Images of Northern Ireland will be seen by an audience of some 500,000 people across Italy next month, after one of the country’s most popular travel programmes, Diari di Viaggio (meaning ‘Travel Diary’), filmed on location here last week.
Invited here by Tourism Ireland in Italy, the programme’s presenter, Ciro Di Maio, and crew spent five days filming in various locations around Northern Ireland. The result will be two hour-long programmes, broadcast in June on the Marcopolo TV channel.
In an itinerary devised by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, the Italians overnighted in Newcastle at the Slieve Donard Hotel, before continuing to Downpatrick, where they spent time at the St Patrick Centre. En route to Belfast, the crew stopped off at the National Trust’s Mount Stewart House and Gardens on the Ards Peninsula, as well as at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum at Cultra. In Belfast, Titanic Belfast was their first port of call; and then it was on to the Crumlin Road Gaol and the famous Crown Bar. Filming also took place along the Causeway Coastal Route, with stops at Carrickfergus Castle, the walled garden at Glenarm, the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, the Giant’s Causeway and Dunluce Castle. The final day of filming was in Londonderry, focusing on this year’s extremely busy UK City of Culture programme. The crew enjoyed a guided tour of the city’s walls, as well as a visit to the Tower Museum.
Niamh Kinsella, Tourism Ireland’s manager in Italy, said: “We are delighted that the crew of Diari di Viaggio has chosen to film two episodes in Northern Ireland. This programme is really popular among travellers in Italy and is a wonderful way to showcase Northern Ireland as a ’must-see’ holiday destination. Television and film are recognised as strong influencers for prospective holidaymakers and Tourism Ireland regularly works with TV and production companies around the world, to facilitate the making of travel and lifestyle programmes and films in Northern Ireland and elsewhere around the island of Ireland. The publicity value of a TV programme like this is incalculable – it is a great way of promoting our tourism product in Italy.”