What do you mean by “visioning”? And what can I expect to get from that part of the retreat?
Most people rarely get to truly explore “What do I want?” and “What’s next?” both professionally and personally. We just get too busy and carried away with our day-to-day tasks and activities. The Tuscany Visioning Retreat is just the space to reconnect with your dreams, passion, and a sense of possibility, all the while surrounded by the splendor of the Tuscan countryside. You’ll walk away from this experience with a clear vision for your future as well as practical steps to accomplish your goals.
I’ve noticed you ask that we “apply” to join the retreat. What does it mean – is this an exclusive experience?
An open mind, a positive outlook and a sense of humor are really the only prerequisites to join us. More than anything, we seek to create an extraordinary experience for our participants – one where you get to explore, connect and be supported by your peers as well as facilitators, and truly relish every moment of the trip. We want to make sure that each person we welcome to join us is the type of person you’d want to spend a week getting to know!
What is so special about La Foce?
La Foce whose name means “the meeting place” dates back to Etruscan times and lies on the old Via Francigena, the road that enabled pilgrims to travel directly between the two greatest sanctuaries of Christianity, Santiago de Compostela in Spain and St. Peter’s in Rome. In modern times it has become famous as the former home of Antonio and Iris Origo, an Anglo-American writer, who bought the vast estate in the 1920s. The couple restored the property including the main villa, a former 15th century inn, and the gardens, which have come to be celebrated as the most gorgeous in Italy. Iris Origo’s memoir, War in Val d’Orcia, recounts the harrowing tale of how Origo and her husband lived during the war on the estate and helped partisans and Allied soldiers.
Today, Origo’s daughters have continued the family tradition of renewal, turning the estate into a luxurious vacation retreat, refurbishing and decorating – to the highest standards – nine secluded villas. The villas boast exquisite furnishing in Tuscan colors, every modern convenience and the utmost privacy (most of the villas are not in sight of one another – all you see are the rolling hills of Tuscany).
The Tuscany Visioning Retreat provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore not only your spirit, but the soul of this magical and historic landmark.
I’d like to really explore Tuscany. Will we have a chance to do that?
Absolutely! We are planning a series of unique, exclusively Tuscan experiences for our participants:
• The estate historian will lead you on a private tour of La Foce and its world-famous gardens.
• A visit the nearby agriturismo (farm) of an American author – living her Italian dream.
• You will learn how to make authentic Italian pasta and other delectable regional dishes by some wonderful grandmotherly Tuscan women through the cooking school Tuscan Women Cook
• Spend an entire day in the care of one of Tuscany’s best native guides – he will take us to an abbey to hear Gregorian chants, a vineyard to taste wine and to some of the nearby hill towns of Pienza, Montepuliciano and Montalcino.
• You can also personalize your week in Tuscany further during your free day. Spend the day as you wish – shopping at nearby designer outlets; taking a painting lesson from a watercolor artist or just relaxing at the villa.
I’m thinking about coming on my own. Will I feel comfortable doing this?
Absolutely! Most of our participants will come on their own. We anticipate that one of the most enriching aspects of this experience will be meeting (and learning from) a group of fascinating new people from all over the world, all of whom are there to vision, explore and support each other.
I would like to come with a significant other (or a friend). Is that possible?
Yes! Our villa has several rooms that can be used by couples as well as an individual. There are also rooms that can be shared. If you’d like to receive the double occupancy discount and are coming alone we can even match you with another participant (making sure that your personalities and living styles fit well together). The only thing we ask when you invite someone to the retreat is that they are just as open and enthusiastic about coming as you are! So if you know other amazing people whose company you (and all of us) will relish through the week, please invite them to join us!
Will I have time to myself or is everything done with the group?
The retreat is designed in a way that will honor both your inner introvert and your inner extrovert. We have activities designed to connect the group and for you to learn from one another. There are also lots of time and space for you to be alone with your thoughts, journal or perhaps even art supplies.
I’d like to come but would feel more comfortable with a payment plan – do you have one available?
Yes, we do. You may choose to split your trip payment over two months (we will have the payment deadlines for your shortly). If you choose this option, please notify us in writing as soon as possible and add a $100 administrative fee to each of the payments. Both checks and credit cards (Visa, MasterCard and American Express) are accepted. (Please note that there is a 3% processing fee for credit card transactions.)