All that’s going on in MEDRoute’s world: #dantedISEM

I am very proud to present here the the initiative of my colleague Giulio Vaccaro for the Dantedì, the day dedicated to Dante Alighieri that is actually the 25th of March. This day has been chosen because scholars have identified on that date the beginning of the journey into the afterlife of the Divine Comedy.

The Dantedì 2021 must be celebrated in a special way, precisely in the year of the seven hundredth anniversary of the death of Alighieri. In homage to Dante and the Commedia, Gulio Vaccaro (, researcher at ISEM and expert of the manuscript tradition of medieval texts, had the idea of a video.


We asked Giulio why this day is so important:

“Dante is the father of the language we speak – he told us- he is one of Italy’s pater patriae. He is an example for everyone and even our President of Republic Mattarella has indicated him as an example of virtue and righteousness. Moreover, he is the only authentically popular poet in Italy and elsewhere, and he is probably one of the very few men of all time to have shaped the vision and imagination of those who came after him. He is a δημιουργός, a creator. Just think, for example, that even today our image of the Afterlife is shaped according to the image that Dante created of it.”

And what about the role of Dante in research?

“Dante is at the very core f researches in every field of study – says Giulio – from philological and literary ones to those of computational and cognitive linguistics, fro medieval history to medicine, geology, geography. In the video we realised for the Dantedì 2021 we have tried precisely to show this plurality of possible approaches, which only in a research institution such as the CNR can find a common home”

Thank you Giulio, and buon Dantedì 2021 to everyone!


MedRoute for Mediterranean – small objects for a plastic-free sea

Metal water bottles and canvas shoppers with the MedRoute map created by Guizzo ( and produced by DELTAGRAF – Studio Grafico ( for helping to solve the problem of the plastic waste in the Mediterranean. This is our new initiative for a plastic-free sea. Because history is not only our past, but also our present and future and to protect environment is to protect history.

If you wish to contribute, you can buy one of our shoppers or plastic bottles. The proceeds will be donated to Legambiente (an Italian environmentalist association) that is already involved in the European ENI CBC MED project COMMON ( for tackling the problem of the plastic waste in the Medierranean.

With a contribution of 8 euros for a canvas shopper and 16 euros for the metal water bottle, you can support MedRoute in promoting a plastic-free sea. For more information, contact us

MedRoute Workshop

The Visibility of Strangers


With this final online workshop that will be held on the 7th and 8th of October 2020, the EU Marie Curie MedRoute project – Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 747030 – MedRoute ( – is willing to create a space of discussion on the main themes that are its core. The MedRoute project – running from September 2017 to August 2020 – has reached its end, and we wish this workshop will represent a new start!

The final online workshop will discuss diasporas, travels accounts, methodology, and the interplay in between migration and the political power.

In order to access the four panels as auditors, those who are interested should write to Antonino Campagna ( specifying the panels they are interested in (please note the keynote speech by Bernard Heyberger is included in the registration to the first panel). The time zone of the program is Rome time zone (GMT+2). Registrations are open until the 4th of October.

For the panels, check our program:

The Visibility of Strangers. Diasporas, Urban Spaces, and Material Pluralism in the Mediterranean

Final Marie Curie Online Workshop, 7th & 8th October 2020.

7th October, 10:30Welcoming & Opening Keynote: Bernard Heyberger (EHESS-Ecole des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales) – Diversity, pluralism and mobility in the Eastern Mediterranean

12:30, Panel 1The Foreigner Focus: Material practices and identity negotiation in early modern travelogues

Chair: Elena Baldassarri (Università degli Studi Roma Tre)

  1. Alexandr Osipian (Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe -GWZO) – Clothing, foodways, and identity negotiation: early modern Istanbul in Polish, Russian, and Armenian travelogues
  2. Songulen Nazlı (European University Institute) – Ottoman woman’s plural identities through the eyes of the female travellers visiting Istanbul (18th century)

Break (1 hour)

15:30, Panel 2One, Plural or What Else? How to study pluralism in the early modern period

Chair: Luca Codignola-Bo (Notre Dame University)

  1. Serena Di Nepi (Università di Roma – La Sapienza) – Questioning Otherness. Some preliminary remarks on conversions and coexistence in early modern cities
  2. Stefano Villani (University of Maryland, College Park) – Modes of conversions and acculturation strategies in early modern Italy 
  3. Giampaolo Salice (Università di Cagliari) – On methodology in the study of rural diaspora

8th October, 10:30

Panel 3The Plural City: Channeling identity in daily life

Chair: Filomena Viviana Tagliaferri (Istituto di Storia dell’Europa Mediterranea – ISEM, CNR)

  1. Carmel Cassar (University of Malta) – Fashion, Opulence and Extravagance: Clothing and sumptuary laws in early modern Malta
  2. Tamsin Prideaux (University of Edinburgh) – The role of representatives in negotiations between the authorities and immigrants in Venice, 1550-1700
  3. Filip Novosel (Croatian Institute of History – Hrvatski Institut za Povijest) – Surpassing language barriers in Dalmatian urban space – public notaries in the city of Zadar in the mid 17th century

Break (1 hour)

14:00, Panel 4 Identity and Longue Durée: Ottoman empire’s political destiny, and its reflection on foreigner identity expressions

Chair: Meropi Anastassiadou (INALCO Paris)

  1. Andreas Bouroutis (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki) – Bridging western culture and eastern traditions
  2. Angelos Dalachanis (Institut d’Histoire Moderne et Contemporaine – IHMC, CNRS) – The Visibility of Hellenism: Art collecting and diaspora life in the early 20th-century Alexandria
  3. Kostis Gkotsinas (École Française d’Athènes) – Standing out/blending in: Consumption practices and the settlement of refugees in post-1923 Greece

16:30: Closing Discussion and Greetings

MedRoute Workshop, Uncategorised

Entangled Worlds Workshop

The aim of this workshop was to shed light on daily practices in multicultural societies, in the early modern Mediterranean and Atlantic worlds. Entangled Worlds was held at College Park on 8th and 9th April 2019, as part of the events hosted at The Nathan & Jeanette Miller Center for Historical Studies, at UMD.

Focusing on foodways, multilingual practices, and sexuality the two-days encounter was intended to generate a discussion on how identities are created and re-affirmed in areas with an elevated level of cultural intermingling. It is precisely in these plural spaces:

where one is most likely to encounter a stranger or foreigner […] often originated from afar and […] distinguished by language, physical appearance, dress, beliefs or practices, characteristics covered by the slippery modern terms ‘ethnicity’ of ‘cultural identity’.

Derek Keene, ‘Segregation, Zoning and Assimilation in Medieval Towns’

The workshop created a fruitful space of discussion in which MedRoute received its first feedback, starting from Professor Francesca Trivellato‘s thoughtful one. It was attended by scholars for US and Europe and it was concluded by a wonderful keynote on Maltese language of Professor Michael Cooperson. The opening reception was accompanied by the Mediterranean sounds of Trio Trela.

  • The visible foreigners of 17th century Malta
  • Final Reception
  • Final Reception
  • Final Reception
  • Professor Francesca Trivellato
  • Claudio Ferlan on drunkenness
  • Trio Trela musical event
  • Anny Gaul
  • Umberto Grassi
  • Professor Bernard Cooperman
  • Discussing during lunchtime
  • Professor Michael Cooperson
Download the Workshop Program here:

WEB_ Entangled Worlds Program 3.0


The Strategy of Toleration

On 16th October 2018, I presented my monograph Tolerance Re-Shaped in the Early Modern Mediterranean Borderlands: Traveller, Missionaries and Proto-Journalists, published by Routledge in April 2018. The lunch talk The Strategy of Toleration: Mobility and the Functionality of Standing the Otherness in Early Modern Mediterranean Border-Spaces (17th-18th centuries) was held at the The Nathan & Jeanette Miller Center for Historical Studies, Department of History, University of Maryland, College Park.

The book is based on my PhD thesis, defended at the University of Florence in April 2011. It is actually the basis on which the MedRoute project was built and developed. In inquires the way Italian subjects that were moving into the Mediterranean were depicting cultural otherness and how they developed a practical tolerance. This toleration was much more of a kind of capacity to standing the otherness, rather than an appreciation of cultural diversity. Nevertheless, it was a very efficient tool!

People were used to find strategies of coexistence, eventually understanding otherness itself. Sailing from Istanbul (Part 1), to Izimr (Part 2), and finally ending in Valletta (Part 3), the book is a mosaic of Mediterranean ways of understanding difference and it represent the first part of our project maritime route. That is: the beginning of our voyage.

My question was and is: how do port cities manage they cultural pluralism? Is difference a resource or a problem?

So, let’s start traveling, just from here!