Class of 2019: Italian Architecture Student's Thesis Project Hit Close to Home

May 21, 2019 362

BY: Caroline Newman

Last summer, Adriana Giorgis and two of her University of Virginia classmates piled into a car and drove between 35 coastal villas dotted along the coast of Tuscany. It sounds like a dream roadtrip, and in many ways it was. But it was the dream of an academic and architectural historian, not a tourist. And the villas weren’t just any villas; they were first-century Roman ruins, many of them in extreme disrepair.

Giorgis, who grew up in Rome and Milan, has been visiting the area and observing the villas since she was a child – captivated by their beauty, but also troubled by the degradation, looting and deterioration that took away from them. Now, those villas are the focus of her two-year thesis project and a key part of the two degrees the fourth-year student will earn this weekend, one in architecture and one through a Distinguished Major Program in interdisciplinary studies, combining arts administration, historic preservation and art and architectural history.

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