Italian Institute of Culture, Hamburg, Germany, 2021.


Observing the islands of the Mediterranean, from the Pelagie to the Cyclades, passing through the Aeolian Islands, the Tremiti, the Pontine Islands and the Tuscan islands, the diversity of these islands is evident, in terms of location, conformation, resources and history. To live in these islands means to find a meeting point between the sea and the land, and of this relationship, the houses – with the morphology of the settlements and the architectural typology – represent a reflection of the local culture.


Most of the islands in the Mediterranean during the second half of the twentieth century have dedicated themselves almost exclusively to tourism, abandoning their history, their productive realities and therefore also their cultural identity. Italy has many examples: Elba, which since Etruscan times was an important reality of the iron and steel industry with its iron extraction quarries, or Favignana with its fishing and tuna production of which, with the Florio family, has been an important innovator worldwide. This tradition, production closely linked to the natural context in which the islands are located and that has determined the economic, social and cultural development is now annihilated and, in the best cases, remembered in museums that are visited only by the most curious visitors. The diversity of the islands tends to be remembered only as the landscape or the clear waters for which thousands of people seasonally flock to and dive in.


Born in 2018, Archipelago is the brainchild of a research project that intends to document the diversity of the islands in the Mediterranean. It considers all archipelagos and islands in the Mediterranean, particularly those which are inhabited, seeking to uncover the relationship that dwellings and architecture create with the sea and land. 


It is a long-term project that is expected span 50 years, of which the first goal is mapping the Italian islands by 2028. Archipelago aims to record and valorize the cultural identity of the Italian and Mediterranean archipelagos, organized with the following three types of material:


  1. photographic reportage on the living conditions with glimpses of architecture and landscapes that can give information on the relationship that was to be established with the territory,

  2. maps of the archipelagos and islands, in which, in addition to the survey curves and information on the morphology of the inhabited settlements, also the bathymetric curves that characterize the seabed are shown, and

  3. a selection of readings and in-depth studies recommended in an essential bibliography.


Archipelago can be useful for all of those involved in heritage, for municipal administrations or administrative and cultural bodies that deal with the protection and promotion of the territory, for scholars and teachers, or for those interested in the culture of the Mediterranean.


Archipelago makes a contribution to the 2005 UNESCO Convention for the Protection and Promotion of Cultural Diversity in relation to forms of living on the islands of the Mediterranean.


As of 2020, the following islands have been mapped:

  • Egadi Archipelago

    • Favignana Island

  • Aeolian Archipelago

    • Island of Stromboli

  • Maddalena Archipelago

    • Maddalena Island

  • Pelagie archipelago

    • Island of Lampedusa

    • Island of Linosa

  • Pontine Archipelago

    • Ponza Island

    • Island of Palmarola

  • Tuscan Archipelago

    • Island of Capraia

    • Island of Elba



Corinna Del Bianco Studio


Concept, research, texts and photographs  

Corinna Del Bianco


Exhibition design

Corinna Del Bianco

Costanza Leoni



Costanza Leoni

Myrto Gatou

Book layout

Myrto Gatou


Crowdfunding campaign

Spencer Nash