7-Day Tuscan Countryside Yoga Adventure, May 2018
- Il Borghino Retreat Centre
- Lucca, Province of Lucca, Italy
- May 5 - 12, 2018 (8 days)
- From $2075 - $3195 USD (Early Bird thru January 5, 2018)
TUSCAN COUNTRYSIDE YOGA ADVENTURE ~ May 5 - 12, 2018
Join Ananda Expeditions — **WINNER: "Best Curated Experiences" – 2017 Shape Healthy Travel Awards** — for a 7-day/7-night yoga adventure in Tuscany. Enjoy twice daily Vinyasa yoga practices (all-levels), adventurous hiking and sightseeing excursions led by local guides, an array of culinary and cultural experiences, and ample time for relaxing or exploring the area on your own.
In addition to its picturesque locale in the hills above Lucca, the villa boasts comfortable lodging and common spaces in four beautifully-renovated buildings, an outdoor salt-water pool, and delicious meals of farm-to-table vegetarian Tuscan cuisine — complete with local olive oil and wine. We have access to a fully-equipped yoga studio, as well as multiple outdoor spaces should we prefer to practice in the open air, overlooking the valley below.
During the week, we'll practice daily, explore the walled city of Lucca by bike with a local guide, walk to a neighboring winery for a tour and tasting, learn how to cook traditional Tuscan dishes from Maria Angela, and take a day-trip to the breathtaking beaches and cliff-side villages of Cinque Terre. You can also opt in for additional outings — including an evening out at the opera in Lucca, an excursion to the artists' community of Pietrasanta, and/or massage treatments on-site.
Bring your practice — and your non-yogi friends/family members — on the Italian adventure of a lifetime!
→ To book your spot, visit www.anandaexpeditions.com/tuscan-countryside-yoga-adventure/
→ Questions? Contact Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org
Early Bird Prices (thru 1/5/18), per person:
$2,075 Special Offer Double (shared bath, pay by check)* / $2,175 Special Offer Double (private bath, pay by check) /
$2,275 Double (shared bath)* / $2,535 Double (private bath) / $2,735 Single (shared bath)* / $3,195 Deluxe Single (private bath)*
Regular Prices, per person:
$2,240 Special Offer Double (shared bath, pay by check)* / $2,345 Special Offer Double (private bath, pay by check) /
$2,455 Double (shared bath)* / $2,740 Double (private bath) / $2,955 Single (shared bath)* / $3,450 Deluxe Single* (private bath)
* limited availability
- 7 nights’ accommodation at villa, linens and towels
- 3 vegetarian meals daily (except for 1 dinner and 1 lunch)
- Local wine at dinner (½ bottle wine per person, per night)
- Fruit and herbal tea throughout the day (tea + coffee-making facilities are available in each house)
- All group transportation, including 1 scheduled transfer from Lucca to villa on arrival day, and back to Lucca on departure day
- Daily yoga practice and use of yoga room, mats, props
- Use of outdoor salt-water pool and common areas
- Planned activities (including day trip to Cinque Terre, tour of Lucca, cooking class, and winery visit and tasting), entrance fees, local guides
- Use of laundry facilities in each house
- Gratuity for local guides, and house and kitchen staff
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED:
- Airfare from/to your home city
- Ground transportation to/from arrival airport to Lucca, and transfers from/to Lucca outside the 1 scheduled pick-up on arrival day and drop-off on departure day*
- Supplemental activities (i.e. massages, shopping, optional activities), including transportation
- Short-term traveler's insurance (not required, but recommended for consideration)
- Other travel-related expenses
- Teacher/guide gratuities
* Transfer from arrival airport can be provided for an additional fee
Day 0 — Friday
Depart, if you're flying from North America (or elsewhere outside Europe), for the overnight flight to Italy.
Day 1 — Saturday
Plan to arrive at the Lucca train station to catch the group transfer to the villa, or make your own way. Check-in at the villa at 4 PM. Settle into your room, then unwind with a relaxed, grounding yoga practice. Enjoy your first farm-to-table vegetarian meal, complete with local olive oil and wine, before retiring for a good night's sleep.
Days 2 - 6 — Sunday - Friday
While the schedule is subject to change, here's an outline of the two types of typical days:
Variant 1 (Most Days):
8:30 AM — Morning Yoga
9 AM — Breakfast
10:30 AM-1:30 PM — Guided Walk / Cooking Class / Free Time
1:30/2 PM — Lunch
5-7 PM — All-Levels Yoga Practice (including pose demonstrations and long savasana)
7:30 PM — Dinner
Variant 2 (Day-Trip Day):
6:30 AM — Quick Breakfast
7 AM — Depart for Cinque Terre Day Trip
7 PM — Return to Villa
7:30 PM — Dinner
9:30 PM — Restorative Yoga / Yoga Nidra (if we're not too exhausted from the day!)
Day 7 — Saturday
Enjoy a slightly earlier, farewell breakfast. We'll check out at 9:30 AM, and transfer back to central Lucca.
Literally meaning “small village”, Il Borghino offers a secluded retreat in the hills above Lucca with magnificent views overlooking forested valleys, vineyards, olive groves, and mountains in the distance. Designed to preserve the original character of the village while still being both comfortable and modern, Il Borghino has been meticulously restored with energy efficiency and a concern for the environment in mind, using natural materials such as wood, marble, and terracotta. The villa is ideally located 15 minutes from Lucca, 35 minutes from Pisa, 1.5 hours from Florence, and 1.5 hours from the breathtaking Cinque Terre region — making it the perfect base to explore Tuscany and Liguria.
Il Borghino comprises three separate houses with 11 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms and can accommodate up to 18 retreat participants. The rooms are large, simple, and furnished tastefully in local Tuscan style, and offer fabulous views from every window. Each house is fully self-contained and offers every facility to meet the needs and privacy of retreat guests. Tea and coffee making facilities are also available in each house for use outside meal times.
The large communal area, "L’Olivo," allows retreat guests to gather during the day, enjoy meals together, share experiences, and, of course, practice daily yoga. There is also a wood-fired pizza oven which we make use of during the retreat, and a gorgeous outdoor terrace with panoramic views for al fresco dining.
Our vegetarian menu is prepared by a wonderful local cook who designs deliciously fresh, regional dishes based on what is in season. We source our food from local producers, and we use organic grains, fruit and vegetables wherever possible. We also make our own fresh fruit and vegetable juices and cleansing herbal teas using fresh herbs from the garden.
As we are in Tuscany, we do indulge in local cheeses, pasta, breads, wines and other delights, so although our menu is not a strict cleanse, we do offer plenty of healthy choices with nuts, seeds, legumes, plenty of vegetables and salads, rice, amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, fresh fruit and yogurt. Organic wine, olive oil, and honey produced in the surrounding agricultural area near Il Borghino is served. Upon request, we can cater for gluten-free and other special dietary requirements.
→ To take a quick tour of the venue, watch this 30-second video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyiiEjJQN94
- Use of yoga room, yoga mats, blocks, blankets, belts, and bolsters, plus additional yoga mats for use outdoors.
- Use of a salt-water swimming pool and Turkish Sauna.
- Wi-fi internet access is available in the communal area only.
- Washing facilities are available in each house for use by retreat guests.
- Massages and holistic treatments are available in-house; treatments can be booked upon arrival.
- Unlimited fruit, water, and herbal tea is available throughout the day.
After you reserve your spot with the $500 deposit, you will receive a PDF of detailed information — including guidance on booking flights and arranging transportation to Lucca.
Fly from North America on Friday 5/4; arrive in Italy and transfer to the villa on Saturday 5/5 — either via the group transfer from Lucca, or on your own. Check-in at Il Borghino is strictly 4pm. When booking your flights, we recommend you plan to arrive into Lucca safely before 3:30pm, so you can catch the group transfer to Il Borghino at 3:45pm. If you are unable to make the scheduled pick-up, we can arrange for a taxi to bring you to Il Borghino. (Note: private transfers will be at your own expense.)
Anytime on Saturday 5/12 — check-out at Il Borghino is strictly 9:30am; please plan your departure flights accordingly. On the morning of departure, there will be one scheduled transfer from Il Borghino to Lucca Train Station at 9:30am. Airport transfers or other transfers outside of the scheduled drop off will be at your own expense.
The nearest airport is Pisa international Airport “Galileo Galileo” – 18 Miles from Lucca
Florence International Airport “Amerigo Vespucci” is 50 Miles from Lucca
Regular trains and buses run from both Pisa and Florence airports to Lucca and are very reasonably priced. Trains also run regularly from Rome's Fiumicino airport (162 miles from Lucca), but the trip takes much longer (approximately 4.5 hours).
Michael Leigh Hoyer, PhD
Michael founded Ananda Expeditions to draw on her breadth of experience as a traveler, teacher, and writer, and, most importantly, to pursue her _ananda_ ("bliss") by guiding others on purposeful wanderings in-line with their internal compasses.
Michael has completed 500 hours of Vinyasa yoga teacher training with her two primary teachers, Jason Crandell and Stephanie Snyder. She teaches strong and mindful Vinyasa practices that blend intelligent sequencing, precise alignment cues, and accessible contemplative themes. Most importantly, she focuses on meeting the specific desires and needs of her students — whether that entails introducing the basics of the practice to those who are new to yoga, or supporting more experienced practitioners in their process of continual growth and discovery. In practicing with her, you can expect to be warmly welcomed and physically challenged, to receive thoughtful (not forceful) manual adjustments, to experience a deeply restorative savasana at the practice’s end, and to leave your mat feeling both relaxed and invigorated.
When Michael isn’t guiding and teaching Ananda Travelers on inspired adventures, she's practicing/teaching yoga, metalsmithing, cooking, running on trails in her native Boulder, Colorado, or riding her Bianchi cross-bike in the hills of San Francisco.
→ To meet Michael and take a walk with her on Lucca's iconic wall, check out this recent post and short video: www.anandaexpeditions.com/blog/itinerary-insights-lucca
→ Also, read about how Michael designs the arc of practices over the course of a week, and get a taste of what an all-levels Vinyasa practice on an Ananda Expeditions yoga adventure feels and sounds like from this video: www.anandaexpeditions.com/blog/2017/11/7/two-minutes-of-yoga-in-tuscany
**WINNER: "Best Curated Experiences" – 2017 Shape Healthy Travel Awards** → https://www.shape.com/lifestyle/fit-getaways/2017-shape-healthy-travel-awards
“I spent a lot of time researching the perfect yoga retreat for me; I could not have made a better choice: Michael responded quickly to all the questions I had, and I felt that we were in good hands the entire week. The group we traveled with was fantastic, and everyone got along very well. I thought this would be something that I could cross off of my bucket list, but now I’m not done — I want to go again!”
“Michael is one of my favorite yoga teachers! She gives you just the right amount of explanation, and I felt really comfortable in the class. Everything about the yoga adventure was amazing! It struck the perfect balance between practicing yoga, visiting the area, and having a beautifully relaxing vacation. The food was excellent, and the accommodations were beautiful. I will recommend Ananda Expeditions to everyone!”
“I will definitely recommend Ananda Expeditions to my friends. The yoga adventure was well organized and thoughtfully put together. The accommodations were uniformly excellent. The venues and guides included fascinating places and people that I likely would not have found on my own. My horizons were definitely expanded, making the trip well worth the investment!”
“From booking to pre-departure communication to the actual trip, everything was well organized and clearly communicated. Michael’s ability to be flexible to deal with the needs of the group as well as the weather was awesome. You could tell that providing the best possible experience was top priority. This type of trip is great for individuals looking to explore new places, without having the typical tourist experience.”
“I’m telling everyone I care about that Ananda is the answer for how to turn an opportunity for travel into a meaningful, memorable experience. We always felt well cared for by Michael, and the pacing of our activities and meal times was perfect. We never had to deal with even the smallest headaches that are always a part of international travel; Michael took care of everything!”
“I absolutely recommend Ananda Expeditions without hesitation. The yoga adventure was very thoughtfully and professionally planned out every step of the way. Michael got ahead of the few, inevitable travel-related issues that arose — changing the itinerary according to the weather, taking amazing care of us all.”
→ To hear more from past Ananda Travelers: www.anandaexpeditions.com/testimonials