Activities & Excursions
Whilst it is tempting to linger at Villa Benvenuti enjoying the stillness and serenity, the location is ideally placed for exploring Tuscany. In addition to group retreats and workshops, we recommend the following optional activities which we can arrange for you upon your arrival.
Exploring Lucca: Lucca and its medieval wall, ancient architecture, restaurants, fabulous shops and summer festivals, is less than a 15 minutes drive away. Once there, a fun way to explore Lucca is by bike, as inside the city walls, the city is virtually car free. You can hire bikes from Piazza Santa Maria del Borgo and Corso Garibaldi.
Walking or hiking: Take one of the many trails through the extensive wooded forests on the estate or to the local villages. Recommended walking routes and maps will be provided upon your arrival.
Seaside: The seaside resorts of Forte dei Marmi and Viareggio are 40 minutes away and nearby Pietrasanta is a thriving town full of art galleries, cafes and restaurants. There is a good clean and sandy public beach at Marina di Vecchiano with restaurants and pizzeria close by.
Cycling: We highly recommend cycling during your retreat at Villa Benvenuti - it's a great way to see the location and it gives you time to savour the views, discover the country side, breathe the fresh air and take in the heavenly scents.
Nature: The outstanding natural beauty of the Garfagnana and the Parco Nazionale Appennino Tosco-Emiliano (www.parcoappennino.it) are wonderful places for walking and horse riding. They are both in easy reach by car, approx 45 minutes away.
Massages: We can arrange restorative treatments that help you recuperate and relax, lengthen muscle fibres and improve your yoga practice. Treatments can be booked upon your arrival.
Thermal Spas: We recommend a morning or afternoon excursion to San Giuliano Terme (30 minutes drive from Villa Benvenuti) (www.bagnidipisa.com) where you can bathe in the open-air healing thermal waters or relax in the steamy underground caves. Well known to the ancient Etruscans and the Romans, the thermal waters are rich in sulphate-calcium-magnesium which aids relaxation and the digestive system.
Opera: The Puccini Festival set by the lake at Torre del Lago is held annually between July and August.(www.puccinifestival.it) and is close to Villa Benvenuti (30 minutes)
Skiing: During winter, the ski fields of Abetone are one hour away by car (www.abetone.com)
Exploring further afield: Lucca is ideally placed for exploring the historic towns and cities of Pisa, Firenze, Cinque Terre, Siena and Pistoia to name but a few. Pisa and the Leaning Tower are 35 minutes away; Florence is 1 hour by car or there are buses from Lucca (Piazzale Verdi) direct to the station of Santa Maria Novella in Florence which take 1 hour and 10 minutes. The train from Lucca takes 1 hour and 40 minutes. Cinque Terre is 1 hour away
Cooking Classes: These can be organised as part of your stay, however, they must be pre-booked before your arrival. Typically, we cook together a complete seasonal menu, using the fresh products coming from our organic garden and local producers.
Wine Tasting: A great opportunity to meet local Tuscan wine producers in their vineyard and taste wines from their ancient cellars. We recommend Tenuta del Buonamico (http://www.buonamico.it)