Born in Bologna in 1969, he is medieval historian who has lectures at the universities of Bologna, Milan, Tunis, Cambridge, Amsterdam, Mexico City and Buenos Aires. Fascinated by the Mediterranean as a crossroads of civilizations, cultures, wars and trade, he has devoted a number of essays to its history, focussing on the Islamic presence in Italy and Spain. His book Quando guidavano le stelle (2015 and 2019), takes a look at the political tensions and the economic, cultural and religious crisis that is currently enveloped the entire Mediterranean area, taking the reader on a journey across a sea, in the path of the ancients, which «is sailed, navigated and explored». The re-descovery of places, routes, keywords and objects of the past characterizes many others of his books, such us Storie di parole arabe, Storie di parole arabe, Migrazioni mediterranee, L'ignoto davanti a noi, La via della seta (with Franco Cardini), Idolatria, Storia del Mediterraneo in 20 oggetti (with Amedeo Feniello), Inverno (2018) and Strade perdute. Viaggio sentimentale sulle vie che hanno fatto la storia (2019).
(photo: © Festivaletteratura)