What does the trip cost for Tuscany cover?
Your room for 6 nights including breakfast
Shuttle to and from Florence to our destination town
2 group dinners-other nights you will be on your own in town with lots of options.
Wine Tasting and lunch
Private transport to Lucca for the Antique Market (or shopping and sightseeing if you don’t like antiques)
Optional Activities are:
½ day cooking class
Spa activities nearby
What airport should I fly into:
Pisa or Florence airports are the closest airports to our retreat; the shuttle bus will pick up in Florence at Noon on the day the retreat begins. You can fly into any airport in Italy and just take a train to Florence that morning to get picked up also.
What time should I arrive?
You should arrive by Noon at our location on the Retreat Start Day in order to check in and get situated before the 1st nights activities. I HIGHLY suggest that you plan to arrive in Italy a day or two earlier so you can get used to the time change and be ready to go on Wednesday. We recommend that you schedule your flight to arrive a day ahead of the retreat and then make plans to see the sights or catch up on sleep. REMEMBER that when you are booking your flight to Italy, it is an overnight flight from most places so you have to realize the day you schedule your flight is NOT the day you arrive. When needing to arrive on Wednesday, you need to book the flight to leave on Tuesday (+1 will show up on the flight details)
TIP: There are many hotels near the airports/train stations in Florence and Pisa that you can walk to the center of town. This is the easiest and most convenient way if you are staying a night or two ahead of the retreat. I am happy to recommend hotels!
How will I get to our retreat? There are a few options:
I will have a private shuttle service that will be picking up near the Florence Train Station on the day of the Retreat starts. This is ONLY on the 1st day of the retreat, around 12:00pm. THIS IS INCLUDED IN YOUR REGISTRATION FEE SO I HIGHLY RECOMMEND COORDINATING YOUR TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS TO FIT WITH THIS PICK UP SCHEDULE.
PLEASE NOTE: THE DRIVE TO OUR LOCATION IS A GORGEOUS DRIVE BUT IT IS A VERY HILLY & CURVY ROAD. IF YOU ARE PRONE TO MOTION SICKNESS I STRONGLY ADVISE YOU TAKE DRAMAMINE OR BONIN AT LEAST 30 MINUTES BEFORE YOU LEAVE FOR THE CAR RIDE.
Who will I be rooming with?
Each room will accommodate 2 people with individual (twin) beds. If you would like to have your own private room that is also possible, there is just a price difference and limited availability so please let me know as soon as possible when you sign up. Please also let me know whom you would like to room with and I will make every effort to make that happen. There will be plenty of time together to get to know everyone and I am confident you will take away not only great memories from this week, but lifelong friends as well!
What can I expect from my time in Italy?
I can sum this up in one phrase:
“When in Rome, do as the Romans do…”
Italy is such an iconic place and we all have ideas of what it will be like for us. Nowhere on earth is perfect. Tuscany is very picturesque, has many beautiful villages, pathways and scenic roads to enjoy. It is one of the most gorgeous places in the world, but there are hills, cobblestone streets, uneven paths and weather that can be unpredictable. Things will be different than they are at home. The Internet is slow, the food in different, they speak a different language and they don’t have the same lifestyle that we do. They are happy to put things off until tomorrow “a domani”. I often use the phrase “hurry up and wait” when taking groups to Europe. Embrace the pace!
It is important that all participants are mobile and can manage walking up hills, along cobblestone streets and manage steps.
What is the weather like on Tuscany?
Weather in Tuscany is beautiful just about all year round. Fall temperatures are in the 60’s & 70’s during the day and the 50’s in the evenings, Spring can be a little cooler. You will want to bring layers of clothing and comfortable walking shoes. The weather can vary from day to day with rain possible at any time of the year. Bring along an umbrella and a light jacket for these possibilities. There is a self-serve laundry in town.
What should I bring?
PACK LIGHTLY!! You will be “lugging” your luggage up and down stairs, down cobblestone streets and all over the place. If you can get it all in a carry on bag, BRAVO! Neither of our hotels have elevators so make SURE you can manage your bag. We are in a mountain town so dress can is fairly casual. Down vests or jackets should it be cool enough and comfortable walking shoes are imperative. You’d be surprised how a scarf can spice up any outfit!! Beds and pillows in Europe may not be what we are used to. If you have a favorite pillow, you may want to bring it providing it fits in your bag. The washcloth is also apparently and American invention. If you use them bring a few. I usually pick up some a Walmart and toss them before I leave. I would also suggest that if you DO check a bag, make sure you carry on a change of clothes, basic toiletries and any medication you may take. Luggage does get lost. It will find us eventually, but at least you will have your basic essentials with you. There is a laundromat nearby!
Why is the retreat non-refundable after a certain point?
There is well over a years worth of time and planning that goes into making these events successful. There is a nonrefundable deposit at the time of sign up to make sure those signing up are serious about securing their place, this deposit is used immediately to secure our lodging, shuttles etc. The event venue, hotels, excursions and classes are planned well in advance and do have specific deadlines and/or policies and therefore are not refundable after a certain point. (Similar to Airbnb) We understand that things come up and something may happen to prevent you from attending so there is a grace period where you can transfer your registration to another person or you will be refunded the payments you have made, minus the deposit, this is normally within 30 days unless otherwise agreed upon. For this reason, we also STRONGLY suggest trip insurance.
Why do I need Trip Insurance?
It is recommended for each traveler to purchase trip insurance for the retreat. We never know when unforeseen circumstances can happen. These events are held in far away locations and planned far in advance so as a precaution it is always a good idea to purchase trip insurance. Here is a review of the best travel insurance companies for 2018
Important Note: This trip needs a minimum number of 10 participants. Pricing is based on a “full” trip.
We will have a Facebook Group Page so we will have plenty of time to share ideas, flight info and travel ideas!
Full registration will be open December 1, 2018 for this trip.
Those interested in joining us will be contacted on a first come first served basis and will be required to deposit right away.
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity so we look forward to sharing it with you!!