Francesco da Mosto

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Historian & Presenter

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Da Mostos have been a part of the fabric of Venice since the 5th century. A map marking one ancestor’s discovery of the Cape Verde islands still hangs in the family palazzo. These days Francesco introduces BBC viewers to Italian art and culture, after a cameo role explaining local history to Doctor Who.


Francesco da Mosto was born into a noble family, whose history can be traced back to fifth century Venetian society, while one ancestor is credited with the discovery of Cape Verde. He has presented a number of programmes on Italy, architecture and history for the BBC.

A trained architect and life-long Venice resident, Francesco headed up the Public Works Administration in Venice and then set up his own firm, rebuilding and restoring buildings in the lagoon and completing the Luxembourg pavilion for the Biennale. Interviewed as part of a BBC programme he was swiftly signed up for a series of his own. Francesco’s Venice was broadcast in 2004, spawning several spin-offs and accompanying books.

In speeches Francesco regales audiences with the story of his family and of Venice, and investigates the love affair that the British have with Umbria and Tuscany. Other television appearances have included such diverse programmes as Dr Who Confidential, What Not to Wear and Derren Brown: Trick of the Mind.

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