ACTIVITIES & ENTERTAINMENT
*These are just some of the highlights of our Holiday Retreat & of the region. There is much to explore in Alvito & the surrounding area!
YOGA CLASSES & MEDITATION
Both Ashley & Celia are yoga instructors with a variety of training and skill sets. Each day there will be a yoga class tailored to the needs of the students to help us get centered and find balance in our day. Both teachers will be on hand to answer personal questions about your yoga and meditation practice. Guided meditation will be hosted throughout the trip. Meditations will not just be sitting, but involve movement, music, and more!
Celia will be teaching some techniques and approaches to keeping a fun, visually interesting, and memorable travel sketchbook. Whether you are naturally artistic, or not at all artistic, you can bring home drawings, colors, pressed flowers, reflections, notes, labels, photos, words – reminders of your week.
We can spend a few sessions around the table, as well as out and about in the village, and Celia will show you how to draw and make a page look good. We can take some time to write down little vignettes of things we see and do together. Once you realize you can delight yourself, both in the making and in sharing your sketchbook, you won’t want to travel without one.
The village where we will be living is situated in the Val di Comino, where it seems there is a castle atop every hill. We can hike up and climb around in the ruins of one or two of them. During WWII, it was occupied by Nazi (mostly Austrian) soldiers who skied in to take over the village. They set up in the fine palazzo of a local family, and sent word to the mayor asking him to report to them. He sent a message back that they could meet in his office. We will tell you more about the history of Alvito when we are all together.
Alvito is famous for fine pastries and candies made from secret recipes. There are several sparkling cafes and a few excellent restaurants. Bells of the church clang and ring against the mountain backdrop of the Appenines. The town seems made for taking photos.
Qi Gong is an aspect of Chinese Medicine that, when done authentically, can heal by moving energy through the organ system meridians and joints. Qi is also moved in martial arts. The form Celia will introduce has a mytho-poetical, pscho-spiritual subtext to simple movements that are easy to follow. Continued practice increases sensitivity to subtleties, and builds stamina.
While we are getting over jet lag, we will restore ourselves swimming in the Mediterranean at a beach only the locals use. It is on a small cove between two huge commercial beaches (Gaeta and Sperlonga), where recliners and umbrellas are lined up like a giant parking lot. Instead, we will be swimming at the ruins of a Roman villa, where you can jump or dive off of rock outcroppings. The restaurant serves home-made courses cooked by the nonna (grandmother) with produce from the family gardens. This is one of the best beaches between Rome and Naples, where yachts anchor offshore.
Anyone who feels like it can explore the Sora Market on Thursday. Sprawled along the Liri River, in the piazzas and streets, this is one of the old markets operating continuously for centuries. The produce, cheeses and meats are sublime, people crowd the stalls for every kind of household goods and clothing. And there is an antiques section full of surprises from crisp white cotton nightgowns and linens, to second hand designer clothes or handbags. And a trout stream is running under the bridges.
SALE E PEPE
We will dine in the front rooms of a cave that is lit showing how it continues back into the mountain. The owner drives to Gaeta most days to buy fresh seafood. Save your appetite!
A sheepherding and cheese-making family found that a house on their property had once been lived in for a short time by D.H. Lawrence. He made the setting for the ending of his novel, The Lost Girl, there. The family restored the house with rooms for ‘agriturismo’, and every Sunday they host a fabulous lunch. Once a year they also host a literary conference focusing on some aspect of D.H. Lawrence.