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 da Mosto, the presenter of the BBC2 series that this book accompanies, 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. In 2006 Francesco presented the hugely popular series Francesco's Italy, and wrote the accompanying bestselling book.