Jamie’s Great Italian Escape


Saturdays at 8PM

This popular six-part travelogue series follows Jaime Oliver as he escapes to Italy in his clapped-out camper van in search of the country’s gastronomic heart .  His quest to re-ignite his passion for cooking and his love of good-quality ingredients. 

leads him off the beaten track to discover people who make up the 'real' Italy.  Oliver goes back to basics, living off the land, meeting the locals and cooking up some traditional Italian food in his own style.

What will the Italians make of him and his food in their own back yard?


EPISODE 1: Sicily
When Jamie Oliver started his Italian tour, he was stunned at the quality of the food served in Sicily’s street markets. Forget greasy burgers from a dodgy stall – in Sicily shoppers can eat like kings as they buy their weekly groceries. Delicacies like artichoke, fresh salads with olives and ripe tomatoes and fillets of fried fish are just some of the tasty dishes on offer. 


EPISODE 2: Marettimo
Golden sunshine, blue seas and fantastic views – no wonder Jamie couldn’t resist kicking off his shoes and relaxing on the beautiful island of Marettimo. As Jamie says: 'There’s something about island life which makes everything go slowly, softly – don’t rush, take your time and you get time to think.' This remote island, one of the Egadi isles off the coast of Sicily, had clearly worked its magic on the workaholic chef. 

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EPISODE 3: Farfa
Members of religious orders have traditionally been known for their good food and wines, so Jamie was looking forward to dining in splendour when he went to stay with the monks of the Benedictine community in Farfa, north of Rome. Tinned vegetables for dinner and a defunct herb garden inspired Jamie to take charge and encourage the monks to enjoy some good eating again.

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EPISODE 4: Le Marche
Jamie's pasta making competition with the Mamas from Le Marche is part of a well-loved tradition in Italy. The English have their village fêtes, with tombolas and coconut shies. In Italy, the locals get together to celebrate their local foods at a sagra. Thousands of sagre take place around Italy to celebrate a particular food or wine from that area.

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EPISODE 5: Puglia
When he prepared a meal for a family of bakers in Puglia, he discovered they had very clear ideas about their traditional dishes like pasta al forno: keep them simple, use good ingredients and don't tamper with the recipes, which have been passed down the generations. One satisfied Italian grandfather praised the meal for being rustico or rustic – traditional peasant food which is the backbone of Italian cuisine. 

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EPISODE 6: Amalfi
Jamie spent six weeks travelling around Italy re-discovering his love of cooking and learning lots about the art of Italian cuisine. Learn to cook wonderful food just like Mama does with these top tips from Jamie's travels.

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