Bucket List Adventures

If you’re a travel junkie like we are, your bucket list grows exponentially every time you log in to your twitter or pinterest account. Here are some additions to inspire you to take that next big trip!

Eat authentic italian food, in italy. There’s nothing like the real thing, made with recipes passed down by generations and graced by Italy’s charm. Pizza marguerita, Ischia’s traditional rabbit dish, and of course pasta!

Enjoy pasta in Ischia with us June 29- July 6 & in Tuscany 2015

Spaghetti in Italy

Take a yoga sabbatical to a beautiful place, to learn about yourself. People do teacher trainings for many reasons. To learn more about the spiritual aspects of yoga, to deepen their yoga practice, and to learn about themselves. Doing this self-exploration in a scenic, relaxing place will only allow you to see the beauty in yourself and the world around you. After all learning about yourself is as important, or more, than learning any subject!

Learn with us in Costa Rica at our RYT200 hour Alchemy of Yoga Training August 9-30 at Blue Spirit Retreat Center

Costa Rica Teacher Training

Play with monkeys! Just like dogs and cat, monkeys like to play! They are brilliant creatures (as smart as a three year old child) that are lively and curious.

Sacred Monkey Forrest, Bali

Sacred Monkey Forrest, Bali

Experience a Thai Herbal Steam bath. The people of Thailand have long known the benefits of the herbs, spices, and plants that mother earth provides us. They also understand the healing benefits of a good sweat, and have combined the two for a relaxing, detoxifying experience. You may even be lucky enough to have a view of the sunset or the ocean as you rejuvenate.

The sacred 'Samonpi' blend of herbs used in Samahita Retreat's Herbal Steam Bath.

The sacred ‘Samonpi’ blend of herbs used in Samahita Retreat’s Herbal Steam Bath

Salute the sunshine in December!
For many of us in north america, a warm, tropical day has not made an appearance in December. It’s even hard to imagine places in the world that are blessed with a sunny, blue skied christmas! Experience at least one December of your life with the sun on your face and a warm breeze in the air!

Enjoy winter sun in Mexico

Enjoy winter sun in Mexico

Check out our 2014-2015 trips to start checking things off of your bucket list!

 

Retreat Centers with Heart

There are thousands of retreat centers all over the world that offer luxurious accommodations for your vacation. The location of these retreats is often the centerpiece of their appeal- beautiful beaches, views etc. It’s important to choose a retreat center that respects and cares for the place they reside, assuring all of it’s wonders are preserved for future generations. We can each make a difference when we are green conscious and make good decisions in our homes, and because running a retreat center is much like running a giant household, the impact they can make is tenfold. Always remember, we as consumers vote with our dollars, so supporting these ecologically sound companies will in turn support efforts to tread lightly on our planet.

Some awesome ways hotels, resorts, and retreat centers reduce their environmental footprint:

  • Solar power
  • Solar heated pools, water, hot tubs
  • Floors made from renewable and/or abundant resources such as bamboo
  • Waste water is treated on-site and reused to irrigate gardens
  • Skylights included in the building’s design to increase natural lighting
  • Light fixtures and appliances chosen with energy efficiency in mind
  • Organic sheets, bath towels, and bath mats
  • Allow guests the option to reuse linens to reduce water usage
  • Cloth hand towels and napkins instead of disposable paper
  • Organic gardens
  • Compost excess food and organic materials to use as fertilizer
  • Aerated showerheads and low-flow toilets
  • Organic personal care products – shampoo, conditioner, cleaners, and lotions. Also purchasing care products in bulk reduces single-use containers
  • Green cleaning products
  • Recycling wherever possible and primarily using rechargeable batteries
  • Provide every guest a refillable bottle to reduce wasting single-use plastic bottles
  • Offering special incentives for guests who chose low-impact transportation
  • No concrete, no land modification during construction- erecting their structure without harvesting lumber
  • Utilizing well and rain water
  • Using compostable materials for any disposable items
  • Arranging carpools for guest transportation

These are only some of the amazing efforts eco-retreats make to decrease the impact on the earth. You can find these green retreat centers all over the world, some of our favorite eco-retreat centers:

Xinalani Retreat, Mexico*

Kalani, Hawaii

Prana Del Mar, Mexico*

Sanctuary at Two Rivers, Costa Rica

Blue Spirit, Costa Rica*

*Retreat centers Alchemy Tours will be traveling to in 2014, more info at Alchemytours.com

nature cottages on hill Blue Spirit from Pool copy cabanakomunebalisunset komunerestaurantbali

Radda & Castellina in Chianti

Radda in Chianti
This village (53Om, pop: 1,655) is situated on a hill covered with woods and extensive vineyards forming the watershed between the Pesa and Arbia valleys.
Formerly belonging to the Guidi family, it came under Florentine control in 1203. After being fortified in 1400 it was, from 1415 onwards, head of the League of Chianti, and it preserves the remains of its ancient walls.

The structure of the medieval village is still intact; it grew up elliptically around the church of San Nicolò, of 14th century origin and the Palazzo Pretorio. Built about 1415, its facade is adorned with the coats of arms of the podestà (chief magistrates), the latter is now the seat of the municipality.

Just outside the village, in the Vignale farm, are the headquarters of the Chianti Classico consortium(its symbol is the black-cockerel, the former emblem of the League of Chianti), and the Centro di Studi Chiantigiani (Centre for Chianti Studies), founded in 1984, with a small library and an archive devoted to the history of Chianti and its agriculture. The Montevertine farm, near the village, houses the small Museo del Chianti, with displays relating to the farming community.
Where is Radda in Chianti: it is located in the north of Siena province, in the border with the province of Florence and Arezzo.
Distances: Siena 30 Km – Florence 50 Km – Pisa 110 Km – Arezzo 57 Km
 
Castellina in Chianti

The city’s origins go back to Etruscan times and came under Florentine control starting in the 12th century when it became an important outpost due to its strategic position between Florence and Siena. It was destroyed and rebuilt many times during the battles between the two cities and every time the town was reconstructed with bigger defensive walls. Legend has it that even Brunelleschi was asked to work on the project of new walls for the town.

Along the ancient walls an impressive underground tunnel used by the guards back then remains, now called Via della Volte which today is a fascinating tunnel with shops and restaurants. I suggest you walk down the tunnel during different times of the day so that you can admire the view of the surrounding Chianti countryside with various degrees of light from the small windows along the tunnel. The tunnel itself goes around the city and encloses the delightful city center, itself divided by its main street, Via Ferruccio. Here you’ll find many shops, workshops, restaurants and important palaces such as Palazzo Banciardi and Palazzo Squarcialupi, both belonging to local noble families. Inside Palazzo Squarcialupi the Enoteca Antiquaria is now housed, a wine shop for over a 100 years old which represents an important historical archive of wine and which has helped preserving the original characteristics of Chianti Classico wine itself.

The Church of San Salvatore deserves a visit. It was rebuilt in 1945 after the devastation of WWII but which still displays a valuable fresco by Lorenzo Bicci depicting the Virgin Mary with Child and a wooden statue from the Renaissance. A few steps away from the city center, theFortress with its tall tower offers a stunning panorama of the town and countryside. Inside the Fortress is the headquarters of the Municipality and the Archeological Museum of Chianti, displaying important archeological findings from the surroundings that testify to the ancient origins of the Chianti region.

World's Best Gelato Italy

All about Gelato & Tuscany

Rumor tells it that the Tuscans are to thank for inventing Italy’s delicious and addictive ice cream (though the Sicilians and others ardently disagree). One story suggests that an artist named Buontalenti once constructed an ice cave near Florence’s gardens for the Medici family. In it, he churned milk, egg yolks and Malvasia wine over ice creating the first milk-based “gelato.” These days, gelaterias are ubiquitous in Tuscany.

Stand-by flavors like nocciola (hazelnut), stracciatella (chocolate-specked vanilla) and frutta de bosco (berries of the forest) are joined by seasonal ones like fig, blood orange, and apricot.

Explore Tuscany to find out for yourself your favorite!
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