The Institute is part of an overall project whose final aim is to support and enhance Italy's civil and critical awareness by providing its citizens with a better knowledge of its historical identity. In this framework, the Institute stimulates and supports research relating to Mediterranean Europe by focussing on a number of favoured themes:
- the shaping of the cultural identity of the European countries of the Mediterranean area from the privileged perspective of the Italian peninsula and islands, from the Middle Ages to the contemporary era.
- relations and reciprocal influences amongst the countries of Mediterranean Europe and their outside projections -- towards the Black Sea and past the Strait of Gibraltar, including the two shores of the Atlantic world.
- human mobility and migration, in a context of continuous material and ideological exchanges; these phenomena were at the base of the intense relations amongst the communities and states that are located along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, including their Atlantic projections towards the Americas.
- the creation of scholarly instruments that may help Italy perform its function as the most natural link between Europe and the countries that, along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, dot share the same European and western culture.
- the publication and edition, in traditional and digital format, of all sources (documentary, archival, cartographic, iconographic, statistical and literary) relating to the history and the culture of Mediterranean Europe, with special reference to the Italian peninsula.