Does your dataList have the @DataModel annotation?
I believe this is required in order to allow things to be passed around properly, at least from my experience when I had a similar problem with null objects being passed in.
In your class for the ricercaMenu bean, you should have something like :
private List dataList;
This will tell seam to generate a datamodel for your dataList List, and facilitates the passing of the list item to the ricerca.begin procedure.
Does your example work with a h:dataTable ?
Have you defined the Seam view handler in faces-config.xml?
<faces-config> <application> <view-handler>org.jboss.seam.ui.facelet.SeamFaceletViewHandler</view-handler> </application> </faces-config>
However, will not work if you're using Trinidad components.