This article, written by The Telegraph., appears on
I am often asked just how Italian I feel. I am inescapably Italian. My heritage, my Roman Catholic upbringing, everything I cook and so many childhood memories underlie my British education, my London upbringing and most of my working life.
After the last series for Channel 5, for which I travelled from north to south of mainland Italy, I could not ignore the islands.
Italy was united only in 1871. Each region still feels unique, keeping individual traditions, food specialities and dialects. Any Italian still now will say that they are Milanese, or Roman, or Venetian, rather than Italian. We are a people forged from our sense of place, and the intervening years of nationhood have done nothing to change that.
What is true on the mainland is exacerbated on the islands. The island character is a very special one. It takes great strength of mind and individualism to live on a rock, in the middle of the sea, cut off from mainland life whenever the weather takes against you.
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