BRITALY: HOW THE BRITISH SEE THE ITALIANS AND VICEVERSA, a talk by Enrico Franceschini and Marco Varvello


When we are in Italy, we miss London, when we are in London we miss Italy. Luckily, our two countries have become more similar in recent times: with five prime ministers in the last four years, the United Kingdom has taken some of the perennial Italian instability; and with a very serious, pragmatic banker as Prime Minister for a couple of years, for a while Italy has looked more English than England. If we add that many Brits have a passion for all things Italian since the time of lord Byron, and that many Italians proudly call themselves “anglophiles”, we can say that not even Brexit will be able to separate us: in fact, at least 350 thousand Italians continue to live in England, the second largest European community in this country. Still, we remain two profoundly different people. Here are three things that we Italians should learn from the Brits. And three things that perhaps the Brits should learn from us. Come to hear what they are.

Marco Varvello,  UK Bureau Chief  for RAI Italian Radio and Television. He holds a degree in Philosophy and started as a journalist in Milan at the daily newspapers ‘La Notte’ and ‘Il Giornale’,  directed  by Indro Montanelli.  Working for RAI since 1987,  Marco Varvello anchored the news for TG1 and was curator and editor of  “Il Fatto” by Enzo Biagi. He was the RAI  News correspondent in Germany, Berlin (2006-2014), London (1997-2005) and special correspondent in the US. He is now back to London as UK Bureau Chief since 2014. He has been awarded the “London Foreign Press Award”  by the Foreign Press Association for the best programme in a foreign language about the UK. He wrote the novel ‘Dimentica le Mille e una Notte’, published by Rizzoli, which won the Literary award Ado-Lisant di Lille-Bruxelles. His most recent books are  “Brexit Blues” (Mondadori), “Londra Anni Venti” (Bompiani) and “Passo falso” (RaiLibri). Marco Varvello is a member of the Italian-German Cultural Centre of Villa Vigoni.

Enrico Franceschini, born in Bologna in 1956, is a journalist and writer who has traveled the world for more than forty years as a foreign correspondent for the Italian daily “La Repubblica”, working in New York, Washington, Moscow, Jerusalem and London, where he is now living. He is the author of twenty-five books of fiction and non fiction, among which the recents “Londra Italia “(2016), “A Londra con Sherlock Holmes” (2020), “La fine dell’impero – ultimo viaggio in Urss (2021), “Tutti per uno – 33 storie per innamorarsi dell’Europa” (2022), “Elisabetta II, l’ultima grande regina” (2022) and a trilogy of thrillers, “Bassa marea” (2019), “Ferragosto” (2021), “Un’estate a Borgomarina” (2022). His last book is “Come girare il mondo gratis – un giornalista con la valigia” (2023), a memoir of the places and people he met in his long career. In 1993 he won Premiolino, one of the oldest and journalistic prizes in Italy, for his reportage on the coup in Russia. He has interviewed presidents and dictators, the first man on the Moon and the fastest man on Earth, Hollywwod movie stars and great novelists, he has covered wars, Olympic games and earthquakes, and he has been invited to dinner by Queen Elizabeth in Buckingham Palace.


A drinks reception will follow the talk


PLEASE NOTE: The following authors’ books are available to order and can be collected the day of the event.

Enrico Franceschini “Come girare il mondo gratis” and “Un’estate a Borgomarina” (in Italian).
Marco Varvello “Passo Falso” (in Italian).

To order your copy send an email to Ornella Tarantola at not later than 20th September.


DISCLAIMER: By participating in a BIS webinar or live event you automatically agree to authorise recording of audio and visual content during the event and consent to subsequent use of the recording in the public domain. This recording may include questions, comments and poll responses provided by you during the event in addition to your name, voice, image or likeness. This recording will be made available after the conclusion of the live event as part of the BIS webinar archives, and will remain available indefinitely. If you do not wish to consent to the recording, please do not join the event or contact us to discuss your concerns.

Tuesday 17 October 2023