Valerie Higgins

Professor Valerie Higgins is Program Director for Sustainable Cultural Heritage at the American University of Rome. She has a strong commitment to making archaeology accessible to a broad audience and regularly teaches adult learners, lectures to high school groups and appears in popular archaeology programs on TV. Her recent research has focused on contemporary issues in archaeology such as heritage issues in Rome, the influence of a nation’s recent history on archaeological practice and the impact of digital media on the experience of archaeology.

The objective of sustainable cultural tourism is to ensure good conservation practices along with a decision-making process that supports the local economy.

Daniele Malfitana

Full professor of Archaeology at the Department of Humanities of Catania University, professor Malfitana holds a Ph.D. in Classical Archaeology from Messina University. Currently Head of the School of Advanced Study in Archaeology and President of the “Scuola Superiore” of the University of Catania, Prof Malfitana research interests and experiences include: archaeological fieldwork; cultures and history of Roman Mediterranean; archaeology, cultures and history of Sicily (from the Roman Era through the early Middle Ages); urban development and social interaction in the Roman world; ancient systems of production and trade.

Sicily and Siracusa have a very rich history in which the period of Magna Graecia is essential to understand the importance of the Greek theatre and the ancient vestiges that will be visited during the Convention tour at the Archaeological Park of Siracusa.

Francesca Maria Corrao

Francesca Maria Corrao is a full professor at the Department of Political Sciences of the LUISS University (Rome), and Director of the Master Degree programme in Institution and Economy of the Middle Eastern Countries (MISLAM). Professor Corrao has published numerous works in the fields of Mediterranean studies, poetry and history of the Arab world, culture and identity, intercultural dialogue, human rights, and gender studies, including more than 30 books and 100 articles.
Her research deals with classical and contemporary diasporas in the Mediterranean and focuses on the drama of exile and identity and the complex relationship with the “other”. Her recent work includes a study of Mediterranean cultural history, Arabic poetry, and a critique from an intercultural perspective.

A fundamental lecture that will help clarifying the main theme of the Convention and introduce Sicily and Siracusa as a land of multiculturalism. The lecture will be dedicated to multiculturalism in the history of Siracusa.

Giorgio Calabrese

Giorgio Calabrese holds a degree in Medicine and Surgery and is a Food Science Specialist
He is Professor of Food and Human Nutrition at the University of Eastern Piedmont in Alessandria and at the University of Turin. Calabrese collaborates with various Universities in the US such as the Boston University, the Columbia University of New York, the New York University of New York and the Rockfeller University of New York.
He is an active member of the New York Academy of Sciences and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington.
He is the author of international and national publications and has been an official speaker in many international congresses. He is also a professional journalist and a TV author and presenter of successful scientific programmes.

An expert on history of food will give a lecture to better understanding how food has impacted Sicilian traditions following the arrival of migrants of different origin and religion. Food is a remarkable binding force that can unify people and stimulate social relationships.

John Boulding

John is a visionary leader in the travel and leisure industries with over 40 years of experience. As Group CMO of Vox Group, CEO of a major tour operator for 20 years, and a founder of several successful travel businesses, he specialises in innovation, branding, and customer-centric strategies. Renowned for his dynamic approach to business strategy and marketing, John is a respected thought leader, frequently sharing his insights at global conferences, and inspiring the next generation of travel professionals.

Explore the dynamic intersection of technology and tourism in this insightful session. We’ll delve into a compelling exploration of how digital innovation is transforming guiding within the tourism, arts, and culture sectors, and examine how these advancements are setting new standards for travel experiences and cultural exploration. This session offers an in-depth look at cutting-edge technologies, sustainable practices, and their significant impact on guiding techniques and global travel trends.

More speakers will be announced soon!


Letizia Sinisi


All over the world, in particular in the US, Canada and Australia, people of Italian lineage are trying to trace back their ancestors and deepen their knowledge of family roots. Very often they discover not only their own lineage and blood ties, but also get a deeper understanding of the Italian cultural background that is part of their personal heritage. Letizia Sinisi, together with her team and an entire community, assisted American film maker Bob Sorrentino in tracing part of his family’s origins in the town of Avellino.

Letizia Sinisi, who has been working for many years to build a reception system for Italian-descendants, providing the right skills and the most suitable techniques, is the owner of a company that deals with Root Tourism and author of the book “Root Tourism, an opportunity to restart with Rooting Experience Planning®”, a real manual, the first in Italy that offers technical knowledge and scientific methodologies useful for getting this type of tourism off the ground.

Sinisi can share her experiences with guides interested in promoting a new form of tourism, with an eye on the results of other countries, namely Scotland and Ireland, that have established and developed since the 1980’s return trips for their descendants

Martina Gatti


Another subject that can be of interest to an international audience is the negative impact of overtourism on local communities and famous tourist attractions and destinations, may they be art cities, i.e. Venice, Rome, Como Lake, or Cinque Terre. How can guides play an active role in protecting frail territories and promoting least known destinations?

Martina Gatti can provide an interesting insight as to the proactive role of guides in contrasting overtourism and supporting the rediscovery of abandoned historic villages and districts.
Martina Gatti has been involved in cultural communication and tourism for over fifteen years as a consultant, tourist guide, certified event manager and university professor at Rome University of Tor Vergata. She is also founder and managing director of Sinopie Srl, a consulting company in the national and international tourism sector. Her desire to make art and culture an engine of work and development also led to the birth of the Destination Management Company (DMC) My Italian Guide that over the years has built up a consolidated experience of consultancy with very important international brands.

Enrico Nicosia


In order to deepen the film tourism theme anticipated by Councilor Elvira Amata Prof. Enrico Nicosia, who was part of the team that created the cine tourism project in Sicily, will hold an interactive workshop on this very topical matter in Sicily and Siracusa.

Enrico Domenico Giovanni Nicosia is a Full Professor Geography, in the Department of Cognitive Science, Psychology, Education and Cultural Studies at University of Messina. He teaches Geography Fundamentals Cultural and Film Tourism and Territory, at the Department of Cognitive Sciences, Psychological, Pedagogical and Cultural Studies and Geography at the Department of Civilization Ancient and Modern of the University of Messina.

More speakers will be announced soon!