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.

A private funeral is being held Friday in Fiumicello, the northern Italian hometown of a doctoral student whose badly battered body was found Feb. 3 on the outskirts of Egypt's capital, Cairo. The case has sparked outrage among Italians — who suspect Egyptian security forces were involved. Giulio Regeni, a 28-year-old student from Cambridge University, was doing research on independent trade unions — a touchy topic in Egypt. On Jan. 25, the fifth anniversary of the uprising that ousted the...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: Now for news on historic talks. You might even call them peace talks. A week from today, Pope Francis will meet with the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kyril. It will be the first time the leaders of the two Christian faiths will meet, following a dispute that divided the churches more than a millennia ago. NPR's Sylvia Poggioli has the story. SYLVIA POGGIOLI, BYLINE: The meeting was...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: Italian lawmakers are debating a proposal to allow civil unions. That's considered a step forward for gay and lesbian couples. Italy is the only nation in Western Europe that has not legalized same-sex marriage or civil unions, a status that's considered just short of marriage. Needless to say, this bill has prompted plenty of debate, especially a provision involving adoptions. We're going to talk it all through...

Same-sex marriage or civil unions are legal throughout Western Europe, including many traditionally Catholic countries. The last holdout is Italy, where the Senate is about to take up a bill on Thursday that would legalize civil unions — though it would not authorize gay marriage.

Tens of thousands of Italians took to the streets last weekend in some 100 cities demanding legalization of civil unions, including those of gay and lesbian couples. "Italy, it's time to wake up," they...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: Trade isn't the only thing the Iranian president talked about in Italy today. He also had a meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican which included a conversation about fostering peace with other Middle Eastern countries. NPR's Sylvia Poggioli has more. SYLVIA POGGIOLI, BYLINE: The meeting lasted 40 minutes - long by Vatican standards, and a Holy See statement described it as cordial. It said the pope...

In winter, Rome has one of the mildest climates among European cities. It attracts not only off-season tourists, but also migratory birds such as starlings, which may be outliving their welcome. For much of the day, Rome's visiting starling population feeds in olive groves in the countryside. Well-fed, they start making their presence in the city known in midafternoon. That's when walking under tree-lined streets becomes dangerous. Kids run fast to avoid being hit by bird droppings. It's not...

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

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: Pope Francis visited a mosque today. He is not the first pope to visit a Muslim house of worship, but he is the first to visit one that at the time was blockaded by Christian militia. Today, Francis met with the Muslim community of Bangui, which is the capital of the Central African Republic. Most of the city's Muslims have fled in the past year because of sectarian violence. Their neighborhood is still ringed by...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript MICHEL MARTIN: We begin this evening in Africa, where Pope Francis is making his first visit as pontiff. The pope is in the Central African Republic. It's the third and final leg of his trip. That nation also known as CAR is deeply divided along sectarian and communal lines. It's a conflict that's been carried out between warring Christian and Muslim militias. We wanted to hear more about the pope's message to the Central...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: Pope Francis touched down in Bangui, Central African Republic today, the final leg of his first ever Africa tour. Central African Republic, or CAR, has been plagued by tensions between Christian and Muslim militias. And the pontiff arrived under heavy security. His plans include a visit to a Catholic Church as well as a mosque. NPR's Sylvia Poggioli has been traveling with the pope, and she joins us...

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