Okay, here is all the serious stuff. Please read through each section – Registration and Cancellation PolicyLimitations of Liability, andSpecial Considerations for Travel in Florence – carefully. Once your registration is received, you will be asked to sign the Registration and Cancellation Policy and the Limitations of Liability documents to indicate your agreement. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

REGISTRATION AND CANCELLATION POLICY

Space is limited and accommodations in Writer’s Renaissance will be assigned on a first come, first serve basis. We encourage early registration in order to confirm your reservation. Participation in Writer’s Renaissance is restricted to women ages 20+.

Once you register, you will receive an invoice for a $750 (single) or $500 (double registering together) non-refundable deposit to secure your reservation. Please note that your reservation in Writer’s Renaissance is not secured until we receive payment of your deposit.

If, in the unlikely event Writer’s Renaissance does not reach its minimum number of participants by March 1, 2015, deposits will be returned in full.

You will receive an invoice for the balance of the registration fee no later than February 1, 2015, with final payment due on February 7, 2015. Failure to pay the balance by the due date will result in the cancellation of your reservation in Writer’s Renaissance. Once the balance is paid, it is not refundable for any reason. Please consider travel insurance to protect yourself against changes in your circumstances.

There are no refunds for leaving Writer’s Renaissance early or arriving late. Likewise, should you choose to opt out of any part of the Writer’s Renaissance activities, there shall be no refund of any part of your registration fee.

You are strongly advised not to make airline reservations until Writer’s Renaissance has reached its minimum number of participants for 2015. We will inform all registered participants as soon as we have reached the minimum to let you know the retreat is a “go.”

Remember, Writer’s Renaissance is not responsible for participants’ air or ground travel to Florence and will not issue refunds for unused airline or ground travel reservations.

Exceptions to this cancellation policy cannot be made for any reason, including personal emergencies. Once again, please consider travel insurance to protect yourself against changes in your circumstances.

LIMITATION OF LIABILITY

I acknowledge and agree that The Abundant Writer, LLC, d.b.a. Writer’s Renaissance, acts only as an agent, and assumes no responsibility or liability in connection with the services of any hotel proprietor, or hotel service or for any other person engaged in carrying out the housing arrangements. In the event that it becomes necessary or advisable for the comfort or well-being of the participants, or for any reason whatsoever, to alter the itinerary or arrangements, to change times and days of classes or change classroom venues, such alternatives may be made by Writer’s Renaissance without liability to any participant.

Further, Writer’s Renaissance accepts no responsibility for loss of tickets, nor for the loss of personal articles and effects, nor for personal accidents, injury or death, nor for losses or additional expense due to delays or damages in transportation or other services, quarantine, sickness, strikes, war, or warlike conditions, weather or any other causes or for any of the above arising due to participant’s participation in the Workshop.

Writer’s Renaissance shall not be liable under any circumstances to any participant for indirect, consequential, incidental, punitive, or special damages, including but not limited to lost profits, even if it has been apprised of the likelihood of such damages occurring.

Writer’s Renaissance reserves the right to refuse participation to any registrant or participant at any time in our sole and absolute discretion, in the Program, without any liability to Writer’s Renaissance, for any reason, including but not limited to, lack of physical ability to participate in the scheduled activities, behavior that significantly and materially disrupts the other participants’ ability to enjoy the Program, abuse of alcohol or other drugs.

Further, I acknowledge that I have read the “Special Considerations for Travel in Florence” section of the Writer’s Renaissance website thoroughly, and attest that I am ambulatory and able to walk several miles, negotiate minor hills, and climb stairs unassisted. I understand that if I am not able to walk unassisted upon my arrival in Florence, I may, at the sole and absolute discretion of Writer’s Renaissance, be excluded from some or all activities without any liability to Writer’s Renaissance and that I will not receive a refund for these activities.

SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR TRAVEL IN FLORENCE

Florence is a walking city, and the historic city centre is entirely pedestrian. Translation: We’ll be doing a lot of walking on this retreat. The good news is that the city is small and our hotel is right smack in the center, so the walking distances will not be great. The terrain is mostly flat, especially in the areas where we will hold our group activities. You should expect to walk anywhere from 5-30 minutes one-way in order to participate in the activities included on the itinerary. You should be able to negotiate some stairs and walk several miles unassisted in order to comfortably participate. Some of the restaurants we visit may be outside of the pedestrian area, and therefore accessible by taxi, but traffic in Florence is often heavy, and sometimes a taxi will take longer than walking. Luckily, the city is a pure spectacle of beauty, history and brilliance. I guarantee you’ll want to be on foot so you can explore the nooks and crannies and take it all in – not to mention take photos.

Florentine streets are mostly cobblestone and flagstone and often in need of repair. I have tried, and failed miserably and with great embarrassment, to mimic the elegant heel-wearing Italian women and ultimately given up. Translation: You’ll need comfortable shoes. More on that in the FAQs.

Our hotel is elegant, beautiful, and in impeccable shape, but keep in mind that the building has been in existence since the twelfth century. The bathrooms may not be as large as we are accustomed to in American hotels and the water pressure may sometimes seem like gentle rain rather than a downpour. Each double room will be furnished with two twin beds, but the room configurations are such that they will not be on  opposite sides of the room. Translation: You can stay in a Hyatt anywhere, but staying in a medieval tower with terraces overlooking the entire city of Florence may require a few minor compromises.

Breakfast at the hotel will be plentiful and varied, but don’t expect a menu or gourmet flavor. A typical Italian breakfast consists of a coffee and a pastry, so the fact that the hotel will provide eggs, cold cuts, cheeses and other sundries is already a step up. Translation: You will not go hungry in the morning, but the delicious Italian food you’ve always dreamed of eating will come your way at lunch and dinner. If you want a taste of what we ate last year, check out this short video.

Italian clocks seem to run a few ticks behind American ones. Sometimes there are delays, unexpected changes of plans, or just plain slowness. Translation: Be prepared to be flexible and go with the flow. I’ve found that often the things that initially seemed to go wrong while traveling in Italy turned out to be some of the best and most memorable parts of the trip. The secret to living la dolce vita is to slow down, savor and sometimes, press your patience button. Here is a video montage of photos taken during one of our slow, evening strolls at Writer’s Renaissance 2013. Perfetto!