Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Senatus Populus Que Romanus

Quando sei a Roma vai dove vanno i romani
"When in Rome do as the Romans do"

One of the benefits of doing exchange, particularly in Europe, is the ability to travel to new places, see new things and meet new people. This weekend I visited Rome flying on EasyJet from Gatwick. Thankfully, my teammate for Private Equity / Venture Capital was a good sport, agreeing to meet well in advance of an assignment due for next week to finish it as I would be incommunicado for the weekend.

I visited the Colosseum and the Roman forums where ancient ruins stretched across parks. Even the city itself was sprinkled with fountains, statues and monuments. It was impossible to travel for even a few meters without encountering a plethora of fountains, making it surprisingly difficult to navigate the entangled narrow streets using landmarks.

Like many travellers collecting stamps on our passports, I was hoping to get a stamp from the Vatican (afterall it is technically its own country, the smallest country in the world). However, despite the tall walls surrounding the city, there was no security or passport control. The Sistine chapel and St. Peter's Basillica were very serine and it was nice to just enjoy the solemnity and gravity of the place.

The trip itself was actually punctuated more with food and wine then tourism to be honest. It was nice to just relax somewhere enjoy copious amounts of "vino della casa", putting down several "brave soldiers", and generous portions of fresh pasta and risotto.

My only regret is pushing my return so late, arriving "home" to London on Tuesday afternoon with just enough time to shower and rush to class, a mistake I will not repeat on my next excursion.

Veni, vidi, vici

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