Last month I was really blessed to enjoy the first Savor Stitch & Flow retreat and I am thrilled to share some of the excursions and fabulous photos from the retreat! :)
I’m honestly not even sure where to begin, we had such a wonderful week and an amazing group of women to experience it with! I will share our week through photos, and a full photo gallery at the end of the post!
If you are feeling FOMO (‘fear of missing out’ hehe) you are in luck because I have another Italy Retreat in the works for 2024! Check my Travel page for more info coming soon!
First stop ~ Florence, Italy
I left a few days early so I could acclimate to the time zone and spend some quality time in Florence prior to the retreat… ~ gosh I love this city! It felt amazing to have extended summer weather and walk (and walk!) and take in all the wonderful history this Tuscan city has to offer. To begin… the Uffizi Gallery and Boboli Gardens never disappoint, and I had to visit both!
Full Moon in Florence
One of the (many) highlights in Florence was the gift of a clear night and a full super moon over the river Arno…. with the Ponte Vecchio bridge all lit up. Beautiful.
On Sunday we headed south to the border of Tuscany and Umbria to begin the retreat. By that evening everyone had arrived and we had an amazing meal together at our ‘home’ for the week. I must say… we were a little spoiled with all the delicious food!!
Some things are hard to capture in photos, and the view from our ‘home’ in Tuscany is one of those things… we had an amazing location… and we couldn’t have asked for better weather! Our accommodations were right on the border of Tuscany and Umbria and perfect for viewing the sunsets and visiting some of the hill towns in the area. Read my original post for more photos of our accommodations.
Each day began with an optional yoga class… with a view of course. Hard not to feel grateful and relaxed looking at the hills in Tuscany and the sunrise…
Yoga was followed by breakfast…
And each day we went to a different hill town for a new experience…
We got ourselves acclimated with a walking tour of the local village of Chiusi. After stopping for a cappuccino we toured a historic church and wandered around the village, stopping at a scenic vista. Our tour guide, Julian, even gave us a tour of his new art studio!
I think next time we may have to book a class with Julian.
Lunch was authentic brick-oven pizza, which we enjoyed under an arbor of grapes. The pizza was ah-mazing! Some of the women in the group even came back another evening for more… yes, that good!!!
We headed out to the hilltop village of Panicale in the evening, where we experienced an olive oil tasting, given by an olive oil sommelier and owner of this gorgeous hill-top boutique hotel and restaurant.
Citta della Pieve
By Tuesday we were ready for our spa day and we relaxed by the pool before heading to Citta della Pieve for dinner at Bruno Coppetta. We had some pretty amazing pasta and I got the biggest laugh of the week, courtesy of Pam and Shirley… but (some of) what happens in Italy… stays in Italy!
Wednesday we ventured out to a cheese farm for a tour, tasting and lunch. This area was proclaimed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2004 and understandably so. The rolling hills are breathtaking.
Living a life following the rhythms of nature, in a unique place in the world, producing good and healthy food. This was the dream that pushed Sandra and Ulisse to move to Pienza in 1991 and found Podere Il Casale.Podere Il Casale
The next stop was in Montepulciano for a little walking, poking in some shops and coffee tasting…
Under the Tuscan Sun
We went back to our home in Chiusi for dinner and a fun ‘movie night’ watching Under The Tuscan Sun… before our trip to Cortona the next day.
Artisian Textile Tour
This was one of my favorite excursions… going inside a designers workshop and seeing the leather and the textiles… so much fun. (see more photos in the gallery at the bottom of the page)
OFFICINE904 is the eclectic factory created in 2010 by visionary Paolo Porcu Rodriguez and Silvia Pavanello, a multi-disciplinary studio which promotes and solidifies a free dialogue between art, fashion, design and architecture, giving rise to new ideas, visions, projects and products reflecting the story and experiences of Italian taste and lifestyle.officine904.com
A farm to table lunch at a family run osteria and then, a visit to Cortona… the famed town for Under the Tuscan Sun!
Premiered in Los Angeles, the film “Under The Tuscan Sun” was shot mainly in the beautiful town of Cortona, near Arezzo in Tuscany, and in the magical hills around Lake Trasimeno in Umbria. Frances Mayes, the writer of the book from which the film was made, lives most of the year in Cortona.Perugiaonline.com
Winery and tasting
Did you know you that some wineries allow you to bring your own bottle to fill right from the ‘wine spigot’ for a minimal cost? And you can also ship some home! :)
Castiglione del Lago
A beautiful village located overlooking Lake Trasimeno, complete with a castle, “Rocca del Leone”. And also… a lot of gelato, bakeries and overall yumminess!! Dorita made sure we all got to sample some baked goods from the bakery you see here!
Pasta Class & Farewell Dinner
SOOOO much fun!!!! We prepared our final meal together. Pici, a pasta, made from our very own hands.
Thanks for checking out my first Savor Stitch and Flow retreat! Want to join the fun? Sign up for the travel newsletter by clicking on the Travel & Retreat listings page to receive information about October 2024 in Florence! I will be sending out sign up information soon!
Hugs ~ Sherri
The next Savor Stich & Flow retreat begins soon…..
(check in on the retreat page!)