Why Return to Italy?

ITALY
I return to Italy year after year to:
1. Reconnect to simplicity. Eating simple meals, & for entertainment watching the sunset & moon rise.
2. Remind myself of what’s important.
3. Relearn my priorities.  
4. Release to the earth my fear and worries.
5. Replenish my spirit by washing away any hurts that have hung on.
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Join me:
June 10-17, 2017 Heart & Soul #Amalfi yoga retreat
June 25-July 2, 2017 #Tuscany #yogaretreat
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*$300 OFF Double or $350 OFF Single with deposit by MAY 30*
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https://alchemytours.com/amalfi-yoga-retreat/
OR
https://alchemytours.com/tuscany-vino-and-vinyasa-yoga-ret…/
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#travel #adventure #lovetravel #italy #italia #wanderlust #italian_trips #passionpassport

Are You Dreaming of Italy?

A truth of the heart: The transformation that happens on a #yogaretreat is a quantum leap. It is not fully describable with words. But if your heart feels the call, and #Italy keeps popping up in your dreams then come with us!
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June 25-July 1, 2017 #Tuscany #YogaRetreat
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Looking for a female roommate to complete a double $250 OFF to make it easy for you 
Retreat size limited to 14 guests. Last 2 spots!
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https://alchemytours.com/tuscany-itinerary/
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Let’s talk about making your dreams come true 1-206-886-5743

ITINERARY 2017

Day 1

Morning:
10:30am Meet in the lobby of the Hotel Palazzo Vecchio (via Cennini 4, 50123, Florence, Italy)
Walking tour of Historic Center of Florence

Afternoon:
1:30pm Lunch in Santo Spirito Plaza, Welcome!
2:45pm Visit Piazzale Michelangelo and Giardino delle Rose
Tour Basilica San Miniato del Monte
5:00pm Pool time

Evening:
6:00pm Welcome Yoga Practice
7:30pm Sunset Aperitivo
8:00pm Dinner and Brief Logistics Talk

Giardino delle Rose (Rose Garden) houses a collection of roses, lemons, and other plants, as well as a Japanese garden. It contains about 400 varieties of roses for a total of about 1,200 plants.The garden was created in 1865 by Giuseppe Poggi, who also designed the piazzale, on behalf of the City of Florence in anticipation of moving the capital of Italy from Turin. It covers about one hectare of land which offers a panoramic view of the city, sandwiched between viale Poggi, via di San Salvatore and via dei Bastioni.

Piazzale Michelangelo offers panoramic views of Florence and the Arno valley.The Piazzale Michelangelo is dedicated to the city’s most famous Renaissance artist Michelangelo Buonarroti. At the center of the square stands a replica of his most famous statue, the David. The bronze statue is set on a large pedestal, decorated with replicas of allegorical statues depicting day, night, dusk and dawn.

San Miniato standing atop one of the highest points in the city of Florence is one of the finest Romanesque structures in Tuscany and one of the most scenic churches in Italy. There is an adjoining Olivetti monastery to the basilica where the monks sell herbal teas and special honey elixirs. The mosaics and frescoes inside the church are incredible.

Church complex

 The Cemetery from the Basilica di San Miniato al Monte by Hans von Bartels. Adjacent to the church is the cloister, planned as early as 1426 and built from 1443 to mid-1450s. It was designed by Bernardo and Antonio Rosselino. The whole complex is surrounded by defensive walls, originally built hastily by Michelangelo during the siege and in 1553 expanded into a true fortress (fortezza) by Cosimo I de’ Medici. The walls now enclose a beautiful large cemetery, the Porte Sante, laid out in 1854.

Day 2

Morning:
8:00am Yoga Practice
9:30am Breakfast
10:30am Depart for Monteriggioni
11:30am Castle Tour & Shopping
1:00pm Picnic Lunch in Monteriggioni

Monteriggioni is, without doubt, one of the most classical and best known Italian walled town. Since the Middle Age its fame was so big that also the great poet Dante Alighieri makes sign to his ’round enclosure’ in the Divine Comedy (Hell, chant XXXI vv. 40-41). Recently a part of the wall walk of the town walls has been restored and made accessible. From the top of the walled circuit, it is possible to admire the surrounding countryside towards Chianti and the Valdelsa and to enjoy a unique view of the town and its fortifications.

Afternoon:
2:30pm Siena
6:00pm Aperitivo on Il Campo (At Bar Il Palio), Siena

Siena preserves its medieval character to a remarkable degree, and has been largely unspoilt by new buildings. In fact Siena retains a ward-centric culture from medieval times. Each ward (contrada) is represented by an animal or mascot, and has its own boundary and distinct identity. Ward rivalries are most rampant during the annual horse race (Palio) in the Piazza del Campo.

Evening:
8:00pm Dinner
9:00pm Restorative Yoga Practice

Day 3 

Morning:
8:00am Yoga Practice
9:00am Breakfast

Afternoon:
12:30pm Lunch at the Borgo
1:30pm Depart for Radda in Chianti
2:30pm Radda in Chianti walking tour and wine tasting

Radda in Chianti is situated on a hill covered with woods and extensive vineyards forming the watershed between the Pesa and Arbia valleys. 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.

Evening:
6:30pm Yoga Practice
8:00pm Dinner at the Borgo

Day 4 

Morning:
8:00am Breakfast
9:30am Yoga Practice

Afternoon:
12pm Lunch at the Borgo
1:00pm Depart for Volterra
1:30pm Walking Tour of Volterra
2:30pm Free Time & Shopping in Volterra

Volterra “is situated in the middle of the triangle formed by the cities of Pisa, Siena and Florence. On clear days you can easily see the sea, with the islands of Capraia and Corsica on the horizon. Far from heavily-trafficked roads and industrial areas, Volterra is surrounded by rolling patchwork hills with fields of grain and woodlands. In Summer, as the spring rains slow their trickle, the green fields turn to gold as wheat is harvested and sunflowers raise, and then bow, their proud heads. Volterra is one of the most important towns in Tuscany: its unique position and its ancient history leaves everyone enchanted.” From our friends at Tuscan Tour.

Evening
4:30pm Depart for the Borgo
5:30pm Yoga Practice
6:30pm Dinner at Borgo
7:30pm Explore Casole D’Elsa after dinner

Casole d’Elsa is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Siena in the Italian region Tuscany, located about 50 km southwest of Florence and about 25 km west of Siena. It is a charming medieval hilltop town situated in wonderful countryside around Siena. It is situated 70km from Florence and 35km from the town of Siena.

Originally it was a domain of the Bishop of Volterra but in the middle of the 13th century it passed under the control of Siena. The Sienese strengthened the fortifications because of its strategical position. In 1554 Casole surrended, after strenuous resistance, to the imperial and Florentine armies during the war against Siena. The dualism between Siena and Volterra still survives in the daily life of Casole for political purposes it is in the Province of Siena, whereas it falls under the Diocese of Volterra for religious matters. Verrocchio Art School Tuscany Italy.

Day 5

Morning:
7:00am Breakfast
7:30am Depart for Beach Day on the Mediterranean!

Afternoon:
11:00am Arrive Fonteblanda
12:00pm Catered lunch at Beach Club
1:30pm Depart for Petriolo Natural Hot Springs & Spa

At the Petriolo, you can indulge at the brand new spa center by the natural hot pools, which offers massage, beauty and health treatments, or you can enjoy the hot springs (43°C), open to the public free of charge, where you can relax in the pools along the banks of the river Farma.

The spas at the Petriolo are open from May to October. The Petriolo’s thermal baths are very ancient. The Romans knew and appreciated them. It is very likely that these are the baths mentioned by the orator Marco Tullio Cicero in his pro Marco Caelio.

Of the original baths, composed by four groined vaulted rooms, only one room still exists. It opens onto the river Farma with arches built on octagonal pillars.

Evening:
7:00pm Restorative Yoga Practice
8:30pm Dinner

Day 6

Morning:
8:00am Yoga Practice
9:30am Breakfast
10:30am Depart for Wine Tasting Tour and Explore San Gimignano

‘San Gimignano delle belle Torri’ served as an important relay point for pilgrims travelling to or from Rome on the Via Francigena. The patrician families who controlled the town built around 72 tower-houses (some as high as 50 m) as symbols of their wealth and power. Although only 14 have survived, San Gimignano has retained its feudal atmosphere and appearance. The town also has several masterpieces of 14th- and 15th-century Italian art.

The People’s Palace is one of the most important monuments of San Gimignano, being both the home of the Civic Museum and rich in paintings by the Florentine and Sienese schools (dating from the 13th century) such as the “Crucifix”, painted by Coppo di Marcovaldo, the triptyches by Niccolò Tegliacci and Taddeo di Bartolo dating from the 14th century, and other important works of art dating from the 15th century painted by Domenico Michelino, Pinturicchio and Filippino Lippi.

Afternoon:
2:00pm Lunch at Borgo (Post lunch: Optional Massages)
2:30pm Pool time, R&R, Nap

Evening:
6:30pm Yoga Practice
8:00pm Bruschetta making class & Closing Dinner at Borgo

Day 7 

Morning:
8:00am Closing Yoga Practice
10:00am Brunch
12:00am Departures – Ciao for now!
1:00pm Arrive Florence

Tuscany Yoga Retreat What Do Client’s Say?

It is a sincere privilege to be trusted to guide small tribes of incredibly curious, high vibration people in Italy, the land of my cultural heritage. Never for a moment do I take this for granted. I am honored you chose me. I can assure you that I have taken great care and meticulous attention to designing the best Tuscany Yoga Retreat possible! My Italian Father would be so proud I share with you what I love.

Thank you with all my heart. Here now is what my previous Tuscany retreat guests have said…

What do our Tuscany Client’s Say?

What aspect of your life transformed the most (physical, mental, emotional)? 
Before the trip, I was a bit run down from work life. While attending the retreat and afterwards, I became so much more aware of what I needed in order to deal with the mental and emotional stresses of work and gained a new level of respect for what laughter can do to enlighten my life and the lives of others. – Jessica

How did our Tuscany Yoga Retreat help you make positive changes in your life? I went to Tuscany by myself to explore everything that the Yoga Retreat through Alchemy Tours could and would offer. I discovered that I could travel alone, make great friends of all ages and backgrounds and could be my complete self. Silvia is more than a friend, she is my inspiration to follow a life I love and make no excuses. –  Laurie

What aspect of your life transformed the most (physical, mental, emotional)? 
Physically, mentally and emotionally I felt transformed. The physical components were great, as was the extremely healthy diet, and although I ate like I was on vacation, I came back feeling healthier and few pounds lighter from all of the yoga. Mentally, I was in a state of bliss from the amazing surroundings, stress free environment, and wonderful people I was able to share the experience with. Emotionally, I felt like I gained a greater understanding about what is really important and a greater sense of my life’s purpose. – Laura

What aspect of your life transformed the most on the Tuscany Yoga Retreat (physical, mental, emotional)? For me, the biggest changes were mental changes. Waking up early to attend a morning yoga class, taking walks and choosing to participate in activities that were offered were all choices I made based on what I wanted to do. Doing yoga with Silvia is more like a life walk. She takes you through the beginning, building up your confidence, letting you shine in the peak poses and lets you feel okay with relaxing at the end. – Sarah

tuscany next best 2016Alchemy Tours is wonderful! Silvia is an insightful and loving teacher who has lifted me up more times that I could ever keep track of. Tuscany, Siena and surrounding areas – all of the day trips that we did were wonderful. Lastly, but definitely not least, the yoga two times a day was a wonderful way to begin and end each day. ~Kimberly

One of the best choices I ever made was going to Tuscany with Silvia. Not only is this part of Italy gorgeous, I learned so much about myself… not to mention the amazing food and yoga everyday. I highly suggest you go. It will be a trip you never forget! – John

I travel quite a bit, so I tend to have high expectations. I can honestly say this trip was beyond my expectations! I’m not sure how anyone couldn’t enjoy staying in Tuscany, touring Tuscan cities, village and vineyards, wine tasting, eating amazing food, shopping, yoga and swimming in the Mediterranean! – Amber

This was also a very well organized trip and our guides deserve tremendous credit for leading us on some internal exploration as well as an external journey through stunningly beautiful landscapes ~Rich

You have such a gift for teaching and such of depth of knowledge and training, in both the physical and spiritual aspects of yoga. And you clearly embody all that you teach, I admire your sense of peace, calm, and thoughtfulness – you are beautiful inside and out – I want to bring more of these attributes into my life. ~Karen

If you’re looking for an authentic Tuscan experience, you really can’t beat staying in the heart of Tuscany. ~Anonymous

I went on a yoga retreat with Alchemy Tours to Tuscany. I was in a place where I was feeling like I needed to do something for myself to reconnect and gain clarity on my life. Do all this while practicing yoga and cycling in the hills of Tuscany? Sign me up! I didn’t know quite what I was searching for, but called it my “Eat, Pray, Love” trip. On the retreat I found myself laughing and feeling happier than I had in months; while also gaining the confidence through self-reflection that I truly am in charge of how I want my life to unfold. Since returning, I have been making small changes that are the building blocks to creating a more satisfying/fulfilling professional and personal life. And most of all, I can’t wait to go on another retreat. – Ann

Silvia took care of everything too, so it was never stressful.  She had everything meticulously planned, but wasn’t rigid about it. She was flexible, accommodating and made adjustments so everyone was able to get the most out of the trip. I felt that she truly cared about us, was tuned into what we needed and did everything she could to make it an experience of a lifetime for everyone. – Amber

How did your Yoga Retreat help you make positive changes in your life?
 Before the yoga retreat, I was looking to reconnect with my wife and myself. The retreat helped in so many different ways with just those things, as well as opening up some amazing new friendships. I felt like a totally new person afterwards. – Jordan

You have such a gift for teaching and such of depth of knowledge and training, in both the physical and spiritual aspects of yoga. And you clearly embody all that you teach, I admire your sense of peace, calm, and thoughtfulness – you are beautiful inside and out – I want to bring more of these attributes into my life. – Christine

 

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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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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The Heart of Italy – Toscana

I return to ‪Tuscany, the Heart of Italy year after year to: Reconnect. Remind. Release.
1. Reconnect to simplicity.
2. Remind myself of what’s important. Relearn my priorities.
3. Release to the earth any hurts that have gotten stuck and hung on to me.

Join me on the trip of a lifetime. Enjoy this 3 minute view of what you can expect.