Bradshaw's 1913 Continental Railway Guide in hand, Michael Portillo visits Italy, where he experiences first-hand the nation's need for speed in a state-of-the-art Maserati sports car. Michael discovers how the leaning tower of Pisa was rescued from ... (more)near collapse. In Carrara, he finds out how the marble used by Michelangelo is still quarried today and is invited to chip away at a contemporary sculpture. In Bologna, he embarks on a doomed search for spaghetti Bolognese until a cookery teacher shows him how to make a much more authentic tagliatelle al ragu. Following in the footsteps of Bradshaw's travellers, Michael explores the cradle of the Renaissance through Edwardian eyes. Heading north to Gargnano, Michael discovers the romantic hideaway of one of Britain's most famous writers, DH Lawrence, whose affair with his professor's wife scandalised his home country. Michael ends his journey in futuristic style with a high speed boat trip across Lake Garda.