WACU- WAndering CUltures

Problem statement: 

Migration was seen as the first urban challenge in Europe according to the World Economic Forum. In 2018, around 20.000 migrants lived in reception centers around Rome. They often didn’t know anything about the city and country they live in. 


Target group: 

Migrants who lived in reception centers around Rome. Mostly young male adults.


Proposed solution:

The overall objective of the project was to empower migrants through the knowledge of Italian and European cultural heritage in order to enhance their knowledge and overcome social barriers to integration. Our second objective was to raise awareness in the Roman community on the necessity to integrate immigrants in the urban context, while connecting participants that can then become advocates of social inclusion. By organizing joint activities, visits and walks, Shapers and migrants discovered more about Rome and about each other’s culture, in what is a true cultural exchange and integration process for many migrants who otherwise never interact with locals. What we did with Wandering cultures was create cultural, artistic and literary itineraries across Rome involving young Italians and refugees leveraging on what only Rome can offer, namely its amazing cultural and artistic heritage. 



The Global Shapers Rome Hub organized 19 excursions over a 15-month period. The excursions were usually organized on Saturdays and lasted around half a day. The activities were open to Italians and migrants, and free of charge for all participants. The ratio usually was around 5 migrants per each Italian. Activities were very diverse. They included: a visit to the Italian Senate, to the Castelporziano Presidential Estate and to several neighborhoods of Rome; excursions to Monte Mario, Monte Tuscolo and the beach; excursions to the Stadio Olimpico for international rugby matches and a Serie A football match.


Short term/Results: 

Around 120 migrants participated in at least one of the activities. Around half of them participated more than once, and about 20 people participated to many of these activities. Real friendships originated out of the project, and for many participants (and Shapers!) the excursions became one of the monthly highlights to look forward to. For some participants, Shapers became their main point of reference for administrative or cultural questions. Shapers organized some side activities to help the target group, such as a session to prepare CVs, and they provided legal advice to some people in need.


Long-term change: 

The project helped migrants to integrate in Rome. Probably the project had a positive impact on the mental health of many participants. By getting to know the Shapers, some participants improved their Italian and many became more aware of their rights. At least one person found a long-term job thanks to the contacts created in this project. Some of the participants to this project later also participated to Bridging Cultures, another project of the Rome Hub.


Available metrics: 

  • Around 120 migrants participated in at least one of the activities. Many people participated more than once.

  • 5 Shapers formed the core team of Wandering Cultures. Some other Shapers helped more sporadically.

  • 19 activities were organized, over the course of 15 months.



  • Liberi Nantes (main partner)

Other partners include:

  • Fondo Ambiente Italiano

  • Migrantour

  • Retake Roma

  • AS Roma