La Dolce Vita: Yoga Retreat in Italy (Tuscany)

tuscan-landscape  cinque-terre

La Dolce Vita (“The Sweet Life”) Retreat:  Yoga + Inspired Adventures + Tuscan Art and Culture

June 11-18, 2016

italy-mapEnjoy 7 nights - 8 Days of La Dolce Vita (“The Sweet Life”) in Tuscany, Italy-  a destination that speaks for itself with its rich history, art + culture, idyllic villages, iconic landscapes, fabulous food so delicious in its simplicity, world class wines, friendly locals, and more. Reserve your spot with a $500 deposit by using the SIGN UP button below.

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We will be staying at Il Borghino, a Tuscan Estate and villa complex retreat center, consisting of 3 completely restored houses nestled in the  hills of Tuscany, cradled between olive groves and vineyards with exquisite gardens and panoramic views over the historic town of Lucca looking towards Pisa and the sea. The accommodations include simple yet stylish rooms, a large salt-water swimming pool and Jacuzzi, an onsite yoga studio, wood burning pizza oven and Turkish Sauna.

il-borghini-outside il-borghini

Included in the retreat:

  • Daily yoga classes taught by Savonn Wyland of Bernal Yoga (San Francisco) and Sellwood Yoga (Portland).  No need to bring your own mat or props.  The yoga studio has blocks, blankets, straps, mats and bolsters.  We will have opportunities to practice both inside the yoga studio and outside on the terrace.
  • Delicious meals including lots of farm to table produce, estate produced wine, olive oil, and herbs.  Most meals will be served al fresco (outside) on the terrace. Meals will be prepared by a local chef who makes deliciously fresh dishes based on what is in season and the region’s specialities. Food is sourced from local producers and wherever possible, that includes organic grains, fruit and vegetables. Also available will be homemade fresh fruit and vegetable juices and cleansing herbal teas using fresh herbs from the garden. You can indulge in local cheeses, pasta, breads, wines and other delights, along with plenty of dishes mades from nuts, seeds, legumes, and vegetables/salads, rice, amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, fresh fruit and yogurt. Organic wine, olive oil and honey is produced in the surrounding agricultural area near Il Borghino and is served during the retreats. Friday night is Pizza + Prosecco Night, with pizza coming out fresh from the wood burning oven. If needed, gluten free and other special dietary requirements options can be arranged.
  • Stylish yet simple lodging.  Options include both shared and single rooms with private baths, as well as private rooms with shared baths.  See pricing below for room availability and prices. The rooms are large, simple and furnished tastefully in local Tuscan style, each with fabulous views from every window.  Tea and coffee are available in each house  outside meal times. Each house also has a washer and dryer that you can use during our stay.
  • A large communal area, “L’Olivo“, is the hub of the retreat centre – a place where we will to gather, enjoy meals together and share experiences. There is also a wood-fried pizza oven which we will make use of during the retreat, and a gorgeous outdoor terrace with panoramic views for al fresco dining and outdoor yoga classes. Wi-fi access is available in the communal areas.  
  • Day long trip to Cinque Terre.  We will spend a day in breath-taking Cinque Terre exploring the five coastal villages embedded in rocky cliffs along one of Italy’s most scenic stretches of Liguria. For those who are hikers, it is possible to spend a day walking and climbing between these beautiful villages and enjoy some spectacular scenery along the way. For others, you can still enjoy walking the more gentle trails, spend time swimming, exploring the villages or sampling some of the local delights.

  • Italian cooking class for our group at Il Borghino with their local chef, Maria-Angela.

cooking-lesson cinque-terre-2

We are also offering a carefully selected choice of optional activities and excursions, designed to give you a taste of Tuscany and the local culture, without it feeling like a organized tour.

Optional excursions and other add-ons include:

sup-italy wine-barrels

  • Local Tuscan wine tasting trip.  Scenic 3km walk along the “Strada del Vino” (the wine road) to a local winery for a tour and tasting.
  • Excursion to nearby Lucca.  Includes a bike tour around the ancient walls, a walking tour to explore the main attractions and a cafe break.
  • Puccini Opera in Lucca - For the opera lovers, you can catch a Puccini Opera every night in Lucca. The concert starts at 7:15pm and lasts up to 1 hr.
  • Pietrasanta Artist village - If you fancy a night out in a nearby artist’s village, you can head to Pietrasanta, a thriving art centre full of galleries, shops and restaurants spilling onto the pavements. Best known for its marble and bronze artistic works. Pietrasanta often hosts international art exhibitions in the local Piazza’s where you can sit over aperitivo and watch the buzz unfold. The town comes alive around 10pm so the best time to visit is in the early evening and staying until late so you can be part of the action.
  • Stand-Up Paddle Boarding in the Gulf of Baratti, a patch of nature between the Tyrrhenian and Ligurian Seas, with crystal clear waters.
  • Viareggio and the Versilia Coast – Take the train to the seaside town of Viareggio, part of the Tuscan Riviera, known as Versilia, which has a sandy beach stretching for more than 20km. Just 30km from Lucca, you can easily take the train, hire bikes, enjoy the beach, shop or walk along the promenade. Head to the chic town of Fortei Dei Marmi (12.6km away) where you can explore one of the best flea markets in Tuscany (market day is Wednesday from 8am until 2:30pm).
  • Visit to a Thermal Spa – This is a 3 – 4 hour excursion and includes entry in to the thermal pools (indoors and outdoors), Turkish steam room, and sauna. Well known to the ancient Etruscans and the Romans, the thermal waters are rich in sulphate-calcium-magnesium which aids relaxation and the digestive system.
  • Bike ride along a scenic river  path and quiet back roads to the famous historical Villa Grabau, a beautifully preserved villa with exquisite gardens containing century old trees and botanical plants, followed by a gelato stop.
  • Massages and Holistic Treatments –there are wonderful local therapists who will be available throughout the retreat for various massages and other treatments.

lucca thermal-spa

The retreat is open to students of all levels.  Since there are so many things to do on this retreat, it is a great opportunity to bring along friends or family who may not be interested in the daily yoga practices but who would be inspired by the culture of Italy and the chance to unwind, explore, meet new people and join in the excursions and optional activities.

The vibe of Il Borghino is relaxed, informal, and friendly and the goal of the place “is to provide everyone of the retreat an experience that blends healthy living with a perfect dose of Italian sweet life ~ La Dolce Vita~”

Reserve Your Spot!

italian-heartReserve your spot, with a $500 (USD) deposit (use the SIGN UP button below). We will be staying in 3 houses that have communal areas and different size bedrooms. Please indicate (in the notes section of the online sign up or by email what type of room you would like to reserve).  Once we receive your reservation, we will email you a confirmation along with more trip details. Don’t hesitate to email [email protected] with any questions!

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  • Shared Room + Private Bathroom (2 twin beds that can also be combined to make a bigger shared bed, 2 people per room, each room has a private bathroom.): $1990 (USD) per person (number of these currently available: 5 rooms, 10 spaces) 
  • Shared Room For a Couple + Private Bathroom (1 double bed, 2 people per room, has private bathroom):  $1990 (USD) per person (number of these currently available: 2 rooms, 4 spaces)
  • Private Room + Private Bathroom (1 single bed, 1 person per room, has private bathroom): $2290 (USD) per person (number of these currently available: 2 rooms, 2 spaces)
  • Deluxe Private Room  + Shared Bathroom (1 double bed, 1 person per room with shared hallway bathroom): $2290 (USD) per person (number of these currently available: 2 rooms, 2 spaces)

A $500 (USD) DEPOSIT reserves your spot, please indicate what type of room you would like

Your remaining balance is due by April 1, 2016.

Price Includes:  7 nights’ accommodation + all linen + towels + laundry facilities; daily yoga classes; 3 delicious meals per day (except for the excursion day to Cinque Terre); unlimited fruit, water, and herbal tea throughout the day; local wine at dinner (1/2 bottle per person, per night max); use of the salt water swimming pool, Jacuzzi and Turkish Sauna;Cinque Terre excursion; Italian cooking class; WiFi (available in the common room only); transfers to and from Lucca train or bus station to Il Borghino at the start and finish of the retreat (there will be one scheduled pick up and drop off only-any transfers outside of this are not included).

Price does NOT include: airfare, optional excursions/activities, any meals outside of Il Bhorgino, travel insurance, massages and holistic treatments, other travel expenses, transfers from airport to Lucca.


Traveling to and from Il Borghino: Both Saturdays (June 11 and 18) are travel days. Our check in on 6/11 starts at 4pm and our check out on 6/18 is by 10am.  We will have an evening practice on 6/11 from 5:30-7:00pm, followed by dinner.  On 6/18 we will have a morning practice from 7-8:30am, followed by breakfast.

dream ticketOnce you reserve your spot in the retreat, you will receive an email:

  • Detailing the easiest ways to get to Il Borghino from various airports in Italy or from nearby Lucca. We will help you connect with other retreat travelers and give very detailed instructions on how to get to the retreat.  There are three airports nearby: Pisa international Airport “Galileo Galileo” (18 Miles from Lucca), Florence International Airport “Amerigo Vespucci” (50 Miles from Lucca), and Rome, Fiumicino Airport (162 miles from Lucca). Regular trains and buses run from both Pisa and Florence airports to Lucca. Trains also run regularly from Rome airport, but the trip takes around 4.5 hours. 
  • Comprehensive packing list and travel tips for our retreat.
  • Instructions on how your balance can be paid (including dates and how to pay online or by check).
  • Access to our private group page where you can connect with others who are going on the retreat.


Please note that the $500 deposit is non-refundable and secures your spot for the retreat. Full payment is due by April 1, 2016. If you have paid in full by January 15th and need to cancel, we will offer you a full refund (not including the deposit).  If you need to cancel between 1/15/16 and 4/1/16 we will issued a refund (not including the deposit) and you will be charged a 10% cancel fee.  As we need to pay the retreat center in advance, no refunds will be given for cancelations later than April 1, 2016.

TRAVEL INSURANCE: We recommend that you get travel insurance in case of any life situation that may alter your plans. Check out,, or any other option provided by your credit card, airline or travel company.