The Fifth Siren

  1. The Fifth Siren


An English podcast dedicated to Venice and climate change


Banor Capital, together with the Italian Cultural Institute in London, supports The Fifth Siren project, a five-episode podcast conceived by the creators of FILL (Festival of Italian Literature in London), in which Venice is told through the emergencies that the city is living.

When the high tide reaches Venice, there are four levels of siren that sound to warn the population of the threat level posed by the rising water. Yet on 13 November 2019 there was no sound after the last siren, and nothing to prepare Venetians for the level of destruction that the approaching storm would bring to the town.
From this void, The Fifth Siren emerged, to alert and explore what lies beyond the loudest alarm, and as an attempt to understand the new dangers – environmental, cultural, social, technological – we have to consider while facing an unknown future.

In each episode leading scientists, activists, scholars and writers (including Salvatore Settis, Guy Standing, Adam Lowe, Marigusta Lazzari, Markus Reyman, Karl Appuhn, Filippo de Vivo, Sophia Psarra, Rachel Armstrong, Andrea Segre, Giacomo Salerno, Alvise Papa, Fantina Madricardo, Georg Umgiesser, Tommaso Cacciari, Solène Rivoal, Franco Schenkel and Tommaso Gastaldi) explore the past, present and future of the city. The Fifth Siren is an ongoing conversation with the city, which long ago was a myth, and today is a cautionary tale to be told.

The Fifth Siren is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and on from Monday 4 October with the first episode and on Monday every week throughout the month.

Banor Capital has been a supporter of FILL since its first edition. Marco Magini, Paolo Nelli, Giorgia Tolfo and Maddalena Vatti, among the promoters of the Festival of Italian Literature in London, in 2020 decided to go further, starting to produce cultural content under the name of FILL Productions. The Fifth Siren is their first podcast, designed in English to tell a global story to a global audience.


Episode 1: Water. Available from Monday 4 October.

On November 13, 2019, an exceptionally high tide hits Venice, creating damage the city has not seen before. People’s homes and shops are destroyed, the power cuts off and the city plunges into a dark, desperate night, trying to rescue what it can. Could this have been foreseen?

Episode 2: Veniceland. Available from Monday 11 October.

Venice is a city full of possibilities, but it wears many disguises, disclosing only what it wants. For this very reason people are lured by its charm. Can its historical and cultural complexity survive the fate of becoming a playground for tourists?

Episode 3: Balance. Available from Monday 18 October.

Throughout its environmental history, Venice has always struggled to find a balance between the city’s economic needs and the lagoon’s delicate ecosystem. Is it even possible?

Episode 4: Memory. Available from Monday 25 October.

Venice is a living archive of historical memories, collected through centuries of trade and splendor. Not only records of Venetian history, but stories from the whole world can be found in the city’s archives. Yet the greatest challenge the city is facing today is depopulation. Are the archives enough to rescue a disappearing city? And what memories can an empty city create?

Episode 5: Evolution. Available from Monday 1 November.

Under threat, and the only route for survival is change. In what way should the city transform? Is technology the contemporary religion that can ensure the future life of the city?