Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Italy's Invisible Cities

Following the success of Rome's Invisible City, Alexander Armstrong and Dr Michael Scott have travelled through three of Italy's most fascinating cities - Naples, Venice, and Florence - to explore 2000 years of history. Utilising an arsenal of cutting-edge technology, including ultra-high definition 3D scans, underwater LiDAR, photo-real CGI and drone cameras, Alexander and Michael discover Italy’s hidden past in new vivid detail.

In the first episode of Italy's Invisible Cities, on the 4th of January at 9pm on BBC1, Alexander and Michael seek to expose the buried treasures contained in one of the world’s oldest cities, Naples. A series of underground tunnels constructed by ruling Bourbon kings in the 19th century link historic quarries and Roman aqueducts, interacting with the modern city above in surprising ways – including the intrusion of an abandoned metro line.

The duo visits Herculaneum and learns about an underground theatre buried after the eruption of Vesuvius, rediscovered when Roman statues began surfacing in one of the town’s wells. Alexander and Michael not only head underground, but underwater - in Baiae’s sunken harbour, Portus Julius. Michael completes a dive to view a perfectly preserved mosaic floor among the ruins of submerged Roman holiday homes.

In episode two, Xander and Michael uncover how a city built in a swamp - Venice - became one of the most powerful in medieval Europe and dive into its canals to experience how the city remains standing. Plus, they reveal how the city's beauty once masked a ruthless secret state and a world of excess and vice.

In the final episode, on 25th January, the duo explore the hidden side of romantic Florence and uncover the birthplace of the Italian renaissance, historic home to the all-powerful Medici family. They investigate the Medicis' fraught relationship with one of their employees, none other than Michelangelo. Xander and Michael complete their Tuscan exploration with a visit to the world-famous Uffizi - including the Botticelli room. Michael takes Alexander along the Medicis' private corridor running more than a kilometre through the city from the Uffizi to the Medici’s stately residence on the south of the river. Using cutting-edge technology, this secret space is recreated as an astonishing virtual reality experience revealing Florence as it’s never been seen before.

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