San Miniato al Monte

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The beautiful landscape of San Miniato al Monte

According to tradition, the martyr St. Miniatus, who was suffered during the persecution of Decius in the 3rd century, was buried on the hill where the church bearing his name now stands. It was the idea of the bishop Hildrebrand to build the basilica, together with the adjoining Benedictine monastery, on the site where it was believed that the relics of the saint (today preserved in the crypt of the church) were found.

Work was begun in 1018 and was completed about 1207. The new church which was built on the site of an earlier church reflects the various stages of its construction in its different parts, from the crypt to the elaborate marble floor of the nave.

Continue reading this article in The Museums of Florence

 

Among Costa Rican volcanoes, Irazú is king of the hill

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The main crater at Irazú Volcano on a clear day.  Andrés Madrigal/The Tico Times

IRAZÚ VOLCANO NATIONAL PARK, Cartago — Here at the top of Costa Rica’s tallest volcano, the main crater looks like it was struck by a gigantic meteorite that vaporized on impact, leaving behind a semi-spherical blast zone.

It’s an awe-inspiring sight, as long as you’re not expecting to see the gorgeous emerald crater lake that appears in most photos — it dried up three years ago.

Read the whole story in The Tico Times, written by KARL KAHLER | MAY 18, 2016

Costa Rica’s best coffee comes from this hillside in Alajuela

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LOURDES DE CIRRÍ, Alajuela – Large burlap sacks of coffee, green and roasted, covered the kitchen floor in Antonio Barrantes’ home in Lourdes de Cirrí, north of Naranjo, Alajuela.

He opened one bag to sift the jade-colored unroasted beans through his hands. These pale green beans, known as “oro” in Spanish, or gold, might well be worth their weight in the precious metal.

Read the whole article in The Tico News

What is Your Travel Dream?

We all have a Travel Dream we’ve replayed in our sleep over and over. To be honest, we’ve sat in our offices or have been at home preparing dinner and day dreamed the same thing. The question is, Are you ready to blossom open? Why wait even a day longer?

Some say you can fall in love with a place just as you can with a person. This is certainly true of Tuscany! The tastes, sights and people of Tuscany will nourish your spirit and renew your sense of joy. Experiencing life under the Tuscan sun is something that stays with you forever. In Italy, you slow down to enjoy each breath, each sip of chianti, each taste of antipasto. You may in fact realize that you are actually home: the home of your heart. And life will never be the same after that. Tuscany teaches us to savor each moment and live inspired by the details that might have otherwise passed us by. Our combined years of guiding in Italy ensures that you will experience the joy of La Dolce Vita (The Sweet Life) with us.

Stop dreaming and start planning now to be delighted!

Join our 7 Day Italian Adventure to Tuscany, in the Heart of Renaissance Italy, June 19-25, 2016 guided by Yoga Teachers, Healers, Authors and International Guides Silvia Mordini and Amita Stark, who are both passionate about Tuscany, have lived in Italy, and are both experienced in the culture! We will be guests at Antico Borgo di Tignano recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site focusing on Tuscan traditions. Stay in your own 10th century restored villa all with private baths. Peacefully nestled into the hills with epic views of Casole d’Elsa and Volterra in the distance, this is the perfect entryway into the Tuscan countryside.

IMG_3175We will travel to many famous Art Cities, including: Florence, Monteriggioni, Siena, Radda in Chianti, San Gimignano, Castellina in Chianti, Tignano, Petriolo Natural Hot Springs & Spa, The Mediterranean, Casole d’Elsa, and Colle Val d’Elsa. Lingering with iconic art, architecture, and design punctuated with wine, food, fashion, and fun, you will experience the real sensuousness of Tuscany and understand why it is on everyone’s bucket list! Many people decide to spend some time after our trip, to build on the foundation, and we highly recommend it!

This week is all about recharging. We will move at a relaxed pace; participation in any event is not mandatory and there will be plenty of time offered to explore on your own. You will certainly have time to re-learn the art of relaxation or as the Italians say “Il Bel Far Niente,” set mindful goals, and renew your entire sense of well-being.

Do not hesitate to ask us any questions. We want to make this a truly memorable experience! Download the complete brochure of information about the trip here!!

Grazie and Namaste,
~Amita & Silvia~

ACTIVITIES OVERVIEW DURING OUR 7 DAYS:
Day 1: Ciao! Florence, Piazza Michelangelo, San Miniato, Tour Unesco World Heritage Site, Antico Borgo di Tignano, Welcome dinner
Day 2: Medieval Castles, Culture, Art & Fashion of Monteriggioni & Siena. Sunset aperitivo on Piazza Il Campo.
Day 3: Wine Tasting & Private Walking Tour in Radda in Chianti
Day 4: Explore Tuscany by Bicycle or Foot Casole D’Elsa
Day 5: San Gimignano Tasting Exploration tour. “World’s Best” gelato, cheese, wine, olive oil, balsamic tasting extravaganza. Hands-on Bruschetta-making Class.
Day 6: Morning drive to the Mediterranean relax on the beach, afternoon lunch and visit to Petriolo Natural Hot Springs, evening dinner party
Day 7: Final Yoga, Brunch and Arrivederci!

INVESTMENT INTO LIVING YOUR DREAM:
*$250 OFF Triple, $300 OFF Double, $350 OFF Single Early Birds by MAY 31, 2016! *
$1999 per person Triple Room (Early birds $1749)
$2108 per person Double Room (Early birds $1808)
$2699 Single Room (Early birds $2349)

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Florence and Machiavelli: sympathy for the devil

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Machiavelli’s study, where he read, and prepared his famous manuscript

Article in The Daily  Telegraph, published in London

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The Palio in Siena

The Palio in Siena is maybe the most famous sports event of the summer in Italy.  It is not a tourist oriented event as so many others, but its origins hail back to the Middle Ages or at least 1644.

To read more about the Palio, check this article in Discover Tuscany

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A Literary Guide To Tuscany

The landscapes and people of Tuscany have been an inspiration for writers for centuries – perhaps it’s no coincidence that three of Italy’s greatest writers – Dante, Petrarca, Boccaccio – were all Tuscan. Besides home-grown writers, Tuscany has provided an inexhaustible source of writing material for foreign writers as well, with the British driving the ranks. –

See the complete article in: ITALY MAGAZINE

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