La Rogaia

Tucked away in the Umbrian hillsides lies La Rogaia, a venue that might be familiar to some of our readers, as it hosts Tango holidays, among other active holidays, like painting or Italian cooking. We had contacted Annette and Wolfgang a couple of weeks ago and they kindly invited us to join their current Tango course for the evening meal and the Milonga afterwards, so at an appointed time, we are in the car park of Castel Rigone in the hills above lake Trasimeno, waiting to be picked up and delivered to La Rogaia. We were told it would be unsuitable for a large vehicle, and indeed, the gravel road is steep and narrow for a couple of kilometres before we arrive in the idyll that is La Rogaia. The scent of Lavender and Rosemary greets you as you climb out of the car and adjust to the spacious silence, only disrupted by the sussuring of cicadas or the melodic lines of a nightingale.

We meet Wolfgang who is a sculptor first and foremost, besides co-managing the courses at La Rogaia and occasionally teaching some of them himself. He leads us around his studio, introducing us to some of his current works. He’s in the final throes of preparation for an exhibition in the South of Germany. Many works have already been shipped off, but even from what is left over, we get an impression of his exquisite work with marble and other stones.

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Next, we meet the Ornella the cook, a vivacious, fiery lady who is just putting the final touches to tonight’s dinner. We drop in on the tail end of a class, and are happily surprised to meet Antje and Toenjes, a couple who I’ve met and taught several times in Vis during the Summer workshops that Ines organises there. Last but not least, we meet Annette, the hostess who seems to run three full time jobs at once: Maintaining a huge property with a wonderful garden, raising several children, running a workshop centre and councelling local clients in her capacity as a therapist.

La Rogaia is a unique location – really far from the hustle and bustle of civilisation, set in a beautiful garden, which in turn nestles into Olive groves. I can imagine the benefits on one’s soul of staying a week here, enjoying nature and good food, of breathing in another rhythm and watching sunrises and sunsets.

The next evening, we are once again invited to another delicious dinner, followed by a trip with the group to a Milonga in Perugia, hosted by a very welcoming Lazzaro. There are not many people, but it is very friendly and has a good Ronda. I feel so happy when I get a chance to dance Tango :-)

 

For a few more photos of La Rogaia’s sculptures, click here


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