Francesco’s Mediterranean Voyage

Francesco's Mediterranean Voyage

Conditions at sea are turning rough as Francesco da Mosto continues his journey, sailing from Venice to Istanbul. The coastline is stunning, but he cannot fail to notice the scars of war that followed hard on the collapse of Yugoslavia.

His first stop is the great Mostar bridge – an ancient symbol of unity destroyed in a moment of madness in war and now rebuilt. Once again, the young men of the town take their lives in their hands and leap from the bridge to prove their manhood. Francesco then travels to the nearby town of Medugorje, where locals claim to have seen the Virgin Mary, promising a new era of peace and prosperity.

Then begins some island-hopping and reminders of Venice – the beautiful island of Hvar is like a home from home, and the crew enjoy their first night out on the town. Heading for Korcular, Francesco berates the locals for trying to claim it was birthplace to Marco Polo.

Then on to the medieval city of Dubrovnik, a great trading city-state and still one of the most beautiful cities in the world. What better place for Francesco to discover the secret of eternal youth than in the great Franciscan monastery at the heart of the old town!

Francesco’s Mediterranean Voyage – Saturday 10.40pm on BBC4