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. Most recently, she travelled to Norway to cover the aftermath of the brutal attacks by an ultra-rightwing extremist; to Greece, Spain, and Portugal for the latest on the euro-zone 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.

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 and 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 at 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.

Pages

Environment
4:26 pm
Thu June 18, 2015

Pope Francis Calls For Urgent Action On Climate Change In Encyclical

Originally published on Thu June 18, 2015 8:58 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Environment
4:05 pm
Wed June 17, 2015

Leaked Encyclical Highlights Growing Resistance To Pope's Reform Agenda

Originally published on Wed June 17, 2015 6:27 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Read more
Parallels
5:11 am
Tue June 16, 2015

Will Pope's Much-Anticipated Encyclical Be A Clarion Call On Climate Change?

Pope Francis prays during his general audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican on June 3. The pope has made statements supporting the idea that climate change is man-made, and his upcoming encyclical on the environment and poverty is highly anticipated.
Vincenzo Pinto AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 16, 2015 8:14 pm

In April this year, on Earth Day, Pope Francis urged everyone to see the world through the eyes of God, as a garden to cultivate.

"May the way people treat the Earth not be guided by greed, manipulation, and exploitation, but rather may it preserve the divine harmony between creatures and creation, also in the service of future generations," he said.

Read more
Europe
6:41 am
Mon June 15, 2015

As Migrants Stream In, Italy And The EU Are At Odds

Migrants rest next to the Tiburtina train station in Rome on Sunday. Hundreds of migrants, many from Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea, arrived in recent months on boats from Libya. They were brought to Italy after being rescued at sea.
Filippo Monteforte AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 12:34 pm

A steady surge of migrants crossing the Mediterranean is heightening tensions between Italy and its European Union partners.

Italy is the major destination of migrants smuggled from Libya, and it's calling for a radical change in European asylum rules as its neighbor states are closing their borders to refugees.

The vast majority of refugees reaching Italy want to join relatives or find jobs in northern Europe.

But as the migrant tide grows, neighboring Austria and France have suspended free cross-border movement for migrants.

Read more
The Salt
7:35 am
Sun May 31, 2015

At World's Fair In Italy, The Future Of Food Is On The Table

Carlo Ratti of MIT designed this "supermarket of the future" exhibit. If you move a hand close to a product, a digital display lights up, providing information on origin, nutritional value and carbon footprint.
Courtesy of COOP Italia

Originally published on Tue June 2, 2015 5:57 pm

For the next six months, Italy is hosting a dinner party — and the entire world is invited to attend.

The event, called Expo Milano 2015, is the latest World's Fair. This year's theme is "feeding the planet, energy for life." The global population is projected to pass 9 billion by 2050, and Expo organizers want to start a global conversation now about sustainability, biodiversity and food security.

Read more
Europe
5:18 am
Tue May 26, 2015

Italy's Berlusconi Discovers Social Media As A Campaign Tool

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi finished serving a tax fraud conviction in March.
Luca Bruno AP

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 6:33 pm

Italy holds regional elections Sunday, and one politician trying to make a comeback is the scandal-plagued former prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi.

Taking his cue from Italy's digitally savvy young Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Berlusconi has opened an Instagram account, posting more than 60 photos on the first day alone.

We see the 78-year-old media tycoon holding trophies of his soccer team, A.C. Milan; addressing rallies; and posing with his 29-year-old girlfriend, Francesca Pascale — as well as hugging his white poodle Dudu.

Read more
Parallels
12:36 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Rome's Cinematic 'Dream Factory' Ramps Up Production Once Again

The famous chariot race in Ben-Hur was filmed on a movie set at Cinecittà in 1958.
AP

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 8:27 pm

It's just 15 miles south of Rome, but it looks more like ancient Jerusalem.

Welcome to the vast backlot at Cinecittà, the sprawling movie metropolis where the original Ben-Hur was filmed, and a remake is currently in production.

Read more
Europe
5:10 am
Wed May 13, 2015

EU Commission To Submit Plan To Share In Migrant Burden

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 6:46 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Read more
Europe
5:02 am
Tue May 5, 2015

Relentless Flow Of Migrants Causes Alarm In Italy

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 2:30 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Environment
4:27 pm
Tue April 28, 2015

Vatican Hosts Climate Change Conference Ahead Of Papal Encyclical

Originally published on Tue April 28, 2015 7:53 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Read more
Parallels
4:25 pm
Mon April 27, 2015

For Europe-Bound Migrants, Desperation Outweighs Risks

Migrants crowd an inflatable dinghy as members of the Italian coast guard approach them off the Libyan coast in the Mediterranean Sea on April 22.
Alessandro Di Meo AP

Originally published on Mon April 27, 2015 8:14 pm

After a two-month wait in Libya, Hassan Silla, a 35-year-old from Sierra Leone, made the sea crossing from northern Africa to southern Italy on a smuggler's boat last February.

As one of 76 migrants on a 12-meter-long inflatable dinghy, Silla knew exactly what the risks were. Lawlessness and chaos have gripped Libya, and Silla says migrants from sub-Saharan Africa are the most vulnerable.

While waiting to make the crossing, he lost his best friend.

Read more
Europe
4:31 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

Migrants Fleeing Violence Dock At Sicilian Port Of Augusta

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 7:59 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Read more
Europe
6:29 am
Wed April 22, 2015

Migrants Recall Horrors Of Mediterranean Shipwreck

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 8:55 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

There are more harrowing details emerging from a shipwreck off the coast of Libya last weekend. As many as 900 migrants were said to be onboard; only a handful survived.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Read more
Europe
4:42 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

More Than 800 Dead In Mediterranean Migrant Tragedy

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 6:25 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Read more
Europe
7:43 am
Sat April 18, 2015

Latest Mediterranean Incident Highlights Italy's Migrant Crisis

Originally published on Sat April 18, 2015 10:59 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Read more
Religion
5:15 am
Fri April 17, 2015

Vatican Ends Battle With U.S. Nuns

Pope Francis talks with a delegation of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious during an audience in the pontiff's studio at the Vatican on Thursday. The Vatican announced the unexpected conclusion of a controversial overhaul of the main umbrella group of U.S. nuns.
L'Osservatore Romano AP

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 2:06 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Religion
5:09 am
Mon April 13, 2015

Armenian 'Genocide' Remarks By Pope Francis Spark Row With Turkey

Pope Francis (left) is greeted by the head of Armenia's Orthodox Church, Karekin II, in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. The two met during an Armenian-Rite Mass.
Gregorio Borgia AP

Originally published on Mon April 13, 2015 10:37 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Parallels
3:29 am
Thu April 9, 2015

Rome's Plan For Prostitutes Upsets Sex Workers And The Catholic Church

The Sts. Peter and Paul Basilica is in Rome's EUR district. The area has seen a rise in prostitution, and authorities have approved plans for a red light zone where prostitution will be officially tolerated in certain areas. While much of the community appears to support the move, Catholic groups are among those opposed, saying it legitimizes the exploitation of women.
Filippo Monteforte AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 9:40 am

On Rome's southern outskirts, EUR is a middle- and upper-middle class neighborhood full of parks and office buildings. With tens of thousands of people coming and going every day, the neighborhood has also become a magnet for prostitutes.

This has upset many residents. Now, neighborhood officials are preparing to create a "zone of tolerance," which is welcomed by the local community, but not the Catholic Church or the prostitutes.

Resident Armando Grassi supports the plan to corral streetwalkers somewhere far from his home.

Read more
Parallels
5:08 am
Tue March 10, 2015

Architect Renzo Piano: The Future Of Europe's Cities Is In The Suburbs

Italian architect Renzo Piano talks to journalists in Paris in 2014.
Eric Feferberg AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 12:16 pm

Architect Renzo Piano spends one week a month in his hometown of Genoa, Italy. His house-workshop is perched 300 feet above the Mediterranean Sea and can only be reached by a glass-enclosed funicular that crawls slowly up a steep incline dotted with cypress and olive trees. The airy, multi-story greenhouse workshop buzzes with young architects working on the many Piano projects under way across the world.

Read more
Europe
5:52 am
Mon March 9, 2015

Vatican Says Ransom Sought For Missing Michelangelo Letters

Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 8:20 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

World
8:23 am
Sun March 8, 2015

For Women's Day, Group Takes A Messge To The Vatican

Originally published on Sun March 8, 2015 1:08 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Read more
The Two-Way
12:06 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

James Bond Meets His Match — The Roman Cobblestone

Pedestrians cross the cobblestone Via dei Fori Imperiali in front of Rome's Colosseum.
Gregorio Borgia AP

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 5:54 pm

The headline in today's La Repubblica was, "The streets of Rome bring Bond to a standstill — car hits pothole, Craig suffers head injury."

The newspaper reported that the accident occurred while actor Daniel Craig, reprising the role of the suave British spy in the 24th James Bond thriller, Spectre, was driving one of the movie's four custom-made Aston Martins on a narrow cobblestone street near the Vatican.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:51 am
Fri February 20, 2015

Dutch Soccer Fans Vandalize Rome's La Barcaccia Fountain

A worker shows a destroyed fragment of the fountain called "Barcaccia," at the foot of the Spanish Steps in Rome. The fountain was damaged in clashes as Dutch soccer fans rampaged through the city.
Claudio Peri AP

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 12:58 pm

Some 7000 fans of the Rotterdam soccer team Feyenoord are believed to have traveled to Rome for yesterday's Europa League game against AS Roma.

The game ended in a draw, 1-1, a needed anticlimax after two days of street battles.

On Wednesday, tourists fled and shops hurriedly closed their shutters as Dutch soccer fans took over the central marketplace known as Campo de' Fiori — Field of Flowers — and left it a field of trash.

Read more
Europe
5:05 am
Thu February 19, 2015

Italian Island Bears The Brunt Of Migrant Surge From Libya

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 7:56 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Read more
Religion
8:43 am
Sat February 14, 2015

With New Cardinals, Pope Aims To Widen Horizons Of Church Leadership

Pope Francis leads the consistory at St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. In addition to 15 new electors, Pope Francis named five new cardinals who are over the age of 80 and, therefore, ineligible to vote in a conclave.
Franco Origlia Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 14, 2015 10:54 am

The Vatican was a sea of red vestments Saturday, as Pope Francis formally elevated 20 new cardinals. In a solemn ceremony known as a consistory, the second in Francis' two-year-old papacy, he presided over nearly the entire College of Cardinals at St. Peter's Basilica.

Read more
Religion
4:24 pm
Fri February 13, 2015

Pope Encounters Resistance On Some Reforms

Originally published on Fri February 13, 2015 6:29 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Read more
Europe
5:51 am
Tue February 10, 2015

Migrants' Deaths Blamed On Italy Ending Major Rescue Missions

Originally published on Tue February 10, 2015 7:59 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Read more
Religion
5:21 am
Mon February 9, 2015

Papal Group Considers Sanctions On Bishops Who Cover Up Abuse

Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley of Boston arrives for a meeting of a Vatican commission on sex abuse at the Vatican on Saturday. O'Malley heads the group.
Gregorio Borgia AP

Originally published on Mon February 9, 2015 9:07 am

A commission advising Pope Francis on how to tackle clerical sex abuse of minors has completed its first full meeting at the Vatican. The commission, which has been criticized for its slow start, says it's now drawing up recommended sanctions against bishops who have covered up cases of abuse.

Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston, head of the commission, told reporters it's drafting practical recommendations on making bishops accountable for cover-ups and failure to prevent abuse.

Read more
Parallels
4:35 pm
Thu February 5, 2015

Decades After His Murder, An Archbishop Is Put On Path To Sainthood

Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador (shown in 1977) was gunned down in a church in San Salvador in 1980 after criticizing a government crackdown. He had been celebrating Mass at the time.
AP

Originally published on Fri February 6, 2015 8:28 am

Archbishop Oscar Romero was one of the most prominent and controversial religious figures in Latin America when he was gunned down in 1980 during the early stages of El Salvador's civil war. His legacy has been debated ever since.

But just this week, Pope Francis ruled that Romero was killed "out of hatred for the faith," making him a martyr and setting the stage for his beatification.

Read more
Religion
6:17 am
Tue February 3, 2015

Vatican's Women Initiative Gets Off To A Bad Start

A screenshot from a video produced by the Vatican with Italian actress Nancy Brilli.
YouTube

Originally published on Tue February 3, 2015 12:40 pm

Even before it opens Wednesday, the Vatican's outreach initiative toward women got off to a bad start.

A promotional video produced ahead of a conference on women's issues has been widely ridiculed as a sexist stereotype of the modern Western woman.

The Vatican's Pontifical Council for Culture is sponsoring the conference on Women's Cultures: Equality and Difference.

Read more

Pages