6 Days Cuisine and Yoga Retreat in Italy

  • Borgo di Carpiano, Località Carpiano, Gubbio, Perugia, Italy

La Bella Vita Yoga Retreat Italy

Exotic Yoga Retreats blend good health with good living! Stay in a historic and stunning Borgo turned luxury 10-room boutique villa set in the Italian countryside and immerse yourself in an old-world appreciation of Italian cuisine, culture, wine, nature, and yoga, all wrapped in classic Italian luxury.

Highlights

  • 2 yoga classes a day
  • Morning meditation sessions
  • Morning fitness walk (optional)
  • The Umbrian Kitchen cooking class
  • Umbrian wines tasting at a 10th-century castle
  • Local umbrian wines served with dinner
  • 3 farm-to-table daily meals
  • 5 nights accommodation
  • 6 days with instruction
  • English
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During this retreat, you will either be staying in a shared or private room. The rooms are traditional and charming, set in a mood characteristic of Italian countryside, with all the amenities that make your stay perfectly comfortable. Daily maid service, AC, hair dryer, bathrobes, slippers, phone, stereo and minibar.

Mornings begin with a chorus of birds and a cappuccino or tea on the terrace enjoying quiet moments overlooking the Italian countryside. Since this is a Mediterranean-style retreat, they start yoga late morning, so you have a leisurely morning to have a lie-in, join for a silent meditation and mindfulness walk, enjoy a morning swim, and experience an Italian farm-to-table breakfast on the veranda! Convening at 10:30 in the beautiful frescoed chapel that serves as the inspiring yoga studio, they share a deep, fun, and explorative yoga practice.

Afternoons begin with a mouth-watering gourmet salad, followed by free time to lounge by the pool, relax with a massage, read and siesta, try your hand at Italian cooking, or head off (on your own or with a local tour guide) to explore the nearby medieval towns of Assisi, Gubbio, and Perugia, or experience wine-tasting at a local family vineyard. At sunset they re-convene for a relaxing and rejuvenating restorative yoga, pranayama, and meditation session. Evenings are pure magic, astheye have a sunset aperativo and elegant Italian dinner style under the stars appreciating la bella vita!

Morning Hatha-Vinyasa classes are led by Irish guest teacher, Sylvia Ferguson. Afternoon sessions, focusing on alignment, pranayama, and restoratives are led by Exotic Yoga Retreat founder, Gayle Olson. Whether fiery and energetic or soft and receptive, the yoga sessions are designed for mixed levels, offering modifications for beginners, and greater levels of challenge for advanced students. The yoga programs emphasize safety, awareness, intelligence, and the joie de vivre of yoga.

On these mediterranean-style retreats they try for a good balance of retreat time, down-time and a taste of local cultural. The experience on this retreat is that most people are perfectly delighted to stay at the villa to enjoy the peace and luxury of the countryside, pool, exquisite food and wine. Others who may have traveled a great distance or are experiencing Italy for the first time, may want to see an ancient medieval town or taste wine on a family vineyard. To give you full freedom to find just the right balance for you, they treat you to a few experiences, a cooking class with master chef Luca Mazza, and a wine tasting of Umbrian wines at a nearby 10th-century castle. For those who would like to explore the region they suggest either renting a car or hiring a local driver. The great thing is you can decide once you’re there, see how you feel and be in the moment.

  • Wine-tasting at a 10th-century castle to experience classic Umbrian wines
  • Sylvia Ferguson

    Blending classical Hatha, Anusara, and Ashtanga Vinyasa traditions with mindfulness meditation, Sylvia Ferguson received her teaching diploma from Yoga Therapy Ireland in 2003 and was featured in May of 2015 nationwide as a teacher that exudes the calmness. Sylvia currently offers public and corporate programs in Dublin, travels internationally teaching for Exotic Yoga Retreats, and has active an array of online Hatha yoga, yoga Nidra, and mindfulness courses. When not teaching or mothering, Sylvia writes articles about yoga and mindfulness for the Yoga Therapy Ireland Magazine.

This retreat takes place in a stunning 10-room boutique villa in the countryside of Umbria in Perugia, Italy, right next to Tuscany. The historic villa dates back to the beginning of the tenth century, when it belonged to Rovaldo Baldassini, father of Sant'Ubaldo, patron saint of the town of Gubbio. In 2001, Riccardo and Marilisa Parisi discovered the old property and immediately fell in love with that "pile of rocks" dreaming to bring it back to life! The restoration took many years of devotion and was carried out using original materials and preserving the character of the place, with furniture, paintings, china, and silver from the owners' family collection.

The villa is located near the picturesque medieval town of Gubbio, the chapel of St Francis of Assisi, and the famous city of Perugia in Umbria. The property consists of different cut stone buildings leading down to a lovely pool, organic garden, and spa overlooking a pristine valley of olive trees and lush woods. The former church, with historic architecture and original frescoes, is a sacred space to practice yoga and meditation. There is also a lovely pool to lounge by, a warm jacuzzi and massages, an organic garden, and endless countryside to wander and explore.

Activities
  • Cooking classes
  • Hiking
  • Hot tub/Jacuzzi
  • Massage
  • Outdoor swimming pool
  • Reiki
  • Shopping
  • Spa
  • Swimming
  • Wine tasting
General
  • Air-conditioned rooms
  • Bar
  • Cafe
  • Concierge desk
  • Dining area
  • Garden
  • Kitchen
  • Restaurant
  • Special menu request
  • Yoga studio
Services
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Mini bar
  • Room cleaning
  • Tour assistance

Three daily meals based on typical Umbrian products with fresh organic vegetables and olive oil grown in the villa are available at this retreat.

Exclusions

  • Bar drinks
  • Hike around the beautiful surroundings
  • Spa and bodyworks
  • Swim in the pool
  • Take nature walks
  • Visit neighboring towns and villas
  • 2 yoga classes daily
  • 5 nights luxury accommodation
  • Daily maid service
  • Farm-to-table breakfast, lunch, and dinners
  • Gourmet mediterranean cuisine with fresh organic vegetables and olive oil grown in the villa garden
  • Local Umbrian wines served with dinner
  • Morning fitness walk (optional)
  • Morning meditation sessions (optional)
  • Salt water infinity pool, warm jacuzzi, massages on-site
  • “The Umbrian Kitchen” class with chef Luca Mazza
  • Transport to and from from Perugia train station
  • Welcome aperitivo on the terrace
  • Wine-tasting at a 10th-century castle to experience classic Umbrian wines
  • Add-on excursions
  • Airfare to Italy
  • Bar drinks
  • Spa services

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at San Franceso d'Assisi Airport (PEG). Exotic Yoga Retreats will pick you up from Perugia. The pick-up is included in the price.

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 100% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.

Testimonials

  • Review by Tricia Desvarieux from Haiti
    10 out of 10

    "Hands down, the best retreat I've ever been to, and I have been to many! Perfect combination of leisure, relaxation, cultural immersion, and exceptional food! Gayle's yoga has an incredible depth of knowledge, from her anatomical references, to her deep teachings of asana and pranayama. The best is her acceptance of all levels of practice, respecting each individual's body and level of practice. Can't wait to join another Exotic Yoga Retreat!"

    2016, Exotic Yoga Retreats website, edited

  • Review by Michelle Rasmussen from Australia
    10 out of 10

    "There aren’t really words to describe how fantastic this week has been. I had no expectations, and yet you exceeded every one of them!"

    2016, Exotic Yoga Retreats website, edited

  • Review by Enrica Dal Santo from France
    10 out of 10

    "This retreat met every expectation, and more! It has opened my heart and given me great joy and strength. I am not exaggerating when I say it was simply PERFECT!"

    2016, Exotic Yoga Retreats website, edited

  • Review by Scott Scaggs from United States
    10 out of 10

    "That was the best week of my life! Thank you all for making this trip more than I could have expected. I miss you all and expect we can keep in touch. Better yet, reunite at a future Exotic Yoga Retreat!"

    2016, Exotic Yoga Retreats website, edited

  • Review by Tania de Jong from Australia
    10 out of 10

    "Gayle is an outstanding teacher and inspirational leader. Her knowledge is vast and she includes everyone equally, from beginner to super yogis. Her spiritual side is beautiful and her classes are a lot of fun!"

    2016, Exotic Yoga Retreats website, edited

  • Review by Naseem Nikoo from Iran
    10 out of 10

    "I'm leaving the retreat feeling the happiest and freest I've ever felt!"

    2016, Exotic Yoga Retreats website, edited

  • Review by Naseem Niko from Iran
    10 out of 10

    "I'm leaving the retreat feeling the happiest and freest I've ever felt!"

    Exotic Yoga Retreats website, edited

  • Review by Saige Rutherford from USA
    10 out of 10

    "Life changing, eye-opening, and deeply inspiring! This retreat reset my life. It was beyond what I envisioned was possible in one week!"

    Exotic Yoga Retreats website, edited

  • Review by Jane Srivastava from Russia
    10 out of 10

    "My mom and I enjoyed the trip very much. Every day was perfect!"

    Exotic Yoga Retreats website, edited

  • Review by Brent Vanlyke from Canada
    10 out of 10

    "This is, without a doubt, one of the best experiences of my life. I have made connections with people and myself that I never would have expected. Those connections will be in my heart and help me be a better version of myself for the rest of my life."

    Exotic Yoga Retreats website, edited

  • Review by Ale de Rienzo from Mexico
    10 out of 10

    "This was my first yoga retreat and I didn't know what to expect. It blew my mind! I would recommend this experience it to anyone!"

    Exotic Yoga Retreats website, edited

  • Review by Alia Allison
    10 out of 10

    "This retreat was exactly what I needed; a week long oasis focused on self-care. Gayle did an awesome job of breaking down the poses and focusing on alignment. She built intensity and also relaxation in the practice. I loved her teaching tips for the few teachers on the retreat!"

    Exotic Yoga Retreats website, edited

  • Review by Chinwe Nwazota
    10 out of 10

    "This was thank you for bringing together wonderful people from all walks of life and from around the world! The connection and friendship that we shared has inspired and changed my life."

    Exotic Yoga Retreats website, edited

  • Review by Christine Costello from USA
    10 out of 10

    "Gayle is an extraordinary teacher who makes everyone feel empowered, strong, and special!"

    Exotic Yoga Retreats website, edited

  • Review by Kara Ellis from Canada
    10 out of 10

    "Gayle is everything I needed in a yoga instructor; someone to push me to try new things (headstand, arm balances) while making me feel completely safe. I did old poses with completely new eyes due to her instruction. She was warm and inviting and made me able to have the most amazing experience of my life. I loved the program, Id do it ten times over! I feel the best I have in my life. Refreshed and ready to take on whatever I have to deal with at home."

    Exotic Yoga Retreats website, edited

  • Review by Hala Darwazeh from Jordan
    10 out of 10

    "Everything about this retreat was special. I have the most beautiful memories, new friends, and experiences that I will cherish! The retreat combined the perfect blend of yoga, meditation, and fun excursions. I also enjoyed the flexibility in our daily schedule, I had time for myself, to re-align and reflect on my life, as well as meet great like-minded people. Meeting Gayle has been a true delight. Her loving and positive energy was very present and made this retreat a real joy for me. I recommend this retreat to anyone looking to 'switch-off', re-balance and have a lot of fun!"

    Exotic Yoga Retreats website, edited

  • Review by Joanne Joseph from Australia
    10 out of 10

    "Healthy hedonism set the tone for a playful week of yoga and mindfulness, laughter, and connection. Each morning, Gayle guided us through blissful meditation, followed by a combination of Vinyasa flow and stretch sequences. She really took the time to tailor the class to each of our needs so it felt more like one-on-one tuition a lot of the time. I'll never forget the energy we created as a group or the peace, joy, and friendships which blossom there."

    Exotic Yoga Retreats website, edited

  • Review by John Tierney from USA
    10 out of 10

    "I came to Gayle Olson seven years ago after a traumatic back injury. She shepherded me though those painful days with care, compassion, and kindness, and an astounding ability to teach on old dog new tricks. Today I can keep up with my two year old grandson pain free and am still taking classes and practicing yoga. Thanks, Gayle!"

    Exotic Yoga Retreats website, edited

  • Review by Chrissy Coleman from USA
    10 out of 10

    "I love the personal attention Gayle gave to her students, providing not only awesome instruction, but reminding us to be ever present and mindful."

    Exotic Yoga Retreats website, edited

  • Review by Maria Paula from France
    10 out of 10

    "The perfect healing at the right moment! I feel another person since this week; a more comfortable one! I hope to do another retreat soon to feed my curiosity!"

    Exotic Yoga Retreats website, edited

  • Review by Ina Yeijnen from Holland
    10 out of 10

    "Gayle inspired me to try new things and gave me confidence in incorporating touch and adjustments in my classes. It feels great to give and receive authentic touch to connect."

    Exotic Yoga Retreats website, edited

  • Review by Julie Cameron from Canada
    10 out of 10

    "Gayle has the unique ability to be kind and caring while pushing your yoga practice to the next level. She creates a flow that is beautiful, feels amazing, and challenges you to become stronger. This program will forever be life changing. The experiences I have had this week will be cherished forever."

    Exotic Yoga Retreats website, edited

  • Review by Jerry from USA
    10 out of 10

    "Gayle very clearly is a remarkable teacher because she transmits the essences of mindfulness and balance in enough dimensions so you actually get it!"

    Exotic Yoga Retreats website, edited

  • Review by Michael Neria from Israel
    10 out of 10

    "I love Gayles loving style of teaching. I appreciated the emphasis on various breathing techniques and the balance between physical intensity, relaxation and meditation."

    Exotic Yoga Retreats website, edited

  • Review by Nicole Hernandez from USA
    10 out of 10

    "Thank you and Gayle for such a life changing experience. I feel so open in my body and mind. I became more devoted to my yoga practice experiencing the various styles of yoga you teach so effortlessly. The amount of hands-on guidance and adjustments helped me develop new appreciation for the postures and new appreciation for my body!"

    Exotic Yoga Retreats website, edited

  • Review by a traveller
    10 out of 10

    "Everything about this retreat was special. I have the most beautiful memories, new friends and experiences that I will cherish! The retreat combined the perfect blend of yoga, meditation and fun excursions. I also enjoyed the flexibility in our daily schedule... I had time for myself, to re-align and reflect on my life; as well as meet great like-minded people. Meeting Gayle has been a true delight. Her loving and positive energy was very present and made this retreat a real joy for me. I recommend the Puglia retreat to anyone looking to 'switch-off', re-balance and have a lot of fun!"

    Exotic Yoga Retreats website, edited

  • Review by a traveller
    10 out of 10

    "Thank you for this retreat; every minute was worth it! It was such a mind, body and heart opening and so much fun! Its helping make my day-to-day life magical, and I can give so much to others as I have feel so fulfilled inside! Thank you again, and cant wait for the next retreat!"

    Exotic Yoga Retreats website, edited

  • Review by a traveller
    10 out of 10

    "This yoga retreat was truly magical. A perfect blend of yoga and adventure, all in a breathtakingly beautiful setting. Gayle's commitment to a healthy, balanced lifestyle is mirrored in her hands-on approach to teaching yoga. Strength, serenity and smilesa perfect balance."

    Exotic Yoga Retreats website, edited

San Francisco, United States

Exotic Yoga Retreats blends the worlds of yoga and inner discovery with sensory experiences of beauty, sumptuous tastes, cultural enrichment, and adventure.

from --

6 days / 5 nights

Availability

Arrival: Sunday September 3, 2017
Departure: Friday September 8, 2017

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