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About us

Virgil Academy is a nonprofit organization established by scholars and philanthropists aiming to enhance the Italian archaeological and artistic heritage (in respect of its unique features) and make it known to international students and researchers. Virgil Academy's mission is to contribute to the safeguard of Italy's archaeological sites and, at the same time, promote a new consciousness in favor of international universities' classics departments. The aim is also to attract "Cultural interest & lifestyle" tourism in places situated off the beaten track of the typical tourism destinations. The diffusion of the Italian cultural heritage contributes to the economic growth of the towns that host numerous groups of international researchers and students for long periods of time. Virgil Academy takes its name from the great Latin poet who led Dante by the hand and guided him along the path of knowledge in the Divine Comedy. Virgil Academy "joins hands" with international universities in order to guide their students and researchers in the study of the Italian archaeological heritage and to help them navigate the complexities and bureaucracy of managing a long term stay of cultural enrichment.

Gianni Profita,
Virgil Academy President
A Practical Example

In May-August 2016, Virgil Academy helped Baylor University (Texas) launch an extensive research program focusing on the San Giuliano site, in Barbarano Romano (70 km from Rome), through two distinct campaigns aimed, respectively, to the study of an Etruscan site and a Medieval site.
The students participating in the excavations stayed in Viterbo and visited Rome, Florence, Capri, Pompeii, Venice, etc.

News on web:

see link 1      see link 2

What We Do

Virgil Academy takes care of accomodation, food, excursions to cities of art and archaeological sites, extracurricular activities. We help international universities identify which archaeological site is more suitable for their research projects, and we assist them in the application for the excavation concession, all free of charge. We also help universities organize the stay of their researchers and students in the proximity of the archaeological sites, so they do not have to deal with any kind of organizational problems. 

Welcome to Italy

Under 30s love Italy but know little about it, says a CTS survey
("Beautiful Country, Good Tourism" project, developed by CTS in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and the Italian Association for Responsible Tourism AITR)  


According to the recent study "Trends in International Student Mobility", "Cultural interest & lifestyle" (Quacquarelli Symonds) is the second top reason why young people choose to study abroad for a certain period of time: Italy can offer an extraordinary experience thanks to its lifestyle, art, culture, gastronomy, enology. The concentration and quality of such factors are unique.


Virgil Academy has obtained a three year renewal (from 2018 to 2020) of the concession for research and archaeological excavation in the Etruscan site at BARBARANO ROMANO (VT), San Giuliano area, from the general directorate for archaeology, fine arts and landscape (Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities, and Tourism).   

Our Target

International universities wishing to organize a study program in Italy for their professors, researchers and students. Virgil Academy will appeal to the many classics departments around the world offering courses that variously refer to the Italian classical cultural heritage. In the United States alone, there are over 278 classics departments that include majors such as Anthropology, Archaeology, Architecture, Art History, Classical Studies, History, Philosophy and Sociology. Attracting international students is an important part of the Italian cultural industry. Studying in Italy for a period of time should be essential to classics departments' students, just like economy students wish to study in New York or London, the most important financial centers in the world.

Study abroad program in San Giuliano. Values and benefits.

Davide Zori, Antrophology Department Baylor University

Why to join a study abroad program in San Giuliano. 

Collen Zori, Antrophology Department Baylor University

"Virgil Academy assisted Baylor University in launching the San Giuliano Archaeological Research Project (SGARP), a transdisciplinary project that focuses on the Etruscan and Medieval periods of the site, located in Barbarano Romano (just north of Rome). Baylor University students, lead by their professors and research teams, are provided with the opportunity to participate in the excavations and the laboratory work. Learn more about SGARP on Baylor University's website
Quality food and good wine // Fashion and tastefulness // Lifestyle // Politeness and friendliness // Folk traditions // Music and movies
Italian culture is not only History and Art. It is also…




The San Giuliano Archaeological Research Project is in the middle of a tremendously productive 3rdseason. The collaboration between Baylor University, Virgil Academy, Barbarano Romano, and the Soprintendenza has provided a foundation for significant discoveries. We have conducted a survey of Etruscan tombs in the San Giuliano necropolis, and targeted excavations at both the medieval castle of San Giuliano and at selected tombs in the Etruscan necropolis. Emerging from this research is a view into the life, economy, and belief systems of the people of San Giuliano from the 8thcentury BC to the 13thcentury AD. For me personally, I was struck by an important discovery that our team made last week. As part of our intent to uncover the long-term history of this region, we have been searching for archaeological materials from the early Etruscan period. From surveying on the San Simone hilltop (one of 5 hills that surround San Giuliano) we had identified a possible grave in an area known to contain late Villanovan and early Etruscan graves. I expected the tomb to have been looted by tomb-raiders in the past. The first two days of excavation seemed to confirm that the tomb had been disturbed. By the end of the third day, however, we had come to understood that the disturbance was from a post-medieval agricultural trench that had not reached the bottom of the tomb. As we removed the last layer of white limestone rocks overlaying the burial, a small glimmering green object came to light; it was a bronze fibula or dress pin. We knew immediately that the grave was untouched by human hands since the time of its original burial over 2500 years ago. Tomb robbers consistently take the bronze from graves that they encounter, so their presence clearly indicated that this grave was intact. 

Graves such as this early Etruscan grave are purposefully-constructed monuments built by the dead individual’s loved ones. In my view our job as archaeologists is to make these silent remains speak again, to give voice to the deceased and their relatives. The remains of the skeleton were much decayed, but we found fragments and slight shadows of bones as well as preserved teeth and part of the Etruscan person’s mandible. From these remains we can tell that the burial belonged to an adult woman. The artifacts, particularly a ceramic spindle whorl and seven bronze fibulae, are also consistent with identification of the individual as female. The bronze artifacts recovered are exquisite, with one fibula attached to a chain of fine large rings and another including circular disks of amber imported from the Baltic Sea region. Furthermore, we recovered at least thirteen complete ceramic vases, bowls, and cups in the grave, including two very fine impasto cups, a ceramica depurata trilobate pitcher, a two-handled hemispherical brown impasto cup with incised decoration, and a large impasto bowl with evidence of ancient repair. During the burial events these objects were placed in the grave as sacrifices or to accompany the deceased woman into the next world. The ceramics range in date from the second half of the eight century BC to the first half of the seventh century BC, situating the grave assemblage at the threshold between the Villanovan and Etruscan worlds. Work on the artifacts and the bones of this early Etruscan woman from San Giuliano is just beginning. These finds promise to reveal new insights into the period in which the Etruscan civilization emerged. (David Zori, Baylor University)

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