Tuscany | Yoga + the Artisan Trail - La Vita in Equilibrio

Tuscany | Yoga + the Artisan Trail

" Tuscany manages to remain so remote, and secretly smiling to itself. " D.H. Lawrence

From the banks of the Serchio river to the peaks of the Apuan Alps, there is valley of silvery olive groves, a seemingly soft, almost velvet earth, surrounded by rivers and sloping forests of chestnut and pine. Here, suspended in time, and awaiting us like the perfect muse — we find the heart of Tuscany. A place where beauty and craft meet; where folklore and tradition survive, and a more gentle way of life prevails. This June, La Vita in Equilibrio takes us along the artisan’s trail, uncovering the stories and secrets of this exuberant land for a week of yoga and self-discovery. Come join me for a creative awakening!

More about this escape

Nestled in this lyrical landscape, set amongst the terraced hills and a short distance from the medieval city of Lucca, I have found a true haven for relaxation. An immaculately restored 17th century Tuscan estate and its gorgeous grounds provide the ideal setting for our Escape. Each morning wake up to the sweet scent of jasmine, or perhaps take a chair under the rose-covered pergola. You might be inspired to follow the enchanting trails that lead you past the wild thyme and rosemary bushes or simply bask by the pool, in the golden light of the afternoon. The focus of this retreat, is manifesting the muse within you! So I have designed a week of artisanal workshops, and immersive experiences ranging from wine making to silk weaving – but have also included plenty of time for you to soak it all in and enjoy.

The path to creative awakening begins each morning in the serene gardens with our yoga and meditation class. With the Pizzorne mountains on our horizon, we reach into our authentic selves and follow a series of chakra opening asanas. We gently tap into the transformative but often elusive energy of mindful self-expression. When the body, mind and spirit are in harmony our creativity flows with greater clarity, and we can meet our day with playful curiosity. Our morning sessions are followed by a deliciously abundant patio breakfast, lovingly prepared by your host. Local, and seasonal fruits and vegetables are at the heart of my ethos, and in Tuscany we are in a food lovers paradise. Your taste buds are in for a real treat, as our epicurean journey takes us along the DOC trail of Lucchese wines and olive oil. From rustic farm-table lunches and pasta-making at a vineyard, to dining al fresco in ancient piazzas – the delicate flavors of the region, are sure to ignite your senses.

The area around Lucca, is often referred to as the ‘green island of Tuscany’. In the verdant splendor of this countryside, we take our first day to relax and settle into our exquisite surrounds. Take the day to swim, read and walk in nature or just perfect the art of il dolce far niente – the sweet pursuit of doing nothing – as you acclimatise yourself from your hectic life to the soothing balm that is Villa Bocella.

The following day we visit the serene and opulent city of Lucca. Admired for its graceful piazzas and impressive 16th Renaissance ramparts surrounding the historic center, Lucca tends to attract the somewhat more discerning visitor. This is a place, where slow living comes naturally. In fact, some say that no one does ‘leisure’ better than the Lucchese. We experience this ‘town of a hundred churches’, by bicycle along the walls of the city with local cultural connoisseur, Federico Grabau. A descendant of one of thirteen aristocratic families that ruled Lucca during the Renaissance, his intimate recollections of a family history connected with the city, make our visit all the more special. Some highlights include the ancient Piazza Anfiteatro, one of the most picturesque squares in all of Tuscany, a visit to the home of Lucca’s illustrious son Giacomo Puccini, and the dazzling church of San Michele with its wedding-cake facade. The afternoon leaves you free to explore the town – as you stroll down the Via Fillungo, listen for the soft sounds of Madame Butterfly wafting behind the medieval walls and towers.

There is a rhythm and a harmony embedded in the theater of hills and valleys surrounding Lucca. Listening to winemaker Gabriele da Prato, of Podere Concori, speak about the relationship between music and his vines we are reminded of our own creative awakening as we visit his organic vineyard. Gabriele not only plays music to his grapes, he inspires enthusiasm and emotion to anyone who hears him speak about local terroir and the gentle ways in which nature expresses herself in the wines. Surrounded by fragrant fields of wild fennel and chamomile, we enjoy a homemade lunch before continuing along the enchanting Wine trail. As a group we explore the connection between the lush landscape, our feelings and the subtle stirrings of our imaginations. The roots of the vines dig deeply into the earth – they tell a story of lasting tradition, changing seasons, compassionate vinters and harvest. As we share our own stories, perhaps we glean a little inspiration from all the wine tasting! Feeling our natural connection to Terra Madre we head back to our beautiful Villa Boccella for an evening of fun and relaxation.

When we are not exploring the local countryside, a host of creative yoga sessions await us at the Villa. Tapping into personal archetypes, through mindful meditation, yoga and a series of yoga workshops , we open ourselves to renewal and we begin to feel the energy flow. At La Vita, I believe in nourishing my guests with personalized attention as well as giving them the freedom to choose how to spend their days. You may decide to opt out of an activity, and this too can be an integral part of your inner journey. Though, I’m sure there is one activity you will not want to miss! I have invited a lovely individual on site, to provide my guests with the most magical of massages. Isa, our masseuse radiates beauty, and she will pamper you with a combination of lomi, shiatsu and stretching thai. You will be blissfully swept away by the scents of honey and rosemary; lulled into deep serenity by the sounds of her singing bowls.

Many artists, writers and sculptors have been inspired by this part of Tuscany. From Dante and Boccaccio to contemporaries like Botero – the region has certainly enjoyed being a muse! For this Escape I have planned an exciting day that takes us along the marble trail to follow in the footsteps of Michelangelo. We begin with an adventurous and exhilarating ride up a mountain, to reach the gleaming white marble of Carrara. You will be amazed by the sheer immensity of this natural basin. While we learn about the ancient ways of marble extraction, and take in the breathtaking views, we ponder the transformative process involved – after all, marble is actually limestone that has experienced a crystalline metamorphosis! Following our tour, we lunch at nearby Colonnata before heading to an old marble cutting yard, now restored as a workspace for artists. Here we get an intimate look inside an artist’s studio, discovering how to create magic out of stone. Our final stop is along the Versilia coast, at Pietrasanta. Known as the ‘small Athens’ of Tuscany due to the many artists who came to work the marble after Michelangelo, this charming town is the perfect backdrop for our favorite Italian pastime, the passeggiata.

Our Escape culminates on a glorious Tuscan summer evening – walking the graceful streets of Lucca we stop for an aperitivo before heading to the magnificent church of San Giovanni, for an incredible performance of Puccini. Your soul will rejoice in the emotion of the setting and the sounds. We continue our courtship with Puccini’s spirit at the Michelin starred restaurant Butterfly where we gather in a most elegant setting for a dining experience that will be as memorable as the friendships we have made. The next morning, we have a light yoga practice followed by breakfast before we transfer you back to your life with a restored mind and body, a deep sense of rejuvenation, self-discovery and transformation. I can’t wait to see you in Tuscany!

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E: ciao@lavitainequilibrio.com
T: +44 7967 997453

La Vita in Equilibrio


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Terms & Conditions


Please note that because La Vita in Equilibrio Yoga Escapes and Retreats are limited to a small number of attendees, to allow for a more personable, intimate experience, our cancellation policy is in place to help guests and us alike to work together sharing expenses that may arise from unexpected cancellations.

Hold deposit is non-refundable.

Hold deposit (minus $200 Euros service fee) is transferable to another attendee.

Full balance due 42 days before start date of retreat.

No Cancellation requests other than transferring to another participate found by the original participant.

No one books a retreat with the intention of cancelling it, but unexpected events do occur, so please consider purchasing travel insurance (see below) and that it is your responsibility to read and understand our cancellation policies. Exceptions cannot be made for any reason, including weather, injury/illness, or personal emergencies. No refunds or credits for failure to attend or failure to complete the escape/retreat, or for arriving late or leaving early.

We recommend that you purchase your own travel insurance. We encourage you to purchase trip cancellation insurance in order that your trip fees will be covered should you or your family have a medical problem prior to your trip or while on the trip. Trip insurance should also be purchased to cover medical expenses in the event you have an accident while on the escape/retreat. Most travel insurance must be purchased within 14 days of making your reservation.

We reserve the right to cancel retreats with inadequate participant interest, in which case all money paid to LA VITA IN EQUILIBRIO Yoga Escapes/ Retreats will be refunded.

Notification of cancellation will occur at least 1 month prior to retreat start date. LA VITA IN EQUILIBRIO Yoga Escapes/ Retreats cannot be held responsible for any personal expenses, such as airline tickets due to changes in itineraries or retreat cancellations.


LA VITA IN EQUILIBRIO Yoga Escapes/ Retreats and all persons involved in retreats (herein after referred to as “AGENTS”) act only in capacity as AGENTS for the participant in all matters connected with travel, sightseeing journeys and transportation, and as AGENTS hold themselves free of responsibility for any damage occasioned by any cause.

AGENTS will not be responsible for any damages or expenses or inconveniences caused by late departures or change of schedule, strikes or to their conditions, nor will be responsible for loss or damage to baggage or any of the participant’s belongings.

All prices quoted are correct at time of printing, include the cost of operation of the journeys, and are subject to currency changes. AGENTS shall not be responsible for personal injury, death, accident, delay, loss, damage, irregularity or property damage as a result of force majeure or for any other losses or damages incurred by any person or journey participants caused by any delay or change of itinerary or arising out of any act, including, but not limited to, any act of negligence, any person acting for or on behalf of AGENTS for transportation, accommodation or sightseeing provider or any other person or entity rendering any of these services or accommodations being offered in connection with this journey.

This agreement supersedes all previous oral or written communications, representations, or agreements between the parties. Participants assume the risk involved when participating in yoga, foreign travel, and any and all activities and/or pursuits voluntarily undertaken while participating in the retreat.

Participants agree that any and all disputes between Participants and LA VITA IN EQUILIBRIO Yoga Escapes/ Retreats shall be governed by UK law.

Participants agree to mediate any and all disputes prior to the institution of any litigation. In the event of any litigation between the Parties to this agreement involving their respective rights or obligations, such litigation shall take place in the United Kingdom and the prevailing party shall be entitled to recovery of reasonable solicitors fees and court costs of litigation.

In regard to the stay during the yoga escape/retreat, AGENTS will provide safe, careful instruction and safe premises, but ask that each participant to take personal responsibility for their own self-care and (in the unlikely case) for any injuries incurred during retreat.

Modifications are given to students with specific needs. If participants are unsure of their physical ability due to previous injuries, they should seek the advice of a healthcare practitioner beforehand.

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