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.
Pope Francis celebrated Christmas Eve Mass in St. Peter's Basilica as COVID-19 infections surge in Italy.
Trieste has a reputed approach to bringing people with mental illnesses out of hospitals and into the community. Now the region's hard-right politicians are breaking the system apart.
President Biden is beginning his European trip by meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican. These two leaders know each other quite well, and share many of the same concerns.
One of the world's largest regattas, the Barcolana in Trieste, Italy, held its 69th race this week. It is a time to celebrate the good life.
Vatican prosecutors accuse a once-powerful cardinal, as well as nine other people, with defrauding the Holy See of millions of dollars. Their trial started this week after a two-year investigation.
For a long time, the Catholic Church rejected scientific findings that conflicted with its doctrine, even persecuting Galileo. Now the Vatican looks to promote its observatory as a bridge to science.
The first major revision of Catholic canon law in nearly four decades redefines clerical sex abuse and mandates specific punishments. It also sets punishments for the attempted ordination of women.
The series is Italy's first with a majority Black cast. Lead actor Giuseppe Dave Seke tells NPR that Zero is "opening up a door in Italy that was just waiting to be opened."
Italy is in mourning after a cable car in the country's majestic northern lakes region plunged to the ground. The disaster is reviving questions about the safety of Italy's transport infrastructure.
The possible plan could affect President Biden, among other Catholic political figures. The Vatican is calling for U.S. bishops to reach a consensus and says any such move could sow division.