The trip begins on the first loop of Mont Saint-Michel in northern France, an island that seems to dance between land and sea to the rhythm of the tides. Home to a famous Benedictine abbey, it lies in the middle of a vast bay open to the English Channel, where the tides are among the strongest in Europe. In the most intense phase the sea withdraws about twenty kilometres, only to return afterwards, isolating the monastery from the mainland. Then it continues to Lisbon, in Portugal, Europe’s western gateway open to the immensity of the oceans. From the Tower of Belém, to the embroidery of the Jeronimos Monastery, Alberto Angela talks about this wonderful city that lies on the banks of the Tagus River and overlooks the ocean. It takes us by tram through the narrow streets of Alfama, the old Arab quarter, to discover the wonderful azulejos of the Palace of the Marquess of Frontera, all the way to the Carmo Chapel where the magnificent Dulce Pontes sings to the tunes of Maestro Ennio Morriconi. .
The Italian stage of this episode is Verona, the city of Verona that inspired the literary love of Romeo and Juliet. In the arena, an ancient amphitheater made to house gladiators and now one of the largest opera houses in the world, Alberto Angela meets Roberto Ball, the legendary Romeo of the dance. On Juliet’s Balcony, Riccardo Coquiante interprets a passage from his popular opera dedicated to the lovers of the tragedians.
The journey ends in Chartres, a French town with the oldest and best preserved Gothic cathedral on the Old Continent. Its famous stained glass windows, which have been preserved intact for nine centuries, give their name to the colour, the famous ‘Chartres blue’. The mysterious labyrinth in the center of the nave is actually an elementary path that leads believers to salvation.
“Wonders – Stars of Europe” is a 4K production by Rai Cultura directed by Gabriele Cipollitti with photography by Vincenzo Calò. Written by Alberto Angela with Fabio Butarelli, Ilaria DeGano, Vito Lamberti, Aldo Biro, Emilio Quinto.
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