A Couples’ Retreat in TUSCANY
with Stan Tatkin and Tracey Boldemann-Tatkin
October 7th – 14th, 2017
Benvenuti a Toscana
We are delighted that Stan and Tracey will be with us for this amazing journey! Their offerings are focused on couples’ healthy relationships and are presented with love and caring from the heart.
Each morning you will have an opportunity to immerse yourself into a traditional yoga and meditation session. Following each session will be an Italian breakfast.
The schedule shown below is a general overview of what you will be doing on various days. Some of the planned activities may shift slightly. We will create the flow of the days to support the best experience possible for all participants.
Friday, October 6 –Travel Day – Fly out of your home airport to arrive in Florence in late afternoon on October 7th.
After we pick you up at the airport, we’ll take you to the villa so you may get settled into your home for the week. We will have dinner at 7:30 pm along with and introduction.
7:30 pm– 9:30 pm – Welcome & Introduction
- Principle 1: Couple bubble? Why be a couple?
- Secure functioning… Introduce and explain the concept of secure functioning
- Introduction of Participants
- Wrap Up/ Q&A/Set up bedtime exercise
Sunday, October 8 – A day at the Villa and Sessions with Stan and Tracey
- Optional Yoga/Meditation session followed by breakfast
9 am- 12:30 pm – Session with Stan and Tracey
Lunch will be provided and then…Personal Time
3 pm – 6:30 pm – Session with Stan and Tracey
- Principle #4 – How to Please and Soothe Your Partner
- Automated Brain
- Wrap Up/ Q&A
Dinner will be provided at the Villa
Monday, October 9 – Session with Stan, then San Gimignano and Siena
8 am – 9 am Session with Stan
- PAPER: predict, anticipate, plan, enjoy, repair
- Q & A Demo
After breakfast we have a full day ahead of exploring the Tuscan Region. We’ll begin with going to San Gimignano, the city of towers, and then take you to Ulignano for a wine tasting experience and lunch at Tenuta Torciano. We will then head to Siena, a medieval wonder, where you can visit amazing sites and have dinner in the piazza. Scroll down to learn more about San Gimignano and Siena. (BL)
9 am – 10 am – A session with Stan will be offered after breakfast.
After breakfast we will take you to the Brunello Wine Region, you’ll have time to explore Montepulciano and have lunch in this charming town. In the afternoon, you will go on a cantina tour and wine tasting experience at Gattavecchi Vineyards which is included. Dinner this evening will be at a local restaurant near the Villa. Scroll down to learn more about Montepulciano. (B)
Wednesday, October 11 – A day at the Villa and Sessions with Stan and Tracey
- Optional YogaMeditation session followed by breakfast
9 am – 12:30 pm
- Check-in and introduction to Naikan
- Principle #5 – Landings and Launchings
- Principle #6 – Go to People
- Principle #7 – Thirds
- Principles #9 – Love Up Close
- Debrief and Social Contract
Lunch will be prepared for you
3 pm – 6 pm
- Principle #8: Fighting Well
- Principle #10: How Partners Can Heal You
- Allostatic Load
- Secure Functioning
- Reinforce Naikan and Social Contract
- Final Q & A
Dinner will be at a local Tuscan restaurant near the Villa
Thursday, October 12 – Session with Stan and Tracey & then Florence
After breakfast and our session with Stan we’ll take you to Florence where you can explore the wonders of this classic city, it’s ancient history, fascinating culture, world famous art and on your own you can experience their delicious cuisine. We’ll end the evening at a celebrated restaurant, Montebuoni, where you have dinner on your own before we take you back to the villa. (B)
Friday, October 13 – Assisi, Perugia and our closing session
After an early breakfast, we’ll go to Assisi. The town is dominated by two medieval castles. The larger, called Rocca Maggiore, is a massive reconstruction by Cardinal Albornoz (1366) and expanded by popes Pius II (polygonal tower, 1458) and Paul III (the cylindrical bastion near the entrance, 1535-1538). The smaller of the two was built in Roman era: it has been only partially reserved, a small portion and three towers being open to the public. Now the site of many a pilgrimage, Assisi is linked in legend with its native son, St. Francis. The gentle saint founded the Franciscan order and shares honors with St. Catherine of Siena as the patron saint of Italy. He is remembered by many, even non-Christians, as a lover of nature (his preaching to an audience of birds is one of the legends of his life).
We are now off to Perugia, a well-known cultural and artistic centre of Italy. Beginning on this day is the Eurochocolate International Chocolate Exhibition of Europe, dedicated to people’s passion for the sweet flavor of cocoa; entrance and most activities are free. Each year, the Eurochocolate Festival is held in the city of Perugia’s historic squares in central Italy. Since 1993, this event has been recognized the largest chocolate festival in all of Europe. The event will allow individuals to discover the different flavors of chocolate from cultures around the world.
When we return to the villa we’ll have a concluding session with Stan and Tracey which will include Futurizing Your Partnership and Reentry discussions and end the day with a scrumptious Tuscan meal.
Saturday, October 14 – L’ultimo giorno (Our final day together)
Our last day together- A simple breakfast will be offered this morning before you are driven to the airport for your flight back home. (B)
B = Breakfast
L = Lunch
D = Dinner
Pre-trip Excursion to VENICE
We are offering a pre-trip extension in Venice from October 4th thru October 7th and then a departure to Florence. The additional cost for this extension in Venice is $1200 per person, double occupancy. This includes:
- Accommodations for 3 nights in Venice
- All Breakfasts, 1 lunch and 1 dinner
- Tickets to a Vivaldi concert
- Many suggestions for tours and sites to visit
- Transportation from Venice to the Villa in Tuscany
Plan to arrive in Venice on the morning of October 4, 2017. If traveling internationally, this usually means departing your home city on October 3rd.
Please note: Your departure back to your home should be from Florence, Amerigo Vespucci Airport – FLR. Also, Stan and Tracey will be with us, yet they will not be delivering lectures in Venice.
As you arrive into the Tuscany region, you are greeted by the amazing landscapes of rolling hills covered by vineyards, olive groves and scattered villages throughout the region. After you settle in, you will have time to relax, explore the area, sip some mineral water or wine and breathe in the fragrance of the countryside. You will stay at the villa for the next seven nights, so get comfortable and enjoy the splendor. Most mornings we will offer a yoga and meditation session to start the day followed by breakfast. In addition to the powerful sessions offered by Stan and Tracey, you will be exploring some fascinating areas and sites in Tuscany. Here is a little information on these excursions:
FLORENCE…A CITY OF STONE
Florence is an amazing city situated in the Arno valley. It’s historic importance and artistic contributions make it a city that is a must to visit. At the heart of the city is the Fountain of Neptune, which is a masterpiece of marble sculpture at the terminus of a still functioning Roman aqueduct. The Arno river, which cuts through the old part of the city, is as much a character in Florentine history as many of the men who lived there. Historically, the locals have had a love-hate relationship with the Arno — which alternated from nourishing the city with commerce, and destroying it by flood. Many of the bridges across the Arno were built by the Romans.
One of the bridges in particular, however, stands out as being unique — The Ponte Vecchio, whose most striking feature is the multitude of shops built upon its edges, held up by stilts. First constructed by the Etruscans in ancient times, this bridge is the only one in the city to have survived World War II intact.The most famous palace in the city is San Lorenzo, which has become a monument to the Medici family who were one of the most powerful families in Florence during the 15th century. Nearby is the Uffizi Gallery, one of the finest art galleries in the world.
It is a vast geographic area from the hilly landscape placed at the center of the Tuscan region, between Siena and Florence, whose limits are distinguished at the North in the Ombrone river; at the East in the Monti of the Chianti, at the South in the Arno and at the West in the valley of Elsa.Its hills, crossed by a rich network of short rivers, those of the Pesa, the Elsa, the Greve, the Ombrone and the Arbia, are everywhere famous for the incomparable naturalistic beauty and as an example of harmonious union between environment and human activity, which is reftected by the orderly cultivation of vines and olive trees and by the golden expanse of grain.
The rural reality of the Chianti region is not however monotonous, it also presents, in fact, woodland areas composed essentially of oak and chestnut trees of coppices that cover the slopes of the surfaces. The fascination of this territory lies in the perfect equilibrium between the soft forms of slopes and the thousand nuances of color and crowded woods, populated by ancient castles, secular parishes, pleasant villas and large Jarms, in which the tradition well mixes with the most modern criteria of organization and production.A region, so to say, with a primarily agrarian vocation, whose roots go back to a very remote past, as it is shown by it’s name, “Chianti, ” that according to some scholars would derive from the Latin clangor which stands far “sound of the trumpet”: referring to the noise produced by the instrument anciently used during the hunting parties in this territory; according to others, from Clante, the name of etruscan families who lived here between the VII and the VIII centuries BC and to whom the introduction of the vine and it cultivation in Thscany is attributed.The term appears far the first time in 790 in a manuscript drafted by a monk in the Badia of San Bartolomeo a Ripoli, even though the description that he gave of the territory does not seem to correspond, since the monk describes it as a very humid zone as opposed to the mountainous and dry characteristics of the Chianti region. Later, in documents of the XIII century, the term comes to refer to the Monti of the Chianti (which in reality, in spire of their name, are little more than high hills).Already around the year 1000, these lands began to appear among the possessions of the marquis Ugo of Tuscany and of his successor Bonifacio, who donated ampie portions of them to the Fiorentine abbey. An approximate division of the territory between rural earldoms and the great abbeys of Passignano, Montemurlo and Coltibuono dates back to the same age: an equaI partition between civil and religious power.This is the period of maximum expansion of a demolished domain that covers the region with a great number of castles spread for the most part on little hills, in militarily strategic positions. Among them are those of Cintoia, Lamole, Montefili, Montefioralle, Panzano, Verrazzano, Uzzano, Vicchiomaggio, Cacchiano, Brolio, Meleto, Tornano, Vertine, and Aiola.In this time originates the long easting contrast between Guelph Florence and Ghibelline Siena for the supremacy on a such a vast and rich area. A curious legend narrates an episode which illuminates us on the grade of existing rivalry, at the beginning of the thirteenth century, between the two republics for the attribution of their boundaries. The argument was centered on a competition of speed between two horsemen, who were to depart, one from Florence and the other from Siena, and meet at a point which would then delineate the limits of their respective territories. The hour of departure was fixed at the first calI of the rooster: The Florentines, astutely would use as an alarm clock a young black rooster which, kept without food, launched his calI much earlier than dawn. It was in this way that the florentine horseman, departing earlier could cover a greater distance than his rival, conquering more land for his republic. The place in which the two horsemen met still carries the name of Croce Fiorentina.
SIENA… A MEDIEVAL WONDER
Surrounded by olive groves and the vineyards of Chianti, Siena is one of the most beautiful cities of Tuscany. Set on three hills, the city is drawn together by winding alleyways and steep steps, whilst the Piazza del Campo stands at its heart, and the Duomo and St Maria della Scala serve as additional cultural landmarks. Famed for the “Palio”, the annual historic horse-races that take place on 2 July and 16 August, it is also home to one of the oldest Universities in Europe, which ensures a vibrant Italian student atmosphere throughout the academic year.
There are so many great things you will see in Siena. It has uniquely preserved medieval architecture, and you can walk from tiny piazzas shared by you and a couple of pigeons to stately 14th and 15th century buildings. There is always something to notice and admire as you explore this unique city. Limited traffic within the city centre enhances your experience and adds to the feeling of stepping back in time into a medieval world.
Here’s a bit of history about Siena and links to find out more about this enchanting place. Siena is a city in Tuscany, Italy. It is the provincial capital of Siena province.The historic center of Siena has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site. Siena, like many other Tuscan hill towns, was first settled in the time of the Etruscans (c. 900 BC to 400 BC) when it was inhabited by a tribe called the Saina. The Etruscans were an
advanced people who changed the face of central Italy through their use of irrigation to reclaim previously un-farmable land, and their custom of building their settlements in heavily armored hill-forts. It has been argued that their Pagan society which practiced matrilineal inheritance, and was devoted to their goddesses was one of the reasons why Roman Goddesses such as Diana and, with the arrival of Christianity, the Virgin Mary came to be of such importance to the people of the Italian peninsula. If this is true, it suggests that the Cult of the Virgin which is omnipresent in the fabric of Siena’s ancient stones has an origin which is older still.What we can say for certain is that the Romans founded a town called Saenna Julia on the site of a pre-existing Etruscan settlement, and from this has grown modern Siena. Siena may then have been under the control of invading Gaulish forces – who are known to have sacked Rome in 390 BC. Some archaeologists assert it was controlled for a period by a Gaulish tribe called the Saenones.The Roman origin accounts for the town’s emblem – a she-wolf suckling the infants’ Romulus and Remus. According to legend, Siena was founded by Senius, son of Remus, who was in turn the brother of Romulus, after whom Rome was named. Statues and other artwork depicting a she-wolf suckling the young twins Romulus and Remus can be seen all over the city of Siena. Other etymologies derive the name from the Etruscan family name “Saina”, the Roman family name of the “Saenii”, or the Latin word “senex” (“old”) or the derived form “seneo”, “to be old”.
SAN GIMIGNANO…LA CITTA DELLE BELLE TORRI
Perched on a hill with its towers thrown into sharp relief by the deep green mountains behind it, San Gimignano looks like a town plucked from a fairy tale and set into the Tuscan countryside. Of course, it’s not. Nor has it always been the sleepy little town it is today: In the late middle ages it was one of Central Tuscany’s most important trading centers, strategically perched astride the intersection between the main highway from Rome to the Alpine passes, and the road connecting the Tuscan heartland to the maritime republic of Pisa and the coast.
We will spend a half day or so visiting this ancient village that affords wonderful opportunities for unique photography and marvel at the beauty and spirit of its structures. Here’s a little more information about this charming town. San Gimignano is a small walled medieval hill-top town in Tuscany, Italy, about a 35 minute drive north-west of Siena and about the same distance southwest of Florence. It is mainly famous for its medieval architecture, especially its towers. In Tuscan medieval walled towns, rich families competed in the erection of high towers, that served as lodgings, fortresses and prestige symbols. Because San Gimignano sits atop a hill the skyline can be seen for several miles outside the town. In medieval and Renaissance times it was a stopping point for pilgrims on their way to Rome and the Vatican. While in other cities like Bologna or Florence, most or all of the towers have been brought down due to wars, catastrophes or urban renewal, San Gimignano managed to conserve about 15 towers of varying height. The modern town has extended some kilometers out and is no longer affected by this race. San Gimignano is also famous for its Torture museum, with a display of instruments and devices for torture in various times and places, complete with multi-lingual descriptions of their use.There are many churches in the town: the two main ones are the Collegiata and Sant’Agostino.The town is also known for the white wine grown in the area, Vernaccia di San Gimignano. A fictionalized version of San Gimignano features in E.M. Forster’s 1905 novel Where Angels Fear to Tread as Monteriano.
PERUGIA…known for its famous chocolate
Perugia is the capital city of the region of Umbria in central Italy, crossed by the river Tiber. The city is also the capital of the province of Perugia. Perugia is located about 164 kilometres (102 miles) north of Rome, and 148 km (92 miles) south-east of Florence. It covers a high hilltop and part of the valleys around the area. The region of Umbria is bordered by Tuscany, Lazio and Marche.
The history of Perugia goes back to the Etruscan period. Perugia was one of the main Etruscan cities. The city is also known as the universities town, with the University of Perugia founded in 1308 (about 34,000 students), the University for Foreigners (5,000 students), and some smaller colleges such the Academy of Fine Arts “Pietro Vannucci” (Italian: Accademia di Belle Arti “Pietro Vannucci”) public athenaeum founded on 1573, the Perugia University Institute of Linguistic Mediation for translators and interpreters, the Music Conservatory of Perugia, founded on 1788, and others Institutes. There are annual festivals and events: the Eurochocolate Festival (October), the Umbria Jazz Festival (July), and the International Journalism Festival (in April).
Perugia is a well-known cultural and artistic centre of Italy. The famous painter Pietro Vannucci, nicknamed Perugino, was a native of Città della Pieve near Perugia. He decorated the local Sala del Cambio with a beautiful series of frescoes; eight of his pictures can also be admired in the National Gallery of Umbria. Perugino was the teacher of Raphael, the great Renaissance artist who produced five paintings in Perugia (today no longer in the city and one fresco. Another famous painter, Pinturicchio, lived in Perugia. Galeazzo Alessi is the most famous architect from Perugia. The city symbol is the griffin, which can be seen in the form of plaques and statues on buildings around the city.
Montepulciano…Montepulciano is a major producer of food and drink. Renowned for its pork, cheese, “pici” pasta, lentils, and honey, it is known worldwide for its wine. Connoisseurs consider its Vino Nobile, which should not be confused with varietal wine merely made from the Montepulciano grape, among Italy’s best.
- The Palazzo Comunale, designed by Michelozzo in the tradition of the Palazzo della Signoria (Palazzo Vecchio) of Florence.
- Palazzo Tarugi, attributed to Antonio da Sangallo the Elder or Jacopo Barozzi da Vignola. It is entirely in travertine, with a portico which was once open to the public.
- The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, or the Duomo of Montepulciano, constructed between 1594 and 1680, includes a masterpiece from the Sienese School, a massive Assumption of the Virgin triptych painted by Taddeo di Bartolo in 1401.
- The church of Santa Maria delle Grazie (late 16th century). It has a simple Mannerist façade with a three-arcade portico. The interior has a single nave, and houses a precious terracotta altar by Andrea della Robbia.
- The Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Biagio is on the road to Chianciano outside the city. It is a typical 16th century Tuscan edifice, designed by Antonio da Sangallo the Elder on a pre-existing Pieve, between 1518 and 1545. It has a circular (central) plan with a large dome over a terrace and a squared tambour. The exterior, with two bell towers, is built in white travertine.
- Baroque church of Santa Lucia has an altarpiece by Luca Signorelli.
The walls of the city date to around the 14th century.
Assisi… standing on the western slope of Mount Subasio, overlooks the valley enclosed by Chiascio and Topino rivers. Dante Alighieri mentioned Assisi in the Divine Comedy as the birthplace of the Sun: in fact, it is where both Saint Francis -who would become the Saint Patron of Italy- and Saint Clare lived and died. The area around Assisi was inhabited as far back as the Neolithic period. From the 9th century BC, it was the location of a tiny village founded by Umbrians who, according to archaeological findings, traded with neighboring Etruscans living along the west bank of the Tiber.
The Romans gave Assisi its urban form, creating a colony known as Asisium in the 4th century BC. The name has an uncertain origin; it could mean “City of the Hawk”, or simply derive from the Assino river. At that point, the city started enjoying a long period of peace and prosperity. During the Roman Empire it became an important trading and social centre. The city holiness began when the bishop Rufino -later martyred- arrived in town -starting preaching Christianity- in the 3rd century AD.
Life in Assisi was not always peaceful: in the 4th century AD it was sacked by King Totila’s Ostrogoths and later taken over by the Byzantines. When it came under Lombard rule, it was annexed to the Duchy of Spoleto. In the 12th century it was conquered by Frederick I, known as Barbarossa (Red Beard). In the Communes era people rebelled, starting battles with neighbouring Perugia. It was during that period that Francis was born; a man who was to leave an indelible mark on the history of Assisi and Christianity.
In 1200 emperor Frederick II as well laid claim to the city: he was successfully resisted thanks to the city army, but also to the charisma of a woman, Clare, friend of Francis.
During the following years, control of the city passed both to the Guelfs and the Ghibellines, but also the Catholic Church, Perugia, the Visconti family, the Montefeltros and the Sforzafamily fought to gain control of it. In 1142 Assisi was devastated by the troops of Niccolò Piccinino, a general from Perugia. Further devastation awaited the city when, centuries later, Napoleon Bonaparte sacked it, stealing many works of art.
In 1800 the bodies of Saint Francis and Saint Clare were found, making Assisi an even more important pilgrimage destination than it had been in the Middle Ages. During WWII, the city provided asylum for thousands of refugees, mainly jewish, becoming one of the main centres of the Italian Resistance movement. Persecuted Jews were hidden in convents, dressed as friars and sisters and provided with false documents; such generosity of Assisi population earned the city a gold medal for civilian honor.
In addition to archaeological findings, ancient Roman remains include an amphitheatre dating back to 1st Century BC. Its structure is not completely visible, but the original plan can be detected in the elliptical-shaped arrangement of medieval houses built on the ancient building ruins; where the arena was there is now a garden. A travertine arch belonging to the theatre survived too. Since nowadays the buildings preserving the amphitheatre perimeter are private homes, they are not open for visits, but it is worthwhile to take a walk around and admire its remains.
One more striking spot is the Rocca Maggiore, atop a hill overlooking the valley. It dates back to early middle ages and was destroyed in a revolt in 1200; Cardinal Albornoz rebuilt it in 1356, keeping the original shape unchanged.
Anyway, the most visited places in Assisi, by nonreligious people, believers, and people of all religions, are with no doubt those connected to the story of Francis, the humble saint who tried to reform the Church and founded the mendicant order of the Franciscans. But not everyone knows that Francis is also connected to literature; his “Canticle of the Sun” is considered among the first examples of the Italian literary tradition.
An exploration of his life helps explain how every corner of the city is profoundly tied to the saint and his works. Francis was born in Assisi in 1182 from a bourgeois family; his given name was Giovanni; however his father, a cloth merchant, renamed him Francis upon his return from a journey to France. Francis also became a cloth merchant and enjoyed living an life of enjoyment together with other young aristocrats in the city. During the war which had broken out between Assisi and Perugia in 1154, he fought alongside his friends and after a terrible defeat in Collestrada, he was captured and imprisoned. The war experience and his capture shook him to his core and changed his life; when the war ended Francis, critically ill after a year spent in prison, was freed. (from Wikipedia)