Ilex Italian Landscape Exploration is a private company  headquartered in the village of Fontecchio, located within the Sirente-Velino Natural Park.

We are a dedicated group of educatorsresearches, and practitioners, well-versed in biodiversity conservationrural developmentsocial science, and natural resource management.

At the heart of our group is a core team of ten professionals assisted by a number of part-time collaborators and volunteers all working together to teach the principles of sustainability, preserve our diminishing natural resources, and to pass on a healthy, thriving landscape to the next generation of conservationists.




    Alessio di GiulioAlessio led the Education Department of WWF Italy for fifteen years till 2001, when he moved to the village of Fontecchio, in the heart of Velino-Sirente Natural Park.

    There he founded ILEX (Italian Landscape Exploration) an innovative enterprise working on sustainable rural development, cultural tourism and environmental education.

    ILEX manages the environmental education centre “Torre del Cornone”, which was recognised as an institution of public interest by the Italian authorities.


    Domenico CerasoliSenior consultant for planning, implementation, verification and monitoring of the Regional Development programs. Hiking guide at the Alpine Guide Council of the Abruzzo region.

    Domenico has a bachelor degree in Philosophy and a Phd in Public Policies Analysys at the University of Turin. Since 2006, he has been working as a consultant for the regional public administration of Abruzzo on national and European cohesion policies (FESR, FSE, FSC).

    Environment, territory and its socio-economic dimensions are his main fields of interest and study. 

    Domenico is a professional hiking guide. He is one of the founders of Abruzzo Mountains Wild. He is engaged in several initiatives for the conservation and sustainable development of the mountain landscape, with a special focus on the Aterno Valley. He is mainly involved to inhance and maintain the trails net, in collaboration with local municipalities, professionals and associations.

    He has worked with Ilex on the following projects: ‘Let’s adopt a trail’, ‘Castles celebrations’, ‘Slow landscapes’. Together with Silvia Scozzafava, he wrote “Rete Natura 2000 in Abruzzo, guida pratica all’utilizzo dei fondi comunitari 2014-2020”, Quaderni dell’Aterno collection, edited by ILEX.


    Giorgia FacchinelliGiorgia is a freelance consultant specialised in project development, communication and networking for initiatives tackling  environmental and cultural themes. She has spent most of her adult life abroad.

    In Egypt, she founded and managed an NGO working on education and cultural cooperation and was active in local environmental groups advocating for the protection of Ras Mohammed National Park (Sinai) and the Fayoum Oasis.

    Her strong international experience in creating and sustaining partnerships for development includes multiple EU initiatives for education, environment and combatting climate change.

    She has recently started to collaborate with Ilex on sustainable local development and responsible tourism. In Mediterranean Mosaics, her focus is on setting up a network of producers-buyers committed to sustainable agricultural production and consumption, and on opening new distribution channels for agricultural products of excellence from Abruzzo.


    Manuela CozziManuela is a senior freelance expert specialized in raising and managing financial resources for the agro-environmental sector, with a focus on the European Union, Italian Government and Abruzzo Region.

    In Abruzzo, she led or took part into several Local Action Groups engaged in the planning, design, organization and coordination of Structural Funds programs.

    She also has an International experience and has worked in Asia, South America, Africa and other European countries.

    Manuela also cooperates with many solidarity economy networks, as an expert in sustainable agriculture and responsible tourism.


    Marco CMarco started his professional career at the Abruzzo Region IT Department in 2001 and was involved on the creation of a new official website for the Regional Authority.

    During the last 15 years Marco has developed a solid experience in the field of Information and Communications Technology, working as web designer and UI designer.


    Marco Polvani

    • Formazione professionale
    • Università
    • Progetti di partecipazione
    • Turismo rurale

    Marialuisa Graziani

    • Progetti con le comunità locali
    • Gestione della foresteria

    Marina PaolucciMarina holds a PhD in Forestry and has been engaged in sustainable and innovative forest management since twenty years, working in the Abruzzo Region, mostly in the framework of EU schemes. She has a solid experience in the facilitation of Local Action Groups and in participatory and social forestry development projects. She is a founding member of FSC Italy and a member of the Environmental Chamber, and always seeking innovative solutions to promote sustainable development that is beneficial for the improvement of local livelihoods and the environment.


    Sara CianconeSara is a cellist. For 25 years she has been carring out orchestra and chamber activities. Since 2000, she has participated in the DisCanto Musical Association, dedicating her work to the dissemination and adaptation of the Abruzzo musical oral tradition, with the aim of supporting the conservation and promotion of the Abruzzo cultural heritage in Italy and abroad.
    Within the Mediterranean Mosaics project, she has worked in the accounting and administration department, while for the Model Forest project she fosters and develops collaborations, and coordinates the planning activities involving the Aterno Valley artisans and cultural associations.


    Teresa CiambelliniTeresa has been working as an architect since 2007, with a postgraduate work on urban planning and an international experience in urban design. She has been involved in community planning projects since 2011, developing a solid experience as a mediator and social animator. She was involved in the first phase of Mediterranean Mosaics project, strengthening the awareness of local communities on the need build rural landscape resilience. During Phase Two, she will focus on developing a strategy and action plan for the adaptive forest restoration of parts of the Aterno river, and on facilitating community involvement on water services management and governance.