Back to The Body: Sensuous Retreats for Women-Tuscany

DATES: 09/23/2018 - 09/29/2018
LOCATION: Tuscany
PRICE: $6,800
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:
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Pamela Madsen – a pioneer in fertility and sex advocacy, Pamela Madsen is the Founder and first Executive Director of The American Fertility Association. She is a fearless advocate for women’s health and integrated sexuality who leverages her raw honesty and well-informed wit to help strip the stigma from infertility, female desire and body image. Pamela has coached hundreds of women on their own personal journey back into their bodies, and their own expression of their Divine Feminine. Pamela is a veteran speaker, educator, and renowned blogger for Psychology Today, The Fertility Advocate, and Care2,. She is the author of Shameless: How I Ditched The Diet, Got Naked, Found True Pleasure and Still Got Home In Time To Cook Dinner (Rodale, January 2011). Pamela has appeared on 60 Minutes, Oprah, CNN, AARP Primetime Radio, The Dr. Laura Berman Show, The Jane Pratt Show, and Playboy Radio. As well as countless other media outlets.

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Ron Stewart has been a body worker since 2006 and has training in Reiki, Swedish, Thai, and Esalen massage techniques. In 2011 his curiosity and interest in human sexuality brought him to study with Joseph Kramer where he received certification as a Sexological Bodyworker. In 2012 Ron joined the Sexological Bodywork coaching team, assisting in the Canadian training. His massage practice has evolved from an extensive dance career, which offered him dynamic physical training and a deep understanding of the body/mind connection. Together, his passion and understanding of movement, anatomy, yoga, massage and sexuality have come together to create Skyclad Yoga which he operates from his rural studio and retreat centre on Southern Vancouver Island.


Neal Wecker is a Certified Sexological Bodyworker and Somatic Sex Educator who is committed to offering practical, bold, and trust worthy sex and intimacy skill based education for physical, emotional, and spiritual maturity. In private sessions, workshops, and writings, Neal advocates and offers support for people to embrace and to experience their sexuality as a conscious practice towards the health and happiness they deserve. His educational offerings are always in reverence and remembrance of the body; to revere and to remember the pleasures and wisdom experienced through conscious embodiment. His training includes erotic bodywork, Tantra, various expressive movement art forms, yoga, gender studies, and sex coaching. Neal offers workshops and private sessions for individuals and couples in both Europe and the States and divides his time between working and living in Ithaca, NY and Budapest, Hungary.

Back to the Body:  Sensuous Retreats for Women

Few of us ever take the time to get in touch with our bodies and our sexuality. And there are few retreats with a track record of expertise that is layered in the love and safety that women need to take such a vulnerable journey. But without this journey it’s almost impossible to live the kind of sexy empowered life most women are seeking.

Imagine exploring your sexuality and desires in the rolling hills of Tuscany. Even if you have journeyed with The Back to the Body Team before, this special expanded offering of Back to The Body Tuscany, is going to dazzle our senses, surround us in fabled romance of the Italian Sun. Imagine waking in a private, history-rich, graciously restored villa. Close your eyes and picture starting your days in embodiment practices such as yoga, dance, mediation, lotus lift and jade egg practice – all outdoors in our private secluded garden framed by incredible views.

Add in the delight of daily sessions filled with exquisite sensual body work where you can enliven and transform your creative and erotic self.

Spend your afternoons drinking in more pleasure as we go on excursions featuring a spa, wine tasting, monks chanting, markets bustling and truffle hunting! Imagine, private Italian cooking classes with our own private chef which will seduce us into three-hour long dinner parties under the stars. We will consciously bring in our food, the art and touch into our bodies, and actively experience what it is to feel sensual pleasure with all of our senses.

This is a rare journey that only few will take. For the nine women who dare, we believe this will be a vacation of a lifetime. Join us to reach for your own personal key in a continuing journey of transformation to living your life as a turned on woman.  You can read about the experiences of other participants from our previous Back to the Body workshops here: http://www.backtothebody.org/testimonials/

You will find more information including Back to the Body philosophy, photos and reviews from previous retreats at: http://www.backtothebody.org


Pool Cabana-Gilbert RiosProgram Activities:

  • Daily hands on Taoist Sensuous Bodywork Sessions conducted by our 3 male bodyworkers, including Neal Wecker and Ron Stewart who are Certified Sexological Bodyworkers- a new profession certified in California
  • Sexuality and Intimacy Coaching to support you in overcoming body shame, identifying your desires and safely exploring them
  • Explore the possibility of feeling the full activation of your whole female autonomic system and learn to do this at home
  • Workshops led by Pamela Madsen, Neal Wecker and Ron Stewart on “Eating Sensually”, “Experiencing and Embodying Our Sensuality Out of The Bedroom”, “Understanding Female Orgasm”, “Jade Egg Embodiment Practice”, Unleashing The Power of Your Pelvis”, “The Arousal Principle”, The Anatomy of Arousal”
  • Daily morning practice with Yoga, Tai Chi and Ecstatic Trance Dance
  • Experiences and guided visualization meditations

Group discussions on body image, orgasm, sexuality, speaking desire, power play, understanding boundaries and how to open to more pleasure in our daily lives

BttB-Tuscany 2013-2    BttB-Tuscany 2013-1
Scenes from previous programs in Tuscany

Additional Activities:  in addition to the class activities we will arrange excursions from the suggested items below:

  • Extraordinary Italian Dining
  • 1-day cooking class with chef
  • Morning visit to the chanting monks of Sant Antimo
  • Excursion to Tuscan hill town of Montalcino, famous for Brunello wine
  • Winery tour with Anna Lisa who has created her own label in the Montalcino region
  • Presentation of truffles by Paolo, a local truffle hunter based in San Giovanni d’Asso
  • Evening and dinner in medieval Siena.

Price: $6,800 p/p

$1,000 deposit upon registration, then a series of 3 installments with the final balance due by August 15.

Workshop limited to nine women

Includes:

  • Shared double room in villa (no single rooms)
  • Daily breakfast and lunch buffet and dinner, including wine, prepared by our personal chef or at a restaurant
  • Sessions with Pamela and bodyworkers, Neal, Dan and Ron
  • Transportation for all local excursions

Does Not Include:

  • Airfare
  • Independent snacks and drinks on road trips

To Register:  just click on the Sign Up Now button.  A non-refundable deposit of $1,000 is required to secure your spot in the workshop.  Payment can be made on line with a credit card, or you can follow the instructions to send in your registration and payment by mail.  Once we receive your deposit we will send you a formal Registration Confirmation with further information about the program.  You will receive 2-3 other correspondences by email prior to the workshop with information about Italy, how to prepare and an electronic invoice for the balance.  Final Balance is due by August 15th.  Any time prior to your arrival, if you have questions about anything regarding the trip or the program, you can contact us by email or phone and we’ll be happy to assist you.

Call Pamela Madsen for further information: 917 703-3785 or write to her at pammadsen@gmail.com.

San Giovanni d’Asso

SAN_GIOVANNI_D'ASSO-Gilbert RiosWhere We’ll Stay: This is part of our new Il Chiostro Nobile series. We will be hosted for a week in an authentic, elegantly appointed villa that was at one time home to a noble Italian family. The palazzo includes a formal garden, private swimming pool with inspiring vistas. Inside there are 8 twin, double or single bedrooms in the villa, each with a private bathroom. The rooms are decorated in authentic, elegant family antiques.

Common spaces include 2 elegant living rooms, a terrace overlooking the garden, large fireplace, kitchen and formal dining room.

The villa is across the street from a castle and within easy walking distance of the small town.  You can easily be independent to meet and interact with the locals.

Single rooms are available for a supplement of $450.

The Villa: a 13th century manor house situated on a hillside in a small town with views of the Val d’Orcia. Owned by the current family for 102 years, it was gracefully restored in the 19th century with comfortable period furnishings. The rooms are bright and airy with high ceilings and beautiful views out to the gardens and the valley beyond. Bedrooms are elegantly appointed each with a private, modern bathroom. Because we will be the exclusive residents at the villa during the program, the experience will be intimate, like living in our own Italian mansion. Our meals will be shared in the formal dining room, on the terrace or in the garden. All living quarters of the villa are on the second floor, accessible only via a staircase.

Dinner table
Dining Room and Living Room in the Villa

Pool Cabana-Gilbert RiosThe Grounds: the setting is extraordinary overlooking the valley towards the Brunello wine country. There is a formal garden with a pool, lounge chairs, a shade arbor and plenty of seating for outdoor meals. The Villa is an easy walk through the facing castle (now the museum of truffles) to the quiet village of San Giovanni d’Asso.
The villa and grounds consist of:

  • 8 twin or double bedrooms, each with bathroom either ensuite or next door.
  • A dining room and breakfast area
  • Large terrace with tables
  • 2 sitting rooms
  • Wi-fi internet access
  • Heat or air conditioning as necessary
  • A large private formal garden area with fountains and, seating area
  • A private pool at garden edge with a valley view
  • There is a changing room near the pool with WC
  • Air conditioning or ceiling fans in bedrooms
  • Very quiet setting in small village

SGA-Bathroom2 SGA-Bedroom3
Double bedroom and bathroom

SGA-Bedroom Twin2Twin bedroom

The Town: San Giovanni d’Asso is in the Siena section of Tuscany. It is famous throughout Italy for its production of truffles. Small and quiet with fewer than 1,000 residents, the town has a café, grocery store, 2 restaurants, several historic churches and a weekly outdoor market. A very special addition is the beautiful botanical gardens “Il Bosco della Ragnaia” (http://www.laragnaia.com/EN/) created by an artist who chose to turn his talents from painting and sculpture to designing and maintaining this beautiful space that is open free to the public.

The Area: San Giovanni d’Asso is 30 km southeast of Siena in the area known as the Crete Senese (see photo below). Pienza and Montalcino and the famous Brunello wine country are easy day trips.

Garden View-Gilbert Rios-sm

Garden View by Gilbert Rios

 

Florence will be our meeting point on the first day of the workshop. A van will pick up the group at the train station at about 3:30 pm on Saturday afternoon.

We recommend that you fly into either Florence, Pisa or Rome (Milan is a bit too far away). Florence is closer but it doesn`t have an intercontinental airport, so there are no direct flights from the US. You would have to change planes in a larger European city. From the Florence airport you must take a shuttle bus (Volainbus) into the center (20 minutes).  

There are more scheduled flights from the US to Rome, many of them direct. From Rome, you will need to take a train to Florence (about 2 1/2 hours).

Important! In making your return flight arrangements, if you are flying home on Saturday after the workshop, try not to book a flight too early. From our location allow 1½ hours to get to the Florence airport or 3 ½ hours to get to the Rome airport.

For suggestions about getting to Rome or Florence, accommodations or other logistics, please consult our Traveling to Italy link in the main menu bar above. Renting a car from all the major rental agencies is possible if you prefer to be more independent during the week.


If you have time, it is a nice treat to stay in Florence before the workshop starts.  It gives you a chance to get over jet-lag while at the same time allows you to see this incredible Renaissance City.  It is filled with incomparable artwork, architecture and history – not to mention great shopping.  Why not stop in for a few days.  (Look at our Travel to Italy tab above for accommodations suggestions.)

Florence-2008_SunriseOverCity-ABenvenuto

Florence: Sunrise Over City, photo by Anne Benvenuto

 

Linda at SF-ESThe Food: For us at Il Chiostro, helping our guests experience the food in one of the earth`s richest, most sensual areas is our pleasure. This area is part of Italy`s famous wine and olive oil producing region, but is specifically famous for truffles. Here we want to expose you to the wonders of simple Italian cooking. Linda, a director and founder of Il Chiostro, will be your personal chef.  She uses seasonal, organic products, locally produced by small farms and family shops.  She creates her own twist on pasta dishes, shops in local markets for fresh mozarella and peccorino for our dinner tables. Tuscan cuisine is a simple art that has been refined over the centuries to surprise our palates while the wine comforts our souls. Come explore what food can really be all about.

Terrace Lunch2-AH 2013 Terrace Lunch-AH 2013

An excerpt from a recent article in the NY Times (February, 2013):

The diet that seems so valuable is our old friend the “Mediterranean” diet. It’s as straightforward as it is un-American: low in red meat, low in sugar and hyperprocessed carbs, low in junk. High in just about everything else — healthful fat (especially olive oil), vegetables, fruits, legumes and what the people who designed the diet determined to be beneficial, or at least less-harmful, animal products; in this case eggs and low-fat dairy. This is real food, delicious food, mostly easy-to-make food. You can eat this way without guilt and be happy and healthy.


Linda-Michael with glasses-smallAbout Your Il Chiostro Hosts:  Linda and  Michael, Il Chiostro’s directors, will be hosting you at San Giovanni d`Asso.  Linda will be our chef while Michael will coordinate our excursions.  They have been organizing workshops in Italy since 1995. You can read more about them by following the About Il Chiostro link. For this week the owners of the palazzo will turn their home over to us so we can live like a noble Italian family ourselves.


In addition to your workshop, optional activities offered with this program will focus on the cultural, gastronomic, historical and artistic heritage of Tuscany. This area has been an inspiration to countless people for centuries. What Tuscany offers its visitors is truly astounding:

Art – San Giovanni d`Asso is located near the cities of Medieval Siena and Renaissance Florence packed with some of the most famous masterpieces in the world.

Wine -You are in the heart of the wine growing region, synonomous with the most famous wine that Italy produces – Chianti. But the innovative Tuscan vintners are also producing Super Tuscans, red varietals that are quickly ascending the ranks of world-class wine.

History – this area was settled by the Etruscans centuries before the Romans were a civilized society. Their necropoli dot the fields throughout the area. Nearby towns like Radda, Vagliagli and Castellina date from the early Middle Ages. Florence was the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. San Fedele witnessed most of this from its panoramic perch atop the hillside.

Foodcucina povera is the typical Tuscan cuisine that has become popular around the world. The recipes are simple, emphasizing local and seasonal products: porcini mushrooms, salumi, legumes, vegetables, pasta, bread and game meats. Visiting an outdoor food market, you will understand the wisdom of this very healthy cuisine.

Crafts – perhaps the harmony of the landscape has been the inspiration for many local craftsmen. Exquisite hand-painted ceramics are the prime example, closely followed by mosaics, leather, woodworking, and textiles.

montalcino-mf-sm

Montalcino by Michael Ferris