- Francesco da Mosto
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Episode 4 of 12
Duration: 30 minutes
On the next step of his sea voyage from Venice to Istanbul, Francesco da Mosto is sailing into the Bay of Kotor where Venetian sailors knew they were leaving safe waters for the dangers of pirates and the ships of rival powers.
So perhaps it's wise for Francesco and the crew to stop off at the magical little church of Santuario della madonna della scarpello, perched on a few rocks in the open sea. Here Venetian sailors prayed for a safe voyage or, if they were lucky, where they offered thanks to God for a safe return.
Many Venetian ships came to grief here - if not through attack then they fell victim to the elements. Off the coast of Montenegro, Francesco dives to a shipwreck deep on the ocean bed.
Next is Ulcinj - a pirate fortress town - where captives taken by pirates were held before being sold into slavery. Even today it has an air of menace. Francesco sees the original cells where Venetians unlucky enough to fall into the hands of the pirates were imprisoned.
Next stop is Durres on the coast Albania - poor and facing an uncertain future after the all-too-recent rule of Communist dictator, Enver Hoxha. The capital city of Tirana is still the stuff of spies and Cold War intrigue but the colourful city Mayor is pinning his hopes on a dramatic make-over of the city.