Italian street paper Scarp de’ tenis comes to the small screen in new documentary series

Stories of the everyday workings of Italian street paper Scarp de’ tenis are set to arrive on the small screen this week thanks to a newly commissioned documentary TV series.

‘Incontri sulla strada’ [or ‘Encounters on the streets’] will air across four nights (11 to 14 December) on Italian television channel TV2000, and will follow the lives of Scarp de’ tenis vendors as well as the staff in Milan who dedicate their time to working with homeless people in their daily lives.

Credit: Gabriele Bussetti

The show, which will be directed by Ranuccio Sodi, and produced in collaboration with the street paper, is picking up nationwide buzz thanks to the involvement of Italian comedian, actor and screenwriter Giacomo Poretti in the project. He will present each of the four episode, submerging himself in the work of the street paper and learning about the issue of homelessness, all delivered in his own classic light, ironic style.

Giacomo Poretti. Credit: Gabriele Bussetti

Poretti is a household name in his native country, mainly thanks to his involvement in the ‘Aldo, Giovanni e Giacomo’ comedy trio, with whom he has filmed 11 blockbuster movies, including Chiedimi se sono felice, one of the five highest grossing Italian films of all time.

Stefano Lampertico, Scarp de’ tenis editor, explains that this is great news for the magazine: “We are certainly not very familiar with the language of television, which is why we turned to Ranuccio Sodi, a serious professional with a long experience as director of Italian broadcasting company RAI.

“I must say that we are really satisfied. The stories we tell in our magazine are about encounters made on the streets; in fact, during the four episodes, Giacomo Poretti will relate his encounters with his own brand of irony and geniality.”

During the course of the show, Poretti will also visit the Caritas Ambrosiana Foundation, an umbrella organisation of which Scarp de’ tenis and a homeless shelter are a part of; the ‘Enzo Jannacci’ Shelter home; and onto the ‘Ronda della Carità’ van, which every night gives support to homeless people on the streets of Milan.

Giacomo Poretti. Credit: Gabriele Bussetti

Credit: Gabriele Bussetti

Giacomo Poretti with musician Paolo Jannacci. Credit: Gabriele Bussetti

Credit: Gabriele Bussetti

Lampertico adds: “The actor talked to the guests he met in these facilities, and he stepped into our vendors’ shoes and tried to sell our magazine on the streets.”

Other figures making appearances on the show include musician Paolo Jannacci, son of songwriter Enzo Jannacci, who created the song from which Scarp de’ tenis takes its name; Marco Tarquinio, editor of daily newspaper Avvenire; and two Michelin star chef Fabio Pisani.

‘Incontri sulla strada’ [‘Encounters on the streets’] consists of four 30-minute episodes which will be broadcast from 11 to 14 December at 7.30pm on TV2000.

For those in Italy, TV2000 can be found at DTT channel 28, tivùsat channel 18, and Sky channel 146

Translation from Italian by Marilisa Dolci