Tuscany Passion: Yoga. Bike. Food Culture. Feast on your life! with Julia Ingersoll
A week-long, joyful feast for body, mind, and spirit in the gorgeous heart of Tuscany!
This trip will be a cultural immersion in the artful life and sublime countryside of Tuscany – a yoga/bike/food-culture experience. Daily yoga will open us to receive the offerings of the day, which include cycling with fun local guides on the most beautiful roads of Tuscany; villages, ancient abbeys, wineries, and landscape. Foodie pursuits abound, with cooking, tastings, and the best of this rich culture.
Type of Event
Includes just about everything. A gourmet, boutique, in-depth week enjoying the essence of Tuscany from a passionately local perspective!
We will settle into our beautiful homebase near the jewel-like town of Pienza for the entire week – so you can succumb to "la dolce vita", slow-down, and savor like a local. After morning yoga and a bountiful breakfast, our rides will fan out from our base on fantastic loop rides, covering some of the most beautiful terrain in all of Italy.
On many afternoons we will also enjoy a restorative yoga practice, to unwind from the day and bask in the gorgeous evening light over antipasti and excellent local vintages.
• 8 days/7 nights accommodation in a magical, ancient, country estate, lovingly restored, and run by its owners, a couple of Tuscan foodies . Lovely, double-occupancy rooms, all with private bath. (A limited number of singles available at an additional cost. Please ask.)
• All sumptuous, amazing meals for the week, except for two lunches out. Some our meals will be enjoyed in hand-picked local restaurants, a couple of lunches will be on wine-estates, and many meals will be feasts prepared by our inn, which is a foodie's dream.
• Daily Yoga sessions. We will have an energizing morning session to prepare body and mind to receive the gifts of the day, and a restorative session on most afternoons to unwind from cycling and exploring, and deepen our practice. All yoga props provided.
• Daily guided bike rides and/or excursions to villages, abbeys, sites, cultural explorations. The cycling in Tuscany is the best in the world, simply divine! A myriad small, traffic-free routes wind through the sublime countryside surrounding our retreat-home, and encompassing many of the region's most beautiful towns. Montepulciano, Montalcino, Pienza, Bagno Vignoni, and Siena, are just some of the exquisite places we visit.
•Two Professional Local Guides and a Support Van will accompany our cycling trips, in addition to Julia, providing mechanical assistance, safety, and lots of local color and knowledge to each day's amazing rides.
Each ride-day there will be both a casual, shorter loop for those wishing to take it easy, and a longer loop with enough challenge for anyone who wants their fill of the most spectacular cycling routes in Tuscany.
•Vineyard visits and winery tours with wonderful local wine-producers (off-the-beaten-track and richly authentic), including wine-tastings with hearty local accompaniments.
•Guided tour of beautiful Siena with Cristina Amberti, a most inspiring native guide. Siena is considered one of the best-preserved medieval cities in the world, and is known as “La Mystica”.
•Authentic and fun cooking class with the wonderful chef of our estate. Prepare a four-course meal which will be our dinner-feast.
•Taste, Sip, Savor, and Indulge in one of the world’s most luscious and artful culinary traditions – from olive oil, cheese, and wines to foraged delights from farm and forest. Delight all your senses and learn from the local experts.
Our country estate is very comfortable and beautiful, and features a pool, jacuzzi, sauna, and excellent massages in their spa, in the midst of authentic, rustic, Tuscan splendor. Professional kitchen with excellent restaurant. Lovely rooms, spectacular grounds. The trip is open to everyone– men and women– and it started as a 60th birthday celebration for a couple of the bikers!
I am fluent in Italian and lived in Tuscany for 10 years, leading dozens of cycling, culture, art and yoga trips there
Airfare to Italy, and train to Chiusi-Chianciano station. We will arrange a group pick-up in Chiusi to take you to the retreat. You may fly into Florence or Rome, as we are equidistant, but Rome offers the cheapest flights (usually) and very easy connections to Chiusi.
NOTE: Excellent rental bikes (not included) are available, with your choice of either a hybrid-type bike, an aluminum road bike with carbon fork, or a top-level full carbon road bike.
Includes personal fitting, helmet, water-bottle, repair kit, and choice of pedal-type.
Or you may bring your own bike, but check with airlines for fees.)
ABOUT YOUR RETREAT-LEADER Julia Ingersoll, RYT–500 certified yoga teacher and acclaimed fine-artist, has been teaching and leading retreats internationally since 2001.
After racing 7 years as a professional mountain-bike racer at the World-Cup level, and a member of the US National Team, Julia retired from competitive cycling to engage her artistic education full-time, in Florence, Italy.
A passionate Italophile, Julia attended the Florence Academy of Art, and stayed to live in Tuscany for over eight years. During this time she worked and exhibited as an artist, and led cycling trips – sharing her love of biking and her ongoing study of Italian life, history, language and culture.
Julia is fluent in Italian and French, and continues to spend several months a year in Tuscany painting, and refining la dolce vita.
Julia’s devoted studentship of yoga began in 1991, with Ashtanga master, Richard Freeman. She met her current teacher, Noah Mazé, in 2010 and has been studying intensively with him since. Julia's background draws on all the major styles of Hatha yoga. Besides, Noah, her most influential teachers include Desirée Rumbaugh, and Thomas Fortel (Iyengar). She completed a 200-hr certificate with Mark Stephens, a 500-hr certificate with Noah Mazé, and holds a In philosophy.
Julia is known for her radiant and infectious enthusiasm for life, yoga, art, travel, and all-things culture, and for inspiring her students to create lives they love. She is on the faculty of the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, where she lives when not traveling.
About Our Cycling Guides: Giudi and Gianfranco.
Giuditta Parisi : A native of Montalcino, Giudi loves cycling and has led trips for many years for several cycling companies. Her family owns a small Brunello winery, NostraVita, with a very-special artistic flair. Giudi loves to share her passion for the magnificent Val d'Orcia, her "terra".
Gianfranco Sappa: Gianfranco Gianfranco divides his time between Tuscany – where he knows every special road and byway, and Courmayeur in the Valle d’Aosta in northwestern Italy. Surrounded by Europe’s highest mountains, with spectacular views of glaciers and other stunning landscapes.
A cycling guide since 2010, Gianfranco loves sharing his homeland with guests and hopes they will come away with an appreciation for the Italian lifestyle. He particularly enjoys leading advanced tours and takes pride in teaching guests to cycle more efficiently and safely.
When not guiding bike tours, Gianfranco enjoys sailing, diving, mountain biking, reading, and “traveling with curiosity.” Passionate about mountains, he also works as a mountain guide, leading climbing trips, ski tours, and snowshoeing excursions. Gianfranco’s stories from his other life as a mountain guide are always a hit with his cycling guests!
Sign me up!
To sign up, please email julia and I will send you a registration form!
A $500 deposit is due at the time of registration, and the balance is due 60 days before the retreat start. All logistical information, daily schedule, cancellation policy and other info will be sent to you.
Ciao e Grazie!