Travelling with the UniOn App: Itineraries of Language and Culture Through the City of Bologna


  • Antonella Valva University of Bologna
  • Giacomo Mambelli University of Bologna



Application, Geo-localisation, Integration, Learning, Language-culture


UniOn is an application for smartphone and tablets developed within ILOCALAPP (, a European project coordinated by the University of Bologna. UniOn exists in four versions, one for each city involved in the project (Bologna, Coimbra, Poznań and Rovaniemi), and it is meant to foster the incidental learning of the language and the culture related to the city (respectively, Italian, Portuguese, Polish and Finnish). The fruition and the understanding of the contents (reading, listening, etc.) directly in the places let the users get in touch with aspects of language and culture in an implicit, non intentional way.
UniOn has been created to cope with the specific needs of international students living a mobility experience, but it has become soon an interesting tool also for other typologies of travellers (high-school students, university students coming from other cities, tourists, migrants). In this article we will illustrate the main app features and its development based on a user-centred design approach. We will focus upon the Bologna version of the app to show how the app is being used, and how both the city and the users’ experience of the city play a crucial role.


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How to Cite

Valva, A., & Mambelli, G. (2018). Travelling with the UniOn App: Itineraries of Language and Culture Through the City of Bologna. Almatourism - Journal of Tourism, Culture and Territorial Development, 9(18), 129–133.



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