This retreat is for you to fall back and rediscover the creative you...the wordsmith you...the wise you...and the happy you--all in a sacred envelope of time that combines the ancient past with the present moment.
Best of all, you'll be surrounded by like-minded writing sisters on the same Hero's Journey.
As you can see, the two-and-a-half story home is attached to the Chiesa San Andrea, an ancient Knights Templar Chapel (far left).
You're invited to enter this ancient sanctuary to write, reflect and even pray. The campanella (bell) of the church still perches upon the roof of the home--a now-silent witness to hundreds of years of life and love in Arcidosso.
A mere one-minute walk from Michele's home is her cousins' Bed & Breakfast (Thalassa Locanda) where rooms are available. You'll be warmly greeted by Valeria and Mario who are thrilled that our group is coming.
You'll feast over two gourmet dinners at the Welcome "Benvenuti" and Farewell "Arrivederci " celebrations--both at the Osteria, La Bastarda Rossa, the B & B's acclaimed restaurant. The physical address is Via Talassese 94, Arcidosso
At seventeen, my nonna took me on a pilgrimage to her childhood home in the country she'd left behind to marry my grandfather--a soldier in WWII stationed in the nearby city of Grosseto (Tuscany). It's where they met and fell in love. It's also where Nonna and her family took refuge after Arcidosso was bombed.
New to traveling abroad, I recall the exact moment seeing the "citta" that would become my home, closing the circle of emigration after nearly seventy years.
A brilliant burst of greens layered upon each other in lush seductiveness became a vignette as my grandmother's cousin, Franco, maneuvered a hairpin turn. There, in golden layers frosted adobe were ancient buildings stacked upon each other as they clambered to reach a medieval castello. My vision swelled, blurring the fairytale before me that had been home to countless generations before me, abode of my ancestors, home to my heart. Arcidosso.
Michele and husband, Herb, recently purchased their second home complete with coveted garden space on Via degli Olmi (Elm Street) from her cousins and dear friends Mario and Valeria. The couple remodeled the entire two-and-a-half floors of the 15th century structure.
With their love and inspiration, the Tuscan home is now an open, inviting space trimmed with polished chestnut wood and boasting every modern convenience just awaiting your arrival.
We can gather inside or in the walled garden for morning coffee and an Italian breakfast buffet before the writing workshops.
It's where you'll unplug from the world
and plug into your creative goddess, Choose to sit around the chestnut table that seats 23, in the beautiful walled garden, or in silent contemplation in the Knights Templar Chapel of San Andrea.
Explore a treasure trove of history from
the Aldobrandeschi Castle that holds court over the city and surrounding valleys, to strolling along Via Talassese into the village while shopping for hand-painted ceramics and artisan olive oil.
Then stop into the Bar Centrale for delicious gelato that you won't find anywhere outside this region of Tuscany.
Flavors such as castagna (prounounced kuh-stah-nya) which is chestnut, or pignoli (pronounced pee-nyoh-lee) which is pine nut are common here because these gifts of nature are part of the common diet.
Just be glad there's no porcini mushroom gelato!
Or, if you prefer, Arcidosso is an enchanting village to find the perfect,
quiet bench to journal while watching the comings and goings in a real Tuscan village.
This exceptional excursion in an air-conditioned mini-van includes Monte Labro, a stunning site with a fascinating story of Davide Lazzaretti.
Breathe in a 365-degree vista that stretches from the Apennine Mountains to the island of Corsica.
Enjoy a picnic lunch...and of course writing, taking pictures, or perhaps climbing to the top...or just a gentle walking meditation.