Q: I am not an accomplished cook or super crafty, can I still attend your retreats?
A: Yes! At Prone to Wander Retreats attendees do not have to be accomplished in order to enjoy the retreat. There will be attendees of all skill levels, from total newbies to seasoned professionals participating.
Q: I would like to have my husband/family join me at your retreat. Is that OK?
A: The retreats we currently offer are open to women. Unfortunately, due to the space constraints, and the fact that we are often sharing apartments and, in some cases bathrooms, we are not able to accommodate family members at La Dolce Vita. However, your husband/family is more than welcome to drop you off, and/or pick you up from our retreat location. For custom events, the organizer will decide who is invited to attend.
Q: Is the retreat in English?
A: Yes, all retreat activities are in English.
Q: What are the dates of your next retreat?
A: Our La Dolce Vita, Tuscan Retreats, will be May 23-30, 2020 and June 6-13, 2020.
Future retreats are announced to our email list first. You can sign up to get the latest news by subscribing to the newsletter, here.
Q: Is your retreat appropriate for those with mobility issues?
A: Unfortunately the retreats we currently offer are not handicapped accessible. We will be staying in buildings built hundreds of years before accessibility was a consideration. You will need to be able to negotiate stairs as there are not elevators in these ancient buildings. Finally, you will want to be able to walk for approximately 1-2 miles (at a normal pace) without issue as you may need/wish to do so during the day trips.
Q: What is included in the price?
A: For each retreat you will find a detailed list of the accommodation, transportation, activities, meals, and workshops provided by us, or our travel agency partner, on the retreat info page. Alongside these things you can expect to receive gifts that will elevate and reinforce the activities you enjoy, and reflect the host country.
Q: What is not included in the price?
A: Airfare, transportation to and from the retreat, any pre or post retreat travel, alcohol, insurance and personal shopping are not included in the price. Customized dietary requirements may be subject to an additional fee.
Q: I have specialized dietary requirements. Can you accommodate my needs?
A: At each retreat we try to celebrate the local food culture, meaning that our locally based cooks will prepare meals using seasonal ingredients and featuring recipes they feed their own families. Upon registration you will be asked if you have any specific dietary requirements. At that time please let us know if you have any allergies or needs and we will confer with the kitchen to confirm if they can safely accommodate your request, and whether or not your specific need will be subject to a surcharge.
Q: What if I have to cancel - do you offer refunds?
A: Due to the challenges of logistics, and the up front costs of hosting our retreats, Prone to Wander Retreats and our travel agency partners have firm no refund policies. We strongly encourage attendees purchase cancellation insurance to protect their investment. Should you have to cancel, we will do our best to help you find a replacement. If one can be found you will be refunded less a $150 administration fee. Please note that some retreats have a cut off date, typically approximately 6-8 weeks before the retreat, after which your registration can not be transferred.
Q: Will I be able to choose my own roommate?
A: When you register, you are advised to let us know if you are travelling with someone, and/or wish to room with someone in particular. We will do our best to accommodate requests. For our solo travellers, we send out a questionnaire close to the retreat date in order to facilitate the best match for roommates. At some retreats we have a limited number of single rooms available. If we do, those will be listed in the registration detail page.
Q: Will you set up a private group online so that I can meet the other retreat attendees before arriving on site?
A: Yes, we will set up a Facebook group for those who register for the retreat so that everyone can get to know each other pre arrival. It will also be the perfect place to ask questions and find out the latest updates as we get closer to the retreat.
Q: I will be flying to Italy. What airport is closest to the retreat?
A: The Florence Peretola (FLR) Airport is the closest and is approximately 1 hour, 20 minutes away from Borgo Personatina, the retreat location. Depending on flight cost, and your desire to see other areas of Italy, you may also consider flying into Rome, Pisa, or even Milan.
Q: If I'm flying into Florence, what time should my flight land?
A: You are welcome to arrive at Borgo Personatina any time after 12:00PM (noon) on the day your retreat begins. So if you were planning to fly into Florence on the Saturday, which is the first day of the retreat, you would want to arrive anywhere from 10:30AM on. However, for those who are able to take the extra time, we would strongly urge you to consider arriving in Italy a day or two before La Dolce Vita starts. This is both to avoid the possibility of a flight delay which could eat into your time at the retreat, and so that you have a few days to get over jet lag. For most North Americans, Italy is 6 - 9 hours ahead of their home time zone, so that extra day or two will really help you be rested and ready for the retreat.
Q: How should I get to the retreat?
A: Transportation to and from the retreat is not included in your retreat tuition. We have a transfer company who we will recommend to you, and encourage the group to consider coordinating their arrival schedules in order to minimize the cost per person.
Q: Do I need to rent a car?
A: No. Our retreat partner, e20Toscani has chartered a small bus for all retreat activities which are off site. However, should you wish to rent a car in order to explore the area on your own in your free time, you are welcome to do so. If you choose to rent a car, you will find ample space for parking at the venue.
Q: When should I arrive at Borgo Personatina for the retreat?
A: You are welcome to arrive at the estate any time after 12:00PM (noon) on the first day of the retreat you register to attend. Our welcome banquet, which is the kick off for La Dolce Vita, will begin later in the evening.
Q: What time do we have to leave the estate on the final day?
A: You will kindly be asked to leave the apartments by 9:00 AM the morning of the end of your retreat, and the estate by 10:30 AM. Should the apartments at the estate not be booked the next day, it is possible that we may be able to push the vacate time a bit later, but we will not know that until closer to the retreat date.
Q: Is there laundry service at the retreat location?
A: Yes, you may ask Orsa's team to do your laundry for you. The fee was very reasonable and many of the attendees enjoyed the ease of being able to drop their dirty clothes after breakfast, knowing it would be nicely folded and ready for them the next day.
Q: Is there internet service at the retreat location?
A: Yes, all apartments have wifi. That being said, this is the countryside of Italy, the wifi often goes down - sometimes for a few hours, sometimes for a few days - and with our group all trying to use devices, it can be hit or miss (often mainly miss) as to getting online reliably. So, we can not guarantee that you will have consistent access to the web. We will give recommendations for picking up an inexpensive local SIM card for those staying in Florence pre-retreat, which will allow you to purchase a data plan for your smart phone that will offer you consistent coverage while you are in Italy.
Q: I don’t speak Italian; will I find it hard to communicate with people during our excursions?
A: The Tuscan region is a popular tourist stop in Italy, so many of the people, especially in the towns, will speak English. It has never been a huge impediment for the attendees of La Dolce Vita. Usually if the specific person you are trying to communicate with does not speak English, you can ask around and find someone who will kindly agree to translate.
Visit our Tuscan farmhouse base. It's a slice of heaven!
Which antique and general markets will we visit this year?
Get to know our featured guests and their creative style.
Why La Dolce Vita? Read about our retreat philosophy here.
We invite you to our table, where fresh, seasonal food is served.
Get ready to excite your taste buds as you learn new recipes.
Take a peek at our day trip locations featuring culture and commerce.
Check out our fun, creative workshops! All skill levels are invited to play along!