The Italian Files is a podcast of conversations about lesser known protagonists, themes and stories of Italian culture, society and history written and produced by FILL and hosted by Thea Lenarduzzi.
The Po, king of rivers
Italy’s longest river twists for more than 400 miles, from the mountains near Turin to the Venetian laguna. The Po has countless stories to tell about the country’s past, present, and precarious future. But are we listening hard enough? Tobias Jones, a journalist and writer known for his explorations of the murkier aspects of Italian life, takes us on a journey along the riverbanks.
Italian colonialism, horror in the sun
In 1935, after a brutal campaign, Italy claimed Ethiopia as its own. How do Ethiopians remember those dark days? And Italians? Maaza Mengiste, whose acclaimed novel The Shadow King is set during the invasion, discusses the legacy of brutality and the multifaceted art of telling forgotten stories.
Guest: Maaza Mengiste
Franco Basaglia, the revolutionary
In 1978, Franco Basaglia reformed the Italian mental health system, closing the asylums. Who was he, where did he get his ideas, and what is the legacy of his ground-breaking decisions? Writer and historian John Foot brings us up to speed.
Guest: John Foot
Goliarda Sapienza, the outsider
This week we consider the life and legacy of the long-forgotten and misunderstood queer feminist writer Goliarda Sapienza. Why do her novels speak to us so powerfully today, in Italy and abroad? Alberica Bazzoni, author of Writing for Freedom: Body, Identity and Power in Goliarda Sapienza’s Narrative, takes us through Sapienza’s radically transgressive work, in which life and art refuse to be separated.
From Sanremo to Eurovision
Writer and music critic Giulia Cavaliere unveils the origins of the annual Sanremo Festival song contest, a glitzy affair born in the ruins of the Second World War. What has been its impact on contemporary Italian culture? And beyond… would we have Eurovision if not for Sanremo?
Guest: Giulia Cavaliere
Women’s sport, the long game
What is the state of women's sport in Italy today? What does this tell us about Italian society? Giorgia Bernardini, writer and author of the newsletter Zarina, dedicated to women sports, sheds some light.
Guest: Giorgia Bernardini