Experience privacy and country living in this recently restored Tuscan farmhouse. Not far from the main road, the drive winds through vineyards to Casa Loggia, a nice country home that accommodates six to eight guests. The house is rustic and cozy, comfortably furnished, decorated with taste, and has a private swimming pool.
Chocolate Tiramisu Cupcakes
1 package (18.25 ounces) chocolate cake mix
1-1/4 cups water
3 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil or melted butter
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
2 tablespoons brandy (optional)
8 ounces mascarpone cheese or cream cheese
1-1/2 to 1-3/4 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons coffee-flavored liqueur
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line thirty regular size (2-1/2-inch) muffin cups with paper baking cups.
2. Beat all cupcake ingredients with electric mixer at low speed 30 seconds, then at medium speed for 2 minutes.
3. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups filling 2/3 full. Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes to racks; cool completely. (At this point, cupcakes may be frozen up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature before frosting.)
4. For frosting, beat mascarpone cheese and 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar with electric mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add liqueur; beat until well blended. If frosting is too soft, beat in additional powdered sugar or chill until spreadable.
5. Frost cooled cupcakes. Place cocoa in strainer; shake over cupcakes. Store at room temperature up to 24 hours or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days before serving.
"Remember That To The World You Might Be One Person, But To One Person You Might Be the World."
Airports are often huge, unfriendly, and most of all stressful. Did you see the Tom Hanks movie "The Terminal"? If we learn anything positive from that film, it's to always try to make the best of whatever situation you find yourself in. But still…who wants to get into that kind of a mess in the first place?!
We have a new link on our website that I want to direct you to. It's going to help you a lot the next time you fly. The International Airport Guide gives you information such as the names of hotels near major airports and location of each, advice about parking your car, car rental options, driving directions, area maps and details of the airport terminals including the airlines and destinations served. I like to print out a map of the airports I'm going to visit and tuck them into the outer compartment of my carry-on. With the customs, security, schedules and other matters to take care of when getting on and off the plane, this is going to make your next flight less hectic.
Another link on our site RentaVilla.com is TravLang. This service offers you help to learn and use more than 70 foreign languages! Here you can arrange the purchase of an electronic translator or paperback dictionary to carry along with you, and they even have downloadable dictionaries for your convenience. Take a look! Just remember that in most areas of Western Europe you can get along just fine with plain old English. The locals do appreciate your attempting to learn their language though, and it’s fun to try!
Kathy Hayes, Editor
"In two days tomorrow will be yesterday"
The Magical Land of Provence
Provence in Southern France is a region of peaceful pastel farmland and medieval hilltop villages perched on low, rocky outcroppings. Famous for its olive oil, garlic, wines and perfumed herbs, this is a land of sweeping fields of lavender and extensive farmers' markets. The mild climate of unending sunshine and blue skies combined with the relaxed lifestyle is so pleasant you may want to stay a lifetime!
Provence offers an unusual blend of rustic stone farmhouses and elegant villas. You can wander through the small quiet villages or choose the sophisticated shopping of St. Remy which caters to an international clientele. The larger towns of Avignon, Aix-en-Provence and Arles offer exquisite art, architecture, historical sites and cultural presentations. Here there's something for everyone!
The Luberon mountain range runs just north of central Provence. These are more like hills than mountains, not high but rather like a vast multicolored forest. Here in this protected wilderness you can hike, ride horses, mountain bike, picnic and generally enjoy the outdoors. Driving through the area takes you on a journey rich in sweeping views and marvelous scents. The winding roads run through fields of lavender and olive groves, and lead to isolated medieval villages whose history and culture date back many centuries.
The properties we offer in the region of Provence vary. You can rent a comfortable single family home or apartment in or near a small village or town. Most are simply and comfortably furnished with their own pool. Or you can choose a country villa, usually the second residence of a wealthy family that spends most of their time in a major city such as Paris or London. These properties have caretakers, and can be very large, with pools, expansive gardens and tennis courts. You'll find high quality furnishings and special features to make your stay extraordinary. These properties are an ideal setting for large gatherings of friends and/or family for weddings, reunions, and just general get-togethers. Many of our clients are realizing the affordability of these larger places when you divide the cost among couples. Overall, Provence is a must-see. Let's talk about making your dream a reality!
Kathy Hayes, Editor
First of all, Happy Mother's Day to all you moms! Perhaps your kids will
surprise you with a trip to a villa in Tuscany or Provence! We think the
best time to visit Europe is during what we call the "shoulder season",
either April/May or September/October. During these times you tend to
get the most for your money and won't have to share with too many other
tourists. And we still have some good availability! Also, we're running
some tempting summer specials on our homepage at RentaVilla.com...check it out! For those getting ready to travel, Bon Voyage!
Emmanuel de Ricard, President
"Our stay last year at Christian Dior was great, as well as our trip to Italy this year where we stayed in the villa La Tenuta in Tuscany. Emmanuel of [RentaVilla.com] does an exceptional job matching his clients with outstanding international vacation properties."
- C B, New York, New York
"My family just returned from our trip to France to celebrate my wife's 60th birthday. Your reservations helped us plan the trip, and the results were spectacular! Know that [RentaVilla.com] was an integral part in the planning of our family celebration!"
- R H, Houston,Texas
"Our experience was delightful. The Chateau is extraordinary and the owner was helpful and lovely. The location is convenient."
S B, Barrington, Illinois
Christian Dior Chateau: This elegant old chateau in Montauroux is the ideal getaway for a private, peaceful vacation.