Yippee, yippee – here is another chance to watch BBC TV’s ROME UNPACKED with art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon and chef Giorgio Locatelli.

I was only moaning on Facebook this afternoon about a desperate need to return to Rome – I am down to my last packet of Babington’s Royal Blend tea leaves, I am walking round the Forum in my sleep these days, I haven’t thrown a coin in a fountain for nearly two years. I need some new boots.

Trevi Fountain, Image Pixabay

Then I switched on BBC Four and what should pop up but the sight of Andrew Graham-Dixon grinding his ancient buttocks on the back of a red Vespa driven by Giorgio Locatelli! There is a Jupiter!

Granted, Andrew Graham-Dixon spends an indecent amount of time not actually doing any work, sitting at pavement cafes and chowing his way through the best of Roman cuisine. So annoying. (Bitter, moi?)

But we get to see some splendid Caravaggios, some Annibale Carraccis, some wolfish graffiti; we visit the Jewish Quarter and some palazzi – and several Roman markets and churches; we get to view a 1 AD portrait in San Clemente al Laterano, home of the Mithras cult – and also discover that Giorgio Locatelli, unlike most of us, does not mind a horse’s arse in the least.

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Caravaggio’s Conversion on the way to Damascus in Santa Maria del Popolo.

You can share the joy of two men of a certain age and differing skills riding round Rome on a red Vespa at BBC iPlayer.

Buon viaggio!

Red Vespa at the ready

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