Writing Workshops, Retreats, Mentoring

Tuscany 2022 Itinerary

DAY 1 Sat. Oct. 29th Arrive in TUSCANY

Buongiorno! Welcome to Florence, the ‘Cradle of the Renaissance’.
 
Today we gather at the GRAND HOTEL MEDITERRANEO in Florence to greet each other, meet our Tour Guide, and get settled in our spacious hotel rooms. Later in the evening we join for a memorable Welcome Dinner in the hotel to officially kick off our adventure and enjoy some fun activities to learn more about the trip and each other.

About Our Daily Itinerary:

We stay at the same hotel for the entire week, and every morning we follow the same schedule (except for final departure day).

At 8:00 a.m. we enjoy the option of joining a gentle morning yoga class for an hour led by the compassionate and joyous Kate Marshall Flaherty. (Please note: if you’ve been on an Inkslingers trip before, you will notice that yoga is an hour later than it used to be!) The complimentary buffet breakfast is available in the hotel quite early. We gather with our fellow travelers at 10:00 a.m. for the group writing workshop until 12:30.

Participants are responsible for lunches, so we provide the time to enjoy lunch in the immediate area or provide locations to share a repast. Each afternoon we provide optional opportunities for sightseeing and travelling. We will be walking most of the time, both in the city and in the hilly Tuscany landscape during our excursions. Bring comfortable shoes. On the two coach-travel days, we have our own bus and driver/guide to take us to the Tuscany sites.

It is your writing/yoga retreat. Feel free to select the activity, or opportunity to relax that suits you best. If you prefer to be alone any day, just let us know. Our hotel is in the centre of Renaissance Florence, close to local shops and restaurants.

DAY 2 Sun., Oct. 30th Afternoon in FLORENCE

After lunch, we meet our Local Specialist for the day who will take us on a stroll through the markets before admiring the scenic view on the Ponte Vecchio straddling the Arno River.
 
 

Later we visit the San Marco Museum, a former Dominican convent restored by Cosimo the Elder de’ Medici. The museum also has a very beautiful Last Supper frescoed by Domenico Ghirlandaio, and features the oldest library in Florence.
 
This evening we encourage participants to explore the old parts of the city together, walking the same streets where D.H.Lawrence ambled as he wrote Lady Chatterley’s Lover, and enjoy a scrumptious Italian dinner at one of the many fabulous Italian restaurants.

DAY 3 Mon., Oct. 31st Afternoon/Evening in SIENA & SAN GIMIGNANO

This afternoon we visit the beautifully preserved medieval city of Siena to see the 13th-century marble Cathedral and the shell-shaped Piazza del Campo which hosts the biannual Palio horse race.
 
 

We later venture to the walled medieval town of San Gimignano, renowned for the dozen Medieval towers that remain of the 72 constructed by feuding families at the height of the Renaissance. This location was the setting of TWO famous novels: E. M. Forster’s 1905 novel, Where Angels Fear to Tread, and The Broker by John Grisham.
 
 
We enjoy a group dinner here tonight in a local restaurant before returning to the hotel.

DAY 4 Tues., Nov. 1st Afternoon in FLORENCE

Today we enjoy a walk to visit the Boboli Gardens. Originally the private park of the de’ Medici family, it was opened to the public in 1766. It represents one of the first and most important examples of the Italian garden, which later served as inspiration for many European courts. It also houses the Pitti Palace.

The rest of the day, including dinner, is at your leisure.

DAY 5 Wed., Nov. 2nd Free Afternoon

Wednesday is always our FREE DAY.

Your afternoon today is at your leisure. It is a great day to go shopping, take the local bus up to Fiesole, a famous hilltop overlooking the city, visit churches or museums not on included in the trip, write together or in seclusion.

Feel free to journey about in the company of fellow participants or relax alone.
 
Our Tour Guide may have some local suggestions for us to consider.

DAY 6 Thurs., Nov. 3rd Afternoon/Evening in LUCCA & PISA

Today we explore the beautiful city of Lucca, birthplace of composer Giacomo Puccini.
 

 
Later we journey to the nearby town of Pisa where we view the famous Leaning Tower, the finely sculpted marble Cathedral and the ornate Baptistery, said to be the largest in Italy.
 
 
 
We continue through Tuscany, arriving in Vinci where we will ‘Dive Into Culture’ at Museo Leonardiano and gain a deeper understanding of the life of this talented master. Models of Leonardo da Vinci’s many machines and inventions, his sketches and handwritten notes, as well as interactive exhibits, are featured during our visit.
 

 
Tonight we ‘Connect With Locals’ at the Agriturismo Borgo Vigna Vecchia where we will enjoy an exclusive ‘Be My Guest’ group dinner surrounded by vineyards and olive groves before returning to the hotel in our coach.

DAY 7 Fri., Nov. 4th The great FLORENCE Museums

This afternoon we visit the masterpieces of Michelangelo, Botticelli and Da Vinci in Florence’s showcase museums, the Uffizi Gallery and the Academy of Fine Arts.
 

Here we’ll learn all about the life and works of these immortal Renaissance artists through the expert commentary of our Local Specialist for the afternoon.
 
Dinner follows in the city at your leisure.

DAY 8 Sat., Nov. 5th The Duomo & The Bargello

Our Local Specialist today reveals the history of Renaissance Florence during our walking tour.
 
 

 
We visit the magnificent Duomo and the Bargello Museum.
 
 
Our love affair with Italy’s great Renaissance comes to an end this evening as we enjoy a Farewell Dinner in the hotel, followed by a selection of short readings. We encourage our participants to claim an international reading kudo by sharing a short piece of writing created during this fabulous week.

DAY 9 Sun. Nov. 6th Depart FLORENCE

This morning our memorable encounter with one of Italy’s most inspiring regions comes to an end.
 
Since most flights to North America leave in the early afternoon, we board our coach to the Florence airport right after breakfast. It’s arriverderci, but not farewell forever as we say goodbye.

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Please note: We do our best to ensure our adventures follow this planned itinerary, but due to local conditions, we may vary the times and days if needed.