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The Scoop from Brad & Lissa
It’s hard to imagine a better setting for a vacation than the Tuscan region of Italy. Tuscany’s hill towns are filled with charm and history. Views of fields, forests, and pastures offer incomparable scenery. The local olives, wines, fruits and fare make the region a global gastronomic landmark. Even Dante, according to myth, drew on local Tuscan lore in writing the Divine Comedy. And over the centuries, Tuscany has remained a haven for gourmands, thinkers, artists, and writers, including the Florentine essayist, Delfino Cinelli, who in 1925 purchased a magnificent estate near Siena, Villa Spannocchia, and converted it into a writer’s retreat.
Now Politics & Prose customers have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Dante and immerse themselves in a Tuscan experience under the guidance of renowned author and teacher Phyllis Theroux. For the past decade, Phyllis has taken congenial bands of travelers to Villa Spannocchia for retreats that combine relaxation, contemplation, local sightseeing, culinary delights and, for those who wish, writing. We’re thrilled that she will lead a small P&P group on a special Tuscan retreat running from October 20 - 26.
Many of our customers know Phyllis through her books and her class at P&P on Journal Keeping, which is always a sell-out. Admired for her extensive knowledge of literature, she also has a wonderful ability to help writers of all levels unearth their own memories and experiences and put pen to paper. Guests on the Tuscany trip will have a few hours each day to write, or if they prefer, they may use that time to wander the gardens or enjoy the local surroundings.
We’re confident that travelers will find Villa Spannocchia an inspiration in itself – and well worth the trip for writers and non-writers alike. Set on 1,100 acres of gorgeous Tuscan landscape, the villa is filled with antiques, paintings and photographs. More like a home than a hotel, Spannocchia is the perfect spot for a week of respite, or for the creative juices to start flowing, whether one is a seasoned writer working on a professional manuscript or a novice simply wanting to jot down notes and doodles about the trip.
In addition to Phyllis, in-country guide Joanna Warren will be on hand for excursions to the hill towns of Siena and San Gimignano. Guests will also enjoy dinner one night at one of the most popular restaurants in nearby Orgia. The trip will conclude with a day in Florence and the chance to explore the central city and its many cultural attractions before meeting up for an arrivederci dinner at a wonderful Florentine restaurant.
- Brad and Lissa