Simon Reeve embarks on an epic four part journey around the Mediterranean, uncovering the wild extremes that lie behind the tourist veneer.

The Mediterranean is the birth place of western civilisation which attracts more than 300 million tourists a year - and is once again at the heart of global conflict.  In episode one Simon travels from Malta along the coast of southern Italy to Albania - a journey that  takes him to the dark heart of the Mediterranean.

Driven by a surge of tourists, modern-day Malta is booming. But beneath the picture-postcard image lies a country accused of being a home to money-laundering and organised crime, where journalists can be murdered by car bombs.

And in Italy’s Deep South Simon finds a land in the grip of Europe’s most powerful mafia. He accompanies police through an extraordinary warren of underground tunnels used by crime bosses on the run, and witnesses the incineration of more than a ton of seized cocaine.

Meanwhile, in an unknown but beautiful corner of the Mediterranean, Albania, Simon discovers an ancient culture of revenge - where if an adult commits a crime, a child could be killed for it.

The series also sees Simon travel around the Eastern Mediterranean, from the island of Cyprus to the troubled Middle East, before crossing North Africa and ending his journey on the more familiar coasts of Spain and France.

Bounded by three continents, the Mediterranean has shaped so much of our history. But’s it’s a region of wild extremes, where extraordinary wealth meets shocking poverty.

Mediterranean with Simon Reeve, on Sunday on BBC Two at 8pm.


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