During my research trip to Rome from January to March I had the marvelous chance to work in several archives of crucial importance for my PhD project; first of all, the Archivio Segreto Vaticano where I committed myself to the extensive reading and study of the involvement of the Apostolic Nuncios in the Portuguese Atlantic. I also had the opportunity of conducting my research in the Archivio Generale dei Frati Minori Cappuccini, where I received the solicitous help of the archivists and friars. The beginning of my research helped me facing the major problematics regarding the availability of sources and the various possibilities of the project; certainly, it has given me a broader perspective allowing me to develope for new hypothesis and answers.
And yet my stay in Rome not only helped me in the very important process of shaping my PhD thesis: it also gave me the perfect opportunity to make new friends amongst the Abteilung für Neuere Geschichte of the University of Bern! In fact, the Department had arranged the research stay so that I could travel and live together with Giuanna Beeli, Nicolas Rogger and Lukas Camenzind – who are working on a project on regular clergy in Switzerland during the long seventeenth century – in the close nearbies of the astounding guardian of Rome: Saint Peter’s dome. Beguiled by the magnificient panorama, my colleagues and I developed a strong professional and human bond and contributed to each other’s projects with new ideas and different points of view. It was definitely the best way to start my research project and my career as a PhD student.