The summer of 2018 will long be remembered as my first visit to Florence and the beautiful countryside of Tuscany. It all started with a friend suggesting we attend a retreat for women that involved crafting, guest lecturers on such varied subjects as selecting the “best of the best” olive oil and the time honored art of marbleizing paper, creating a personal travel journal, various cooking classes throughout the week and a visit to some antique fairs. Sound like a trip of a lifetime? Let me assure you it was, because of sharing all these experiences with twenty other women from around the world.
La Dolce Vita is a retreat put together by Carolyn Peeler. Because of being located in close proximity to Florence, flights in-bound and out make it easy to get to and from the venue and it is a picturesque train or car ride from Florence to Siena then on to Borgo Personatina in the Tuscany country . Once there, it is obvious why this particular place was chosen for the retreat. The Villa tucked away in the country is beautiful and has been adapted to all the conveniences one would find in a boutique hotel. Shared or private rooms and sumptuous baths complete with ball and claw tubs. The gardens are beautifully maintained and the perfect place for morning meditation with coffee or a nice glass of wine in the afternoon.
Travel wouldn’t be complete without mentioning food. Orsa was in charge of planning and directing the preparation of three meals a day for twenty different pallets. The daily presentations were ready for their “close ups” as our cameras clicked away when a new plate came out of the kitchen. We were encourage to join in a cooking class under Orsa guidance in one of the villa’s kitchens. The bonus for me was making friends with such talented and creative women and sharing the weeks events with them. Thanks to Rebecca Sower who led us in a class on creating travel journals, I can revisit my week in Italy as often as I wish. I will always look back on my week at la Dolce Vita as the “good life” indeed!!
• LIZ McGUINNESS FROM OKLAHOMA •