Annapia Ferrara

  • ResearcherDepartment of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Pisa

Contact Info:

I am a postdoctoral researcher at the department of Agriculture, Food and Environment of the University of Pisa. I obtained my industrial PhD at the University of Macerata in Marche region, by specialising my research on the role of social innovation in driving a sustainable and inclusive rural tourism. During this period, I was a visiting student at the department of Business and Economics of the Arctic University of Tromsø in Norway, and at the Department of Economics, Business and Tourism at the University of La Laguna, in Tenerife Spain.

I am interested in inclusive growth, and I research in the intersection between tourism, rural development, and agri-food, in light of my multifaceted experience and knowledge, by exploring ways of supporting socially entrepreneurial initiatives such as social farming, through multi-actor and inter-sectoral participated methods.

My approach is rooted in Participatory Action-Research. Stakeholder engagement, networking and collaboration are the guiding principles for my research. Therefore, my experience as researcher extends to several roles, also including discussion facilitation and information brokering in socially innovative ecosystems.

I conduct mainly qualitative data analysis, although from now on I am specialising in social network analysis, coherently to my research aims.

Not least, during the last years I had the opportunity to apply my knowledge by working with students on projects for the sustainable development and valorization of rural territories and their products, through the approach of service-learning and other green pedagogies.

Should I summarize my research contribution in light of the SDGs, I would definitely say SDGs 2, 4, 8, and 17.



  • Inclusive rural growth
  • Social innovation
  • On-farm tourism
  • Farm diversification and agriculture-multifunctionality
  • Education for sustainability and green pedagogies



  • Participatory Action-Research
  • Co-creation methods for sustainable development
  • Qualitative research and analysis
  • Network analysis (principles)



Ferrara, A., Ferrara, C., Tomasi, S., Paviotti, G., Bertella, G., & Cavicchi, A. (2023). Exploring the Potential of Social Farmers’ Networking as a Leverage for Inclusive Tourism. Sustainability, 15(7), 5856. doi:

Ferrara, C., Tomasi, S., Aleffi, C., Ferrara, A., Bertella, G., Paviotti, G., & Cavicchi, A. (2021). Relationships matter. new paths for tourism beyond COVID-19 pandemic. an exploratory research from Italy. In COVID-19: Paving the Way for a More Sustainable World (pp. 349-370). Cham: Springer International Publishing.

Ferrara, A., & Passarini, P. (2020). University’s support to the European Cultural Routes and territorial development: An exploratory case study from the University of Macerata. EconomiaMarche-Economia Marche Journal of Applied Economics, 39(2).


  • ONFOODS – Research and Innovation for Sustainable Food and Nutrition
  • EMPLACING FOOD – Narrative, Policies and Spaces in Italy
  • NEMOS – A New Educational Model for Acquisition of Sustainability Competences Through Service-learning