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Join this Italian adventure to Tuscany, in the heart of Renaissance Italy. You will be guided by Silvia Mordini, a yoga teacher, healer, author, and international guide, who is passionate about Tuscany, has lived in Italy on and off her entire life, and is experienced in the culture. You will be guests in a 10th century restored villa all with private baths. The villa is peacefully nestled in the hills with epic views of the Tuscan countryside.
Borgo Casanova Villa can accommodate 16 guests. The house has a private garden with wrought iron tables and chairs, umbrella, deck chairs, and barbecue. The villa is on two floors and has two entrances. On the ground floor, there are two communicating living rooms with fireplace, a fully equipped kitchen on the right side of the house, dining room and second kitchen corner on the left side of the house, and two standard double bedrooms with ensuite bathroom with shower.
The upper floor is not connected. On the right side of the house, there are one double bedroom with ensuite bathroom with shower and one triple bedroom with bathroom with shower. On the left side of the house on the upper floor, there are two double rooms with own bathroom with shower and one triple bedroom with large bathroom with shower and tub.
The villa is provided with a washing machine, dishwasher, dryer machine, iron and iron board, drying rack, flat screen cable TV, free Wi-Fi connection, telephone and safe deposit in each bedroom, air conditioning in each bedroom and sitting room, hair dryer, bathrooms amenities, pool towels (from May to September), and private parking.
You will travel to many famous art cities including Florence, Monteriggioni, Siena, Radda in Chianti, San Gimignano, and Castellina in Chianti. 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 this trip to build on the foundation, and Alchemy of Yoga highly recommend it!
This week is all about recharging. You 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 Fai Niente,” set mindful goals, and renew your entire sense of well-being.
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.
The cemetery is 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 120854.
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.
Monteriggioni is, without doubt, one of the most classical and best known Italian walled towns. Since the Middle Age, its fame was so big that also the great poet Dante Alighieri makes a 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.
Siena preserves its medieval character to a remarkable degree and has been largely unspoiled 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.
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 leave everyone enchanted.”
Casole d’Elsa is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Siena in the Italian region Tuscany, located about 50 kilometers southwest of Florence and about 25 kilometers west of Siena. It is a charming medieval hilltop town situated in wonderful countryside around 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 surrendered, 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.
The healing benefits of sunflowers, the happiest of flowers include loyalty and longevity. Helianthus annuus is the latin name for sunflowers. Helianthus comes from the Greek "Helios", which means "sun" and "anthos", which means "flower". These flowers always turn towards the sun. They were grown for their usefulness, not their beauty. In 1532, Francisco Pizarro reported seeing the natives of the Inca Empire in Peru worshipping a giant sunflower. Incan priestesses wore large sunflower disks made of gold on their garments.
San Gimignano delle belle Torri served as an important relay point for pilgrims traveling 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.
This yoga retreat and tour is located in Tuscany, Italy. Some say you can fall in love with a place just as you can with a person. This is certainly true of Toscana! 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, and 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 people to savor each moment and live inspired by the details that might have otherwise passed you by. Silvia's years of guiding in Italy ensures that you will experience the joy of La Dolce Vita (The Sweet Life).
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The price of this retreat includes three daily vegetarian meals, snacks, and drinks. Wine will be served with lunch and dinner. Gabriella, the chef, is not only a great architect but also an amazing chef and she will delight you with typical vegetarian dishes and you will have a chance to discover the authentic Tuscan cuisine.
Alchemy of Yoga has a holistic view of hospitality, and especially food. That is why the cuisine is closely linked to the local territory and its products. Good health comes from using the fresh natural resources that surround you and using them with intelligence and love. You will be served with authentic local Mediterranean dishes: ancient delicacies bursting with flavors, from the simplest to the more elaborate Tuscan recipes.
Experience the magic that made the famous 17th-century politician Bettino Ricasoli say, “… a cuisine created by the poor that delights kings.” Walk through the paths of tradition, the seasonal variations, creating dishes with wild herbs and spices, rosemary, sage, basil, and “catmint” the so-called erbucce. You will also smell and taste local flowers in various dishes such as petals of acacia, rose petal tart, risotto with zucchini flowers.
For cheese lovers, you will be spoiled at the vast selection, from the nearby dairy artisan, who supply the restaurant with their best local products: fresh pecorino cheese made with raw milk and vegetable rennet, fresh ricotta, raveggiolo, and more!
Even the traditional meats of the land, you are offered with many tasty varieties from Chianina, the Cinta Senese (an ancient breed of pig), a species of a boar that inhabit the surrounding woods. All are dressed with the best regional olive oil and accompanied by carefully chosen local and regional wines.
Please book your flight to arrive at Florence Airport (FLR). If you prefer to fly into Pisa or Rome and then take the train, that is up to you. Your exact pickup location is in Florence: Hotel Palazzo Vecchio (via Cennini 4, 50123, Florence, Italy, near Piazza Adua. It is a short couple block walk from the train station and super place to make a reservation if you are coming early or staying later. Transfer from and to Florence is included. Alchemy of Yoga will pick you up at the meeting point.
You are recommended to leave two days early for the start of this trip. This means you will arrive the next day into Florence giving you time to take a nap. Then go out that evening for an early dinner, enjoy the Ponte Vecchio, which literally translated means “old bridge”. It is a Medieval stone closed-spandrel segmental arch bridge over the Arno River, noted for having wonderful jewelry shops built along it.
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