>> Brava Italia (2010)

Title: Brava Italia

Genre: Documentary

Starring: Paul Sorvino, Francis Ford Coppola

Studio: Acorn Media

Runtime: 178 minutes

Release Date: January 5, 2010

Format: DVD

Discs: 1

MPAA Rating: NR

Rating: 3.80 (out of 4.00)

Grade: A-

Official Site

Special Feature:

Sneak Peek of “Visions of Italy”

No matter how many times you may have visited Italy, there is no way that you will get bored with its history, architecture, arts, music, fashions, and of course food, and that you will be able to visit all of its museums, ruins, wineries and vineyards, cathedrals, domes and churches. This DVD captures outstanding panoramic views from big cities like Rome to picturesque coastal towns near the Mediterranean and the Alps, and introduces and re-introduces beauty and rich traditions of Italy and their influences on today’s cultures. 
 
There are three main parts in this travel documentary. Paul Sorvino as the tour guide (aka the narrator) shows the viewers magnificent landscapes and prominent buildings from ancient and modern times, and gives brief background information about artists like Michelangelo and Raphael, and explorers like Christopher Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci. Not so much into history? Then, you will more likely be interested in “The Proud Tradition” where several people, including Francis Ford Coppola, talk about their Italian roots and their love for Italy. What I like about this travel documentary is that it also presents ordinary local people and their everyday life styles as well as not-so-widely known local festivals and rituals. 
 
Since the running time is less than 3 hours, naturally do not expect an in-depth analysis. However, Brava Italia is adequate enough to motivate people to travel extensively to Italy, to make Italian-Americans proud of their heritage and the rest of us appreciative of contributions by past and present Italians. If you are planning to visit Italy, this DVD gives a good Italy 101 lesson and a preparation of what you should expect.

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