Our home for the week will be the Masseria Fumarola in the heart of Italy's "up and coming" region, Puglia. The masseria is a traditional house topped with 11 trulli (the cone-shaped constructions so iconic of this part of the world) and puts you at the heart of rural Italian life. Admire the ancient oven and wrought-iron beds, and sleep where the farm’s wine was once produced, a secluded pool girdled with chestnut trees, a private 6-hectare wood of "fragni" (a variety of oak unique to this area), design-conscious decor, and amazing on-site cuisine will make us feel like home over this week.
Located in the Valle d’Itria which is one of the prettiest areas of Puglia, the sun-splashed heel of the Italian boot, this villa is surrounded by olive groves hide ancient fortified farms and whitewashed towns spill down the rolling hills towards vineyards and orchards. Once a working farm run by the grandmother of present owner Anna, and converted into a hotel by Anna’s architect father, this family affair is a rustic yet sumptuous retreat. The rooms which spread across the main building and a scattering of outhouses, are soothing and spacious, with sitting areas, flat-screen TVs and fireplaces under domed ceilings. Outside are terraces encircled by chestnut and olive trees, a pool that’s large enough for laps, and an organic garden where fruit and vegetables are grown for the restaurant. It’s a stylish slice of rural Italian life, a place to savor simple delights: dappled sunlight on your skin, a poolside siesta in the shade of a prickly-pear tree, a glass of local wine at sunset, and the chatter of birds from the masseria’s 6 hectares of private woodland.
Healthful, vegetarian food is part of the retreat experience, including breakfast and dinner daily, as well as selected lunches. We've carefully chosen delicious and fresh meals from renowned restaurants and chefs which will give guests an expansive experience of the cuisine. Our dinners will include a few multi-course tasting menus as well as tastings of the regional specialties throughout the week. While on-site we'll dine in the massaria's former manger hall or outside on the candlelit terrace.
Our day trips will allow us to experience the many unique landscapes and activities that this area has to offer. We will take a tour through Pulgia's famous "Trulli" white cone-shaped houses in the town of Alberobello, a UNESCO heritage site where the main concentration of these trulli still stand. We'll enjoy a walk around town and a tasting lunch before seeing more of the area on our way home. Next we have a relaxed day at the beach exploring the amazing coastal areas of this region, followed by an amazing unique dinner in a "grotto" overlooking the cliffs by the sea in Polignano al Mare - one of Puglia's most picturesque villages. The next day is spent getting to know the tastes of the regions with a cheese tasting and visit to the nearby town of Martina Franca and then a winery visit with a tasting, tour, and lunch. Our next day takes us to the beautiful hilltop town of Ostuni, the "white city" which overlooks the sea. We'll have some time to explore after a visit to one of Italy's oldest olive farms, and then enjoy a local meal in one of the area's well known restaurants. Our last day will allow us to unwind in a beautiful spa with treatments and time around the pool!
Daily meditation and yoga classes will be offered in a way to relax, stimulate, and help guests grow in their own personal practice. Classes are open to all levels, beginner to practiced, and can range from gentle, restorative, and more vigorous vinyasa flow and ashtanga styles.* Style and class levels will be determined and moulded to fit participating students' needs, and with a small intimate retreat class size, students will be able to get personalized attention and comfortability to deeply explore their practice. Depending on each retreat location, classes will be held in a dedicated indoor yoga space and some also offer outdoor options as well for us to use if the weather is agreeable.
Certified yoga instructor and EPM founder, Erin Lewis, will facilitate the classes, helping each student focus on improving their practice and gaining new insights into their bodies and movements. She's studied various types of yoga disciplines since 1998, concentrating on the Ashtanga discipline since 2008. She received her teacher certification in Florence, Italy and has continued her education with various specialty certifications throughout the years. She now combines powerful movements with more anatomical-based core vinyasa flow and restorative movement in her personal practice and teaching style.
- * Participation in classes and activities is optional throughout the retreat. All levels welcome!
We're so excited to announce our retreat in the beautiful and "it list" region of Puglia, Italy!