One of the top live auction prizes is titled, “Wine Time in Tuscany: Vacation in a Renaissance Painting… at il Rifugio.” A 17th century villa farmhouse in Cortona, Italy, will accommodate a maximum of eight guests, double occupancy, in a single party for a one week stay. The arrival day features a greeting and full orientation. Activities, all private, include a wine tasting at an Enoteca in Cortona, a tour and tasting at Palazzo Contucci in Montepulciano, a full-meal cooking class at Il Rifugio, and a tour and tasting at the Avignonesi wine estate. The farewell dinner will take place at the villa.
Surrounded by 56 acres of private land, Il Rifugio is a picturesque vacation venue for family and/or friends or for a romantic getaway. The surrounding countryside offers stunning valley and mountain views, many walking trails, and is just ten minutes from the ancient citadel Cortona, a small medieval hill town in eastern Tuscany. Cortona is the subject of many books and movies, most recently "Under the Tuscan Sun."
There are five bedrooms, four-and-a-half bathrooms, large kitchen with open fireplace, pantry, dining room with generous table and seating for ten, living room with wood burning stove, upstairs sitting room with open fireplace, downstairs sitting room with day bed, den with daybed, outside barbeque with pizza oven, and a laundry room with washer and dryer. The kitchen has a large table, a dishwasher, a professional stove, and plenty of cookware. The large patio has a charming pergola (covered with wisteria in spring) and spectacular views. Included are gas for house heating, hot water, and cooking; wood for the fireplaces and wood burning stove; cleaning at the end of the stay (The villa will be spotless upon arrival); a cell phone for local calls; house phone for a reasonable number of long distance calls; free dial-up internet usage, Satellite TV, and a DVD and CD player.
It is said that "…if Italy is the body of art and culture in the world, Tuscany is the heart, and Cortona is its soul."
A sampling of other fabulous live auction items includes:
• A seven night stay at the 8,000 sq. ft. villa of Casa Piazza, located in the exclusive ocean front community of LaPunta, Mexico. Amenities include a fully staffed villa including a private chef, house manager, maid, houseman and an off-site house administrator There are five full bedrooms with private balconies and 6 ½ bathrooms. This auction prize is ideal for five couples or two families with kids.
• Two tickets to the Emmy Awards in Los Angeles with air and hotel
• Two tickets to the ESPY Awards with air and hotel. The ESPYs honor the best star athletes and memorable moments from the past year.
• Instant wine cellar with over 200 fine bottles of wine
• One week vacation for eight at Disney Saratoga’s Tree Top Villas in Orlando, Florida, over the Thanksgiving holiday. This prize includes air fare for eight, eight Disney passes and eight Universal Theme Park passes.
• A Costa Rica villa with air travel provided
• A unique Cubs experience
• and many more…
Professional auctioneer David Goodman of Chicago’s Auction Results will keep things lively.
Tickets to the Top Hat Ball are $300 per person. Table sponsorship opportunities and discounted packages are available. To reserve tickets or for more information visit http://www.tophatball.com or call Jeannine Zupo at 630-624-9874.
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