European Union Policy Studies

EUPS Students Venture to Rome

Rome Academic Travel

During the first weekend of October, EUPS students participated in their first academic trip of the school year. The students traveled to the Italian capital, Rome, and were accompanied by on-site director, Dr. Caterina Paolucci. Although the program focuses on the European Union as an entity, Dr. Paolucci considers familiarity with the program’s home country an integral component for success.  “A few years ago, I realized that EUPS students did not necessarily know much about Italy. I thought this was a pity. Spending a year in Italy without learning about Italian culture, societal conditions and politics seemed like a lost opportunity. Therefore, a trip to Rome is important for EUPS students, to immerse themselves in the Italian capital and learn first hand about the politics of one of the founding member states of the EU, as well as their host country for ten months.”

After having more than a month to settle into their daily routines in Florence, the EUPS students were eager to venture out of the Tuscan region and visit the center of Italian politics. The students had an impressive itinerary designed by EUPS staff that included a  private tour of Palazzo di Montecitorio (the Italian Parliament building) and the Banca D’Italia (the Central Bank of Italy).

Upon their early morning arrival by train, the students proceeded to Italy’s Chamber of Deputies, where they received an informative tour through the impressive and historic building where they learned about the Italian Parliament. In addition to learning about how the Italian Parliament operates, the tour guide shared Italian cultural information with the students, including the mythological story of the “Shewolf”  that explains the legend of the founding of Rome. One highlight of the tour was the Aula delle Donne (The Women’s Room), which is a recent addition to the building sponsored by Laura Boldrini, the current President of the House of Deputies. The newly finished room contains portraits of 21 female Italian politicians and a mirror with the text, “Potresti essere tu la prima!” (“You could be the first!”), which refers to the fact that Italy has not yet had a female President, Prime Minister, or President of the Senate. The Aula delle Donne aims to inspire women to become more involved in politics and to serve as an example of progressivism within Italian society. The tour of Palazzo di Montecitorio concluded in the Deputies’ plenary chamber, where the students had the opportunity to ask questions while sitting in the seats of Italian parliamentarians.

Later in the afternoon, the EUPS students arrived at Banca D’Italia in Palazzo Koch. They were greeted by a tour guide who led the students on a tour of the Money Museum, which consists of five rooms exhibiting currency from ancient Mesopotamian clay tablets, to minted coins, gold coins, and historic banknotes. The tour guide offered detailed explanations of how money has developed historically through economic, societal, and political relations of societies, which the students found fascinating. After the tour, students engaged in an interactive economics lecture led by Dr. Giuseppe Ferrero. The lecture was a great introduction for those students considering the social and economic policy track for next semester.

The following day, the students met Professor Enrico Bruschini, a well recognized baroque art tour guide, who led former Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton on private tours through Rome. The students were fortunate to be able to go on a walking tour with Professor Bruschini that included visiting multiple baroque churches and learning about their unique architecture. During their leisure time, EUPS students ventured around Rome and enjoyed the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, and other popular icons of Rome. Altogether, the trip was an informative academic and immersive cultural experience.

Written by Sara Leming


Published: Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Last Updated: Wednesday, January 2, 2019

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