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The Power of Stories: A Tuscan Adventure

May 23, 2020 - June 6, 2020


About the Adventure

May 23-30, 2020 or May 30-June 6, 2020

Whether you are a reader, an aspiring writer, part of a book club, or in the corporate world, storytelling is a fundamental part of your life. Our stories connect us to each other and the world, and are a dramatic engine for growth and transformation. Come learn more about The Power of Stories in this once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity at our upcoming Tuscan Adventure by the Book.

Featuring renowned writers and performers, Paula McLain and Terence Mickey, your seven-day, six-night Adventure will take place in Southern Tuscany, where you will enjoy the comforts and charm of the stunning Il Mandorlo, a meticulously restored farmhouse situated in a protected UNeSCO World Heritage site.

And who knows, if we are lucky, we might even have a surprise guest appearance by New York Times and international best-selling author Frances Mayes, whose novel, Under the Tuscan Sun, ignited the allure of this charming region of Italy.

By day, enjoy exclusive and unique excursions into the Tuscan countryside with our private guide. In the evening, return to the villa for intimate dinners prepared by our own Italian private chef, world-class wine-as well as great conversation, performances, interviews, and talks about the ways our personal stories shape our purpose, how finding language for our experiences helps us to inspire and connect with others, and how certain books have helped to shape and transform our thinking, and our lives.

Meet the Featured Storytellers

And if that isn’t enticing enough, allow us to introduce you to our two professional storytellers, who will spend the week with us in intimate conversation, giving us insight into their creative process and personal experiences.

Paula McLain is the New York Times and international bestselling author of The Paris Wife (published in 34 languages), Circling the Sun, and Love and Ruin. She is also the author of a memoir, Like Family, about her childhood spent in foster care, and is the recipient of fellowships from Yaddo, The MacDowell Colony, the Cleveland Arts Prize, the Ohio Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She is a book club favorite author with a substantial following of reading fans.

Her new book, Love and Ruin, brings to life the story of Martha Gellhorn–a fiercely independent, ambitious woman ahead of her time, who would become one of the greatest war correspondents of the twentieth century.

Paula was born in Fresno, California in 1965. After being abandoned by both parents, she and her two sisters became wards of the California Court System, moving in and out of various foster homes for the next fourteen years. When she aged out of the system, she supported herself by working as a nurses aid in a convalescent hospital, a pizza delivery girl, an auto-plant worker, a cocktail waitress–before discovering she could (and very much wanted to) write. She received her MFA in poetry from the University of Michigan in 1996.


Terence Mickey was the lead in the Moth Corporate Program and has taught the art of storytelling to executive leaders in a wide range of industries, to help clarify visions, inspire followership, perfect pitches, communicate culture, and connect teams. He’s worked with individuals and organizations to craft their stories, including Fortune 500 companies Prudential, Google, Nike, March and McLennan, Novo Nordisk, among others. His seven principles of storytelling will help you craft your personal experience into a compelling and moving performance.

He is also the host of the popular Self?Help podcast for anyone who’s thought: Who the hell am I? What in god’s name am I doing? And how did I get here of all places? And then to figure it all out, you turned to a book—because you’re that kind of person, and so is he. He doesn’t care from where you seek your guidance, whether it’s Leo Tolstoy or Dr. Seuss. He’s a firm believer that we cannot get enough help in this life and that books are, indeed, magic.



About Il Mandorlo

Located in Southern Tuscany, Il Mandorlo is a meticulously restored farmhouse.  It is a wonderful place for you to relax, take in the mesmerizing scenery of the Val d’Orcia, sample the authentic local cuisine, drink world-renowned Brunello and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano wines, and simply enjoy the Tuscan countryside. Situated in a protected UNESCO World Heritage area Mandorlo is only 10 minutes to Pienza, 30 minutes to Montalcino or Montalpulciano, 40 minutes to Siena, and about 1½ hours to Florence.  Rome is a 2½ hour drive.

In any season, Il Mandorlo’s location is perfect for cultural touring of the numerous small and medium-sized hill towns, hiking along an extensive network of rural trails between villages, biking the beautiful yet challenging rolling hills, foraging for special ingredients to make your dinner in Il Mandorlo’s fantastic kitchen, tasting world class wines, or just enjoying being away from it all.

In addition to overlooking the Val D’Orcia and Monte Amiata (which is a ski resort in the winter!), the house looks onto the famous hill towns of Montalcino, Montepulciano, Pienza, Bagno Vignoni, and Rocca d’Orcia.  Closer still is the quaint village of Lucignano d’Asso and the ancient settlement of Cosona, which houses the castle in which the Marquesa Ruspoli Forteguerri still lives.


Four great package options (limited availability of each; reserved on a first-come, first-served basis):

Single with shared bath $4,495 (per person) – NO single supplement!

Double with shared bath $4,495 (per person based on double occupancy)

Double with private bath $4,995 (per person based on double occupancy)

Luxury suite with private bath $5,495 (per person based on double occupancy)

Your Power of Stories Tuscan Adventure Includes

8 days and 7 nights at the spectacular Il Mandorlo villa in Southern Tuscany (rarely made available to private groups!)

Welcome dinner with Paula and Terence, prepared by private chef at Il Mandorlo

Daily excursions into the heart of Tuscany, including two days with Tuscan author Dario Castagno for an exclusive, behind-the-scenes tour of Siena’s Palio community, and Dario’s special Chianti Rooster tour with winery visit

All group transportation with private driver/guide

Evening storytelling sessions , great conversation, performances, interviews, and talks about the purpose and power of personal stories with NYT bestselling author Paula McLain and executive storytelling leader Terence Mickey

Continental breakfast every day and some lunches

Dinner every day prepared by our own private local chef, with local wines

Farewell dinner with Paula and Terence and our Adventurers

Signed copy of Love and Ruin with a custom Adventures by the Book travel tote and travel journal

Intimate, exclusive tour group not to exceed 14 Adventurers

Round-trip hotel transport (limitations apply)

The unique opportunity for a special storytelling travel opportunity

Recommended reading list to prepare for your Adventure

Four great package options (limited availability of each; reserved on a first-come, first-served basis):

…and much, much more!

For a detailed itinerary, further information, or to reserve your Adventure, contact Adventures by the Book at 619-300-2532




May 23, 2020
June 6, 2020
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Italy + Google Map