Terry Ehret will lead a two-week literary travel and writing retreat in June, 2017.
We’ll explore the city of Florence, using the art, architecture, landscape, and literary history of the city as an inspiration for writing. We’ll enjoy day trips to Fiesole, Siena, San Gimignano, Assisi, as well as an overnight trip to Ravenna. Most days will begin with a writing exercise or will include plein-air writing out in the Tuscan landscape. Besides writing, travelers may choose from among a variety of activities: bike riding in Chianti, musical concerts, and a 3-day pass to the museums and galleries of Florence.
The current estimated cost of the trip (excluding airfare) is $2,500. The travel fee covers your accommodations for 13 nights, transportation and rental car, all museum and gallery entry fees, side trips, most meals (excluding alcohol), and eight writing workshops.
The trip can accommodate up to 7 travelers. We’ll stay at a small private villa in Tuscany where travelers will have the option of a single or double-occupancy bedroom.
2017 Tuscany Writing Retreat and Literary Tour
Our travel dates are June 1-15. We will have two rental cars and two drivers (myself and Kevin Pryne). The itinerary may include the activities listed here, four morning writing sessions, and several “plein air” writing sessions. If you have suggestions of places and sites you’d like to visit that aren’t currently on the itinerary, let me know. I will do my best to accommodate your preferences.
The weather in June in Italy (and Europe in general) is unpredictable. It’s likely to be warm, even hot midday. It’s also likely we’ll get rain, hail, and thunderstorms. Be prepared with a waterproof jacket and umbrella, and comfortable walking shoes.
Thursday, June 1: Overnight flight from SF to Florence, leaving 3:10 PM.
Friday, June 2: Arrival at Florence Airport at 2:20 PM. Pick up rental cars and drive to Villa Aldecimo. Settle in. Grocery shopping. Supper out in nearby village of Impruneta.
Saturday, June 3: Breakfast, morning writing session. Easy walk in Tuscan countryside around Sant’Andrea in Percussina. Visit the museum and winery at Villa Machiavelli. Leisurely lunch at Ristorante Albergaccio. Drive to Florence for view from San Miniato. Evening Vespers at San Miniato at 5:30 PM. Supper back at the Villa.
Sunday, June 4: Breakfast, morning writing session. Greve in Chianti. Driving tour of various castle-hill towns in Chianti region (with Amos Martelli as guide). Lunch along the way. Supper at the villa.
Monday, June 5: Early departure after breakfast. Outing to Siena (with tour guide Costanza Riccardi). Plein-air writing and mid-afternoon lunch in Sienna. Visit San Gimignano. Supper en-route or back at the villa.
Tuesday, June 6: Florence Itinerary One, early departure after breakfast.
9:00-1:00:Academia, Convento San Marco, stroll through San Lorenzo Market
1:00-2:00Lunch at the Mercato Centrale
3:00-7:00: San Lorenzo (Capelle Medici, Laurentian Library), Palazzo Medici-Ricardi, Baptistry, Duomo, Giotto’s Tower or Brunelleshi’s Dome, Museo del Opera del Duomo
Supper back at the villa
Wednesday, June 7: Florence Itinerary Two, early departure after breakfast
9:00-1:00: Bargello, Casa di Dante, San Martino del Vescova
Lunch, plein-air writing midday break
3:00-7:00:Uffizi, Palazzo Vecchio, Loggia d’Orcagna, Piazza della Signoria
8:30: Concert at Santo Stefano al Ponte Vecchio (Vivildi’s Four Seasons)
Thursday, June 8: Florence Itinerary Three ( L’oltrarno), early departure after breakfast
9:00-1:00: Pitti Palace, Boboli Gardens, plein-air writing
1:00-2:00 Picnic lunch at Forte Belvedere
3:00-6:00: Santo Spirito, Santa Maria del Carmine (Brancacci Chapel), Santa Maria Novella, Farmacia/Perfumerie at Santa Maria Novella
Supper out or back at the villa
Friday, June 9: Travel day from Villa Aldecimo to Ravenna, early departure after breakfast
10-1: Visit Monterchi and San Sepolcro to view paintings by Piero de la Francesca
Lunch in Urbino
3:00-5:00: Palazzo Ducale, Urbino
7:00:Arrive in Ravenna and settle into accommodations at Casa di Paola Suite, Via Paolo Costa 31, Ravenna, 48121, Italy Phone 393473906245
Supper in Ravenna Ristorante Ca deVen (8 min. walk from B &B).
Saturday, June 10: Breakfast at our B & B, then tour Ravenna
9:00-12:00 “Between Hell and Paradise…Dante Alighieri’s Ravenna” with tour guide Silvia Fornacini (+393357774153)
1:00-2:00 Lunch out
2:00-6:00 Plein-air writing. Rest at B&B or visit other Ravenna sites
6:00-9:00: Supper out. Choice of Inferno at Rasi Theater 8 PM or Vespers at San Vitale at 7 PM
Sunday, June 11: Breakfast at our B&B. Leave Ravenna 9:00 AM.
9:00-10:00 San Appolinare in Classe
10:00-12:00 Drive from Ravenna to Chiusi della Verna
12:00-1:30 Lunch at Albergo Ristorante La Verna in Chiusi della Verna, La Beccia Chiusi della Verna, or Hotel Buca di Michelangelo in Caprese
1:30-4:30 Visit Sanctuario de la Verna. Plein-air writing. Guided tour at 3:45 P M.
5:00-7:00 Drive from La Verna to Villa Aldecimo
Supper back at the villa or en-route
Monday, June 12: Breakfast at villa
9:00-11:00: morning writing session.
11:00-12:30: Grocery Shopping. Pack a picnic lunch.
12:30-1:00: Drive to Fiesole
1:00-4:00:Walk through woods to Monte Ceceri and environs. Plein-Air Writing at Luogo di Leonardo
4:00-4:30: Cool drink/gelato break
4:30-6:30 P M: Tour historical sites, Roman amphitheater and Etruscan wall and tombs
6:30-7:30: Leisurely walk from Fiesole to Maiano
7:30 Supper at Trattoria Cave de Maiano.
Tuesday, June 13: Early departure after breakfast for day trip to Asissi
8:30-10:30 Drive from Villa Aldecimo to Assisi
11:00-1:30: Basilica di San Francesco (Giotto’s Life of St. Francis),Tomb of St. Francis, Museo (open 9:30-12 and 2-6)
1:30-3:00: Lunch at one of these restaurants in Assissi:
Umbra via degli Archi 6 near Piaza Communale
Buca di San Francisco on via Brizi
La Fortezza via lella Fortezza near Piaza Comunale
La Stalla (on way to Eremo delle Carceri)
3:00-7:00: Church of Santa Chiara, walk to church of San Damiano, Walk or drive to Hermitage of St. Francis. Plein-air writing
7:00-9:00 Drive from Assissi to Villa Aldecimo
Supper at villa or en-route
Wednesday, June 14: Helen to airport for noon flight home. For the others, a “down day” for packing, writing, and resting. Lunch at the Villa Aldecimo. Closing writing session in afternoon. Dinner out (someplace special in hills overlooking Florence).
Thursday, June 15: Morning departure for Florence Airport for travelers returning home, and to the Santa Maria Novella Train Station for travelers heading to Venice.