Why I Choose Saint Catherine of Siena

My heart felt deep resonance in Siena from the first visit. I felt connected to something I already knew. It is truly one of my all time favorite places in #Tuscany. Only later would I piece it together as to perhaps why I felt this.

I remember in CCD for confirmation I was asked to pick a name Saint, so I choose Saint Catherine who was born in #Siena, Italy on March 25, 1347. She was the 25th child born to her mother. Catherine herself was a twin, but her sister did not survive infancy. Her mother was 40 when she was born.

She wasn’t a nun, she instead served the poor and sick and lived in the world. She is best known for serving tirelessly to petition for #peace during a politically unstable time. She is also credited with composing over 400 letters, her Dialogue, which is her definitive work, and her prayers. These works are so influential that St. Catherine would later be declared a Doctor of the Church. She is one of the most influential saints in the Church.
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I love this feeling of exploring new places, but also of returning to places I love so much like Siena. It is a coming home.
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#explore #travel #adventure #travelchick #wanderlust #wonderlust#alchemytours #yogaretreat #italy
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See more photos in my albums www.silviamordini.com

Truth of the Heart

A truth of the heart: The transformation that happens on a #yogaretreat is a quantum leap. It is not fully describable with words. But if your heart feels the call, and #Italy keeps popping up in your dreams then come with us!
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June 25-July 1, 2017 #Tuscany #YogaRetreat
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Looking for a female roommate to complete a double $250 OFF to make it easy for you 
Retreat size limited to 14 guests. Last 2 spots!
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https://alchemytours.com/tuscany-itinerary/
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Let’s talk about making your dreams come true 1-206-886-5743

ITINERARY 2017

Day 1

Morning:
10:30am Meet in the lobby of the Hotel Palazzo Vecchio (via Cennini 4, 50123, Florence, Italy)
Walking tour of Historic Center of Florence

Afternoon:
1:30pm Lunch in Santo Spirito Plaza, Welcome!
2:45pm Visit Piazzale Michelangelo and Giardino delle Rose
Tour Basilica San Miniato del Monte
5:00pm Pool time

Evening:
6:00pm Welcome Yoga Practice
7:30pm Sunset Aperitivo
8:00pm Dinner and Brief Logistics Talk

Giardino delle Rose (Rose Garden) houses a collection of roses, lemons, and other plants, as well as a Japanese garden. It contains about 400 varieties of roses for a total of about 1,200 plants.The garden was created in 1865 by Giuseppe Poggi, who also designed the piazzale, on behalf of the City of Florence in anticipation of moving the capital of Italy from Turin. It covers about one hectare of land which offers a panoramic view of the city, sandwiched between viale Poggi, via di San Salvatore and via dei Bastioni.

Piazzale Michelangelo offers panoramic views of Florence and the Arno valley.The Piazzale Michelangelo is dedicated to the city’s most famous Renaissance artist Michelangelo Buonarroti. At the center of the square stands a replica of his most famous statue, the David. The bronze statue is set on a large pedestal, decorated with replicas of allegorical statues depicting day, night, dusk and dawn.

San Miniato standing atop one of the highest points in the city of Florence is one of the finest Romanesque structures in Tuscany and one of the most scenic churches in Italy. There is an adjoining Olivetti monastery to the basilica where the monks sell herbal teas and special honey elixirs. The mosaics and frescoes inside the church are incredible.

Church complex

 The Cemetery from the Basilica di San Miniato al Monte by Hans von Bartels. Adjacent to the church is the cloister, planned as early as 1426 and built from 1443 to mid-1450s. It was designed by Bernardo and Antonio Rosselino. The whole complex is surrounded by defensive walls, originally built hastily by Michelangelo during the siege and in 1553 expanded into a true fortress (fortezza) by Cosimo I de’ Medici. The walls now enclose a beautiful large cemetery, the Porte Sante, laid out in 1854.

Day 2

Morning:
8:00am Yoga Practice
9:30am Breakfast
10:30am Depart for Monteriggioni
11:30am Castle Tour & Shopping
1:00pm Picnic Lunch in Monteriggioni

Monteriggioni is, without doubt, one of the most classical and best known Italian walled town. Since the Middle Age its fame was so big that also the great poet Dante Alighieri makes sign to his ’round enclosure’ in the Divine Comedy (Hell, chant XXXI vv. 40-41). Recently a part of the wall walk of the town walls has been restored and made accessible. From the top of the walled circuit, it is possible to admire the surrounding countryside towards Chianti and the Valdelsa and to enjoy a unique view of the town and its fortifications.

Afternoon:
2:30pm Siena
6:00pm Aperitivo on Il Campo (At Bar Il Palio), Siena

Siena preserves its medieval character to a remarkable degree, and has been largely unspoilt by new buildings. In fact Siena retains a ward-centric culture from medieval times. Each ward (contrada) is represented by an animal or mascot, and has its own boundary and distinct identity. Ward rivalries are most rampant during the annual horse race (Palio) in the Piazza del Campo.

Evening:
8:00pm Dinner
9:00pm Restorative Yoga Practice

Day 3 

Morning:
8:00am Yoga Practice
9:00am Breakfast

Afternoon:
12:30pm Lunch at the Borgo
1:30pm Depart for Radda in Chianti
2:30pm Radda in Chianti walking tour and wine tasting

Radda in Chianti is situated on a hill covered with woods and extensive vineyards forming the watershed between the Pesa and Arbia valleys. The structure of the medieval village is still intact; it grew up elliptically around the church of San Nicolò, of 14th century origin and the Palazzo Pretorio. Built about 1415, its facade is adorned with the coats of arms of the podestà (chief magistrates), the latter is now the seat of the municipality.

Just outside the village, in the Vignale farm, are the headquarters of the Chianti Classico consortium (its symbol is the black-cockerel, the former emblem of the League of Chianti), and the Centro di Studi Chiantigiani (Centre for Chianti Studies), founded in 1984, with a small library and an archive devoted to the history of Chianti and its agriculture. The Montevertine farm, near the village, houses the small Museo del Chianti, with displays relating to the farming community.

Evening:
6:30pm Yoga Practice
8:00pm Dinner at the Borgo

Day 4 

Morning:
8:00am Breakfast
9:30am Yoga Practice

Afternoon:
12pm Lunch at the Borgo
1:00pm Depart for Volterra
1:30pm Walking Tour of Volterra
2:30pm Free Time & Shopping in Volterra

Volterra “is situated in the middle of the triangle formed by the cities of Pisa, Siena and Florence. On clear days you can easily see the sea, with the islands of Capraia and Corsica on the horizon. Far from heavily-trafficked roads and industrial areas, Volterra is surrounded by rolling patchwork hills with fields of grain and woodlands. In Summer, as the spring rains slow their trickle, the green fields turn to gold as wheat is harvested and sunflowers raise, and then bow, their proud heads. Volterra is one of the most important towns in Tuscany: its unique position and its ancient history leaves everyone enchanted.” From our friends at Tuscan Tour.

Evening
4:30pm Depart for the Borgo
5:30pm Yoga Practice
6:30pm Dinner at Borgo
7:30pm Explore Casole D’Elsa after dinner

Casole d’Elsa is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Siena in the Italian region Tuscany, located about 50 km southwest of Florence and about 25 km west of Siena. It is a charming medieval hilltop town situated in wonderful countryside around Siena. It is situated 70km from Florence and 35km from the town of Siena.

Originally it was a domain of the Bishop of Volterra but in the middle of the 13th century it passed under the control of Siena. The Sienese strengthened the fortifications because of its strategical position. In 1554 Casole surrended, after strenuous resistance, to the imperial and Florentine armies during the war against Siena. The dualism between Siena and Volterra still survives in the daily life of Casole for political purposes it is in the Province of Siena, whereas it falls under the Diocese of Volterra for religious matters. Verrocchio Art School Tuscany Italy.

Day 5

Morning:
7:00am Breakfast
7:30am Depart for Beach Day on the Mediterranean!

Afternoon:
11:00am Arrive Fonteblanda
12:00pm Catered lunch at Beach Club
1:30pm Depart for Petriolo Natural Hot Springs & Spa

At the Petriolo, you can indulge at the brand new spa center by the natural hot pools, which offers massage, beauty and health treatments, or you can enjoy the hot springs (43°C), open to the public free of charge, where you can relax in the pools along the banks of the river Farma.

The spas at the Petriolo are open from May to October. The Petriolo’s thermal baths are very ancient. The Romans knew and appreciated them. It is very likely that these are the baths mentioned by the orator Marco Tullio Cicero in his pro Marco Caelio.

Of the original baths, composed by four groined vaulted rooms, only one room still exists. It opens onto the river Farma with arches built on octagonal pillars.

Evening:
7:00pm Restorative Yoga Practice
8:30pm Dinner

Day 6

Morning:
8:00am Yoga Practice
9:30am Breakfast
10:30am Depart for Wine Tasting Tour and Explore San Gimignano

‘San Gimignano delle belle Torri’ served as an important relay point for pilgrims travelling to or from Rome on the Via Francigena. The patrician families who controlled the town built around 72 tower-houses (some as high as 50 m) as symbols of their wealth and power. Although only 14 have survived, San Gimignano has retained its feudal atmosphere and appearance. The town also has several masterpieces of 14th- and 15th-century Italian art.

The People’s Palace is one of the most important monuments of San Gimignano, being both the home of the Civic Museum and rich in paintings by the Florentine and Sienese schools (dating from the 13th century) such as the “Crucifix”, painted by Coppo di Marcovaldo, the triptyches by Niccolò Tegliacci and Taddeo di Bartolo dating from the 14th century, and other important works of art dating from the 15th century painted by Domenico Michelino, Pinturicchio and Filippino Lippi.

Afternoon:
2:00pm Lunch at Borgo (Post lunch: Optional Massages)
2:30pm Pool time, R&R, Nap

Evening:
6:30pm Yoga Practice
8:00pm Bruschetta making class & Closing Dinner at Borgo

Day 7 

Morning:
8:00am Closing Yoga Practice
10:00am Brunch
12:00am Departures – Ciao for now!
1:00pm Arrive Florence

Falling in Love with a Place

They say you can fall in love with a place as much as a person. I know this to be true for my happy places. #Florence Italy is a beloved for me. I can walk I. The sunshine along the #Arno river everyday and feel inspired. I know you will too, especially if you’re looking for a creative boost. A soul vitamin to again wake up each day passionate about your life.
May we go together June 25-July 1?

I’ll be in town to meet up from June 20th if you come early to my #Tuscany#yogaretreat ❤️ I’ll show you my favorite everything! Last 3 spots in our tribe of 15 dear hearts. Sign up www.alchemytours.com 

Tuscany Favorite Moments

Ah Tuscany so looking forward to returning to your magic this June! Here are some of my favorite moments from last year 

I have 2 spots remaining on my epic Tuscany Yoga Retreat June 25 – July 1, 2017!

Imagine this View at you Wake up

Imagine this is the view you look out upon everyday for a week in Tuscany June 25-July 1?
Inhale peace. Exhale worry.
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Let’s unbusy ourselves.
Enjoy a cappuccino having time to slow down and breathe. When you want to pick wild lavender on your way to the pool to lie down.
You’ve done enough.
You are enough.
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Just relax 💚
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www.italyyogaretreats.com
www.alchemytours.com
Alchemy Tours #tuscany #yogaretreat
Borgo Tignano
 

Do you Crave being Unbusy?

Where you are is who you are. The further inside you the place moves, the more your identity is intertwined with it. Never casual, the choice of place is the choice of something you crave.
-Frances Mayes, #UndertheTuscanSun
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Do you crave being unbusy?
Do you want to be someone who is peaceful, content and relaxed?
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Where you are is who you are. Choose #Tuscany June 25-July 1, 2017!
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https://alchemytours.com/tuscany-vino-and-vinyasa-yoga-ret…/
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Vino and Vinyasa #yogaretreat
Save $300 early birds with deposit by April 15

It’s Summertime Somewhere

It’s Summertime somewhere… you only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. (Mae West)

Love this mantra: I make my life and no one else makes it for me.
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Imagine living amongst people that look so relaxed and engaged in the present moment.
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“Each morning the light came through the slats of the shutters in ripples, and as it washed towards the inhabitants of the Casa Luna it smoothed away memories of the past, It was for this that they had endured long hours in the grey English winter or freezing American climes, for this that they had worked and planned and worked extra hours/ The horrible feelings of stress, tension, anger and frustration that coursed through their veins every day almost unnoticed began to fade.”
Amanda Craig


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🌻#Tuscany #yogaretreat #travel #Italy #vacation
🌻Vino & Vinyasa June 25-July 1, 2017
🌻www.alchemytours.com

View of Volterra Tuscany Yoga Retreat

Join me June 25 – July 1, 2017 Tuscany Yoga Retreat!
Vino & Vinyasa
Details click here: $300 OFF Early birds

ABOUT VOLTERRA
Volterra is one of the most important towns in Tuscany: its unique position and its ancient history leaves everyone enchanted.

It is located in the east side of the province of Pisa on the borderline of the province of Siena, and located on a hill 550 m above the sea level. And dominates the whole valley of the river Cecina

Spiritual Meaning of Sunflowers

It is no secret my favorite flower medicine is from Sunflowers. I always felt this connection even when I was a little girl. I can’t wait to share them with you on my Tuscany Yoga Retreat!

SPIRITUAL MEANING OF THE SUNFLOWER

Sunflower has been adopted as a symbol of happiness, strength, a love of the sun & sunlight and because it is said to always turn its face to the sun it is considered by some to be a symbol of faith. Some DSCF7996

believe that the sunflower represents a constant search for light, or enlightenment.
There are lots of variations on the Greek Myth Origin Story about the Sunflower. This is the Greek Myth of Clytie (also Clytia) which supposedly tells how the sunflower came into existence.

Clytie, the water nymph, was in love with Apollo, the Sun God. She would stare up at Apollo, hoping he would glance her way. But Apollo was in love with someone else and never did favor Clytie with his gaze. When Clytie realised that Apollo was never going to return her love, she sank into a depression and would not eat or drink for nine days but just stare with sorrow at her unrequited love. The other Gods felt sorry for Clytie and they transformed her into a beautiful sunflower which always followed the path of the sun. Note: In the 3rd century BC, Apollo became known as and referred to as ‘Apollo Helios.’

PRIMARY SIGNIFICANCE
Gifts of radiant warmth, sunflowers are the happiest of flowers, and their meanings include loyalty and longevity. They are unique in their ability to provide energy in the form of nourishment and vibrance, an attribute which mirrors the sun and the energy provided by its heat and light.

No flower can lift spirits quite like sunflowers can. Bright and cheery, bold yet comfortable, the sunflower is a warm and caring gift. With brilliant yellow petals that surround the flower’s center, sunflowers have an unmistakable sun-like appearance that has made them a passionate flower choice for many. Sunflowers come in a number of varieties, ranging from small to large and from daylight yellows to sunset reds.

Sunflowers originated in the Americas in 1000B.C., where for centuries they were cultivated as a valuable food source. The use of sunflower images as religious symbols has also been documented in some native societies. With the European exploration of the New World, the sunflower was brought to new areas, and the flower’s popularity eventually spread as the rest of the world began to appreciate its beauty and sustenance. Artists throughout history have appreciated the sunflower’s unique splendor, and those of the Impressionist era were especially fixated on the flower . Today, sunflowers continue to provide a resource for commonly used seeds and oil, but they have also become recognized as a floral symbol of great significance.

sunflowers-tuscany-2017
Much of the meaning of sunflowers stems from its namesake, the sun itself. Wild sunflowers are often photographed with their tall stalks and bright petals stretched towards the sun. This unique behavior, known as phototropism, is a motif that has appeared in many ancient myths and is viewed as a symbol of loyalty and constancy. Their physical resemblance to the sun has also influenced their meanings. The sunflower’s petals have been likened to bright yellow rays of sunshine, which evoke feelings of warmth and happiness. In addition, the sunflower is often associated with adoration and longevity.

For a flower which reflects so many of the sun’s positive characteristics, it is little surprise that people enjoy basking in the sunflower’s warming glow. With the sense of brightness and warmth that sunflowers naturally impart, they have become an ideal choice for sending sentiments of cheerfulness and sunny get well thoughts.

Come with me to feel the ‪#‎medicine‬ ‪#‎plantmedicine‬ of ‪#‎sunflowers‬ for yourself June 25-July 1, 2017 Tuscany Vino & Vinyasa Retreat
http://www.alchemytours.com
silvia@alchemytours.com

Curated from various sources over the years.

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360 Degree Views of Tuscany

My ‪Yoga Retreat‬ June 19-25 will be held at Antico Borgo di Tignano, Tuscany, Italy. It is a 16th century restored charming agriturismo and UNESCO world heritage site with a 360-degree view over the iconic Tuscan hills.

You will fall in love with the epic views of Casole d’Elsa and Volterra in the distance!

The actual Borgo was a 16th century rural residence. Its original name, Borgo di Tignano, has Roman origins. It is the probable birth-place, in the 4th century, of Saint Attinia, a venerated saint from the Volterra area. Amongst its illustrious guests in the 1800’s, during the time the Borgo was a summer retreat from the ‘Scolopi‘ fathers, was Pope Pius the ninth. This Borgo is overall a place to enjoy with all your heart.

$799 per person Double (4 Days)
$899 per person Single (4 Days)
$1999 per person Triple Room (7 Days)
$2108 per person Double Room (7 Days)
$2699 Single Room (7 Days)