Plant Lover’s Journey to Italy

Experience the Art of Good Living in Italy

This trip is full.  Please inquire for future trips.

Join Rosemary Gladstar & Dr. Richard Liebmann

Atop a broad hill in the countryside of Tuscany stands a sixteenth century villa. The beautiful Villa Certano, has been in the Baldassarrini family for generations and is now owned and managed by Annalisa and Ruggero Baldassarrini. They will welcome us into their timeless and magnificent home. We will experience an enchanting and romantic 12 wonderful days focused on herbs, health, culture, and rejuvenation. Beautiful grape vineyards, olive groves, beehives, vegetable and flower gardens roll gracefully through the hills surrounding the villa as they have for 500 years. The hills are still actively tended, produce harvested and made into exquisitely delicious wines, olive oil, honey and food for the table. A church built over 1200 years ago rests between the winery and villa. The ancient walled city of Siena is just minutes away and Florence, one of the most renowned cities for art in the world, is an hour’s drive.

Pilgrimage is an age-old journey to sacred spaces and places.

We will be making pilgrimage throughout our journey, searching for the authentic, searching for the inner meaning and the interconnectedness. There are natural hot springs and spas to experience, walks through the bucolic countryside, teachings from local people, walled castles to wander in, and the profoundly exquisite art and architecture of Italy to lose oneself in.

And the food in Italy!

Need one say more? Italian food is among the freshest, simplest, healthy and elegant food served anywhere in the world. Each region has its own specialty and the atmosphere and ambiance around dining is an experience in itself. A meal is most often a leisurely, extended ritual of savoring food, friendship and wine.

Our program will focus on health, well-being and the romance of living life fully through movement, dance, meditation, herb walks and the sacredness of the green world of plants. While participating in the life style of an authentic Italian villa, we’ll immerse ourselves fully in the beauty and spirituality of the art and architecture of Italy.


Registration Information

The cost for Spring Time in Tuscany is $2975

Includes 12 incredible days, all instruction and material, transportation within Italy, entrance fees, most meals, and double occupancy lodging (please inquire for single rates). We’ll be staying at the 400-year-old Villa Certano, a 100-acre farm with grapes and olives under production in the heart of Tuscany for 9 nights & 2 nights at a beautiful mountain lodge in Campigna.

For Further Information, Please Contact

Richard Liebmann at Lokahi Garden Sanctuary LLC:

Tel: 808.987.7501

Registration Details

Not included in trip expenses: Spa treatments (optional), horseback riding (optional), and items of a personal nature such as phone calls, and tips. We’ve elected to leave 2-3 meals to the individual so that participants have the delightful opportunity to choose where and what they might wish to eat on some of the excursions.

A $200 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your place; $1400 is due by November 15, 2017 and the remaining fee of $1375 is due by February 15, 2018. Group size is limited, so reserve your place early.

All Deposits/Payments are neither refundable nor transferable.
Please consider getting trip insurance (from your travel agent) in case you need to cancel for any reason.

Please note: Although the Registration Fee does not include airfare to Italy, transportation information will be sent including inexpensive fares, points of arrival and departure, and what time to arrange your flight for easy pick up to Certano. You can often find excellent fares

Make Checks to: Lokahi Garden Sanctuary LLC and write Italy in the memo line
Mail your deposit along with your address, phone number and email to:
Lokahi Garden Sanctuary PO Box 32, Hawi, Hi 96719
To contact Richard Liebmann at Lokahi Garden Sanctuary LLC: Tel: 808.889 0001 email:

Address of Villa Certano: 53010 Costalpino Siena
Phone number to call at Villa Certano: 0577 349108

A few of the highlights of our visit will include…


A city of art, romance, commerce and people. Some of the greatest art treasures in the world are here. You are surrounded by art each step of the way…sitting in a piazza sipping tea, strolling the narrow streets or broad plazas…your senses indulged by the power and beauty of human creativity. This city allows you to experience the religious and profane seemingly simultaneously. We’ll visit Uffizi Gallery, home to masterpieces by DaVinci, Michelangelo, Boticelli, Titan, and many others. We will also visit the Boboli Gardens, Simplers Botanical Garden, and Santa Maria Novela, the oldest Herbal Pharmacy in Italy.


A Gothic walled city with the same number of people today as 700 years ago. Its red brick lanes cascade everywhere It was the first European city to eliminate autos from its main piazza (square). Sitting atop a hill, the IL Campo, is Siena’s great central piazza. Its gently tilted cobblestone floor provides the perfect invitation to sit and people watch. Siena’s Duomo (cathedral) is as Baroque as Gothic gets. The heads of 172 Popes peer down from the ceiling over the fine inlaid art on the floor. Wandering the streets and “loitering” in the square is magical, especially at night. Nannini’s at Piazza Salimbeni has first rate gelato.


The “magic and mysterious” city of Volterra has its roots in three thousand years of history. The ancient city walls, the imposing Porta all’Arco, the Necropolis of Marmini and the numerous archaeological finds conserved in the Museo Etrusco Guarnacci bear testimony of the Etruscan period. The alabaster craft whose history is inseparable from that of the history of the city, represents an other point of great interest. Volterra stands on a rocky hill some 1770 feet above the sea level, located between the rivers Bra and Cecina, and is surrounded by strong walls. The district is rich in alabaster, the working of which was an important industry of the city, and in mineral waters, such as those of S. Felice and the Moie, or salt springs. Still more important are the Soffoni of Larderello, from which boric acid is extracted, the sulphur lake of Monterotondo, the copper springs of Caporciano, and the baths of Montecatini.


The mission of the Spannocchia Foundation is to encourage global dialogue about sustaining cultural landscapes for future generations through the example of the Tenuta di Spannocchia. We will have a short historical tour of the property with an explanation of the mezzadria system and the agriculture of the area with owner Randall Stratton and then a tour of our organic garden with our garden manager Carmen. The garden tours consists of a walk through our terraced gardens with an explanation about rotation, pest control, planting, seasonality, compost, varietals, etc. Forty acres of grains and legumes are cultivated for animal feed, along with wheat and farro for human consumption. Over 700 olive trees, extensive vegetable gardens, and five acres of vineyard also contribute to supplying the needs of feeding Spannocchia’s guests and program participants, as most of the meat, eggs, whole grains, fresh vegetables, honey, olive oil, and wine used in the kitchen and dining room come from the estate. Spannocchia illustrates a nearly complete, self-sustaining, cyclical system of agriculture, whereby crops feed the animals, the animals produce the manure that is used to fertilize the fields to grow the next cycle of crops, the animals and crops feed the human residents and visitors, and the humans provide the labor necessary to make it all work.


This most important hill city of Umbria has 3,000 years of history concentrated in an area that is truly on a human scale. We will given a guided visit of the Medieval Gardens This is a very special garden that mingles art and history, with plants that narrate myths, legends and sacred stories.

Tuscan Hilltop Villages

We’ll wander through small hill top villages, each with it’s own unique speciality.


Around 1200 a simple friar from Assisi challenged the decadence of the church with the powerful message of non-materialism, simplicity, and to ‘slow down and smell the flowers. Francis’ message of love and sensitivity to the environment has a broad and timeless appeal. The Basilica of St. Francis the centerpiece of the “Hill of Paradise” is one of the artistic highlights of medieval Europe. The damage from the 1997 earthquake has been completely repaired. A Visit to the Grotto and original Chapel of St. Francis. As pilgrims, we will travel up into the hills of Assisi and walk to the caves in which St. Francis meditated. Be prepared to experience the profound and sacred. This hilltop chapel with its live oaks is another shrine to St. Francis.

Wander the Tuscan countryside

Either on foot or on horseback listening to the wind weave its story and the trees stand as witness to those who have passed before and those who are yet to come.

Visit with local herbalists

Visit with local herbalists & Italian folk healers and discover the traditional remedies used for millennia.

Your Facilitators:

Rosemary Gladstar


Author of numerous herb books including the bestseller Herbal Healing for Women, co-founder of Sage Mountain Herbal Retreat Center and founding President of United Plant Savers. Rosemary has been a practicing herbalist for over four decades and brings a deep passion and joy to her work.

Dr. Richard Liebmann


Doctor of Naturopathy and former Executive Director of United Plant Savers, Richard has traveled in Italy and has a deep love of the Tuscany countryside. Richard began his journey to health and wellness in his early 20s living in Israel. He returned to the United States to attend the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon. Richard graduated with high honors in 1977 and for the next two years worked at the college teaching and in the administration as Academic Dean. In 1979 Richard moved to the big island of Hawaii and opened the Hawaii Family Health Clinic. After his work in the clinic Richard began integrating his experience practicing Naturopathic Medicine into expanded arenas. In 1983 Richard moved to Ohio and co-founded Equinox Botanicals, a high quality manufacturer of herbal medicines. For over 20 years Richard and his wife Natalie have been leading groups in health and adventure based experiences in Hawaii and Italy and Patagonia. In 1996 Richard became the first executive director of United Plant Savers, a non profit organization dedicated to medicinal plant conservation. During his tenure he helped birth the UPS botanical sanctuary on 300 acres in southeast Ohio. For the past 15 years Richard has been focused on creating Lokahi Garden Sanctuary. With the help of his two children he built the sanctuary center, planted the gardens and orchards and landscaped 10 acres with over 250 different species of plants and trees.

Natalie K. Young MSW LMT


Natalie Klausman Young fell in love with Hawaii in 1977 while living in a tent for a month in the wilderness of Kalalau Valley on Kauai. Her passion for the interconnection of people to people and people to nature as embodied by the land and people of Hawaii bought her to live here permanently in 1981. Her childhood was infused with a great love of the outdoors, dance and health. She earned her college degree from Washington University (Sociology/Anthropology and Modern Dance) and her graduate degree from Tulane University (Masters of Social Work). Further learning about communication, cultural diversity, movement for health, and ways to bring deeper connection among people and between people and nature continues. For more than thirty years, she has continued to teach, and perform dance, practiced Social Work and relationship facilitation, practiced and taught yoga, Dance and Pilates, as well as communication skills. She became a licensed massage therapist in 1998 and continues to practice massage currently. For over 20 years Natalie and her Naturopathic Physician husband Richard have been leading groups in health and adventure based experiences in Hawaii, Italy and Patagonia. Natalie and Richard came together in 1981 each with a vision of a residential Holistic Healing and Wellness Center in Hawaii that has been a foundational theme in there relationship. Together they have pursued this vision. They chose to share the beauty of Lokahi Garden Sanctuary… its organic farming and beautiful home with others … as an “off the tourist path” vacation place and wellness retreat.

*   Please note, Rosemary, unfortunately, isn’t planning to lead any Plant Lover’s Journey’s in the near future.

However her good friend,  Jane Bothwell will be leading the Italy trip along with Dr. Richard Liebmann and his wife, Natalie.  I can’t speak highly enough about Jane’s skills as an herbalist, teacher and group facilitator.   Jane and I have taught together, facilitated many herbal groups and led trips together to Italy and Costa Rica!  The trip to Italy never fails to amaze, and many people have joined us multiple times on this trip.   This trip fills up quickly every year so be sure to contact Richard Liebmann for information: You can you can also go to Jane’s website for further information:

Contact Sage Mountain

  • Sage Mountain Herbal Education Center : PO Box 420, East Barre VT, 05649
  • Telephone : (802).479.9825
  • Email :
  • Office hours : Mon, Tues & Thurs 10:30 - 3.


Contact The Science & Art of Herbalism

The Science & Art of Herbalism : P.O. Box 572, Waitsfield, VT 05673

Telephone : 802-595-9360

Email :

Office hours : Monday through Thursday 10-4pm