“In America, one must be something, but in Italy, one can simply be.” – Pietros Maneos
Simply be… with us in Spring of 2022
We’ve designed an intimate Tuscany retreat that will be life changing. Our intent is that the momentum of this experience will stay with you for long afterwards.
With a maximum of 15 participants, this will be a unique and extraordinary retreat. It will stimulate all the senses, as we connect with nature, celebrate food and wine in a mindful and intuitive way, and explore this magical land.
We will reset and restore in the Italian hot springs and relax with a spa massage at the indulgent Bagno Vignoni spas.
We will cook and savor the flavors of fresh farm to table food.
We will draw, paint, journal and celebrate the visual arts, releasing judgement and self doubt, while finding the space and the will to create. No art experience required!
We will honor and enhance our minds and bodies as we learn the incredible benefits of breathwork, posture, voice, and storytelling, led by our own accomplished “A-team”: an Actress, an Artist, an Author, and an Agriturismo badass.
Most importantly, we will form meaningful human connections in a safe, beautiful, nurturing, and unforgettable place!
Get ready to learn concrete ways to optimize your life through breath, body language and voice, mindfulness, intuition, and creativity. In addition to enhancing our lives, our extraordinary agenda includes a variety of unforgettable experiences.
It's far beyond a retreat! It’s a life-changing journey, with enlightening workshops weaved into a relaxing retreat environment to optimize your Italian experience! Tuscany is an ideal place to quiet the mind and observe the moment. While learning profound, practical, and lasting ways to nourish our bodies, minds and souls, we will slow down, be present, and enjoy the magic of the Val D’Orcia. We've incorporated a special spa day at a Thermal Spa at the beginning of the program to bring mind and body to a restful and receptive state. Imagine naturally warm, healing waters and a spa massage or facial, with lunch, wine, ... in ancient Tuscan hot springs.
Italy is one of Europe’s oldest civilizations, overflowing with abundant natural wonders. The Val D’Orcia is thought by many to be the most beautiful part of Tuscany. It is the Tuscany featured on postcards, boasting cypress-lined winding roads amidst soft, rolling hills, dotted with vineyards and olive trees. It is no coincidence we chose this magical land and these extraordinary estates to host our retreat and offer you Tuscany from a rare and personal perspective. American-born but now Tuscan local (and one of our retreat leaders!), Elia, swears that the Val D’Orcia is a distinctive energy center. It holds a rare and magical energy of a greater power that is undeniably present.
A renewed approach to life! This retreat is not about achievement or outcome. It’s about finding inspiration and perspective! We will teach you how to cultivate joy by creating empowering thought patterns and minimizing limiting belief systems. You will learn to optimize your physical, vocal, emotional, and mental habits, and quiet and nurture your mindExpect to learn profound, practical, and lasting ways to create a life full of gratitude and joy. This trip embodies how to feel truly alive. Expect sensory experiences alongside like-minded women for a one-of-a-kind journey into Tuscany. The wisdom you acquire will encompass breathwork, meditation, finding and expressing your voice, becoming your own storyteller, enhancing your posture and how you carry and view yourself, accessing your intuition, connecting with and nurturing your body, finding resilience, and learning to express your creativity through art and mindfulness techniques. Whether or not these concepts are new to you, they will be tremendously powerful!
“We are not victims of our genes, but masters of our fates, able to create lives overflowing with peace, happiness, and love.”
To gather momentum for lasting change, you need to be both ready and supported! You’ll be surrounded by natural beauty, inspiration, and the guidance of a team of four accomplished women who are leading voices in their fields! RETREAT OF A LIFETIME is one momentous step toward the life you choose to live. You’ll relax and restore as you learn the tools to thrive through specialized and fun workshops intended to create sustainable life shifts. Our intention is not only to create lasting memories and new friendships, but to return home renewed and revitalized, as your highest and best self, living your intended life. Expect transformation!
Yes! In every sense... and then some! Once you arrive, we’ll take care of everything. (All food aversions and allergies can be accommodated.)
The all-inclusive fees are set at:
If you plan to attend the retreat with other(s), please advise Sandy F. at Relais Ortaglia when you sign up so she can coordinate your shared room options. This is a wonderful opportunity to reunite with loved ones and indulge in the retreat together. Price includes villa accommodations and amenities, exceptional food and drink, personalized retreat excursions, cooking lessons, art classes, food and wine sampling, movement and nature walks, and all privately-lead retreat workshops by Elia Nichols, Sandy Abrams and Gianna Vallefuoco.
Airfare to Florence, Rome or your preferred Airport in Italy and ground transportation to Relais Ortaglia is not included. If you want to extend your trip beyond the retreat, Sandy F, our retreat hostess, has connections to even more options! Her beautiful Relais Ortaglia is not only an ancient historical estate, it is an internationally celebrated B&B which sits right below the renowned Tuscan gem of Montepulciano.
Join us now to get one of 15 spots at the Retreat Of A Lifetime!
Minimum Participation of 12 Guests required for retreat to take place.
Please hold your spot today… Max 15 guests.
Sandy Abrams is a longtime entrepreneur. Her first book, Your Idea, Inc. (2010) inspired other first time entrepreneurs to turn a product idea into a business. In Breathe to Succeed (2019), she's now focused on Workplace Wellness and shares her 30 years of experience utilizing the power of breath & mindfulness in business. Her business sensibility about "breath as meditation at the speed of business" resonates with the fast pace of our tech centric, on-demand business lifestyle. "Even just three deep breaths is a form of meditation".
Sandy has been a small business thought leader with Capital One, LegalZoom, Marriott and has recently led Breathe to Succeed workshops with Google offices, WW (formerly Weight Watchers), Universal Music, Facebook HQ, McKinsey & Co., Women Presidents Org., and many women's and entrepreneurial groups. She's also an upcoming speaker at SXSW 2020. Sandy is on a mission to empower people to create their optimal energy for success & wellness... one deep, mindful breath at a time!
Workshop experience descriptions: Tap Into the Power of Your Breath for Next Level Success & Wellness. Experience the power of your breath and mindset by transforming your thoughts & energy in small moments.
Sandy shares a variety of simple yet powerful breath techniques that will empower you for years to come. Meditation can have a high barrier to entry but "mindful breath" is meditation at the speed of business. Experience how even one deep breath & a positive thought can transform fear to excitement. How alternate nostril breathing can shift judgment to compassion or how lion's breath can transform frustration to clarity. No need to master the art of stillness or reserve chunks of time to be mindful. These tools are science backed and tried and true; Sandy has used them as a fast paced entrepreneur for decades. "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach him to fish and he eats for a lifetime." These tools are the latter as they're immediately actionable and effective.
Gianna Vallefuoco is an artist, entrepreneur, and Life Purpose mentor. After studying oil painting in Florence, Italy, she moved back to the Washington, D.C. area in 1999 to launch Vallefuoco Contractors, a custom tile and stone installation company. As her business flourished, her role of helping thousands of clients design beautiful meaningful spaces expanded to helping them design better lives.
She incorporates her yoga teacher training and Reiki certification, to bring mindfulness into her work and community. She is owner of Beyond Gifted®, a wellness-based gift portal, and founder of Disability Inclusion Guild®, a 501(c)3 dedicated to breaking social barriers for people with disabilities.
Whether teaching mindfulness to the staff of Best Buddies®, bringing gratitude practices to her construction teams, or launching inclusion programs in schools, Gianna encompasses compassion and self-reflection in her work. Her methodology combines art, yoga, and neuroscience to empower clients to design meaningful lives and manifest their limitless potential through her Life Purpose workshops.
Elia Nichols is a Public Speaking and Communication coach, TV and film actress, voiceover artist, and professor. You can watch Elia nightly on RAI TV (national Italian television) and Netflix. In addition, Elia is one of the two co-founders of F.E.S.T.A. Theatre Company and produces and acts in many of its productions. Elia works with clients to perfect their presence and speaking skills onstage, in the boardroom, classroom, courtroom, and in the media. She believes that charisma is a skill that can be learned and which, once mastered, has the potential to motivate, persuade, inspire, and advance business and personal interests. Nichols works closely with her clients to develop their speaking and presentation skills, fine-tune their personal and professional appeal, and transform their ability to connect and attract in any setting. With a Masters degree in Acting, a tv/stage acting career, and high-level roles in Public and External Relations, Learning and Development, Elia has a strong understanding of the business, academic, and mass media worlds. Thanks to this diverse background, she offers a unique and refreshing approach to communication coaching and helps her clients communicate the best of themselves!
Elia's approach is to begin with mindfulness. She believes that people become aware and gain control of their bodies and voices by observing and doing. She then teaches practical tools such as correct posture and breathing, movement control, ability to express sentiments with one’s voice and body. This gives participants the proper confidence, animation, presence and lack of tension necessary to be engaging and effective speakers and communicators. Elia incorporates the Alexander Technique (body control and freedom) and the Patsy Rodenburg voice technique into her teachings, as well as other helpful tools and exercises that she has come across throughout her varied career. Her approach encourages introspection, and she asks clients to consider their own physical and vocal qualities so that they may grow out of any bad habits and accept and grow into the best aspects of themselves.
“We must be architects of the inner life.
Outer movements resemble inner movements,
they speak the same language.”
Your Hostess, Sandra Ferretti moved to Tuscany in 2018 and took over a Bed & Breakfast with her husband to fulfill a lifelong dream of living in Italy and owning her own business. Her years of Wedding & Event planning in NYC honed her hospitality skills, while 20+ years of Paralegal work at Fortune 500 companies & law firms prepared her for the business side of owning a hotel. Within the first year of re-opening, Relais Ortaglia was extremely successful with over two hundred 5-star reviews on Tripadvisor, Facebook, Booking.com & Expedia. Relais Ortaglia entered into an important collaboration with “Ballooning in Tuscany” (owned by Virgin) and is the NEW Montepulciano launch site for the balloon company in Tuscany. Sandra and her husband Phil were featured on CBS Sunday Morning News with Jane Pauley in a 7-minute segment called “Emigration, full circle: Returning to the old country,” which reached over 7 million views worldwide. In addition, Relais Ortaglia under their new ownership has been recommended and featured in Rick Steve’s all NEW 2020 Guide Books “Italy” & “Florence & Tuscany.”
"Life Offers you a Thousand Chances... All You have to do is Take ONE."
“Retreat of a Lifetime”
(subject to change)
Wednesday April 20, 2022 – Your Retreat Begins!
Thursday April 21, 2022
Breakfast at Relais Ortaglia.
Friday April 22, 2022
Saturday April 23, 2022
Sunday April 24, 2022
Monday April 25, 2022
Tuesday April 26, 2022
What Airport should I fly into?
Rome Airport (FCO) is 2.5 hours south of Relais Ortaglia and Florence Airport (FLR) is 1.5 hours north of Relais Ortaglia.
Ground Transportation to Ortaglia?
You can take the train to Chiusi and we will pick you up; (or)
Once we have a complete list of arrivals we will arrange private and/or group car service for you (at additional cost).