Tonight in Joanna Lumley’s Great Cities of the World we visit Rome, as Joanna zips into the city on the back of a Vespa.
The Pantheon and Trevi Fountain are the first sites ticked off the list. Joanna says: “It’s very charming and because of the film ‘Three Coins in a Fountain’, people always throw coins into the fountain and it meant that if you throw a coin in, you would come back to Rome. I’d empty my bank of coins and come and live in Rome!”
Joanna considers Rome’s history and how it became a playground for glitzy film stars. She meets one of the city’s most famous paparazzi to hear tales of fights with Mick Jagger, the allure of Katharine Hepburn and how one of the photos he took could have singlehandedly paid for a new house!
Before dawn, Joanna heads to the Vatican Museum for a 5.15am date with the gatekeeper responsible for a total of 2791 keys. He reveals the secret hiding place of the only key to the Sistine Chapel itself and together they unlock miles of corridors filled with exquisite treasures, leading to the Sistine Chapel.
Joanna then has a quick lesson from a master of pizza-making and after perfecting her dough, she enjoys their creation for lunch; a square pizza made using chickpea paste, radish and lashings of Italian honey.
After being unable to resist a visit to The Colosseum, which is over 2000 years old and still dominates the city, Joanna is reminded of some of the city’s darker history. Finally, she heads to The Opera House to meet the cast of a new operatic production of Julius Caesar, just days before its world premiere.
7:40pm tonight on ABC.