July 24th, 11.30am
Teatro degli Avvaloranti, Città della Pieve 
Presenting our author-in-residence Alessandro Vanoli in conversation with  Valentina Lo Surdo

Alessandro Vanoli



I’m a historian and I’m a writer. These two things don’t necessarily go together. But that’s how it went for me.

The first part of my life was rather serious and academic: a degree in Bologna in the History of Medieval Philosophy; a doctorate in Venice in European Social History. And then I taught Comparative Politics of the Mediterranean for almost ten years, again in Bologna. In between, there were collaborations with other universities around the world: Tunis, Salamanca, Granada, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, State College (Pennsylvania), New York, Amsterdam… .

I owe a large portion of the subjects I studied to those years and those travels: the Mediterranean world, the history of Islam in Spain and Sicily, the explorations of the Atlantic.

Then from 2012, I began to abandon my academic career and combine my activity as an essayist with an ever-increasing interest in communication and dissemination.

Since then I’ve done just about everything. I began to collaborate with cultural festivals (with Torino Spiritualità in the early days and, more recently, with the Festival of the Middle Ages, the Mantua Literature Festival and many others).

I branched into educational activities with high schools all over Italy. I began to fall in love with the radio, collaborating above all with Radio Rai 3. And then came a lot of theatre; a touring show with Lino Guanciale and Marco Morandi, the story told in squares and theaters with Amedeo Feniello, the monologues and many other projects.

But the underlying meaning seems to me to have remained the same: to recount the beauty of history and the importance of diversity. And the verb that ultimately counts the most in the end, is just that: ‘to tell’. Through books, on stage, on a screen, it doesn’t make too much difference: the important thing is to feel that you are close to me.


Valentina Lo Surdo is an Italian musician, anchorwoman, and international reporter. She began her career as a musician, graduating in piano, then completing a degree in musical journalism at Accademia della Critica in Rome. She made her debut as an anchorwoman in 2006, introducing radio and television programs for the Rai as a broadcast speaker. For the past fifteen years, she has also lectured on communication and public speaking. Beyond providing quality programming for various Rai stations, she has planned and introduced more than 700 concerts in five continents.

Valentina is also active as a voice trainer and actress, through her seminar The Art of Success.  She specializes in “walking journeys,” having walked for 5 months all over Italy in 2020, collecting experiences for her magazine, video, and podcast reporting.

Valentina Lo Surdo