George Giles Watson

George Giles Watson (1954–2015) was a leading translator working from Italian into English. He provided translations for a wide range of businesses, including publishers in Italy, Germany, Switzerland and the United States. He specialized in translating food and wine, art, advertising, history and other texts.


Giles Watson, born in Scotland in 1954, graduated from the University of Cambridge with a First Class Honours Degree in Modern and Medieval Languages, in 1976.

He began working in the textile industry, as an agent in various countries in Latin America. Later Giles decided to turn to teaching English as a foreign language and also to translation, working for a number of schools and universities in Italy.

“Once he got to Italy, he found Grazia, Udine and Friuli. He chose to stay and, in his own way, he was married to all three,” wrote Beppe Severgnini in his farewell article to his friend, published on 27 July 2015 in Corriere della Sera. The famous journalist, author and TV anchor-man, had worked with Giles for many years, entrusting him with the translation of several bestsellers.

Giles Watson had become a respected professional and excellent translator, and his preferred fields were art, history, winemaking, advertising, journalism, furniture, and design. His customers included many businesses, as well as publishers in Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and the United States.

He had settled in Udine, and although he was a long way from his adored Scotland, which he remembered often and fondly, he fitted perfectly into local life and was popular with friends and acquaintances who admired his skill as a translator but also and especially his kindness, courtesy, sensitivity, willingness to listen, and his generosity. works

Arcigola Slowfood Editore srl/Gambero Rosso Inc
Guide to the Wines of the World (1993) and Guide to the Wines of the World 1995/96 (1995); in both cases, Giles translated the sections on France (about 400 pages).

Benedikt Taschen Verlag GmbH
Various titles, including Tahiti Tattoos (1998) by Gian Paolo Barbieri, Tuscany Interiors by Paolo Rinaldi and Angelika Taschen (1998), and the Furniture entry in Rococo to Art Deco (2000), corresponding to Il mobile del novecento, originally published by De Agostini in 1988.

Broadway Books
Ciao, America! by Beppe Severgnini (2002). The US edition of Giles’s translation of Severgnini’s Un Italiano in America/An Italian in America (2001).

Rizzoli New York
Mamma Mia! (original title: La Pancia degli Italiani) by Beppe Severgnini (2011).

Grafiche Vianello srl
A large number of titles, including I Silenzi di Venezia/The Silence of Venice (1994); Laguna d’inverno/The Lagoon in Winter (1995); Prima del Cielo, L’emozione delle Dolomiti/Before the Sky,The Thrill of the Dolomites, by Giandomenico Vincenzi(1997), Pavimenti a Venezia/The Floors of Venice, by Tudy Sammartini (1999); Il Tempo del Rugby/Rugby Time, by Daniele Resini (2001); - Cibiana di Cadore by Antonio Zuccon (2002); Venezia, osterie e dintorni/Venice Osterie by Michela Scibilia (2015)

Banca del Friuli – Credito Romagnolo
Udine by Fulvio Roiter (1989); Aquileia Ravenna by Fulvio Roiter (1992);

Arti Grafiche Friulane
Le Freccie Tricolori, At the Peak of Aerobatics by Giuseppe Lenzi and Sergio Zavoli (1992)

Magnus Edizioni SpA
Various titles, including Friuli-Venezia Giulia – un piccolo universo/Friuli Venezia Giulia, A little Universe (1989); Verona by Paolo Marton and Giuseppe Franco Viviani (1990)Florence – A Journey of Dreams (1991); Rome – A Journey of Dreams (1991).

Op Art Editore
Friuli Venezia Giulia, viaggio nella terra dell’oro/ Friuli Venezia Giulia, Journey Through the Land of Gold by Luigi Vitale (2011)

Gasperi Editore
50 anni di carta geografica, storia di un viaggio intorno/Fifty years of the Map, Story of a Journey All Around, various authors (2006)

Slow Food Editore srl
For Italian Cheeses (2001), project-managed and translated by Giles who coordinated a team of translators and edited the final text, then translating and coordinating the expanded 2005 edition of the book. In between, he translated A Wine Atlas of the Langhe – The Great Barolo and Barbaresco Vineyards (2002), and also translated and project-managed a team of translators, then editing the final text of the Slow Food Wine Guide 2011 and 2012.

Slowfood Editore srl/Gambero Rosso Inc
Italian Wines 1998: Giles translated the sections on Tuscany and Friuli-Venezia Giulia (about 400 winery profiles). For subsequent editions of Italian Wines (2001-2012), he also translated and project-managed a team of translators, and edited the final text.

Azienda Regionale per lo Sviluppo Rurale (ERSA)
Il Cibario del Friuli Venezia Giulia/The Cibarium of Friuli Venezia Giulia, Atlas of Traditional Products (2015)