Discover the beauty of simplicity in Italy’s Chianti Hills. Set amid the olive groves, gardens, and vineyards of an organic farm, this five-day Tuscan experience blends yoga and mindfulness practice, scenic country walks, and the simple but sophisticated flavors of farm-to-table Tuscan cuisine.
Based at Locanda Casanuova, an organic farm/winery in the Tuscan countryside, “A Mindful Exploration in Tuscany” is a delightful, active-wellness program. Each day offers a unique Whole Journeys “active foodie” adventure along with optional morning yoga offered on the property. These unique experiences allow guests to mindfully delve into the richness of Tuscan culture, tradition, and lifestyle. You’ll enjoy tasting local foods—wine, olive oil, honey, gelato—and authentic dishes prepared by local producers in small restaurants or private homes. Meanwhile, you’ll be immersed in the gorgeous landscape of Tuscany’s Chianti region, and you’ll meet new friends, including a lively basket weaver, biodynamic winemakers, and Mamma Paola and her engaging family. This journey offers personal rejuvenation, glorious nature, and culinary delights—all to serve your own well-being.
About Locanda Casanuova
La bellezza della semplicità (“the beauty of simplicity”) is the motto of Locanda Casanuova, an organic farm and winery located in one of Tuscany’s most beautiful spots. More than 30 years ago, the owners of Casanuova decided to create a place in Tuscany where people who love nature and art would feel welcome. They found the ideal project in Casanuova, a 350-year-old estate that was originally a monastery, then an orphanage, and finally the seat of the Counts of Serristori. With small, careful steps the owners renovated the house, designed gardens and terraces, and reactivated the farm.
Today, their ideas and dreams are reality: Casanuova is a unique and beautiful destination for individual guests and groups who are looking for a home away from home in Tuscany and who want to find the authentic side of the region.
DAY 1: Welcome to Chianti Country & Casanuova Estate
Highlights: Explore Locanda Casanuova’s organic orchard and vegetable garden
Our group will meet late morning in the timelessly beautiful, historic city of Florence. Our transfer takes us through the undulating Chianti countryside to the lovely Agriturismo Locanda Casanuova, where we’ll spend the next four nights. After lunch on the estate, we’ll take a leisurely walk through Casanuova’s various gardens and olive groves, and we’ll wander mindfully to a pond. We’ll round off our first day together with an early-evening welcome aperitivo, followed by dinner on the terrace with views over the Tuscan countryside.
Walking/Hiking: 2 hours light walking around the hotel
DAY 2: Authentic Tuscan Villages & Wines
Highlights: Hike village to village, lunch with a Tuscan family
We’ll drive to the medieval market village of Greve in Chianti, known for having the oldest butcher shop in region and for the numerous artisan workshops located on the piazza. We’ll stop into some shops and meet basket-makers, woodcarvers, linen weavers, and more. Next, we cross the scenic hills by foot, arriving above the lovely town of Panzano, where we’ll visit a local butcher who has been known to recite Dante’s poems and sing opera arias for customers.
We’ll enjoy a classic Tuscan lunch in the private home of a local friend, Paola, and her family. Paola is a “cesarina,” someone who links food and history by sharing and cooking recipes passed down orally from her grandmothers and great grandmothers. After the meal, Paola takes us to a small, biodynamic winery where we’ll spend time visiting the cantina, tasting Gabrielle’s wines, and walking through the vineyards. Back at the locanda, our ritual aperitivo will be followed by a mini-Italian lesson and dinner.
Walking/Hiking: 3 hours (7 miles) of moderate hiking from Greve to Panzano
DAY 3: Secrets of Tuscan Cooking & Produce
Highlights: Cooking class, walk to Sting’s estate
We’ll start our day with an optional yoga class. After breakfast, we’ll regroup for an informal cooking lesson in Casanuova’s gardens and kitchen. We’ll handpick all our fresh vegetables and fruits (in season) and create a full, four-course Tuscan luncheon to be enjoyed by all on the veranda. Casanuova’s owner, Ulla, and her son Yves will teach us about the local herbs and how best to use them in simple, Tuscan food preparation. In the kitchen, we’ll follow the instruction of the locanda’s creative cook, Paola (yes, another Paola!).
This afternoon, we’ll walk to Sting’s nearby estate, Il Palagio. We’ll stop at the bottega (farm store), which sells wine, olive oil, and honey produced on the singer/songwriter’s organic farm. If the group is keen on more walking, we’ll take a longer route and visit the medieval Celle Castle as well. When we return and freshen up before meeting for another Italian lesson over the evening aperitivo. A sommelier will join us for dinner and bring his favorite Tuscan wines and olive oils for us to taste as he explains how they’re produced.
Walking/Hiking: 2- to 3-hour walk to Sting’s estate and/or the Celle Castle.
DAY 4: Traditional Italian Food Culture
Highlights: Local market, visit with a basket weaver, farm lunch
After breakfast, we’ll visit a town market where we’ll sample fresh cheeses, local wine, cured meats, and more. From here we’ll continue to our trail for an invigorating walk to a small family farm dedicated to growing organic olives and the famous Florentine irises. We’ll meet up with our friend Malò, who continues the ancient tradition of weaving special baskets for Chianti flasks and for collecting mushrooms and herbs. We’ll have lunch at the farm where we’ll sample traditional Tuscan cuisine prepared from fresh local produce.
When we return to the locanda, we’ll have time to relax by the swimming pond or enjoy one of the private terraces followed by an aperitivo and a special, festive dinner to celebrate our last night at Casanuova.
Walking/Hiking: 3 hours (7 miles) of moderate walking to the farm
DAY 5: Departure
Enjoy a final walk around the property and a relaxing breakfast before our late morning transfer back to Florence.