Path of the Storyteller with Maryrose Wood ~ June 5-11, 2022


A WRITERS RETREAT in Spectacular Tuscany!

Maryrose Wood is best known as the author of The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, the acclaimed middle-grade series about a teenage governess and her three raised-by-wolves pupils. Her latest book is Alice’s Farm, A Rabbits’ Tale, which the New York Times called “delightful and quirky and full of good will…necessary for some kids right now.” This tale of a wild rabbit who joins forces with a human boy in order to save their shared farmland home was named a Charlotte Huck recommended book by the National Council of Teachers of English. Newbery medalist Rebecca Stead called it “tender and wonderful. It’s a fantasy, it’s real, it’s just a joy. And absolutely a book for our times.”

Maryrose is a deep believer in the power of well-structured, gorgeously written narratives to have a lasting impact on the world. An experienced and transformative teacher, she offers training and mentorship for writers through her own program, called Path of the Storyteller (learn more at www.pathofthestoryteller.com).

On this special retreat, Path of the Storyteller students will deepen their writing practices and sense of community through daily discussion, sharing work for feedback, and prompts inspired by a program of carefully curated experiences in an inspiring setting.



STORYTELLING in Spectacular Tuscany…

Storytelling is at the core of what makes us human. Together we’ll explore how the essential techniques of sound story structure and impeccable writing craft give you the tools you need to bring your own work to professional level.

All writers are invited to bring their works-in-progress for development and feedback, or to use this time to brainstorm something new.

During this intimate workshop experience you’ll be guided to:

• Apply the timeless principles of story structure to your work
• Identify the singular, meaningful journey of transformation your hero must take
• Learn exactly what each scene must do to move the story forward
• Energize your storytelling with powerful character archetypes
• Deliver the goods to the reader by offering a well-paced, well-structured tale that satisfies from beginning to end
• Improve your awareness of how to control the reader’s experience
• Refine the principles of writing craft in the service of vivid, compressed prose
• Embrace a free and creative process of drafting and generating ideas
• Find confidence that you DO have the tools to revise your messy drafts into finished, impeccably written works
• Practice your discernment by offering feedback to your peers
• Identify and shift limiting beliefs that impede your progress
• Gain clarity of vision and a clear action plan for your long-term practice and career as a writer



ITINERARY


Day 1 – June 5: Arrival Tenuta Poggio Martino

  • Highlights: Group pick-up Rome Fiumicino Airport, trip orientation with Maryrose, welcome dinner
  • Dinner

Benvenuti in Italia! Upon arrival at Rome Fiumicino Airport, sit back and relax as you are transported by private transportation service to the Italian countryside and Tenuta Poggio Martino, your 16th century accommodations in Tuscany’s spectacular hill country.

After check-in you’ll have the opportunity to explore your surroundings and learn some of the fascinating history of the both the house and the area. Then it’s time to join Maryrose for an overview of the week ahead. Afterwards we’ll be walking to our friends’ nearby farm and wine cantina for a friendly aperitivo and welcome dinner cooked alle brace (over wood coals).


Day 2 – June 6: Montepulciano

  • Highlights: Visit to Montepulciano, wine tasting, writing instruction
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner

This morning, after breakfast, our private drivers will be transporting you into the heart of Tuscany’s spectacular wine country and the hill town of Montepulciano. Here you’ll explore the winding, medieval avenues and alleyway, including stops at Renaissance churches boasting artwork by Italy’s master artists. After time for exploring and shopping (be sure to check out the fabulous shops that flank the main avenues of town!), we’ll be meeting up at our friends’ 15th century wine cantina, where you’ll enjoy a special wine tasting in the atmospheric cantina itself, featuring the estates’s best wines, paired with a simple, delicious lunch.

In the afternoon, it’s back to the villa for writing and instruction time with Maryrose. Aperitivo, followed by a delectable, regionally inspired dinner, will be served up right here at the villa.


Day 3 – June 7: Città della Pieve

  • Highlights: Instruction with Maryrose, visit to Città della Pieve, saffron tasting, pizza night
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner

This morning, after breakfast, you’ll enjoy writing time and instruction with Maryrose on the estate grounds – surrounded by olive groves, vineyards and the rolling hills of Tuscany. A light lunch with be served up right here, followed by some free time to write or relax.

In the afternoon, our drivers will be transporting you to the medieval village of Città dell Pieve where you’ll enjoy exploring and writing onsite with Maryrose, as you meander the labyrinth of alleyways, lined with centuries-old structures constructed of the local, hand-made red brick. Then it’s on to our friend, Alessandro’s, charming shop for a special saffron tasting – a unique speciality of the area – followed by a visit to the town’s spectacular cathedral, and a stop to view a breathtaking masterpiece by Renaissance artist, Perugino. Afterwards, it’s on to our friend, Lorenza’s, pizzeria for a delicious dinner of pizza cooked in a wood oven.


Day 4 – June 8: At Villa

  • Highlights: Instruction with Maryrose, pasta-making lesson, olive oil tasting with bruschetta
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner

This morning, after breakfast at the villa, you’ll be joining Maryrose for a morning of writing and instruction. Then, in late morning, it’s time to don an apron for an oh-so-fun pasta-making lesson with a local signora – who has been making pasta by hand for most of her life. Lunch will be served up right here, featuring your hand-rolled pasta, of course!

In the afternoon, you’ll continue instruction and writing with Maryrose before walking to our friends’ farm for an aperitivo that includes an olive oil tasting and bruschetta-making demo, followed by dinner featuring regional dishes.


Day 5 – June 9: Montichiello, Bagno Vignoni

  • Highlights: Visit to Montichiello, writing in Bagno Vignoni
  • Breakfast, dinner

This morning, after breakfast, our drivers will be taking you to one of the most photographed areas in Tuscany – the spectacular Val d’Orcia. First stop is the picturesque village of Monticchiello, with sweeping views over the valley below, where you’ll have a chance to explore the medieval avenues before continuing on to the village of Bagno Vignoni, situated on a hilltop rich with thermal springs. Here you’ll enjoy onsite writing with Maryrose, along with lunch on your own.

In the afternoon, you’ll return to the villa for some time on your own to relax or take a swim in the inviting swimming pool before gathering together with the group for aperitivo and dinner.


Day 6 – June 10: San Casciano dei Bagni 

  • Highlights: Fonteverde Spa, visit to San Casciano, farewell dinner
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner

After breakfast this morning, it’s off to the town of San Casciano dei Bagni for a visit to the elegant Fonteverde Spa with its thermally heated, mineral-rich pools. What a treat! Afterwards we continue to the village itself and our friend, Daniela’s, elegant restaurant – situated beneath the walls of the town’s imposing castle – for a delicious lunch.

After some time to wander and explore the avenues of the village, it’s back to the villa for final instructions and wrap-up with Maryrose before enjoying a special farewell aperitivo and dinner poolside.


Day 7 – June 11: Departure 

Private group transport to Rome Fiumicino Airport.



VENUE Tenuta Poggio Martino

Poggio Martino is a family estate perched atop a panoramic hill in the heart of Tuscany, looking east towards Cortona and west towards Montepulciano. Originally a countryside farmhouse, with extensive olive groves, sweeping vineyards and rolling wheat fields, the estate was carefully restored 20 years ago, preserving its rural Tuscan style and original architectural features. Antique furnishings decorate the cozy sleeping rooms, framed by massive chestnut beams and dramatic brick archways – each a part of an apartment, complete with a fully furnished kitchen and outdoor sitting areas. The extensive gardens and inviting swimming pool – along with the estate’s panoramic position – create a classic Tuscany atmosphere that is impossible to resist. 

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WHAT’S INCLUDED…

  • 6 nights stay at Tenuta Poggio Martino (The entire estate is reserved exclusively for our group!)
  • Group transportation to/from Rome Fiumicino Airport on arrival and departure days
  • Private van service to/from all towns and sites included in the itinerary
  • All breakfasts
  • 4 delicious lunches featuring regional specialties and accompanied by regional wines
  • All delectable dinners featuring regional specialties and accompanied by regional wines
  • Private wine tastings, visits and tours
  • Daily mentorship from Maryrose Wood
  • Opportunities to deepen bonds with your fellow writers and critique partners

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 is 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.


DATES & PRICES:  7 Days/6 Nights

  • June 5-11, 2022
  • Trip Price: 
    • $3,495 USD per person – single occupancy room with double bed and private bath
    • $3,395 USD per person – single occupancy room with double bed and shared bath in corridor (max 2 of same gender per bath)
    • $3,395 USD per person – double occupancy room with private bath
  • A $500 deposit is required to secure your space on this workshop
  • See our Terms and Cancellation Policy
  • See our Covid Policies

BOOK NOW (BY INVITATION ONLY!)