Where is it?


Why do you go there?

My wife Anna's family are from there and it is special to us. I like to practise my Italian and I find it best to do it in Italy.

I'm a huge history buff and you have Etruscan history, the ancient Roman Empire, the start of Christianity and the Renaissance – you can't move without bumping into something beautiful. The food is incredible. The people are smart.

How often do you go?

Usually, we are in Italy every year and in Rome every couple of years. The last time I went was filming my show, Big Weekends with Gregg Wallace, in August 2019.

How did you discover it?

It was before I met my wife. Because I have a love for history, I wanted to go. I wandered around Rome. I could not stop walking. Yes, it is dirty and noisy in parts but that is how it is supposed to be.

HeraldScotland: Gregg Wallace visits the Colosseum in Rome. Picture: Channel 5Gregg Wallace visits the Colosseum in Rome. Picture: Channel 5

What's your favourite memory?

Lunches with my wife who speaks great Italian, so we don't need to go anywhere with an English-translated menu. Big long lunches outside in a courtyard or an alleyway under an umbrella, sitting there with a cheap house wine and simple food.

Romans have a lovely saying: the more you spend, the worse you eat. I also love sitting outside in the Jewish quarter because that is where you find the best food in Rome.

The simplest and most wonderful thing you can do in Rome is to sit in a piazza with a drink and a bowl of nibbles. It doesn't cost a fortune. It is not the five-star experience. But it is the best experience and it's what the people of Rome do.

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When the people of Rome go out for a walk in the evening, they are not going anywhere. The reason they are walking slowly is they haven't got a destination in mind. Live like the Romans. Go out, sit down, have a drink and a bowl of nibbles, then watch Rome go by.

Who do you take?


What do you take?

A jar of Colman's English mustard because, invariably, there is going to be a buffet breakfast with sausages, bread and ham. I take it in my suitcase.

What do you leave behind?

My to-do list.

Sum it up in five words.

History. Food. Art. People. Clothes.

HeraldScotland: Gregg Wallace and his tour guide, Sandro, see Rome like locals, on the back of a scooter. Picture: Channel 5Gregg Wallace and his tour guide, Sandro, see Rome like locals, on the back of a scooter. Picture: Channel 5

What travel spot is on your post-lockdown wish list?

Twice we have managed to rent a house in Italy for a month. I would like to do the same thing again.

Top of my wish list are South Africa and Venice. I spent January last year working in South Africa and my wife hasn't seen it. I'm keen to take her to the winelands and get her on safari. Anna has never been to Venice. It is busy and expensive, but it is so romantic.

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Another place I would like to visit is the Kalahari. There are great places along the Orange River that are so tranquil.

Big Weekends with Gregg Wallace begins on Channel 5, Friday, 9pm