About Sylvia Notini

With over 25 years of experience in translating from Italian into English, I have translated over 200 books, including medical texts, books about fashion, photography, and architecture, travel guides, art catalogues, academic books, children’s books, and even cookbooks, among many others. 

I was born in Boston and grew up in nearby Lexington. After receiving a B.A. in Italian from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and both an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures from Harvard University, I moved to Bologna, Italy, where I raised a family while teaching English Language and Translation at the University of Bologna and working as a freelance translator. 

Recent work has included Mussolini Architect by Paolo Nicoloso, published by University of Toronto Press, Guido Reni and Rome. Nature and Devotion by Francesca Cappelletti et al., published by Marsilio, Contemporary Japanese Posters by Gian Carlo Calza, published by Skira, and several of the essays and entries in Lorenzo Lotto. Portraits edited by Enrico Maria Dal Pozzolo and Miguel Falomir, published by Thames & Hudson. I am also the translator of the 900 plus entries included in the website of the Italian artist Giulio Paolini.  Recently, I enjoyed translating Chickenology. The Ultimate Encyclopedia by Barbara Sandri and Francesco Giubbilini, published by Princeton Architectural Press, as well as Sheepology. The Ultimate Encyclopedia by Ilaria Demonti in the same series.

I am also a winner of the Modern Language Association’s 2018 Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for a Translation of a Literary work into English for The Venetian Qu’ran. A Renaissance Companion to Islam by Pier Mattia Tommasino, published by the University of Pennsylvania Press. My translation of Lia Levi’s Just a Girl. A True Story of WWII, published by HarperCollins, was recently awarded the American Library Association’s Mildred L. Batchelder Award. The Batchelder Award is given to the most outstanding children’s book originating in a language other than English in a country other than the United States, and subsequently translated into English for publication in the United States.

Although I travel to the United States several times a year, I live in Castenaso, just outside of Bologna, where I continue to work as a freelance translator.