Ragazzi, A Tavola!
The second week is one of the most challenging during our semester for both staff and students. The euphoria that everyone feels at the beginning of something new starts to wane and the reality of living a new and different life for the next three months begins to sink in. Don’t get me wrong. We work our hardest to ensure that the experience is as enjoyable as possible while being educational at the same time.
On Wednesday evening Lavinia played host to all students and staff for a lovely dinner in her yard. The weather couldn’t have been better, and the food… Well, the food…. One of the most important things in Italy (as any current or past students will tell you) is the food! Much of the organization of Italian society revolves around what’s for lunch or dinner. We had pasta with fresh pesto made with our bountiful supply of basil growing in the SIS garden, oven roasted chicken covered in local herbs, two types of locally produced pecorino cheese, and of course gelato to top it all off. A friend to SIS, Ranuccio Neri, who produces wine at his estate at Campriano (www.campriano.it) in the hills just to the south of Siena spared a few bottles for all of us to taste.
After the meal most students hung around to chat and get to know one another better. Most of them opted to walk back into the city to work off the evening’s dinner. This weekend is a free one for all of our students. I’ll be working in the garden a bit and maybe those who choose not to travel will join me.