Filming inside the Vatican Library

The challenges of getting into the Vatican and ancient Italian sites is all in a day's work for one 60 Minutes producer

"It took a year of work to organize. And in the end we only had three days in the Vatican Library. But what an experience," recalls Rome-based CBS News producer, Sabina Castelfranco.

Sabina tells 60 Minutes Overtime about the access she's gotten to some of Italy's most ancient sites. "With the Colosseum, we were able to go to places that nobody has been to before. It took me months. It really took me months."

Just because Sabina is Italian does not always guarantee access and nor is it as easy as it looks. Months of organizing and planning go along with every story she works on, and facing bureaucratic challenges is all in a day's work.

In the end, Sabina says it's all worth it.

Watch the video above to see some of the more memorable 60 Minutes pieces Sabina has worked on, and find out which 60 Minutes correspondent she has a soft spot for.


The following is a script of the video produced for 60 Minutes Overtime by Magalie Laguerre-Wilkinson, Craig Crawford and Sarah Shafer.

This week on 60 Minutes, Morley Safer takes us inside the Vatican Library. Sabina Castelfranco is a CBS News producer based in Rome and has covered countless stories for CBS News, 60 Minutes and is a familiar voice on CBS Radio.

Sabina Castelfranco: Entering the Vatican is an experience all in itself. And to be able to see some of the books, and the manuscripts...

[The name of God]

Sabina Castelfranco: ...that were made available to us during the shoot. It was very difficult to organize. It took a year of work to organize. And in the end we only had three days in the Vatican Library, but what an experience.

[...presenting the volume to Pope Leo X...]

Magalie Laguerre-Wilkinson: Explain a little bit the process. Because it took a while to get there.

Sabina Castelfranco: The Vatican is a very, very tiny Italy in the middle of Italy. And you know you need to find the right people to talk to. It's also the bureaucracy of The Vatican. You need to know people. Try to find the right authorizations with the right people. Make sure everybody knows exactly what you wanna be doing. And so that took a full year of work. You know, the conversations, the organizing, and then we had three days. But in those three days we were able to do whatever we wanted. Because by the time we got to those three days, the shoot, everything was organized.

[Morley Safer: Who's this here?]

[Library guide: He, this is Episome Cyculus]

Magalie Laguerre-Wilkinson: Every team that's ever had a story in Italy says, "Yes! We get to work with Sabina."

Sabina Castelfranco: Well, I mean, there's, you know, I've done stories that people would die to work on. You know? The Antinori family...

[Salud! Cheers!]

Sabina Castelfranco: ...A wine-making family for 500 years. Three daughters who are the heirs of this fortune.

[Scott Pelley: Whoa!]

Sabina Castelfranco: Fiftieth Anniversary of Lamborghini, what a wonderful story to do. The country, as the Lamborghini toured, the entire country. We used so many different pieces of equipment, if you like-- from the helicopter to the GoPros.

Magalie Laguerre-Wilkinson: The Costa Concordia was really a tragedy, and you covered that.

Sabina Castelfranco: A tragedy that is not over because the trial is still ongoing. There's 32 dead people. And two of them were Americans, so a very sad situation. And the wreck still has to be demolished, and that will take two years. It's one of those stories that goes on and on.

Sabina Castelfranco: With the Colosseum, we were able to go to places that nobody has been to before.

Magalie Laguerre-Wilkinson: One of the main themes in the story is cleaning it up, is renovating it, but yet the bureaucracy to get through it all.

Sabina Castelfranco: It took me months. It really took me months. I needed to find the right people to talk to.

Magalie Laguerre-Wilkinson: You deal with a lot of the same people. Do you feel sometimes that, you know, you walk into an office, and...?

Sabina Castelfranco: The people change all the time. That's a problem. We have revolving governments in Italy. And every time we had, over the story of the Colosseum, and only the Colosseum, we had four different culture ministers.

Magalie Laguerre-Wilkinson: Oh my goodness.

Sabina Castelfranco: So every time a culture minister changes, people change in the offices. And that's part of the problem.

Magalie Laguerre-Wilkinson: And so you have to start from scratch?

Sabina Castelfranco: You have to start from scratch.

Magalie Laguerre-Wilkinson: You're an Italian, living in Italy, working for an American news organization. How are you received by people when you go and ask for permission for things?

Sabina Castelfranco: I'm very well-received, particularly by people who know what 60 Minutes is about. They know this is a program that has been on the air for over 45 years that has a huge audience. And they know exactly what it means to be on a program of this kind.

Magalie Laguerre-Wilkinson: You've worked with most of the 60 Minutes correspondents. But tell us, you do have a little bit of a soft spot for Morley Safer, don't you?

Sabina Castelfranco: Well, I have a soft spot for Morley because he represents 60 Minutes. And not only that, I've done a number of stories with him, possibly more than with any other correspondent, he's a fatherly figure. He's someone who adores Italy. He's someone I look up to. He's someone who has taught me so much. He's a pleasure to work with.