Yesterday, the Professoressa with whose research group I am working with here in Pisa invited me and some others to her house for dinner in the garden. Hehe…not an invitation to be missed! So yesterday evening Ilaria, the girl I am working with here, came to pick me and my flatmate (also invited) to drive us to the Prof’s house. She arrived 10mins late…luckily for us…since we had rushed home, on the way buying a bottle of wine each to take with us, barely 45mins before she had to come for us, and both of us needed to get washed, dressed and ready. We were told it would be an informal thing, but I didn’t want to go and find myself underdressed. As it was, I maybe could have gone as I went to uni…but you know…I wanted to make an effort (for once :P!).
The drive to the Prof’s house was gorgeous! She lives at the base of the Pisa Mountains (or Hills as they told me ;)…so as we exited the city, we could see this gorgeous landscape. WOW! to see that every day.
We arrived at her house (she lives around 10km from the university I was told)…We enter into a very nice garden, where we saw a table set for us. She invited us into the kitchen as she was still preparing some stuff, and for us to help her carry some things outside…WOW! The inside of the house is very rustic (at least my idea of rustic…not that I have the best vocabulary for interior decoration ;))…it looked to me like the inside of the typical farmhouse or country villa.
Back outside, she showed us the outside oven where her husband was cooking the lamb for the evening…WOW! an outside stone oven…I mean…you cook by lighting a fire! wow Wow WOW! I was impressed. We then sat down to some bruschetta, salami and broad beans, while waiting for the next car load to arrive. In all we were the Prof, her husband, and one son, and Ilaria (the girl I am working with), another Ilaria, Alessia, Sara my flatmate, Susanna (a Spanish girl working in Norway who was visiting the lab this week to do some work here as they are collaborating on a project), and Anna (a Spanish girl doing her PhD in Spain, but who for some reason came here for something like me I think and ended up staying here ;)). The others soon arrived, and after going through the antipasti, it was the turn of the main dish!
The main dish, as I said, was lamb cooked in this stone oven, together with some roasted potatoes…mmmm! Lamb is my favourite meat, so I of course couldn’t not love it! We soon dug in and the food soon disappeared. The dessert that followed was then some strawberries and watermelon, togetehr with a Tiramisu, an ice-cream and some biscuit like things (like krustini) which they dip into port wine…mmm…delicious!
The food was great, the environment was great…the people were great. It was a gorgeous evening, and even if most of the conversation was in Italian, and I was exhausted by the end of the evening…what a nice thought for the Prof to invite me and some of the others to her home, cook for us, and give us a good time. From what the other students said it is not the first time she did this 🙂 Wish I had the place in London to do this and invite people over :).
Well…I might not have the space in London, but here in Pisa I do! So tonight Sara and I have invited over Gianluca and Marianna, two of Sara’s friends we went out with last Saturday. We will cook some pasta and enjoy the night. I am quite exhausted after last night, and a day in the lab working to analyse the data I have, while making more extractions to get more data for confirming my ideas about the extraction method we have settled on. It seems like I have most of the things for the extraction method optimisation settled now…cannot think of more things to check and confirm (or…there are surely more, but I think it is enough, as otherwise I would never get round to analysing my samples :P). So hopefully tomorrow I will start analysing my true samples! Cannot wait to see what results I will get…and hope everything will go smoothly as tomorrow Ilaria will not be in the lab as she needs to go to Florence for some meetings regarding some projects she is working on.
Wish me luck!