Tuscany Yoga Retreat and Sightseeing Tour with
Vicky Gray-Clark & Aleyna Stroud
September 28 - October 5, 2022
Late Summer/early Fall 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 Tuscany yoga retreat and sightseeing tour takes place from September 28 – October 5, 2022.
The cornerstone of the tour is beautifully energizing and restorative yoga classes lead each day by Vicky Gray-Clark and Aleyna Stroud.
This experience is an invitation for committing to your practice and an opportunity to be fully present with a small group of people intent on personal discovery in Tuscany, an area steeped in history, architectural treasures, culture and indescribable beauty.
Come join us for a transformative week to rest and nourish as we practice yoga and mediation, and meander into the Tuscany countryside and enjoy the sights, amazing food — including a cooking class — and warm hospitality at our home base — the splendiferous Villa Poggio di Gaville.
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 splendour, the 18th-century villa lies deep in the hills just outside the charming town of Figline Valdarno, in the Chianti region, and is surrounded by trees, vineyards and olive groves. An additional attraction of the villa is the free-range horses at pasture on the farmland of the property.
Guests will stay in beautifully appointed private rooms with bath, featuring terracotta floors and exposed wood beams and free Wi-Fi. The property also features a beautiful outdoor pool.
We will 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. Both traditional Tuscan cuisine, as well as creative Mediterranean dishes, are offered as well as an extensive selection of wines. The retreat will also offer opportunities to explore local cuisine.
The Practice: The Tuscany yoga retreat is designed around two daily practices, a morning, energizing Hatha vinyasa-style yoga practice and evening meditation and/or restorative practice. The Villa offers indoor and outdoor spaces for yoga practice.
Leisurely paced, the 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, and just as importantly time for personal connection.
Small tour group, limited to approximately 10 guests. This intimate group size will allow us to move more freely and experience the Tuscan region in a more authentic way.
7-nights accommodation at Villa Poggio di Gaville just outside of Figline Valdarno (35 minutes from Florence) featuring beautifully appointed rooms with private bathroom, furnished in updated Tuscan country-style furnishings.
Yoga class each morning of the retreat and a late afternoon or evening yoga or meditation session led by certified yoga instructors Vicky Gray-Clark and Aleyna Stroud. (all levels of yoga practitioners are welcome on the tour!)
Italian buffet breakfast served each morning at the villa.
Five lunches and five dinners, including one cooking class where 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 a 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 tastings at area wineries including Cantalici Winery and Poggio del Chianti -- both located in the heart of the Chianti.
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 September 28 and return to Florence airport on October 5. Ground transportation will be provided in a comfortable minibus with a local and experienced driver. (One pick up time and return time will be offered; specific time TBD.) Transport will be provided to the sightseeing and activities listed in the itinerary within the Valdarno region of Tuscany to explore towns including Firenze, Cavriglia, Arezzo, Gaiole in Chianti, Figline Valdarno, San Giovanni Valdarno, and others.
Full-time services of Vicky Gray-Clark and Aleyna Stroud who will facilitate yoga and meditation classes and along with local Italian hospitality professionals will help guests cultivate an authentic and safe travel experience.
Note: This tour outline is tentative. There may be some changes made to the itinerary 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 408-318-1980.
Who We Are
Vicky continues to be captivated by the joy and transformational aspects of movement and breath. As a dance therapy college student in her twenties, she soon discovered the power and healing nature of yoga and its guiding principles for well-being and right living. Her dance background translated well into her vinyasa yoga training. She has since studied with some of the world’s leading yoga instructors — Kent Bond, Rolf Gates, Tracey Rich, Ganga White, Sima Chomicz Velez, Laura Jane Mellencamp, Nikki Myers, Julianne Rice, and many others. She received her 200-hour teaching certification in 2018.
After success in entertainment and real estate careers, Aleyna discovered a passion for health and wellness, particularly yoga. She received her 200 RYT certification under Claire Hartley and Daniel Stewart at Rising Lotus Yoga in Sherman Oaks, California. She is currently on staff at the Lotus as both a vinyasa instructor and also the Teacher Training Coordinator. Through intention, pranayama and asana (and a love for music that has led to a knack for creating awesome playlists) Aleyna's goal is to have each student leave class feeling renewed and refreshed.