Q: I will be flying to Italy. What airport is closest to the retreat?
A: The Florence Peretola Airport is the closest and is approximately 1 hour away from Bichi Borghesi, 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 Bichi Borghesi 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. Plus, who wouldn't want a little time to explore Florence, Pisa, or wherever you fly into?
Q: How should I get to the retreat?
A: Transportation to and from the retreat is not included in your event 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, Bichi Borghesi.
Q: When should I arrive at Bichi Borghesi 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 12:00 PM (noon). 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: I would like to have my husband/family join me while at “La Dolce Vita” is that OK?
A: Unfortunately, due to the space constraints, and the fact that we are sharing apartments and bathrooms, we are not able to accommodate family members at “La Dolce Vita”. However, your husband/family is more than welcome to drop you off, and/or pick you up from Tenuta Bichi Borghesi, our retreat location. There is also an estate, about 5 minutes walk from our retreat location, where (if there is availability) your loved one could rent an apartment during the time you are at "La Dolce Vita". However, it should be noted, that they will not be able to join us on retreat activities.
Q: Is the retreat in English?
A: Yes, all retreat activities are in English.
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.
Q: Can I smoke at "La Dolce Vita"?
A: All the interior spaces at our home base of Bichi Borghesi are non-smoking. You are welcome to smoke out of doors, we simply ask that 1) You clean up your cigarette butts, and 2) You maintain a respectful distance from windows and doors so that your smoke does not drift back into the buildings.
Q: Is the retreat appropriate for those with mobility issues?
A: Unfortunately "La Dolce Vita" is not handicapped accessible. You will need to be able to negotiate stairs as all three apartments, plus our kitchen for the cooking lesson, have them. In addition much of Tuscany is very hilly and the cobblestone roads can be very uneven. Finally, you will want to be able to walk for approximately 1-2 miles (at a normal pace) without issue as you may need/wish to do so during the day trips to Siena and Arezzo.
Q: Is there a safe for valuables in each bedroom or apartment?
A: There are no safes at Bichi Borghesi. For those who are concerned about the safety of your valuables, we recommend that you bring a lock for your suitcase and leave all valuables locked when you are out of your room. Your apartment will have a lock for the front door.
Q: Can I choose my roommate?
A: When you register, you will be asked if you are travelling with someone, and/or wish to room with someone in particular. We will do our best to accommodate requests, but due to the distribution of the kinds of beds (single/double/triple) in each apartment it may not always be possible to accommodate each request.
Q: Will my electronics work in Italy?
A: Many electronics such as laptops and camera chargers will work for both 120 or 220 Volts (V). However, you will need to purchase an inexpensive adapter to be able to plug into a European outlet.
Q: Will you set up a private group so that I can ‘meet’ the other "La Dolce Vita" attendees before arriving in Italy?
A: Yes, we will set up a Facebook group for those who register for the retreat so that everyone can get to know each other. It will also be the perfect place to ask questions and find out the latest updates regarding “La Dolce Vita” as we get closer to the retreat.
Q: Are there laundry facilities at Bichi Borghesi?
A: Yes, there are two different washers on the property that you are welcome to use. However, there are no dryers, so clothes must be line dried.
Q: I am not an accomplished cook or super crafty, can I still attend “La Dolce Vita”?
A: Yes! For each workshop, attendees do not have to be accomplished in order to enjoy the classes. There will be attendees of all skill levels, from total newbies to seasoned professionals participating.
Q: Is there internet service at Bichi Borghesi?
A: Yes, there is a common area where wifi is available, and two of the apartments also have wifi. The third apartment is too far from the router to pick up the signal. That being said, this is the countryside of Italy, the wifi frequently goes down - sometimes for a few hours, sometimes for a few days - and with 18 people 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.
If you have any other questions not covered here, we invite you to email us and we will respond as soon as possible: firstname.lastname@example.org