Los Angeles, CA   |  (323) 573-7794

Tuscany, Italy

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© 2016 by La Vera Italy. 

Your Host

 

Susana Hayman-Chaffey

Susana left her native England at an early age to travel the world with her parents. They were the first family to do a journey in a Land Rover from Mexico through South America and Africa in the 50’s. My father’s book recounts that journey in his book “The Road Grew No Moss”. At nineteen she became a soloist with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company and has taught his technique and repertory all over the world.

 

She has lived in Italy on and off for twenty- five years and speaks fluent Italian as well as Spanish, French and Portuguese. She started offering this style of vacation package in the mid-nineties while she was living in Tuscany, having moved there in 1993 after living in New York for twenty- eight years.

These vacations were devised to address a desire to help our guests unite a beautiful vacation with a simple system of exercises to be in optimum shape.  So that when they returned home they were in their best shape ever, equipped with helpful tools they could access any time they needed. Thereby taking care of two pleasures in one package. Thus, making our offerings unique.

 

 The Elan Vita system of exercises first came about to heal from a tragedy in her family and the devastating shock that followed. It grew out of a journey of discovery into herself. Which led to her explore Body Centering Therapy, Meditation, Yoga and Qigong. After a few years she decided to teach Elan Vita in a workshop format and she travelled for several years teaching workshops in Italy, Japan, France, Belgium and New York. These then led to the vacation packages she is now, once again offering.

 

After moving to Los Angeles in 2010 she wrote her first book called “Love, Please” a memoir of Destiny, Loss and Healing. A funny, sad and revealing recounting of a seventeen-year journey into life’s challenges.

 

Welcoming guests and personally taking care of them is a passion that she shares with all who come on these very special vacations. As do her two chefs, chauffeur and assistant.

As a token of our appreciation and a gift to bring back home with you, you will also be given a complimentary copy of Susana's latest book.

Your Chefs:

 

Maria Luisa Tavasani

Her Italian co-hosts are Maria Luisa Tavasani a great Italian cook and fashion expert. She started her career in fashion with Enrico Coveri in the mid-seventies, and later became commercial director of sales for Enrica Massei in Milan for five years. Followed by representing Fendi’s clothes and knitwear line. She was invited by Cividini to represent them internationally and finished her fashion career after sixteen years with them.

 

Her passion for cooking led her first to study under Laura Ravaioli and then with Agata Parisella subsequently who owned the famous “Agata e Romeo” 2 star Michelin restaurant. She also worked with Antonio Troiani of “Il Civino” restaurant. Lastly to learn about bread and desserts she studied with the sisters Margherita and Valeria of Bologna. Who have published a famous book on their recipes.

 

She worked with me at my boutique hotel La Tranquilla and has been a very important part of our offerings.

Your Chefs:

 

Ivo Bufalini

Last, but by no means least, is Ivo Bufalini an authentic Etruscan, fabulous cook and furniture designer. He started his furniture design career with his brother in their father’s garage when they were both in their teens learning their trade from their uncle and a Florentine furniture maker. They then formed their own company called Salotti Bufalini and had a furniture showroom in Sinalunga. They showed at the famous Milan Furniture Fair for ten years working with Saudi Arabian and United States clients. In 1999 he and I formed Piolo Italian Design and sold his furniture to clients in Italy and the US.

 

He inherited his mother’s passion for cooking and it has been a lifelong dedication to searching for, and working with, only the freshest locally grown and raised ingredients. To say he is fanatic about this, is an understatement. He makes all of his pasta by hand, delighting all who taste it. Our guests will be able to see him making the pasta and learn at the same time.  He too worked with me at La Tranquilla bringing a special Italian flavor to all he does.

 

We have all worked together for a long time and offer a very unique and personalized service where our clients come first and foremost. I speak English, Italian, Spanish, French and a rusty Portuguese, Maria Louisa speaks Italian, English, and French and a little Spanish, Ivo only speaks Italian but makes himself understood by all.