Antonio Carluccio travels to Sicily to discover more about one of the most successful novels ever written in the Italian language, The Leopard, by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa. Whilst tracing the locations that inspired the book, Antonio cooks the food that is such an integral part of the lives of its characters. Giuseppe Tomasi, Prince of Lampedusa, who died in 1957, had seen his family fortune disappear during his lifetime. The Palermo palace he lived in as a child had been destroyed by American bombing in the Second World War and the family's country villa was reduced to rubble by an earthquake. Lampedusa was acutely nostalgic for the aristocratic world of his childhood and at the end of his life he wrote a novel, based on the life of his great grandfather, that recreated this lost paradise. Basing himself in the kitchen of a 16th century villa, Antonio recreates the meals of the 1860s that Lampedusa describes with such artistry. He explores the history of Italian unification that forms the background of the novel and ventures into the vibrant city of Palermo to find the street food that is still an important part of the Sicilian way of life. Antonio discovers the way that food is central to Sicilian culture, with Greek, Arab, Norman and Spanish invaders all having contributed to the island's unique cuisine. He also meets Lampedusa's adopted son and learns how this eccentric and impoverished nobleman died before his only novel was published, causing a sensation in Italy and sparking a national debate on the eve of the centenary of the unification it described.