Summer School of the UNESCO chair in ICT to develop and promote sustainable tourism in World Heritage Sites

LeVERAGE ICTs for Tourism

Information and Communication Technologies in Tourism for preserving LiVing hERitAGE

August 24-31, 2019 – Lugano & Müstair, Switzerland
(Download:  brochure)

The 2019 Summer School of the UNESCO chair took place in Switzerland: the activities of the first two days (August 24th and 25th) ran within the 2019 edition of the MEM Summer Summit in Lugano, then the group moved to Val Müstair, home to the Benedictine Convent of St John at Müstair, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The focus this time was on living heritage, which is living practices and expressions passed down from generation to generation and constantly recreated by communities in response to their environment, their relationship with nature and their history. The importance of living heritage is not the cultural manifestation itself but rather the wealth of knowledge and skills that is transmitted.

Image by: Rufino Emmenegger, Copyright: Foundation Pro Monastery of St. John

Lectures, visits to UNESCO World Heritage Sites and Biospheres reserves, hands-on exercises and a range of formal and informal activities allowed participants to understand how to leverage ICTs for a sustainable tourism that is able to preserve and transmit living heritage.


Photo Credits: Mona Hess & USI UNESCO Chair


Those who could not participate in person, attended the “Virtual Summer School”, which made accessible resources and presentation videos etc. based on the on-place experience. The eLearning platform have been active until 31.08.2020. All contents (presentations, videos, images, audio recordings etc.) are archived for further access and usage after the Summer School.



  • Advanced Master students
  • PhD students
  • Post Docs


  • World Heritage Site managers
  • DMOs
  • Interested tourism and heritage professionals


Silvia Aulet – University of Girona, Spain Lorenzo CantoniLorenzo Cantoni – USI  – Università della Svizzera italiana, Lugano, Switzerland
Patrick Cassitti – Scientific director of the Foundation Pro Kloster St. Johann, and University of Innsbruck Silvia De Ascaniis – USI, Lugano, Switzerland
Mona Hess – Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg, Germany Sarah Kenderine – EPFL – École Polytechnique Fédérale De Lausanne, Switzerland
Ricco Maggi – USI, Lugano, Switzerland Marco Meschini – USI, Lugano, Switzerland

Engelbert Ruoss – USI, Lugano, Switzerland

James Blake Wiener – Co-Founder and the Communications Director at Ancient History Encyclopedia



Benedictine Convent of St John at Müstair (CH)
The World Heritage Site, “which stands in a valley in the Grisons, is a good example of Christian monastic renovation during the Carolingian period. It has Switzerland’s greatest series of figurative murals, painted c. A.D. 800, along with Romanesque  frescoes and stuccoes.” (UNESCO 2018)


Biosfera Val Müstair (CH)

“The Biosfera Val Müstair is a regional nature reserve of national importance and, together with the Swiss National Park and parts of the municipality of Scuol, forms the first UNESCO high Alpine biosphere reserve in Switzerland.” ( 2018)


Tessanda in Müstair (CH)
A workshop experience, producing hand-woven textiles on 19th-century looms.




Benedictine Abbey Marienberg (IT)
“The Monte Maria Monastery – “Kloster Marienberg” in German, “Abbazia di Monte Maria” in Italian – is located above Burgusio (Burgeis), in the municipality of Malles in the Val Venosta valley. The white, castle-like building dates back to the 12th century and was donated by the Nobles of Tarasp. Today the monastery has got 11 members, living according to the rules of the Saint Benedict of Nursia.” ( 2018)

Town of Gluns/ Glorenza (IT)
“Glorenza, the smallest town in South Tyrol, works its magic on every visitor with its charming medieval atmosphere, perfectly preserved town walls and its three picturesque gate towers. Virtually unchanged since the 16th century, there are echoes of the eventful history of this former trading town around every corner.” ( 2018)

Castle Coira/ Churburg (IT)
“One of the best preserved castles of South Tyrol rises at the entrance of the Val di Mazia valley at Sluderno (Schluderns) and is called Castel Coira – “Churburg” in German. In 1259, this building was mentioned for the first time as “Curberch” in a document of Archbishop Heinrich von Monfort, which had the castle built around 1250.” ( 2018)

Castles of Bellinzona (CH)
“The castles of Bellinzona are one of Ticino’s main attractions and, with the old walls that are still standing, are the sole medieval military complex in the Alpine region. They became part of the UNESCO World Heritage in 2000.” ( 2018). The 2019 Summer School will visit one of the castles.


  • local food
  • life in the Abbey
  • history of the region

Sculpture of Charlemagne (Abbey of St John at Müstair)Source:—abbey-of-saint-john-at-/

FEE for Virtual Summer School (in Swiss Francs)                             CHF 150

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