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The lakes of Italy’s far north are known for their enchanting allure. The series ‘Jewels of the Alps’ explores the five largest of them – Lake Maggiore, Lake Como, Lake Iseo, Lake Lugano and Lake Garda. Each film portrays one of them, showing us a unique natural environment in the cycle of the changing seasons and introducing us to local people with a special connection to the lake.
All five of the lakes are born of glaciers and are unique in Europe as the juncture of two contrasting worlds: a place where Alpine and Mediterranean environments meet. Sophisticated helicopter footage gives a bird’s eye view of the remarkable features of the terrain – from the Alpine peaks to the flat plain of the Po River Valley. The Upper Italian animal kingdom holds many surprises in store, including a herd of wild deer at Lake Como, a baby fire salamander with a striking resemblance to an underwater dragon, and marmots on sentry duty at the mouth of their burrow by Lake Garda. We visit people whose lives are closely connected with the lakes. Their stories: authentic and unexpected. We accompany speleologists on an expedition into a previously unexplored limestone cave by Lake Iseo; we meet a man cultivating tea by Lake Maggiore; and at Lake Como, 94-year-old Nonna Pupa shows us how she turned a rubbish dump into a very special garden