Join us at Poggio Verde Country Villa for a wonderful week of healthy food, wine and touring, including a bit of walking and optional yoga sessions each day! We will spend six days seeing the sites and tasting the food and wine of this beautiful part of Northern Italy between Milan and Lake Como. At least once each day we’ll find a spot on the villa grounds to gather for a relaxing yoga session with our instructor for the week, Michele Crutchfield of Michele Crutchfield Yoga!
Saturday, September 8, 2018
Optional Early Arrival, Lunch and Dinner at the Villa
If you’d like to come a day early to de-jetlag, feel free to arrive anytime on Saturday. We’ll get settled and then enjoy lunch outside on the “Portico Coperto” if weather permits! After lunch we’ll settle in and get to know the villa and each other, maybe do a session of yoga, play a game of badminton, bocce, foosball, swim (as weather permits) or just relax until dinner. (+200 euros includes lunch, dinner, lodging)
Sunday, September 9, 2018
Welcome Day, visit to Montevecchia
We will gather at 12:30 for our first wonderful Italian lunch together, and if weather permits we’ll dine outside under the beautiful Portico Coperto! After lunch we’ll have our first outing of the week to the charming little hilltop village of Montevecchia with its 180 steps up to the church and the gorgeous views of the Val Curone to the north and the rolling hills and grapevines of Brianza to the south. If the gelato shop is open we’ll pop inside for a proper introduction to excellent Italian gelato! Back at the villa we’ll have our first relaxing, hip-opening yoga session, Pigeon and Prosecco, by the pool before enjoying our first dinner together. A perfect beginning after our travels!
Monday, September 10, 2018
Walk/hike at Piani d’Erna
After breakfast, our driver will pick us up and take us about 30 minutes north near Lecco, above Lake Como, where we will take a cable car up to the stunning Piani d’Erna. There we’ll enjoy a picnic lunch and walk along the beautiful trails, enjoying the views and breathing in the fresh mountain air. Upon return to the villa we will relax a bit and then have a longer energizing yoga session in the afternoon, Vinyasa Flow and Verdecchio before dinner.
Tuesday, September 11, 2018
Day at the Villa
Today we will begin the day with Chaturangas and Cappuccinos before breakfast, then you can rest and relax at the villa for the day – catch up on correspondence, read, take a walk, enjoy the sunshine (or the pool if weather permits!). Or you can join us for the optional trip to the beautiful (and tasty) day in Valtellina!
Valtellina (Optional – 125 euros)
Lunch at Ristorante Fracia
After breakfast we will head north along the east side of Lake Lecco and then turn east into the gorgeous and steep wine-growing area of Valtellina. We will make a stop at the ruins of Castel Grumello and take in the gorgeous view of the valley and mountains before continuing to Aldo Rainoldi or Ar.Pe.Pe winery for a tour and tasting. From there we’ll continue to nearby Ristorante Fracia, perched among the famous Nino Negri vineyards, for a wonderful lunch (and sampling of the accompanying Nino Negri wines). This area is also known for its superb Italian cured meats, such as bresaola and speck, and some tasty cheeses are produced in this region, as well. We’ll stop into the incredible Ciapponi in Morbegno on the way home and pick up some local specialties to enjoy that evening and the rest of the week. If there is time, we will squeeze in a restorative yoga session before dinner for those who couldn’t make the morning session.
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Our driver will pick us up after breakfast and take us to the historical and beautiful hilltop town of Bergamo. We’ll get a nice overview of the town with our favorite guide, Elena, then everyone can wander the cobbled streets until 12:30. Our driver will then take us to the nearby town of Alme, where we will have the choice of dining at Frosio (Michelin-starred restaurant, 30-50 euros) or Pizzeria Giardino (casual pizza, salads, fish – 13-18 euros). We will then head back to the villa in plenty of time for our evening restorative flow yoga session, Balasana and Barolo, by the pool before dinner.
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Lake Como (Bellagio, Villa Balbianello)
After breakfast we will hop on the bus and take the 40-minute drive along the lake to famous Bellagio on Lake Como. Everyone can wander the streets, enjoy the incredible views, visit the nice shops and then our taxi boat driver will pick us up and deliver us straight to the unforgettable Villa Balbianello for a walk around the grounds. From there we’ll return to Bellagio for lunch at La Goletta, or another spot of your choosing, and then head back to the villa to relax before we meet in the Roccolo for our core-focused flow yoga class, Boat Pose and Barbaresco, before dinner.
Friday, September 14, 2018
Hike in the Val Curone, Lunch at Giovanna Passeri
Our bus driver will take us to the nearby Val Curone where we’ll take a nice morning walk among the vineyards. He will then take us to the Agriturismo Giovanna Passeri for our final lunch together under the beautiful pergola. Signora Passeri and her daughter will create a lovely lunch for us made of ingredients grown a few feet away! We are also welcome to wander among the gardens and growing areas and visit the chickens, ducks and goats. On return to the villa, we’ll have time for an afternoon siesta before gathering for our shoulder-opening flow yoga class, Downward Dog and Dolcetto, which will be held in the late afternoon by the pool.
Included in the price (2500 euros): Double occupancy in bedrooms with a shared bath; breakfast, dinner at the villa; lunch (except Bergamo and Bellagio days); day trips to Montevecchia, Piani d’Erna, Bergamo, Lake Como, Val Curone.
Optional: Room upgrade to shared bedroom with private bath (+200 euros), single occupancy (+500), day trip to Valtellina (+125 euros), day trip to Milan (+50 for transportation, additional for private tour), lunches in Bergamo, Bellagio (13-60 euros each depending on restaurant chosen).
Yoga mats and blocks will be available for each participant at the villa; no need to pack your own!
Michele Crutchfield is a Yoga Alliance E-RYT who has spent the last 17 years studying and teaching people all over the world. She is passionate in her quest to bring yoga to everyone, offering private and group classes and online videos in power vinyasa yoga, gentle and restorative yoga and yoga for runners.
Katharine Elder, the chef and co-owner at Elderslie Farm (and niece of the villa owners and daughter of the hostess), specializes in locally-sourced super-fresh food prepared with care and presented beautifully. Since the villa is situated in an area surrounded by organic gardens and farms, she will take advantage of the opportunity to cook with the local veggies, diary, grain and other ingredients produced nearby. Vegetarian and gluten-free diets are easily accommodated.
Gretchen Romig Crosti, villa owner, oversaw the renovations of the villa in 2015 and has been hosting groups and sharing the area with small groups since then. Judith Wencel, sister of Gretchen, has been visiting Poggio Verde and getting to know the area for almost 35 years. In addition to helping with social media and website, she has also organized and hosted many trips with her husband, Mark Wencel, whose excellent cooking skills are put to good use when he comes.
To register, sign up here and we will e-mail you an invoice you for the deposit of 500 euros (about $612). You can click the “pay now” button and provide your bank routing number and checking account number. Let us know if you prefer to pay by credit card and we will add the 3.5% fee to your invoice. The remainder is due 60 days before departure.