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Erbaria : An Essential Oil Retreat & Experience

HARVEST / MAKE / LEARN / COOK

JULY 21-25, 2018

Late July is a magical time  in Tuscany when the lavender harvest takes place.  Travel to Italy to harvest lavender, learn to make your own essential lavender oil, and how to use the essential oil as a tool for making creams, lotions and tonics. 

Italian herbalist and naturalist doctor, Cinzia Vitali, will share her deep knowledge and understanding of the medicinal power of herbal medicine, and introduce guests to the  caring and curing effects that implementing herbs into your life can have on your mind, body and overall wellbeing.

Jens Schmidt, chef and thought leader on eating for health and vitality, will explore the use of herbs in fine cooking, leading an herbal cooking class and  education on digestive health.

The  retreat will include daily morning Pilates and daily afternoon massage with essential oils, as well as beautiful and clean daily eating based on seasonal ingredients grown right on the farm.

The setting for this week long adventure will be the 1000 year old exclusive estate, Villa Montecastello, a working organic farm and olive orchard that has been immaculately renovated to offer its visitors an authentic and understated luxury experience in Tuscany.  Located one hour south of Florence, the Villa is surrounded by olive groves, with vineyards and nature reserves at its base.   Villa Montecastello is a full size working organic farm, producing award winning extra virgin olive oil, as well as a unique and vast assortment of garden produce which will be used in your cooking throughout the week.  The villa is surrounded by an abundance of both planted and wild indigenous herbs that we will explore together. Villa Montecastello is home to an array of farm animals including the local breed of Cinta Senesi pig, donkeys, chicken and guinea fowl, producing fresh farm raised meat and eggs. 

Your time spent in this storybook setting will be entirely dedicated to your health and wellbeing, leaving you with a wealth of knowledge to carry with you through the rest of your life.

ITINERARY

  • Day 1: Arrival to Villa Montecastello, light lunch upon arrival.  Time to relax and freshen up.  Tour the grounds, vegetable and herb gardens and meet the animals that live on site.  An introduction to essential oils and an exploration of the vast varieties of herbs growing at Villa Montecastello.  Sunset prosecco toast and welcome dinner at Villa Montecastello.
  • Day 2:  Lavender Harvest: Early morning Pilates followed by a healthy breakfast.  Harvest lavender and learn to make lavender essential oil.  Light lunch at Villa Montecastello.  Free time for pool, exploration and essential oil massage.  Late afternoon, making lavender satchels.  Dinner at Villa Montecastello.
  • Day 3:  Cooking with Herbs: Early morning Pilates followed by a healthy breakfast.  With Jens Schmidt as your guide, explore how to apply herbs to fine cooking both for flavor and to promote healthy digestion.  Cooking class lunch at Villa Montecastello.  Free time for pool, exploration and essential oil massage.  Dinner at Villa Montecastello.
  • Day 4:  Herbs for your Mind and Body: Early morning pilates followed by a healthy breakfast.  Herbalist and naturalist doctor, Cinzia Vitali,  will share her medicinal knowledge of herbal medicine and lead a talk about herbs and their caring and curing effect on your mind, body and health.  After a light lunch, we will use our home-made lavender essential oil to make lotions, creams and tonics.  Late afternoon massages followed by a beautiful farewell dinner under the stars.
  • Day 5: Breakfast and departure for airport.

*Guests are welcome to extend their stay at Villa Montecastello for up to 3 additional days through July 28th.  Rooms rates including breakfast start at 250.00 euro per night.  Please inquire for pricing for your preferred room.

THE DETAILS

Villa Montecastello will be your private Tuscan oasis during this week long retreat.  The week includes all overnight accommodations at Villa Montecastello, all breakfasts, lunches, dinners, welcome prosecco reception, house curated wine selection with lunch and dinner, private class instruction and all tools needed to participate in cooking classes, essential oil making, airport pickup and drop off at Florence airport or Florence city center on day of arrival 1PM-3PM; and on day of departure 8AM-10AM only. 

Not Included in Pricing: Airfare, extra beverages outside of meals, transportation or activities outside of itinerary. 
 
Each room is uniquely furnished with the utmost attention to detail.  All rooms offer luxury hand ironed linens,  hand made olive oil soap and shampoo, fresh cut flowers and air conditioning.  Villa Montecastello offers 8 room options of varying sizes and pricing, with many shared sitting areas both inside and out, a library filled with books about Italy, food and wine, as well as a professional chef’s kitchen where your cooking classes will take place.  At Villa Montecastello there is a pool with unmatchable countryside views, and an expansive grounds open for exploration and reflection. 

Guests are welcome to extend their stay at Villa Montecastello for up to 3 additional days through July 28th.  Rooms rates including breakfast start at 250.00 euro per night.  Please inquire for pricing for your preferred room.

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PRICING

  • Leccino Luxury Suite // $4600 per person for double occupancy: The largest apartment offering the most comfort and space with one bedroom with Queen bed, a private living room with pull out sofa bed, fireplace, living room area, kitchen and large en suite bathroom.
  • Frantoio Suite // $4300 per person for double occupancy, $4800 per person single occupancy: Our most romantic room, beautifully appointed with a King size canopy bed and en suite bathroom with claw foot tub.
  • Pendolino Studio // $4000 per person for double occupancy, $4500 per person for single occupancy: A charming studio with Queen bed, private en suite bathroom and kitchenette.
  • Foresteria Bedroom // $4000 per person for double occupancy, $4500 per person for single occupancy:  A beautiful large bedroom with King bed or two Twin beds and private en suite bathroom.
  • Moraiolo Bedrooms #1 & #2 // $3700 per person for double occupancy, $4200 per person for single occupancy: Cozy and lovely rooms with private bathrooms across the hallway, just a few steps outside the room.  Bedroom #1 has the option for a King bed or two Twin beds.  Bedroom #2 has a Queen bed.
  • Frantoio Bedrooms #1 & #2 // $3400 per person for double occupancy, $3900 per person for single occupancy: Well appointed and roomy bedrooms share an extra-large bathroom with separate room for shower and toilet for additional privacy.  Bedroom #1 has a Queen Bed and Bedroom #2 offers the option of King or two Twin beds.

50% deposit is required to secure your booking, 50% balance is due four weeks before arrival to Italy. 

*Note for online bookings a booking fee of 3% is included in the pricing.
For questions or to book direct email us or call 973.327.2336