James Politi was born in Monza, Italy of an American mother and an Italian father. He grew up in northern Italy until he moved to New York at the age of 15. He pursued an undergraduate degree in international politics at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service in Washington DC. He moved to London in 1999 to specialise in international relations with a Masters degree at the London School of Economics. After the fellowship James entered the graduate trainee programme of The Financial Times. He worked in London, Washington DC and New York. He is currently Rome bureau chief, writing about Italian politics and economics, as well as the Vatican and the migration crisis.