Welcome to Italy!

Join your host and teacher Penelope for an adventure of a lifetime and experience the beauty and culture of the Tuscan countryside alongside the inherent magic and healing powers of herbs!

We’ll be hosted in an ancient villa just outside of Siena, spending our days exploring the incredible sites on the historic grounds as well as sightseeing in Siena, Florence and Assisi. We’ll visit botanical gardens and herb gardens, local markets, the Aboca Herbal Museum, Terme Hot Springs, explore ancient cities and stop by one of the most famous – and possibly oldest – historical pharmacies in the world; the Santa Maria Novella.

As we learn and craft with the guidance of local herbalists and friends old and new, this adventure will offer you a new perspective on herbal medicine and all the things that go with it; from new scents and flavours to new friendships and adventures, you’ll have plenty time to take it all in on this eleven day journey in the heart of Tuscany.


Information at a Glance

When: May 28th – June 8th, 2022 (12 days/11 nights.)

Where: Our lodging for the first 7 nights will be at Villa Certano; located in the heart of Tuscany, just minutes from Siena, Italy. We next lodge at the Domus Laetitiae Monastery in Assisi. Our last place of lodging will be in the Hotel Granduca, the ancient hunting lodge of the Grand Duke of Italy, in the heart of the Casentino mountains.

Total cost: $3,300 USD (Airfare not included. A $300 USD Deposit confirms your space)

*Cost Includes 11 nights lodging, classes, guided tours, museum and garden entrance fees, most meals (except 3-4 to be organized on your own), pickup/drop off at Florence airport, transportation for all activities within Italy and our personal attention to your comfort.

Accommodations:  Guests will stay at the Villa Certano for most of the trip. This 16th century villa rests on 100 acres of land surrounded by flowering linden trees, olive groves, a grape vineyard, lavender, a formal rose garden, herb garden, and a winery. On the grounds also rests a 1200 year old church nestled between the villa and winery, with its door covered with climbing roses. Guests will be able to explore the grounds and make themselves home amongst the idyllic surroundings.

Rooms will have a double occupancy lodging with up to four guests sharing a bathroom (please inquire for single rate upgrade).

After our stay at the villa, we will also spend time at the Domus Laetitiae Monastery Viale Giovanni in Assisi and the Hotel Granduca, the hunting lodge of the Grand Duke of Italy, in the Casentino Mountains.

Meals: Traditional Tuscan fare including a vegetarian option.

Maximum Number of Guests: 20



Meet Your Hosts

Penelope Beaudrow, RH

Penelope Beaudrow is a Registered Herbalist who has devoted the past 25 years to helping others foster deep and resilient connections with the living intelligence of the natural world and the regenerative, healing forces of plants and the medicine they carry. She is deeply engaged in in the field of herbal education, including in depth work with the Association for the Advancement of Restorative Medicine and The Ginkgo Tree Herbal Course. Penelope is deeply concerned with regenerative ecology as an integral component of the health and wellbeing of the earth and all of its inhabitants. She works diligently to reintroduce a wide variety of native, at risk and endangered plants at her sanctuary and farmstead and is engaged in significant re-wilding efforts.

Co-Hosts:

Richard and Natalie

Richard and Natalie have been tour guides for health and adventure trips for over 20 years and Tuscany is one of their favorite destinations. The couple co-created and operate the beautiful Lokahi Garden Sanctuary in Hawaii with 10 landscaped acres of over 250 edible and medicinal species.

Richard Liebmann, ND

Richard has a deep love of the Tuscany countryside. A Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, he was the first United Plant Savers Executive Director, National College of Naturopathic Medicines Academic Dean, opened Hawaii Family Health Clinic, and co-founded Equinox Botanicals, a high-quality herbal medicine manufacturer.

Natalie Young, MSW, LMT

Natalie’s degrees in sociology, anthropology, modern dance, and social work, provide her with a special knack for guiding groups. She has also been a licensed massage therapist for 20 years. An excellent yoga/Pilates instructor, she will share movement most mornings.



Meet Your Teachers

Zora Keller, Herbalist

Zora will lead us on a fascinating herb walk along the trails through the wild area surrounding our Villa Certano. She will entertain us as she shares her expertise through stories, history, and Italian uses of the plants. Using Italy’s medicinal and culinary herbs is a family tradition in her family. Some plants that we see will be special to Tuscany, some close relatives of what you know, and a few very familiar— but they do not always have exactly the same uses.

Dr. Lorenzo Domini: The Casalvento Estate

Located on the highest hill of Castellina in Chianti, the estate is an herb farm that offers us the color and scent of fields of medicinal herbs, such as Helichrysum, Rose, Rosemary, Iris, Sage, Thyme, Juniper, and nine types of Lavender. This distillery produces high quality essential oils, hydrosol floral waters, and perfumes, which we will have an opportunity to smell and purchase. The owner, Dr. Lorenzo Domini and his son, Alessandro, will personally guide us through their fields and distillery to view the process from field to distillery to product. We then retreat into his classroom where Dr. Domini will present an entertaining lecture with demonstrations to show how essential oils affect the brain using his state of-the art equipment. We will see the reactions of brain waves to various oils and the beneficial effect of distilled hydrosols on the complexion. Our lunch beneath the olive trees will be traditionally Tuscan.

Dr Claudia Perini

Curator of Siena’s Botanical Gardens—on Mattioli Avenue— which features over 3000 species! At Siena University, we will tour the gardens and museum, which houses an extensive collection of realistic ceramic mushrooms. Dr. Claudia Perini, curator, and plant researcher and renowned mycologist will expertly guide us through this garden of Tuscan natives, exotic plants, and fruit-bearing plants. The gardens have the best views in Siena.

Dr Paolo Luzzi

Director of Giardino dei Semplici (Simplers Botanical Gardens) in Florence. Paolo will share his passion of healing plants of Tuscany and his knowledge of medicinal plants with us— including a collection of aromatic gums, resins and essential oils. The gardens are an education and research facility, as well as a repository of rare and endangered plants and trees. We will explore the tropical herb world in their large greenhouse. This third oldest botanical garden in the Western world highlights the concept of the Simplers, who use single plants for healing.

Luca Menghini

Luca is the head gardener of Perugia Medieval Botanical Garden. Filled with medicinal and aromatic plants, Luca will be our personal guide to these amazing gardens at the University of Perugia. He’ll tell how his uncle created this herbalist paradise that mingles art, astrology, and history, with plants that narrate myths, legends and sacred stories. In one area, Seven flower beds are based on principles laid down by Italy’s 9th century Salerno School of Medicine, which set the foundation for European herbalism. Another section displays plants representing the twelve astrological signs. There’s even a recreated Medieval apothecary. Afterwards, we’ll enjoy panoramic view of scenic Assis, Mount Subasio, and the Umbria Valley.



Itinerary

To view our current trip itinerary, click below.

[TRIP ITINERARY]*


Additional Informational Package

For some more details of what to expect and general information, please view our trip informational package:

[INFORMATIONAL PACKAGE]

* Later in the year we will provide an updated and current trip itinerary if any changes should occur.



Registration

Please note that space is limited to a maximum of 20 people. Registration is first come, first served.

To register, please contact Richard for payment details & deposit at richardliebmann@gmail.com or by phone at 808-987-7501.

Upon interest of registration, you will be sent a small questionnaire and waiver of liability form to be filled out and returned in order to complete your attendance confirmation.

Register Now!