauces, soups and fish, to meats, pasta and puddings. He demonstrates how Venetian food is a fabulous fusion of ingredients brought together over centuries as merchants and traders travelled the Mediterranean. The ancient broeto (stock) and mollusc soups testify to this, as does the richness and variety of dishes based on fish, roasts, grills, tasty deep fried delicacies and sauces.

Each chapter is introduced with the history and origins of the recipes and throughout there are personal reminiscences by Francesco of his first encounters with his favourite dishes. As Francesco is keen to tell, his passion for cooking authentic Venetian food comes from home: 'When I start talking about cooking, it is impossible to forget my father, his love and imagination for all things culinary. He has never feared unusual combinations of ingredients and seasonings, and I have always been a willing guinea pig.'

Francesco's Venice

Francesco Da Mosto

Francesco's Venice is the extraordinary story of the life of an intriguing city, told by a descendant of an old and distinguished Venetian family.

Francesco da Mosto's ancestry is inextricably intertwined with that of this amphibious city. Fiercely proud and protective of the rich cultural and architectural heritage of his birthplace, Francesco gives us a unique insight into the inner workings of one of the most beautiful cities in the world. He explores Venice's remarkable history, from the fifth century when settlers retreated to the safety of the lagoon and began to create their homes on tiny islands, through its glorious years as a successful maritime nation, adept at trade, exploration, diplomacy and protecting its independence, to the fragile city of the twenty-first century.

Venice's history is a tale of warfare and conspiracies, of artistic excellence and ingenuity, of the battle of wills and of ideas, and of strength in the face of disaster, and Francesco brings to life the places, events and people that have sculpted this living theatre through the ages. These include a colourful array of his own ancestors, such as the six da Mostos who were involved in the rise and fall of the ambitious and corrupt Doge Falier, and the young Alvise da Mosto, a courageous and deterrmined explorer of the fifteenth century.

Beautifully illustrated with stunning images by John Parker of both the magnificent symbols of the city, including St Mark's Basilica and the Doge's Palace, and the more secluded corners, Francesco's Venice celebrates the mesmerizing beauty and surprising strength of this unique city.

Francesco's Italy

Francesco Da Mosto

Having travelled extensively all his life, Francesco da Mosto, author of the bestselling Francesco's Venice, has always been fascinated by the differences in language, traditions, cuisine, art, architecture and landscape of each region of his country, despite their proximity to each other. He believes such rich variations and surprising contradictions reflect the true nature of Italy and this is the subject of Francesco's Italy, which explores the history, culture and everyday life of Italy.

Accompanying a vibrant BBC2 series, Francesco's Italy takes the form of a journey. From Venice, his birthplace and home, Francesco travels southwards to the Sicilian capital Palermo, his mother's hometown. As he visits the spectacular lakes and fashionable cities of the north, and passes through the hills of Tuscany, heading south towards Rome, Naples and finally Palermo, Francesco describes the local artistic and architectural treasures and cultural traditions, while exploring the historical background and uncovering fascinating legends. He introduces us to many of the characters who populate Italy's history, from Federico da Montefeltro, quintessential Renaissance man and illegitimate brother of the Count of Urbino, who unexpectedly rose to power in the fifteenth century after his brother's assassination, to Michaelangelo and his difficult relations with Pope Julius II while painting the frescoes in the Sistine Chapel in the early sixteenth century.

Francesco's narrative journey also encompasses Italian society and the Italian people as they are today, and he delights in sharing anecdotes from his own family life as well as stories he picks up from friends and unusual characters he meets on his travels. Illustrated with stunning photographs by John Parker, Francesco's Italy brings together the Italy we all know and love and the secret side of the country that only an insider can reveal.

Biography

Francesco da Mosto is an architect, historian, film-maker and Venetian citizen. His busy studio in Venice has designed and supervised many restoration projects, as well as participating in local and international design competitions. Francesco has also worked extensively in cinema and television since 1984. Apart from short spells in Rome, Paris and sailing in the Mediterranean, he has lived in Venice all his life. Francesco has presented the hugely popular BBC2 series Francesco's Venice and Francesco's Italy, and written the accompanying bestselling books.