Wow! Just said 'arrivederci' yesterday to all the wonderful guests at the June retreat in Tuscany. It was an amazing time with a great group of people. However fabulous a place may be, the dynamic of a group is one of the most important pieces of a retreat - and we couldn't have asked for a better one! Friendships were made, plenty of laughs shared, growth made in the yoga studio, and lots of delicious food was enjoyed.
We started the week out with an amazing dinner on the terrace overlooking the picturesque hills. Most of us were commenting that everyone knows that stereotypical Tuscan landscape in your mind...but it's still a bit surprising to see that it is actually exactly like that.
We'd missed the fields of red poppies in bloom just by a couple weeks, but were greeted by plenty of lavender and the bursts of yellow sunflowers beginning to bloom. One field we found was so abundant that we decided to do some group shots in the flowers.
Amazing dish by amazing dish was provided throughout the week by Amanda (villa owner / interior decorator / Tuscan cook extraordinaire) and each meal was met by mmmmm's and ahhhhh's around the table. I think by the last day we were all glad to have practiced daily yoga as well as walked as much as we had in order to enjoy all the dishes provided.
Thanks to Julian, Amanda's husband and who usually runs the art retreats at this location, we were entertained with lots of interesting anecdotes about the region, sites, and chauffeured around for the day trips...including stops in Arezzo, Chiusi, Florence, and the beautiful tiny hilltop town of Panicale. I think one of the favorite times of relaxation came during a trip to a thermal spa where we all lounged by the thermal pools and took in some of the warm rays.
Here's a video from the experience:
Overall it was an amazing week, and I feel so blessed to have been a part of it. Today I'm writing from Florence and am heading tomorrow to Ischia to work out some details for the October retreat there...then it's back to the villa next week for the second Tuscan retreat this summer! Can't wait to meet the next group!