Next Stop: Rome - Filippo Ricci

Filippo at the Colloseum
Filippo at the Colloseum in Rome
  • Name: Filippo Ricci
  • Study: Multidisciplinary Economics, Economics and Business Economics
  • Age: 29
  • Year of graduation: 2019 (MSc Multidisciplinary Economics), 2016 (BSc Economics and Business Economics)
  • Lives: Rome (Italy)
  • Before: Utrecht from 2013-2019, Tokyo during secondary school
  • Current job: Project monitoring consultant at Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations        

How do you look back on studying in Utrecht?

Filippo and friends at the University Hall
Filippo and friends at the University Hall

Very fondly! Utrecht University and the city of Utrecht have become part of myself during the six years of my stay. The city has this romantic quality to it, I find. But I also very much enjoyed my courses. My research master was academically the most challenging time, but since we were such a small class, we got a lot of individual attention from great teachers. That meant a lot to me from a learning perspective. I got to know lots of skills, knowledge and new perspectives. In addition, it was a period of personal growth and I made friends for life.

Something else I still feel nostalgic about is the University Library City Centre on Drift, the former palace of Louis Napoleon. I lived right next door and studied there on a regular base. If you wanted a good spot you had to be very methodical about it, or come really early at opening time. I very much appreciated the contrast between the extremely modern interior architecture and the historical outside.

What do you miss most when thinking of Utrecht?

I miss the practicality of the city, its exceptionally good city design, and its historical charm. Also, I liked the Dutch lifestyle. Going for a ‘borrel’ [drink, ed.] at the end of the day, stuff like that.

What do you like about Rome, your current place of residence?

Rome is Rome and it’s one of the most historically rich places I could imagine. The weather is beautiful most of the time. That’s enough as such. But above all, a lot of my family and friends live here. That is fundamental to me and was actually my motivation for coming back to Italy, although I do miss my Dutch friends.

What does your average working day look like?

I work four days at the office and one day from home. I can actually cycle to work from home within 25 minutes. Sounds great, but it’s difficult to navigate through town. There is so much traffic all the time. My working day is from about half past eight to about half past five. Fortunately, my boss is not controlling at all. So as long as I get my work done, it doesn’t matter so much which hours I work. Right now, I am kind of in between roles within my team. Therefore, work is a bit more chaotic than usual. So far, I have been setting up a database to monitor the public sector and non-private engagements FAO enters into. It’s got to do with checking if projects are implemented correctly. My role will become to integrate this process into the IT-systems of FAO. When I’m not working, I’m usually playing cello, or preparing food. Social life comes about more organically here than in Holland. We usually don’t plan meeting friends or going out upfront. It just happens.

Why did you decide to become an active member of the Utrecht University Alumni Network Italy?

Filippo at alumni event Rome May 2024
Filippo at alumni event in Rome

It’s nostalgia, I guess, wanting to reconnect a bit with Utrecht University, wanting to keep the spirit alive (and practicing my Dutch from time to time). In general, I think connecting is a good thing. At our first meeting I felt an instant connection to other alumni because we shared so many experiences. There is a fair chance we also share similar values, maybe we can achieve whatever things together. It feels like a springboard of possibilities for all members.