In this beautiful food series, the kings of Italian cuisine – Antonio Carluccio and Gennaro Contaldo – return to Italy to remember their own pasts and discover how the culinary capital of the world is changing the way it cooks and eats.
6 Jul 2012 - 3:31 PM  UPDATED 31 Mar 2021 - 9:16 AM


The episodes will surprise and dispel clichés by revealing how aspects of Italian life are changing. Antonio and Gennaro will uncover a changed Italy in some areas and a fiercely traditional, untouched world in others.

In each episode, Carluccio and Contaldo create dishes using recipes, ingredients and influences they discover along their journeys, as well as some of their own favourite traditional meals. Much of their time is spent cooking, eating and learning from people they meet along the way.



Episode 1-Calabria and Bambinone

Monday 20 July at 3:30pm on SBS
Italians are sentimental about childhood, especially in the south, where children are idolised and even revered. And because life for little boys is so very good, there is a part of every Italian male that never grows up.


Episode 2 - Liguria and La Bella Figura
Monday 27 July at 3:30pm on SBS
The boys explore how Italy's social history has created a culture of admiration for superficial accoutrements in the showbiz port of Portofino. They embark on a journey to the mountain tops and back to try and re-discover the heart and soul of real Italian bella figura through food and the people who produce it.


Episode 3 - The Alps and Arrangiarsi
Monday 3 August at 3:30pm on SBS
Arrangiarsi is the art of making do. Italians are known throughout the world for their wily ability to create something out of nothing. In the Rhaetian Alps, this was borne of a need to survive. Gennaro sees if he still has the ability to live by l'arte di arrangiarsi and insists that he and Antonio only eat what food they can get for free. They enjoy chestnut gnocchi, bresaola and fresh butter.


Episode 4 - Rome and Machismo
Monday 10 August at 3:30pm on SBS
Italian men used to be macho, able to stand up for their honour, woo women and do the tough things that macho men do. In Rome - where fathers sent their sons to become "men" - the boys look at the modern Italian man and ask if there is still a place in Italy for macho men.



Episode 1

Orange rice cake
Pearl barley with spinach and pork mince
Fish soup-stew

Episode 2
Silk handkerchief pasta with pesto

Episode 3
Bresaola salad
Buckwheat pasta with potatoes and Swiss chard
Alpine pizza

Episode 4
Pasta with a chilli, bacon and tomato sauce



Antonio Carluccio is one of Italy's great food ambassadors. He has written fourteen best selling books, and made numerous television programmes. In 1998, Antonio was appointed Commendatore, the equivalent of a British knighthood, for his knowledge, enthusiasm and lifetime's service to the Italian food industry.

Gennary Contaldo is a highly respected chef in London as well as a renowned personality in his own right. He is widely known as the Italian legend who taught Jamie Oliver all he knows about Italian cooking.