During the winter of 2022-2023, researchers from the DAFIST and DISTAV department of University of Genova (Italy) carried out a participatory mapping activity in collaboration with schoolchildren and teachers of the primary and secondary school of Rezzoaglio (GE, Italy) which brings together students from the municipality of Rezzoaglio and Santo Stefano d’Aveto.

The activity contained three meetings in total with the aim to assess the perception of territory and landscape through interactive confrontation with the students and indirect interviews of their relatives. The first two meetings were devoted respectively to the identification and mapping of everyday places and important places; the last meeting was dedicated to the concept of cultural heritage, in particular the rural living heritage.

The participatory mapping activity stimulated the discussion on places and landscapes perceived as important by the children in order to define and characterize their territory. Moreover, the activity could be of an added value in the promotion and reflection about the future conservation and use of their heritage.


 Participatory activities at school of Rezzoaglio


A moment of the activities with primary schoolchildrens



Caterina Piu

Rebekka Dossche

Enrico Croce

Sabina Ghislandi

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On 3rd March, a fieldwork was carried out within the study area of the Cinque Terre National Park (Corniglia, Vernazza, SP), in a terraced area planted with vines owned by the La Polenza. The inspection involved members of DISTAV and DAFIST of the Italian team of the IRIS project, led by Ivano Rellini and Anna Stagno, and also saw the participation of doctoral students and researchers of the Antigone project, of the municipal doctorate, of the CLOE project, of the TEMPA project.

This case study intends to analyse the history of the management systems of environmental resources and the slopes of the Cinque Terre on a geographical scale in detail, in the broader perspective of a study of the rural population of this area and of the historical phases of abandonment. In short, the aim of the research conducted in this area is to reconstruct the history of the terraces, understood not simply as walls built to obtain arable land, but as complex artefacts, an integrated system of wall structures, soils, waters and management practices. The methodologies used here in an interdisciplinary sense are on the one hand pedology and soil micromorphology, on the other hand rural and surface archaeology, with the study of a soil profile and the archaeological survey in the terraced area, and a first synthetic filtering cartography of the area.

The experience of the La Polenza farm also allows us to focus on how the current procedures for the functional recovery (agricultural and architectural) of abandoned areas but historically the scene of rural productions can go hand in hand (and benefit from) from a synergy with research.



Archaeologists taking soil samples


Archaeological survey inside La Polenza vineyard



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At the Marsano Agricultural Institute, researchers from the DAFIST and DISTAV of the University of Genoa (Italy) carried out participatory activities with students of the 3rd grade, in collaboration with their teachers.

In the first meeting, the students mapped places, crops and material and immaterial practices that they themselves considered worthy of protection and conservation. In the following meeting, the students mapped the information obtained through interviews with parents, relatives or acquaintances on the topographic map of the valley.

The participation and involvement of the students, strongly stimulated by their teachers, have made it possible to identify and map the heritage of the Valley made up of places of memory, history, culture and the local economy. The ongoing elaborations will make it possible to analyze which places, spatially indicated, are considered by many people as heritage and consequently represent the local and rural identity of the Valleys.

These places deserve attention to be considered as places of living rural heritage by the local community.


Andrea Costa

Rebekka Dossche

Sebastiano Salvidio

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Researchers of IRIS project and “Municipal PhD” from the University of Genova carried out various fieldwork activities in the Ligurian Apennine during summer and autumn 2022.

The main area of interest included the municipalities of Borzonasca, Fontanigorda and Rezzoaglio (GE, Italy). The investigations aim was to detect the material traces of ancient environmental resources management and sharing practices.

Archaeological surveys allowed to assess the presence of a lot of structures related to agro-silvo-pastoral activities such as stables, barns, farmhouses, irrigation canals and cisterns, terraces, charcoal kilns etc. The presence of several rock shelters could be related to past human dwelling sites, due to the proximity with prehistoric findings on the Aiona mountain top. That evidence has to be confirmed by further archaeological investigation. In addition, historical ecology observations were made to detect in the actual vegetation some traces of past human activities and to reflect on the dynamics of abandonment of these rural areas. Data collected during the surveys are being processed through GIS systems and will be compared with archival and cartographic data and information offered by oral sources.

Farmhouse for agro-pastoral activities in the site of “Cerreie”, Rezzoaglio, GE (photo: Caterina Piu)


“Teccia de rocche” rock shelter discovered in the “Bosco Fontana” area, Rezzoaglio, GE (photo: Enrico Croce)


Terraces in Castagnello, Borzonasca, GE (photo: Caterina Piu)


Caterina Piu

Enrico Croce


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