Itinerary

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Day 0
September 27

Travel to Italy. When traveling to Italy from the United States, plan on arriving the next day. As you make your travel arrangements, this is a time to consider traveling in advance of, or just after, the tour to explore other areas of Italy or Europe on your own time.

Day 1
September 28

Guest arrival, Benvenuti in Toscana! Welcome to beautiful Tuscany and Villa Poggio di Gaville

 

Arrive at the Florence International Airport (Firenze Toscana Aeroporti) in Tuscany, Italy

where Vicky Gray-Clark and Aleyna Stroud will greet you and escort you by minivan to

Villa Poggio di Gaville about 35 minutes southeast of the airport in the town of

Figline Valdarno in the heart of the Valdarno region of Tuscany. Spirit of Italy Tours will offer

one pick-up time.  (Specific time TBD based on collective guest arrival times.) 

The tour begins with time to settle into your private rooms at Poggio di Gaville, home base for

the week where we will be practicing yoga and getting acquainted with the sights, culture and incredible landscapes the region offers.

Villa Poggio di Gaville is managed by owners Samira and Jamal Amin, who will welcome 

guests and give us a tour of the property. A welcome lunch will await you after your long

journey. You can take time to explore the villa premises or the surrounding lush green hillsides, vineyards and wide-open spaces, or just take time to relax and settle in. You’re on Italian time

now, no need to rush.
 

In the evening, we will come together in the yoga space for a grounding meditation and a short restorative practice to recharge from the long day of travel, firmly root ourselves in our new surroundings, and prepare us for the seven wonderful days to come.

 

Tour guests are invited to enjoy a sumptuous welcome dinner by Jamal at the villa’s restaurant,

open exclusively to retreat participants. Dinner will give us the chance to become acquainted

and discuss the itinerary for the week.

Meals – lunch and dinner

Day 2
September 29

Yoga, visit to Cantalici Winery in Gaiole in Chianti

 

Early morning yoga. Following lunch, we will head to Gaiole in Chianti, one of the central towns in the heart of the Chianti region to the acclaimed Cantalici Winery for a tour of the vineyards and barrel area. There will be ample time to taste a selection of the varietal wines produced on the estate. The property also boasts a cellar kiln dating back to the 1580’s that is part of the tour. Following we’ll head into the central part of town where guests will have time to stroll, sightsee. We will dine at a local restaurant on our way back to Poggio di Gaville. 

 

Upon our return we will gather for a restorative yoga practice.

 

Meals – breakfast and lunch

Day 3
September 30

Yoga, Firenze – the crown jewel of the Renaissance

 

Early morning yoga. Following breakfast we will depart to the historic center of Firenze (Florence) considered one of the most important cities in Italy and one of the crown jewels of the Renaissance. You will have the afternoon and early evening to explore and wander at your leisure. Firenze is a small city and is a veritable feast for the eyes. There is history at every turn and it is home to several of Italy’s best museums and landmarks —The Uffizi Gallery, The Academia (home to Michelangelo’s David), The Duomo and the Ponte Vecchio that crosses over the picturesque Arno River. 

Florence is also a shopper’s paradise. There are gorgeous high fashion (alta moda) shops selling luxury goods, department stores and the bustling outdoor markets selling everything from souvenirs to quality leather items. The city also boasts many of the finest restaurants and gelato shops in the country. The city center is best traveled on foot and allows you to easily reach all the significant points of interest.

Spirit of Italy Tours will provide guests with a suggested itinerary so that you can navigate on your own as well as offer tour and restaurant suggestions to optimize your sightseeing and dining experience. We will be traveling to and from by train, an easy 50-minute trip that takes us directly to the city center which is off-limits to cars.  


After a long day, we will head back to Poggio di Gaville to enjoy dinner and candlelight meditation.


Meals – breakfast, dinner

Day 4
October 1

Yoga, San Giovanni Valdarno

Early morning yoga. Following breakfast, we will head to San Giovanni Valdarno, a quaint Tuscan countryside town, for its weekly market that offers a selection of fruit and vegetables, clothing and shoes and household and hardware items. San Giovanni Valdarno has a charming main piazza and historical landmarks. We will eat dinner in one of the town's notable restaurants.

 

In the evening we will gather for a group meditation.

Meals – breakfast, lunch

Day 5
October 2

Yoga, Arezzo Fiera Antiquaria di Arezzo and Cooking Demo

Early morning yoga. After breakfast, we head to Arezzo a small medieval Tuscan city steeped in history that provides the chance to see extraordinary monuments and art. Famous names such as Piero della Francesca, Giorgio Vasari, and Beato Angelico lived here and have made great artistic contributions.

Guests can spend the afternoon sightseeing while visiting one of the most prominent and longest running antique markets in Italy, the Fiera Antiquaria di Arezzo . In progress since 1968, more than 500 exhibitors come from all over Italy on the first weekend of the month offering a wide range of goods from valuable antique furniture to inexpensive curios and knick-knacks. This charming event takes place in the Piazza Grande in the historical center of town where Roberto Benigni’s Academy Award-winning film, “Life is Beautiful” was filmed. The market spills out and winds its way into the narrow streets and alleys of the city amidst restaurants and beautiful shops. This is a town where meandering and people watching takes on real meaning. For lunch we will dine at a local trattoria. (Restaurant TBD)

In the evening Spirit of Italy Tours has arranged for Jamal Amin, the proprietor of Poggio di Gaville and internationally acclaimed chef and wine connoisseur, to lead us in a cooking class and demonstration. Together we will prepare a harvest-inspired traditional Tuscan meal.

 

Following dinner, we will gather in the yoga space for a group meditation.


Meals – breakfast, dinner

Day 6
October 3

Yoga, Personal Exploration

Early morning yoga. Following breakfast, guests can spend an unstructured day for personal exploration and relaxation. Lounge by the Villa pool, hike the lush countryside surrounding the property,  visit the local Poggi del Chianti winerysightsee or shop in the local area - or decide to do nothing at all.

Lunch will be provided at Poggio di Gaville for those who stay at the property.

 

We will meet back for dinner and a restorative yoga session.

Meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 7
October 4

Yoga, Personal Exploration, "The Mall" Luxury Outlets

Early morning yoga. Following breakfast, guests can spend an unstructured day for personal exploration and relaxation. Find tranquility by the Villa pool, hike the lush countryside surrounding the property or feel free to do nothing at all. 

Attention shoppers: the luxury Mall Outlets are located nearby. Spirit of Italy Tours has arranged round trip van transport for guests who wish to take advantage of this shopping "esperienza".

 

Lunch will be provided at Poggio di Gaville for those who stay at the property.

We will meet back in the evening for a farewell dinner followed by a group meditation session.

Meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 8
October 5

Guests departure - Arrivederci

Spirit of Italy Tours will offer one departure time in the early morning to transport guests by minivan to the Florence International Airport. (Specific time TBD based on collective guest departure times.)


Meal – continental breakfast

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