Sicily is the home of my Italian relatives . . . Danena is a stunning yoga retreat center on the popular southeast coast of Sicily. The main location is a 19th-century farmhouse - La Masseria - situated in a natural landscape surrounded by the breathtaking Mediterranean Sea. This will be my second time teaching there--we had an amazing experience in 2019. The nearby Greek town of Siracusa is one of the main attractions as are the hilltop town of Noto and the Vendicari nature reserves. Sicily is a land full of history; Roman, Byzantine, Islamic, Norman, Greek, and Spaniard (my other relatives!) There is so much to explore on this incredible island; the beautiful beaches, passionate people, incredible food, and the currently erupting volcano Mount Etna. The last retreat sold-out. Registrati presto!!
Travel in The Age of Covid: No one knows where we will be with this pandemic by fall but we are hopeful. All of us should have been vaccinated by then, airlines will have their own updated protocol for air travel and Italy will have its own regulations. I have been vaccinated, as has my partner Dr Bill Greif who will be looking after temperatures and whatever else he can to keep us safe once in Sicily. Danena will serve meals al fresco, the studio is sanitized twice daily and has good circulation with doors open. If needed we will practice outdoors (not my preference.) Masks will be worn as needed. My greatest hope is that we will be able to share hugs and that I will be able to make physical adjustments during yoga. All participants will need to be vaccinated by September 1st.
I would encourage you to allow time before and after the retreat to see more of Sicily, including Taormina and Palermo. These two articles on Sicily were just published in the New York Times during our 2018 visit. The second article talks specifically about the side of the island that the retreat is held. Just click on Sicily for it and Palermo for the other.
And, this recent article in The Guardian, February 23rd 2021 on the current eruption of Mount Etna.
What To Expect
This week is both a Yoga Retreat and Travel Adventure. Our days will include two yoga sessions such as, Deep Flow, YIN Yoga, Yoga Therapeutics, Meditation, Yoga Nidra, Yoga Lab, Qi Gong, Authentic Movement, and Heart Circles. Free time is from after breakfast until the afternoon session at 4:PM. Mornings will be silent until breakfast. We will enjoy two sumptuous and healthy meals daily, that are primarily vegetarian with occasional fish and other seafood options. (Breakfast & Dinner.) There will be ample time for laughter, casual hanging-out, group sharing, along with time for self-reflection and silence, plus options for excursions to nearby towns and beaches. Registration includes a day excursion to the Greek town of Siracusa, all instruction, room, and board. Space is limited to 21 students.
MEALS: We will have a hearty brunch each day at 10:30. Lunch is on your own as most will take day trips during this time. For those who stay on property, there will be plenty of fruit, nuts, and tea available. Dinner (7: pm) is a big part of the evening activity and is graciously served by the staff. Wine is also optional, as is an outing to a local vineyard for a wine tasting. Dietary restrictions will be accommodated as much as possible.
"We had a wonderful time in a beautiful location with a marvelous teacher. Inspiring and beautiful experience." Margaret -- United Kingdom
"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life..." Mary Oliver
Heart Circles are a big part of our being together, creating a more intimate experience of ourselves in relation to others. They also afford us the opportunity and, give us permission, to be authentically ourselves.
“More than any other city, Syracuse encapsulates Sicily's timeless beauty. Ancient Greek ruins rise out of lush citrus orchards, cafe tables spill onto dazzling baroque piazzas, and honey-hued medieval lanes lead down to the sparkling blue sea. It's difficult to imagine now but in its heyday, this was the largest city in the ancient world, bigger even than Athens and Corinth. Its 'Once Upon a Time' begins in 734 BC, when Corinthian colonists landed on the island of Ortygia and founded the settlement, setting up the mainland city four years later. Almost three millennia later, the ruins of that then-new city constitute the Parco Archeologico della Neapolis, one of Sicily's greatest archaeological sites. Across the water from the mainland, Ortygia remains the city's most beautiful corner, a casually chic, eclectic marvel with an ever-growing legion of fans.” Lonely Planet
Airport: Catania Fontanarossa:
There are two airports in Sicily. The closest to the retreat center is Catania Fontanarossa. You can rent a car there or I can arrange for a transfer from the airport to Danena. There will be only one pickup from the airport on the day the retreat begins, September 25th in the afternoon.
Car Rental or Airport Transfers:
Driving in Italy is an exhilarating experience and not that different from driving in the states except that stop signs and the laws of the road are more of a suggestion than something you can count on. I even learned how to not signal! Fortunately, there are plenty of open back roads with sparse traffic. I would suggest renting a car if you can so that you can get to and from Danena, or take day trips as you please. If not, I can hire a driver for transfers to and from Catania airport or for afternoon excursions for an additional cost. Riding with those who rent a car is also a possibility once I can coordinate this.
The cost of a transfer to or from Catania airport is about €90 each way and takes about an hour to get to Danena. There will be one-afternoon pickup from the airport on the afternoon of our start date- October 15th. If you arrive days early and what to get a ride you must get back to the airport at the designated time. (Time TBD.) There will also be one transfer from Danena to the airport on the morning of October 22nd for the same cost.
The retreat starts on the 15th at 7: pm--there will be group welcoming and orientation at this dinner hour.
The retreat ends on the 22nd at 10: am --after a light breakfast.
Because Danena is booked back to back for the season, please do not arrive before 3:30 pm on the 15th and plan to leave by 10: am on the 22nd. They are not able to accommodate pre and post-retreat stays.
Shared Occupancy: $1585.
Single Occupancy $2085.
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Wifi: Internet is available on site, however, it can be spotty so adjust your expectation and all will be swell. In fact, take a vacation from it! (Impossible, I know!) Electrical outlets use European adapters.
Driving To Danena: If you are driving: From Catania Airport, follow signs towards Siracusa, then take the Siracusa - Gela highway towards Rosolini, come out Rosolini take the exit on your right towards Pachino, after 4.8 km you'll see a little white sign Contrada Belliscala, turn left, you will find us up the road.
Google Maps - https://goo.gl/maps/u435edun16v
Shared Occupancy: $2085.
Single Occupancy: $3385.
Cancellations: Cancellations received 60 days or more prior to the departure date are refundable, less the deposit amount.
Reservations cancelled less than 29 days prior to the departure date are non-refundable.
Full payment is due by August 15th, 2022. Your deposit is non-refundable.
Travelers Insurance is recommended, either as a separate policy or through your credit card company. In the registration process through WeTravel you will also be given an opportunity for insurance.
World-class Yoga Instructor David Moreno, ERYT 500, YACEP, SFT, has led international yoga adventures and retreats to; Bali, India, Costa Rica, Jordan, and Mexico. This is his fourth yoga retreat in Italy and this picture of him in handstand was taken previously in Venice. He has also taught throughout the U.K, Germany, Thailand, Greece, South Korea, and Jakarta.
Read David’s comical travel adventure in Yoga International