SUBURRA season 1, Netflix - I didn’t think gritty, violent underworld crime dramas were for me, until I became completely hooked on Suburra. Set in Rome, the drama is driven by three young male protagonists from very different worlds – an old mob family, a Romani family vying for more power, and a middle class police family. They’re an unlikely trio, brought together by a mutual interest in blackmailing a Vatican official, while around them war is being waged over who will control a strategic area of the coast. Family, love, politics, religion and criminality all collide, and the talented cast gives the show a great emotional depth.
Villa Medici, Rome - founded by Ferdinando I de' Medici in 1576, this beautiful Villa was a real highlight of a long weekend in Rome. You can only visit by booking onto a tour, so it’s never overrun by tourists. It’s been the home of the French Academy since 1803, and hosts French-speaking artists in residence. The palace façade is stunning, and its hill-top position means the view over the city is breath-taking. It’s amazing that the building is still being lived and worked in, and there’s a wonderful café too.
Frida Kahlo exhibition, Victoria and Albert Museum – we’ve all seen her iconic self-portraits everywhere from posters to mugs and magazines, but I’d never seen her actual work exhibited, and I didn’t know much about her as an artist. I was completely inspired by her bold, revolutionary outlook, her incredible style and charisma.
Modigliani at the Tate Modern – 23rd November 2017 – 2nd April 2018. I’ve always loved Modigliani’s work but had never had the chance to see an exhibition of his work, so when the opportunity arose this year I jumped at the chance. Walking through the various rooms, I was awed by the sheer volume of his works and how each one would draw you in and captivate you. Amadeo Modigliani (1884-1920)was a versatile artist – known for his portraits and nudes characterised by elongated faces, necks and figures. This retrospective of his works created throughout his short life (he died at the age of 35) illustrated how he wasn’t afraid to take risks, often shocking the establishment with his provocative paintings and sculptures. He wasn’t able to gain the recognition which he craved during his lifetime, but is now considered to be one of the great talents of modern art.