21 June, Sicily – ‘All Over The Place – Europe’
I thought I’d seen Roman ruins in Britain in places like Bath and Fishbourne, but they look decidedly underwhelming compared with what we experienced today. Villa Romana Del Casale was discovered buried in the remains of a mud slide in the 1950s. It has some of the best preserved mosaics in the world. The huge villa with its numerous rooms once belonged to a Roman official and the mosaics would have taken at least 10 years to lay down. Normally the public can only gaze at them from overhead walkways, but being a film crew we were allowed full access. Felt slightly guilty tip toeing over the beautifully preserved images of women in bikinis practicing sport, cherubs catching fish and men playing musical instruments, but our Italian guides seemed to have a slightly more laid back approach than similar types of people I’ve met working in Britain. I think they thought having us there was a big deal.
After scoffing yet more top class Italian food in the tourist canteen it was off to the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento. It’s a reasonably large area littered with temples and the foundations of what was once an Ancient Greek colony. Victoria and I donned togas and rather un-period flip flops and threw ourselves around dancing to an Ibiza style tune as the sun went down. Collapsed onto my hotel bed late that night feeling utterly shattered. The last 2 days have been long and hot and I can taste the end of the block in 2 days time. I do love my job and consider myself incredibly lucky to have seen the things I’ve seen making this show over the last 4 years, but being away from home a lot means that home is the biggest treat of all.