The Magic of Italy

villaI just returned home from a trip to Italy and I was enchanted by Tuscany and the beauty of the countryside, the ancient villages built on rock and the rich history of the cities. Italy was on my top three places to see and a few years back I was offered to do a yoga retreat just outside of the medieval hamlet of Vitorchiano, which is just a few kilometers from the touristic and cultural interest of Alta Tuscia, the cradle of Etruscan civilization. I hesitated as I had not been there before and felt a bit overwhelmed at organizing such a retreat. I accepted an invitation to go to Italy a few weeks back I knew the moment I arrived at the villa that I would be coming back to offer a yoga retreat next year.

As we came off the highway and entered the rolling hills of Tuscany my eyes soaked in the beauty. Through the winding roads we passed through a village of stone houses and cobblestone roads. Then the road narrowed and we were surrounded by trees as if we were entering into an enchanted forest. Then as we passed through a gate we came into view of the villa, an ancient building, that dates back to 1644. It stands at the foot of a stream which moved the grindstones to grind both flour and oil (olives). The stream is animated by the surrounding woods and a little bridge takes you over to a charming swimming pool, surrounded by volcanic stones. And there is a panoramic view of the countryside with over 70 hectares of green hills of olive groves and nut trees, woods and wonderful valleys. It was like something I have only seen in the movies. Inside the villa is charming and has been renovated in full respect of its original architecture. Each bedroom is unique and cozy. The antique italian handmade glass light fixtures created a beautiful design of shadows on the walls. As I stood in awe it felt like arriving home to a piece of heaven on earth. I soaked it all in and savoured every moment there. I feel truly blessed for the privilege of being there and now there is a little piece of Italy in my heart always.

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