Q: I will be flying to Italy. What airport is closest to the retreat?
A: The Florence Peretola (FLR) Airport is the closest and is approximately 1 hour, 20 minutes away from Borgo Personatina, the retreat location. Depending on flight cost, and your desire to see other areas of Italy, you may also consider flying into Rome, Pisa, or even Milan.
Q: If I’m flying into Florence, what time should my flight land?
A: You are welcome to arrive at Borgo Personatina any time after 12:00PM (noon) on the day your retreat begins. So if you were planning to fly into Florence on the Saturday, which is the first day of the retreat, you would want to arrive anywhere from 10:30AM on. However, for those who are able to take the extra time, we would strongly urge you to consider arriving in Italy a day or two before La Dolce Vita starts. This is both to avoid the possibility of a flight delay which could eat into your time at the retreat, and so that you have a few days to get over jet lag. For most North Americans, Italy is 6 – 9 hours ahead of their home time zone, so that extra day or two will really help you be rested and ready for the retreat.
Q: How should I get to the retreat?
A: Transportation to and from the retreat is not included in your retreat tuition. We have a transfer company who we will recommend to you, and encourage the group to consider coordinating their arrival schedules in order to minimize the cost per person.
Q: Do I need to rent a car?
A: No. Our retreat partner, e20Toscani has chartered a small bus for all retreat activities which are off site. However, should you wish to rent a car in order to explore the area on your own in your free time, you are welcome to do so. If you choose to rent a car, you will find ample space for parking at the venue.
Q: When should I arrive at Borgo Personatina for the retreat?
A: You are welcome to arrive at the estate any time after 12:00PM (noon) on the first day of the retreat you register to attend. Our welcome banquet, which is the kick off for La Dolce Vita, will begin later in the evening.
Q: What time do we have to leave the estate on the final day?
A: You will kindly be asked to leave the apartments by 9:00 AM the morning of the end of your retreat, and the estate by 10:30 AM. Should the apartments at the estate not be booked the next day, it is possible that we may be able to push the vacate time a bit later, but we will not know that until closer to the retreat date.
Q: Is there laundry service at the retreat location?
A: Yes, you may ask Orsa’s team to do your laundry for you. The fee was very reasonable and many of the attendees enjoyed the ease of being able to drop their dirty clothes after breakfast, knowing it would be nicely folded and ready for them the next day.
Q: Is there internet service at the retreat location?
A: Yes, all apartments have wifi. That being said, this is the countryside of Italy, the wifi often goes down – sometimes for a few hours, sometimes for a few days – and with our group all trying to use devices, it can be hit or miss (often mainly miss) as to getting online reliably. So, we can not guarantee that you will have consistent access to the web. We will give recommendations for picking up an inexpensive local SIM card for those staying in Florence pre-retreat, which will allow you to purchase a data plan for your smart phone that will offer you consistent coverage while you are in Italy.
Q: I don’t speak Italian; will I find it hard to communicate with people during our excursions?
A: The Tuscan region is a popular tourist stop in Italy, so many of the people, especially in the towns, will speak English. It has never been a huge impediment for the attendees of La Dolce Vita. Usually if the specific person you are trying to communicate with does not speak English, you can ask around and find someone who will kindly agree to translate.