Retreats Created with Love

For YOU who want to be empowered.

Are you..

  • wishing you could shine your light?
  • tired of saying yes when you mean no?
  • sick of hiding your truth from others? 
  • returning to a bad relationship, job or situation?

 These retreats are for you who need a place to be their authentic self.

We’re all a work in progress.

You want to be seen and heard.

You want to belong.

I know how this feels.

I want to share with you what I have learned by stepping out.

I want to help you shine your light so you can share it with the world.

The world needs you!

Join the tribe of spirt junkies (like you) who believe that the universe is always conspiring to support you.

This is your time to shine!

Take the leap, I’ll be there to guide you.

Ci vediamo in Italia! (See you in Italy)


“Travel Light, Live Light, Spread the Light, Be the Light” – Yogi Bhajan


My name is Katie Portanova. I was raised in an Italian-American family. My grandma was born in Emilia Romagna and grew up in Italy during World War II. Even though my Nana never spoke Italian or taught us any phrases, I always wanted to experience Italy and the culture. From a young age I went against the grain. I followed my own path and knew to trust my gut over outside opinion.  And this is why I created this business.

Facts about me:

  • I’m a yoga and fitness instructor
  • I’m a certified mindfulness meditation teacher
  • I’ve been teaching Les Mills Bodyflow for over 12 years
  • Most importantly a student of all types of spiritual teachings.
  • I am a hopeful, caring and supportive teacher who wants to show you exactly how powerful you are and how you can change your life for the better.

I’ve had a huge love of Italy for over 20 years. I’ve lived in Italy on and off from 2002-2013. My love for Italy, its people, and my ancestors are ingrained deep down into my being.

My goals for your experience with #retreatscreatedwithlove is:

  • To support you
  • To be your “self-love” accountability buddy
  • To hold space for you
  • To show you how powerful you actually are
  • To share with you all the tools I’ve learned to improve your well-being
  • Teaching you self-love techniques, meditations to ground you and yoga practices that allow you to be you and only you.

An Italian Mindset

.When I first arrived in Italy I thrived on my own motivation. All I wanted to do was get lost. Exploring a city, where I didn’t speak the language, listening to the church bells, dodging cyclists and tourists, I physically and mentally wanted to be lost. I left my map at home on purpose so I had to find my way back home.

Wandering through the small, narrow, cobblestoned streets of Florence, was and still is my passion. It was the only way I got to know the city. Because when I got lost, I, in turn, found myself exactly where I needed to be. In the present moment. I always found the right street at the right time.

And honestly. I was never really lost. I always found my way to a big piazza or saw the Duomo peak out around the corner from behind a palazzo. I had faith.

Getting lost was my life lesson. Keep going because you never know what’s around the next corner. Looking back those first months in Italy in 2002 was exactly how I spent the next stage of my life.

Like Robert Frost famously wrote (my most favorite words!):

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.”

I’m continuing to take the road less traveled because that is where I feel most myself.
My free-spirited self.
No rules.
Just me, myself, and I.


So what do you think?

Do you want to dive deeper to understand yourself?

Explore more of yourself while redefining your well-being, sounds like a plan?

“Those who are certain of the outcome can afford to wait, and wait without anxiety.”
-The Course of Miracles

Italy, my Love

Have you ever dreamt of visiting Italy?

  • Well, of course you have, you are at my website, aren’t ya?

Did you not know where to start?

  • I know it is very overwhelming researching the right place to stay, eat and visit. Especially it being your first visit. I got your back!

There are many gorgeous places in Italy, Tuscany especially. I speak Italian fluently. Been living on and of in Italy since 2002. I know many amazing places to stay, eat and visit. I love culture, language, food and wine. Oh, and I love to talk about ’em.

Did I mention I used to be the Local Expert of Florence

My goal in creating these amazing yoga retreats is to show you authentic Italy.

Because when you see the real thing, you’ll cherish it even more. There’ll be no tourist buses, no waiting in lines, or no tourist menu while you are with me. Guarantee it.

Since 2002, I’ve been traveling to Italy. Living in 9 different apartments in 11 years when I was a resident of Florence. I had the pleasure of living in almost every neighborhood in Florence. 

Fast forward, I met my husband in 2011 and by 2013 we’d decided to leave my (his) beloved country.

Times got hard and we couldn’t make ends meet any longer. And like myself, my husband loves a challenge. America was calling us and we made the leap over the big blue ocean.

One of the hardest decisions for me was leaving. My heart still dreams I am walking the streets of Florence.

I miss it every.



My idea was born from the love of a country that became my home.

Italy had to be my life.

What do I love to do?

  • I love to teach.
  • I love to connect.
  • I love to listen.
  • I love to inspire.
  • I love to support.
  • I love to be around like-minded people speaking their truth.

What is my favorite place in the world?

  • Italy.

Done and DONE!

Click on the button below to read about my experiences in Italy on my blog. 

“I think life’s like a game of tennis.You have no choice over how that ball comes to you but it’s how you hit it back that counts.”
-Margaret Gipsy Moth, Photojournalist

Yoga, your practice

Creating yoga retreats was always in the back of mind. Knowing that I’ve been researching the best places to host a Yoga retreat since I left Italy. I wanted to create a space where people are safe when practicing yoga. Safe meaning free to be their authentic self, less judgment.

Needless to say, my yoga training was not a safe space. The path to this endeavor has been long. I obtained a lot of knowledge along the way. The educational activities I did in training did not come from a place of love nor empowerment. Treated less than yourself and told you are doing something wrong takes a toll on you. Especially when you are putting yourself out there. A hard thing is be vulnerable. But we can do hard things.

Finally, finding the peace that one person’s opinion does not make mine wrong. I brought my focus on how I wanted people to feel when practicing yoga. I focused on making people feel good.

Teaching awareness of the body became my focus. Being conscious of the pose and checking-in to see how each pose is either helping or hurting your body. I am happy that I am able to share what I know with my clients and love to see how they thrive with the help of positive words, motivation, and support.

“I think the royal road to achieving genuine satisfaction in life is going the Bloody hard way.”

– J. Poling

When You Show Up

Originally posted on Jan 28 2020 I've been holding myself back for many years. What others said about me or to me has controlled how I chose my next step. It all started in childhood. I never spoke up as much as I thought I did. I held my breath in certain...

Only Love is Real

This year has changed from being the year I launch my first retreat, to the year I cancel said retreat. The year that expresses there is a reason why this pandemic is here. It is wreaking havoc on people (front-line workers), families and causing the world’s economy...

Trust in the Process

originally posted Jan 2, 2020 I never wanted to believe that something else was helping me reach my dream. I thought I had to do it all myself. This year I learned to trust. I learned that trusting in what the universe has to offer is what we all need to do. We are...

Focus on You

originally posted on Dec 23, 2019 I did something I never do, I spent money on myself and participated in an in-studio yoga retreat. I was so happy I did. I never like to purchase events like this for myself because the money is always tight. I sucked it up and paid...

Positive Self-Talk

originally posted Dec 3, 2019 In my adolescent years, I was incredibly hard on myself. In every aspect of my life. In sports, I played soccer since I was 6 years old. I was never nice to myself when I missed a play. In my mind on repeat I would say: You are horrible,...

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