Tuscany Yoga + Wine Retreat Itinerary
7 Days | 6 Nights
Start: Florence City Center (Exact Location TBD)
Finish: Florence's Santa Maria Novella Train Station
With Florence's Duomo in the rear view mirror, we depart for our first stop: a gorgeous winery in the heart of Tuscany. We'll be wined and dined on the estate before heading to a private villa and our home base for the next blissful week! After getting settled in, we will meet together to go over the week's program. Just before our dinner, lovingly prepared by our in-house chef, we'll have a welcome aperitivo by the pool.
Today begins with our daily yoga session. Seventy percent of what we experience through our nervous system, through our bodies, comes through our eyes. In this class we will play with various yoga asanas that employ sight and being blind folded. We will explore vision drills to help us improve balance, strength, and coordination. Weather permitting, we will find a beautiful spot on the grounds to practice. Otherwise, we will meet in the villa's spacious yoga studio. Afterward, enjoy an easy morning to explore the gardens, luxuriate with one of Laurie's incredible massages (she is giving us discounted rates during the retreat!), sip on a cappuccino, get out your sketch pad, etc. Lunch will be served al fresco at the villa. Afterward, we'll head to Lucca for a private guided walking tour of the fortress city. There will be time to wander on your own before dinner at a local-loved osteria. Before slipping into bed, we'll have a group check-in and sip on some herbal tea.
Listening will become the theme in this morning’s asana and meditation practice. Becoming aware of the sound of silence and the music that is life around us, brings us closer to presence. Afterward, we'll get ready for a visit to one of the most special wineries in Tuscany. After a tour of the winery and vineyards, we'll be treated to lunch paired with their fabulous wines and breath-taking views on the estate's terrace. Back at our villa, there will be some downtime to enjoy a massage, read, or a walk through the olive groves before a scrumptious dinner at the villa, including a guided wine tasting of local wines with Leslie.
We're really feeling la dolce vita by now! The focus of today's morning yoga practice is touch. Connecting to life through touch begins with an awareness from the inside out. Using intention we will cultivate attention and feel our breath moving in and moving out. Feel our heartbeat, the wrinkle of our brow, the smile that begins behind our eyes, noting the stretch of skin and contraction of muscle from the inside out. After this beautiful practice, we can get our hands dirty helping out with the estate's olive harvest. A delicious garden-to-table lunch will be prepared for us at the villa. In the afternoon, our private chef hosts a cooking class where we learn to make the regional pasta pici, along with some other Tuscan dishes. Dinner will be the food of our labor, paired, of course, with wonderful wines. Tonight, let's do a little star-gazing.
The sense of smell is the gateway to taste, to memories, and to the present moment. We will enhance our sense of smell during our yoga class through mindful attention and promote emotional connection to our joy and vitality through the use of essential oils. Enjoy a restful morning (another great moment to enjoy a blissful massage or enjoy a mindful walk in the garden) before a delicious, picnic-style lunch in the rose garden. Afterward, we'll head to Pisa for a guided tour and then some free time to explore the city before meeting for a mini-yoga session in front of the famed leaning tower. Dinner will be at a historic trattoria in Pisa's city center.
By now, Tuscany is starting to feel like casa (home). The sense of taste not only tunes us into the environments we live and thrive in but it also causes substantial changes in our physiology that affect our overall health and longevity. We will explore how taste is experienced before and after our yoga practice and how to savor moments of joy through mindful mouthfuls! Following our morning routine, we'll depart for out last winery visit of the retreat. This historic estate will host a lovely lunch for us and introduce us to their line of beautifully-crafted wines. For those of you interested in cycling, we will arrange for bicycles and a guide to bring you to our winery. Afterward, we'll return to our villa for our final dinner, toasting our week together and sharing our favorite moments from the retreat. Leslie will pick out some incredible wines to round off your Tuscan wine education. Before resting our heads, we'll reflect on our intentions at the beginning of the retreat and share how we can continue to incorporate them in our lives.
This morning, Laurie will lead us in one last yoga session - a dance of all the senses! We'll then have time to pack, take final photos of the group and the grounds. After a light lunch, our mini-bus will pick us up and bring us to Florence's Santa Maria Novella train station, where we will say, "alla prossima!" (Until the next time!)