Italy Retreat - June 2020
Love Pilates? Love Italy?
Immerse yourself in a revitalizing 10-day Pilates-based wellness, fitness and adventure retreat in the beautiful hills of Chianti.
The Summer 2020 Retreat on Wellness, Fitness and Adventure will engage the participants in several physical activities to challenge the body as well as the mind. It is a journey to wellness where you will feel a deeper sense of connectedness to yourself and the world around you.
Our basecamp will be the beautiful completely restored medieval Villa Albizi in the picturesque village of Montefienali high in the Chianti hillside. Lauren will introduce the Conscious Strong wellness program that incorporates Pilates movement training with mindfulness that invigorates the body and calms the body and soul.
And what is a trip to Italy without Italian food and wine? You will enjoy superb fresh local cuisine prepared by our own chefs Sara and Linda who also will conduct a private cooking class for our group. Our villa has a private wine cellar with an abundance of excellent local wines, some included with your meals and all available for purchase.
Lauren’s philosophy is to provide excellent service to small groups of people with a keen interest in wellness and fitness. Her maximum group size is 12, which means individual attention to your goals and enjoyment of the retreat and often leads to lasting friendships among participants.
- Transportation on Thursday June 11 from the Florence city or airport to Villa Albizi and return transportation to Florence airport or city on June 20
- Welcome and Farewell Apertivo
- Accommodations at Villa Albizi in the picturesque medieval village of Montefienali include use of private pool with lounges, sauna, gym, hot tub, pool table, media room with Netflix, washing machine, access to the kitchen and a whole lot of peace and quiet. Our group will have sole occupancy of the villa for the retreat.
- Guided and independent hiking treks along the old medieval trails around the villa and local villages
- Daily Breakfast and 8 dinners with wine, some lunches
- Housekeeping services daily
- Cooking class at the Villa; learn from our expert chefs
- Daily group Pilates classes on the terrace and/or in the pool; 1-2 individual private sessions with Lauren
- Italian language lesson that will be helpful with greetings, shopping and directions.
- Local guides and experts, support staff and support vehicle
- Airfare and trip insurance*
- Unscheduled transportation
- Wines or meals ordered “on your own”
- Gratuities for staff
- Excursion fees (see below)
* Trip insurance is highly recommended. Proof of medical insurance coverage will be requested. This can be your personal coverage that includes international travel or trip insurance with medical coverage.
Excursions and Fees
Note: Those not choosing an excursion will have access to all the amenities at the villa during those times.
E-bike tour of Chianti vineyards and tour of historic, possibly haunted, Castello di Broglio. Ride through the scenic Chianti countryside on a battery-assisted mountain bike with scenic stops along the way. Tour including rental, helmet, guide and Castle Tour is $175
Siena: Private Tour of Siena, a major commercial center during the Medieval Period due to its location along the ancient pilgrimage route, the Francigena, will be provided by an expert local guide born in Siena. After lunch (on your own), we will tour the historical center of Siena, visit the impressive Cathedral (Duomo) and its masterpieces, San Domenico Basilica where we will find the head of St. Catherine, and the Piazza del Campo, where the Palio horse race takes place twice a year. This is a competition among the 17 “contrade” (districts) into which the city is divided. To fully understand why the Sienese get so crazy about it, we will visit one of the contrada museums. True to its heritage, Siena remains a great place for shopping and you will have time to indulge.
Trip with Private Tour: $125
Trip without Private Tour $75
Terme Away! Terme (tare-may) are natural hot springs common in Italy. Several towns have grown up around these natural thermal springs. We will travel to the town of Bagno Vignoni where some of the oldest spas, used by the Romans, are located. After a short tour of the town, we will go to the Adler Spa where you will receive a day pass (required) that gives you access to the thermal pools, fresh water pool, multiple types of saunas, the salt lagoon and the gym fitness classes. A massage is included in your package. Additional treatments may be reserved ahead of time. Visit the Adler Spa website for additional services and prices. Lunch is available at the hotel.
Spa Day: $200
Castello d’Ama is a leading Chianti wine estate. The tour takes in the vinification plant, the ageing cellars, the village of Ama with its ancient chapels, the 18th-century villas and their historic gardens, as well as the Castello di Ama contemporary art collection. Among the many internationally renowned artists are Anish Kapoor, Daniel Buren and Louise Bourgeois. Lunch will be on your own at the Ama restaurant.
Tour and tasting: $75
Horseback riding: Horseback riding in the Chianti Hills with stops at historic sites along the way. A 2-hour ride for all levels, including beginners. Helmets and a guide are included. Appropriate shoes will be needed (no sandals).
Riding Tour: $75
Renaissance Masterpieces of Florence: On the final Saturday, you will be transported back to Florence in the morning. You may opt to join us for a Private Guided Tour of the Ufizzi Gallery, the Academia Gallery to meet Michelangelo’s David, and a walking tour of the historic center concluding with gelato. Book your hotel on your own (we can provide suggestions) and our driver will drop you there. We will meet our guide at 1PM.
Cost of this 4-hour private tour is $80. Later, we will meet for dinner at a local restaurant. You can join us for both tour and dinner or either one.
Purchase of Excursions
After placing your deposit for the Retreat, additional notices will be sent to registrants regarding the selection and payment of Excursions.