Italian star columnist Beppe Severgnini (of Corriere della Sera) is on the move again. His travels will take him this time to the USA. Accompanied by German fellow journalist Karl Hoffmann (ARD’s correspondent in Italy) he will traverse the American continent by train from Portland/Maine to Portland/Oregon. Covering some 6,000 km between the Atlantic and the Pacific, the two journalists will meet authors, scientists, hydrologists, other globetrotters like them as well as very normal American travellers and commuters. They will uncover the tracks and traces left behind by German and Italian immigrants, capture the mood of crisis-hit American public ahead of the Presidential elections and hunt for a traditional German bread roll (known as Semmel) in a tiny Midwest town called Bismarck. Karl, Beppe and their companions will work with German, Italian and English. They will experience and write about serious matters as well as bizarre and funny incidents, they will uncover little-known facts about the great country. Together they will check the veracity of legends from literature and the silver screen – yet retain their distinctive ways of seeing, one Italian, the other German, which have created the foundation of what American society is today.
The journey is an initiative of Va bene?! La Germania in italiano – Italien auf deutsch, a project which involves journalists, cartoonists and columnists from Germany and Italy with a view to break down mutual prejudices, encourage curiosity and the desire to explore the other. The two journalists will write a daily text and video blog. Their impressions will be made into a 90-minute documentary which will be aired by Italian TV channel La7 in September.
Gianni was born 1954 in Milan where he still lives. Since 1998 Gianni has produced videos for the Web, organised live-video chats and made films for sports events (Olympics, Giro d'Italia) for Rcs Libri, Corriere della Sera and Gazzetta dello Sport. He particularly enjoys: learning, travelling, flying, movies, literature, wilderness but also glittering mega-cities which are more beautiful by night than by day.
Roman by birth, hopes to live in Berlin one day. After completing studies at the German School in Rome, Soledad studied applied linguistics and cultural studies at the University of Mainz in Germersheim. She works as a freelance interpreter for various public and private sector organisations in Italy and abroad.
Andrea Salvadore, director, lives in the USA
Born in Rome, Andrea studied philosophy in Milan and worked there for seven years as a librarian for the Braidense National Library. He then returned to Rome to work for TV channels. His first production as a director and author was the Italian adaptation of the MTV’s The Real World (1994-95), Italy’s first reality-show. He then went on to produce documentaries, reports, news programmes and biographies. Andrea has in New York since the last eight years. He reported from the Big Apple for Rai 3 covering the 2008 Presidential elections, the Wall Street, the financial crisis as well as the tenth anniversary of the attacks of 11 September 2001. Andrea also maintains a blog on American TV.
Alberto Engeli, cameraman and sound engineer
Alberto Engeli began his career in Milan in 1980. He directed the show for high-street fashion labels like Armani, Versace and supervised sports programmes. His passion for travel led him to specialise in tourism videos. In 1994 Alberto moved to Los Angeles and worked from there for several European channels including Rai and Canal +. He makes entertainment programmes, travelogues, documentaries, music films as well as corporate videos, for instance, for Mercedes-Benz Italy. Between 2001 and 2008 he filmed and produced 250 sequences of “Hollywood Live” for Canal +. Following the disastrous earthquake in 2010 Alberto spent 23 days in Haiti and reported from the field for Rai 2. He has received several awards for his skills as a film director, cutter and the sheer range of his professional experience. He has worked extensively from the USA as well as from other countries.
Srini studied physics in Chennai, then German at Goethe-Institut in Kolkata and Pune. He then trained as a translator and simultaneous interpreter in New Delhi. He migrated to Germany in 1983. Between 1986 and 2000 he taught at the Institute for Applied Linguistics and Cultural Studies in Germersheim. During this time, he also worked as a freelance translator and interpreter and participated in exchange programmes of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) (Istanbul, Riga). Srini joined SAP in 2001 where he works as a software developer.
A Scot by birth, Giles Watson has lived for almost 30 years in Friuli/Italy. He is a passionate, professional translator and specialises in writings on Italy’s rich and diverse food culture as well as journalistic texts. Giles works for several Italian and international newspapers and publishing houses. He has translated several books including a few by Beppe Severgnini.