Rome – the Italian Agile Day City

Back from Rome where the Italian Agile Day took place.

On Thursday evening I had dinner with Giorgio Natili, his wife Barbara and family. At long last I could put a face to the person behind all these emails that we have been exchanging through the years. Giorgio is the leader of the actionscript.it User Group and organiser of several events such as FlashCamp Roma which took place on 4th November in Rome. I do hope this evening solidifies the relationship between O’Reilly and the User Group and that we will work even better together.

Friday morning, I hoped to get to the Vatican to visit the Sistine Chapel but I got there too late – the queue was too long. So once again I sat on some steps in Saint Peter’s  Square looking at the length of the queue and the world going by, helped by a very hot November sun. It seems that I will never make, always too late.  Once again I am quite disappointed with myself, I wanted so much to see the Sistine Chapel instead I am looking at a flock of “rats with wings”. Looking at the pigeons, funny thoughts are coming into my head such as I don’t know how much it costs to get inside the Vatican but looking at the crowd I cannot help thinking that the Vatican might be able to save the Euro zone.  But enough of that it is time to do some work.

Saturday 7.30 am, the books are well laid out… not for long as my first customers just arrived.

The conference was divided in 4 tracks + workshops throughout the day. Once again I did not understand the talks but some of the titles did amuse me –

. Spaghetti DevOps

. Il grande bluff delle stime

. A soft skill suitcase

The conference has been growing continuously from 100 delegates in year 2004 to over 700 this year. It is free to the delegates and is paid by donations and sponsorship. As the conference moves to a different town every year, I wonder where it will be in 2012. Lots of unanswered questions – Will Stefano Leli be my contact? Will Jacopo Romei come to PHP London? Will Ilias Bartolini come to Fosdem. One thing is certain, 2012 will certainly be an eventful year.

The Italian Agile Day was sponsored by Codemotion – it was also extremely nice to meet some of my old friends, Roberto Manicardi, Chiara Russo, Mara Marzocchi and more. I also learnt that Codemotion 2012 will be on March 23rd-24th, same place.

As my flight back home was mid afternoon on Sunday, I decided to visit the Sao Paulo Basilica which is near the venue. Apparently the remnants of Saint Paul are laid there. The building is grandiose, opulent – money was no problem when it was rebuild after the fire that almost destroyed it in 1823. The gardens are well kept and very peaceful. Why did I get grumpy? After paying a modest 4 € to see most of the basilica, the only way out was through the Souvenirs Shop. I know I am being very naive but I still cannot bear the Church being so commercial.