Francesca Zilio studied International and Diplomatic Relations at the University of Trieste and the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin. She then obtained a binational PhD in History of International Relations from Sapienza University of Rome and Freie Universität Berlin.
Her doctoral thesis on political and diplomatic relations between Italy and the FRG during the Ostpolitik period, and on the role of both countries in the Conference for Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE) was awarded the first prize of the Italian Association for International History for the best doctoral thesis of the year.
She is a research affiliate at Dodis (Diplomatic Documents of Switzerland) and honorary collaborator in teaching and research at the University of Trieste. She founded a project on Italy’s Nation Branding and manages the EUImage project on national stereotypes in Europe, co-funded by the „Europe for Citizens“ programme of the European Union.
She has been a visiting researcher at the Institute for European Global Studies of the University of Basel, a research assistant at the University of Bern, postdoctoral DAAD Fellow at Freie Universität Berlin and a research fellow at Istituto di Studi politici S. Pio V in Rome.
Her research interests concern in particular the foreign policy of Italy and the Federal Republic after the Second World War, Italian-German political and cultural relations, the Cold War and the institutional promotion of the national image of states.
She is a member of the Italian Society for International History (SISI), the Italian Society of Contemporary History of the German-speaking Area (SISCALT), the German Association of Contemporary Italian History, and the Alumni Association DAAD Italia (ADIT).