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.
Drawing on a centuries-old tradition, a Naples couple has begun lowering baskets from their balcony. People are encouraged to take food they need, and others are encouraged to add food to the baskets.
With church soup kitchens closed because of the coronavirus, an Italian couple in Naples are feeding the homeless and hungry by lowering baskets of food from apartment balconies.
As the country moves into its fourth week of lockdown, the head of Italy's national institute of health announced that the country "has reached a plateau" in its infection rate.
The U.S. and China have clashed over the handling of the coronavirus outbreak. China is using its soft power to compete with the U.S. for influence during the pandemic.
The "Urbi et Orbi" blessing is normally delivered at Christmas and Easter. The delivered his homily against the dramatic backdrop of an empty St. Peter's Square, glistening in the rain.
Teams from Russia, China and Cuba have arrived in recent days to help Italy. There's gratitude — along with anger that the U.S., Italy's traditional ally, is absent.
Italian army trucks are taking coffins of Coronavirus victims from overwhelmed funeral homes — as doctors treating COVID-19 patients issue urgent pleas for help.
The death toll from the virus grew by nearly 800 to a total of 4,825, officials announced Saturday.
The country has universal health care. But now, fighting tens of thousands of coronavirus cases, Italian hospitals and medical staff are overwhelmed, prompting anguished debate.
Life in Rome is turned upside down, writes NPR's Sylvia Poggioli: "Even for someone who has reported from war zones, it's unnerving ... like being suspended between the Dark Ages and a sci-fi future."