I am leaving on Tuesday afternoon for Italy! I am leading a retreat in the Umbria region of Italy from September 15-22. The retreat will take place in a villa not far from Perugia.
Marilyn and I will meet our fabulous group of 16 yogis at the Perugia train station on Saturday, September 15th, and whisk them away to the villa where we will have a short unwinding yoga session and the first of many dinners prepared with love by our chef Massimiliano.
We will have daily early morning meditation, made optional for those who would prefer to have an extra half hour sleep in, followed by our early morning yoga sessions. I will also lead yoga sessions in the evenings before dinner.
Some days we have outings and on some days, we have the option of staying at the villa to simply relax, swim, read, socialize, soak in the September Italian sun, or take long walks to discover the beauty of the area near Lake Trasimeno.
Photo: our villa
One of the day tours we have planned is to nearby Lake Trasimeno where we will take a ferry ride to one of the lake’s islands, Isola Maggiore. Of course, I will have more to write about once I have actually been there! I do know that some 14th-16th century buildings stand on this ancient fishing island. And St. Francis mediated and prayed here during Lent of the year 1211 and he slept on a rock which is now kept in a chapel.
Isloa Maggiore features in ancient history as it is where Hannibal ambushed two of Rome’s legions in 217 BC, killing some 15,000 legionnaires. I found this: “According to legend, the Roman commander should have known to avoid battle that day. The sacred chickens refused to eat their breakfast, a dead giveaway that Rome’s prospects were not good.”
I also read this about the island: “The islanders specialize in making Irish lace. The technique was introduced in 1904 by the Marchesa Elena Guglielmi, when she brought an Irish housekeeper to the island.” Irish lace!
We will also be going to Assisi, home of my beloved patron saint San Francesco d’Assisi, patron saint of animals and of the environment! I love that there is actually a day, October 3, devoted to Blessing of the Animals in honor of St. Francis!
In Assisi, we will have a guided tour of the S.M. degli Angeli Church. This is a church inside a church. This is where San Francesco spent most of his time praying and meditating. Inside S.M. degli Angeli Church, I will guide my group in a half hour session of meditation. I have waited 50 years to see this church! I can’t tell you how excited I am about going there and experiencing the energy of this sacred space, a space that goes beyond a specific religion and spreads itself into the realm of world peace, harmony, and love.
Assisi, home of the most gentle of saints, San Francesco (St. Francis)
Another outing is to Perugia, where we will have a tour of the chocolate factory and see all the sites there are to see. In the evening, we will enjoy pizza in a local Perugia pizzeria. Perugia is Seattle’s sister city and it will be so exciting to be there. We have an awesome contact who is from there, a friend of Marilyn’s who works for the Mayor of Perugia and who has, along with Marilyn, has been incredibly helpful in putting this retreat together. My group will have the opportunity to meet her one evening when she comes to join us for dinner!
And we will have one full day at a cooking school which is tucked away in the mountains. That day, we will cook, eat, drink vino, hunt for mushrooms with our cooking school chefs, and do our afternoon yoga practice in a beautiful outside setting.
Field, mountains, cooking school, great food, vino, and yoga with a beautiful group of yogis and life adventurers: I can’t wait!
All the photos in this blog are stock photos from on line! I will be blogging while I am away and will post as many of my own photos as I can. As I have learned, downloading photos is really difficult when traveling due to the time it takes to actually download onto the blog, so my photos (or the majority of them) may have to wait for the final slide show upon my return. Ciao a tutti!!