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The Tuscans who made history: Oriana Fallaci

8 curiosities about one of the biggest Tuscan, Italian and world names

Oriana Fallaci, an Italian journalist and war correspondent,has earned her status as an international icon for her passionate writing, often bluntly, and for her in-depth interviews with prominent world figures such as Henry Kissinger, Indira Gandhi and the Shah of Ayatollah Khomeini.


Do you know his story?

8 curiosity about Oriana Fallaci, born in Florence on June 29, 1929,was a young partisan during World War II. When you talk about her, you never know whether to start with her works or her personality. The two go hand in hand and both are impossible to overlook.


  • Contribution to the Italian Resistance

Oriana Fallaci was the first of four sisters; her father Edward was an active anti-fascist who involved her, at a very young age, in the Resistance with the task of relay. For his activism, he received an honor award from the Italian Army.


  • Enrolled in Medicine, becomes a journalist

After graduating from high school, he enrolled first in Medicine, then changed his mind and enrolled in Letters. She's not going to be a journalist, and she's never going to go to college. In those years he knew Curzio Malaparte, who he recognized as his teacher.



  • He moves to the Big Apple, his second home for life

Oriana decided to immerse herself completely in writing: her style soon led her to collaborate with some of the major European and world publishing houses. In 1955 he made his first trip to New York: from that moment on it became a fixed stage of his life until, in 1965,he bought a house in the Big Apple.

I like Westerns, bridges, blonds, the Constitution, although it's often forgotten, the roast beef that they cook well here. And then I like the kindness of phonemakers who aren't rude here, I like the smile that the Kennedy Airport cops tell me every time I go back to New York: 'Welcome home,' welcome home. You understand? They know very well that my real house is not in New York, it is in Florence, and yet when I come back they say to me: 'Welcome home'.

In the early 1990s, Fallaci moved to a stable plant, and it was there in September 2001 that she witnessed the attack of the Twin Towers in her upper East side.


  • Friendship with Pier Paolo Pasolini

The life of Fallaci is made up of incredible encounters; two men who really counted in his life: Alekos Panagulis, to him is dedicated the book A Man, and Pier Paolo Pasolini who of Panagulis for a long time was translator from Greek to Italian.


We immediately became friends, we impossible friends... Melancholy carried it like a perfume, and tragedy was the only human situation you really understood. If a person wasn't unhappy, you didn't care. I remember with what affection, one day, you bent over me and clutched my wrist and murmured: "You too, as for despair, don't jokes!"

When Pier Paolo Pasolini was found dead on the beach in Ostia in 1975, Oriana Fallaci was one of the first people not to believe the reconstruction of the facts and to ask loudly the truth about the death of his brotherly friend.


  • Inconvenient interviews

He loved to write everything from novels to war dispatches and did not disdain interview celebrities at all.

Fallaci's questions were often insidious, they could really bare you.

Any examples? He began an interview with Gina Lollobrigida, saying, "I don't think you're as stupid as people say."

He asked Gaddafi, "Do you know you are not loved?"


When he confronted Khomeini,after repeatedly criticizing the woman's condition in the Middle East, the latter told her: "If you don't like the Islamic dress you are not obliged to wear it. The chador is only for young and respectable women. "

Fallaci did not repeat it, he lifted it from his head, saying: "That is very kind of you, imam. Now I'm going to take this stupid medieval rag off. "

She was witty, well-prepared, she put herself in the role of the antagonist; has led many people to say things they would not normally say.

Perhaps because of the way she interviewed, Fallaci did not give interviews. Never.


  • She loved being alone

She liked to say that she had a degree in solitude at the Sorbonne. She couldn't work if she had people next to her: she had to be alone to get her job done.

I have a hard time writing when someone's around. Men know how to isolate themselves to write because their wives dare not disturb them. But it's different for women because men always interrupt them, asking for a kiss or a cup of coffee.


  • A strict woman

The image he gave to the world was that of a stern woman, with an almost military appearance. His way of dressing and his hair always combed in the same way, as if he always wore a uniform.

He harshly rejected many of the conveniences of technology over time; for example, your computer. He never had one.

He worked his whole life with Olivetti herself: the same typewriter as when he was a war correspondent in Vietnam.

If I don't hear the buttons, the words don't come to me- thoughts don't come.


  • The return to Florence, at all costs

He's not afraid of old age. On the contrary, she likes and can't stand...

I don't understand who is ashamed of being old and tries to look less old than them. (...) Old age is a victory, a state of luck, since the alternative is the cemetery: isn't it?

In 2006, La Fallaci died in Florence after a worsening of her health.


It was her wish to die and be buried in the city that gave birth to her.

I want to die in the Mannelli Tower looking at the Arno from the Ponte Vecchio. It was the partisan headquarters that my father commanded.



A world-renowned writer, many of her books have become international bestsellers such as Letter to an Unborn Child or Anger and Pride.

A charismatic and pragmatic woman.

He loved airplanes but was afraid of elevators.

He smoked almost two packets of cigarettes a day and opened his correspondence a few months late.

When she learned she had cancer, she did not ask the oncologist how many years she had left to live, but how many books she had left to write.

It was The Fallaci.



image source: donna glamour, wikipedia, pinterest, centro studi pierpaolopasolini, casa arsa, inchiostro uniPV, linkietsa