Dinners are a more formal affair, excepting Friday "family night" when parents can enjoy at least a few minutes of adult conversation while the kids do laps around the cortille after dessert. The biggest challenge the fellows face while here may be refraining from overeating at pranzo so that they have at least some room for the superlative cena offered in the evening.
The impressive loggia pictured is where the resident fellows and visiting artists and scholars enjoy their delicious mid day and evening repasts.
Giovanni is enjoying being back in a bustling kitchen and picking up new tricks. There's a lot of comraderie among the staff and interns and residents and fellows are invited to volunteer on Saturday mornings. One especially exciting development is that a photographer was here last week snapping shots for the Rome Sustainable Food Project's upcoming soup cookbook and she took pictures of Gio and the RSFP staff as well as all the kids and families on site for inclusion. It won't be out in print until next year, but promises to be a great keepsake. I'm hopeful that the one of Giorgio eating zuppa di fagioli con ciccoria next to the Academy's Hercules fountain will make the cut.
Here's a shot of our favorite visiting artist in action cleaning fresh funghi porcini for dinner.
For the record, Daddy is by no means the only gastronome in our apartment. Giulia and Giorgio are both making bread at school these days and Giorgio has a scheduled field trip this month to Aprilia where he and his classmates will be participating in the "vendemmia" or grape crush. Let's hope they send the kids home with a sample of the finished product for the parents.
Here's a shot of Giulia sharing her handiwork with Giorgio.
...and another of her enjoying some pasta carbonara in Trastevere.
Other, more general gastronomic observations about Italy for those interested:
1. If Rome figures in your plans, you will inevitably start to smell like an aged pecorino by day three - regardless of how many showers you take.
2. The mozzarella is only truly fresh if it makes your teeth squeak when you bite it.
3. Word to the wise - Don't try complimenting anyone on their homemade preserves unless you know to avoid the term "preservanti" when speaking Italian. It's one of those linguistic "false friends" that will put you at risk of proclaiming how much you enjoyed someone's condoms instead of their jam. "Marmellata" should suffice.