Andrew Graham-Dixon and Giorgio Locatelli continue exploring Rome. In search of its Papal, Renaissance and Baroque history, they discover that it is visible all around them.
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Hi, I'm Andrew Graham-Dixon, and I'm an art historian.
These ancient roads are slightly bumpy.
And I'm Giorgio Locatelli, and I'm a cook.
We've been all over Italy revealing gastronomic and artistic treasures.
But now we've come to its beating heart - Rome.
It's a 2,000-year-old metropolis where past and present collide.
It's as unique for an art lover...
Staring out at us.
A painting of the first century AD, and there are not many of those.
As it is for a food lover...
Cuisine that has its backbone on necessity,
that's the cuisine that survives!
We will taste traditional recipes beloved by the Romans.
Oh, mamma mia!
How good is that?
And we'll plunge our forks into the cultures that have shaped the city.
The whole world is cowering in awe of this symbol of papal power.
We'll explore Rome's greatest works of art and architecture.
Not a bad room to have a party in.
Full of light...
..but also, sometimes, darkness.
I actually can hear him screaming.
Rome is like a giant time machine,
where treasures from over 2,000 years of history have been preserved
in the many layers of the city.
Ah, look! Look at this!
Look at this, what I got for you, Andrew.
Wow! Never fail to be amazed by that. Never fails.
Every great work of art in Rome, every great recipe,
has deep roots in the past.
That's why, to appreciate the richness of this city,
you have to dig beneath its surface,
to play the part of the archaeologist.
All these Roman walls are enormous on the left, aren't they?
Believe it or not.
And there isn't a better place to start our journey through the
many layers of Rome's history than here.
Just a couple of hundred yards from the Colosseum.
So, here we are.
I love this place. The church of San Clemente.
Here in Rome, we really are surrounded by history,
2,000 years of it.
It's become a cliche to say that,
but what I really love about the city is the different textures
of history that you get here.
And that's why I think this is a great first stop, San Clemente.
It's a Christian church erected in the Middle Ages on the
ruins of Roman pagan antiquity.
It's like a vertical time machine.
You can travel down, down, down, down, down,
and right at the bottom there's this fantastic unexpected human story,
but I'm not going to tell you what it is.
-Let's go and have a look, then.
This is just one of the most beautiful churches in Rome.
Look at this beautiful apse mosaic of Christ on the cross
representing the tree of life.
Beneath, you have Mary and John.
Look at the delicacy of his loincloth,
that gold structure in mosaic.
-The leaf looks like they are artichoke leaves.
-They maybe are.
That could be a Roman touch.
-So that, I may say, is probably
50 or 60 years work.
This is a very important church,
because interred here were the remains of Pope Clement.
-I think he's the third Pope after Peter.
So it's filled with Christian significance.
But it's also, once you get your eye in and you look around,
it's a spectacular demonstration of the way in which buildings in Rome
have evolved over centuries of history.
So, it's such a mishmash. You've got these ancient Roman columns.
They don't match each other,
they obviously just used what they could find to make that basilica.
-Of course, they're all different!
-They're all different.
And then all of this rectangle of stone,
this amazing marble choir gallery,
was actually made in 536.
Like, 600 years before the church.
Over there you've got something that takes us back to the early
15th century, some early Renaissance frescos by Masolino.
Over there you've got a beautiful Renaissance tomb memorial
-to one of the Popes.
And then above, you've got this extraordinary Baroque ceiling,
you know, from the 17th-18th century.
So, you've got all these different levels of history
-just in this one building.
But I'm going to have to take you actually downstairs,
-because we can explore what lies beneath here.
We are going down into the distant past!
All of the Rome we see today is built on top of the other
much older Romes.
Wow, it's incredible!
In 1857, the prior of San Clemente, Friar Joseph Mullooly,
uncovered the remains of a Christian church beneath the existing one,
dating back all the way to the fourth century.
Very little survives of the original church, just a few frescos.
Frescos depicting New Testament scenes and the life of San Clemente.
But there's yet another lower layer that takes you back to a Rome
400 years older even than that.
We're going down into ancient Rome itself.
You have to imagine, it's the time of Nero.
Nero's fiddled, Rome's burned.
They've rebuilt vast areas of the city, including all these houses.
There's a rabbit warren of streets down here.
Archaeologists believe all this dates from roughly 70 AD,
just after Nero's death.
And in the basement of this house, look what we have.
-Look what we have.
A subterranean chamber.
This is the cult of Mithras.
For a while, Mithraic cult was so strong and so powerful that it was
a rival to Christianity.
It had some of the same features as Christianity.
It had ceremonies involving wine and blood,
it had a central myth in which good triumphs over evil.
A man kills a bull.
Look at that agonized neck of the bull.
Come with me. This is a part that they've...
This is never open to the public, this part,
but they've let us go in.
They think that this was a schoolroom that was also part
of the Mithraic cult.
And if you bring your torch over here, if you look in the middle...
..they think that that might be the schoolteacher staring out at us.
A painting of the first century AD, and there are not many of those.
This is, like, what, 2,100 years old?
If he were still alive, yeah,
he'd be celebrating his 2,000th birthday pretty soon.
How amazing is that? GIORGIO CHUCKLES
See, I always know when you like something
cos you start speaking in Italian.
I love it when a work of art puts you face to face with someone
from another world.
-And he just found it.
I am completely...
Thank you, Andrew, this is such an incredible discovery, this place.
I'm really glad you liked it.
OK, Andrew, I'm going to take you all along the Lungotevere!
See, now we're doing the Ponte Inglese.
They call it the Ponte Inglese because...
It's the only street in Rome where you drive on the left.
I want to show Andrew a different type of archaeology.
The archaeology of food.
We are riding to the neighbourhood of Testaccio -
only 12 minutes away by scooter from San Clemente.
It's an area synonymous with food.
In ancient times, the district was home to the imperial port,
where the bulk of the Roman food supply was brought into the city.
It's a bit rough around the edges.
Where are you going to park?
In 1888, Testaccio was where the city authorities decided to build
Europe's largest municipal abattoir,
which would go on to shape Rome's culinary style.
So, where are we?
It's a slaughterhouse.
It's an enormous slaughterhouse.
It's a beautiful slaughterhouse.
You can see there's all these pens.
The animals would be brought in from the countryside, then, you know,
when it was the time they will be slaughtered
and then taken in to feed the population.
Between 1870 and 1901,
Rome's population doubled from a quarter of a million
to half a million.
With so many new mouths to feed, they needed meat.
And more of it than ever.
-But this is, this is amazing!
-Look at this.
But this is like a city of death.
-It's even still got the signs.
They didn't only kill cows, they killed everything.
You know, the chickens, everything.
Any kind of animal was slaughtered round here.
But look at the architecture of it, it's like a temple.
I love this marriage of styles.
A classical pediment on a 19th century industrial slaughterhouse
made of bricks and iron.
I just can't believe it, we're in the middle of Rome and this hasn't
-been turned into apartment blocks or...
-So, what happens is...
-The animal would be killed, the animal would be hanged,
and then they could move around.
In that space, I have to imagine, how many people?
It would be, like, 60-80 people all dirty of blood.
Here was kind of like a pulsating sort of part of the town,
because, you know, you know,
you can only have a really lively town if you feed them and you have
them healthy and they can work, and so-and-so.
So this was part of kind of, even if it was about death, it's about life.
It's amazing, this place.
The energy in that room.
I mean, Charles Dickens would've
written a whole novel about this place.
It's like Rome delivers this piece of history.
It's not like the history of politics or a history of, like,
with a name attached to it or a movement.
No, it's just part of actual real history.
So, Giorgio, how did this
-extraordinary place change the food of Rome?
So you got to think about the new and extremely rich people
and powerful people that ran this beautiful house,
and they have, like, hundreds of people who serve and work in it.
So they would send the cooks down to the market.
The cooks would come down and buy a quarter of the animal.
So they walk away with the front quarter or the back quarter.
What was left in the place was all the other bits.
What they call the quinto quarto.
What we call the offal in English.
Like the liver, the kidneys, the heart, and the feet and...
Yeah, the lips...
Really, the most, you know, horrible bits, you know, of the animal.
And some of the people didn't get paid.
You didn't get paid money, you got paid with those bits of animal.
-So these guys are coming home with a bucket full of liver.
Or a bucket full of tripe.
And they give it to the wife,
and the wife will just cook it and sell it.
And so that's how they will make their money.
Ah. So, this leads to a new kind of street food.
This great idea of the street market with the people who then consume the
food, it was like hundreds of years ago it was done in Rome.
The slaughterhouse closed down in 1975.
But across the road at Testaccio Market its legacy lives on.
From the age of 14,
Signor Sergio Esposito worked at the abattoir.
And for the last 40 years he's been cooking offal
using traditional recipes passed down by his grandmother.
Mi amico Andrew.
ANDREW SPEAKS ITALIAN
I'm Andrew, ciao.
Look what he's doing.
Look, he's cutting your favourite thing.
-Oh, so this is the heart and the lungs.
The lungs, look at that, look at that.
Look at that beauty of the lamb.
You see why they call it the fifth quarter,
-when you look at it, but when you taste it...
So, when he was little, he used to work where they killed the animals.
That's exactly what you were saying.
So, his grandfather was working in the slaughterhouse.
And got paid a little bit of money and a little bit of meat.
-And quite a lot of liver.
So, you must taste one thing.
-You must taste one thing.
-Can I taste three things?
Now then, don't be greedy.
So, this is a kidney sandwich.
-What else is in the recipe?
Oh, mamma mia!
How good is that?
GIORGIO SPEAKS ITALIAN
Can I have the...?
He's obviously got great admiration for you.
The flavour is incredible and it's so direct.
There is three ingredients.
There's white wine, there's onions, and there is kidney.
And you can taste all three of that.
And when you walk away, tomorrow you will remember what you eat.
So this is what it's all about.
I mean, the sweetness,
the unbelievable flavour that comes through.
Do you have tripe?
It might not be to everyone's taste,
but the stomach lining of a cow cooked with onions and tomato sauce
is a real delicacy.
Look at that.
-That's a little bit of pecorino Romano on top.
-Look at that.
That's a sandwich.
The saltiness jumps out at you.
And it's got a little bit of mentucce in that.
A touch of mint.
You see, lots of people, if you even say the word tripe,
they go, "Ew! How can you eat that?"
But the truth is, it's such a beautiful, delicate dish.
It's so rich, isn't it? You can taste the richness of that.
You know, it's almost sticking, your lips are sticking together.
We tasted "Romanity," that's what he calls it.
It's a Romeness, Romeness sandwiches.
Romanity comes in many forms.
And if there is one community that's left its mark on
Roman culinary tradition, it's the Jewish community.
Their origins in the city can be traced back to 200 BC,
when envoys arrived from the Holy Land hoping to establish
trading links with ancient Rome.
More than 2,000 years later, the Jewish presence lives on.
This is called pizza ebraica.
Are you not going to pay for it?
It's very special.
-They've been baking in this corner for 300 years.
Complement... Well, it tastes like it.
-Medieval sweet bread.
But life for the Jewish people of Rome hasn't always been sweet.
In 1555, Pope Paul IV ordered the construction of the Jewish ghetto.
Its walls confined them to a squalid area along the River Tiber.
Severe laws restricted them to just a few occupations.
-This is a very characteristic street of the ghetto.
Because it's narrow, reflecting the medieval origins of this area,
but it's also really tall.
So, it's very shadowed, it's very dark, it's a bit dank and damp.
The reason the buildings are so tall here is because
the ghetto couldn't expand outwards, so they had to build up.
Which made the sanitation in an area that was already not great,
-Yeah. That's the place they were given.
Like not a very good piece of land.
They had all these humiliating sort of ceremonies and rituals.
So if you were the Chief Rabbi in the ghetto,
every year you had to renegotiate the Jews' tenancy of the ghetto.
And when the Caporioni, the head of the city councillors of Rome agreed,
it was marked by ceremony on the Capitoline Hill in that
beautiful square that Michelangelo designed.
The rabbi would say, "Oh, thank you for giving me and the Jews
"another year in the ghetto."
And the ceremony ended when the rabbi turned round and was
bent down as part of this public theatre.
-And the Caporioni kicked him in the...
No, really, that was the...
Well, that's unbelievable.
Access to food was extremely limited,
as the Jewish people were restricted in their employment opportunities.
One of the few occupations permitted was selling food on the street,
which meant they could bring home the leftovers.
Despite their limited access to ingredients,
they still created mouthwatering dishes,
which have stood the test of time,
and I'm going to cook a couple for Andrew.
Coffee delivery service!
Oh! Thank you, Andrew. Good man.
Mm. Even the takeaway coffee tastes good in Rome, doesn't it?
-It's not bad.
-OK, look, I'm going to cook you some stuff.
It's called gozzamoddi.
And they are like these... Kind of like meatballs.
-Made with chicken?
-Made with chicken. Bravo.
You've carefully kept the chicken skin.
Any type of fat would have been expensive.
Use the skin. These guys lived on the scraps of everybody else.
So, it was a cuisine created by the necessity, and as usual,
a cuisine that creates
and has its backbone, on necessity -
that's the cuisine that survives.
Give me a job. Something not too difficult.
OK, I'm going to give you a couple of carrots to peel.
We've got the celery.
First, I'm going to prepare a sauce
using carrots, celery, onions and tomato,
and my secret ingredient.
So, I have the skin.
These will give this really beautiful
chicken flavour to the sauce.
A nice little... Like if it was a spoonful.
-The smell is very good.
-Smells like we're cooking, doesn't it?
One of the typical things of the Jewish community -
they didn't write the recipe down.
The recipes were something that were passed
mostly from mother to daughter.
This is hundreds of years of refining and refining.
The experience, the necessity,
and the availability of ingredients,
so these are the three things then placed together
to make this recipe incredible.
You've got to taste the sauce and tell me if we need more salt.
Come on. Blow, blow, blow, blow, blow.
-A tiny bit more.
A tiny bit of salt, and we let it cook.
And, you know, could you taste already the chicken in that?
-Yeah. From the fat?
-Definitely. Yeah, really nice.
Unbelievable. I love that.
Now it needs to simmer, and what we're going to do,
I'm going to make the meatball mixture.
I'm going to add salt, pepper,
a tiny little bit of cinnamon.
Then, I got a little bit of the kosher bread,
which I have already sort of put in water.
So, this is going to give me a really, really nice consistency.
-The egg is to bind it?
-It's going to sort of become
-a beautiful glomerated mass of flavour.
And is the idea that the meatball in the sauce -
that is the dish, there's nothing else?
-No, that's it.
-There's no rice or potatoes?
No, they would eat so frugally.
No, there is nothing coming with that.
Six of them. OK, I'm going to place them in.
And now we're going to have to go and get the artichoke,
because you can't come to Rome, in the Jewish quarter,
and not having artichoke.
But, hang on, they're not in season.
If you know people, you can get artichoke.
So, we're going to cut the stems off.
Roman artichokes are exceptionally tender.
Everything, from the leaves to the stem and heart,
is edible and delicious.
It's got that silvery green, doesn't it?
-That's quite a noise.
-Beautiful, isn't it?
-The cauldron is bubbling.
This way of deep-frying artichokes is known as carciofi alla giudia,
and it's now one of the most famous of all Roman recipes.
Cos the ghetto's so small, everybody else would know
that the mama in this house is cooking the artichokes
cos the smell is travelling down the street.
The idea is to open it up.
No mistaking that you're eating a flower.
So, they're actually cooked?
-You're just finishing the texture?
You're going to sort of flash-fry them?
Look at that. It makes me think of Van Gogh's sunflowers!
THEY LAUGH You've just painted a picture.
Une artiste! I cannot be more happy than that.
I think it's perfect.
-Well, this is so lovely.
I like the contrast in the two textures.
So, the heart is all soft, almost like an avocado.
-And the petals are...
-Nice and crispy.
-Yeah, they're like crisps.
Taking my hat off
to the Jewish tradition of cooking artichoke like that.
I think it's stunning.
Oh, such a smell! Mm!
Really chicken, but also with this rich tomato, as well.
Let's taste it.
-That is amazing! GIORGIO CHUCKLES
The experience in the mouth
is that it's such a refined dish, it's such a delicate flavour.
So light. We're touching this small history, the human history.
On the one hand, you've got the artichoke,
which is made by people who know that,
at any point, they might have to run away.
So, they're doing something that they can keep,
they can eat in a week. You can literally put it in your pocket.
-The other hand, with the meatballs,
they're making food that, simultaneously,
is completely of this place - Rome - with these wonderful ingredients,
but also they just have this little memory
-of the travels of the Jews in the form of the cinnamon...
..which is not something I associate at all with Italian food.
Yeah, I wouldn't think any Italian would put any cinnamon.
I mean, I don't know where cinnamon comes from,
but, to me, it's a little taste of, you know, the Middle East.
And the little girl can be told by her mum, "You see the cinnamon?
"That's because we've been there."
It's lovely. Thank you, Giorgio. That's absolutely delicious.
I never had something where the appearance is so,
as it were, ordinary, and the taste is so sublime.
-Oh, Andrew! Look at that. That's...
..30% and 50% schiuma.
-There's no milk, just cream?
No, this is the cream of the coffee.
What I like about Rome is that, in most other cities,
if you want to experience the past, you have to go into a museum.
-You have to go inside, to a museum.
-Here in Rome - no, no.
If you want to tell me about the past, and the slaughterhouses,
and what it was like one date, you just take me over there,
-and it's all still there.
-Old places - that can be the museum.
-Yes, you're right.
-But it's not a museum of history with a capital H.
It's a museum of history with a small H for humanity.
-It's the history of food,
or it might be the history of what the Jews once did here,
how they once lived.
That's what I like. Everywhere you turn,
-there's another story.
So, today, we're going to go and see something from high, high culture.
-We're going to go to one of the great palaces.
My favourite thing in there is actually not,
like, a famous, great masterpiece.
It's something quite strange and unusual, and it's food-related.
-Grazie. Buona giornata.
This would be a nice street to live in,
with all these beautiful views across the Tiber.
Here we are.
We're heading to the Palazzo Colonna,
one of the oldest and largest private palaces in all of Rome.
-Nice little abode.
Yes, humble - not quite.
The Palazzo Colonna spans an entire city block.
Its construction began in the 14th century,
and the building work lasted for 500 years,
hence the rich mix of different architectural styles.
Even the great artist and architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini
lent his expertise to the building and design of the palace.
So, this is the great symbol of the Colonna - the column.
And then, on the side, this inscription.
And you can't say that it's a hollow boast,
-cos they are still here.
-Right. That's Aslan for us, to meet us.
-Salve. Buongiorno, Aslan.
Aslan, a member of the modern Colonna family,
is going to show us around.
-Giorgio, after you.
-Oh, thank you.
The Colonna family was among the most powerful and influential
of the Roman baronial dynasties.
Within their family tree, you can find a Pope, a saint,
a spiritual adviser of Michelangelo, a general, a patron of Caravaggio,
and many other church and political leaders.
-That's why I took my glasses off.
Yes, yes, you need to take your glasses off.
What a room!
Giorgio, hai visto?
Not a bad room to have a party in.
The splendid Galleria Colonna
was commissioned in the mid-17th century
by Cardinal Girolamo and his nephew Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna.
-What a thing, huh?
-Oh, my God!
From the outset, the gallery was conceived as a vast stage set
to celebrate the Colonna family's part
in a famous military victory of 1571.
The room is 76m long,
and every square inch is decorated, gilded,
or adorned with sculpture.
You can't come in here and not be amazed.
On the roof, you've got the great Battle of Lepanto.
It's really the one great victory of the Christians over Islam.
In command of the victorious fleet is Marcantonio Colonna,
and the Colonna family will never let the world forget
that they were at the centre of this triumph.
Still, in Italy, you know, if you see a big guy,
you say, "Che bel pezzo di Marcantonio."
It means, "What a great big man."
So, still hundreds and hundreds of years,
these guys set the standard,
and the Italians still, you know, aim to Marcantonio.
I mean, the action there, you can actually...
You feel the spray of the sea coming down towards you.
You see these people drowning and...
-And all the flags.
-..it is unbelievable.
Beautifully vibrant, and beautiful colour.
It's a very famous room even for people
who are not perhaps interested in art history,
because this is where they shot the final scene of Roman Holiday.
Roman Holiday was here.
And up there was Audrey Hepburn
saying hello to all the journalists here.
That's right. And then there's poor Gregory Peck.
-Was it Gregory Peck?
-Gregory Peck, yeah.
-Yeah, with his broken heart.
But, I mean, if ever a room was waiting for the cinema...
-It's this one.
-..it's this one.
-Thank you, Aslan.
-Is it OK if we stay just a little while longer?
Of course. There's plenty of space.
There's quite a lot of things to look at.
This palace, every room - every room - is a cornucopia.
I love this painting.
This is such a strange, weird, wonderful painting.
It was commissioned by him, Filippo Colonna,
after the death of his wife and the death of his mother.
And what he wanted was a depiction of the souls of the blessed
rising on the last day when Christ comes back,
and we are all born again.
And everyone being born again is a Colonna.
-Look, there's Marcantonio Colonna.
And when I see him there,
I see what you mean when you say he's like a big guy.
I mean, he looks like a wrestler!
He's going to wrestle his way into heaven.
Isn't that something? By Pietro Da Cortona.
So, by a famous artist, I've never seen a painting quite like it.
-Talking of eternity and the soul, this is the family's chapel.
Even in such a rich art collection as this,
if you dig a little, there's always a surprise to unearth.
-Look at this.
-Oh, my God.
This has only been discovered
by the Colonna family themselves last year.
There was always a rather dirty cross on the altar,
but they only recently realised that it was actually a box,
-and that, inside...
-This was inside the box!
-This was inside.
It's late 15th century, it's from Florence...
..but they don't know who it's by.
Some people have suggested Antonio da Sangallo.
Some people have suggested it could even be by Michelangelo.
Look at the rib cage, look at the blood,
look at the handling of the drapery and the face.
-Absolutely amazing thing.
Can you imagine having that, you know,
sort of forgotten in a cupboard?
That is unbelievable.
Not bad, eh?
I've got something that I think
is definitely going to be to your taste,
and I mean taste with a capital T.
From the sacred to the profane.
If ever there was a picture for Giorgio Locatelli,
surely, it's this one. It's called...
-You know, I know this picture,
because that was right in the front of the cookery books...
-..I used to have at school. Yes.
This is beautiful, because, look, these are black-eyed beans.
You see a little bit of the juices there.
-Can you see it falling down?
And that's like... Look at that. Like a cipollotto.
Brown bread, cos, obviously, at that time, you know,
they didn't make white flour yet.
Typical Roman way to cut it on the top like that.
And then you can see that you can break it up in pieces.
So, he's holding one piece.
You know this is painted by Annibale Carracci in the 1590s?
This was his version of Arte Povera.
This was his way of painting the life
of poor, ordinary, working people.
He pioneered this, along with Caravaggio.
It's almost as if Carracci has changed his style
to adapt to the subject matter.
He's painting something that is quite a poor subject,
and he's doing it very quickly.
He's doing low colours,
not bright flashes of red or ultramarine blue.
It's brilliant that they've put it underneath this picture,
which is all about Mary as the Queen of Heaven,
you know, wearing her wonderful draperies.
And then, beneath, it's the people's king of the beans!
And it's lovely, as well, I think that, you know,
in the Palazzo Colonna, which is so much a place
about this huge span of history,
in the end, what's the painting we've finished in front of?
-A peasant eating his dinner.
-And how Roman is that?
This is great for me to have seen this. Really.
HORN HONKS It wouldn't be Rome if we didn't hit
-an occasional traffic jam, would it?
I Vigili del Fuoco - the fire brigade, Andrew.
So, where are we going, Giorgio?
-We're going to see a very good chef.
-What's her name?
Si chiama Cristina Bowerman.
She's very inspiring, the way she works with old recipes.
Her food is really top-notch.
Maybe she can cook us some beans, eh?
Well, that's... Let's hope so.
Cristina's Michelin-starred restaurant is called Glass Hostaria.
It's in the trendy neighbourhood of Trastevere
in the centre of the city.
You come from these great, wide avenues
into these little almost like labyrinths of streets.
With all these bars and restaurants, everybody eating and drinking.
HORN HONKS This is it?
I'm going to introduce you.
-In this beautiful tavern.
-How are you?
-Can we come in?
-Yes. Come on over.
Cristina uses ingredients from traditional Roman cuisine.
Today, she's going to cook for us a unique cheesecake.
-A cheesecake with pasta, with beans, and mussels.
Are we talking about almost a scherzo on the cheesecake?
-Cos it's a joke on the cheesecake.
-That is exactly it.
-Cos we're savoury here.
-We're not sweet.
This is actually the base of the cheesecake,
but let me show you how I did it.
She boiled it, and then she put it into a dryer, and dried.
Can I just get that right?
The base of the cheesecake - you cook pasta?
-You then, when it's cooked...
-..you deep-fry it?
-Then you dry it in the oven?
And then you crunch it up?
-So, it's instead of the biscuits?
-How thick do you want it?
-I want it, like, this thick.
-And you need to press it.
-What's this extraordinary...?
-That's the beans. That's the beans.
-This is cannellini beans.
The cannellini beans that have been made into a puree.
-This is what that becomes?
-That's exactly it.
Beans are really part of our tradition.
They used to say the Roman army would travel on their stomach,
and, you know, what they would carry would be like cicerchie.
-They will have...
Cicerchie is like wild chickpeas
that they used to carry on their bags with their salt -
their own salt - and a little bit of flour.
So, they would do this, like, cook the beans,
add things, and make some... I don't know. Some bread.
And they would make up something like that,
even as they were advancing.
So, even this would probably very much surprise a Roman soldier,
but he would still, in some taste memory,
he would know what it is.
-It's going to look like a dessert!
And this is my last touch. Smell it.
-Wow! That is...
-Those are mussels.
Goodness me. So, how have you prepared those?
I cooked them up, then I dehydrated them,
-and then I powderised them.
-Goodness me. I never heard of that.
-Can you buy this or...?
-No, you have to make it fresh.
-No, no, no, I made them.
-You make it yourself?
So, you're going to have that bean taste, pasta taste,
and then you're going to be hit by that sort of flavour of the fish
because, you know, like, the mussel, they've got that really fish...
-Rich, fishy flavour.
-That is very ingenious.
-So, when did you invent this recipe?
So, this is straight off the wheel of time.
-Can you taste the mussels?
-Yeah. Very strong.
-The mussel comes at the end...
-At the end.
..with the seasoning and...
And that's the thing that should stay with you.
What I love also is this crust.
I have one little more surprise.
-Could you wait just 20 seconds? I'm going to go get it.
-We can wait.
-You can clean up here, so I can put it right there.
-We can eat a bit more of this if you want.
I want you to taste it and guess what it is.
Mm! It's some kind of beautiful semifreddo.
If you're going to put me to the test, it's like nougat?
-OK, I'll make it easy for you.
-They are all beans.
-That's all beans?!
This is a meringue made out of the leftover water
from cooking the beans.
That's a bean powder, and that's a bean mousse.
-You're kidding me!
-You are kidding me.
The only different thing is it's an almond outside.
-There is an almond. I knew there was an almond.
-Yeah, the green stuff.
-But everything else is a bean?
-Everything else is a bean.
You are kidding me. So, you can make anything out of a bean, right?
Not only. You use everything, even the water.
No, I don't mean... I don't mean one.
I mean YOU can make anything out of a bean.
-Thank you. Yes.
-You really can.
-Come on, let's go.
-This was delicious.
-That was fantastic.
It's BEAN great. SHE CHUCKLES
But in the 1920s,
there was a man who wanted to shake up the Italian way
of living and thinking.
Everything, from the food they ate
to the attitude towards work and the state.
Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini
dreamt of restoring the glories of the past -
to turn a nation of spaghetti-eaters into gladiators, even gods.
In 1922 he came to power,
determined to transform what was still a very young and weak country.
So beautiful, isn't it? Look at that.
In Rome, he demolished old neighbourhoods,
creating new districts full of angular buildings
and a style known as fascist architecture.
It's really striking, isn't it?
We've come to visit one of his most symbolic architectural projects
in the northern part of Rome.
This is the Stadio dei Marmi, designed by Enrico Del Debbio.
This is very much Mussolini's vision for a new Italy -
The statues evoke the ancient Roman idea of health, physique.
"If our boys can be trained up to win the 100m, the shot put,
"the boxing, then Italy can win a war.
"Italy can rule Europe."
The statues are made of Carrara marble.
-Each one has the name of a different province of Italy.
So, apparently, each of the provinces was to...
They agreed to donate one of the statues.
-Like they had much choice!
-They agreed to donate a statue.
-Oh, I see. So, that's why Venice is the sailor.
Football - that must be Milan, right?
Have you noticed, they all have the same bottom?
It's the bottom of Michelangelo's David.
Also, they're all in this kind of Michelangelo pastiche.
Also, the same style as Hitler's statues.
-Arno Breker. This idea of the Aryan perfect body.
There's a bit of eugenics, I think, about this.
You know, "If we breed from the right stock,
"Italians will all grow to be 20ft tall."
The setting is incredible,
but I can't stop that little bit of sadness
to really think what this really represents -
this delusional moment,
this moment that Italy thought about themselves
really something that we are not.
Is there anywhere else in Europe than...?
Something like that was there from a previous regime
-would have been, like, blown away and broken down.
-That's very Rome.
You know, if you want to find the sculptures created
to project Hitler's idea of Germany, you have to go to the storeroom
of the German Museum of History in Berlin.
If you want to see Stalin's great images of
the Soviet state as he envisaged it,
you have to go to the basement of the New Tretyakov Gallery.
But here in Rome, because, somehow, they have this tolerant attitude
that every part of history, its OK to have it remembered.
I don't think they celebrate it, but they leave it here,
maybe almost now for us as a kind of lesson of a mistake
that shouldn't be made again.
Do you know, in this helmet,
you look a little bit like Mussolini?
Andrew, that's not a very nice thing to say.
Mussolini's idea of displaying power through architecture
was not a new concept.
It has been part of the Roman DNA
since the Caesars built monuments like the Colosseum.
This architecture of power reached its peak
during the age of the Baroque,
when one man above all others used stone and sculpture
to express the glory of the Christian church
in a multitude of breathtaking forms.
The great 17th-century sculptor, painter and architect
Gian Lorenzo Bernini was responsible for many great works,
including the colonnade of St Peter's,
the beautiful statues which line the Sant'Angelo Bridge,
and the masterpiece which stands in this square.
This is Piazza Navona.
This is one of the most beautiful squares in the world.
-Very unusual shape.
-It's an unusual shape
because this was
Imperatore Domiziano Stadium for running.
So, the people used to run around here.
So, we've got the footprint of a stadium,
but now it's a Baroque square, and in the middle,
the most ambitious, perhaps the most brilliant
of Bernini's monuments to the power of the papal states.
-Look at that.
-It's fantastic, isn't it?
You know, he very nearly didn't get to design this because
-the Pope who commissioned it, Innocent X...
..he didn't like Bernini
cos Bernini had done a lot of work for the Pope before.
Bernini played a clever trick, cos he had a female friend -
-an aristocratic friend - who was quite close to the Pope.
And she, one day, took a silver model
that Bernini had made of a fountain -
an imaginary fountain - and took it into the Pamphili Palace.
That was the family palace of the Pope.
And he saw this silver model,
and he said, "Oh, that's my fountain.
"That's the fountain I've been dreaming of."
And she said, "Yes, but it's by Bernini."
And he said, "Oh, well, Bernini's going to have the job.
"I said no, but I've got to say yes cos it's so beautiful."
And this is how it turned out in marble.
-Is that all Carrara marble?
-All Carrara marble
with an entire Egyptian obelisk
pillaged from ancient Egypt by the ancient Romans,
which was set up on top of Bernini's fountain.
So, the idea of the fountain is that the whole world -
symbolised by the great rivers of the four continents -
the whole world is cowering in awe of this papal erection,
this symbol of papal power.
Bernini is such a Roman.
You know, he's almost got Roman marble
in his veins instead of blood.
So, he knows very well that the ancient Roman sculptors
created these figures of the river gods.
But in Bernini, everything is about movement, motion, drama, theatre.
If the Roman river gods of the past have been woken up,
they've been dynamised and energised.
Each one has a different pose.
This one is the River Plate, the New World.
That's the Ganges. That's India.
Isn't that wonderful - the palm tree just sort of
growing up towards the base of the obelisk?
I mean, it's amazing, how it's made of this marble,
and the travertino.
And also this idea of the movement is incredible, isn't it?
Well, the lion is drinking. That's what it's doing.
The lion's come to drink.
-So, this is Africa.
-What animal is that?
Is it a crocodile, an armadillo?
-What is it?
-That's where you can see, in the sculpture,
the limits of his knowledge. He can do a lion...
-..because they had lions in Baroque Rome.
They had... You know, they knew what they looked like.
But, yeah, I think it's meant to be an armadillo,
but it's almost like a dragon in a fairy story.
This fountain is one of the many works by Bernini
to have defined his public image as a great artist,
someone with the title "the man that built Baroque Rome".
But I want to scratch below the surface
to see what else Rome can reveal of him.
Bernini is all over this town, but as a man,
he remains, to most people, I think, quite mysterious.
It's as if you can't really touch his personality.
In fact, he was quite a troubled guy.
He was a very unsuccessful human being.
Yeah, you could put it like that.
He ordered his servant to disfigure his mistress.
He had a lot of problems with his brother.
So, at the centre of his life, there's this profound sense of guilt
and anxiety, but nowhere do you touch it in his work -
except one place, and that's where I want to take you.
Here - Spanish Embassy.
There are two sculptures that give you, if you like,
his personality, and we have an appointment.
OK, let's have a look.
This rarely-seen sculpture
was commissioned by the Spanish Cardinal Montoya in 1619
when Bernini was only 20 years old.
I wanted you to see this cos this is the great Bernini
that no-one ever sees.
This is actually a self-portrait.
This is Bernini's face.
The vein going down his neck, like pumping blood into the...
I mean, his understanding of muscle and things is incredible.
The expression of the nose, the bags under his eyes...
It's like he's there for real.
One of Bernini's great gifts as an artist
would be the ability to turn marble into human expression.
Even Michelangelo doesn't capture this level of expression.
I actually can hear him screaming.
You're right, you can hear. You can hear the cry of anguish!
Bernini was a violent man.
When Bernini's brother slept with Bernini's mistress,
he was so enraged
that he tried to beat his brother to death with a steel bar.
His brother only survived by seeking sanctuary in a local church.
And Bernini then, very brutally,
ordered one of his servants to go and cut the face,
with a razor, of his mistress -
literally to disfigure her
for having injured his face, his reputation.
But do you know what it really represents?
Someone in torment. The soul condemned to damnation.
-So, there he is, screaming,
as he first sees that he's going to experience
the rest of his existence, all eternity, in the flames of hell.
But to fully understand this work of art,
we need to look at its twin - light to its darkness.
Come on this side, cos on this side, we've got the blessed soul -
the soul that goes to heaven.
Bernini placed both of the sculptures
5m away from the other one,
and each had to have a mirror behind it.
And, you know, when you look down mirrors,
you get this perspective of infinite time
-that these sculptures occupy.
-Of course, because you can see...
So, whether you're damned or whether you're blessed,
you're going to be looking into infinity always.
I think maybe you're also meant to think about yourself.
Where am I going to be at the end of the day?
Am I going to be down in the flames of hell with him,
or am I going to be the one with eyes fixed heavenward?
Bernini has left an indelible mark on Rome.
But there is another less celebrated body of work
which is dotted all over the city,
and before we leave, we want to pay tribute to it.
You know these little Madonnas that we keep seeing...
-..here, there, everywhere?
Apparently, there are 2,000 of these Madonnas...
-..here in Rome, and this is one of my favourites.
The Madonna of the Tunnel is what I call her.
I think, here, they call her Maria di Roma.
But isn't that such a wonderful thing?
A piece of folk art, probably been repainted...
..100, 200 times.
You know, this is a mile away from Annibale Carracci,
Caravaggio, Michelangelo, but I love it all the more for that.
It's so Roman. As you say, there's about 2,000 of them around.
So, that means that you have one Madonna,
I've got my Madonna, and he's got his Madonna.
-Every apartment block has its own Madonna.
You know, there's people, they put this little statue,
they put a candle, they put the flowers.
They treat it almost like they might treat their mother's grave in the cemetery.
I love the fact that it's just so straightforward.
Look at these clumsy little...
They're like Roman babies in their nappies,
and they're just happy to be here holding up the Virgin's tunnel.
And the ceiling is actually, you know...
As folk art goes, that's kind of pretty brilliant, isn't it?
It's actually a fresco - real fresco.
HE CHUCKLES And it's just a pedestrian tunnel.
-How more Roman than that can you be?
-That is incredible.
The beauty of this city is immense. There's no beauty like that.
After delving through the many layers of this great city,
we are ending our journey at Rome's foundations.
What a glorious scene. What beautiful light.
-This is incredible.
-That's the Colosseum down at the end there.
It's the corner.
Well, that's 2,000 years of history right there,
and looking down on it, you know, we're looking down
on the central site of all Roman archaeology - the Forum.
And in the past, when I've come here and looked at this view,
I've always imagined, in my mind, I always wondered, you know,
where's Emperor Nero, if we could go back in time?
Where are the senators? Where's Cicero?
-I'm not thinking that, though.
"Hmm, I wonder where the artichoke seller would have been?
"I wonder where the butcher would have come in?
"Where's the Jewish cook?"
"Where is the little Jewish guy that does the recipe?"
We did the archaeology of a different city this time, didn't we?
-A different kind of archaeology.
-We did, we did.
-This is super special.
-Think of all the places that we haven't visited.
We haven't actually been down there in the Forum,
we haven't visited the Colosseum, we haven't seen the Sistine Chapel.
We've done our unpacked thing, where we, you know,
we stick to the edges, we go to the less well-known places.
But, you know, do we feel any worse for that?
Have we missed those other things? I don't think so.
In order to understand this Rome through history,
you've got to also understand the life of the normal people,
not only of the kings and the emperor.
-Yeah, yeah, I agree.
-Or the popes.
I mean, maybe that's the truest version of history.
You know, you try to find the book that is lost
at the bottom of the library.
Try to turn the pages that no-one's read.
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Andrew Graham-Dixon and Giorgio Locatelli continue their exploration of Rome off the beaten track. In search of its Papal, Renaissance and Baroque history, they discover that it is visible all around them. In Rome, everything has been kept, from broken cooking pots from the time of the empire that piled up to form one of the city's hills to the gastronomy, art and architecture created not just by successive popes and Caesars but by ordinary Romans.
As well as marvelling at the mosaics in the 12th-century Basilica di San Clemente, Andrew takes Giorgio to its deepest basement and an ancient Roman schoolteacher's classroom. Then it is on to a true architectural and civic wonder - the vast Testaccio Slaughterhouse, where workers were once paid in offal which they took home and used as the basis of delicious dishes that are still sold in Rome today. Giorgio takes Andrew to his favourite Trippa stall to sample some of the best. Travelling to the Palazzo Colonna, Andrew in turn wants to show Giorgio just one painting - the Beaneater by Carracci, a Baroque masterpiece that makes an everyday subject extraordinary. Finally, together they discover Rome's Fascist architecture, which might have been destroyed anywhere else, but here remains standing in a city that houses all of its history. To understand the truth about the past, they argue, you have to taste all its layers - just like one of Giorgio's lasagnes.