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 2021 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 2: 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 3: Bagno Vignoni

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

This morning, after a delicious breakfasts featuring organic, sheep’s milk yogurt, seasonal fruits, freshly-baked cornetti, torta from the local pasticceria, free range eggs and organic marmalades – plus herbal teas and made-to-order Italian coffee – it’s off to the beautifully preserved medieval village of Bagni Vignoni, Situated in the heart of the Val d’Orcia (one of Tuscany’s most photographed areas!), Bagni Vignoni is perched on a panoramic hilltop and boasts a wealth of thermal, mineral rich springs  – used for their health and wellness benefits for thousands of years.


DAY 3 ~ Tuesday, May 4: Città della Pieve, Chiusi

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

This morning, after breakfast, Page will host a creative session, followed by a delightful, hands-on crostata lesson with Paola. Learn how to make this simple, delicious torta (Paola’s grandma’s recipe) that can be served for either dessert or breakfast. After a buffet-style lunch, featuring local specialties, you’ll have some free time to relax or write. Then it’s off to nearly 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, as well as a stop at our friends’ saffron shop. Afterwards, you’ll head to the ancient town of Chiusi – a former Etruscan city, nearly 3,000 years ago, where you can visit the excellent archeological museum before we make our way to Pino’s pizzeria to enjoy an authentic Tuscan-style pizza!


DAY 4 ~ Wednesday, May 5: at Villa

  • Highlights: creative session with Page, relaxing by the pool, olive grove walk, olive oil tasting, bruschetta lesson
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner

This morning, after another abundant breakfast, you’ll join Page for more creative conversation. Lunch will be served-up buffet style, featuring some of Chef Lorenza’s favorite seasonal dishes. 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 with Paola, 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 for a fascinating – and oh-so-fun – olive oil tasting followed by a fireside bruschetta-making lesson and aperitivo. Afterwards you’ll enjoy a Tuscan-style dinner cooked alle brace – over wood coals. 


DAY 5 ~ Thursday, May 6: Orvieto

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

This morning, after breakfast, it’s off to the hill town of Orvieto, perched on a volcanic bluff, overlooking the Val d’Chiana. After a look at the town’s spectacular 13th century cathedral, you’ll 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. Then gather with Page for a creative focus in a nearby cafe before enjoying 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 6 ~ Friday, May 7: San Casciano dei Bagni

  • Highlights: Fonteverde thermal spa, lunch in San Casciano
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner

After a lovely breakfast this morning, you’ll be traveling to San Casciano dei Bagni and the luxurious Fonteverde Spa to enjoy a soak in the sweeping pools of mineral-rich waters. The waters of this area have been used for thousands of years for wellness and cures. You might even book an extra treatment on your own, such as a massage or pedicure. Afterwards, we continue on to our friend, Daniela’s, chic restaurant, nestled beneath the fortressed walls of the town’s castle, where you’ll enjoy a very special, Tuscan-style lunch. In the afternoon it’s back to the villa for a closing creative session with Page, bringing into focus how we can carry our renaissance adventures forward in meaningful and enriching ways. Our last evening together we’ll enjoy a refreshing apertivo and a lovely, farewell dinner prepared by Chef Lorenza.. 


DAY 7 ~ Saturday, May 8: Departure

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 2-8, 2021
    • 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 2, 2021)

  • 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