Rented this wonderful townhouse in Umbria for 5 weeks... could stay here a lifetime! Katia, the manager, connected us with Rosanna, an Italian Nonna ("grandmother")... who has cooking skills beyond compare! We celebrated my friend's birthday, as well as their 40th wedding anniversary with this off-the-charts experience!
Rosanna came to our townhouse... we cooked (both watching and participating) for 4 hours, then spent the next few hours enjoying the fruits of our labors! That is, mostly Rosanna's labors! And we invited a few other friends to join us for the feast... and still had scrumptious leftovers the next few days!
There was no pre-set menu... we chose what we wanted to make ahead of time, and the lesson style was relaxed and informal.
First we made CANTUCCI, those delightful cookies (biscotti) that you dip into vin santo for dessert, using fresh eggs from Rosanna's chickens! Then we started on the pasta... Rosanna deftly rolling it out by hand. We made little RAVIOLI, stuffed with spinach and ricotta (made fresh and picked up at the farm that morning!), seasoned with a bit of fresh nutmeg. Then onto ZUCCHINI FLOWERS, stuffed with mozarella, dipped in batter and lightly fried, served with a light squeeze of lemon (can you say "DIVINE"?!). Then, using lettuce from Rosanna's garden, and adding carrot, cucumber, and tomato, we made an insalata mista (LETTUCE SALAD) with oil (from her own olives!) & vinegar. Followed by ROAST POTATOES with rosemary, and 2 hearty BEEF T-BONE STEAKS from a great local butcher. All enjoyed with local wines. What an amazing experience!
Logistics: Katia's friend, Anna Tapay, owns and rents out her Villa Gioianna in the countryside near Castiglione del Lago. Rosanna cooks for Villa Gioianna and does cooking lessons. Rosanna charges an hourly rate, plus reimbursement for ingredients. We could have gone to Rosanna's house for our lesson... but we asked to have Rosanna come to us.
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|Friends getaway||Older travelers|
My husband and I stayed at Sogno Panicalese with another couple for a week in July and enjoyed our stay. The townhouse is very comfortable, clean and has all of the amenities you could need..( Except airconditioning in July) The kitchen is a cooks joy. Every appliance you could want is there except an American style drip coffee maker; we had a very nice an espresso maker instead. The house is on three floors with a lovely rooftop terrace. The entry level floor has a small bedroom with double bed - there is no closet. The older style bathroom ensuite has a shower only. The next floor up has the modern kitchen, roomy dining/ living area and 1/2 bathroom. The living room is a good size with two comfortable loveseats and one chair.There is a stereo but no TV reception so bring dvd's if you want to watch a film. The third floor has two bedrooms and two hall way bathrooms. One bedroom has twin beds that can be pushed together and a closet. The other bedroom is the largest and has a queen bed and a closet. All of the beds in the house are very firm; they have mattresses but no box springs. The bathrooms on this floor are very nice and modern. One has only a tub but the other has a tub and a shower and a private view over the rooftops.All of the windows have shutters to keep out the sun so we needed to keep them closed during the day since there is no air conditioning in the house. We had one fan but Katia, the caretaker,who lives nearby, was kind enough to loan us one of hers for the warm nights. The windows had no screens but bugs weren't and issue. When the sun began to set the roof top terrace was very pleasant. The terrace had two large tables, a barbacue grill and lots of chairs. There's even a hose if you feel the need to cool off. Katia did a great job of making sure we were satisfied. The town of Panicale is delightful and the piazza with several restaurants and bars in just a few steps out the door.
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|Young singles||Friends getaway|
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