D.H. Lawrence once says, for you to go to Italy and to penetrate into Italy is like a most fascinating act of self-discovery, back, back down the old ways of time. Strange and wonderful chords awake in you, and vibrate again after many hundreds of years of complete forgetfulness. Sometimes, it takes a special place in your life and the right setting to unravel and just let go. Soulfit Adventures offers an exquisite opportunity to do just that in Tuscany.
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The Dependence, which is part of the exclusive Villa Boccella estate is your Tuscan home for the week. It offers you a luxurious retreat where authentic Tuscan charm is coupled with opulence and exclusivity. The Dependance was historically the principle support building for Villa Boccella and all its agricultural activities. Set in the heart of a vast estate of rolling hills, vineyards, and olive groves, it was recently renovated.
The Dependence has everything you need including your own pool and yoga studio. It was Petrarch in the 14th century who advocated the country house as a place of rest and repose, starting the fashion for beautiful houses set in the hills, away from the heat of the city. Near the ancient fortified city of Lucca, it was built in 1729, and the whole estate is a fine example of a summer retreat for the nobility.
With its vineyards and olive groves, it still produces it own wine and oil and over the past few years, the whole estate and buildings have been sympathetically renovated to provide accommodation that is comfortable and luxurious, combined with classic elegant Tuscan style.
Rooms are allocated on a first in first served basis. Most people are happy to share a room and if are traveling alone and booking a shared twin room, SoulFit Adventures will put you in a room with a same sex person. Single rooms are limited and are subject to availability.
Imagine weaving your way through the intimate and untouched cycling trails in and around Lucca, whilst immersing yourself in the essence of history and nature. Each day is different, taking you into the local off the beaten tracks to discover what waits. Your body will be guided through yoga to prepare you for the bike or you will have a Restorative yoga sequence later in the day. There will also be fresh, authentic local foods prepared lovingly to nourish and delight you throughout the day.
The bike is freedom. It allows you to travel the roads less traveled, taking in the sights and smells, the crunching of the gravel below your tires, or the soothing hum as you glide over fresh pavement. You just don’t experience the world the same way by foot, car, or plane.
This Tuscan active holiday retreat combined with adventure offers you the chance to reconnect with yourself and let go. You will be nestled in a boutique luxury accommodation on a private estate, setting the backdrop for morning and evening yoga as you cycle the days into bliss. You will relish in cuisine of fresh local produce and wine, absorbing the sights, which is a pure delight for the senses in Tuscan style!
SoulFit Adventures believes flow is the secret to fun. It occurs when you are so engaged in something that you lose all track of time. You don’t notice anything at all because you are so immersed in a task that is at once optimally challenging and absorbing. Some of your most immersive, flow experiences occur on the bike and your yoga mats.
Worried that the cycling or yoga might be too difficult? Don’t be. The cycling is moderate, but designed to challenge you (it is all part of the fun) and the yoga is suitable for all levels. If you are more experienced on the bike, SoulFit Adventures can definitely challenge you! Non-riding and non-yoga partners are also welcome to share the adventure with you.
They take a very holistic approach to their active retreats and design itineraries that create a balance where you will encounter opportunities that will engage your body, mind, and spirit. Whatever you seek on your Tuscan journey, you will experience La Dolce Vita, the sweet life and go home with a sense of vitality and a restored approach to life. They know you deserve a remarkable life in magical places. An adventure awaits!
Arrive independently to Lucca train or bus station and at 15:30, you will transfer to the accommodation on Villa Boccella Estate. Settle into your luxurious surroundings and relax. You will then have a welcome dinner and short briefing about the week. Dinner is included during this day.
Begin your day with breakfast at 08:30. After breakfast at 09:30, you will transfer into Lucca where you will meet Paladino from Chrono Bikes and Tim, your guide
for the week. You are then fitted for your bikes and then start your cycling off with a gentle ride around the ancient walls surrounding the old center of Lucca. These are 12 meters high and some 25 meters wide, and the entire circuit is about four kilometers, giving a wonderful perspective of the old city.
Leaving the city center, you will then head out for a few kilometers before crossing over the river and heading to Nozzano Castello, an ancient hamlet maintaining its original aspect and fortifications. You will continue on towards the old Carthusian monastery in Farneta before returning to the estate for lunch. This afternoon is yours to relax and unwind. After a long day, you will unwind with Yin yoga at 17:00. Dinner will then be served at 19:30.
The cycling distance for today is 30 kilometers and it takes around two hours. The cycling is easy because the terrain you will be cycling on is mostly flat. Meals included for this day are breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Start your day at 07:30 with a hearty breakfast. Today, you are off on an easy cycle to the neoclassical Roman Acqueduct just on the outskirts of Lucca. You will admire the ancient architecture before stopping for lunch at a beautiful restaurant, Lo Scompiglio, overlooking the vineyards and surrounding hills.
After lunch, it is a gentle cycle back to estate with maybe a gelato stop along the way. You can enjoy massages, pool time, or Restorative yoga. The choice is yours. At 17:00, you will enjoy a Yin yoga practice session and wrap up the night with dinner serving at 19:30.
The cycling distance for today is 40 kilometers and it takes around three to four hours. The cycling is easy to moderate because the terrain you will be cycling on is mostly flat with some gentle grades. Meals included for this day are breakfast and dinner.
Being your day with a refreshing morning yoga at 08:30. After the session, grab breakfast at 09:30. After a sleep in, morning yoga, and breakfast, today is your day to do as you please. You can chill out at the estate where you can relieve your tired legs with a massage, lie by the pool, and soak up the beautiful surroundings. Alternatively, you might feel like an extra ride and your cycling guide will be available to lead you.
Late in the afternoon, you can venture into Lucca and enjoy an aperitivo followed by a Puccini concert. Lucca is the birthplace of Puccini after all. Lunch will be provided at the estate for those who choose to stay. Practice Yin yoga at 17:00 and enjoy your dinner at 19:30. Meals included for this day are breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Breakfast begins at 07:30. Today's cycling takes you towards the sea on a very picturesque route and you will up the intensity a little. From Lucca, you will head towards Balbano and commence a two to three kilometers climb with shade most of the way towards the Lake of Massacciuccoli, which is also known as lake of Giacomo Puccini. You will stop at the top to take in the breathtaking views of the lake and the coastline.
The lake is part of the Migliarino, San Rossore, and Massacciuccoli nature park, and the lakeside town of Torre del Lago Puccini is the birth place of the great composer, Giacomo Puccini. From the lake, you will descend back into the town of Massacciuccoli and cycle towards the seaside resort of Viareggio where you will stop for a break and grab some lunch.
On the way back, you will have another one kilometer climb to Piazzano, before heading back to Lucca. You will then arrive back at the estate during the afternoon and have some time to relax before for your dinner out. At 17:00, you will then enjoy a Yin yoga practice and at 20:00, you will dine out for dinner at a local restaurant.
The cycling distance for today is 60 kilometers and it takes around three to four hours. The cycling is easy to moderate for the terrain you will be cycling on gentle grades with some rolling hills. Meals included for this day are breakfast and dinner.
Practice morning yoga at 08:30. Then, have breakfast at 09:30. After a sleep in, morning yoga, and breakfast, you have another free day to do as you please. Lunch will be provided at the estate for those who choose to stay and enjoy the surroundings. Additional cycling is also available. Practice Yin yoga at 17:00 and enjoy your dinner at 19:30. Meals included for this day are breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Start your day with breakfast at 07:30. Your last ride for the week is your most challenging, however, it is well worth the effort. The ride is scenic and picturesque following back roads lined with olive trees and vineyards, passing through ancient hamlets and Romanesque villages with spectacular views overlooking the surrounding country side.
The ride is undulating and quite challenging with about four to five kilometers of climbing, but the scenery is stunning and they are rewarded at the end when you arrive at Montecarlo, a hilltop town with fabulous views of the surrounding districts. You then hop back on your bikes and head to a favorite winery for a wine tasting and a Tuscan lunch.
By the time you arrive back at the villa during the afternoon, you will have worked up an appetite and a thirst for your celebratory dinner at the estate. At 17:00, practice Yin yoga session. To end the holiday, celebratory dinner and drinks at 19:00.
The cycling distance for today is 60 kilometers and it takes around four to five hours. The cycling is moderate to challenging because the terrain you will be cycling on are rolling hills with a few long climbs, but are not steep. Meals included for this day are breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
At 09:00, have your final breakfast. Following breakfast, the retreat ends at 10:30. You will say goodbye to your new friends and transfer back into Lucca for your onwards journeys. The meal included for this day is breakfast.
SoulFit Adventures yoga and cycling holidays have been designed for people of all ages and abilities, and anyone with a reasonable level of fitness should be able complete all of the cycling. However, to ensure that you make the most of your holiday, it is a necessary that you be familiar and comfortable with gear changing and be competent cycling for a minimum of 30 kilometers (approximately 24 miles) on the road, on any given cycling day.
Please note that the cycling routes listed in the above itinerary are examples only and will be confirmed at the time of the retreat depending on the group's interests, cycling experience, fitness levels, and weather conditions. Non-cycling friends and spouses welcome.
Virginia is the owner of SoulFit Adventures. Virginia has always had a passion for travel, which was first ignited some 20 years ago when she was fortunate to spend 7 years living and working in Europe. Her passion for health and wellness has developed slowly over a number of years and she is still on this journey. Virginia is very grateful to have been part of the amazing Power Living Yoga community in Sydney, Australia, and she has completed her 200-hour Power yoga teacher training with modern Australian master yogi, Duncan Peak. She also practices Kundalini yoga when time permits.
Isabelle Vorweg is the masseuse on this retreat. Isabelle hails from Munich and has been living and working in Lucca for the last eight years. Guests will often remark that Isabelle's massages are the best they have ever had! In her spare time, Isabelle is a keen cyclist, a personal trainer, and Sivananda yoga teacher.
Paladino Meschi from Chrono Bikes in Lucca is your guide and bike supplier on this retreat. Born and bred in Lucca, Paladino has been riding for almost as long as he has been able to walk! With well over 20 years of experience in biking and guiding, Paladino will guide you through this magical landscape dotted with vineyards, olive trees, hill towns, and cypress tree-lined lanes, to unforgettable wine and olive oil tastings and very tasty cuisine, and enable you to plunge right into the beautiful landscape of Lucca and Tuscany.
This retreat will take place in Tuscany, Italy. The estate is located in the county of Ponte a Moriano, which is a small hamlet 10 minutes away from Lucca.
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For this retreat, your meals include fish, meat, and vegetarian options, as well as either vegetables, salad, bread, local cheeses, or fruit. There will also be unlimited fruit, water, herbal teas, and coffee throughout the day.
Non-cycling / yoga participants are always welcome and all activities are voluntary. Lucca is the perfect destination for non-cycling partners to enjoy whilst you’re out on your ride. There are a plethora of cafes and restaurants, cobbled streets, fabulous shops and museums all only 10kms from the villa. Not to mentioned the villa pool which one could laze around for the day! Florence with all its history and art is only 60 minutes away by train or, the seaside a 30 minute bus ride. There is enough to do on most of our trips to keep non-yogis and riders happy, and we are only too happy help guests not participating in the organised activities with optional excursions at their own expense
You will enjoy a luxuriously soothing 60-minute massage for this retreat.
If you are flying into Italy, the closest international airports are Pisa International Airport (PSA) and Florence Airport (FLR). Easyjet, Ryanair, and British Airways serve the UK. Delta flies direct to New York City and there are numerous flights to Germany, France, Switzerland, and the rest of Europe. Florence International Airport has many flights to connecting hubs within Europe.
The buses which serve all the main towns and cities in Tuscany depart from Piazzale Verdi in Lucca. Please be at the bus station by 3:00 p.m. for a 3:30 p.m. pickup. Transfer from and to the bus station is included. Please let SoulFit Adventures know in writing at least two weeks before the start of the retreat if you need pick up from the bus station. It is preferable for them to pick up at the bus station rather than the train station for the bus station is inside the city walls and is a bit easier for pick up.
All airports are connected via the Italian railway system. Lucca train station is the closest station to the estate. Please be at the train station by 3:00 p.m. for a 3:30 p.m. pickup. Transfer from and to the train station is included. Please let SoulFit Adventures know in writing at least two weeks before the start of the retreat if you need pick up from the train station.
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