In recent times, philanthropy and its institutional and associative networks entered a phase of debate and change which characterize, with specific connotations, the Mediterranean areas and their strategic role within the global system.

It is a matter of fact that the roots of philanthropy in the Mediterranean areas - which are considered here in the broad meaning stated by the classical studies of the historian Fernand Braudel, as an "espace mouvement", dynamic and shaped by social, economic and cultural changes - are deep in terms of historical legacy, anthropological patterns as well as religious traditions.

This has been be the core of the conference Virtual Exhibition. Religions and Philanthropy in the Mediterranean: Artefacts, Symbols and Culture that took place in Bologna, Italy on November 25th and 26th, 2010, organized by PHaSI research center, directed by Professor Giuliana Gemelli and with the contribution of Fondazione Roma - Mediterraneo.

The Meeting was a great opportunity for all the participants to discuss about the Mediterranean as a "fabric of civilizations" crossed by several paths, through which the communities and their organizations transform their culture and practices, with a focus on religious traditions and philanthropic patterns as well as on their interaction.