Gentle Yoga and Touring in Tuscany
September 13-20, 2014
Based at Ebbio, an organic farm and yoga retreat.
The vacation of a lifetime awaits you. Gentle Yoga and Touring in Tuscany, exploring the Tuscan world, a complete feast for the senses, constitutes a recipe to fulfill body, mind and soul. This is a magical week of artful living with daily yoga, sumptuous scenery, fun, hospitality, laughter, great food, and safe, well-planned experiences.
Home base during our week in Tuscany is the amazing 800-year-old farmhouse at Ebbio, a working organic farm that oozes character from past centuries and life in simpler times. We will greet each day with compassionate revitalization through Gentle Yoga with Rudy. After a healthy delicious breakfast we will embark on a special exploration of the unique treasures and spectacular scenery of this fabled region.
We will venture through the rolling hills, farmland, lush groves of olive trees, vineyards, and ancient villages. Visions of centuries past will emerge in scenes of hilltop castles, tile-roofed farmhouses and the farm life passed down for generations. We will imbibe the fragrant air of the harvest season and, take pause for a local treat of gelato or cappuccino.
Returning to our villa, we will integrate our adventures with stretching, deep relaxation, meditation, enjoying good company and dining on the evening’s repast including victuals from the earth at Ebbio. (Visit their website ebbio.com).
Possible inspirational reading includes: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, Four Seasons in Rome by Anthony Doerr, Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy or In Tuscany, both by Frances Mayes.
Books that are helpful for orientating to Italian culture: Italians Dance and I am a Wallflower: Adventures in Italian Expression by Linda Falcone or The New Italians by Charles Richards, an in depth look into current Italian life.
Please read the following information carefully and feel free to contact us with your questions.
Rudy & Joyce Peirceto the top
$800 deposit per person will secure your space on a first come basis. Balance due on or before August 1, 2014.
Total cost for “Gentle Yoga in Tuscany” (the “Trip”) is:
$1,889 per person for a shared room for two. ($800 deposit with balance due of $1089)
$1689 per person for a group of four in the nicest room in the house with a fabulous vineyard view. ($800 deposit with balance due of $889)
$1789 per person for a group of three in a spacious corner room. ($800 deposit with balance due of $989)
Late registration: Trip participants may register after August 1, 2014, space permitting, however, payment in full is then required at the time of registration.
Trip Price Includes:
Yoga: Morning and afternoon gentle yoga, (everyday except the all-day beach/hot springs outing and departure morning).
Accommodations: Dormitory style rooms (2-4 persons) plus a few double rooms for couples, all with shared baths. All accommodations are at Podere Ebbio, Tuscany, Italy.
Meals: Breakfast, most lunches, and dinner are at Ebbio or prepared picnic-style by Ebbio. All meals are vegetarian. A house wine is served at meals. There is no cash bar. Espresso is available. Lunches in Sienna, Castellina in Chianti and Volterra are your choice to enhance your exploration of Tuscan cuisine.
Excursions: Excursions (depending upon weather) are planned to Siena, the Natural Park of Maremma (Beach) on the Mediterranean, Monteriggioni, San Gimignano, Castellina-in-Chianti and Volterra. Ground transportation, by van or car, is provided.
Florence Airport pick-up/drop-off:
Pick-up: Saturday, September 13 at 11:30 a.m.
Drop-off: Saturday, September 20 at 9:00 a.m.
Trip Price Does Not Include:
Pick-up/drop-off to Florence rail station (special permits are necessary to drive vans in the city of Florence. We’ll get you to the airport and then if you need to get to the train station you can get an easy shuttle from the airport right next door to the rail station).
Also not included: round-trip airfare, bus and/or rail transportation to Florence, passports, meals in transit or outside of Ebbio, lunch on three of our excursion days, massages, gratuities, or any items of a personal nature.
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Critical Travel Information
Important travel information and suggestions:
The airport in Florence is international, but does not handle the large overseas jets. Therefore, you will need to fly in and out of Florence through another European city.
You may choose to fly into Florence, Pisa, or Rome. However, pick-up/drop-off is ONLY at the Florence airport (or train station near Ebbio – see info below)
It can be challenging to get a flight schedule that gets you into the Florence airport at an ideal time Saturday morning, Sept. 20. Therefore, many people arrive a day or more earlier, tour Florence, Pisa or Rome and then get to the airport Sunday morning or take a train to Castellina-in-Chianti (see below).
If you are comfortable researching travel on the internet, we recommend booking your flight online where you will likely find the best options on flight schedules and prices.
For online flight shopping you may want to start at www.kayak.com, known as the search engine of search engines for travel deals (it checks and compares expedia, orbitz, cheaptickets, priceline, hotwire, bookingbuddy, etc. so you don’t have to). Apparently, if you go directly to some of the other search engines they may have additional flights listed as well. Therefore, after checking pertinent options on kayak.com, we recommend doing a few comparisons by checking www.bookingbuddy.com, then www.hotwire.com and maybe a couple others.to the top
Transportation to and from Ebbio:
Pick-up at the Florence airport (Amerigo Vespucci, airport code FLR) on arrival day (September 13) and drop-off at the Florence airport on departure day (September 20).
PICK-UP is at Florence airport on Saturday, Sept. 13 at 11:30 AM
Choose a flight schedule so that your arrival at the Florence airport will be at least one hour prior to 11:30 AM to allow sufficient time to clear customs/immigration and to collect your luggage so that the group can leave for Ebbio on time.
Alternative pick-up at Castellina in Chianti-Montereggioni (train station). This option needs to be arranged with us in advance.
DROP-OFF is at Florence airport: Saturday, Sept. 20 at 9:00 AM
Choose a flight schedule with a departure time AFTER 11 a.m. so that you will have at least two hours (9:00 to 11:00 a.m.) at the Florence airport prior to your plane’s departure. Even if you are not catching a flight on Sept 20, you will need to arrange your travel plans based on the 9:00 a.m. drop-off at the airport as we are not equipped to accommodate individual variations in plans.
Traveling via Pisa: Train service is available directly from the Pisa Airport (Galileo Galilei) to Florence (1 – 1 ½ hours). From the Florence train station, take a bus or taxi to the Florence airport for pick-up. You would reverse this plan to go from the Florence airport at the end of the week to the Pisa Airport.
Traveling via Rome: If you fly into Rome, you can either fly or take the train to Florence. You may also choose to take a train/bus to the Castellina in Chianti-Montereggioni station, which is near Ebbio Villa. You will need to arrange with us in advance for pick-up at this train station. If you choose to arrive by train you will need to be prepared to depart the same way due to probable space limitations in the vans.
By train: The Italian train system (Trenitalia) website, which lists fares and schedules, is: trenitalia.com Some tickets may be purchased on-line.
By car: Take the Superstrada Florence-Siena and then exit at Monteriggioni.
Ebbio Villa’s address is 53035 Monteriggioni.to the top
Lodging in Florence or any other city you plan to visit before or after our program:
My favorite place to start to shop around for lodging is www.WorldBy.com. They have sites for all cities. You can explore by location, quality and price. I have found that with some patience I was able to sort through and find satisfying options. More info will accompany the confirmation of your deposit.
Making and receiving phone calls in Italy:
You may want to consider having a mobile phone available during the trip since the group tends to disperse at outing destinations and if you need to reach us this simplifies it for you. In addition, if you are without a mobile phone then we have no way to reach you. Many of our guests, however, have gotten by just fine without.
If you want to learn about mobile phone use in Italy, this website does a great job explaining it all: www.slowtrav.com/europe/cell_phones.htm Below are the basic scenarios for mobile/cell phone use in Italy and websites for pursuing some of the options:
A. If you already have a mobile phone and want to be able to make calls in Italy, but plan to do so only in case of emergency or very rarely:
- Call your cell service provider or go to their website and find out if your phone can work in Italy and then explore what add-on plans are available. It is usually a monthly fee for international roaming plus a per call fee that applies to incoming and outgoing calls.
- Double check that the specific phone make AND model that you have will work in Italy without requiring YOU to make any changes before you go or after you arrive.
- Get a phone number for your service provider that you will be able to call from a pay phone for help after you get there, just in case you have difficulties or questions.
B. If you determine that your phone can work on Italy’s networks and you want more freedom to make calls without high per call and per minute costs, then another option you may want to explore is how to “unlock” your phone so you can install an Italian SIM card when you arrive in Italy. This option is cheaper than most international plans through the major U.S. cell phone carriers.
C. If you don’t have a cell phone or the one you have doesn’t work internationally (or is expensive to set up for international use) BUT you DO want a mobile phone for your trip, consider renting a phone before you leave the U.S. that is already set up for you to use and all you have to do is turn it on when you get there.
The least expensive and simplest option for international mobile phone rental service that we could find is www.acetelecom.com/
If you will be traveling to other countries as well, the following service is highly recommended and more expensive but offers an option for a multi-country plan without having to switch SIM cards in each country you visit: www.cellularabroad.com/gsmrental.phptext for link
Shipping personal items to Ebbio: If for any reason you need to ship any of your personal items to Ebbio or anywhere in Europe, please note these precautions:
- It should be rare that you would actually need to do this. Generally, everything you really need can be packed into your checked and carry-on baggage.
- Despite what you may be told at your US Post Office, you will be charged a customs fee in Italy. The amount of insurance you purchase for your package in the sending country determines the customs fee in the receiving country. If you are advised to insure your package for the maximum value, keep in mind that this will cause an unnecessarily high customs fee that you will have to pay. The suggestion is to insure for a very small amount (under $50) if at all.
- Delivery of shipped packages to Ebbio has proven to be problematic. Especially when a fee is required, they will decline to deliver, or claim to have attempted delivery. If Ebbio has to pick up a shipped item, there will be a 30 Euro charge in addition to the fees you will pay to secure your package.
Trip Participant Agreement Terms and Conditions
Changes: The Trip price is based on current rates of exchange and is subject to adjustment prior to departure. Once a participant’s deposit has been received the Trip rate is secure for that participant except in the event of a change of more than $0.20 in the euro-dollar exchange rate. Currently the Trip pricing is based on an exchange rate of US $1.30 = 1 Euro.
Changes to the itinerary are not anticipated; however, Rudy Peirce (the “Trip Organizer”) reserves the right to make any changes determined necessary, with or without advance notice. Changes in itinerary will not result in a refund of any portion of the Trip price nor incur extra charges for participants.
Cancellations/Refunds: All requests for cancellation must be submitted in writing to the Trip Organizer and are subject to processing according to the dates listed below. Regardless of the reason, cancellations result in additional costs and processing time for the Trip Organizer. As such, all cancellations will be subject to a $100 cancellation fee.
The following charges will be assessed for cancellations:
After August 1, 2014, 50% of registration fee plus $100 cancellation fee.
If the participant leaves the Trip prior to its conclusion, refunds will not be made for the unused portion of the Trip. No refunds will be made for any excursion, meal, yoga class, workshop or other activity that the participant misses or decides not to participate in for any reason.
The Trip Organizer reserves the right to cancel the Trip prior to departure. If such cancellation is NOT due to circumstances beyond the Trip Organizer’s control, as set forth below, the Trip Organizer will refund all payments, constituting full settlement with the participant. No compensation or refund will be made when cancellation arises before or during the trip due to circumstances beyond our and/or our suppliers’ control such as war, strife, civil disobedience, strikes, terrorist activity, adverse weather conditions, fire, natural disasters, etc., unless or until the Trip Organizer is able to recover any Trip-related sums. In the event of cancellation arising from circumstances beyond our control, as set forth above, Trip-related sums recovered by the Trip Organizer will be distributed equitably to the participants after the Trip Organizer deducts all out-of-pocket costs and related expenses.
It is recommended that participants purchase their own trip cancellation insurance. The Trip Organizer is not responsible for expenses, including but not limited to lodging, meals, and transportation, incurred for delays and/or detainments beyond the trip itinerary as a result of circumstances beyond our and/or our suppliers’ control such as war, etc. as set forth above.
Nature of Trip: This Trip is yoga-based. Accordingly, participants are strongly encouraged to fully attend the yoga offerings provided. All participants are encouraged to approach the Trip with a spirit of openness and adventure.
Smoking is not permitted in vans or cars, at meals, or inside the buildings and yoga space.
The nature of the Trip is not suitable for children.
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Trip Participant Agreement Terms and Conditions (cont.)
Passport: A passport must be obtained in advance. Each participant is responsible for determining their specific passport requirements and for obtaining the necessary documents prior to departure. Non-U.S. citizens must consult with appropriate consulates to determine if any visas are needed.
Medical Insurance: Each participant is responsible for checking with their current health insurance provider and to ensure that they have adequate medical coverage. Participants must carry insurance documentation while on the Trip.
Photographs/Videotapes: The Trip Organizer reserves the right to use any photographs, recordings, or videos taken during the Trip in advertising, displays, publicity materials, and publications without obtaining further consent from any participant. Each participant releases the Trip Organizer and its representatives from any liability in connection with any such use of such photographs and videotapes.
Release/Responsibility: The participant, by signing this Trip Participant Agreement, agrees that the Trip Organizer and its representatives, except for their gross negligence or willful misconduct, shall not be held liable for any injury, damage, loss, delay or irregularity that may be occasioned for any reason, including, but not limited to any defect in a vehicle, the acts or default of any company or person engaged in conveying a participant, acts of God, terrorism, acts of war, or detention; delays or expenses arising from quarantine, strikes, thefts, pilferage, force majeure, civil disturbances, government restrictions or regulations, accidents by aircraft, boat, bicycle or motor vehicle, or in any restaurant or accommodation; failure of any means of transportation to arrive or depart as scheduled or changes in transit, or villa services; missed airline or other transportation connections; or for additional expenses resulting from changes in exchange rates, tariffs, or itinerary.
The participant agrees to assume all risks associated with the Trip and agrees that no liability will attach to the Trip Organizer, its employees or agents, or to any member of the trip in respect of death, personal injury, illness or delay of the passenger, or for any loss of or damage to the property (including luggage) of the participant during the course of the Trip, howsoever caused.
By signing this Trip Participant Agreement, the participant releases the Trip Organizer and its representatives from any such responsibility or liability, except as hereinabove set forth.
The liability of common carriers is generally limited and, therefore, it is suggested that participants purchase their own cancellation, property damage (including luggage), and accident insurance. Check your credit card to see what they cover on flights purchased with that card.
I strongly recommend that you google travel insurance international and take time to research what you need. In the past, we have used travelguard.com and most recently squaremouth.com, buying CSA Travel Protection. It is helpful to do your own research so you know what your coverage is.
For the benefit of everyone on your trip, the Trip Organizer reserves the right to accept or reject any Trip participant at any time without liability, and in the event it determines, in its sole and exclusive discretion, that a participant is disruptive to the harmony of the Trip, it may, without any obligation to pay a refund or any other amount whatsoever, expel such participant from the Trip. The Trip Organizer will have no responsibility or liability for any participant who leaves the Trip prior to its conclusion or for any activity undertaken by any participant that is not included on the Trip itinerary.
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Trip Participant Agreement Terms and Conditions (cont.)
I/we have read and understand the foregoing Trip Participant Agreement for: “Gentle Yoga in Tuscany, September 13 – 20, 2014” and, by making my payment as set forth below, agree to the terms thereof.
Please reserve space for (Print Legibly):
Name exactly as it appears on passport:
Name you prefer to be called:
City State (Province)
Country Zip or Country Code
Phone: Days Evenings
Name of First Emergency Contact
Phone: Days Evenings Mobile
Name of Second Emergency Contact
Phone: Days Evenings Mobile
If registering before August 1st, send check or money order for $800.00 per person as a deposit to reserve your space in the program. Payment in full is due on August 1st to complete your registration.
Please initial each page of the Trip Participant Agreement (pgs. 7, 8 & 9 of this document).
Return the entire Trip Participant Agreement by U.S. mail to:
PO Box 467
Housatonic, MA 01236
Please retain a copy of Trip Participant Agreement (pgs.7, 8 & 9) for your own records.
Initials _______to the top