Francesca Fialdini: “Off the TV? Love is the only certainty. The new look? More like me “

Francesca Fialdini is one of the most popular presenters of Rai. The debut of the new season of With us … freewheeling, which airs every Sunday on Rai1 from 5.20 pm, was a triumph. Thanks to the stories that are told, like that of Amanda Lear, but above all to the delicacy and positivity of its host.

Francesca Fialdini (read also our interview of 2020), who this year showed up in the studio with an amazing new look, is also back with the third season of the program Hunger for love which will have many novelties. To us she told herself “free-wheeling”, showing us how Francesca is on and off the TV.

The debut of this new season of With us … freewheeling it was extraordinary: what is the secret of so much success?
The choice of the type of story we want to do, the choice of having guests who have had moments of fragility but who nevertheless have come true, people who have treasured the bad moments to become stronger. So I hope that the success from the kind of stories told and also from the teamwork behind the program that I think you feel when we go on the air.

What topics will you address this year?
In the meantime, let’s start with the interpretation of the title of the broadcast. Going “freewheeling” means making unconventional choices, which betray the expectations of others, of how it takes others to do what we really want. Breaking patterns, unhinging taboos and stereotypes: this is the center of the story. After that we want to make the program happier and happier, despite the historical period. We try to make the challenges, the emotions felt more and more, because by treating it in this way, even a story that has a profound meaning becomes easier.

Did you talk about joy and emotions: a different way of doing TV, compared to the many programs focused on the difficult period between the war and the economic crisis?
Yes exactly. Even when there was Covid, apart from the first months when we were all trying to understand what was happening to us and we too dealt with it through the connections, I then chose not to talk about it anymore. I wanted the disease to no longer enter the program as a topic, because there was already enough of it. I wanted to give moments of lightheartedness without ever disconnecting with current events. In the background even now this reference to current events remains, we know that it will be a very very “hot” autumn. So, the solidarity, the innovative ideas that I hope will come to solve this situation, we will tell them. Our stories always go in this motivational direction.

So what are the stories you will tell? Is it true that you will talk about the modern family?
I am interested in telling individual stories through which possibilities can also be opened for others. Also because there is not only one way to be happy in the world, just as there is not a single family reality that can make us happy, where by family I mean the one of origin but also the people we choose as friends who they become like a second home especially if you have not managed to build your own family. I therefore give visibility to those individual choices that can be ideas for others.

Is there a character you dream of hosting on your show?
Roberto Benigni, with him it would never be an interview but an encounter. Roberto Benigni is a personality who has so much to give and to say… I look at him with great admiration.

What about your new look? Why did you decide to change your image?
It looks more like what I am. This new haircut is more like my character. Perhaps I wanted to get rid of the idea that in all these years I first wanted to marry a little of being reassuring, of adapting to the classic iconography that leads conductors and conductors to be a bit all the same. Since after the Covid experience I chose to be much freer from the conventions and the image that others project on me, I decided to change. I did not consult anyone and I went to the hairdresser and I made this cut that looks more like the Francesca I know outside the TV studio.

How is Francesca Fialdini off TV? Do you also break patterns and prejudices and go freewheeling?
I think that if you spent a day with me, you would ask yourself: ‘is this Francesca Fialdini?’ [ride ndr.]. If clutter is a form of creativity, I am living in a very creative moment. I sleep in Rome at a friend’s house waiting for them to give me the house I rented. I travel around Italy during the week because I’m preparing Hunger for love. I still have the summer clothes inside the trolley, because the others are still in the boxes. Let’s say that I adapt a lot to the circumstances that work creates, but I’m also very good at complicating my life. I like to have every day different from the other, I can’t make plans but not even to organize a vacation. On a practical-organizational level, they are a landslide, but this has always been the case. However, the beauty is also there, I find planning every action depressing, having planned an expectation with respect to a meeting, would betray that meeting. I like to be surprised a lot, even when in a couple relationship we begin to get to know each other, I also try to remove some certainty but not from the other, to me, to give me the opportunity to get back into the game. And this is true in every field. Freewheeling means to keep looking for yourself and I keep looking for myself. I would like to become a better and better version of me but to do so you need to have few certainties. The only one that’s enough is the love of the people you care about, you don’t need anything else.

The other transmission you lead, Hunger for lovestarts next October: can you tell us about it?
First of all, instead of 4 episodes there will be 8, because we have chosen to talk not only about eating disorders but also about all the other forms of youth discomfort, therefore the depressions of the boys, the self-injured, the borderline, also to clarify the words that we use to define it. Giving a voice to young people is more necessary than ever, they are the great neglected, the great ghosts of society, where ‘great’ stands for the emptiness that is around them. So we risk playing the future on it. The kids broke out of Covid and we weren’t able to take care of them right away. After all, from the point of view of job opportunities and training, we are behind. The kids got lost and get lost in the insecurities we have created for them on a relational level. We are paying too high a price for their lack of sociability and relationship. Therefore Hunger for love he will deal with the consequences of this surge of discomfort, disorders, school drop-out.

Did social media also contribute to this unease?
Social networks clearly fall within this discourse, because on the one hand they are the stage where young people take refuge to be seen, so they become an instrument of contact with others. On the other hand, however, it means excluding oneself more than relationships outside the virtual, in everyday life where a wall of suspicion has been created for which they have a great deal of difficulty talking to adults, they do not trust and take refuge on social networks. But as we know, social networks hide big traps, because communication is very labile and because you don’t really know who is on the other side and the dialogue turns into a sort of monologue with the person you imagine is talking to you. All the experts we involved in the program told me the same thing, the kids are the big excluded, they don’t feel seen, they are not sure of themselves and they can’t imagine what their future and their role will be. We have forgotten to confront them. Social media amplify this loneliness.

Do you have any other projects in the future?
I say this in a low voice, because it is very difficult and requires great concentration: I am writing a book. It is a children’s story. I had already written one which is called Charlie and the ocarina. In this second book Charlie will deal with eating disorders. This fable will become a tool that teachers will have at their disposal to talk about the subject in elementary classes. It is a project that I care very much about.

Francesca Fialdini: “Off the TV? Love is the only certainty. The new look? More like me ”