Françoise Weeks Design Retreat in Tuscany, October 12-16, 2020

Photo courtesy Theresa Bear


JOIN FRANÇOISE in Spectacular Tuscany

Just Imagine…

Medieval villages, sweeping vineyards and cypress-lined lanes – all against the backdrop of the rolling hills of Tuscany. This is a land of exquisite beauty – a land of rich culture, vast history and delectable food. This ancient land with its characteristic landscapes and incredible light will envelope you, as it has countless creatives before you, including some of the greatest artists the world has ever known. Here you’ll spend magical days with Françoise Weeks, learning, imagining and creating in one of the most inspiring places on earth.


ABOUT Françoise Weeks

Françoise Weeks, born in Belgium, has infused her work with a quintessential European reverence for flowers and nature. Combined with creativity and mechanical ingenuity, she has crystalized her singular style of Textural Woodlands and Botanical Haute Couture pieces, garnering a global following.

Although Françoise’s studio is located in Portland, Oregon, her innovation and love for teaching has taken her all over the world, including, Sweden, Iceland, France, Australia, Mexico, the Flower School Cohim in China, Academy of Floral Art in Exeter, England, Mayesh and Florabundance  – plus the La Jolla and Memphis garden clubs.

Her dynamic work has been published in Nacre, Fusion Flowers, Modern Wedding Flowers, Huffington Post, Flutter and Millieu.

Françoise’s generosity of knowledge and perspective in use of floral materials, structure and mechanics, in addition to the business of being a florist, unite to create rigorous and exciting learning opportunities for her students to explore all that nature has to offer.


IN THIS EXTRAORDINARY WORKSHOP You’ll Learn…

  • Françoise’s unique, delightful approach to creating botanical art, plus her sought-after tips and techniques for tapping into your creative spirit
  • ways to think through and organize materials
  • how to create a stunning, woodland design on a grapevine log
  • creative ways to design your own woodland wreath
  • how to design a botanical headpiece using a vast variety of local materials
  • ways to create eye-catching botanical jewelry
  • how to use found materials in creative ways
  • how to see possibilities in unusual botanicals (Françoise’s magic!)
  • how to dissect and incorporate parts of flowers into your designs
  • how to use models to photograph your work
  • best lighting and angles for photographing your botanical creations


ITINERARY


Day 1 – Oct. 12: Arrival Poggio alla Trese

  • Highlights: Pick up Florence Peretola Airport and transport to Villa Poggio alle Trese, trip orientation, workshop overview with Françoise Weeks
  • Aperitivo, dinner

AFTERNOON: Upon your arrival at Florence Peretola Airport, our drivers will transport you to beautiful Villa Poggio alle Trese, nestled in the spectacular Italian countryside. After some time to freshen up and recharge, you’ll enjoy a friendly orientation with trip facilitator, Pamela Haack, followed by an overview of this fabulous workshop with Françoise Weeks. Afterwards you’ll have some time to explore the villa and grounds with your fellow students.

EVENING: Evening apertivo get-together, followed by a delectable welcome dinner 


Day 2 – Oct. 13: Poggio alle Trese

  • Highlights: Instruction with Françoise, olive grove walk, olive oil tasting
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner

This morning you’ll enjoy a delicious breakfast that includes yogurts, cereals, fruits, torte, cold cuts, cheeses and freshly-baked cornetti. Afterwards you’ll join Françoise for a countryside walk along nearby lanes and adjacent vineyards to forage for materials for your upcoming projects. Afterwards, you’ll head into the studio for a fabulous hands-on lesson, where you’ll learn to incorporate your foraged materials into imaginative woodland wreath.

After a Tuscan-style lunch with local cheeses, cured meats and fresh spring salad, it’s back to the studio to continue working on your project, while learning Françoise’s sought-after techniques for creating with botanicals. Then it’s time for a break, as you join Paola for a walk through the estate’s olive grove (perhaps you’ll forage along the way!), where you’ll learn about Tuscany’s precious olive trees, followed by an oh-so-fun olive oil tasting back at the villa. 

This evening you’ll continue your celebration of olive oil with a bruschetta-making lesson and aperitivo, followed by a delectable dinner featuring grilled specialties.


Day 3 – Oct. 14: Puscina Flowers: Organic Flower Farm

  • Highlights: Puscina Flowers, instruction with Françoise, floral arranging
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner

This morning, after another delicious breakfast, our private driver will be transporting you through the classic Tuscan countryside to the spectacular Val d’Orcia, one of the most photographed and painted areas in all of Tuscany. Here you’ll arrive at the bucolic, family-run farm, Puscina Flowers, where sisters Laura and Teresa organically cultivate more than 500 varieties of flowers. What a treat to roam through the charming gardens, looking for interesting flowers and foraged materials that will be ideal for today’s hands-on lesson with Françoise. After learning some easy floral-arrangement tips from the family at Puscina, it’s time for a farm-style lunch. In the afternoon you’ll head back to the villa for continued instruction with Françoise as your project comes to life under her expert guidance. This evening, enjoy an aperitivo get-together followed by a delicious, buffet-style dinner.


Day 4 – Oct. 15: Città della Pieve

  • Highlights: Visit to Città della Pieve, instruction with Françoise, photo shoot with model
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner

This morning, after a leisurely breakfast, it’s off to the medieval village of Città della Pieve for a walking tour of this unspoiled hill town, along with time on your own for shopping, exploring or taking photos. This it’s back to the villa for a light lunch followed by a delightful session with Françoise that includes making botanical jewelry and headpieces. Afterwards, our lovely model, Sara, and delightful photographer, Sara (yes, two Saras!) will be capturing your unique creations in an oh-so-fun photo shoot – the perfect culmination of days spent learning and creating alongside Françoise. 

This evening you’ll enjoy a celebratory aperitivo, followed by a special farewell dinner prepared by talented Chef Doriana.


Day 5 – Oct. 16: Departure

Early morning group transport to Florence Peretola Airport


DATES & PRICES:  5 Days/4 Nights

  • Françoise Weeks Design Retreat in Tuscany
  • October 12-16, 2020
  • Trip Price: Double or single occupancy sleeping rooms with no single supplement!
    • $3,695 USD private sleeping room with ensuite bathroom
    • $3,595 USD private sleeping room with shared bath (max 2 per bathroom of same gender)
  • $500 deposit plus 7 convenient monthly payments – automatically applied to your credit card every 30 days

BOOK NOW


VENUE Villa Poggio alle Trese

Poggio alle Trese has been a part of a family estate for four centuries – an estate that includes stunning olive groves, sweeping vineyards and a precious little lake tucked into the nearby forest. The villa itself sits upon the very border of Tuscany and Umbria, an area that was prone to invasions by the Duke of Tuscany (back when feudal battles were the norm), and was lovingly restored by the family 12 years ago. The renovation included updates and redos to the kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms – all done with classy, traditional touches. The result is a stately structure that reflects its history with grace, while it beckons to modern-day guests who love sumptuous sleeping rooms with characteristic touches.

VIEW the Photo Gallery


WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • 4 nights stay at elegant Villa Poggio alle Trese (The entire villa is reserved exclusively for Françoise’s group!)
  • Double or single occupancy sleeping rooms – with no single supplement!
  • Private transportation to/from Florence Peretola Airport on arrival and departure days
  • Private transport service to/from all towns and sites included in the itinerary
  • All breakfasts with a multitude of delicious choices, plus teas, juices and made-to-order Italian coffee
  • 4 delicious lunches featuring regional specialties and accompanied by local wines
  • 4 delectable dinners featuring regional specialties and accompanied by local wines
  • Daily, expert instruction with Françoise Weeks
  • Foraging opportunities throughout the estate and nearby countryside lanes
  • Visit to organic flower farm (with a lovely, family-style lunch!)
  • Indoor studio for classes with Françoise, available 24/7
  • Entrance fees to all sites included in trip itinerary
  • Daily accompaniment with a Strada Toscana team host or guide
  • Restaurant gratuities

Not included: Airfare, ground or water transportation outside of that listed in the trip itinerary, alcoholic drinks, wines or meals ordered “on your own”, gratuities for drivers and villa staff

The Unexpected is Part of the Journey: At Strada Toscana we weave amazing, authentic experiences into every trip, but sometimes unexpected things come up – like an unscheduled closing at a site or restaurant. If that happens, which it rarely does, we improvise to include something equally as wonderful and interesting. The quality of your experience is never at risk, as our team is committed to excellence, along with our vast connections of local Italians.

ALL PRIVATE SLEEPING ROOMS

After a day of creating, learning and exploring, it’s important to have some down-time too. That’s why all sleeping rooms on Botanicals in Tuscany with Françoise Weeks are private. Not only that. The rooms at 17th century Villa Poggio alle Trese are furnished with family antiques, and offer luxurious bedding (with lots of extra pillows!) and organic toiletries – the ideal sanctuary at the end of an extraordinary day.


DATES & PRICES:  5 Days/4 Nights

  • Françoise Weeks Design Retreat in Tuscany
  • October 12-16, 2020
  • Trip Price: Double or single occupancy sleeping rooms with no single supplement!
    • $3,695 USD private sleeping room with ensuite bathroom
    • $3,595 USD private sleeping room with shared bath (max 2 per bathroom of same gender)
  • $500 deposit plus 7 convenient monthly payments – automatically applied to your credit card every 30 days

BOOK NOW