Program 622: UK Royals; Lost Pianos of Siberia; Action in the Piazza

Release Date: 12-05-2020


"Have you got a piano?" Sophy Roberts tells us how that simple question warmed her up to the people of Siberia on a search for historic pianos in the Russian Far East. Plus, find out how you can get close to the sites and treasures of the British royal family. And author Frances Mayes explains how piazzas play a vital role in the life of Italian towns and cities — and shares her personal favorites. 


  • Elizabeth Boardman, tour guide based in Bath, England
  • Paul Guest, tour guide from Bournemouth, England
  • Journalist Sophy Roberts, author of "The Lost Pianos of Siberia" (Grove Press)
  • Frances Mayes, author of "See You in the Piazza" (Crown) and "Frances Mayes Always Italy" (National Geographic)

Additional Info

  • Royal.UK is the official website of the Queen and the British Royal family.
  • The Church of Scotland's Crathie Kirk, adjacent to Balmoral Castle, is administered by Scotland's Churches Trust.  Sunday services begin at 11:30am.
  • Sophy Roberts describes her search for a decent piano to give to Mongolian pianist Odgerel Sampilnorov in her book "The Lost Pianos of Siberia."
  • Sophy and photographer Michael Turek created an exquisite short video to accompany the release of her new book. The piano music you hear being played near the beginning is the first notes Odgerel plays in Mongolia on the actual instrument Sophy found for her in Russia. 
  • Frances Mayes is the author of "See You in the Piazza," and the National Geographic photo essay book "Frances Mayes Always Italy."
  • More than 200 small towns in Italy are listed as attractive visitor destinations on the Bandiera Arancione (Orange Banner) website.
  • Caller Brad in Virginia enjoyed being in the village of Marostica, in the Veneto, for its biennial living chess game re-enactment in the piazza. The 2020 event has been postponed to September, 2021.  

Program Extras

More with Liz Boardman and Paul Guest - Tour guides Liz Boardman and Paul Guest tell Rick how you can view some of the royal art collection in galleries at some of the Queen's homes, in the summer. And Paul reminds us that the Royal Yacht Britannia, anchored off Edinburgh, is her favorite vacation excursion. (runs 2:42)