Danielle (Dany) Mitzman is a British freelance journalist who has been based in the north Italian town of Bologna since 1998. Before that, she worked in London as a producer for Woman's Hour on BBC Radio 4. She makes features and documentaries for BBC World Service, BBC Radio 4, Deutsche Welle Radio and Radio Netherlands. Her reports are often rebroadcast on other networks, including NPR, CBC, ABC Australia and SABC. Her favourite areas are human interest, arts and culture and Italy's quirkiest news stories.

Dany in Grappaland

September 1st, 2015

The day I visited the Willy Wonka of grappa production in Bassano del Grappa

(first broadcast on From Our Own Correspondent, BBC Radio 4, 21st February, 2015)

Via Fondazza – the world’s first Social Street

September 1st, 2015

Although there are exceptions, in modern European society we tend to live more and more isolated from those around us. How many of us know our neighbours well enough to invite them round for meals or ask them for a favour?

In the north Italian city of Bologna, a young couple felt this was such a pity that they decided they’d try to get to know their neighbours through a simple project they called Social Street. In September 2013, they set up a Facebook group called ‘Residents in Via Fondazza – Bologna’. The response was overwhelming and the model they created has gained international attention and popularity.

The Social Street project has won a national award and been endorsed by eminent sociologists and anthropologists, such as Professors Anthony Giddens, Richard Sennett and Marc Augé. It’s even been included in the European Commission’s Social Innovation Europe directory.

So how has life changed for Via Fondazza’s population? I went down there to find out.

(first broadcast on World in Progress, Deutsche Welle Radio, 8th July, 2015)

Leonardo: the world’s most famous selfie?

September 1st, 2015

In the north Italian city of Turin, a rare exhibition called “Leonardo and the King’s Treasures” features as its main attraction a drawing widely considered to be Leonardo da Vinci’s self-portrait. It’s seldom on show because displaying it is a risky and costly business.

I was allowed a sneak preview inside the ‘caveau’ – the sealed vault where the red chalk drawing and many other invaluable works are kept.

(first broadcast on Spectrum, Deutsche Welle Radio, 15th December, 2014)