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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Under the Etruscan Sun in Prato

There’s just so much to do and see in and around Florence and it’s worth it to explore surrounding cities. The city of Prato, sponsoring wonderful and free day trips from Florence called “That’s Prato” in spring and fall, offers the opportunity to do just that.

Only 30 minutes from Florence. Prato has a population of over 200,000 and is the third largest city in central Italy. It is trying to change its image from industrial to emphasizing its museums, monuments and cultural heritage.

See more by Victoria de Maio and her beautiful photographs.

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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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Sant' Angelo, Ischia, Italy

On the South of the island of Ischia you’ll find the most magical chic fishing village of Sant Angelo. Its beautiful Piazzetta opens up to the beach making it one of the most unique destinations on the island. And its peaceful energy has been calling writers and poets for eons.

Sant’Angelo d’Ischia is actually a rock, connected to the rest of the island by a thin isthmus and is testimony of the volcanic nature that still exists here. At the top of the islet called the “Tower” once stood a small church where the followers of St. Michael, the guardian angel who gave his name, appeared in the village. St Michael is known as the leader of Heaven’s forces that triumphed over the devil.

On the right side of the village, past the church, you’ll arrive at Quarry Petrelle where are the stoves and where fine sand cook an egg in less than a minute. Sant’Angelo d’Ischia is one of the favorite tourist destinations with its gardens, spas, hotels and outdoor restaurants that have maintained the beautiful scenery and above all peace and tranquility, not to mention the beautiful boutiques that offer top quality fashion garments . The territory of Sant’Angelo d’Ischia is rich in thermal springs and offers beautiful beaches, including that of the fumaroles. Sant’Angelo d’Ischia offers short, peace, tranquility and prosperity to those who choose to spend the Holidays near the enchanting beauty of the sea and the beach.
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How We Choose to Be Happy at Alchemy Tours

havegoodtimeHappiness is a choice. This lesson almost more than anything else has changed my life. It is one that I stay in touch with on a day in and day out basis. I made a choice to lead retreats all over the world because it is important to me. And as part of developing Alchemy Tours I continue to be tuned in to the partnership of happiness and choice. Here is how we choose to be happy in 2013 at Alchemy Tours. Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia

How We Choose to Be Happy at Alchemy Tours

Explore a New Place in the World
Expand beyond ordinariness into experiencing
someplace extraordinary and inspiring.

Make a Full Commitment
Set your intention/sankalpa and stay with it. Practice
Sun Salutes everyday or set the date for a retreat.

Do Something that Scares You
Push your limits and get out of your comfort zone.

Taste Something New
Savor new flavors in wine, beer, and food;
either locally or in new part of the world.

Practice Relaxation
Make time to meditate, spend time near the water,
watch more sunsets, unplug from technology.

Learn a New Language
Set your mind up to try speaking another language. If you’re
going to Italy, then learn some Italian phrases, or try Spanish
if you’re going to Mexico or South America.

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Ischia The Green Island

Ischia (pronounced Iss-key-a) is a volcanic island in the Bay of Naples on the mid-southeastern coast of Italy. Located 30km from Naples mainland, it measures just 34km in aragoncastlewaterdiameter and is profiled by Mount Epomeo peaking at 788 meters above the sea. Historically, the island has been inhabited by the Greeks, Syrausansa, Romans, Heruli, Ostrogoths, Byzantines, Normans, Saracens, Turks, and Aragonese, and plenty of ruins remain to suggest the lineages of these colonies. With its wonderful climate, nice location from the mainland, and richness of therapeutic hot-springs, it’s not hard to see why it was a landscape worth fighting over!

Nicknamed the “Green Island”, Ischia was one of the world’s first health spa destinations. ischiaocean copyFor centuries people have flocked to Ischia to indulge in its volcanic muds and waters rich with healthful minerals. Doctors even prescribe stays here to reap the benefits of bathing in the healing springs. In addition to all its natural wonders, one of the most appealing things about Ischia is the hospitality of the people themselves. You’re sure to enjoy the island’s welcome and relaxed way of life while during your stay.

Join us on retreat and let us lead you to the Amalfi Coast July 1-7, 2013

Namaste

Perfect license plate for the Yogi who loves Travel! Come along with us on an adventure in 2013-2014.

2013-2014 UPCOMING ALCHEMY TOURS ADVENTURES AND RETREATS:

January 5-11, 2013 Costa Rica The Sanctuary at Two Rivers Yoga, Surfing and Happiness

March 30-April 6, 2013 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – Xinalani Transform Your Life Yoga Retreat with Silvia Mordini & Casey Peterson & Jacob Young

April 26-28, 2013 Yoga Wellness Weekend Long Beach Peninsula, Washington

June 22-29, 2013 Tuscany, Italy Yoga & Wine, Cycling Retreat

July 1-7, 2013 Amalfi Coast, Italy Yoga & Beach Holiday

July 31 – Aug 17, 2013 Costa Rica RYT200 Teacher Training at The Sanctuary at Two Rivers

September 22-29, 2013 Bali Soulshine “Art of Adventure” Retreat

October 6 -13, 2013 Bali Soulshine Yoga Chakra Vinyasa Retreat with Polly Swietzer

November 2-9, 2013 Big Island Hawaii Yoga and Surfing Retreat

November 30 – December 7, 2013 Eco-Chic Surfing & Yoga Gratitude & Manifestation Retreat Prana del Mar Baja Mexico

January 2014 Costa Rica Yoga and Surfing Retreat

February 1-10, 2014 Rapa Nui Easter Island Tapati Festival: Yoga, Culture, Magic

March 2014 Mainland Ecuador Volcano Trekking and Galapagos Yoga Retreat

STILL IN PROCESS:
Paris/Provence Writing & Yoga Retreat
More!