Sylvia Poggioli

Sylvia Poggioli is senior European correspondent for NPR's International Desk covering political, economic, and cultural news in Italy, the Vatican, Western Europe, and the Balkans. Poggioli's on-air reporting and analysis have encompassed the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, the turbulent civil war in the former Yugoslavia, and how immigration has transformed European societies.

Since joining NPR's foreign desk in 1982, Poggioli has traveled extensively for reporting assignments. These include going to Norway to cover the aftermath of the brutal attacks by a right-wing extremist; to Greece, Spain, and Portugal reporting on the eurozone crisis; and the Balkans where the last wanted war criminals have been arrested.

In addition, Poggioli has traveled to France, Germany, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Sweden, and Denmark to produce in-depth reports on immigration, racism, Islam, and the rise of the right in Europe.

She has also travelled with Pope Francis on several of his foreign trips, including visits to Cuba, the United States, Congo, Uganda, Central African Republic, Myanmar, and Bangladesh.

Throughout her career Poggioli has been recognized for her work with distinctions including the WBUR Foreign Correspondent Award, the Welles Hangen Award for Distinguished Journalism, a George Foster Peabody, National Women's Political Caucus/Radcliffe College Exceptional Merit Media Awards, the Edward Weintal Journalism Prize, and the Silver Angel Excellence in the Media Award. Poggioli was part of the NPR team that won the 2000 Overseas Press Club Award for coverage of the war in Kosovo. In 2009, she received the Maria Grazia Cutulli Award for foreign reporting.

In 2000, Poggioli received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Brandeis University. In 2006, she received an honorary degree from the University of Massachusetts Boston together with Barack Obama.

Prior to this honor, Poggioli was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences "for her distinctive, cultivated and authoritative reports on 'ethnic cleansing' in Bosnia." In 1990, Poggioli spent an academic year at Harvard University as a research fellow at Harvard University's Center for Press, Politics, and Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government.

From 1971 to 1986, Poggioli served as an editor on the English-language desk for the Ansa News Agency in Italy. She worked at the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy. She was actively involved with women's film and theater groups.

The daughter of Italian anti-fascists who were forced to flee Italy under Mussolini, Poggioli was born in Providence, Rhode Island, and grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She graduated from Harvard College with a bachelor's degree in romance languages and literature. She later studied in Italy under a Fulbright Scholarship.

In the fight to slow the spread of COVID-19 and to vaccinate its population, Italy is making COVID-19 health passes mandatory for all workers — becoming the first European country to do so.

In a newly approved measure introduced Thursday by the Italian government, officials said digital vaccine certificates will be mandatory for all employees across the country.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy — At a time of growing diffidence toward some new scientific discoveries, the one and only Vatican institution that does scientific research recently launched a campaign to promote dialogue between faith and science.

It's the Vatican Observatory, located on the grounds of the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, a medieval town in Alban Hills 15 miles southeast of Rome.

ROME — Pope Francis on Tuesday issued a major revision of Catholic Church laws regulating clerical sex abuse, fraud and the attempt to ordain women. It is known as an apostolic constitution with the title, Pascite Gregem Dei, or "Tend the Flock."

ROME — In a TV landscape where racial insensitivity is rampant, Netflix's Italian-language series Zero is a milestone: Italy's first TV series with a predominantly Black cast.

A superhero fantasy meets coming-of-age story of second-generation Italians, Zero stands out for depicting the country's increasingly multicultural society.

The Vatican's top enforcer of doctrine has sent a warning to U.S. bishops about a potential proposal by some conservative clergy to deny communion to Catholic elected officials who support legislation allowing abortion.

The possible plan could affect President Biden, among other Catholic political figures.

Three decades after the end of the Cold War, it appears the Italian capital Rome is reviving its role as "Open City" – a crossroads of international espionage and intrigue.

Italy today ordered the expulsion of two Russian embassy officials following the arrest of an Italian Navy captain on spying charges. The captain, identified by Italian media as Walter Biot, was reportedly caught Tuesday evening as he handed over allegedly top-secret documents to one of the Russian diplomats in exchange for money.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NOEL KING, HOST:

ROME — The second Roman Catholic president in American history is a devout man who makes no secret of the importance of faith in his life. President Joe Biden is a regular churchgoer, often quotes St. Augustine and carries a rosary that belonged to his late son Beau. In one of the first images released of him in the Oval Office, a photo was visible behind his desk showing him with Pope Francis.

Italians are used to hearing the words, "Once again, the government in Rome has collapsed." Now another Italian leader is resigning — but this time, it risks plunging the country into political chaos while still in the grips of the coronavirus pandemic and deep economic turmoil.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte handed in his resignation to the president on Tuesday following weeks of political uncertainty and a split in the governing coalition over his handling of the second wave of COVID-19 and recovery funds from the European Union.

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