PhD Stories - Sara Rocco

The preservation of the Architectural Heritage in the city of Pula in the short twentieth century

For the PhD Stories series, today we meet Sara Rocco. She is from Verona, she is twenty-nine, and she is enrolled in the 33rd cycle of the PhD program in Preservation of the Architectural Heritage at the Department of Architecture and Urban Studies of Politecnico di Milano.

Hi Sara. What are you studying in your PhD research?

My research aims to investigate how the protection of monuments has developed in connection with politics and ideology in the city of Pula in the short twentieth century. This city represents a case in point, because in the last century four different administrations succeeded each other. To conduct my research, I am using several sources: for example, archive documentation about restoration interventions, theoretical writings of architects, direct surveys, interviews, but also normative and linguistic aspects.

My research aims to investigate how the protection of monuments has developed in connection with politics and ideology in the city of Pula in the short twentieth century.

What is the objective of your thesis?

My thesis intends to make a contribution of knowledge about some monuments, which could be useful in the planification of future interventions. As it is one of the first Italian studies about the Yugoslav Protection Heritage System, the thesis opens a new research field that longs to be shared between the two countries: Italy and Croatia.

Why did you choose to continue your studies with a PhD?

I chose to do a PhD to deepen topics that I developed a passion for in the previous academic years. Besides, the PhD degree represents the first step for a potential academic career, and also a prerequisite to enter the Ministry of Cultural Heritage.

Pula's Arena
Pula's Forum
Pula's city hall
Archive of the Superintendency of Trieste
Sara Rocco at a conference

Why at the Politecnico di Milano?

I chose Politecnico di Milano on the heels of the excellent experience of formation I had during my Bachelor and Master programs and also due to its reputation and internationality.

What was your path?

My academic path consisted in earning a bachelor’s degree in Science of Architecture in Politecnico di Milano Bovisa and the master's degree in Architecture in Politecnico di Milano Leonardo.

A new research field that longs to be shared between the two countries: Italy and Croatia.

What do you like about life as a PhD candidate?

One of the things I love the most about my PhD job is the possibility to participate to national and international conferences and the opportunity to meet passionate people who deal with interesting subjects and to share the results of my research with them.

What do you love to do in your spare time?

In my free time, I love traveling nearby or far away, because I am always looking for new places, new things to discover and to know. I love planning tours which combine architectural sites with natural beauties.

I am very fond of art, especially contemporary art, and I often visit galleries, museums, and exhibitions. I am also in love with literary festivals, where you can attend conferences and buy a great number of books. Of course, I read a lot, but I am also an active person, because I love cycling and hiking in the mountains.

Do you like Milan? Would you recommend living here?

I fell in love with Milan nine years ago, and it became my adopted city. Since I have a lot of favourite places, I will mention the area near Indro Montanelli public gardens, which is characterized by wonderful liberty buildings. Some other favourite places are Monte Stella, Hangar Bicocca, and Prada Foundation.