The Birth of Business

The Birth of Business



Trip Themes

World History, Ancient History, Renaissance, Economics, Entrepreneurship, Architecture

Cities Visited

Rome, Naples, Bologna, Florence

How has Italy shaped capitalism as we know it?

Italy has frequently redefined its place in the global order. From Ancient Rome to Renaissance Florence, Italian cities have been at the forefront of the global economy as inventive centers of industry, engineering, and trade. Now, as Italy grapples with its place in the modern economy, what can we learn from it about the history of our world, and the future of business?

Sample Itinerary

Rome & Naples

Starting in Rome, we will explore how the ancient and renaissance cities overlap. We will enjoy fresh gelato on the Spanish Steps and imagine life and trade in the ancient Roman city. We will explore the narrow streets in our neighborhood and get a taste for life in Rome, while we consider the role of local food movements and family-run businesses. We will take a short trip down to Pompeii to see the famous archaeological site and connect with archaeologists to consider the functionality of a preserved city of the past.

Florence and Bologna

We will then travel north to Florence and learn about another era of economic growth in the country. We will take some time to explore smaller towns and local industry around Tuscany and Emilia Romagna, and investigate the traditions preserved in a variety of world-famous products still in use today (and of course try some incredible foods ourselves!). At the end of our time in Italy, we will have built a deep understanding of the origins of our modern economies, and new ideas about where our economy can go.



Atlas Workshops has a passion for connecting ancient stories to the present day. While the perfect immersive trip to Rome would involve a time machine, it’s important to explore how history is set within a complex modern nation. 

We can adapt this trip to have a strong focus on modern Italy or ancient or renaissance Italy, depending on the group’s focus. From a classics trip with specific archaeological destinations, to a more contemporary research trip including meetings with local businesses and NGOs, this trip template is flexible. 

For a trip with a deeper focus on current issues in Italy, we have a variety of other programs in the country, such as a migration-focused program or a study of the Slow Food Movement. Likewise we can also link this theme to a program in another country and conduct an investigation of economics, identity, and history in places like Germany, Greece, Croatia, or even Australia