Arianna Ciccone was born in Naples in 1970. She grew up there and graduated with a first class degree in philosophy from the University of Naples in 1994. After attending the graduate journalism school in Urbino she began work as a news reporter at a local radio station in Umbria in 1996. Experience as a print media journalist followed at the Umbrian insert of the national daily Il Messaggero. She then left mainstream journalism to co-found in 2000 the communications agency Il Filo di Arianna (Arianna’s Thread) in Perugia, Umbria.
In 2006 Arianna founded the Perugia International Journalism Festival. The first edition took place place in 2007 and has grown spectacularly since then. The 2010 edition had some 350 speakers, 200 volunteers, aggregate audiences of more than 30,000. The keynote speaker was Al Gore. Other notable festival speakers in recent years have been Paul Steiger, Carl Bernstein and Seymour Hersh. The objective of the festival is to bring the best of world journalism to the widest possible audience. Entry to all festival events is free.
In 2010 Arianna set up the citizen activism website Valigia Blu (Blue Suitcase) to campaign on issues of importance in the Italian media. The name comes from the blue suitcase in which she took a petition of 150,000 signatures to RAI headquarters in Rome (RAI is the Italian public service broadcaster) in March 2010 to demand a correction to a false news report on the flagship RAI 1 News regarding the acquittal of David Mills, former lawyer of Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi.
Arianna lives in Umbria with her partner Christopher Potter and lots of cats.