Nourish Your Creative Spirit in Tuscany

DATES: 06/15/2019 - 06/22/2019
LOCATION: Tuscany, San Fedele
PRICE: $3,495.00

During my 26-year corporate career, my creative life became a casualty of my success. Although I longed to fully express my creative voice, I kept putting it off.

Then, life intervened. I got sick. Soon after, I was laid off. It seemed my choices were narrowing, when in reality, much of that was my own outlook.

When I began the path to reclaim my creative future, I learned to take risks to do what mattered most to me. I accepted that there are no guarantees, that it was up to me to create the life I wanted. And what I wanted most, was to express my creativity and to mentor other creatives.

Now, I’m a published author, a certified Co-Active® Coach, and I’m helping creatives discover how to stop stuffing their creativity in a closet and waiting for “someday.” I’m helping them to start expressing their creativity—and even profit from it.

You too, can reclaim your own creative path with your first big step in Tuscany!

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Julie Baldwin is the author of The Creative Heroine’s Path. She left her career in the corporate world to live a creative life and honor her unique path.

Julie is a certified Co-Active Coach. She has a special place in her heart for closeted creatives and late bloomers, because she spent years hiding her creativity. She finally began to blossom when she took ownership of her creative life.

Her retreats, workshops, and talks are inspired by her deep desire to help other quirky, soulful creatives discover and follow their own true paths.

Julie’s passions include writing, painting, photography, and travel. As a creative mentor, she loves to lead people through transformative experiences.



A Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience for Creative Heroines Who Are Ready to Bloom!

Imagine strolling along ancient streets, footfalls and lively conversations in Italian echoing all around you. Red geraniums line stone window sills beneath a bright blue sky. The present mingles with the past; you sense your place in the world.

Tuscany landscape with winding country road at sunset.

Far away laughter flies on the breeze. Pale purple wisteria clings to stone archways. The aromas of garlic and rosemary waft in the air. As these sights, sounds, and smells permeate your consciousness, new thoughts quicken and rise to the surface. You begin to see a more vibrant, creative way to live your life.

Your creative dream is poised for you to bring it forth. Through creative play, going deep to tap the richness of your own wisdom, and the freedom to follow your true path, you will find clarity, inspiration, and a plan to bring your vision into the world.

The world wants your gifts.Come nourish your creative spirit in the land of the Italian Renaissance and share your brilliance!

6 Amazing Days to Bring Your Creative Dreams Alive

You did it! You built a successful life.

Job, career, finances … it’s all clicking. At least that’s what your friends tell you.

But inside you know … something is missing. With all your sacrifice for achievement, there’s a creative side of you that’s still yearning to be expressed.

For years you put it on the shelf. But you just can’t do that any longer.

You yearn to find a way to create that frees your creativity and makes your life better!

Maybe it’s:
… taking up your long-held desire to paint.
… finding a way to free your inner writer.
… traveling the world, capturing moments through the lens of your camera.

Or … it could even be finding a career that puts your creative energy front and center.

Now … there’s a way to not only connect with that energy, but to build a vision and a plan that helps you to start living it!

This Week in Tuscany is Your Turning Point

Your creative dream matters, but only you can make it real. What is calling to you that you can no longer ignore?

Do you:
… have a specific creative goal, like writing a book or showing your paintings?
… know you have a creative calling, but you need help hearing it clearly?
… need to replenish your creative spirit to invigorate your life, art, writing, or business?
… long to live your life more creatively, in all that you do?

This retreat is all about your creative dreams and goals. As you focus on what you can create, you step fully into the creative flow. Magic happens! Your gifts begin to blossom. You see what’s possible and bring energy and innovation to everything you do. And you make real progress on your creative dream!

Your Creative Guide for This Retreat

During my 26-year corporate career, my creative life became a casualty of my success. Although I longed to fully express my creative voice, I kept putting it off.

Then, life intervened. I got sick. Soon after, I was laid off. It seemed my choices were narrowing, when in reality, much of that was my own outlook.

When I began the path to reclaim my creative future, I learned to take risks to do what mattered most to me. I accepted that there are no guarantees, that it was up to me to create the life I wanted. And what I wanted most, was to express my creativity and to mentor other creatives.

Now, I’m a published author, a certified Co-Active® Coach, and I’m helping creatives discover how to stop stuffing their creativity in a closet and waiting for “someday.” I’m helping them to start expressing their creativity—and even profit from it.

You too, can reclaim your own creative path with your first big step in Tuscany!

Discover Your Creative Path in Tuscany

Tuscan Road at Sunset

This retreat has been specifically designed so that we move day-by-day from your dream to your plan to make it real.

You will not only connect with your creative spirit, you will discover exactly what form your creativity is going to take. And you will come away with a plan to integrate your creative discoveries into your everyday life. So this becomes more than an awesome memory; it also becomes an inspiring way of life!

Day 1—We begin to connect as a group, using powerful exercises to awaken and tap into your creative energy. This is an extremely profound process that helps you clarify your creative dream.

Day 2—We take the clarity from day one and focus your creative energy into defining your creative goal—and you declare it to the group. This is where you begin to build your tangible creative path for your project.

Day 3—You take the creative juju and direction unleashed during the first two days, bypass your inner critic, and play! This imaginative playground is the confidence-builder that you will come back to, again and again, as you make your dream real.

Day 4—You experience a day of discovery and exploration in Siena. You partner with your subconscious and synchronicity to bring inspiration and crucial insights to what you are creating.

Day 5—Using all your insights and experiences from the previous four days, you refine your creative path, mapping your creative project in enough detail to be able to follow it when your return home.

Day 6—You share and commit to your creative plan. And you complete the week with a powerful exercise to unleash the deep strength and wisdom of your inner creative heroine, so you can integrate your creative genius into your daily life.

Our Time Together

Our time together will unfold to the rhythm of an Italian summer day.

Early mornings are your own, to nestle under the covers and dream, or to rise and create on the grounds of the beautifully restored, 12th-century monastery—and enjoy a delicious breakfast.

Our morning workshops will inspire you, replenish you, and get you into your creative zone. You will see your vision take form. A plan will start to emerge, so you can take action on it.

At lunchtime, our days turn to adventure! You can spend the afternoons visiting nearby towns with other creative heroines, or exploring and creating on your own. Stroll along sun-dappled, cobbled streets. Write, sketch, or people-watch at a café. Discover your favorite gelato under the warm Tuscan sun.

As the sun lowers in the sky and the light softens, we will gather back at the monastery for an authentic Italian dinner and lively conversation.

In the evenings, you can convene for more wine and connection, go to our shared space to create, or retire to a quiet space alone to journal. And one of those evenings, you will have a private session with me to help you discover your next steps!

Nurture Your Inner Creative Heroine to Shine!

This is just some of what to look forward to during your six glorious days in Tuscany:

  • Expert Guidance

You are a creative heroine—and I love mentoring creative heroines! You get three, private creative mentoring sessions with me before, during, and after the retreat.

Your three sessions will help you:

Focus and set your intention for this experience

Remove blocks, and brainstorm ideas and actions for your creative vision

Stay on track when old habits threaten to push you off your creative path

  • Exclusive Content

To move your further, faster, you get your own Creative Heroine’s Path™ Guidebook, with exclusive material designed just for this retreat.

Part creative workbook, part art journal, it guides you to explore what’s calling you, design and map your creative path, and capture meaningful moments and insights in words and images.

  • Clarity and Connection

Our interactive exercises help you dive deep and get clear. Like physical exercise, they warm up your creative spirit and get you into the flow.

The beauty in these experiences is not only hearing your inner genius, but discovering the wisdom of other women, too. We all have so much life experience, depth, and insight to give. When we share with each other, it broadens our learning. We feel supported and heard. And we believe in one another, which helps us believe in ourselves.

  • Creative Play

These are a just few of our creative projects that will help unleash your creative juju.

Visionary collage, where you create with images, words, textures, colors, and then find the hidden message in your own art.

Synchronicity writing, where you tap into your subconscious and free-write based on random items and experiences from your travels. You will be amazed at what you discover.

Spirit journaling, where you write, draw, or “scrapbook” pages in a leather notebook throughout the week, building your memories and insights into a tangible memoir of your experience.

What Is the Cost of Putting off Your Creative Dream?

If this experience calls to you, but you are tempted to put it off, ask yourself these four, simple questions.

What does your creative dream mean to you?
What is it worth to you to make your vision real?
How will you feel one year from now, if you have made little or no progress on your creative dream?
How will you feel ten years from now?

This is your chance to ignite your creative spark, connect with your inner wisdom, and bring home a plan for making your creative dream real.

Nourish Your Creative Spirit in Tuscany is June 15-22, 2019

Blue skies, cypress trees, red poppies, terraced hillsides, and the beautiful Tuscan town of Radda await you.  Grab your spot soon!

Let’s Talk

If this retreat calls to you, but you still have questions, let’s talk.

What is getting in your way of achieving your creative goals, and how can I help?

Click here to schedule a call with me.

More Retreat Information



Price: $3,495 p/p based on double occupancy

Optional Supplements:

  • $550 for single room
  • $250 p/p for a suite (min. 2 persons)


  • Shared double room in restored monastery
  • Daily traditional breakfast and dinner, including wine
  • Daily creative energy exploration workshops
  • All creative exercise supplies
  • Excursion to Siena
  • ½ day excursions to nearby hilltowns (Monteriggioni, Radda, Volpaia…)
  • Pick up from Florence train station at 3:30pm on arrival Saturday
  • Transfer to bus/train station in Siena (not Florence) on final day

Does Not Include:

  • Airfare
  • Lunch (lite lunch will be available for purchase at San Fedele on days we are not out on excursion)
  • Independent meals and sight-seeing
  • Gratuities

To Register:  just click on the Sign Up Now button.  A non-refundable deposit of $500 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, suggested writing or sketching supplies list, and an electronic invoice for the balance.  Final Balance is due by April 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.

Contact us for more information: or speak to us live at 800-990-3506.

Borgo San Fedele

— San Fedele is a restored 12th century monastery floating in the Chianti hills —

©Lester Lefkowitz 7003-001Il Chiostro at San Fedele is the combined skills of Linda and Michael of Il Chiostro joining together with Nicolo and Renata of San Fedele to produce a unique and inspiring environment rooted in the traditional Tuscan values of beauty, great food, an appreciation for nature and the value of community.  The monastery, dating back to the 12th century, was meticulously restored using traditional building methods and all original materials. Today, the monastery remains true to its original spirit, rich architectural detail. The 16 rooms and suites where participants are housed have lovely modern bathrooms, screened windows, air conditioning, period furniture, wi-fi internet service, satellite television and minibar, all designed to perfectly compliment the medieval surroundings.

The original soaring chapel is now used as a large art studio or workshop space. The monks’ refectory, where a lost 16th century fresco was uncovered during renovation, is now the dining room connected to a state-of-the-art kitchen and the old stone cantinas where they stored their wine have been transformed into studio and classroom space.

For information about the history of this monastery, Click here to go to San Fedele’s web site…


Rather than  hotel, San Fedele is classified as a historic residence in Italy.  That means that it is an intimate setting, preserved along strict historical guidelines to preserve the spirit of the setting.  The owners are on site to oversee this unique combination of historic landmark and modern day comfort.

Accommodations are spacious shared double rooms or junior suites. Each room, because it was converted from the original structure of the monastery without altering the building, is unique in shape. Furnishings and decor were selected to coordinate with the historic, subdued feeling of the monastery, but in a comfortable, modern style. All rooms have two beds that can be separated into twins or combined into one large matrimonial. There is a sitting area, refrigerator, DSL wi-fi, television, air-conditioning, heating, modern private bathroom with shower and hair dryers.

lester-lefkowitz-room3 lester-lefkowitz-room2

There are a limited number of single rooms available at a supplement of $550.

2 Jr. Suites for a minimum of 2 people are available for a supplement of $250 per person.

Night shot piazza©Lester Lefkowitz 7003-010© Lester Lefkowitz 7184-022Archway from rose garden and breakfast buffet in the refectory (photos by Lester Lefkowitz)

Terrace-MJossThe back of San Fedele is surrounded by a large al fresco dining terrace with the original terra cotta tile designs reproduced down to the smallest details. The terrace overlooks the same organic vegetable and flower garden tended by the monks for centuries. Beyond are the rolling Chianti vineyards that make this part of Tuscany so breathtaking.

Other common spaces include a large classroom carved into the rock of the ancient wine cellar, an expansive private piazza, a 16 x 7 meter swimming pool and sprawling landscaped grounds on a rolling hillside.

To San Fedele-LMFlorence 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 1 ½ 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 ourTraveling to Italy link. Renting a car from all the major rental agencies is possible if you prefer to be more independent during the week.

Fall vineyards

Fall vineyards


Borgo San Fedele sits conveniently on a country road connecting the charming medieval walled town of Radda and the village of Vagliagli. Other nearby hilltowns include Castellina-in-Chianti, Monteriggioni and Volpaia. It is about 45 minutes from San Gimignano and Volterra. Many of these towns have roots in the earlier Etruscan civilization that permeated this area prior to the Romans.

San Fedele is located about 12 km northeast of Siena and 45 km south of Florence.

The Food

For us at Il Chiostro, helping our guests to experience the traditional food in one of the earth`s richest, most sensual areas is our pleasure. The Chianti region of Tuscany is Italy’s famous wine and olive oil producing region. Here we want to expose you to the wonders of simple Italian cooking known in the area as cucina povera. Our chef is a Tuscan native who uses recipes from her mother and grandmother to bring the tradition of not only Tuscany, but specifically the Chianti region, to the table each evening.  We use seasonal, organic products, locally produced by small farms and family shops. Our chef searches for the best of Tuscany to serve you. Tuscan cuisine is a simple art that has been refined over the centuries to surprise our palates while the red chianti wine comforts our souls. Come explore what food can really be all about.

© Lester Lefkowitz 7184-057Candle Light Dinner2-CharlesAnderson
About Your Il Chiostro Hosts
Linda and Michael, and their program managers will host your program in Tuscany. They have been organizing workshops in Italy since 1995 and each person brings a special talent to the program. You can read more about them by following the About Il Chiostro link. At the Tuscan Renaissance Center, the owners of San Fedele, Nicolo and Renata, live on site. They will be available throughout the program to talk about the history of the monastery, the renovation and this area of Tuscany they call home.

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:

Bell tower-smallArt – San Fedele is located conveniently between 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 Chianti region, synonomous with the most famous wine that Italy produces. 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.