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.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Maria De Filippi - television presenter

One of the most popular faces on Italian TV


Maria De Filippi has become one of the  most popular presenters on Italian TV
Maria De Filippi has become one of the
most popular presenters on Italian TV
The television presenter Maria De Filippi, who has hosted numerous talk and talent shows in a career spanning 25 years, was born on this day in 1961 in Milan.

De Filippi is best known as the presenter of the long-running talent show Amici de Maria De Filippi, which completed its 17th season this year, having been launched in 2001.

The show’s predecessor, called simply Amici, was hosted by De Filippi from 1993 onwards.

One of the most popular faces on Italian television, De Filippi has been married since 1995 to the veteran talk show host and journalist Maurizio Costanzo, who celebrated his 80th birthday this year.

The daughter of a drugs company representative and a Greek teacher, De Filippi was born in Milan before moving at age 10 to Mornico Losana, a village in the province of Pavia, where her parents owned a vineyard.

A graduate in law, she had ambitions of a career as a magistrate but in 1989, while she was working in the legal department of a video cassette company, she had a chance meeting with Costanzo at a conference in Venice to discuss ways of combating musical piracy.

Maria De Filippi presented the 2017 Sanremo Music Festival along another popular TV host, Carlo Conti
Maria De Filippi presented the 2017 Sanremo Music
Festival along another popular TV host, Carlo Conti
She clearly made an impression on the broadcaster, already well known as the face of the Maurizio Costanzo Show. He soon invited her to move to Rome to work for his communication and image company.

What began as a professional relationship then turned into a romance. Costanzo, who was separated from his third wife, the television presenter  Marta Flavi, moved in with De Filippi and after five years they were married, in 1995.

The chance for De Filippi to break into television came in 1992 when the original choice as presenter of the Amici show, Lella Costa, withdrew after becoming pregnant.  With little time to find a replacement, the producers decided to take a chance with De Filippi, despite her lack of experience, and it paid off handsomely.

The show, modelled on the United States hit Fame, featuring a school in which two groups of aspiring young singers and dancers compete against each other before a panel of judges, proved hugely popular, twice winning coveted Telegatto awards, and De Filippi was soon being offered more television work.

Maria De Filippi survived a car bomb attack on her husband in 1993
Maria De Filippi survived a car bomb
attack on her husband in 1993
She had another hit with Uomini e donne (Men and Women), which began as a talk show focusing on conflicts between husband and wife but evolved into a dating show.

De Filippi became a judge on Canale 5’s Italia’s Got Talent in 2009, alongside Gerry Scotti and Rudy Zerbi, a position she kept until Mediaset lost the rights to the show in 2014, after which she was asked to front a new show, Tù si que vales.

Alongside Carlo Conti, she presented the Sanremo Music Festival in 2017 and currently presents Uomini e donne, Tù si que vales and C’è posta per te (You’ve Got Mail) as well as Amici, and produces a number of other shows.

Before they were married, she and Costanzo had a lucky escape in 1993 from a Mafia-organised car bomb attack, a response to a number of programmes Costanzo produced focusing on the fight against the Cosa Nostra in Sicily.

The bomb detonated in the Via Ruggero Fauro, close to the Parioli Theatre in Rome where the Maurizio Costanzo Show was filmed, but Costanzo and De Filippi were not in the car they usually used. Their driver and bodyguard suffered injuries but they were unhurt.

The landscapes of the Oltrepò Pavese, which includes Mornico Losana, give it the look of rural Tuscany
The landscapes of the Oltrepò Pavese, which includes Mornico
Losana, give it the look of rural Tuscany
Travel tip:

Mornico Losana, where De Filippi moved when she was 10 years old, is in the Oltrepò Pavese, an area of scenic beauty south of the Po river in Lombardy that is often called the Tuscany of the North, on account of its rolling hills, medieval villages and castles and panoramic views. It is the largest wine producing area of Lombardy and one of the largest in Italy, specialising in Pinot Nero grapes. The landscape is scattered with vineyards and is popular with hikers and mountain bikers.

Check out hotels near Mornico Losana with Hotels.com

The Teatro Parioli, part of the wealthy Parioli neighbourhood, north of Rome's city centre
The Teatro Parioli, part of the wealthy Parioli
neighbourhood, north of Rome's city centre
Travel tip:

The Parioli district, in which the Parioli Theatre is located on Via Giosuè Borsi, is one of Rome's wealthiest residential neighbourhoods. Located north of the city centre, it is notable for its tree-lined streets and elegant houses, and for some of Rome's finest restaurants. The Auditorium Parco della Musica and the Villa Ada, once the Rome residence of the Italian royal family and surrounded by the second largest park in the city, can also be found within the Parioli district.

Rome hotels from Expedia.co.uk

More reading:

Gerry Scotti - host of Italy's Millionaire

Why Sanremo winner Adriano Celentano is Italy's biggest selling recording artist of all time

The remarkable life of veteran talk show host Maurizio Costanzo

Also on this day:

1443: The birth of Pope Julius II

1687: The birth of composer and violinist Francesco Gemianini

1861: The birth of World War One general Armando Diaz


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