Overview

Awaken the Heart
Yoga Retreat with Vicky Gray-Clark 
Wednesday, October 30 - Wednesday, November 6, 2019 

Autumn in Italy is a feast for the eyes and the palette. Breathtaking fall colors can be seen from vineyards to olive groves to the mountains, and the weather is mild. The Awaken the Heart yoga and sightseeing retreat is a 7-night/8 day tour to Tuscany, Italy, from

October 30th – November 6, 2019. The retreat is open to 8 guests.

The cornerstone of Awaken the Heart will be beautifully energizing and restorative yoga classes lead each day by Vicky Gray-Clark, RYT 200 Yoga Alliance instructor.

Awaken the Heart is also an immersive travel opportunity highlighted by activities connected to the fall harvest in Tuscany that inspire beauty, energizes the body and uplifts the spirit.

 

Villa Poggio di Gaville, about 35 miles southeast of Florence, will serve as a tranquil home base for the seven-night duration of the tour. Restored in 2004 to its original splendor, the 18th-century villa lies deep in the hills just outside the charming town of Figline Valdarno, in the Chianti and is surrounded by vineyards and olive groves.

The villa offers indoor and outdoor spaces for yoga practice. Guests will stay in beautifully appointed private rooms with bath featuring terracotta floors and exposed wood beams and free Wi-Fi. The locale offers an ideal point of departure for day trips to explore the rich ambiance of nearby hill towns and cultural centers, shop or to enjoy great country walks.

We’ll eat the majority of our meals at the Poggio di Gaville restaurant (open only to retreat guests) with food prepared by proprietor and award-winning international chef Jamal Amin. The cuisine offers both traditional Tuscany cuisine as well as creative Mediterranean dishes and an extensive selection of wines. The retreat will also offer opportunities to explore local cuisine.

The Practice: The Awaken the Heart retreat is designed around two daily practices, a morning, energizing Hatha vinyasa-style yoga practice and evening meditation and/or restorative practice.

Leisurely paced, the Awaken the Heart itinerary encourages guests to foster an intimate connection with the Tuscany landscape and people with time to savor the food and wine, and discover the sights, language, culture and indescribable beauty of the region during harvest season.


 

Overview

  • Small tour group, limited to 8 guests. This intimate group size will allow us to move more freely and experience the Tuscan region in a more authentic way.

  • Seven nights accommodation at Villa Poggio di Gaville just outside of Figline Valdarno (35 minutes from Florence) featuring private, beautifully appointed apartments with private bathroom, furnished in updated Tuscan country-style furnishings. Guests can leisurely enjoy the natural surroundings including walking paths and trails and to nearby Lake Santa Barbara. 

  • Yoga class each morning of the retreat and a late afternoon or evening yoga or meditation session led by certified yoga instructor Vicky Gray-Clark. (all levels of yoga practitioners are welcome on the tour!)

  • Italian buffet breakfast served each morning at the villa.

  • Four lunches served at the villa, one lunch provided off-site.

  • Four dinners served at the villa, including one cooking class. Guests will learn to cook a traditional Tuscan-style dinner dish with Villa di Gaville proprietor and internationally acclaimed chef, Jamal Amin, that will emphasize seasonal ingredients culminating in an authentic style harvest dinner shared by guests. (dietary restrictions considered)

  • A day to tour the Firenze historic center (centro storico), the exquisite capital of Italy’s Tuscany region, and home of Renaissance art and architecture. Spirit of Italy Tours will provide a suggested itinerary so that guests can explore the city at their own pace. Mainly closed to commercial traffic, this is a compact city easily explored by foot.

  • Winery tour and tasting at Cantalici Winery in the heart of the Chianti.

  • Olive picking at Casa Falcioni. Guests will collect olives by hand in the heart of Tuscany on the breathtaking 10-acre Casa Falcioni olive grove in Cavriglia (guests take home olive oil from hand-picked olives). Lunch and hospitality provided by the Falcioni family featuring typical Tuscan fare, and local wine. [Note: the Falcioni family's extra virgin olive oil was recently voted third best in the region!]

  • Special evening yoga class at the Shanti Marg ashtanga yoga studio in Figline Valdarno.

  • A visit to the historic town of Arezzo known for its museums, monuments, and churches to enjoy its monthly open-air antique/flea market, considered one of Italy’s oldest, and finest.

  • All ground transport – including round trip group transport to/from Florence airport on October 30 and return to Florence airport on November 6. Group transportation will be provided in a comfortable minibus with a local and experienced driver. Transport is provided to the sightseeing and activities listed in the itinerary within the Valdarno region of Tuscany to explore towns including Firenze, Cavriglia, Montevarchi, Arezzo, Gaiole in Chianti, Figline Valdarno, San Giovanni Valdarno, and others.

  • Full-time services of Vicky Gray-Clark who will facilitate yoga and meditation classes and along with local Italian hospitality professionals will help guests cultivate an authentic and safe travel experience.  

 

TOTAL TOUR COST: $2400.00 USD per person

Pricing does not include:
  • International airfare to and from Italy

  • Airport departure taxes, if applicable driver (suggested, not mandatory)

  • Personal expenses

  • Two (2) additional lunches and three (3) additional dinners on certain days when we will be out meandering and sightseeing. 

  • Wine with meals at Villa Poggio di Gaville is an extra cost

  • Gratuities for driver, optional.

 

Note: This tour outline is tentative. There may be some changes made to the itinerary based on weather (for example, it is not possible to pick olives in the rain), and to take advantage of local recommendations and events we hear about closer to the dates of travel that would make the tour even more spectacular! Please contact Vicky Gray-Clark, Spirit of Italy Tours to register at vicky@spiritofitalytours.com or 408-318-1980.

Vicky Gray-Clark

Spirit of Italy Tours - Founder |

Yoga Instructor (RYT 200)

San Jose, California

408-318-1980 | vicky@spiritofitalytours.com

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