Italo-Scottish Research Cluster


The Italo-Scottish Research Cluster has a number of volunteers who help with associated projects and events. If you would like to join our team, please contact:

Marilena Alonzi

I am a graduate of the University of Edinburgh and currently work in an art gallery. This project interests me as both my parents were born in Picinisco and I am keen to help document Italian migration to Scotland.

Riccardo Alonzi

I am in my final year of studying for an Honours degree in Italian and French at the University of Edinburgh. I was born and brought up in Edinburgh but my paternal grandparents originate from the small village of Picinisco in Italy. Every summer I return to Picinisco and I have developed a great fondness for the Italian language, culture and cuisine through my extensive travels around Italy and the many stories that my grandparents passed down to me.

Amy Louise Hendry

I am a final year student of Italian and French at Edinburgh University - no family connections to Italy, sadly, but I spent a semester in Verona and plan on moving back to Italy in future! I plan to teach English abroad after graduation, and possibly pursue a postgraduate degree in comparative literature in future. In addition to literature studies, I am interested in translation and the cultural implications of the Italian diaspora.

Zaic Holbrook

I am a first year student of Spanish and History at the University of Edinburgh. I am interested in culture, language and anthropology, and this is why I got involved in this project. My ambitions include working in academia, travelling the world and writing in my free time.

Natalia Jurcackova

I am a final year student of an MA Hons in French and Italian and European Union Studies at the University of Edinburgh. My interests include translation theory and practice, and history of Italian language. I would like to further develop these interests by pursuing an MSc in Translation Studies.

Serena Mariani

I graduated recently and my interests lie in art, culture and event management. My professional goal is to become a successful international event manager while continuing to engage with art and painting in the spare time.

Michela Petrella

Currently a student at the University of Milan, I am writing my Master's dissertation on the theatrical consequences of Italian immigration in Scotland. As a students of Foreign Languages and Literature, I spent my year abroad in Glasgow and worked as an intern in Edinburgh and therefore found this topic fascinating both in regards to my studies and to my life experience.

Maria Sole Sbrana

I have a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Pisa and I am now enrolled on the Master programme in the same school. My primary research area is Italians abroad. I am writing my Master’s thesis about the history of Italian migration to Scotland. I’m fascinated by this topic because most Scots-Italians originally came from Tuscany, my place of origin.

Eleonora Wan

I am a 2nd year Italian and English Language student at the University of Edinburgh. My areas of interest include genealogy and cognitive science, in particular multilingualism and human memory. By working at the cluster, I hope to discover and preserve the beautiful stories behind Italian Immigration which are fading away, and to explore the relationship between time, space, and the human mind.

Luigi Zechini

I am a native Italian speaker. I am Research Assistant in the Department of Biology at the University of Edinburgh and work on animal behaviour. I am very interested in Italian migration and the anthropological, social and cultural processes resulting from it.