Italy's Invisible Cities

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Series 1 - Episode 2 Venice



“I’ve never been more grateful that I’ve not done a scuba course,” smiles a relieved Alexander Armstrong as Dr Michael Scott disappears below the surface of a murky, silted-up Venetian canal.

This muddy swamp became a watery wonderland as a result of being built on wooden foundations – 6,000 wooden piles were driven into the sludge to hold up the Rialto Bridge – but they’re starting to rot, which is why the city is sinking. Back on dry(ish) land, Armstrong explores the labyrinthine internal structure of the Doge’s Palace, including the torture chamber where Casanova was interrogated. Even creepier is the desolate Island of Black Death, where tens of thousands died.


Alexander Armstrong and Dr Michael Scott explore the Italian city of Venice, using 3D technology to discover how a city built in a swamp came to be one of the most powerful locations in Medieval Europe. The pair dive deep into the many canals in this unique place to experience how its buildings still remain standing to this day, and highlight how Venice's beauty once masked a ruthless secret state, and a world of excess and vice.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Alexander Armstrong
Presenter Dr Michael Scott
Executive Producer Chris Granlund
Series Director Harvey Lilley
Series Producer Harvey Lilley