I recently returned from Tuscany where, after an absence of more than two years, I resumed my week-long writing retreats for women. The only way I can think to describe to you how wonderful it was to be back in Italy, at the beautiful Villa Castellare de’ Sernigi, cared for by the lovely Corti family, and surrounded by inspiring writers, is to show you in pictures.

However, before I do that let me give you a little perspective on what I missed when the pandemic forced me to cancel seven retreats.


56 wonderful women writers I did not get to meet, 

♥ 42 morning walks through the olive groves not taken . 

♥ 126 sublime meals prepared by our wonderful chef, Nadia, that I did not have the pleasure of eating.

♥ Countless glasses of fine Italian wine not consumed.

Too many new sights not discovered. 

♥ Hundreds of fond memories not created. 


I could go on, but that’s behind me now, and I’m excited to show you what a typical day looks like with A Writer Within in Tuscany!


The 500-hundred-year-old Villa Castellare de’ Sernigi is our home for the week.

If you are up early, there’s time for a walk through the surrounding countryside before breakfast.

Breakfast is one of the favorite meals at the villa, with just about everything you can imagine. Our cook, Nadia, takes wonderful care of us and caters to anyone with food allergies or special dietary needs.

We write together for three hours every morning, exploring different aspects of the craft, following the creative flow, and sharing our work.


Can you tell that I love what I do?

If the weather is fine, we’ll take our afternoon writing sessions to the outdoor living room.

Lunch and dinner are often enjoyed under the pergola on the front terrace.

We enjoy typical Tuscan cuisine and locally sourced food and wine.

Some afternoons are devoted to outings throughout Tuscany such as Siena, San Gimignano, Castellina in Chianti, and Volterra, to name a few. Always with a local guide and professional transportation.

There are surprises around every corner.

And plenty of gelato!

An evening outing might include a wine tasting at one of the stunning local vineyards.

Other afternoons are devoted to private coaching sessions and quiet relaxation.

Our outdoor classroom becomes a lounge for our evening aperitivo.

What would dinner be without pasta?

Thank you to the Corti family for taking such good care of us!


I hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse of what a week with A Writer Within in Tuscany might look like for you.

I’m eternally grateful to the courageous women who travel thousands of miles and put their trust in me. It’s an honor to work with each and every one of them.

My question to you is … if not now, when?

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I’m Kathryn Kay, the founder of A Writer Within. I offer support and inspiration to women writers through one-on-one coaching, editing services, and week-long retreats in Tuscany. My focus is on getting writers into the creative flow, beyond their internal critic, and their very best stories onto the page. If you have a writer within, let's set her free!