Benvenuti in Italia!
Slow down and savor like a local –
Welcome to a week-long yoga, walking, food & wine culture immersion in the genuine lifestyle and sublime landscape of Tuscany!
Join Julia for a unique and rich experience, guided by her deep knowledge of the land, people, history, culture and language, developed over many years of living in Tuscany.
You will be embraced into the best of authentic Tuscan life and welcomed like family on a beautiful rustic-chic farm-estate.
Yoga will open us to receive the offerings of the day – not to mention the gourmet farm-to-table cooking at every meal, excellent regional wines, and our wonderful Italian crew taking care of every little thing with grace, passion, and joy – Viva!
Slow down and savor like a local. Being here has a magical way of renewing your love for the simple beauty of life. You'll return rejuvenated, with a deep sense of wellbeing.
We will settle into our beautiful lodgings near the jewel-like town of Pienza for the entire week – so you can succumb to la dolce vita, the sweet life.
Our days begin with one of Massimo's great cappuccinos before an energizing morning yoga practice with a sublime view over the landscape – followed by a bountiful farm breakfast. Buon apetito!
Set in the heart of the most beautiful region of Tuscany, our location is perfect for exploring the surrounding landscape and towns both famous and secret.
Walks following ancient pilgrimage paths leading from village to village will be offered most days, while other days feature outings further afield to one of the gorgeous Tuscan art cities for exploring, shopping, frescoes and more.
Our walking itineraries will fan out from our base, covering some of the most beautiful terrain in all of Tuscany. Each walk will have a unique flavor and style, with visits to hilltop towns and abbeys, gorgeous villages, sublime views, and one walk will include hot springs soak! We'll walk the Via Francigena pilgrimage path to Bagno Vignoni, an ancient hot springs known since Roman times. Our outings will incorporate lots of local culture (and foodie everything), history and lore, to enhance your experience of this mythic land where the hand of man has worked in harmony with nature for millennia.
On most afternoons, a relaxing restorative yoga session will be offered, to integrate the day's activities.
Every evening we gather for sunset aperitivo time with free-flowing prosecco and local antipasti, followed by a sumptuous Tuscan dinner.
All activities are optional. Feel free to partake as much or as little as you wish in all the offerings. Deep relaxation on the peaceful grounds of our estate, by the pool, or assisting the chef at our farmhouse are wonderful options. Italians cultivate “sweet doing-nothing” and they call this esteemed practice: dolce far niente.
With mesmerizing views of the magnificent Val d'Orcia countryside in every direction, our historic farmstead is a rare gem off the tourist path.
Our country estate is rustic-chic, comfortable and very beautiful in its authentic simplicity. The setting is just breathtaking, and the atmosphere is joyful and relaxed. There is a pool in the olive grove. The little spa-area has a jacuzzi and sauna, and massages can be scheduled.
The professional kitchen serves some of the most delicious meals in Tuscany made with all products straight from the organic garden or sourced from selected nearby farms. The rooms are lovely and simple, all with private bathrooms.
The podere is run by its local Tuscan owners: our host my friend Alessandro Capitoni and his fantastic team including Fabrizio, Massimo, Vincenzo, Debora, and chef Gianni, who all add unforgettable charm to the experience. My favorite hideaway has become a very sought-after address! Read more about the setting
All levels of yoga experience are welcome, and will be honored and provided for.
Morning sessions will invigorate and energize with clear alignment instruction for all levels, including meditation. Late afternoon sessions will be restorative and relaxing to integrate the day and learn simple, take-home practices that help reduce stress.
You'll cultivate mindful awareness of your body's innate intelligence, develop breath, focus and clarity, and enjoy the present moment while building core stability and strength.
Our purpose will be to support our greatest vitality – physical, mental and emotional – as our bodies change along the path of life.
Tuscany offers a serene setting for deepening our practices of yoga, We will practice outdoors in a pavilion overlooking the Tuscan hills or indoors, in an old stone room with natural light.
What's included in the price:
– The retreat is structured so you will have a wonderful experience with great ease.
• Accommodation on a magical country estate for 7 nights. Comfortable, stylishly simple room with private bathroom.
• All sumptuous, amazing meals for the week, except for two lunches out. Some of our meals will be enjoyed in hand-picked local restaurants, and wine-estates, and many meals will be the amazing feasts served at our farm, which is a foodie's dream.
• Daily yoga sessions. All yoga props provided.
• Daily guided walks/hikes and excursions to villages, abbeys, sites, artist's visits, and many of the region's most beautiful towns.
• Local guides and a support van will accompany our walks, adding local color and knowledge, (and a lift partway for those who wish to walk less!)
• Vineyard visits and winery tour with wonderful local wine-producers (off-the-beaten-track and richly authentic), including tastings with hearty local accompaniments.
• Guided tour of the Tuscan art city of Arezzo with a passionate and inspiring native guide.
• Authentic and fun cooking class with Giovanni, the wonderful, singling chef at the podere. Prepare a four-course meal which will be our dinner-feast.
• Taste, Sip, Savor, and Indulge in one of the world’s most luscious and artful culinary traditions – from olive oil, cheese, and wines to foraged delights from farm and forest. Delight all your senses and learn from the passionate local experts.
Not included in retreat price: Airfare to Italy, transfer to the retreat, tips, 2 lunches out.
A $500 deposit is due upon registration to hold your place, with the remaining balance due 90 day before start of the retreat.
*Special dietary restrictions can be accommodated
Pricing and Room Options
All prices are per person.
Please note that all prices will increase by $200 after January 1, 2019.
Pre-register early to reserve your space and get this year's pricing.
Superior Room with private bath
Double – $3500
Single – $4000
Getting active for your trip
A detailed itinerary of our walks will be sent soon. In general, count on rolling terrain on dirt paths, roads, and vineyard trails. Distances will vary from 2 to 8 miles, with options to walk less.
You will walk at your enjoyable pace. On each day you decide what and how much you want to do. Before your trip, we suggest walking and hiking regularly and hitting a few hills whenever you can. Most importantly, just show up and have fun!
Detailed travel notes
Will be sent to you after registration.
The Tuscany Passion retreat is very popular and fills quickly. Space is limited. Pre-register to receive this year's pricing.
"My Italian love story"
As a life-long Italophile, I indulged my dreams and lived in Tuscany for nearly 10 years. I am at home in Italy and am fluent in Italian. Originally, I moved to Italy to attend the Florence Academy of Art for a year – but then I stayed and lived in the historic center of the city for a few years, before moving out into the countryside for several more. I worked as a painter all over the hills, held exhibitions and soaked up the incredible treasure-trove of art all around. I've led dozens of retreats in the region – including cycling trips and painting intensives as well as my signature yoga, food & wine and culture retreats, and it's my great joy and honor to share genuine Tuscany with you.
Ci vediamo in Italia!