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Roberto Saviano

Born Roberto Saviano
22 September 1979 (1979-09-22) (age 30)
Naples, Italy
Occupation Novelist, Journalist
Nationality Italian
Writing period 2000–present
Notable work(s) Gomorrah

Roberto Saviano (born September 22, 1979) is an Italian writer and journalist.

In his writings, articles and books he employs prose and news-reporting style to narrate the story of the Camorra (a powerful Neapolitan mafia-like organization), exposing its territory and business connections.

Since 2006, following the publication of his bestselling book Gomorrah (Gomorra in Italian), where he describes the clandestine particulars of the Camorra business, Saviano has been threatened by several Neapolitan “godfathers”. The Italian Minister of the Interior has granted him a permanent police escort. Because of his courageous stance, he is considered a "national hero" by author-philosopher Umberto Eco.


Saviano was born in Naples on September 22, 1979. He graduated in philosophy at the University of Naples Federico II. As a journalist, he collaborates with L'Espresso and La Repubblica, and other magazines including: Nuovi Argomenti, Lo Straniero, Nazione Indiana, Sud, and can be found in various anthologies such as Best Off. Il meglio delle riviste letterarie italiane (2005), and Napoli comincia a Scampia (2005).

In 2006, following the success of the non-fiction Gomorrah, which denounces the activities of the Camorra, Saviano received ominous threats. These have been confirmed by the collaborators for justice and reports that have revealed attempts on Saviano’s life, by the Casalesi clan. Investigators have claimed the Camorra selected Casalesi clan boss Giuseppe Setola to kill Saviano over the book, although the alleged hit never occurred.[1]

After the Neapolitan Police investigations the Italian Minister for Interior Affairs Giuliano Amato assigned a personal body guard and transferred him from Naples. In autumn 2008, the informant Carmine Schiavone, cousin of the imprisoned Casalesi clan boss Francesco Schiavone revealed to the authorities that the clan had planned to eliminate Saviano and his police escort by Christmas on the motorway between Rome and Naples with a bomb.";[2][3] in the same period, Saviano announced his will to leave Italy, in order to stop having to live as a convict and reclaim his life.[4]

On 20 October 2008, six Nobel Prize-awarded authors and intellectuals (Orhan Pamuk, Dario Fo, Rita Levi Montalcini, Desmond Tutu, Günter Grass, and Mikhail Gorbachev) published an article in which they say that they side with Saviano against Camorra, and they think that Camorra is not just a problem of security and public order, but also a democratic one. They also think that the Italian government must protect his life, and help Saviano in having a normal life. Signatures are collected on the site of the Italian newspaper La Repubblica.

On 10 December 2009, in the presence of Nobel Prize awarded Dario Fo, Saviano received the title of Honorary Member of the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera and the Second Level Academic Diploma in Communication and Art Teaching Honoris Causa, the highest recognition by the Brera Academy equivalent to a postgraduate degree. Saviano dedicated the awards to the people from the south of Italy living in Milan.


  1. ^ Hooper, John (2009-01-14). "International: Mafia killer flees from police through sewers". The Guardian (Rome): p. 19.  
  2. ^ Italian mobsters plot to blow up author whose exposé of their murky world has been turned into a blockbuster film - Dailymail, October 15, 2008
  3. ^ "Mafia wants author dead by Christmas", Reuters
  4. ^ John Hooper, "Gomorra film author to leave Italy after mob death threats", The Guardian October 16th, 2008.

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