Tucked away in the hills outside of Castellina in Chianti is one of our favorite places to visit when we are in Tuscany. It's a family run estate called Querceto di Castellina. Our love affair with the estate started when we stayed on the property in 2011, and it is one of the stops on the Total Tuscany Experience.
The buildings on the property date back centuries. The winery has been sustainable since 1998, and it has been certified organic since 2012. In our book, Querceto di Castellina is certified awesome! Not only does it produce amazing, the Matriarch of the family, Laura cooks incredible Tuscan dishes that are simply to die for.
Mary Shea, the Marketing Director at Querceto di Castellina, is always looking for new ways for visitors to enjoy the estate and the Tuscan countryside. A couple of years ago a corporate client asked if they could have a large dinner in the vineyard. It had never been done at the property before, Mary and her team pulled it off without a hitch. That experience got Mary thinking, why not make it a regular affair so more people can enjoy the experience.
If you can't make it to one of the vineyard dinners, there is no need to worry. Querceto di Castellina has so much to offer, there really is a picture to take in every direction you look. There are also plenty of spaces to sit back, relax, and take in the Tuscan countryside.
From wine tastings, lunch, cooking classes, and apartments that sleep anywhere from 1 to 10; Querceto di Castellina really is the epitome of Tuscan authenticity and hospitality.
Are you ready to visit? Your trip is already planned, join us on the Total Tuscany Experience September 29-October 6, 2018.
Planning on going to Tuscany but don't know where to start? We can help! Email us firstname.lastname@example.org and we will work one-on-one with you to help plan and coordinate the perfect trip.
If you are a regular listener to the total Tuscany Podcast, you know that Pat Campagna has a great passion for the region. If you are not a regular listener well, then you will hear Pat's enthusiasm as he details his five favorite things about Tuscany.
Visiting Tuscany, or Italy for that matter is not about travel and tourism, it's about the experience. You can travel anywhere, but it's what you do, what you see, what you taste and smell once you get there that makes the memories last a lifetime. Food, wine, people, landscapes, art, it all comes together to what we think is euphoria.
Sitting around the table with food, wine, and a a full day of experiences make for the best conversations.
Visiting local hilltop towns and watching local artists in action gives you a feeling that everything is genuine and you are taking home something that is unique to you and your experience.
The landscapes at every turn will take your breath away. Sometimes you just have to stop, get out the car and take it all in.
It's the people you meet in the places you visit that make a at trip a a true experience. The more we learn not just about the places we visit but about each other is what makes the world a better place to live in.
When you first sit down to start planning a trip to Italy, the experience can be a bit overwhelming. Where do we go? How long do we stay? How in the world are we going to see everything we want to see in such a short amount of time? Take a deep breath! We have been preaching on this podcast for the last three years that once you visit Italy, you keep going back and eventually you will see and experience everything you want to see.
Travelers are not created equal. Some of you like to travel in groups, getting to know different people, and maybe have most or all of the planning taken care of ahead of time. If you fall into that category, we would love to have you join us in October on our Total Tuscany Experience.
However, you might be a traveler who likes a more personalized experience for you and a partner and family members. This is when you contact today's guest on the Total Tuscany Podcast. Annie Ojile is the co-founder of Personalized Italy, an exclusive tour company that features tastefully designed custom experiences throughout Italy.
Annie is a native of Minnesota but now calls Rome home and the place she plans on living forever. Personalized Italy started out organically with Annie helping friends and family plan their trip to Rome and give them tours of the city. Before she knew it, she was helping friends of friends, and friends of those friends. Boom! A business was born, and it has been thriving ever since.
Personalized Italy combines American sensibility with Italian flair. Annie and her team conceive and deliver memorable, one-of-a-kind experiences that place your hand on the pulse of Italy. Whether you are visiting for the first time or planning a sequel to your holiday, you can reach out to Personalized Italy for original ideas for your itinerary.
You might be thinking that Annie only provides tours in experience in and around Rome. This is not the case! Personalized Italy can take you wherever you want to go and give you an exclusive experience that you will never forget.
Enjoy our conversation with Annie and start planning your next personalized vacation today!
You have thought about it time and time again. Going to Tuscany has been on your bucket list for some time, but you keep telling yourself it will happen next year. When you look back, has next year turned into five years, or ten years?
No more excuses! Why? Well, the easy part is making the decision to go. The hard part is doing all the planning and the stress of making sure you get to see what you want to see and still have enough to relax and enjoy the Tuscan countryside. You take care of the easy part, decide right now that you are going to go to Tuscany. We have taken care of the hardest; The planning, the food, the tours, the villa.
This once in a lifetime Total Tuscany Experience is reasonably priced at $3,495 per person based on double occupancy. The gathering is small and intimate as there is room for a total of 8 people which makes it ideal for a group of friends who have been looking to get away and experience the world!
October is a great time to visit Tuscany. The days are warm, the nights are cool. The grape harvest is wrapping up and the olive harvest is just beginning. Do you like truffles and mushrooms? October is the perfect time experience those flavors that make Tuscan cuisine amazing.
Make the decision today! Then contact us directly to reserve your spot on this once in a lifetime Total Tuscany Experience. We are looking forward to spending the week with you!
"When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change."
Looking back, that quote from Wayne Dyer had significant meaning for Lisa Condie. Lisa has been a guest on this podcast before, talking about her tour company, Find Yourself in Tuscany. She's a model for greatness and inspiration for women everywhere. Successful and living abroad in one of the world's most beautiful cities, Lisa is a contributor to the Huffington Post, TUT, and she's been featured on the Today Show.
Lisa is in control and maybe the happiest she has ever been in her life.
I have some news for you, like almost every real success story, the journey along the way is filled with pain, disappointment, regret, even suffering.
In her book, I Found Myself in Tuscany, Lisa describes in great detail her first three years in Tuscany. She describes her journey of becoming an ex-pat much like a love affair; infatuation, doubt, and finally total acceptance.
But why in the world would a beautiful mother of two, successful business owner from Salt Lake City, Utah end up in Florence, Italy in the first place?
That answer is how Lisa found herself in Tuscany. She is incredibly open and honest in our interview. Her story is one that many women are living today but don't know how to change the narrative.
Lisa is the first person to admit you don't have to move to Florence, Italy to change your life; it's what worked for her. But if you want to change, if you want a fresh start, it's possible, and the story Lisa tells in her book just might be your inspiration to say, now is the time.
After hearing Lisa's story, you may just want to join her in Tuscany! She has a Signature Tour planned for April and October that is eight days and seven nights. Lisa can also help you customize your Tuscan vacation itinerary and plan a retreat.
Lisa Condie found herself in Tuscany, will you?
This is an honest and inspiring memoir written by one of the most honest and inspiring women I know! Far from the "same old story" about an American woman coming to Italy to find love and passion, this is Lisa's real journey to get to know herself as well as her new host country after her life had taken an unforeseen turn. Lisa tells her story in clear and descriptive prose--you truly feel as though you are with her as she navigates her way through the Italian language, makes friends up and down the Tuscan region, discovers new places that become extremely dear to her, and ultimately starts her own business so that she can share her discoveries--and her joy--with others. Read this book if you are looking for inspiration from a strong, smart, determined and loving woman who transformed her life and found happiness, yes, in Italy--but more importantly, inside herself.-Alexandra Lawrence
In this latest conversation with Mario we discuss the following:
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Section 14: Lucca To Siena
Our conversation with Roland is fascinating, and he gives us invaluable advice about planning an excursion of such personal significance. The great thing about working with Roland, his company helps you navigate a journey that is as long or as short as you want it to be.
According to the company's website, on of the most popular options is section 14 of the Via Francigena. The walk from Lucca to Siena that covers 133 kilometers, or just over 82 miles for us Americans that still don't understand the metric system.
There is another expedition that starts in Tuscany and ends in Rome, Camino di San Francesco di Assisi or The Way of St. Francis for short. This journey begins in Florence makes its way to Assisi, and ends in Rome. The entire distance can be covered in 29 days, but can also be divided up into shorter sections to meet your personal preferences.
If you have been thinking about a personal journey or even exploring as a group, Roland, and his associates are the people you want to talk to when you start planning. The great news, they just don't focus on the Via Francigena. They can help you with treks all over the world including theCamino de Santiago in Spain.
We've always believed this podcast is a great way to learn more about Tuscany and the great cultural experience it has to offer. There are many different ways to explore the region; after listening to this podcast, we do hope your find your WAY.
It's human nature to ask ourselves questions like; what am I doing with my life? Am I where I need to be? Is there something I should be doing differently for me that in return will serve others? The introspective thought is healthy and in many cases, people find the answers they are looking for, all it takes is a leap of faith and taking action that sets change in motion.
Rewind to 2012 and picture a 56-year old woman standing outside coffee shop in Rome. She is on the last day of her vacation and realizes that she doesn't want to go home. Sure, all of us have had that feeling at one time or another, but we pass the emotion off as a pipe dream and return to our daily grind of what we call "normal" life. Lisa Condie was fed up with "normal" and after taking a deep breath, she decided that Italy was going to be her new "norm" and start a life many of us dream about, but we rarely try and make it come true.
Lisa has helped hundreds of women find themselves. She also shares her stories on the Huffington Post and Tut, and she's even been featured on the Today Show. Her change has happened so fast she is chronicling her story in a book titled "I Found Myself In Tuscany." How fitting, right?
Be inspired, listen to the podcast and discover the power of making a decision and following through with the action.
We would like to hear your thoughts on this podcast; please leave your comments, thoughts, or questions in the box below. If the moment moves you, please share this link with others you know will be inspired by the story. Go find yourself! If it's in Tuscany, even better!
Find yourself tour photos
When it comes to tourism in Tuscany, Querceto Di Castellina has what I call the holy trinity for visitors.
If you are a regular listener to the Total Tuscany Podcast, you know that we've talked about Querceto before, way back on Episode #3 with Jacopo di Battista. While traveling to the United States to promote the wines of Querceto, Jacopo met the love this life, Mary Shea. Having done consulting work in the food and wine industry, Mary knew a good wine when she tasted it. However, we aren't quite sure if that was prerequisite to getting the first date but I'm sure it didn't hurt.
After a long distance courtship, Mary has moved to Tuscany to be the Marketing Director for Querceto. She manages the brand from a social and visual aspect, but Mary also makes sure the hospitality and service you get when visiting Querceto are second to none. It's no secret that tourism in Tuscany is very competitive and visitors looking for a unique and memorable experience.
Querceto is a family owned Agriturismo and the wines produced on the estate are certified organic. Currently, there are five different vintages produced at the farm that dates back to the 14th century.
The estate also produces olive oil and Grappa di Chianti Classico
affinata in Barriques.
It's hard to believe we have been podcasting for over two years! Hundreds of thousands of listens later we have arrived at episode #46. The number itself isn't that significant; the content in this episode is what we are so excited for you to hear.
After years of planning, organizing, making contacts, and testing, we are ready to launch the Total Tuscany Experience! Join us October 29-November 5, 2016 on a trip of a lifetime. Whether it's your first trip to Tuscany or your next, this experience gives you the right amount of structure and organization but still the freedom to roam and take in Tuscany at your pace.
Our experience is tailor made for couples who are looking for a unique opportunity to travel, meet new friends, and ignite a passion that will open your soul to new possibilities and a slower pace of life. One of our favorite quotes about travel is this one by Saint Augustine.
"The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page."
For the longest time, we were stuck on page one. Are you stranded, looking to turn the page to have the entire world open up? Start with us as we host you in the Tuscan countryside with other couples who share the same feeling for Italy as you do.
We are not going to use this blog post to go into full detail of what the trip entails. Our suggestion, listen to the entire podcast. Once you have heard what we have to say about the journey, spend a lot of time going through and reading our newly designed website, (we hope you like it.) Here you will find all the information you are looking for about our planned Total Tuscany experience. What's included, what's not included, the cost of the trip, and a daily itinerary so you know exactly what you will be doing. If you are excited about what you will be doing just by reading the website, trust us, experiencing it first hand is a million times better!
We want to know your thoughts. Feel free to leave your comments below. Are you interested joining us in Tuscany this fall? send us a and email, email@example.com and schedule a time to have a one-on-one conversation with us, we are looking forward to it!
Travis Justice & Pat Campagna have been traveling to Tuscany since 2009. They produce the Total Tuscany Podcast and all the content on this website.