Food and Wine of Tuscany Italy

In Tuscany, you’ll find a classic cuisine that stays faithful to long-standing Italian culinary traditions. Both rough and elegant, cucina Toscana is intrinsically linked to its rugged land, the changing seasons and an endearing obsession with fresh ingredients. Virtually every dish is seasonal and is prepared to highlight individual flavors. Recipes tend to be part of an oral rather than written tradition, so try as you might to secure that recipe for tiramisu, you’ll often be told to just combine ‘a little of this and a little of that.’ Not surprisingly, Tuscans cook and eat with their senses!

The cornerstones of Tuscan cuisine are bread and olive oil. Many Tuscan dishes use both, like ribollita, a hearty vegetable soup made with bread, and panzanella, a summer salad composed of tomatoes, basil, cucumber, onion, olive oil and bread. Tuscans prefer their bread unsalted, except for schiacciatoa, flattened dough baked with oil and salt. And the region’s dense and aromatic olive oils are among the country’s best.
notes from the field
No Tuscan meal is complete without an abundant tray of antipasti to warm up the palate. You’ll find bruschetta, slices of grilled or toasted bread rubbed with garlic, drenched with oil, sprinkled with salt and sometimes topped with tomato and fresh basil. Enjoy crostini, small pieces of bread spread with chicken liver paté. Melanzane (eggplant), asparagi (asparagus) carciofi (artichokes), zucca (squash), and porcini mushrooms will appear grilled, fried or simply doused with freshly-pressed olive oil. Fagioli (beans, white ones in particular) also make a regular appearance, especially as fagiolo all’uccelletto, white beans cooked with tomatoes, garlic, and sage.

Due to its proximity to the Apennines (mountainous interior), the region boasts some delectable meat and poultry, roasted, grilled and simply adorned with lemon. The ubiquitous cinghiale, or wild boar, is served roasted, stewed, in soups and sausages and as a key ingredient in pasta al ragu, where it is piccipastastewed with tomatoes into a rich sauce served over pasta. Arista is roast pork loin with garlic and rosemary; lombatina is grilled veal chop. There’s also excellent prosciutto, salami and salsiccia. Finocchiona is pork sausage flavored with fennel seeds; pork and wild boar sausage is everywhere, either fresche (fresh) or secche (dried).

Pasta in Tuscany tends to be heavy and flavorful. Regional varieties include gnocchi, ravioli and pappardelli. Hearty primi such as Tortelli al burro e salvia (butternut squash pillows with a butter and sage sauce), pappardelle alla lepre (egg noodles with braised rabbit) and penne all’arrabbiata (with a spicy or ‘angry’ tomato sauce) make for satisfying dining after a day of cycling those gorgeous Tuscan hills!

Desserts include heavenly tiramisu (lady fingers drenched with rum, dusted with cocoa and layered with mascarpone cheese) and panforte, a spice cake with candied fruit and nuts first served in medieval times, and torta alla nonna, a cake filled with custard and dusted with pignoli and powdered sugar in “grandmother’s style.” Other treats include blood oranges, chestnuts, wedges of parmigiano reggiano (from the north) or pecorino with walnuts, fresh figs and honey. But be sure not to miss what may be the very best dessert of all—gelato.
Food and Wine
In Tuscany, you’ll find a classic cuisine that stays faithful to long-standing Italian culinary traditions. Both rough and elegant, cucina Toscana is intrinsically linked to its rugged land, the changing seasons and an endearing obsession with fresh ingredients. Virtually every dish is seasonal and is prepared to highlight individual flavors. Recipes tend to be part of an oral rather than written tradition, so try as you might to secure that recipe for tiramisu, you’ll often be told to just combine ‘a little of this and a little of that.’ Not surprisingly, Tuscans cook and eat with their senses!

The cornerstones of Tuscan cuisine are bread and olive oil. Many Tuscan dishes use both, like ribollita, a hearty vegetable soup made with bread, and panzanella, a summer salad composed of tomatoes, basil, cucumber, onion, olive oil and bread. Tuscans prefer their bread unsalted, except for schiacciatoa, flattened dough baked with oil and salt. And the region’s dense and aromatic olive oils are among the country’s best.
notes from the field
No Tuscan meal is complete without an abundant tray of antipasti to warm up the palate. You’ll find bruschetta, slices of grilled or toasted bread rubbed with garlic, drenched with oil, sprinkled with salt and sometimes topped with tomato and fresh basil. Enjoy crostini, small pieces of bread spread with chicken liver paté. Melanzane (eggplant), asparagi (asparagus) carciofi (artichokes), zucca (squash), and porcini mushrooms will appear grilled, fried or simply doused with freshly-pressed olive oil. Fagioli (beans, white ones in particular) also make a regular appearance, especially as fagiolo all’uccelletto, white beans cooked with tomatoes, garlic, and sage.

Due to its proximity to the Apennines (mountainous interior), the region boasts some delectable meat and poultry, roasted, grilled and simply adorned with lemon. The ubiquitous cinghiale, or wild boar, is served roasted, stewed, in soups and sausages and as a key ingredient in pasta al ragu, where it is stewed with tomatoes into a rich sauce served over pasta. Arista is roast pork loin with garlic and rosemary; lombatina is grilled veal chop. There’s also excellent prosciutto, salami and salsiccia. Finocchiona is pork sausage flavored with fennel seeds; pork and wild boar sausage is everywhere, either fresche (fresh) or secche (dried).

Pasta in Tuscany tends to be heavy and flavorful. Regional varieties include gnocchi, ravioli and pappardelli. Hearty primi such as Tortelli al burro e salvia (butternut squash pillows with a butter and sage sauce), pappardelle alla lepre (egg noodles with braised rabbit) and penne all’arrabbiata (with a spicy or ‘angry’ tomato sauce) make for satisfying dining after a day of cycling those gorgeous Tuscan hills!

Desserts include heavenly tiramisu (lady fingers drenched with rum, dusted with cocoa and layered with mascarpone cheese) and panforte, a spice cake with candied fruit and nuts first served in medieval times, and torta alla nonna, a cake filled with custard and dusted with pignoli and powdered sugar in “grandmother’s style.” Other treats include blood oranges, chestnuts, wedges of parmigiano reggiano (from the north) or pecorino with walnuts, fresh figs and honey. But be sure not to miss what may be the very best dessert of all—gelato.
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Italy Yoga Retreat Video

Nobody does Tuscany better than we do.

That is a bold statement and we stand behind it. We have over 15 years of luxury, adventure travel in some of the world’s most beautiful places. Our niches it to show you what regular tourists don’t see. Have a peek at our Tuscany Retreat. Our next one is June 21-28, 2014.

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Tuscany Foodie Delights Yoga Retreat

In choosing an Italy Yoga Retreat make sure to ask about the pedigree of the Chef. If you make the trip to Italy and stay at a retreat center with a non Italian chef you are doing yourself a disservice. The artistic and centuries old learnings of Italian chefs is a must experience while in Tuscany.

FOOD IS ART

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Salad

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Where do You Stay on Tuscany Yoga Retreat

What sets apart one retreat from another are: accommodations and food. Tuscany offers you a beautiful experience in living like Italians do. Seek the best. There is no reason you have to share a bathroom with 5-10 other guests. We are experts in Tuscany.

WHERE WE WILL STAY ON OUR TUSCANY YOGA RETREAT

We will be guests at Antico Borgo di Tignano, a UNESCO World Heritage site and classic Tuscan farmhouse which our friend, Gabriella has converted into a stylish yoga retreat center. Gabriella guided a team of architects and licensed contractors to renovate this medieval village and now you get to see the completion of her vision. With epic views of Casole d’Elsa and Volterra in the distance, this is the perfect entryway into the Tuscan countryside.
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The actual Borgo was a 16th century rural residence. Its original name, Borgo di Tignano, has Roman origins. It is the probable birth-place, in the 4th century, of Saint Attinia, a venerated saint from the Volterra area. Amongst its illustrious guests in the 1800’s, during the time the Borgo was a summer retreat from the ‘Scolopi‘ fathers, was Pope Pius the ninth. This Borgo is overall a place to enjoy with your heart, surrounded by a soft landscape and a peculiar light which often brings back forgotten emotions.

In the local tradition, one says that the Berignone Forest, which faces the Borgo, is what inspired Dante Alighieri to write about the “Selva Oscura”–the location in which his Divine Comedy story starts.

The gardens of the Borgo, with lavendar-lined paths combine with aromatic herbs, juniper hedges, myrtle and evergreens to reproduce a Mediterranean environment. The characteristic ‘Osteria’, which used to be the old olive press, is the ideal place for a romantic candlelight dinner overlooking the amazing countryside, or a light lunch on the panoramic terrace.

A beautiful, large swimming pool and lounge area welcome you to get the most out of the sun. There is a reading room that also has a wireless internet point. There is a golf course within 30 minutes drive from the Borgo.

ACCOMMODATIONS

Accommodation is in one bedroom apartments with private baths and kitchens. All the apartments are independent, personalized and fully furnished, with ample garden and terrace areas for leisure.

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What's Included Tuscany Yoga Retreat

What makes our Romantic adventure to Tuscany so special? All of the special details we include in your investment. No one offers as much value and richness as we do. Our history of living in Italy certainly helps. We know your time is valuable and you deserve the best!

INCLUDED IN YOUR ROMANTIC ADVENTURE:

*7 nights/8 days of accommodation

*Delicious Tuscan daily breakfast, lunch, dinner and all snacks and drinks for each day’s activities

IMG_0936*Aperitivo in Siena

*Social hours on select evenings

*Latin Dance Class led by Gail Hudson and Hal Abbott

*Tuscan Cooking Class

*Mini-Italian language & culture class with Jacob Young

*Pickup and Return Shuttle from Florence (value $150 per person)

*All private transportation during the trip

*Visits with transportation included to: Florence, Monteriggioni, Siena, Radda in Chianti, Castellina in Chianti, Volterra, Tignano, Petriolo Natural Hot Springs & Spa, The Mediterranean, Casole d’Elsa, Colle Val d’Elsa

*11 Yoga classes with Silvia Mordini

*Restorative Yoga

*Guided Meditation Practice

*Partner Yoga

*Writing and wellness coaching

*Private evening Dharma talks

*Entrance fees to all group events

*A special goodie bag with trip-specific comfort items

*Comprehensive trip literature

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Valentine's Day Romantic Gift Idea

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching!

Why not purchase the most romantic gift of a Tuscany Yoga Retreat, just for couples? Give the gift now and have it be something to look forward to all the way until we pick you up in Florence June 21st! From there get ready for a romantic Tuscan adventure until June 28th.

Right now save $300 until Valentines Day, our gift to the two of you.

Join our 8 day Italy Couples Retreat led by Happiness Coach & VInyasa Flow Teacher Silvia Mordini, International Travel Guide Jacob Young along with Guest Facilitators Seattle Author and Life Coach Gail Hudson and Psychotherapist Hal Abbott who has been Yoga in Tuscany, at Soul Space Gabriella-23practicing marriage and family counseling in Seattle for over twenty years.

This week is all about recharging your courtship! We will be guests at Antico Borgo di Tignano, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 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. We 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.We wholeheartedly believe this holiday will be something you and your partner will never forget—and practicing yoga along with other exciting activities will only enhance your amorous potential! Be assured all levels of yoga are welcome, no experience is necessary.

The pace is relaxed; 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 Fai Niente”, set mindful goals, and renew your entire sense of well-being individually and together. For more information call 872-228-9642 (2AT-YOGA)

SPECIAL ROMANTIC TUSCAN ADVENTURES
Day 1: Arrivals Florence, Deplane Yoga, Afternoon Hike, Welcome dinner
Day 2: Monteriggioni in the morning, Siena in the afternoon
Day 3: Radda in Chianti Wine Tasting and private walking tour
Day 4: Visit Volterra afternoon walking tour
Day 5: San Gimignano Gelato tasting
Day 6: Morning drive to the Mediterranean relax on the beach, afternoon lunch and visit to Petriolo Natural Hot Springs, Tuscan Cooking Class evening dinner party
Day 7: Explore Casole d’elsa, sensual tasting for couples (cheese, wine, olive oil, balsamic). Hands-on Bruschetta Class
Day 8: Final Yoga, Brunch and Departures

RESERVATIONS:
$500 deposit to hold your spot.
Book now at http://www.alchemytours.com Please email hello@alchemytours.com or call 872-228-9642 (2AT-YOGA)RESERVATIONS:

INVESTMENT: $2500 and $300 OFF register by Valentine’s Day Feb 14, 2014!

INCLUDED IN THE TRIP PRICE:
*7 nights/8 days of accommodation
*Delicious Tuscan daily breakfast, lunch, dinner and all snacks and drinks for each day’s activities
*Aperitivo in Siena
*Social hours on select evenings
*Latin Dance Class led by Gail Hudson and Hal Abbott
*Tuscan Cooking Class
*Mini-Italian language & culture class with Jacob Young
*Pickup and Return Shuttle from Florence (value $150 per person)
*All private transportation during the trip
*Visits with transportation included to: Florence, Monteriggioni, Siena, Radda in Chianti, Castellina in Chianti, Volterra, Tignano, Petriolo Natural Hot Springs & Spa, The Mediterranean, Casole d’Elsa, Colle Val d’Elsa
*11 Yoga classes with Silvia Mordini
*Restorative Yoga
*Guided Meditation Practice
*Partner Yoga
*Writing and wellness coaching
*Private evening Dharma talks
*Entrance fees to all group events
*A special goodie bag with trip-specific comfort items
*Comprehensive trip literature

NOT INCLUDED IN TRIP PRICE:
Airfare to and from the trip and gratuities for your guides.

WHERE WE WILL STAY
We will be guests at Antico Borgo di Tignano–a classic Tuscan farmhouse which our friend, Gabriella has converted into a stylish yoga retreat center. Gabriella guided a team of architects and licensed contractors to renovate this medieval village and now you get to see the completion of her vision. With epic views of Casole d’Elsa and Volterra in the distance, this is the perfect entryway into the Tuscan countryside.

IMG_6832The actual Borgo was a 16th century rural residence. Its original name, Borgo di Tignano, has Roman origins. It is the probable birth-place, in the 4th century, of Saint Attinia, a venerated saint from the Volterra area. Amongst its illustrious guests in the 1800’s, during the time the Borgo was a summer retreat from the ‘Scolopi‘ fathers, was Pope Pius the ninth. This Borgo is overall a place to enjoy with your heart, surrounded by a soft landscape and a peculiar light which often brings back forgotten emotions.

In the local tradition, one says that the Berignone Forest, which faces the Borgo, is what inspired Dante Alighieri to write about the “Selva Oscura”–the location in which his Divine Comedy story starts.

The gardens of the Borgo, with lavendar-lined paths combine with aromatic herbs, juniper hedges, myrtle and evergreens to reproduce a Mediterranean environment. The characteristic ‘Osteria’, which used to be the old olive press, is the ideal place for a romantic candlelight dinner overlooking the amazing countryside, or a light lunch on the panoramic terrace.

A beautiful, large swimming pool and lounge area welcome you to get the most out of the sun. There is a reading room that also has a wireless internet point. There is a golf course within 30 minutes drive from the Borgo.

MEALS
Gabriella is not only a great architect, but she is also an amazing chef. She takes joy in delighting your palate with her favorite, local dishes–which is the best way to discover the authentic, Tuscan cuisine.

ACCOMMODATIONS
Accommodation is in one bedroom apartments with private baths and kitchens. All the apartments are independent, personalized and fully furnished, with ample garden and terrace areas for leisure.
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Yoga Retreat Themes 2014

Every one of our YogaRetreats has an intentional Theme. It is important to us that you know the feeling vision behind each retreat

*Transform Your Life – Xinalani March 29-April 5
*Embrace Your Purpose, Live Your Bliss – Haramara July 12-19
*Romantic Adventure in Intimacy and Eros – Tuscany (Couples Retreat) June 21-28
*Awaken Your Heart – Amalfi June 29 – July 6
*Art of Adventure – Bali Sept 6-13
*Healing, Harmony & Happiness Yoga Retreat – Bali Sept 13-20
*Journey Through the Senses Yoga Retreat – Prana del Mar Nov 29 – Dec 6

Please contact us at hello@alchemytours.com
Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @inspiredyogagal @alchemytours