Over the last decade or so, we've been lucky to make many friends throughout Italy, or AMICI!
These amici have become some of our favorite people that we look forward to seeing during our visits to Italy, year after year after year. Some have even come to feel more like extended family.
While we know that not everyone can make a Wanderful Retreat work for their schedule, we don't want you to miss out on all the amazing offerings from our friends when you are able to travel to the bel paese!
So, we compiled this page of our favorite friends... friends with great places to stay, our most beloved places to eat, tiny spots to shop and just generally wonderful people and businesses that we hope you'll be able to call amici too!
Lucca Travels: Our sweet friends Vanessa and Elena have curated some gorgeous apartments in THE center of Lucca! We love using them for our retreats and they have such amazing recommendations for food and day trips around Lucca.
Amanda & Adriano: These two are practically family, as I nannied for their brother and sister-in-law years ago! They have some adorable apartments in the center of Castiglion Fiorentino that I try to stay in any chance I can get.
Buccelletti: Another family that feels like famiglia. I've used their villas for retreats for many years and I LOVE being able to introduce our guests to them, as well as their wine and olive oil. They're absolutely wonderful!
Tuscan Drivers: This duo is a lovely expat couple that has been such a treat to work with over the years!
Holiday Planners: These guys are fantastic! Very nice drivers and easy to work with for Southern Tuscan locations.
Regiro: Renato's pizza was always my favorite late night pizza as a student in Castiglion Fiorentino!
Ristorante Roggi: These two brothers are so sweet. I love bringing my groups here for the food and the view of the belltower!
La Sfizeria: I love the family that runs this place, they're so sweet. And they make some tasty pastries!
Enoteca Enotria: I can't go to Cortona without stopping here. Get the tomato bruschetta and the antipasti plate, it's magical.
Manzo: Oh Manzo...probably some of my favorite meals in Italy have been eaten here. Always delicious! This is one we got from a friend and now we have to go back every summer!
I Fratellini: My friend Lenora first showed me this spot and it quickly became a favorite. Delicious, fresh and affordable quick sandwiches...in the center of Florence!
Agriturismo Gli Oppi: Giuseppina...I can't rave about Giuseppina enough. She's the absolute sweetest and I look forward to cooking with her every summer!
Cooking in Florence: Laura was one of the first chefs I worked with on a retreat and she was a delight!
Abbaccala: Lela is another sweetheart, with a great kitchen tucked in the hills above Lucca for private cooking classes!
Del Brenna: We first met Megan and Sebastian when were studying in Italy. Their tiny jewel box of a store was always full of beautiful surprises and we LOVE going back to visit and see what new magic they've made.
Le Sorelle: This shop is just one of my favorites to visit every year in Lucca. They have another spot in Florence but I just love peeking at all their paper bags, soaps and more.
Retreats and Guides
Truly Italy Tours: Katie and I got connected over Instagram stateside but we've quickly become fast friends! She hosts cultural travel experiences in Italy, and is just a lovely human you should know.
Passports and Piazzas: Lisa is another IG amici that also knows the Buccelletti fam, so obviously I already love her!
Dream of Italy: Oh man...Kathy has the dream gig. Between traveling Italy for her podcast and PBS show, she's a busy lady and a wealth of information!
Paola Moschini: Paola lives in Lucca and is a tour guide! Our paths haven't crossed yet but she has some wonderful services on offer if you find yourself in Lucca.
"Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls."