About the Author of this Site
Marina De Franceschini studied and graduated at the University of Genoa, Italy with professor Gioia De Luca, and a thesis on the buildings dedicated to the roman Imperial Cult. Then she studied at Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., with professors Brunilde Sismondo Ridgway and Gloria Ferrari Pinney, writing a thesis on the mosaics of Hadrian's Villa near Tivoli, Rome. After that, she enrolled in the Scuola di Specializzazione at Pisa, Italy, with professor Andrea Carandini.
Her M.A. thesis was the starting point of her research work on roman villas. She thoroughly studied Hadrian's Villa on books, but visiting the site she understood the fundamental importance of working on the spot and of field archaeology. She decided to enlarge her thesis on the villa (previously limited to mosaics), and to apply the principles of archaeometry, creating room-by-room catalogue entries. This long research and documentation work was acknowledged by the Erma di Bretschneider Prize and the publication in 1991 of her first book, Villa Adriana Mosaici, pavimenti, edifici, which is the primary source of information for this website. The book collects previous antiquarian information, lists mosaics and opus sectile marble pavements (previously unpublished) and gives a new interpretation of the hadrianic complex, opening new research paths.
Afterwards, she studied the roman villas of the roman region of Venetia et Histria, set within their historical context: territory, cities, roads, harbors, rivers, centuriation and agriculture.
Her most recent publication (2005), with the Sovraintendenza Comunale of Rome and professor Eugenio La Rocca, is an extensive catalogue of one hundred villas located in the Ager surrounding Rome: it reconstructs their typology and history throughout several centuries, giving a new interpretation of their evolution.
Marina De Franceschini has worked with University of Trento (Italy) and professor Mariette de Vos in a Project for the survey and study of the Palestra in Hadrian’s Villa.
Since 2005 Marina De Franceschini planned and directed a Pilot Project to survey and study one of the lesser known building of Hadrian's Villa: the Accademia. The results will be published in a forthcoming series of books.