Luigi Maria Ugolini was born in Bertinoro in 1895, the son of a humble clockmaker. He was a brilliant scholar and after fighting in the Alpine corps during the First World War, he studied archaeology at Bologna University.
In 1924 Ugolini was appointed to lead the first Italian archaeological mission to Albania, which the Fascist regime intended mainly as a political, ideological and geopolitical venture. He began digging at Butrint in 1928 and discovered the ancient theatre, a group of sculptures, a baptistery and much more besides. His excavation site was granted UNESCO World Heritage Status in 1992.
Ugolini had his own research agenda and succeeded in implementing it, by constructing research programmes of extremely high quality.