Sacred Feminine Art + Yoga Retreat in Tuscany

May 13-20th 2022 

with Sarah Brokke & Mary Bue

“Embracing your curiosity and creativity is key to the magic” ― Etheria Divine

Follow the spark of your craving to the enchanting quality of light at dusk,  the night sky growing bright in its waxing towards fullness,  igniting the spark of Diana,  Goddess of the Hunt + the Moon.  Sink into the undulating hills ripe with vines and olive groves,  the abundance of Ceres, Great Mother Goddess of Agriculture.   Open & expand your consciousness to receive the “greatest concentration of universally renowned works of art in the world” according to Unesco.

Follow the seduction … Allow for your senses to be delighted with sweetness, curiosity,  elegance,  exploration,  and delight,  blooming into the archetype of Venus.  Spellbinding,  magnificent vistas await as we traverse the urban and rural landscapes from the city to the vineyards,  the air tinged with lush sea mist.

Follow the curiosity … What will Fortuna reveal?  What will the Fates decide (as there is limited space to join us – what rare combination of gatherers will it be)?!  Tuscany hosts a wealth of galleries,  ancient sites,  museums,  winding cobblestone streets,  cafes,  enotecas (wine bars) … equally enticing are the rolling hills to softly contemplate while enjoying a book by the villa’s pool or dipping warm crusty bread into fresh olive oil.  We’ll traverse through “historic towns and cities,  most of which are medieval and Renaissance time capsules magically transported to the modern day.” – Lonely Planet

Everything is optional

This experience is for YOU to sense into your sparks,  senses,  curiosity.  We honor and celebrate your agency and choice.  If you need to stay at the villa and chill by the pool for a day,  or take a nap during yoga,  or choose another adventure other than our itinerary,  YES!  DO IT!  We would love for you to take the greatest care of yourself,  rest,  rejuvenate,  luxuriate.  Everything is optional.

The Language

Please note that it is not required to know how to speak Italian!  However,  it is always courteous and very welcome to know a few words of this beautiful language.

Si. Yes.

No. No.

Per favore. Please.

Grazie. Thank you.

Prego. You’re welcome.

Mi scusi. Excuse me.

Mi dispiace. I am sorry.

Buon giorno. Good morning.

Buona sera. Good evening.

Buona notte. Good night.

Piacere. I am pleased to meet you.

Delizioso.  Delicious!




We will share a few more helpful phrases in the months to come and there are many apps (like Duo Lingo) that are fun for learning language!

We are grateful to partner with Undiscovered Tuscany for this adventure!

With over 20 years of experience in the hospitality business, Gianni, with the help of his family, started Undiscovered Tuscany, LLC offering customizable tours to travelers looking to get to know the Italian way of life.  Gianni realized back then that there had to be a better way to explore Tuscany beyond the mega tour busses and crowds.  Undiscovered Tuscany thus began as a way to view Italy at a slower, easier pace.

“I feel very fortunate to be able to call this ‘work’. Every day, I get to see Italy through the eyes of someone who has never experienced it before, and it brings me joy to know that I can share my passion with them.
We welcome you to join us on our journey. A presto!”

Gianni Vanni
 Founder and Owner
 Undiscovered Tuscany, LLC

Experience Italy through art history, creativity, and explorations of the sacred feminine with Sarah Brokke.  Grounding ourselves in the Tuscan countryside, we will spend the first few days of our time together through lectures and experiential learning, which will include creative journaling and drawing prompts drawing from sensory experiences. 

We will spend time soaking in the inspiration of Florence, visiting museums like the Uffizi, where we will see work from the Baroque artist Artemisia Gentilischi, to cathedrals like Santa Croce where we will see a monument by artist licie de Fauveau.  

Yoga’s many limbs will be offered as options to explore,  guided lovingly by musician & yoga instructor Mary Bue’s warm, down-to-earth teaching style.  We will practice aspects of yoga (yoga is loosely translated to “yoke” or “unite”) including asana (postures & flowing sequences),  pranayama (conscious breath practice),  meditation,   self-reflection (svadhyaya),  mantra & sacred sound (manas loosely means “mind” & tra means “tool / technique” or “protection”).

Mary will weave in themes of the Sacred Feminine to our daily practices with visualizations,  music,  meditations,  poetry, and ritual, and will also facilitate our welcoming,  full moon,  and closing ceremonies.

We are also grateful to be graced by Mary’s friend and master teacher Tara Cindy Sherman for her other-worldly gift of guiding Yoga Nidra during the Full Moon evening events!

Start where you are; no previous yoga experience required.  Everything is optional.  We celebrate your safety,  comfort,  and agency.

Everything is optional!  You can always choose to rest,  join,  or find another adventure within this itinerary.  This schedule is subject to change.  Please note that our excursions include walking (often on ancient, uneven cobblestone streets) and stairs.  

Friday, May 13th:

Arrival 4pm check in

Welcome Ceremony

Creating Sacred Space

Gentle Movement  / Yoga Nidra / Guided Relaxation

Saturday, May 14th:

Yoga asana (posture practices) + meditation

Creating space in your body for creativity

Engaging the creative impulse

Responding to nature through your senses with drawing

Historical grounding in Italy

Sunday, May 15th:

Yoga asana + meditation

Tuscany exploration through travel journaling and experiential drawing

Afternoon sacred rest/reflection

Evening lecture/conversation about artists we will see in Florence

Monday, May I6th:

Florence Day 1: Duomo, Santa Croce, Santa Maria Novella

Lunch in Florence

Evening gentle yoga asana / Full Moon Ceremony 

+ Yoga Nidra with Guest Presenter Tara Cindy Sherman

Tuesday, May 17th:

Florence Day 2: Art History!

Early day.  8:15 am: Uffizi, Ponte Vecchio, Piazza Michelangelo

Lunch in Florence

After dinner Concert by Mary

Wednesday, May 18th:

Florence Day 3 – Choose your own adventure:

              Morning sketching for an hour or two at the Accademie

              Visit the David

              And/or go shopping

             Florence is your oyster!

 Lunch in Florence

Thursday, May 19th:

Day of soaking in time in the Tuscan Countryside

Sacred Rest 

Closing Ceremony

Friday, May 20th:

Fond Farewell – check out 11am

We will be taking three day trips (morning to afternoon) to Florence (Firenze),  exploring the art, museums,  historic sites,  cafes,  winding streets,  and wherever our fancy may take us (the last day is a “choose your own adventure).”    Please note there are stairs and uneven cobblestone streets for some of these excursions – alternatives can be arranged.  This itinerary is subject to change. 

Florence Visit Descriptions

These are among the sites we are currently planning to visit, but you will also have the opportunity to visit more.


Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore

The “Duomo”, as the Cathedral is called, is the most important religious building in Florence since 1296 when its construction started. The beautiful green, white and pink exterior draw visitors into the beautiful mosaics of the interior floors. Upon its completion, the cathedral was the largest Christian church in the world before the building of St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome. Known specifically for its dome, designed by the Architect Filippo Brunelleschi in 1420 is the greatest masterpiece of Renaissance architecture and still the biggest masonry dome in the world. We will spend some of our time at the Duomo with the sculpture on the facade of Santa Reparata. 

Basilica of Santa Croce

A 10 minute walk through the winding streets of Florence, will lead us to the Basilica of Santa Croce. This Franciscan church with Gothic architecture was built at the end of the 1200’s and it is known as the “Temple of Italian Glories”, where very important Italians are buried such as Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli, Rossini and many others. Paintings, frescoes and stained glass windows adorn the interior, and we will focus, in particular, on a monument by sculptor Fèlicie de Fauveau. Also of note, within the ancient convent, the oldest leather workshop of Florence where items are still handmade by skilled artisans.

Basilica of Santa Maria Novella

On our way to this Basilica, we will stop for lunch at the Mercato Centrale.  Built on the western side of Florence by the Dominican monks at the end of the 13th century, the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella has a stunning Renaissance facade in white and green marble designed by Leon Battista Alberti. Important art masterpieces by Masaccio, Giotto, Ghirlandaio, Brunelleschi are housed within, and we will plan to spend time with a painting by Paultilla Nelli, considered to be Florence’s first female artist. In addition, in the ancient convent you will find the Pharmacy of Santa Maria Novella, a perfumery and herbalist shop which since 1612 makes lotions, soaps, body and home fragrances as well as natural medicines following the ancient recipes of the monks.


The Uffizi

We will arrive early to the Uffizi, with the plan of starting the day with some incredible art! The Gallery entirely occupies the first and second floors of the large building constructed between 1560 and 1580 and designed by Giorgio Vasari with the building’s original intent to be a legal and administrative office building for the city of Florence (uffizi means offices!). The collections of paintings from the 14th-century and Renaissance period include incredible masterpieces, and the inspiration can be a bit overwhelming. We can plan to see the work of Artemisia Gentileschi, Sophonisba Anguisciola, and Lavinia Fontana, as well as works by Sandro Boticelli, Caravaggio and Raphael.  

Ponte Vecchio

After our time at the Uffizi, we will stroll across the Ponte Vecchio towards lunch. Built very close to the Roman crossing, the Ponte Vecchio, (meaning ‘Old Bridge’), was the only bridge across the Arno in Florence until 1218. The current bridge was rebuilt after a flood in 1345. During World War II it was the only bridge across the Arno that the fleeing Germans did not destroy. Instead they blocked access by demolishing the medieval buildings on each side. On November 4, 1966, the bridge miraculously withstood the tremendous weight of water and silt when the Arno once again burst its banks.  You will see many artisans selling their jewelry as we cross the Arno. 

Piazzale Michelangelo

Following lunch (and maybe some gelato!), we’ll walk up to Piazzale Michelangelo for an incredible view of Florence. Built on the hills in 1869, located south Florence’s historic center following the design of the architect Giuseppe Poggi.

San Miniato al Monte 

Further up, we will take our time walking to San Miniato al Monte, also called San Miniato, completed in 1062, and the facade was finished in the 12th century. It is considered one of the finest examples of the Tuscan Romanesque style of architecture. It is located above Piazza Michelangelo, and hosts a beautiful cemetery on its grounds, and has stunning views. We will spend some time taking in the exquisite details in this final Basilica of our time together, and enjoy the view!

FLORENCE DAY THREE … is up to you!

There is so much to see, we wanted to leave time for you to explore.  Suggested itineraries will be provided!

(Much of the above information can be found and expanded upon at and


Description (NEW!!!)

Podere Fornacchia is located near one of the most enchanting places in all of Tuscany, the town of Volterra, cradle of Etruscan civilization, set on the spur of a hill at 541 m above sea level and dominating the Val di Cecina. It enjoys a secluded position on a hill that offers beautiful views of the hilly landscapes that characterise the area and from where you can see the profiles of nearby Monte Voltraio, an ideal destination for hikers and walkers. The structure stands within an old renovated farm complex and is made up of a main building and an annex, with elegant family furnishings and air-conditioned rooms, allowing groups and large families to have their own space as well as a large common area comprising living room and kitchen overlooking the garden. The farm is surrounded by a large, perfectly kept park with green lawns and living areas and is guarded by a garrison of olive trees and a vineyard that produces a red wine of Sangiovese quality and a white Vermentino, which the owners will be happy for guests to taste in the cellar next to the farmhouse. The property also includes a splendid consecrated chapel which is available for weddings. It is just 2.5 km from the historic town centre and from the 13th century town walls that contain thousand-year old architectural and artistic masterpieces, where you can find shops, museums and numerous restaurants, while within easy reach are the art cities of Siena, Florence, Luca, Pisa and San Gimignano as well as small villages scattered around the territory, oases and nature reserves, such as those of Berignone and of Monterufoli, very close to the town and, also, the beautiful beaches of the Livorno coast and Versilia.


The 4000 sq m park around the villa extends naturally over the surrounding landscape to which is added the vineyard and a large plantation of olive trees that frame the pool area. There is ample space around the property for guests to spend time outside and to enjoy the picturesque landscape and the tranquillity that reigns here. Just outside the two buildings are two porticoes equipped with table and chairs and nearby are relaxing corners with benches, a ping pong table, a wood oven, a large barbecue and a pergola shaded by climbing strawberry grape. The garden, with its 1500 sq m of lawn area, is enriched by numerous potted plants, towering cypresses and bushes of herbs and is completed by a three-car covered parking area (with further, uncovered, parking spaces).Please notice that photos are taken in spring, therefore flower blossoming, and the colours of the gardens’ grass could be different at the moment of your arrival at the villa.

Swimming Pool:

The swimming pool is located in the most panoramic point of the property, about 15 m from the houses from which it can be reached down a few steps. It is enclosed by hedges and accessed through two gates.  In the extensive lawn area surrounding it are umbrellas, tables, sunbeds and two cold-water showers. The pool has salt purification and internal and external lighting thanks to which it can be used in the evening as well.

  • Art + Yoga instruction
  • Transport to-from the airport (at pre-arranged times)
  • Lodging (variable rates based on occupancy)
  • Transport on excursions
  • All meals while at Villa (breakfast & dinner,  some lunches – mostly plant-based / all vegetarian)
  • Wine, coffee & tea
  • Art supplies
  • Sketchbook
  • Yoga mats (feel free to bring your own)
  • Admission / entrance fees to Duomo, Santa Croce, Santa Maria Novella, The Uffizi
  • Optional instruction with Sarah in Florence
  • Private concert at Villa by Mary
  • Full moon ceremony
  • Flights 
  • Food/bevvies outside of the villa
  • Travel insurance (Mary highly recommends AIG Travel Guard)
  • Medical care
  • international phone / internet fees your provider may have
  • Passport or visa fees if you plan to stay longer

We will have a few arranged pick up times for your convenience both arriving and departing from our villa from Florence’s airport and possibly Pisa’s, as well as the train station(s).  We will be in close contact about your arrival and departure plans to coordinate.

Arrival to Italy by plane (
The “Galileo Galilei” International Airport in Pisa and the “Amerigo Vespucci” Airport in Florence are little less than thirty minutes by car and they are both linked to the main European cities with daily flights.

Some people may enjoy arriving in Italy early and exploring.  You might fly into Rome and take the train to Florence … 

Arrival to Florence by train ( )
The Pontedera and San Romano-Montopoli-Santa Croce stations are nearby and ensure frequent links between the estate and the main Tuscan cities.

Sarah Brokke

I’ve been a practicing and exhibiting visual artist for over 20 years, 17 of which have been devoted to teaching at a collegiate level. Few experiences are more powerful and enriching than combining travel and education, which I’ve had the great fortune to do with my students over the years. I could not be more thrilled to share a place so deeply inspiring and instrumental in the path of my work, having attended graduate school in Florence for the first year of my MFA. We’ll explore and stretch our creativity together through the lens of the sacred feminine. Whether you are an experienced, practicing artist, or don’t have any formal training or experience in visual art, this retreat will enrich your creative practice, and is designed to advance and enliven your artistic path. All we ask is that you come to this retreat with curiosity and an open, inquisitive mind.  Any questions? Happy to answer any you might have at You can also check out my most recent work on Instagram  @sarahbrokke

Mary Bue

I am a lifelong musician, traveler, poet, journal writer, vegan, Nada Yogi, adventure seeker, retreat guide,  solitude craver, and yoga instructor of 11+ years. I’m based out of Minneapolis, roaming this beautiful world as much as possible. I am grateful to be named “Best Songwriter” of 2020 by City Pages and have been writing music and performing since 1998,  with 8 albums out now! I believe deeply in the richness of a creative life that is ever unfolding. One doesn’t have to play an instrument, write a novel, paint like Frida, or write like Mary Oliver to live a creative life. Every moment that unfolds offers opportunities to make something beautiful. While this may seem like a lot of pressure, rest in knowing that potential is ever unfolding, even in the silent and restorative times (like sleeping!). I look forward to sharing this beautiful & inspiring place with you in 2022. Please let me know if you have ANY questions. I am pretty much an open book (most of which can be discovered in this website or listening to my music!). Contact me via the contact link here or at marybue @

Hans Sebald Beham – 1541

We are blown away and SO grateful for your interest in joining us– the response has been incredible! In our attempt to make this registration as fair as possible,  Sarah and I have decided to do a “Registration Lottery,”  leaving it up to the sacred hands of Goddess Fortuna to determine this once-in-a-lifetime collection of retreat-goers.

Fortuna holds the cornucopia (horn of plenty), from which all good things flowed in abundance,  with the ability to bestow prosperity … She also holds a ship’s rudder which indicates her power to control fate … Sometimes she sits enthroned with a wheel built into her royal chair to represent the turning of fate and of fortune.

We will release registration information to all of those who expressed interest via Google Form on Thursday, March 25th and open the registration to the general public on Friday, March 26th.

On Sunday, March 28th, under the full moon in Libra (sign of balance and justice),  all who have filled out our registration form with intent to pay the deposit (linked below) will be assigned a number and entered into the lottery with a random number generator.  We will then contact you directly with the news and share payment options.

To participate:

  • Determine if you are willing to pay a $600 non-refundable deposit within 24 hours after our lottery drawing on March 28th.
  • Complete the REGISTRATION FORM below anytime between now and Sunday, March 28th at 9am CST.
  • The REGISTRATION FORM contains questions about accessibility,  allergies,  and room + roommate preferences.  We will do our very best to accommodate!
  • We will pick the first lottery “winners” on the late morning of Sunday, March 28th and you’ll be notified via email.
  • If you should decide after being chosen that would like to decline and not pay $600 deposit within 24 hours to reserve your place,  simply let us know and we’ll move onto the next number drawn (through a random number generator).

Retreat size is limited to 10-14 guests (depending on room configurations).


$2,500 – Shared room (two twin beds or sharing one double bed)

$2,800 – Single room

$600 Deposit due within 24 hours of our first lottery drawing on March 28th (or within any subsequent drawings as we fill the rooms).  If you are mailing a check,  we will allow for a little extra time.  Checks can also be dropped off with Sarah in Duluth,  or Mary in Minneapolis.

We will share how to pay after your name has been drawn: Please note that preferred payment options are check,  Apple Pay, or Zelle. A small fee will be added for PayPal or Venmo due to their admin charges.

Full payment is due by January 15th, 2022.


As the retreat approaches,  you will receive an information packet (PDF, sent to email) with more information about Italy,  getting there,  what to pack,  cultural etiquette,  and some helpful Italian language phrases.  You’ll also receive a waiver of liability to sign,  knowing that you choosing to participate in this experience at your own risk.

Refund policy:

Full refund (minus deposit) before August 31st 2021*

50% refund (minus deposit) between Sept 1st to January 15th, 2022*

No refunds after January 15th, 2022*

*In the case of a 4th wave of the pandemic, catastrophic world events, or Italy not allowing foreign tourism in May 2022,  your deposit / payments will be refunded less a small administration fee OR, if you choose,  pushed forward to a determined rescheduled date.

** Foreign travel may require vaccinations for COVID-19.  Please take into consideration before registering for this retreat that there will be no refunds for anyone who doesn’t get the potentially required vaccination for foreign air travel.

*** In case of extreme personal circumstances,  we will consider full refunds less small administration fee on a case by case basis if your spot can be filled.

Registration Lottery

If you would like to be entered into our registration lottery,  please fill out the form below!  We will draw names from those who entered this form and you will be notified that you are COMING TO ITALY WITH US!

By filling out the form below,  you agree to pay the $600 non-refundable deposit within 24 hours.

If something comes up and you no longer would like to join,  we will draw another name.

Thank you for understanding – the interest in this adventure has been incredible and we want to make it fair for those who don’t have internet access or are somehow otherwise busy the moment it goes live.  We are SO excited for this adventure! Thank you for your interest!