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 33471 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 33359 at Italian Workers Try To Refloat Capsized Costa Concordia Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>The most complicated part of the largest maritime salvage in history gets underway in Italy today. It's the re-floating of the 1,000 foot long wreck of the Costa Concordia - a luxury liner capsized in 2012.<p>NPR's Sylvia Poggioli joins us on the line from an island off the Tuscan coast.<p>Hi, Sylvia.<p>SYLVIA POGGIOLI, BYLINE: Hi, Steve.<p>INSKEEP: So, what have you seen?<p>POGGIOLI: Well I came in early this morning by ferry, and the ferry went right by the wreck. What you can see is that it's got these huge tanks attached to it. Mon, 14 Jul 2014 10:39:00 +0000 Sylvia Poggioli 33314 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 22:16:00 +0000 Sylvia Poggioli 33118 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 32854 at Stopped By 'No One,' A Nun Wins Italy's 'The Voice' <p></p> Fri, 06 Jun 2014 09:18:00 +0000 Sylvia Poggioli 30791 at Stopped By 'No One,' A Nun Wins Italy's 'The Voice' 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 29727 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 29598 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 11:36:00 +0000 Sylvia Poggioli 29014 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 28726 at