Tuscany Primavera: Springtime in Italy ~ A Creative Renaissance with Page Lambert

Letting the underground waters of our creativity bubble forth after a long winter…

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TUSCANY PRIMAVERA: Springtime in Italy 

A Creative Renaissance with Page Lambert



SPRING, the Season of Renaissance… 

Spring is a time of rebirth, when the waters are flowing, and the plants are alive with the promise of summer. Spring is also a time when the underground waters of our creativity yearn to bubble forth after a long winter. An iconic landscape such as Tuscany, steeped in artistic and literary culture, is the perfect place to bring forth creative expression.

During this seven-day retreat, we’ll immerse ourselves in the literal and figurative flow of new life, soothing our bodies in the ancient thermal waters of Tuscany where the Italian renaissance was born. Our creative sessions at the Villa will be centered around narrative expression (inspired by a few of Italy’s Renaissance writers), with time for quiet journaling, peaceful walks, soothing swims, and delicious meals.

Excursions into the Tuscan countryside will round out our springtime adventure. We’ll explore the medieval streets of quaint villages, and the ancient streets of an old Etruscan city. We’ll visit a rose-windowed cathedral perched on a volcanic bluff and visit an artisan skilled in the ancient craft of paper making.

Back at the Villa, we’ll walk through olive groves and learn the fireside art of bruschetta-making. We’ll savor Italian coffee and learn the sweet art of baking crostatas. This is just a sampling of our adventures! Please scroll down for a more complete itinerary.

Tuscany Primavera will be the perfect place to experience your own personal renaissance. In the words of the famous Italian poet Dante, “Here begins a new life.”


ABOUT PAGE LAMBERT

Page Lambert’s writing is found inside monumental sculptures at the Denver Art Museum, online at Huffington Post, and in dozens of anthologies about the West. Nominated for two Pushcart Prizes, and a recipient of two Fellowships for Literary Excellence, she designs and teaches graduate writing courses for the University of Denver’s professional creative writing program. Co-founder of Women Writing the West, Lambert is a member of the International League of Conservation Writers, an advisor for the Rocky Mountain Land Library, and a senior associate with the Children & Nature Network.

Author of the memoir In Search of Kinship (Fulcrum Publishing) and the novel Shifting Stars (Tor/Forge), her recently published works include the essay “Not for Sale” (Landscape Magazine, 2018), “The Rural West” (The Light Shines from the West, Fulcrum Books, 2018), and “Deerstalking”(Memoir Magazine, Guns and People Issue, 2018). Forthcoming works include essays and poems in Waves: A Confluence of Women’s Voices (Room of Her Own Foundation, 2019). She writes the popular blog All Things Literary/All Things Natural from her Colorado home in the Rocky Mountains west of Denver.

Page has been leading outdoor creative writing adventures in the U.S. and abroad for 22 years. In 2006, Oprah’s O magazine included her River Writing Journeys for Women as “One of the top six, great all-girl getaways of the year!” Her retreats are frequently featured in The Write Life’s annual list of the top writing retreats to attend. She is excited to add Tuscany Primavera: A Creative Renaissance, to her list of 2022 creative adventures. She is more than excited to be working in partnership with Strada Toscana who is hosting the retreat in this beautiful Tuscany villa.



ITINERARY


DAY 1 ~ Sunday May 1: Villa Poggio alle Trese

  • Highlights: Arrival at Poggio alle Trese, welcome tour, trip orientation with Page
  • Aperitivo, dinner

Benvenuti in Italia! Upon your arrival, sit back and relax as your private driver transports you to Villa Poggio alle Trese, and the spectacular Tuscan countryside, where you’ll be surrounded by the region’s quintessential olive groves, vineyards and cypress-lined lanes. Upon arrival at the villa, you’ll take a tour of the villa and grounds, followed by time to settle in and explore before meeting up with Page for an overview of the creative aspects of your renaissance adventure. Afterwards, enjoy an inviting aperitivo, followed by a regional-style dinner served up by the talented Chef Lorenza. 


DAY 2 ~ Monday, May 2: Bagno Vignoni

  • Highlights: walking tour of Bagno Vignoni and mill ruins, thermal baths, creative session with Page
  • Breakfast, dinner

This morning, after a delicious breakfast, it’s off to the beautifully preserved Tuscan village of Bagni Vignoni, Situated in the heart of the Val d’Orcia (one of Tuscany’s most photographed areas!). Perched on a panoramic hilltop, Bagno Vignoni boasts a wealth of hot, mineral rich springs  – used for their health and wellness benefits for thousands of years. After a walk through the village, you’ll make your way to the town’s Piscine Termali (thermals pools), where you can relax in the steaming waters, surrounded by the beauty of the Tuscan hills. What a treat! Afterwards, you’ll make your way to lunch at a picturesque trattoria, nestled alongside the town’s historic pool.

In the afternoon, it’s back to the villa where you’ll enjoy some free time before gathering together for a friendly aperitivo. Dinner follows, featuring some of the regions most delicious dishes.


DAY 3 ~ Tuesday, May 3: Città della Pieve, Chiusi

  • Highlights: walking tour Città della Pieve, visit with saffron expert, pizza night
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner

This morning after breakfast, you’ll join Page for a creative session, followed by a delightful, hands-on herb and baking lesson with Chef Lorenza. Learn how Italians use herbs for both wellness and cooking, then try your hand at making Lorenza’s delicious salty “frolli” – perfect for serving with wine. Lunch is served up here at the villa,  followed by some free time to relax, write or take a walk along the countryside lane.

In the afternoon, it’s off to nearby Città della Pieve, a quaint hill town that maintains its medieval atmosphere with winding alleyways encircled within its fortressed walls. Here you’ll enjoy a walking tour that includes a peek inside the 15th century cathedral, with its 5th century foundations, followed by free time to explore or shop on your own. Afterwards, we’ll gather together at our friend, Alessandro’s, saffron shop, where you’ll learn about the amazing history of saffron in the town, and enjoying a delightful tasting and aperitivo. Then, it’s time to continue to the town’s best pizzeria for dinner, featuring Tuscan-style pizza. 


DAY 4 ~ Wednesday, May 4: Orvieto

  • Highlights: Orvieto cathedral, visit with paper expert, free time Orvieto, creative session with Page
  • Breakfast, dinner

After an early breakfast, this morning, our drivers will be transporting you to the stunning hill town of Orvieto, situated on top of a volcanic bluff, overlooking the Val d’Chiana. First up is a special walking tour, with our friend (and expert guide), Emanuela, where you’ll learn about the town’s ancient history and view its spectacular 13th century cathedral. Then, you’re in for a treat as you meet up with our friend, Lamberto, a local paper artisan and expert, in his 16th century palazzo studio. Here you’ll learn about the amazing history of paper in Italy, and get a peek at Lamberto’s prized antique books. Amazing!

Afterwards you’ll have some free time to shop, explore the winding avenues, pay a visit to one of the fascinating museums, find a quiet place to journal and have lunch on your own. In the afternoon it’s back to the villa for a friendly aperitivo followed by another delicious dinner. 


DAY 5 ~ Thursday, May 5: at Villa

  • Highlights: creative session with Page, pasta-making lesson, olive grove walk, olive oil tasting, bruschetta lesson
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner

This morning, after another delicious breakfast, you’ll join Page for a creative session, before gathering together for a delightful pasta-making lesson with Chef. Lorenza. You’ll learn how to make one of Tuscany’s post popular, hand-rolled pasta, plus Lorenza will share her tips for pairing pasta with just the right sauce. Lunch will be served-up right here at the villa, featuring your hand-made pasta, of course!

In the afternoon you’ll continue your creative session, including an optional one-on-one writing consultation with Page. Then you’re in for a treat as you explore the nearby olive grove, where you’ll learn about varieties of olives used for pressing, as well as why olive trees are considered a precious tree in Italy. Then it’s time to gather fireside for a olive oil tasting and bruschetta-making lesson – along with aperitivo. Dinner this evening is cooked alle brace – over wood coals. 


DAY 6 ~ Friday, May 6: San Casciano dei Bagni

  • Highlights: Archeological dig, lunch in San Casciano, Fonteverde Thermal Spa
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner

After another lovely breakfast this morning, you’ll enjoy a creative session with Page. Then it’s off to the town of San Casciano dei Bagni where you’ll meet up with an archeologist for walk down the picturesque hill to the valley below for a jaw-dropping visit to the town’s newly discovered Roman temple – and much more – built among hot springs that gush from the hillside. Afterwards, it’s back up to town to enjoy lunch at our friend, Daniela’s restaurant – nestled beneath the wall’s of the town’s imposing castle.

After lunch, it’s off to luxurious Fonteverde Spa where you’ll enjoy an afternoon of soaking in the sweeping pools of mineral-rich waters. The waters of this area have been used for thousands of years for wellness and cures, and the views from the spa’s pools are simply spectacular. Afterwards, it’s back to the villa for a closing creative session with Page, bringing into focus how you can carry your renaissance adventures forward in meaningful and enriching ways. This evening you’ll enjoy a special apertivo, followed by a farewell dinner prepared by Chef Lorenza.


DAY 7 ~ Saturday, May 7: Departure

Early this morning our drivers will transport you to Rome Fiumicino Airport


ACCOMMODATIONS

Your accommodations are beautiful Poggio alle Trese, a 17th century villa, nestled along the border of Tuscany and Umbria, near the town of Chiusi (Tuscany). The villa boasts number living rooms, sweeping terraces for dining or lounging, swimming pool, elegant breakfast room and grand dining hall. Sleeping rooms are furnished with family antiques are offer either an ensuite bathroom or shared bathroom (max 2 guests per bathroom). Rooms options are made available upon booking. View photos of Villa Poggio alle Trese here. 


WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • 7 days/6 nights at elegant Villa Poggio alla Trese, situated in the picturesque countryside near the charming Tuscan hill town of Chiusi.
  • Group transportation to/from Rome Fiumicino Airport. 
  • Private van service to/from all cities, towns and sites included in the itinerary
  • All abundant breakfasts, featuring fresh-baked Tuscan pastries, organic sheeps’ milk yogurt, local cheeses, seasonal fruits, organic cereal, & fresh eggs, plus Italian caffè, cappuccino and herbal teas.
  • Two Tuscan-style buffet lunches prepared with seasonal, local foods at the Villa, and a pre-spa lunch in San Casciano, (two lunches on your own)
  • All regionally inspired dinners with local wines 
  • Book talk with artisan, Lamberto, in Orvieto
  • Entrance to Spa at Bagno Vignoni and use of thermal pools
  • Entrance to Fonteverde Spa and use of thermal pools
  • Crostata lesson
  • Olive grove tour with olive oil tasting and bruschetta lesson
  • Free time for exploring
  • Evening aperitivo hour for chatting, sharing and relaxing

Not included: Airfare, 2 excursion lunches, alcoholic drinks, entrance fees to museums you might tour on your own, buses, trains or boat transportation outside of that which is specifically listed in the trip package, gratuities for villa staff and drivers

The Unexpected is Part of the Journey: Although we are weaving amazing, authentic experiences into this trip, sometimes unexpected things come up. If a site has an unscheduled closing, we improvise to include something equally as wonderful and interesting. The quality of the trip is never at risk, as our hosts at Strada Toscana are committed to excellence, along with their vast Italian connections.


TRIP DETAILS:

TUSCANY PRIMAVERA: Springtime in Italy 

A Creative Renaissance with Page Lambert

  • 7 Days/6 Nights
  • Dates:
    • May 1-7, 2022
    • A $400 nonrefundable deposit is required upon registering for Page Lambert’s Tuscany Primavera retreat at Strada Toscana. Please see terms below.
  • Trip Price (choose your room configuration upon booking):
    • $3,799 USD per person – shared room, double occupancy with en-suite bathroom
    • $3,899 USD per person – single occupancy room with shared bathroom (no more than 2 people per bathroom)
    • $3,999 USD per person – single occupancy with en-suite bath

REGISTER

A $400 non-refundable deposit is required upon registering for Page Lambert’s Tuscany Primavera retreat at Strada Toscana.

Should you cancel your reservation for any reason whatsoever – including, but not limited to, family emergencies, medical issues or personal reasons – we will refund any payments received (less your nonrefundable deposit of $400), and less the following cancellation fees:

Cancellation Fee Per Person (Number of Days Prior to Event Start Date of May 1, 2022)

  • 181 + Days – $400
  • 180 – 121 Days – $1,000
  • 120 – 91 Days – $2,000
  • 90 – 61 Days – $2,500
  • 60 – 0 Days – 100% of the trip price

REGISTER