Rodolfo Catena


DPhil Programme in Management Studies






Started in 2011

By Rodolfo Catena

Navigating your first day in Oxford

Oxford is a lively city with a lot of exciting, hidden places to discover. Arriving here is easy; you can arrive by train, or bus, at the bus station in Gloucester Green. The centre of Oxford is at the intersection between Cornmarket and Broad Street. From here, walk toward the Sheldonian theatre where all Oxford students matriculate at the beginning of their first term in University. The Sheldonian theatre has a beautiful cupola with high windows and was built by Christopher Wren, the famous architect of St. Paul Cathedral. From the Sheldonian, walk toward the Bridge of Sighs, which connects Hertford and New College and reminds of the other Bridge of Sighs in Venice, between the Prigioni Nuove and the Palazzo Ducale.

I suggest the Covered Market for lunch, where a variety of shops are selling meat, vegetables, and fish. If you have a taste for game, the shops in the Covered Market sell pheasant, hare, and venison. Walking around the Covered Market you can also stop at one of the many places selling sandwiches or maybe, if you like it, have some sushi.

From the Covered Market walk toward the Botanical Gardens and explore the unique variety of plants and flowers they collect. From near the Botanical Gardens, if it is a sunny day, explore the area around the Isis, which is what the river Thames is called in Oxford. You can punt, that is, you can you rent a boat and propel yourself along the shallow waters of the river with a tall pole. Punting is not easy and involves a certain degree of coordination. If you are not very good at it, there is a good chance you will fall in the water! For this reason, I advise to punt only if you are a good swimmer.

After punting, visit the deer park at Magdalen College or if you want to have a nice walk you can visit Green Templeton College in Woodstock Road.  In this college you will find a beautiful observatory built in the 1700 and amazingly kept gardens. After navigating your first day in Oxford, you will be tired and in little time you will realise that this is just a taste of the many treasures that you will discover in the next few months in this amazing little city.

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