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By Brian Vickers

There are many things to like about Rome, from the food to the buildings — and don't forget all the beautiful women. In general, the whole culture is great and I am really into history, so that's definitely a big piece of it, too. It's the Eternal City — I mean there a lot of cities with history and there are a lot of great cities in America with history, but Rome has something significant from just about every century in the past two millennia, which is just about unheard of anywhere else.

Some cities have a rich history in a particular century or several centuries, but none has the depth of history over that long a span and which encompasses so many cultures and religions.

Another thing I really liked about it was the Vatican. They only open it up at night a few times a year and I was lucky enough to be there when they did. I got to see a piano concert in the courtyard by candlelight and that was absolutely magnificent.

Someone asked me what I was most impressed with, and it's pretty hard to nail down in a place like that, but what really stuck in my mind were the water fountains. I mean, they built some of them 2,000 years ago or more and they are still pulling water and they’ve never turned off. It's hard for us to make one stay running for five years in a building in downtown Manhattan and these guys built water fountains that are still flowing water just through natural pressure and good design to this day. To me that's one of the most amazing feats of Rome. It's just unbelievable!

In addition to Rome, I bounced around quite a bit during my time off. I went to the F1 race in Montreal and the Red Bull Air Race in New York, did some cycling in the mountains in Aspen, Colorado, some surfing in Los Angeles, spear fishing and free diving in the Caribbean ... you name it, I covered it all.

It's amazing what you can accomplish when you have nothing to do!


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