It's April at Lake Tahoe...snow, yes, snow is forecasted (30 percent probablilty) for the upcoming weekend. And I find myself fantasizing about going to breathtaking Umbria and Tuscany. After all, I am Cal Orey, the author of The Healing Powers of Olive Oil, The Healing Powers of Vinegar, and The Healing Powers of Chocolate -- all have European roots. It's my duty and pleasure to go to olive and vinegar land and chocolate heaven.
But the time isn't quite right just yet. Perhaps, autumn--harvest time--would be ideal for meeting and mingling with Italy's olive oil producers and chocolatiers.
Still, today I did got a delightful note from La Rogaia's owner...And I feel that much closer to traveling to my dream spot. This villa has a strong Mediterranean flair and a swimming pool--a must-have for me. When I swim (so envious of water-loving whales) at Tahoe's resorts I often fantasize about this very place, a place I will hopefully visit within the year.
Meanwhile, I'd like to share some info, straight from La Rogaia, for you in case you just happen to get the urge to travel to Italy before I pack my bags and catch a jet plane to utopia--a place for authors who pen books about olive oil, vinegar, and chocolate.
How to get to La Rogaia:
If you would like to visit places of interest in Umbria and Tuscany during your stay at La Rogaia we recommend to bring your car or to rent a car. If you want to rent a car we recommend that you book in advance and pick up the car upon arrival at the airport. Inquire about budget rates at your travel agency at home or via internet. If you fly to Perugia there are special rates by Hertz car rental starting at EUR 190 all incl. (insurance, free milage etc.) per week for a small car (FIAT Panda) when booked through the RyanAir Web site (see below). Directions how to get to La Rogaia by car will be included in the confirmation of your booking. You can also find a map and a detailed description at http://www.rogaia.de/en/how_to_get.html
By plane: From Europe: There are direct flights with Ryan Air to Perugia (at only 35km distance from La Rogaia) from London Stanstead 4 times a week (also onSaturdays). Please check prices and availabilities at www.ryanair.com . If you depart from other destinations than London Stanstead:Florence Airport is 1 1/2 to 2 hours drive or train ride away from La Rogaia(regular flights). Budget airlines from European destinations fly also into Pisa, Roma Ciampino, Forli, Pescara and Ancona. Pisa, Rome, Ancona, Pescaraor Forli are all at a distance of 2 1/2 to 3 hours drive or train ride. From overseas: we recommend to fly to Rome and to come to La Rogaia by caror train.
By train: If you wish to come by train (to Passignano sul Trasimeno) let us know aboutyour date and time of arrival at least one week before. Informations abouttrains to and within Italy at www.trenitalia.com (also in English). Please click on the "international" button and enter your city of departure and "passignano" as arrival and the date and time of your departure. For purchasing your ticket it might not be possible to do it online so please go to the next train station or a travel agent. We will be happy to pick you up at Passignano train station. Please be awarethat there is nopublic transport at La Rogaia. The next village Castel Rigone is 4 km away, the next train station at Passignano sul Trasimeno is 10 km away.
We would like to welcome you to La Rogaia one day!
With kind regards,
Annette Greifenhagen La Rogaia
So, until I book a flight, and get the moxie to leave behind my two beloved orange and white Brittanys Simon and Seth (with a French origin), and black cat, Kerouac, the two photos above (courtesy of La Rogaia) with an awesome splash of earthy Italy amid a Mediterranean backdrop and directions will have to appease my Italy trip fantasy. And, drizzling California's finest EVOO on fresh whole grain bread and savoring dark chocolate truffles and sipping a cup of hot chocolate (made with European-style dark shavings) will have to suffice for now. One more thing: Annette, keep the pool warm for me!