The Basilica (the three-arched building in the upper right corner).  In ancient Rome, “Basilica” meant “courthouse.”  This one was massive.

Ah, Roma.

This morning, I had the distinct pleasure to once again speak on my alma mater’s CLE Abroad Program in the one-time capital of the western world.  To hear my wife describe it, Rome is also the center of the culinary world.*  I cannot argue with this.  It is my third visit to Italy– my second with Peggy– and we intend to avail ourselves of all the gastronomic delights this sunny peninsula has to offer.

While my usual lecture on overseas CLE programs centers on the Hague Service Convention, along with a bit about the Evidence Convention, this seminar’s broader theme is Entrepreneurship and Doing Business in Europe, so I took a different tack with today’s lecture.  Sure, I had to include a bit about service abroad, but the centerpiece was an elaboration on a post from last year, Five Essential Things All Business Owners (and Their Lawyers!) Should Know Before Signing Global Contracts.  We’re in the middle of a series that digs a bit deeper into those five six things (yes, there’s a bonus!).

In addition to speaking, I’ve had a chance already to reconnect with distinguished colleagues in the Italian bar, scholars and practitioners alike.  This is not just a city of ancient relics and tourist attractions.  Rome is also the cradle of what we’ve come to know as “the law” around the world.  Even our fellow common law adherents owe a collective debt of gratitude to those whacky fellows in togas, running around the Forum looking for funny things to happen.  They quite literally created the legal profession as it began in both the common and civil law traditions.  So I’m on a bit of a pilgrimage, as it were.  Going back to pay homage to my our professional roots.

If Peggy says it’s okay, I might even be convinced to wear a toga.

* For some reason (oh, we know the reason– we just can’t say it lest we get sued by the agro-chemical industry), the wheat grown and harvested and milled into flour in Italy doesn’t send Peggy’s immune system into hysterics.  The wheat grown back home in the states?  She can’t touch the stuff without going into a sort of toxic shock.

So the theme for the week: all the food, all the wine, all the art.

Peggy and me in Venice in 2015.  Yes, we’re going back this week.  Too cold for a toga, they tell me.