La Dolce Vita

Italy Retreat


Amenities & Retreat Details

Il Borghino Retreat Center

Literally meaning “small village”, Il Borghino offers a secluded retreat centre setting in a hill top position with magnificent views overlooking forests, vineyards, olive groves and mountains in the distance. With 11 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms, the retreat centre is ideal for larger groups. Designed to maintain the original character of the village while still being both comfortable and modern, Il Borghino has been meticulously restored with energy efficiency and a concern for the environment in mind, using natural materials such as wood, marble and terracotta. The centre is ideally located 15 minutes from Lucca, 35 minutes from Pisa, 1.5 hrs from Florence and 1.5 hrs from the breathtaking Cinque Terre region, making it the perfect base to explore Tuscany and Liguria.


The rooms are large, simple and furnished tastefully in local Tuscan style, each with fabulous views from every window. Each house is fully self-contained and offers every facility to meet the needs and privacy of retreat guests. Tea and coffee making facilities are also available in each house for use by retreat guests outside meal times.

The large communal area, “L’Olivo “, is the hub of the retreat centre – a place for retreat guests to gather during the day, enjoy meals together, share experiences and of course, practice daily yoga. There is also a wood-fried pizza oven which we make use of during the retreat, and a gorgeous outdoor terrace with panoramic views for al fresco dining.

Retreat Highlights

Daily yoga classes

At the retreat center there are indoor and outdoor spaces for practicing yoga – each with a unique atmosphere of peace and tranquillity for centering the mind and body. The indoor yoga room is located downstairs in the communal area with glass windows looking into the swimming pool. Constructed with wooden flooring, the yoga room can accommodate up to 18 participants and is fully equipped with Manduka quality yoga mats, blankets, bolsters, belts and blocks.  

The retreat is open to students of all levels.  Since there are so many things to do on this retreat, it is a great opportunity to bring along friends or family who may not be interested in the daily yoga practices but who would be inspired by the culture of Italy and the chance to unwind, explore, meet new people and join in the excursions and optional activities.

Delicious meals

Lots of farm to table produce, estate produced wine, olive oil, and herbs.  Most meals will be served al fresco (outside) on the terrace. Meals will be prepared by a local chef who makes deliciously fresh dishes based on what is in season and the region’s specialities. Food is sourced from local producers and wherever possible, that includes organic grains, fruit and vegetables. Also available will be homemade fresh fruit and vegetable juices and cleansing herbal teas using fresh herbs from the garden. You can indulge in local cheeses, pasta, breads, wines and other delights, along with plenty of dishes mades from nuts, seeds, legumes, and vegetables/salads, rice, amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, fresh fruit and yogurt. Organic wine, olive oil and honey is produced in the surrounding agricultural area near Il Borghino and is served during the retreats. Friday night is Pizza + Prosecco Night, with pizza coming out fresh from the wood burning oven.  If needed, gluten free and other special dietary requirements options can be arranged.


Day trip to Cinque Terre 

We will spend a day in breath-taking Cinque Terre exploring the five coastal villages embedded in rocky cliffs along one of Italy’s most scenic stretches of Liguria. For those who are hikers, it is possible to spend a day walking and climbing between these beautiful villages and enjoy some spectacular scenery along the way. For others, you can still enjoy walking the more gentle trails, spend time swimming, exploring the villages or sampling some of the local delights.


Local Tuscan wine tasting trip 

Scenic  walk along the “Strada del Vino” (the wine road) to a local winery for a tour and tasting. The estate makes award winning wines, olive oil, honey and pasta.  You will spend the afternoon sipping on local wine,  while tasting the local fare.  The scenery is beautiful, overlooking vineyards and olive groves.  

Lucca Excursion - View from Torre Guinigi (1)
Borghino I Nespoli + Il Melograno - From Outside
Borghino Swimmin Pool  1
Borghino I Nespoli - Sala - Lounge
Excursion - Wine Tasting - Tenuta Maria Teresa Garden 1
Lucca Excursion - Mitoraj Exhibition

Optional Excursions and/or Add Ons:


***There are also other choices of optional activities and excursions, designed to give you a taste of Tuscany and the local culture, without it feeling like a organized tour, including:


-Bike and Walking Tour of nearby Lucca-


Take part in an informal guided tour of Lucca for 3-4 hrs. Includes transportation into Lucca, a bike tour around the ancient walls, a walking tour to explore the main attractions and a cappuccino break or apertivo break.


-Puccini Opera in Lucca-


For the opera lovers, you can catch a Puccini Opera every night in Lucca. The concert starts at 7:15pm and lasts up to 1 hr.


-Pietrasanta Artist village-

If you fancy a night out in a nearby artist’s village, you can head to Pietrasanta, a thriving art centre full of galleries, shops and restaurants spilling onto the pavements. Best known for its marble and bronze artistic works. Pietrasanta often hosts international art exhibitions in the local piazza’s where you can sit over aperitivo and watch the buzz unfold. The town comes alive around 10pm so the best time to visit is in the early evening and staying until late so you can be part of the action.    


-Barga and the Garfagnana Day Trip- 


If you prefer mountains and hilltop villages instead of the sea, travel to the heart of the mountainous Garfagnana region and medieval town of Barga, stopping at the "Devils Bridge," a masterpiece of medieval construction spanning the meandering river Serchio.  Spend a few hours with a private guide exploring the charming hilltop village of Barga, before stopping for a gourmet lunch.


-Italian Language Lessons-


These will be conducted at the villa with an experienced Italian teacher.


-Visit to a Thermal Spa-


This is a 3 – 4 hour excursion and includes entry in to the thermal pools (indoors and outdoors), Turkish steam room, and sauna. Well known to the ancient Etruscans and the Romans, the thermal waters are rich in sulphate-calcium-magnesium which aids relaxation and the digestive system.


-Massages and Holistic Treatments-


There are wonderful local therapists who will be available throughout the retreat for various massages and other treatments.