FAQs: Do you have a question you don’t see answered here? Contact me!
I want to come to Florence early/stay later. Can you make hotel reservations for me?
I highly recommend that you come to Florence at least a day or two before Writer’s Renaissance in order to recover from jetlag and get your bearings. You can contact Antica Torre Tornabuoni directly, tell them you are with the Writer’s Renaissance retreat, and they will honor the special rate given for attendees for your extra nights. If you would prefer to stay in a less expensive hotel prior to the retreat, the Davanzati Hotel is a great choice, and it’s very close to Antica Torre Tornabuoni. If you do stay at the Davanzati, let me know and I can help you get your luggage transfered on Sunday. Be sure to tell them I sent you!
What if I want my spouse/partner to stay with me at the hotel?
You are highly encouraged to come to Writer’s Renaissance alone or with a friend. The experience will not be the same if you are still tied to your “real” life, however wonderful it may be. Your spouse/partner could join you before or after Writer’s Renaissance when you will actually be able to spend time together.
You said alcohol is not included. What if I want wine with my meal?
I want wine with my meal too! What we do is ask everyone who wants wine with dinner to contribute cash into a kitty. Then we order wine for the table, relax, and don’t have to worry about digging into our wallets. If we end the week with cash leftover, everyone will receive an equal amount back. If we need to replenish the kitty, we can do that too. Wine will be provided at the Welcome Reception and at our excursion to Badia a Colitbuono on Friday.
Are the group activities in the program mandatory?
How much walking should I expect to do?
Florence is a compact city, and the furthest walk we should have to make, one way, to any destination is 30 minutes. Plan additional walking time to get to and from meals (and gelaterias!). You will also likely do walking on your own in your free time, whether to visit a museum or simply explore. The main sights in the city are all in a pedestrian-only zone. The walking isn’t vigorous, but you must be able to do plenty of it, unassisted, each day. See the Policies page and the Special Considerations for Travel in Florence for more information.
How much should I plan to spend on the meals that are not included in the program?
Honestly? It’s entirely up to you. Street food in Florence, such as panini and pizza, is delicious and will only set you back a few euros. If, on the other hand, you go to the finest restaurant to indulge in the famous bistecca all fiorentina and you wash it down with a fine wine, you could easily be looking at 50+ euros per person. And everything in between. The good news is, there is delicious, eye-poppingly good food in Florence in all price ranges. Plus, all of the meals you will take on your own, with the exception of one dinner, are lunches, which are typically a lot less expensive than dinners.
Do I need to be an experienced writer to benefit from Writer’s Renaissance?
Absolutely not! The great thing about the Program we’ve designed for Writer’s Renaissance is that it will meet each writer right where she is. Whether you are brand new or have been writing your whole life, you will learn and grow in your writing.
Will participants do things together outside of the program activities?
Participants are welcome to do things together during their free time. Visit a museum, take a stroll, grab a coffee. The great thing about trips like these is that lifetime friendships are often formed. However, you are certainly not obligated to spend time with fellow participants and you can choose if, and how much, time you spend socializing with others outside of planned activities.
Why aren’t we visiting the Uffizi (fill-in-any-of-the-dozens-of-major-sights-in-Florence-not-included-in-the-program-here)?
Florence is full of treasures. Even if all we did during Writer’s Renaissance was visit the famous sights, we still couldn’t cover them all. And this is not a Rick Steves tour. We’ve designed the Program to visit places and conduct activities that will ignite your writing and unlock your creativity. Luckily, you also have plenty of free time to visit any of your “must see” sights that aren’t covered in the Program.
When should I make airline reservations?
You should not make airline reservations until Writer’s Renaissance has met its minimum number of participants for 2015. Once you register and pay your deposit, you will be notified immediately once the retreat reaches its minimum participation so you can purchase airline tickets.
Remember, Writer’s Renaissance is not responsible for your airfare and will not provide any refunds of purchased airline tickets at any time. If you do make airline reservations before the retreat is declared a “Go,” you do so at your own risk.
We advise you to secure travel insurance. See the Policies page for more information.
What happens if I have to cancel?
The deposit to secure your reservation in Writer’s Renaissance is non-refundable. Once the balance for the retreat has been paid (no later than February 7, 2014), that too is non-refundable. You are highly encouraged to buy travel insurance to protect yourself in the event you need to cancel. See the Policies page for more information.
Yeah, yeah yeah. All this is great, but what do I WEAR?
Great question! Close to the departure date, you will receive an welcome package with a detailed list of suggested things to bring, including attire. The short version is – comfortable shoes (but not tennis shoes unless you want to be pegged as an American from a mile away), slacks for evening, jeans (recommend dark denim), leggings, and perhaps one skirt or dress that makes you feel beautiful. Florence weather can be unpredictable in the spring, so plan on wearing layers. Cardigan sweaters or blazers work great. Scarves are a good idea too.