At Italy On This Day you will read about events and festivals, about important moments in history, and about the people who have made Italy the country it is today, and where they came from. Italy is a country rich in art and music, fashion and design, food and wine, sporting achievement and political diversity. Italy On This Day provides fascinating insights to help you enjoy it all the more.

Friday, 27 May 2016

Bruno Vespa – television journalist

TV host opened the door to late night political debate


Photo of Bruno Vespa
Television presenter Bruno Vespa
Bruno Vespa, the founding host of the television programme Porta a Porta, was born on this day in 1944 in L’Aquila in Abruzzo.

Vespa, who celebrates his 72nd birthday today, has fronted the late night television talk show, which literally means ‘Door to Door’ in English, since Italy's state broadcaster RAI launched the programme in 1996.

Vespa became a radio announcer with RAI when he was 18 and began hosting the news programme Telegiornale RAI a few years later.  He had begun his career in journalism by writing sports features for the L’Aquila edition of the newspaper, Il Tempo, when he was just 16 years old.

On television, he became well known for interviewing influential world figures just before they became famous, an example being his programme featuring Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, the year before he was elected as Pope John Paul II.

In June 1984, Vespa was official commentator for the live televised broadcast of the state funeral for Enrico Berlinguer, the former leader of the Italian Communist party.

Photo of Matteo Renzi with Bruno Vespa
Italian Prime Minster Matteo Renzi has appeared on
Vespa's Porta a Porta show on a number of occasions
Vespa has won awards for his journalism and television programmes and has also written many books.

Since he began presenting Porta a Porta, much of Italy’s political debate has taken place on the programme. The late night slot on RAI Uno is sometimes referred to sarcastically as ‘the third house’ after the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate.

Travel tip:

L’Aquila, where Bruno Vespa was born, is the capital city of the Abruzzo region. The city is set within medieval walls on a hill and has many fascinating, narrow streets lined with Baroque and Renaissance buildings and churches to explore.

Photo of Piazza Duomo in L'Aquila
The Piazza Duomo in L'Aquila
Travel tip:

RAI, which is short for Radio- televisione Italiana, is Italy’s national public broadcasting company. RAI’s main headquarters are in Viale Giuseppe Mazzini, just north of Vatican City in Rome.

(Photo of Bruno Vespa by Roberto Vicario CC BY-SA 3.0)
(Photo of L'Aquila by Ra Boe CC BY-SA 2.5)

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