Located in in the Italian-speaking Ticino region of Switzerland, between the foot of Monte San Giorgio and the shore of Lake Lugano, the Center for European Studies and Architecture in Riva San Vitale has served as Virginia Tech’s European campus for 20 years. The center is housed in the historic Villa Maderni, which was originally constructed in the mid-1700s.
The Center for European Studies and Architecture was established by Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger during his tenure as dean of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies. Villa Maderni was purchased in December of 1991, with the first students arriving during the spring of 1992. Fall 1993 marked the center's first official academic semester.