Postcards from Umbria

My Blog: Stories about Rocca di Benano and the people who make it special

From Banks to Baths, and Back

At home in Ohio, my life can be a hot mess — I run too fast without ever catching up, desperately chasing efficiency and accomplishment. In precious moments of clarity, I know that this freneticism is mostly manufactured, born of the American tendency to equate one’s busy schedule with productivity.

I also know that efficiency isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Take, for example, being summoned by one’s Italian bank to come into any branch office and sign a piece of paper. Such was the gist of a letter we received.

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Say CHEESE

On our recent visit to Benano, Paul and I made a new friend — Alessandra. She’s looking forward to meeting our guests. She doesn’t speak a word of English, but that’s OK. I’ll give you a head start, and you can use sign language to complete your transaction. All you really need to know is that she sells wonderful homemade cheeses and homegrown legumes at her shop, which is just a stone’s throw from Rocca di Benano.

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Alex and Olga

We got to know Olga and Alex when we bought Rocca di Benano in 2008 and they came on as our caretakers. In short order, they became so much more. They’re now the trusted managers we rely on to make the business run. More than that, though, they’re dear friends.

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More than Just a Key – Unlocking the Trip of a Lifetime

The first time we rented a villa was on a vacation we took with another couple to Positano, on Italy’s beautiful Amalfi Coast. The view from this 2-bedroom / 2-bathroom apartment was just as spectacular as advertised. Breathtaking, really. Very, very romantic. Everything was perfect … except for the tiny detail that the second bedroom could be accessed only by going through the first bedroom. We had rented a beautiful two bedroom apartment with an incredible view and zero privacy.

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