Mindful Adventures: Under the Tuscan Sun

April 10-19, 2020

Under the Tuscan Sun

Nourish and refresh your soul while exploring Tuscany

Join us for a relaxing ‘Mindful Adventure’ exploring the nooks and crannies of Tuscany and surrounding areas while enjoying yoga, meditation and mindfulness practices as we venture through the enchanting countryside.

Situated on an organic farm in Tuscany, your accommodations for the next 9 nights is in a traditional Tuscan country house villa.  Here you will enjoy restful nights, delicious food and wine, pristine grounds, an inviting pool and a private indoor area with lots of windows for yoga and mindfulness sessions.

With this as your base, you will be escorted by private vans to wineries, cheese farms, a cooking class, an olive oil mill and cultural treasures throughout Florence and the Tuscan region.

Along the way, your instructors Alison and Joanie of Red Barn Yoga in Lyme, Connecticut, will suggest time to pause and drink in the beauty of the Italian culture.

This ‘Mindful Adventure’ Tour is a fully-escorted tour with all of your accommodations, excursions & tours, transportation and most of your meals completely arranged and included. There will be plenty of activities and sightseeing, however we’ve left you plenty of time to roam, shop, or sit in the piazza taking in the local flavor.

Women's "Ciao Bella" Tour 2019

You’re in Tuscany!

 

Relax and savor as we sip wine under the olive trees, sample olive oil at an ancient mill and nibble on organic Pecorino cheese while admiring the fantastic view. Experience the simple pleasures of exploring the Tuscany region with its amazing scenery and incredible food & wine!

Explore and Learn as we visit small villages and quaint towns just waiting for you to explore their cobbled streets and markets. Our expert local guide will eagerly share the secrets and charm of Florence’s art and history. And what better way to learn about a culture than through its food? We’ll also enjoy a private cooking and wine tasting class in what was a former medieval castle.

Discover one of the most famous sanctuaries of St. Francis of Assisi who lived and trekked throughout Tuscany. Located high up in the Apennine hills, this was one of St. Francis’ favorite places for meditation. Maybe it will be yours too?

Our intention is to explore, learn and experience the rich culture of the area stress free! This is your time to “just be” so feel free to join activities or skip them if you prefer and take time for yourself. Rilassa.

 

Women's "Ciao Bella" Tour 2019

Tour Highlights

 

  • ​10 days/9 nights in the countryside of Tuscany​​
  • Farm-to-Table experiences
  • All breakfasts & dinners included
  • Private yoga & mindfulness sessions
  • Private tours with private guide & driver
  • Private guided walking tour of Florence ​​
  • Several winery tour & tasting excursions ​​
  • Visit an ancient olive oil mill with tasting​​
  • Private cooking lesson ​​
  • Pecorino Cheese Farm tour and tasting​​
  • Shop at local markets​​
  • Watch local artisan demonstrations​​
  • Airport transfers to/from Rome (FCO)

There is also an option for a 4 Day/ 3 Night Rome Add-on Tour 

 Your Team Leaders

Long time friends and spirit sisters, Joanie Fisler and Alison Ritrovato have teamed up again to bring you this fantastic Mindful Adventure “Under the Tuscan Sun”. Both have traveled extensively and bring their love of doing so to you.

Joan is the owner of Red Barn Yoga, yoga teacher, spiritual director as well as a financial planner. Alison Ritrovato owner of Healing Energy Wellness, yoga  instructor, spiritual teacher, coach and a nurse (in case anyone needs a Bandaid while traveling!).

Alison and Joanie share a love of helping others enjoy the riches of the present moment, finding a heart felt joy within and traveling with humor and grace. A little secret about each one of them is Alison is an expert packer for light travel and Joan never gets nervous on planes, trains or in automobiles even if they are late!

Best of all they bring their shared friendship and heartfelt love for each other and offer it to you, the traveler, on an adventure you will never forget.

Our Hearts Welcome yours! 
Joanie and Alison

Itinerary:*
Day 1 - Arrival Day/ Benvenuto!

Welcome to Italy!

Group arrives to Rome where your driver & tour escort will meet you.

Stop in Orvieto – a town set atop a tufa plateau in Umbria, for “free time” & lunch. Continue onto the Tuscan countryside.

Check into your accommodations, a farm villa set in the heart of Tuscany.

The rest of the evening is yours to explore or relax.

Group “Welcome” aperitivo and dinner with local wines. (D)

Day 2 - Arezzo: Where Life is Beautiful

Morning yoga and/or Mindfulness workshop before breakfast. 

Then it’s off to the town of Arezzo (made famous by the movie “Life is Beautiful” by Roberto Benigni) to explore. Even though the medieval center was destroyed during World War II, Arezzo still has a beautiful piazza and many historical buildings and churches as well as a Roman Amphitheater and the remains of a fortress.

After some free time for lunch, shopping and exploring,  we’ll visit a stunning villa, learn its history and have a delicious wine tasting. 

Dinner including local wines, served in the comfort of our villa. (B,  D)

Day 3 - Easter Celebrations in Tuscany or Far Niente

This morning, start the day with a ‘Healing Hands Restorative Yoga‘ Session.

Today is all about relaxing and making ourselves at home at our farmhouse. You may choose to take a dip in the pool, go for a walk, or simply hang out and read a good book. Arrangements will be made for those that wish to attend a local Easter Mass.

In the afternoon we’ll enjoy a traditional Tuscan Easter feast with the locals.

Dinner tonight at our villa. (B, L, D)

 

(B, D)

Day 4 - Val d'Orcia & Pecorino Cheese

Today after our breakfast, we will depart for a tour of two of Tuscany’s most famous towns: Montepulciano & Pienza, set in the Val d’Orcia – what many view as the “quintessential” Tuscany.

 We’ll first stop in Pienza, famous for its Pecorino cheese, and have a tasting.

After lunch, it’s off to the steeply sloped town of Montepulciano where you can wander the streets, stop at shops, churches and town squares, as well as visit an enoteca to tour their ancient cellars and have a wine tasting.

Head back to the villa and relax before dinner. (B, L, D)

Day 5 - Cortona: ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ with a wine-pairing lunch

Begin the day with breakfast and a one hour Morning Mindfulness Workshop.

Then we’ll meet our private driver for our departure to Cortona where you’ll first enjoy a private luncheon and winetasting in a Renaissance palazzo

Cortona, which has its roots in Etruscan history, is a quiet and romantic town nestled in the beautiful hills of the Val di Chiana in the province of Arezzo. It was made famous by Frances Mayes’ book & movie “Under the Tuscan Sun”.

Dinner tonight at our villa. (B, L, D)

Day 6 - Renaissance Florence

​​This morning our private driver will transfer us to Florence – the birthplace of the Renaissance.

Upon our arrival you’ll enjoy a private “Introduction to Florence” walking tour. On this 4-hour tour, we’ll be hitting all of the highlights while learning about the mystery, seduction, and history of Florence, which includes the Renaissance, its important noble families, and famous artists.

We’ll uncover the many secrets and treasures found within the historical walls as this tour lays out the foundation of what made Florence the fascinating city it is today.

Spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing or exploring this magnificent city on your own.

Dinner tonight at our villa. (B, D)

 

Day 7 - Cooking Lessons & Wine Tasting

After a leisurely breakfast at our accommodations, we will head off to a former medieval castle to meet our local chef instructor who will guide us through our half-day cooking lesson.

Roll-up your sleeves for a hands-on cooking class where you will be learning to prepare a full multi-course traditional Tuscan meal:  From appetizer, to pasta, main course (secondi or meat), and finally, dessert. At the end of the class we’ll sit down to lunch and taste all the delicious food we have created, paired with the wines of the estate in a unique and fun wine-tasting that we will enjoy in the atmosphere of their aging cellar.

Afternoon guided meditation

Dinner with local wines at our villa. (B, L, D)

Day 8 - Chianti: Farm Lunch & Wine
After breakfast, we’ll depart to the Chianti region – an area of Tuscany made famous by the red wine of the same name.

This is a beautiful region of terra-cotta-roofed towns and winding roads, leading through groves of olive trees, with cypress and endless vineyards stitching sun-dappled rolling hillsides – this is wine country.

We’ll visit some quaint villages, have lunch on a local farm and sample some wine. What else would you do in Chianti? And since we are in Italy, we’ll stop for some famous gelato!

Dinner at our villa with local wines. (B, L, D)

Day 9 - Ancient Oil Mills, Olive Oil & Lunch with the Locals

After a leisurely breakfast, we’re going to head out to an area of Tuscany that is off-the-beaten path. We’ll visit an ancient olive oil mill that has been in the same family since the 15th century.  We’ll enjoy a tour, tasting & lunch. Here you will see that they still crush the olives with an old stone wheel.

After our visit, we will stop at a nearby small medieval village where it looks as if time has stood still.   Enjoy some free time where you can shop, visit local artisans, take advantage of the hundreds of photo-ops or enjoy an apertivo in the piazza.

Final goodbye dinner tonight at our villa. (B, L, D)

Day 10 - Departure Day
Early morning breakfast at our villa as we say our goodbyes.

We’ll board our vans and depart for the Rome Airport (FCO).

Bid Arrivederci to Italy!

Day 10-13 - Rome Add-On Tour

Optional: 4 Day /3 Night Rome Add-on Tour

April 19 – 22: Guests have the option of continuing their tour of Italy by adding a four day/ three night tour of Rome.

Highlights:

  • Private tour of Ancient Rome
  • Private tour of Vatican City including the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica
  • Walking Food Tour
  • Wine Pairing Dinner

Ask for the complete itinerary 

Key: B = Breakfast / L = Lunch / D = Dinner​,  included
*Itineraries are subject to change. Vitalia Tours and its partners will strive to provide you with the best possible tour and experience. It is our intention to adhere to the outlined itinerary as published. However, please be advised that it may be occasionally necessary to substitute an activity due to events that cannot be predicted. Therefore, Vitalia Tours reserves the right to make changes in accommodations, tours or excursions, meals, and itineraries at any time should it become necessary or desirable.

This Tour Includes:

  • Small group size: Maximum of only 18 travelers
  • 9 Nights accommodation in an agriturismo villa set in the Tuscan countryside
  • All breakfasts, buffet style
  • 6 Lunches
  • 9 Dinners
  • Local wine included with meals
  • Land transportation for the duration of the tour
  • Private full-time escort, interpreter and driver
  • Private bus/van for our daily excursions
  • Guided walking tour in Florence
  • All excursions and entrance fees as outlined by the itinerary
  • Cooking lesson
  • Winery tours and tastings
  • Trips to local markets
  • Cheese & olive oil tasting events
  • Exclusive use of onsite studio for workshops
  • Mindfulnesss and yoga sessions with Joanie & Alison throughout the tour
  • Transfers from/to Rome airport (FCO)
  • Pre-trip information packet
  • Local VAT taxes and government fees, gas, highway tolls, city access licenses and permits, and parking fees​​​​

Not Included:

  • Airfare
  • Travel insurance*
  • Travel documents & fees: i.e. passport and visas (if required)
  • Any telephone, cell, data & internet usage**
  • Items of a personal nature​
  • Travel-related expenses outside of the tour itinerary
  • Any food or beverage ordered by traveler that is not included or presented during meals including: wine and other alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks & gelato
  • Any taxes on personal items purchased
  • Optional tips to guides, staff or drivers. These are not required and are given at your discretion.

* We highly recommend purchasing trip insurance to protect your investment. This is to ensure that you are covered in the event of loss of deposit and cancellation fees, medical emergency or health expenses, personal accident, flight cancellation or delays and to protect your luggage against any loss or damage.​ ​​​​​​ ​

** There is free wifi at our accommodations

Details

Dates: April 10-19, 2020
10 Days/9 Nights

Where: Tuscan Countryside
Group size: 22 Maximum

Tour Cost:

$3900 USD per person/double occupancy

 

$1200 USD single supplement

Deposit: $750.00 at time of booking to reserve your spot

Balance due: 60 Days before tour start date

Traveling Solo? We can suggest a roommate so that you avoid having to pay the single supplement!

This tour is quoted in US dollars

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