Introduction Project Bibliography
Accademia: Hadrian’s Secret Garden
Pilot Project


Starting from 2005, Marina de Franceschini directed the Accademia Project, to study one of the lesser known areas of Hadrian’s Villa, which is still in private property and it is not open to the public. The present owners, Bulgarini, very kindly give permission to scholars to study and survey the site.

It is a Pilot Project, created to apply in Hadrian’s Villa the most advanced Information technology, with a multidisciplinary approach. During these last years the Project has been modified in order to face the problems we met during the survey and the measurements, and also to answer the many questions stemming from our increased knowledge and research on the site.

Some results of our Projects have been presented and published during several Conferences (see Bibliography). A series of books will soon be published about this area, starting with the vast artificial esplanades, containment walls, buildings, subterranean corridors and so on.

The Topographic survey with Total Station and Laser Scanner was carried out by architect Umberto Pavanello, with some archaeologist of the University of Trento, Anna Maria Marras, Caterina Ognibeni and Birgit Costazza. I wish to thank them gratefully for their cooperation and help.

I also thank the friends of the Sotterranei di Roma Association (, Marco Placidi, Vittoria Fresi, Francesco Lerteri and many others, who helped me in exploring the subterranean tunnels near the Nymphaeum over the Canopus.