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‘Slow’ Christmas & New Year Creative Getaways

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Come and explore a new creative path this Winter in Tuscany

When not enjoying a local walk there is plenty to focus on at Casale di Clio!

Christmas is just too Hectic – Slow Down Instead!

Would you like to look forward to something other than the usual over-commercialised Festive period? Do you think that Christmas has too much rushing around, too many onerous social commitments, and that dreadful FOMO (Fear of Missing Out – whether on parties or presents – or just the ‘good time’ that family and friends pressure us to have!)?! Then consider a relaxing Slow Christmas and/or New Year Getaway – where the mantra is ‘no pressure-no stress’.

Come and stay at Casale di Clio Writers’ Artists’ & Study Retreat for a week or more and shift into ‘the slow lane’. Italy is the country that brought the world ‘Slow Food‘, and arguably a broader approach to ‘Slow-Everything’. In Vetteglia, we soon learnt that here things are done ‘piano, piano’: slowly, steadily, with no rush and an understanding that appointments are flexible and no-one is clock-watching!

The Festive Period in the Tuscan Apennines is Special!

Christmas Market Event 2023 Bagni di Lucca

Photo: Christmas Market event 2023 Bagni di Lucca

Our 2024-25 Slow Christmas and New Year period includes four 7-night sessions at Casale di Cio, each week special in its own way:

  • Approach to Christmas (Friday 13th – Friday 20th December 2024);
  • Christmas Week (Saturday 21st – Saturday 28th December 2024);
  • Welcoming the New Year (Saturday 28th December 2023 – Saturday 4th January 2025);
  • Twelfth Night/Epiphany/La Befana Week (Saturday 4th – Saturday 11th January 2025).

It will be possible to book to stay after the main festive period, when room rates drop.

The usual Casale di Clio facilities will be available and the usual house ‘rules’ apply – notably, quiet study/reflection hours weekday mornings and afternoons to accommodate those bringing projects to work on – and no room TV provided – but there will undoubtedly by a Festive Twist/Ambiance: the Casale will be decorated for Christmas, outside of ‘quiet hours’ you might hear seasonal classical music and Christmas Carols in the dining room – and there will even be a 1000-piece festive jigsaw puzzle to spend time with (other non-festive jigsaw puzzles are available!). If residents agree to watch some festive programming on the TV (broadcast or on DVD) – outside of ‘quiet hours’ – this can be arranged in the Library, Dining Room or Sitting Room, depending on the level of interest.

Socialise in the Slow Lane

No ‘Big Do’ parties are planned at Casale di Clio during this time, but any aperitivi (and possible stuzzichini) that you happen across are likely have a seasonal flavour! If we host any small social events at the Casale during this period (outside of quiet hours of course) then as residents you will have an automatic invitation to join! The usual catering setup applies: we do not provide meals for residents as a service, and residents will cater for themselves, with the freedom to prepare meals jointly with others. The constellation of residents staying at the Casale (and their wishes/culinary preferences) will determine the nature of any collective traditional festive-period meals during this period (e.g., Christmas, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and New Years Day dinners/lunches) – although it is as well to serve notice that one of the two ovens in the kitchen will be used by the hosts for traditional non-vegetarian festive meals over this period!

A Beautiful Area to Enjoy the Festive Period

Depending on your interests and gumption-level, you might want to take time to visit local villages and/or our local town Bagni di Lucca (in the photograph below – though we cannot guarantee snow at Christmas or New Year!) to savour the festive atmosphere of small-scale traditional Italy (see our Getting Around information); depending on your transport situation, and intrepidness, you might want to venture to Lucca, our nearest (very beautiful) city to experience the wonderful ambiance there – you might even want to venture to Florence or Pisa for a larger-scale festive atmosphere and to see some of their big-hitting attractions. Or maybe you will just want to ‘hunker down’ here and relax.

A frosty Monte Prato a Fiorito – from behind Casale di Clio

Fit in a Stay Here Before or After a Big City Culture or Skiing Trip!

If Florence, Pisa, or any other place in Italy – or the continent for that matter! – appeals as a place to enjoy a Big Culture City Christmas/New Year, then why not consider coming to stay here either for the ‘calm before the storm’ – or to recover and ease yourself into the New Year? Similarly, why not consider some skiing (downhill or cross-country) or snow-shoeing up at nearby Abetone before or after a residence here – we are not suitable as a base for a skiing holiday, but if you have your own transport you might want to take a trip up to Abetone for a break from your creative endeavours while staying here.

We cannot guarantee snow! – but if it comes … Photo: Villa Fiori at Bagni di Lucca in the snow (credit)

Room Rates

Until such time as we might be able to add to our bathroom facilities, we are only accepting bookings for the two guest rooms with views of the Lima valley, Dante and Hildegard, which share the guest bathroom – we also offer the option of securing exclusive use of the guest bathroom for a weekly supplement of 100 Euros, meaning that we would not let another guest room for that week.

If guests wish to book as a group, however, among whom they are happy to share the guest bathroom, then we can make another guest room, Leonardo, available (i.e., three rooms sharing the bathroom) – please contact us if this interests you. NB, such group bookings are suitable for fellow members of writing circles, art groups, reading/study groups, hiking clubs, etc – we do not let to groups for a general holiday/vacation that will include a lot of partying (this is not a partying/celebration venue – the house has a quiet ambience, with hosts who live in a separate apartment in the same building); we do not let to groups including children.

The room rates (all single occupancy – double occupancy rates are available) for the Christmas Week & New Year Week are at our ‘Higher Season Rate’, as follows:

RoomWeekly Rate (€)Additional-Night Rate (€)
(when made available as part of a group booking – see above)
The fee for your stay is calculated by adding additional nights to full weeks as appropriate (minimum stay 7 nights)

Are you interested? Then head to our Booking Enquiries page and get in touch!