Join me in Tuscany for Sempre Sano: a wellness retreat to celebrate a long, healthful life
Come to Tuscany with me this September! Sempre Sano — Forever Healthy — is a unique, week-long seminar set in the medieval hilltop town of Monteverdi. I will be joining a faculty of world-renowned physicians, scientists and health experts to talk about brain health. This is not your typical wellness retreat: Sempre Sano is an experience that marries food, health, music, mindful exercise and cutting-edge medicine. It’s for anyone who wants to learn how to live a long, healthy, vibrant life.
While we are there, we will be cooking up brain healthy food from the Tuscan countryside. I can’t wait to cook with Monteverdi’s executive chef Ginacarla Bodoni. We’ll pluck vegetables from the garden, prepare them simply in Giancarla’s kitchen, and learn the best way to nourish and protect the brain with food. Seriously, does it get any better than this?
Have you ever taken a wellness vacation? You won’t come home feeling like you need a vacation from your vacation. Or, like you need to lose 5 pounds. You’ll feel amazing — inspired, rested and replenished. I can’t imagine a more perfect place to be immersed in healthy living than the setting of Monteverdi Tuscany. Located midway between Rome and Florence in Castiglioncello del Trinoro, this former ancient hamlet is now a modern boutique hotel and spa. With Monterverdi as our home base, we will explore the Tuscan countryside. We will walk the steep hills, head into the woods to hunt for truffles, and take side trips to taste local olive oil, wines and local foods. But there will also be days when the infinity pool and my book will be calling. Sempre sano combines learning, adventure and supreme relaxation. Here, we can do everything and nothing at all.
Won’t you join me? Here’s what to expect.
The latest information to dementia-proof your brain
We are in the midst of a golden age of learning about what makes the brain tick and what makes it fail as we age. Believe me, the science science behind Alzheimer’s prevention is exploding at a rapid pace. Every day, new studies emerge that change the way we think about brain health. Through lectures, panel discussions and informal chats, I’ll translate the latest studies into real-life guidelines for living a brain healthy lifestyle. I’ll show you how easy it is to make small changes every day that will help dementia-proof your brain. We are going to have a lot of fun immersing ourselves in the Mediterranean diet of Tuscany. After all, this is the place where much of the brain health data is based. (Read here about the science behind the Mediterranean diet.)
The science behind a whole foods, plant-based diet with Dr. T. Colin Campbell, author of the China Study
In the words of Dr. Dean Ornish, “Everyone in the field of nutrition science stands on the shoulders of Dr. Campbell.” Over 30 years ago, nutrition researcher Dr. T. Colin Campbell and his team at Cornell, in partnership with teams in China and England, embarked upon the China Study, one of the most comprehensive studies of health and nutrition ever conducted on data from 880 million Chinese citizens. Campbell’s work opened the world’s eyes to the importance of eating a plant-based diet to reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes. In fact, Dr. Campbell was the first to coin the term “whole-food, plant-based” back in 1978, and launched the Forks Over Knives movement that is thriving today. (Have you seen the movie Forks Over Knives? Watch the trailer here.)
Dr. Campbell is one of my all-time favorite food heroes. He has spent his career rescuing people from the Standard American Diet. His book The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted, co-authored by his son Dr. Thomas Campbell, has sold over 2 million copies.
The wisdom of Dr. John Tew, renowned neurosurgeon and leader in integrative medicine
I can’t wait for you all to meet my friend and colleague Dr. John Tew. It’s not enough that he is a pioneer in neurosurgery, an inventor of microsurgical tools, the author of over 300 scientific papers and 4 neurosurgery textbooks, and was honored by Pope John Paul with a Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice medal. So what do you think he did after 45 years of practicing neurosurgery? Retire? No way. He made it his mission to help people achieve total health by heading up the integrative medicine program in Cincinnati, Ohio where he lives.
Dr. Tew is dedicated physician who is beloved by patients and colleagues alike. He now works tirelessly to help people make the lifestyle changes he knows are essential for optimal health and longevity. His passion for nutrition, exercise, spirituality and the arts is infectious. At Sempre Sano, Dr. Tew will be speaking about his personal journey with integrative health, and how to take care of all those precious blood vessels that supply your brain.
Daily meditation and exercise
The science behind meditation makes it one of our most powerful tools to combat cognitive decline. But have you struggled to cultivate a daily meditation practice? I know I have. That’s why I am looking forward to the morning meditation at Sempre Sano every day with Susan Tew. A week-long vacation is a wonderful time to launch or reinforce a daily mindfulness practice.
Margaret Romero, a highly sought-after fitness coach, definitely makes exercise the most fun you’ll have all day. Margaret will be leading the exercise program at Sempre Sano, and I can’t wait to soak up what she knows about the science of movement. In addition to Margaret’s morning sessions, we’ll get the chance to exercise every day. We can swim, hike, practice yoga, and bike in and around Tuscany. Most of each day is free of programming to explore and have fun.
Our esteemed faculty of physicians
Besides Dr. Tew, Dr. Campbell, and (ahem) myself, we will be joined at Sempre Sano by a group of exceptional physicians.
Dr. Giovanni Vizzini is the Director of the Department of Care and Study of Abdominal Diseases and Abdominal Transplantation in Palermo, Italy. He is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the School of Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh. Main fields of clinical and scientific interest are: Transplant Hepatology, Clinical Epidemiology, Medical Education, E-Health.
Dr. Bruno Gridelli is a transplant surgeon and the Medical & Scientific Director of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) International. Since 2003, Dr. Gridelli has served as Director of the Mediterranean Institute of Transplantation and Advanced Therapies – ISMETT (IStituto MEditerraneo per i Trapianti e Terapie ad Alta Specializzazione: www.ismett.edu) in Palermo, Italy, a public hospital created by a public-private partnership between the Region of Sicily and UPMC.
In addition, we will be joined by Mr. Michael Cioffi, who’s passion for the Val d’Orcia region transformed Monteverdi into one of the best hotels in the world. Besides practicing law, he has been an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Cincinnati College of Law for more than 25 years. As founder and chairman of Monteverdi Tuscany, he has breathed life into the magical village of Castiglioncello del Trinoro and created his own Renaissance movement for the 21st century.
Music, spirituality, and great wine
The Sempre Sano team believes that music is integral to health and longevity. That’s why they’ve invited some of the world’s best classical musicians to join us in the evenings at Monteverdi. I can’t wait to sit on the terrace looking over the Val d’ Orcia as the music floods my brain. We’ll be treated to the music of concert pianist Gabriele Carcano, Liesl Odenweiler, Soprano, and Marco Ciaponi, Tenor.
Come to Sempre Sano with me in September!
Everyone who knows me knows this: I am in love with Italy. Visiting Italy on a regular basis is part of my DNA. My grandparents grew up across the street from each other in a remote, mountainous town in central Sicily. My father emigrated to the U.S. as a little boy, settling with his family in Upstate New York in a mostly Sicilian enclave of Rochester. From the Dolomites in the north to the sleepy beach towns of southern Sicily, Italy is the place that inspires my love of food and culture. And I just can’t help feeling like every Italian I meet is a long-lost aunt or uncle.
Please join me in one of my favorite places on earth for what will surely be a life-changing experience. At Sempre Sano this September, we will cook, rest, learn, meditate, exercise, hunt down truffles, soak up the Tuscan sun, and taste the famous Brunello di Montalcino wines.
For more information and to register, visit Sempre Sano.
Sempre Sano: Forever Healthy. September 24-30, 2017.