This four-DVD set from Acorn Media’s educational label Athena features all 10 episodes from the 2005 Channel Five series, beautifully transferred in glorious video 1.66:1 widescreen presentations. Accompanying the breathtaking imagery is a more-than-suitable stereo soundtrack and English (SDH) subtitles should anyone have difficulty with the English or Italian accents.
Several special features on Disc 4 are in the form of text-only and range in subjects from Bios to Tour Tidbits (such as the English use of the slang word “macaroni”). A small 20-page booklet is also included with the packaging, offering readers/viewers a guide to the episodes, as well as questions to consider (you’ll feel like you’re back in school with this one).
Whether he is teaching us about the works of Michelangelo, reminding us that just because some art is old, does not mean it’s good, or informing us how the present-day garden gnome evolved from gigantic phallic symbols in ancient Pompeii, Brian Sewell’s Grand Tour Of Italy is a marvel to behold. It’s informative, original, and damn funny to boot.