Sylvia Poggioli en The Grandes Dames Of The Sea Ply The Tuscan Waters A most unusual regatta recently took place off Tuscany's southern coast: Vintage sailboats known as the Grandes Dames of the Sea — some more than 100 years old — plied the waters of Porto Santo Stefano, a fishing village known for ideal sailing conditions<p>Among the more than 40 yachts was one, Manitou, that was known as "the floating White House" when her owner was President John F. Kennedy.<p>The boat is made of mahogany — a 62-foot boat that weighs 30 tons, skipper Alex Tillery says proudly. Wed, 16 Jul 2014 07:44:00 +0000 Sylvia Poggioli 55848 at The Grandes Dames Of The Sea Ply The Tuscan Waters Over 2 Years Since Its Wreck, The Costa Concordia Floats Again The Costa Concordia cruise crashed into a reef and capsized in waters off the island of Giglio in Italy over two years ago. On Monday, the most complicated part of the operation to refloat the ship was completed successfully. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit<img src=""/></div><p> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 20:15:00 +0000 Sylvia Poggioli 55760 at This Fine Wine Made At An Italian Penal Colony Is No 2-Buck Chuck Eighteen miles off Tuscany's coast, Gorgona is Italy's last island prison. Its steep cliffs rise up from azure Mediterranean waters. Here, a select group of convicts serves the end of long sentences by farming. And now, a legendary winemaker is training them to make high-end wine.<p>Mentioned by Dante in <a href="">The Divine Comedy</a>, Gorgona was for thousands of years a refuge for hermits and monks. Thu, 10 Jul 2014 22:28:00 +0000 Sylvia Poggioli 55546 at This Fine Wine Made At An Italian Penal Colony Is No 2-Buck Chuck Pope Meets Sex Abuse Victims, Bearing A Plea For Forgiveness Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>At the Vatican today Pope Francis had his first meeting with victims of clergy. He vowed to hold bishops accountable for the protection of children. The meeting came nearly 16 months after Francis was elected. Victim support groups said it was long overdue. For more on this NPR's Sylvia Poggioli joins us from Rome. Hello Sylvia.<p>SYLVIA POGGIOLI, BYLINE: Hello, Robert.<p>SIEGEL: And I understand the Pope held a Mass with these victims, including a dramatic homily. Mon, 07 Jul 2014 20:19:00 +0000 Sylvia Poggioli 55288 at The 1,000-Year-Old Schism That Pope Francis Seeks To Heal Pope Francis travels this weekend to the Middle East, the cradle of the three monotheistic religions, and will meet with Catholic, Jewish and Muslim leaders.<p>But the official purpose of the visit is to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic rapprochement between Catholics and Orthodox and to try to restore Christian unity after nearly 1,000 years of estrangement.<p>Meeting in Jerusalem in 1964, Pope Paul VI and Orthodox Patriarch Athenagoras set a milestone: They started the process of healing the schism between Eastern and Western Christianity of the year 1054.<p>Moves toward closer Wed, 21 May 2014 15:52:00 +0000 Sylvia Poggioli 52392 at The 1,000-Year-Old Schism That Pope Francis Seeks To Heal Pope To Travel To Holy Land With Rabbi And Muslim Leader The first non-European pope in modern history will makes a pilgrimage to the Holy Land this week, a region with centuries of religious strife.<p>Francis — the first pope to take the name of the saint of peace — will carry far less historical baggage than any of his predecessors.<p>When John Paul II visited Israel in 2000, he prayed at the Western Wall and apologized for the church's sins against Jews. Tue, 20 May 2014 07:33:00 +0000 Sylvia Poggioli 52266 at Pope To Travel To Holy Land With Rabbi And Muslim Leader U.N. Panel Could Find Vatican Guilty Of Torture Transcript <p>RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: <p>This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. The Vatican got a grilling this past week for its handling of the clerical sex abuse scandal. The setting - a United Nations hearing in Geneva. Meanwhile in Rome, a new advisory board to Pope Francis held its first meeting on the sex abuse crisis.<p>In a moment we'll hear from a member of that board whose personal story of abuse may be hard for some listeners to hear. But first, NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports on that U.N. Sun, 11 May 2014 11:34:00 +0000 Sylvia Poggioli 51730 at UN Committee Grills Vatican Officials On Sex Abuse Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>For the second time this year, Vatican officials were subjected to scathing questions by a U.N. panel. The questions focus on the church's handling of cases of sexual abuse by priests. The grilling came in two days of hearings in Geneva by the U.N. Committee on Torture. NPR's Sylvia Poggioli is following this and joins me now. And, Sylvia, earlier this year, it was a U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child that issued a very harsh report about clerical sex abuse. Tue, 06 May 2014 21:34:00 +0000 Sylvia Poggioli 51460 at 2,000 Buses Of Visitors: Rome Braces For Canonization Crowds The day after Easter, St. Peter's Square was packed.<p>Caramba Camarra, a Gambian volunteer with Opera Romana Pelligrinaggi, the Vatican-run pilgrimage agency, said he had never seen so many people lined up to visit the basilica.<p>"It's amazing! The line curves like a serpent, filling the whole square," he said. Wed, 23 Apr 2014 19:04:00 +0000 Sylvia Poggioli 50690 at 2,000 Buses Of Visitors: Rome Braces For Canonization Crowds In First Visit To The Vatican, Obama Finds Himself Moved Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.<p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>And I'm Audie Cornish.<p>President Obama says he was incredibly moved by his meeting today with Pope Francis at the Vatican. The president and the pontiff met for almost an hour. They discussed the plight of the poor and international conflicts. And there was also discussion of some hot-button issues for the Roman Catholic Church. Thu, 27 Mar 2014 20:36:00 +0000 Sylvia Poggioli 49170 at Obama And Pope Meet For First Time At The Vatican Transcript <p>LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST: <p>This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.<p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>And I'm David Greene. Good morning. President Obama has wrapped up a meeting in Vatican City with Pope Francis, the man who in just one year has become the world's spiritual superstar. Now, the elections of both men made history, Barack Obama as the first African-American president, and the Argentine-born Jorge Bergoglio became the first non-European pope in centuries.<p>NPR's Sylvia Poggioli joins us now to talk about what these two men share and where they disagree. Thu, 27 Mar 2014 09:05:00 +0000 Sylvia Poggioli 49130 at The Sometimes Tricky Relations Between Popes And Presidents President Obama meets Pope Francis at the Vatican on Thursday, the 30th anniversary of formal relations between Washington and the Holy See, and against a backdrop of a sometimes turbulent history in U.S.-Vatican ties.<p>The first high-level bilateral contact was in 1788, as the Vatican foreign minister recalled recently. Speaking in a large renaissance hall, Archbishop Dominique Mamberti said President George Washington, through his envoy Benjamin Franklin, informed the Vatican that it did not need to seek authorization from the U.S. Wed, 26 Mar 2014 18:35:00 +0000 Sylvia Poggioli 49094 at The Sometimes Tricky Relations Between Popes And Presidents One Year Later, 'A Pope For All' Keeps Catholics Guessing A year ago today, the world's 1.2 billion Catholics got their first Jesuit pope and the first from the global south. Taking the name Francis, he soon became one of the world's most popular newsmakers.<p>Following two doctrinally conservative leaders, the Argentine-born pope's pastoral approach has given the Catholic Church a new glow — less judgmental, more merciful.<p>Like many others in the big Sunday crowd in St. Thu, 13 Mar 2014 07:38:00 +0000 Sylvia Poggioli 48308 at One Year Later, 'A Pope For All' Keeps Catholics Guessing A Magnet For African Migrants, Italy Seeks A New Approach With mild weather ahead, southern Europe is once again bracing for new boatloads of would-be migrants and asylum seekers from North Africa.<p>Italy has borne the brunt of this migrant flow for two decades, and it has responded with one of Europe's most repressive laws on illegal immigration.<p>But now the Italian parliament is trying to scrap a law that has made migrants vulnerable to exploitation and human rights abuses. Wed, 12 Mar 2014 07:43:00 +0000 Sylvia Poggioli 48239 at A Magnet For African Migrants, Italy Seeks A New Approach A Theme Park For Foodies? Italians Say Bologna Italy has more <a href="">UNESCO world heritage sites</a> than any other country in the world, and its art and cultural riches have drawn visitors for centuries.<p>It also prides itself on being a culinary mecca, where preparing, cooking and serving meals is a fine, even sacred, art. Sun, 09 Mar 2014 18:36:00 +0000 Sylvia Poggioli 48088 at A Theme Park For Foodies? Italians Say Bologna