Frequently Asked Questions
Is this experience right for you?
Read below to make sure this is experience resonates with you
Who is this for?
- You feel depleted of energy.
- You aren’t happy with your life.
- You need a change in mindset.
- You want an adventure to explore yourself; spiritually, physically, and mentally.
- You are open to connecting with people.
- You want an accountability buddy to help you find self-love.
- You are ready to focus on you for the first time in your life.
- You are ready to step out of the box of comfort and dive deeper into your tru self.
- You are willing to be vulnerable and share your story.
- You strive to be a life long learner.
Who this is NOT for
This is NOT for you if:
- You want to tour Italy on your own.
- You are an experienced yogi who expects a lot of handstands, arm balances, fast vinyasa flows or ashtanga yoga. Not my style.
- You want to be on your own throughout the whole week.
- You aren’t willing to be a part of the group.
- You aren’t willing to participate in most activities planned.
- You don’t want to share, get to know or be vulnerable with the group.
- You aren’t physically active or willing to walk long distances (we walk A LOT in Italy).
- You aren’t willing to sign the Terms and Conditions.
- You don’t like Italian food.
1). Who is organizing these retreats?
Katie Portanova has been traveling and living in Italy since 2002. She will be teaching all the yoga, meditation and self-discovery classes. Katie has been in LOVE with Florence since she first set foot on the cobblestone streets when she was a study abroad student living in Fiesole.
There’ll be a guest instructor, Nicole Hurley, on our June and September retreats who will be teaching Qigong and also offering massage and bodywork services. You can learn more about her here and her Qigong here.
Our retreats will be small, intimate with open-minded, spiritual and loving people. Everyone will be heard, be seen and belong.
2). What is included in the retreat price?
Each retreat has different activities included. For more details, click on each below:
3). What is NOT included in the retreat price?
Your Airfare is not included in the retreat price. We can assist you in travel destinations and also provide you with train travel information on how to arrive to our venues.
Transportation from airport to venue are not included but we can arrange a private transfer if needed. A private transfer to/from airports are not included.
All our meals at our venue are included. Breakfast will be provided on all retreats. When we are out on excursions those meals will not be included. Any dining outside the venue will not be included.
We can definitely recommend places to eat nearby if you want something specific or if you want to save money. The restaurants we will dine at as a group will not be extravagant or incredibly expensive. We love finding and eating at authentic restaurants that create dishes with heart and soul.
In our Florence apartment, we can definitely save money by shopping at local markets and making delicious, simple pasta dishes at home. Our favorite!
4). Where will we be staying?
Each week we will be staying at different apartments, villas, and hamlets.
Florence Retreat – We are staying in a modern, gorgeous apartment in the city center within walking distance to EVERYTHING. Click here to see what it looks like.
Tuscany Retreat – We are staying in a Hamlet called Camporsevoli from the 5th century owned by the Grossi family. There are two apartments where we will be staying. Casa del Fattore sleeps 4 and La Canonica sleeps 5.
Puglia Retreat – We will be staying in our own private villa near the “white city” of Ostuni. We will have own private pool and bikes to rent to explore the countryside.
5). Should I arrive early to explore Italy?
If this is your first time visiting Italy then I say YES. There are many places we can recommend on where to visit that isn’t too far from our destination. You can always travel after the retreat, maybe meet up with a friend and make it a longer trip. Just an idea.
6). What if I don’t speak Italian?
Non ti preoccupare! No worries AT ALL.
Katie has been fluent in Italian for many years but since moving back to the states it can be hard for her when she arrives back in her beloved country.
Italians, in most major cities, speak a little English. Hotels, restaurants and some stores are pretty easy to communicate with.
There are apps you can download like Duolingo and Google Translate is one that helped my parents communicate with my in-laws, no joke.
You can find Italian language movies on Netflix (yes, they are there) and watch it with subtitles. That was one of the first things I did when I started learning Italian.
7). What activities will we be doing for the week?
Each retreat will be filled with interesting activities, yoga practices, meditations and plenty of culture and FOOD.
For more detailed activities go to each retreat page below:
8). Which retreats offer massage and bodywork services?
Each retreat will have a 30-minute massage included in the retreat price.
There will be added costs to additional services such as:
- One-on-one fifteen minute meditation = $15
- Bodywork service pricing includes: cupping, massage, energy healing**
- 30 minutes = $40
- 60 minutes = $70
- 90 minutes = $100
**Payments for extra services can be made through Paypal or Venmo
9). Do I have to participate in all activities? (i.e. yoga, meditation, self-discovery discussions and exercises.)
No you don’t. However, before you book, I invite you to look at who these retreats are for (scroll to the top) and make sure you are signing up for a retreat that will benefit you.
Also note that we will be walking A LOT on these retreats. If you are not physically able to walk for long periods of time, this isn’t a retreat for you.
10). What’s within walking distance?
Tuscany Retreat – There is a small town below Camporsevoli you can walk to. There aren’t many places to visit but there is a grocery store. There are hiking trails around the property which you are free to roam.
Florence Retreat – What isn’t within walking distance??!! We are smack dab in the city center on this retreat. You can get to all major attractions, churches, museums from where our apartment is. You can’t be more central than that! I’ll be taking you on walking tours as well, where I’ll show you my favorite sites and hidden treasures.
Puglia Retreat – There’ll be the opportunity to rent a bike for a week where you can ride to the closest town of Ostuni which will take about 20 minutes. You can hike around the property and through the olive groves as well. Can’t wait!
11). I’ve never meditated before, is there something I can do to improve my meditation skills?
No problem if you haven’t meditated before. It’s a skill that not a lot of people can keep going at a consistent rate. I’m continuing doing the work every day.
I suggest practicing by sitting in a quiet space, breathing and observing your thoughts, only for 2 minutes. The key to meditation is to be present and aware of your thoughts.
12). Will we visit neighboring towns?
Yes of course! Each retreat will have its fair share of day trips to nearby towns, beaches, vineyards, etc. For more details on each retreat’s excursions, check out each retreat page.
13). What if I am coming alone? Do I need to book with someone? Are men allowed to come?
We prefer you coming on your own. When we travel alone we learn so much about ourselves. There is so much to discover when we choose to go at it alone. Although you won’t be alone on our retreats, our intention is to bring like-minded, spiritual people together to share their ideas, visions with each other. A Spirit-led collective who are willing to show up and do the work.
These retreats we’ve planned are meant to be a safe space to redefine who you really are. Bringing attention to your well-being and learn more about yourself is our goal.
We will use meditation, journaling, gratitude practices, yoga, food, wine and much more to really get to the core of who you truly meant to be.
If you want to book with a friend or family member, by all means, feel free to do so. We welcome everyone into our safe space.
Men at this time are not allowed on our first year of retreats. Our goal is to empower women this first year and see what the next year brings. We’re not opposed to having men join us in the future (FYI, my husband will be our driver on a couple of the retreats, however he will not be participating in our yoga, meditation or self-discovery discussions) but at this time we’d like the focus to be on us, women of all backgrounds. Women who are all on their own path of discovery.
14). Where should I fly into?
That depends on which retreat you decide to go on. We’ll be honest, Rome is usually the cheapest out of all the airports to fly into from the US. But again that depends on where you are located.
Florence retreat – We recommed flying into Florence airport
More details to come on specific flights to Brindisi.
15). Do you offer payment plans?
OF COURSE! Message Katie and discuss your options for payment plans. We want this to be an affordable and reasonable expense for you.
16). Is my deposit refundable?
No. I’ve lowered the deposit to $350 from $500 for all retreats in 2021 because I had to cancel our inaugural June 2020 retreat due to Covid-19. I didn’t request refunds from our vendors. I felt that was the least I can do since the whole tourism realm in Italy was halted for three months. Also I was able to book the same week in 2021 by having them keep our deposit. Yahoo!
Your deposit for our 2021 retreats, will help pay for the expenses for our Italian businesses such as insurance, cleaning services, rent, maintenance, etc. This will help us to continue doing business with our favorite vendors for our future retreats.
Another option (if you decide to cancel), we could always transfer your deposit to a future retreat.
17). Do you offer discounts?
Only 2 people per retreat will get this discount.
Stay tuned for our Puglia discounts…
What are you waiting for?
Yoga Retreat Schedule
Tuscany Retreat Schedule
(Day 1 of Tuscany Retreat – subject to change)
8:00 am Yoga and Meditation
9:00 am-10:00 am Breakfast
10:00 am- 12:00 pm Self discovery Activity–-Self Compassion Journal writing and discussion.
12:00 pm – 2:00 pm Wine Tasting and Lunch
2:00 pm-5:00 pm Free time — optional activites: massage, energy work, journal, meditation, pool time, walks.
5:00 pm Meditation class / Qigong
6:00 pm-8:00 pm Free time optional activites: massage, energy work, journal, meditation, pool time, walks.
8:00 pm Cooking Class and Dinner at Camporsevoli
Florence Retreat Schedule
(Day 1 of Florence Retreat – subject to change)
8:00 am Yoga and Meditation
9:00 am-10:00 am Breakfast
10:00 am-12:00 pm Self discovery activity — creative art exercise and discussion.
1:00 pm Lunch at Sant’Ambrogio Market
2:30 pm-4:00 pm Free time or take a walking tour with me
4:00 pm Meditation Class
5:00 pm-7:00 pm Free time — optional activites: relax in your room, journal, meditation, optional one-on-one meditation session.
7:30 pm Dinner at a Restaurant in Florence
Puglia Retreat Schedule
(Day 1 of Puglia Retreat – subject to change)
8:00 am Yoga and Meditation
9:00 am-10:00 am Breakfast
10:00 am-12:00 pm Self Discovery Activity — visualization meditation & vision journaling
12:00 pm-2:00 pm Lunch and Visit in Monopoli
2:00 pm-5:00 pm Free time — optional activites: massage, energy work, journal, meditation, pool time, bike-riding.
5:00 pm Meditation/Qigong
6:00 pm-8:00 pm Free time — optional activites: massage, energy work, journal, meditation, pool time, bike-riding, exploring on your own.
8:00 pm Chef prepared Dinner in our villa. Three course meal including an antipasto, primo, secondo of either fish or meat, dessert and wine.