8 Days Olive Harvest Working Holiday in Italy

  • Villa la Rogaia, Via Campagna 17, Passignano Sul Trasimeno Province of Perugia, Italy

Olive Picking in Italy

Visit beautiful fields to pick fresh olives for your own extravergine and organic olive oil. Embark on an adventure of learning, where you will discover all about the ancient agricultural traditions of Italy and at the same time, enjoy a relaxing vacation away from the stress of modern society. Take this opportunity to connect with nature and bring back some of its bounty, as you take home your own production of extra virgin olive oil from Umbria, which is considered among the best of Italian olive oils.

Highlights

  • Participate in the olive harvest
  • Learn about harvesting and oil production techniques
  • Press your own extra-virgin oil at a local mill and take it home
  • Get together with the other pickers for a traditional informal dinner on the last evening
  • Time to visit and enjoy the beautiful surrounding sights
  • Well-equipped apartments for self-catering
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • 7 days with instruction
  • English
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Villa La Rogaia is an outstanding old Umbrian country house, surrounded by a big garden decorated with sculptures, olive orchards and lavender fields. It is situated near Lake Trasimeno - between Rome and Florence - and it is the perfect spot for those who seek absolute silence. The surrounding landscape is a tapestry of olive groves, sheep pastures, woods, sunflower fields, punctuated with cypress and ancient stone oaks, the hills are laced with golden hues in the mild autumn, warmed by the scent of chestnut fires throughout the valleys.

Master craftsmen known for their artistic flair within an ancient tradition have restored all buildings at Villa La Rogaia. Outstanding art works in marble and other stoneworks by the sculptor Wolfgang Sandt give this holiday home a very special touch. A large flower garden and sculpture park surround the buildings and a pool close to the house offers refreshment on hot summer days. All apartments have private terraces and tranquil gardens to enjoy. You will stay in individually crafted double or single rooms or in holiday apartments. Three holiday apartments are situated in the main house and there are two more apartments in a small house. Single rooms for 2 or 3 persons are available, they have a shared bathroom, kitchen, and a living room. Double rooms for 3 to 4 persons are also available, they have a shared bathroom, kitchen and a living room. Those who want privacy can stay in a private apartment, for 1 or 2 persons, with a bathroom, kitchenette, and a terrace.

You can participate in the harvest as much or as little as you want. The olive picking will begin on Sunday morning and continue until Thursday evening or Friday noon. The olives are picked in teams of 3 to 5 persons per tree. Each group is equipped with a long ladder and a big net. Additionally, every picker receives a plastic rake with rounded edges, made especially for the olive harvest, and a pair of goggles to protect the eyes against twigs and the sharp olive leaves.

You will be picking the olives manually, not with machines, so keep in mind that it can be physically exhausting and it will take longer to harvest a certain quantity of olives but thus the trees and the ears and nerves of the pickers are not damaged and you also get the chance for a more personal contact with nature. After all, the purpose of the holiday is to relax and get away from the noise of the city.

On Friday, which is the last day of the harvest, the olives are pressed and the oil produced can be taken home. Half of the olives you pick are yours and you can take away the oil pressed from them. Depending on the year, the weather during the week and how much time you spend picking, the reward can be between 2 and 15 liters of olive oil per person per week. On the last evening, everyone will be invited to the traditional rinfresco, an informal dinner at the villa.

La Rogaia is situated amidst woods and meadows. It lies only four kilometers away from the quaint village of Castel Rigone, reached on a country road by car, mountain bike or foot. La Rogaia is situated in the hills above Lake Trasimeno, surrounded by olive groves, pastures and woods, far away from traffic noise and pollution. The cities and hill towns of Umbria are landmarks of European culture. Towns such as Perugia, Assisi, Panicale or Citta di Castello offer the flair of the Italian way of life, sightseeing and cultural highlights from the Etruscans to the Arte povera, from the renaissance painter Piero della Francesca to the contemporary art of Alberto Burri.

Activities
  • Art classes
  • Cooking classes
  • Hiking trail nearby
  • Massage nearby
  • Mountain walking/trekking
  • Shopping nearby
  • Swimming
  • Swimming pool
General
  • Dining area
  • Garden
  • Kitchen
  • Restaurant nearby
Services
  • Car rental nearby
  • Convenience / grocery store nearby
  • Tour assistance

Although food is not included in the harvest, the group of pickers often prepares meals together in a common kitchen. The apartments are well equipped for self-catering, with possibilities for shopping and restaurants nearby.

There are a lot of things to do in Umbria. You can get a massage, hike, swim, go shopping, explore the surroundings, learn more about the Italian culture and artists, enjoy the amazing landscapes, taste cheese, wine, and olive oil, visit the local farms and wineries or simply relax by the pool. You will have ample time to take part of any activity that you want. Some of the activities Villa la Rogaia suggests are:

  • Leisure activities and sports around
  • Music festivals in Umbria and Tuscany
  • Sagre folk festivals in Umbria and Tuscany
  • Sights such as Arezzo, Siena, Cortona, and Florence

Please let Villa la Rogaia know if you are interested in booking a massage.

  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Farewell dinner on the last evening
  • Half of the olives you pick
  • Necessary tools for the harvest
  • Introductory lecture on olive cultivation
  • Participation in the harvest and share of oil
  • Well-equipped apartments for self-catering
  • Additional activities
  • Costs for the pressing of the oil (about 1.80 EUR per liter of oil)
  • Extra charge for lodging in private apartment
  • Meals
  • Transportation

Driving directions from Florence

  • Take the highway (Autostrada A1) from Firenze towards Roma. After 80 kilometers take the exit Val di Chiana
  • At the exit follow the road signs to Perugia. Drive on the Raccordo highway until exit Passignano Est / Castel Rigone
  • At the exit Passignano Est make a left turn, following the sign to Castel Rigone
  • After 2 kilometers, make another left turn and follow the sign to Castel Rigone driving uphill
  • Once you have reached Castel Rigone, keep on driving right through the village passing by the bar and the church on your left hand side
  • After leaving Castel Rigone follow the road for another 2 kilometers. On your left hand side, you will see a large, modern but abandoned building
  • Passing the building, make a right turn and take the gravel road. Follow the signs to La Rogaia along the road. After 2.5 kilometers, and having passed two farmhouses you will reach La Rogaia
  • You have arrived once you see the entrance columns with the sign of La Rogaia

Driving directions from Rome

  • Take the highway (Autostrada A1) from Roma towards Firenze. After 180 kilometers take the exit Val di Chiana
  • At the exit follow the road signs to Perugia. Drive on the Raccordo highway until exit Passignano Est / Castel Rigone
  • At the exit Passignano Est make a left turn, following the sign to Castel Rigone
  • After 2 kilometers, make another left turn and follow the sign to Castel Rigone driving uphill
  • Once you have reached Castel Rigone, keep on driving right through the village passing by the bar and the church on your left hand side.
  • After leaving Castel Rigone follow the road for another 2 kilometers. On your left hand side, you will see a large, modern but abandoned building
  • Passing the building, make a right turn and take the gravel road. Follow the signs to La Rogaia along the road. After another 2.5 kilometers and having passed two farmhouses you will reach La Rogaia
  • You have arrived once you see the entrance columns with the sign of La Rogaia

Driving directions from Perugia

  • Take the Raccordo highway towards Siena, Firenze. After about 20 kilometers take the exit Magione
  • At the exit make a right turn towards Magione. After 1 kilometer there is a roundabout: follow the road sign to Castel Rigone. 20 meters after the roundabout you will have to turn right and immediately left again
  • Follow the road to Castel Rigone for 10 kilometers up the hill. The road ends in a T-junction right in front of the bar of Castel Rigone
  • Make a right turn following the signs to Preggio and Umbertide. Drive through Castel Rigone passing by the church and the little supermarket on your left hand side
  • After leaving Castel Rigone follow the road for another 2 kilometers. On your left hand side, you will see a large, modern but abandoned building
  • Passing the building, make a right turn and take the gravel road. Follow the signs to La Rogaia along the road. After another 2.5 kilometers and having passed two farmhouses you will reach La Rogaia
  • You have arrived once you see the entrance columns with the sign of La Rogaia

Arrival by airplane

You can arrive at Perugia San Francesco d'Assisi - Umbria international airport (PEG).

Arrival by train

You can arrive to the train stations of Perugia, Terontola, and Passignano sul Trasimeno and then arrange your transfer to Villa la Rogaia.

Testimonials

  • Review by Monika and Robert from United Kingdom

    "We booked and expected a cooking class in nice surroundings. But what we experienced then was much more a treasure chest of culinary highlights from Ornellas repertoire of Umbrian cuisine, accompanied by excellent wines from the region. Also the excursion to the truffle hunt with a tasting of truffle specialties was a great experience. Yet, La Rogaia doesnt mean cooking only. Annette and Wolfgang created, in tedious legwork, an oasis of rest in the idyllic Umbrian landscape. All apartments are generously designed and furnished lovingly. Everywhere you can admire Wolfgangs sculptures that fit harmoniously into the garden. Conclusion: a vacation exceeding all our expectations that makes you wish to come another time."

    Villa la Rogaia website, edited

  • Review by Mirli and Martin from Austria

    "Annette and her team created a highly relaxed atmosphere in the Umbrian countryside. We were in La Rogaia for a cooking class with Mamma Ornella, a spectacular experience that we can highly recommend. In our free time we explored the surroundings by foot and found many hiking trails. The rest of the time we chilled on the pool, enjoying the clear fresh water. Overall, we can really recommend this holiday; it was a marvelous week."

    Villa la Rogaia website, edited

  • Review by the Heidelbergs

    "If you have to cook for your family day in day out, you may ask yourself: is there something like gaining pleasure from cooking? Yes, it is possible. Where? At Villa La Rogaia, the house of Annette and Wolfgang, with Ornella in the kitchen. No, not the Italian film star Ornella Muti but Mamma Ornella. An upbeat, international crew of cooking enthusiasts meets in a picturesque country estate in the hills overlooking Lake Trasimeno and spends an exciting week between culture, Mediterranean cooking, and botany. With Ornellas help, we collected wild asparagus on the meadows surrounding the house. Pleasure with wine, pasta and truffle is guaranteed. Our motley crew quickly forms into a team. The common striving for the ideal menu creates connections across language and generation borders. Ornella becomes the queen of the kitchen and Franco, her husband, becomes the maestro of tagliatelle. Fortunately, Annette directs everything masterfully; translates simultaneously and gives us at any moment advice and assistance. No question remains unanswered. On Thursday, Wolfgang drives us to Citerna, where we meet for a truffle hunt with a truffle hunter and his dog. After the truffle hunt we are inaugurated into the secrets of the truffles and how to prepare them, followed by another highlight, the tasting of different products made of the noble tuber. The farewell dinner with lots of pasta is accompanied by excellent local wines. We really enjoyed this week!"

    Villa la Rogaia website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from Italy

    "Being an enthusiastic weekend hobby chef and fan of Italian cuisine, I wanted to get a more profound idea of Italian cooking. The really well created menus and valuable instructions and tips of Ornella and Annette, were very good and exceeded my expectations. I was particularly happy that my wish was fulfilled to make profiteroles and parmigiana. The cooking class, apart of being very instructive, was also a lot of fun. In combination with the Umbrian spring and the interesting truffle hunting and tasting day, this week remains for me an unforgettable memory. Many thanks to Ornella, Annette, Wolfgang and everybody in our group!"

    Villa la Rogaia website, edited

Umbria, Italy

La Rogaia cooking school offers cooking vacations with cookery classes and cooking lessons for Umbrian and Tuscan specialities.

from --

8 days / 7 nights

Availability

Arrival: Saturday October 21, 2017
Departure: Saturday October 28, 2017

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