In Italy, you expect to find bread, pasta, and a whole lot of amazing wine. But great yoga? Not so much.
That’s changing this fall, as a growing number of yogis are heading to the boot-shaped land of indulgence to relax, recharge, and master their headstands with seriously good instructors.
Why you should join them: It turns out the country has more services suited to the yoga lifestyle than you might think—like cleansing volcanic hot springs and meditation among olive groves. And what’s really so wrong with a post-Savasana glass of Chianti?
Here are four yoga retreats in Italy happening this fall—and the type of yogi traveler each one is perfect for. Buon venuti! —Lisa Elaine Held
*In general, prices listed include at least two meals a day and do not include airfare.
An Italian Experience: Adventure, Relaxation, and Breathtaking
Rome, Capri, and Tragliata
You’ll tour three vastly different Italian cities, see landmarks like the Vatican and the Colosseum in Rome, and visit Capri’s Blue Grotto and the gorgeous beaches of Marina Piccola, and explore vineyards of Tragliata. Not to mention qi gong and life coaching classes. (Will you leave with a new mantra? No. more. meatballs.)
You may need a yoga vacation to recover from this yoga vacation.
Eat, Pray, Move
On the Italian island of Ischia, daily vinyasa yoga and meditation classes are led by Sangha Yoga Shala instructor, Erin Lewis. After class, soak in one of the abundant natural thermal pools (termes), or lounge at the country villa’s on a sundeck, terrace, or garden, where you’ll be lodging.
You’ll get a chance to explore the island, too, from the local villages and hidden beaches to the steamy grottos filled with volcanic hot springs.
Healthy, seasonal vegetarian food is on the menu for this retreat, with just a touch of fresh, local fish, and, of course, wine.
Relax, Renew, and Restore in Tuscany
Sequester yourself at a secluded Tuscan villa surrounded by mountains, olive groves, fruit trees, and vineyards. Jen Warakomski, who studied with yoga luminaries like Leslie Kaminoff and Erich Schiffman, leads this retreat and its twice daily yoga sessions—morning and evening restorative—as well as meditation.
They’re supplemented with optional nature hikes, cooking classes, and visits to local villages.
And the meals are organic and vegetarian, and served with wine produced right at the villa.
La Dolce Vita
Two fave (and fun) instructors from Kula Yoga—Marisa Sako and Jen Guarneri—head up this retreat to Locanda del Gallo in Umbria, which includes two juicy flow classes per day and workshops on topics like inversions and pranayama.
The dining room is the second main attraction here: meals, including three-course dinners, are made with organic vegetables and herbs from the villa’s garden, olive oil is sourced from its olive grove, breads and yogurts are home-made, and vino is not in short supply. Don’t worry—Sako says the chef is used to pleasing “vegans and dairy queens alike. They are even skilled at handling gluten-free folks.”
Stints in the infinity pool, outdoor hot tub, and Turkish steam room can happen between naps on the veranda overlooking a gorgeous hillside.