As much as I love Venice, Florence is also near and dear to me. So let me introduce my friend Chandi who is a fellow Californian, a few minutes away in beautiful Santa Cruz. Her story is an inspiration for those of us who wish we had the courage to do something absolutely terrifying, like moving to Italy, single, no job, no friends there, no house and yet making it all work.
You can read her story on her website called Paradise of Exiles.
She is a licensed tour guide, perfect for those who do not speak Italian, because clearly she speaks English (and of course Italian). The criteria to become a licensed tour guide is not easy and requires surviving a 10 month course.
She is planning a very special 4-night retreat in Tuscany in November called Wisdom and Wine.
It will take place at the castle-home of the descendants of the British author Graham Greene, in a magical, lesser-known area of Tuscany. Chandi, and special guest, Ross King, (super star in the world of Italy’s art, architecture, and history) will give talks in the evenings on fascinating aspects of Italy’s history. The aim is to create something akin to Jane Austen’s world, or to the Salons of the French Enlightenment, where social media/devices are set aside and ideas are discussed instead.
From now until 15 June she is offering an enticement, $100 (90 Euro) discount on this 4 day retreat.
November is a wonderful month in Tuscany– it is the season of truffles and olive harvest, chestnuts, and how about a cozy fire by the hearth in an Italian castle with like-minded people and local singers?
And if those photos don’t convince you well, this sunset will.
I am happy to have Chandi as a resource to refer our customers when they are traveling to Italy. There are many tour guides and while I hear some of them in Venice, I realize not all tour guides are not all created equal. So head over to Chandi’s website and even if you can’t make Thanksgiving, remember her for that special day in Florence to share the secrets she has learned.
If this makes you want to hop on a plane and head to Florence, now is the time. Take advantage of Chandi’s discount from now until 15 June.