Since international travel is still a bit restricted, pack your bags for another virtual trip!!
Our June Tuscan Wellness Retreat at a beautiful villa in Italy had to be postponed to next year, so we are going to take the trip, virtually, this year!!
June 26, 2020: We leave tonight and, once again, the great thing is that there is no packing or luggage necessary for this trip! No navigating airports, no security lines and no long, cramped flight or airplane food! Also, no worrying about Covid! Silver lining! The excitement is building – get some rest because we land tomorrow morning and we are going to have a busy week of exploring Tuscany!!
Day 1 (June 27): Ben venuti in Italia!!
We arrive in Florence, fully rested thanks to our very comfortable virtual flight over.
We’re picked up at the airport and brought to this fabulous villa where we check in, drop our virtual bags, freshen up a bit and relax! Maybe a little yoga session and stroll through the olive groves around the villa property…. And/or relax next to the pool with an aperitivo to kick off our week in Tuscany!
Day 2 (June 28): We start our day with a few yoga stretches in the beautiful on-property studio! We get ourselves moving a bit and today’s excursions start with Pisa, where we’ll check out the famous Leaning Tower. Then, we head to Lucca for a private tour of this charming little town. We worked up an appetite and, good thing! Dinner is prepared for us at the villa by our own personal chef for the week!
Day 3 (June 29): We’re in for a treat today, with a private guided tour of beautiful Siena, the center of which is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site! We’ll see it all, including the iconic shell-shaped piazza which is the site of the annual Palio horse race.
Day 4 (June 30): Today is hiking day! Well, for those up for the challenge, that is…. We’ll take on the iconic “blue path” Cinque Terre hike from Monterosso to Vernazza (don’t worry, there are options for non-hikers who still want to explore these fabulous towns!). From Vernazza, we can continue the hike (if the path is open) or we can hop from town to town on the very convenient train that runs along the coast. Regardless, our ultimate destination will be Manarola, where we will savor our “aperitivo” and take in the gorgeous coastal scenery.
Day 5 (July 1): Let’s celebrate summer and head to the beach today!! We’ll have a few hours to lounge on the beach in Viareggio, where we can rent chairs/umbrellas or just rough-it on the sand. Then, after we wash up, we will continue that Tuscan vibe with a cooking class taught in our own kitchen at the villa! Dinner tonight will be the result of our own work – an authentic Italian meal, made by YOU (wine sampling might also be on the menu)!
Day 6 (July 2): We have some free time this morning to do yoga, take a stroll, or sleep in. Then, we head to the beautiful heart of Tuscany, Florence!! Our private tour guide will meet us after our lunch at a centrally located cozy restaurant. We’ll definitely appreciate the walking tour after that fabulous Florentine cuisine! Our guided tour will grant us skip-the-line access to the Accademia Gallery where you can see the original Statue of David with your very own eyes. We’ll see all of the key landmarks in Florence. And then, what a treat! We have arranged for dinner in Florence too!!!
Day 7 (July 3): The grand finale for our week in Tuscany is today – a tour through the Chianti region including a visit to San Gimignano! First stop is a private visit at a family-run olive estate in Chianti. It’s perched on a hill, covered with olive trees, overlooking Florence in the distance. We’ll have a tour of the estate and learn about its history from the owner. We’ll also learn a bit about how top-quality extra virgin olive oil is produced, along with sampling!! Afterwards, we’ll head to San Gimignano, where we’ll have some free time to explore this charming walled-in town, famous for its many towers, saffron and a wonderful white wine. We’ll finish the day at a beautiful family-owned boutique castle winery where they’ve been making wine since 1596! The castle, where the owners reside, dates back to 1577 and we get a private tour!!! After visiting the estate and the cellar we’ll enjoy a tasting of their award-winning Chianti wines accompanied by some local Tuscan specialties.
Day 8 (July 4): Sadly, all good things must come to an end. We say “Arrivederci” to Italy, for now, and look forward to our next adventure! We expect to head back over to help Italy rebuild their tourism industry as soon as possible. As of right now, our next trip is scheduled for May 2021. Please watch for updates on this website and on Europe Your Own Way’s Facebook and Instagram!