About the cookery classes at La Rogaia

Enthusiastic hobby and professional cooks from all over the world have been participating in our cookery classes with Mamma Ornella. Read here a few of their comments:

Find recipes from our cooking classes at our blog

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A rich, warm and happy experience

Dear Annette and Ornella,

I have been so happy being at La Rogiaa. The landscape is beautiful and it is blissfully quiet. The apartment was wonderful to live in - I especially liked the sunlight streaming in the windows in the morning.

The cooking course was excellent. It was a comprehensive introduction to the Umbrian kitchen, yet set up like several Italian social gatherings around food. The two day trips were an additional education of food and culture and gave students an oppurtunity to see more of the countryside.

Each one of you and your staff contributed to make this a rich, warm and happy experience for me.

Christine from Florida about the cooking class October 2022

The cooking class exceeded our expectations

Dear Annette

Marilyn and I wish to thank you, your family and the staff at  Villa La Rogaia for our week stay.

The cooking class exceeded our expectations. The attention to details, the day trip and of course Ornella's expertise in the kitchen kept the week moving.

I personally enjoyed the banter and how you, Rosa and Ornella worked through each of the courses for the evening meal.

For me as I expressed it was like being to cook with my "Nonna" once again.

The class and recipe book will help us fill in a few blanks and techniques in our meal preparation.

For us cooking is a daily ritual.

Good luck and Buona Pasqua

Frank and Marilyn from California about the cooking class Easter 2019

Ornella - la vera mamma italiana!

Mamma Ornella
Mamma Ornella

A visit to Rogaia is a journey to love, culture and earthiness / connection with the earth.

Annette and Wolfgang passed this on as hosts. We were able to enjoy it very much and to take home a lifelong memorable memory.

Because words can not explain what La Rogaia has moved in us, we wholeheartedly recommend that you follow in our footsteps.

Ornella, our incomparable cooking class artist - solo entertainer - Italian mamma entertained us from the first to the last moment and introduced us to the Umbrian kitchen with so much love that we will never forget her and Umbria!

Viva Ornella!

Bümi and Rosmarie from Bern, Switzerland, about the cooking class September 8 to 15. 2018

I want to go back right away

Dinner at one of the best restaurant in Umbria, "Rosso di Sera", San Feliciano
Dinner at one of the best restaurants in Umbria, "Rosso di Sera", San Feliciano

I already looked at our pictures countless times and I want to go back right away, to the culinary week at La Rogaia.

The moment I read the travel description, I knew: That will be perfect. But my expectations were exceeded by far!

Every minute was well organized by Annette and Wolfgang. 12 hours a day, from stunningly beautiful places to the best restaurants and the most amazing sights. They did not lose patience for a minute, although the six of us constantly asked questions.

The evenings with our chef Ornella were absolutely awesome: We cooked together and had lots of fun. And although we were tired every day, I would not want to miss a single minute!

Dear Annette and Wolfgang, thank you for this unique experience. We'll be back for sure!

Silvia and Hermann, Vienna, about the culinary week, October 2016

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A vacation exceeding all expectations

Truffle tasting at Tartufi Bianconi
Truffle tasting at Tartufi Bianconi

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 Ornella´s 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 doesn´t 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 Wolfgang´s sculptures that fit harmoniously into the garden

Conclusion: A vacation exceeding all our expectations that makes you wish to come another time.

Monika and Robert from St. Valentin, Austria, about the cooking class, September 2015

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Ornella, la regina della cucina – Ornella the queen of the kitchen

Ornella, la regina della cucina
Ornella, la regina della cucina

Annette and her team create a highly relaxed atmosphere in the Umbrian countryside.
We have been at 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 on foot, finding many hiking trails. The rest of the time we chilled on the pool enjoying the clear fresh water. Overall a round story we can really recommend.
Thanks to our hosts, it was a marvelous week.
Mirli and Martin
from Austria, Cooking class September 12 to 19, 2015

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Cooking is a gain in pleisure

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, you ask?

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 pittoresque country estate in the hills overlooking Lake Trasimeno and spends an exciting week between culture, mediterranean cooking and botany. With Ornella´s help we collect 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 „regina – 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 again.

Conclusion: We enjoyed this week in every aspect!

A heartfelt "thank you!" to all members of the Rogaia team from the “Heidelbergers”, about the cooking class April 18 to April 25, 2015

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Truffle hunting in Umbria
Truffle hunting in Umbria

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 tipps 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 of our group!

Clemens Hasler from Wil, Switzerland, about the cooking class April 18 to  April 25, 2015

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We spent a wonderful week at La Rogaia and the cooking class with Ornella was super good. Many thanks for your great translation and for answering  all our questions extensively.
In this week we learned a lot about the country, its cuisine and people, about truffles and the excellent olive oil. We have been a great team and therefore it was even more fun to cook with Ornella all the yummy Umbrian dishes.

We will happily recommend you to our friends who are as enthusiastic about cooking as we are. Yet we are convinced that you are not suffering from a lack of participants as it is surely common knowledge how well you can learn to cook at La Rogaia.
Patricia and Thomas Ricci
from Frankfurt, Germany, about the cooking class September 13 to September 20, 2014

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I returned home with a big smile on my face!


In joyful anticipation I travelled to Italy for the first time. My destination was a cooking class at Villa La Rogaia in Umbria. Yet I was also a little nervous.

Would it be really the way as described on the webpage in the internet? Would this event really be such a lot of fun, laid-back and with a lot of nice surprises? What will the other participants be like?

After a week I returned home with a big smile on my face. Rarely ever have I laughed so much during a holiday, met so many super nice people, had so much fun and took home lots of tricks and tips to use.

It was really the way it had been written in the Travel Stories on the Rogaia website : A small, bubbly, adorable Ornella, a wonderful landscape, the entire site of La Rogaia as well as Annette and Wolfgang who always were helpful with assistance and advice with lots of translations and explanations.

To all of you a big thank you for a magical week!

Gaby from Schwerin, Germany, about the cooking class September 21 to September 28, 2013

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La Rogaia Cooking Class. Carpaccio di funghi
La Rogaia Cooking Class. Carpaccio di funghi

Hello Annette and Ornella,

thank you very much for the beautiful time and the great experience cooking and eating. To Ornella´s disappointment I have not gained weight. Peter instead gained four pounds as a result of the good food and the great recipes. Another great experience was the truffle hunt and the fantastic truffle tasting. Thanks to the company of Ornella and her husband I could improve my knowledge of Italian language.

Tanti saluti and hopefully we´ll meet again.

Marion and Peter about the cooking class September 21 to September 28, 2013

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La pasta è pronta ! Penne ai peperoni con pesto di rucola

I felt looked after very well by Ornella and Annette during my week at La Rogiaa. It was really a fun experience: Nice people, good wine, great food. What else do I want…

Rolf about the cooking class September 21 to September 28, 2013

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Making pasta with Ornella
Making pasta with Ornella

We had such a wonderful stay there and we enjoyed  everything you and Ornella did for us .  It was a joy to meet you and your beautiful family and we have many treasured memories of our delightful week ! 
Didra Kirschner, Pittsburgh, cooking class , october 2009

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Thank you for the recipes.  My stay at La Rogaia was a wonderful experience in every way.  Ornella and the cooking classes were enjoyable and educational.  Our tours of Cortona, Perugia, Sienna and Assissi including tasting the excellent local food and wine were made so interesting by sharing your knowledge of the history and culture of the area.  I would most definitely return and have recommended La Rogaia to friends and family.
Connie Dattilo, Pittsburgh, cooking class, october 2009

I truly enjoyed all the classes and the food was so delicious. When I came back to the US and had to go to the grocery store, it seemed like culture shock! You would not believe how much prepackaged, preservative ridden foods we have here.
... Thank you again for a remarkable Umbrian experience.
Cheryl Bristol, Pittsburgh, cooking class, october 2009

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