ITALY yoga retreat: countryside + culture
with Jessie Wigh, founder of Belize Yoga Retreats and RandOM Yoga Studio
Unforgettable yoga retreat in Italy! Spend four nights a charming country villa set amongst the rolling hills and the Chianti vineyards of Tuscany. Then spend the final three nights of the retreat in a 16th-century palace in the heart of Florence.
Retreat does NOT include:
Day 1: Arrival, ground transfer from Florence train station (Santa Maria Novella) to country villa. Dinner, orientation.
Day 2: Breakfast, yoga, cooking class with lunch, free time, dinner
Day 3: Breakfast, yoga, winery tour/neighboring town tour with lunch and dinner
Day 4: Breakfast, yoga, free time, dinner
Day 5: Breakfast, yoga, ground transfer to Florence, free time, dinner
Day 6: Breakfast, yoga, guided tour of Uffizzi gallery, free time, dinner
Day 7: Breakfast, yoga, free time, dinner
Day 8: Departure day
*Guideline itinerary. Schedule may vary based on instructor and size of group.
Jessie Wigh, co-founder of Belize Yoga, certified yoga instructor, owner of RandOM Yoga Studio in Caye Caulker, Belize,
Classes are taught by Jessie Wigh, co-founder of Belize Yoga Retreats and RandOM Yoga studio in Caye Caulker. Italy is a country that stole Jessie’s heart when she arrived in Florence as a university student ready to study art. With a few words of Italian and only a vague idea of how to read a map, Jessie had no idea that summer would result in a life of travel and yoga and wanderlust… Jessie began her yoga journey 13 years ago, and has loved watching her practice and teaching become influenced by two pregnancies, a move to a Caribbean island, wonderful teachers and wonderful students.
In 2008, Jessie and her husband moved to Belize to start their dream of offering yoga retreats in Belize and opening a yoga studio on the little island of Caye Caulker. Jessie leads retreats in Belize and Italy, and when not on retreat, teaches six days a week at her by-donation studio. Her classes are “island-paced” vinyasa…casual, relaxed, and designed to bring emphasis to the the world around you. Jessie truly feels like she is living the dream by sharing yoga and seeing how it can change the lives of retreat students.
Jessie’s retreats are spiritual, healing, and just plain fun. Having taught almost exclusively outdoors, she finds that connection to environment helps to cultivate connection within. Jessie’s retreats are very much about the WHOLE body (physical, mental, spiritual, emotional). With a focus on the chakras, each day of the retreat will focus on a different area of the body and mind. The nature of travel–changing one’s physical location–sets the stage perfectly for beginning the bigger journey.
Begin with four nights in the hills of the Chianti wine region in Tuscany… La Locanda is wonderfully located 600 mts above sea level in the most beautiful part of Chianti. Surrounded by vineyards, woods and olive groves, it overlooks Volpaia, a magnificent medieval village facing Radda in Chianti. Originally a 16th century farm converted into a charming estate, the villa has the relaxed atmosphere of a very comfortable country house in a stunning location.
The villa has only seven rooms, each with private bathroom. Although the rooms have all modern conveniences, the furnishings have been carefully chosen to keep the atmosphere of a private house. The nearby former stables now house the sitting room with a large fireplace, library with bar and dining room, leading to a large sunny terrace where breakfast and dinner are served in summer. The swimming pool and garden share breathtaking views. …then spend three nights in the heart of Renaissance Florence.
Palazzo Guadagni, a 16th century historic residence, is located in Pizza Santo Spirito, a lively square in the heart of Florence. The top floor of the palazzo (palace) has been happily converted to a boutique hotel of timeless charm. The palace has a storied 500-year history, and has housed silk merchants, aristocrats, an institute for art history, and was the filming location for the movie “Tea with Mousillini”. Each bright room is unique and complete with antique furniture. Some boast frescoed ceilings, antique fireplaces or beautiful views of the city–the Santo Spirito Basilisa, the Pitti Palace, or the grand Duomo of Florence. The pride of Palazzo Guadagni is it’s loggia, or wrap-around covered porch that offers the most wonderful location for a glass of Chianti. You’ll be enchanted by the vivality and beauty of this space!
You’ll be short walking distance to everything amazing in Florence–just out the front steps of the palazzo are wonderful open-air restaurants and coffee and gelato bars. A short 5-minute walk will bring you to the famous Palazzo Pitti and Boboli Gardens. In the other direction, you’ll cross the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge before arriving at artisean and designer shopping, the Uffizi gallery, Florence’s duomo, Michalangeo’s David….Florence is truely a masterpiece.
Most meals are included–all breakfasts, all dinners, and three lunches, beginning with dinner on arrival day. Italian food needs no introduction, and you can be assured that the food prepared will be homemade (one meal by you!) and delicious, focusing on regional specialties.
While at La Locanda, breakfasts are served at the villa, with lunches and dinners either at the villa or in a neighboring town, depending on the daily schedule. In Florence, breakfasts and dinners are included in your package, and lunches are on your own. Breakfasts are served at the Palazzo in their charming breakfast room, lunches on your own to sample the city’s flavors at your whim, and then we’ll meet for dinner a local restaurant to exchange stories and come back together as a group.
Morning yoga classes in the fresh air. We’ll enjoy luxuriously long yoga classes each day in the mid-morning. Outdoor classes at La Locanda and classes on the loggia (porch) at Palazzo Guadagni will start the day off beautifully in fresh air. Jessie coordinates each class with a chakra, and uses essential oil aromatherapy.
Activities include a cooking class, where you’ll learn to make a spectacular Italian meal (which you of course will savor afterwards). The day includes a winery tour, wine tasting, and tour of the olive press.
While in Chianti, we’ll take a “village hopping tour”, so that you can spend an afternoon shopping, enjoying a leisurely lunch, or simply reading your book in a cafe.
In Florence, we’ll take a guided tour of the Uffizi Gallery, one of the world’s most premier collections of art. View ancient Greek and Roman sculptures, masterpieces by Raffael, Botticelli, and the ONLY painting ever painted by Michelangelo.