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The program includes a week of relaxation, sports, wellness, and nutritious food in the beautiful setting of the National Park of Abruzzo and Molise. Every day you will practice Yoga and Hike. We will make two wonderful hikes to the 2,000+ meter-high peaks of the Mainarde mountain range; ride on horseback through the beautiful marsh valley (Pantano); relax in the Retreat’s spa and enjoy unforgettable landscapes
Valcocchiara Retreat is a charming country house set among the mountains of Abruzzo and Molise National park, in the heart of Italy. It is a magical location plunged in an amazing natural landscape that includes thick woods, ideal mountain views, and forever-green valleys, where Pentro breed wild horses peacefully graze.
It is the ideal place for retreats and residential seminars, surrounded by mountains and a warm atmosphere, plain and simple, of the owners and their many animals. Wherever you set your eyes, wherever, is an explosion of colors. As soon as you cross the threshold, you feel catapulted in a forgotten world, yet familiar. This is a place in which you realize to be part of something greater.
Everything is facilitated by the provision of indoor and outdoor spaces of the house, specifically designed to put at ease the guests during their stay.
During the retreat, you will sleep in warm rooms, plain, and comfortable, each one different from the other and all created with passion and love for details. Each room has private bathroom.
During the retreat, you will practice daily yoga designed for beginner and intermediate classes. The bright room where the courses are held has a huge sliding glass door which opens directly onto the mountains, and is enriched by a fireplace made of local stone and an old cast iron stove.
The property has two large outdoor terraces, completely immersed in the green environment, where you can do yoga, meditation, or simply relish the sunsets which move even the most stolid minds. In summer, a tarpaulin made of natural elements shields the sun from one of the two terraces.
The house is the ideal starting point for hiking and Nordic walking, wonderful walks in the park, trekking suitable for all levels of hikers. During the retreat, you will enjoy daily guided hikes across the magnificent countryside.
A couple of hours with the resident dogs among little beaten paths, stony mountains, and sheep tracks will make you dripping with sweat and happiness, between juniper bushes, blackberry bushes, and wild rose, small dry system. Those who love walking will find their element here.
Valcocchiara Retreat hosts only small groups (never more than 15 people). The goal is to ensure to those who participate ultimate comfort and above all make it possible for people to get into deeper contact with each other and with the surrounding environment.
Aside from daily guided hiking and Nordic walking, you will do, twice during your stay, more challenging and very suggestive form of trekkings of the Mainarde peaks, clearly visible from home. Walking on Mainarde is a unique experience, full of charm with overhanging walls, pastures, and meadows, a unique landscape, and the real possibility of spotting various species of animals, difficult but not impossible to come across the Marsicano brown bear, symbol of the park. It’s easier to admire the chamois along the steep and craggy walls.
In the woods and meadows, it’s possible for a deer or wolf to appear, as well as in the sky, you can watch the vaulting of a hawk or buzzard.
You will stroll to the Pantano, an immense prairie of over 350 hectares, inhabited by thousands of cows and horses bred in semi-wild state. It’s a real gem where you will do an unforgettable horseback ride.
There will also be a guided visit of the village of Montenero Val Cocchiara and of Momu, an old horizontal blade watermill dated back to the early 800s.
This retreat will take place in Valcocchiara Retreat. The house gently lies on the boundaries of the Parco Nazionale d’Abruzzo Lazio e Molise. It's a jewel built on top of a hill of 1,000 meters in altitude overlooking the nearby village of Montenero Val Cocchiara.
From Valcocchiara Retreat you can reach the ancient village (just 450 souls) with a pleasant five minute walk. Here, you can wander among the cobblestones of the old town and admire the beautiful stone houses. In the village, there is also a pharmacy and some cafès.
Economy is characterized for the horse and cattle farms, activities that combine well with the unpolluted environment and the atmosphere of the places which make it a destination of naturalistic tourism.
Until a few years ago, the town was known throughout Italy for a particular event which takes place every year in August: the Pentro Rodeo, a competition which revoked the American West competitions with wild horses (Pentro horse, pertaining to this area) ridden without a saddle in the magnificent setting of the Marsh, now the major tourist attraction of the place.
The countryside has a long history, marked by the presence of the ancient transhumance streets but it also withholds a wealth of valuable natural features distinguished by a wide variety of habitat types: prairie, swamp, forest with karst areas, and streams.
The large size of the area, also connected to the relevant natural and landscape aspects, makes the environment a scenery of exceptional biodiversity made even more fascinating by the presence of hundreds of cattle (cows and horses grazing) bred in the “wild”.
It is also a pit stop for migratory birds such as storks, snipes, the royal owl, the hen harrier, gray herons, hawks, and falcons. In autumn, the great rains and underground sources will inundate a part in order to form a lake.
The area was once inhabited by Pentri, one of the four original Samnite tribes. The remains of several megalithic polygonal sannitiche protective walls confirm their presence as well as the discovery of pre-Roman Samnite tombs, ruins of a church, and a tower, discovered to the northwest of the “Marsh”, in an old cobblestone street with arched bridges.
With the subsequent Roman colonization, the territory was included in the Alfidena municipium (Castel di Sangro). The town was originally called “Mons Niger” and is mentioned in the Chronicon Volturnense in 975, a period during which it results to be a feud of the Abbey of San Vincenzo al Volturno.
It then belonged to the Borrello (XII to XIII century), then to the Collalto, the Contelmo (XV century) and, in the Aragonese period, the di Sangro. Following various domains, it then reached the Doria.
Around the year 1000, there were two villages in the area, Montenegro and Malacucchiara. The two villages later merged, giving life to today Montenero Val Cocchiara.
During the retreat you will be served three daily meals. Enjoy memorable morning breakfasts (with cakes and homemade jams) and the aperitifs in the garden and summer moonlight dinners. You will dine together as a group in a common lounge enjoying delicious meals. In the background there is a large stone fireplace where one can stop and chat with other guests, sip some homemade tonic liquor, or read a good book.
All good yogi well know how positive the influence of natural environment is on your body and mind. The rest is done by the company, the movement, and the food. The food arrives on your plate straight from the garden and, anyway, Valcocchiara Retreat tries to privilege small local suppliers as well as with cheeses made from cows raised on pasture in Pantano, magnificent grassy area just minutes from home.
Drinks, snacks and fruit always available to guests throughout the day
During your free time, you may also enjoy the pool or outdoor drinking trough, totally submerged in the green of the hill and then laze in the sun on beautiful summer days. Seasonal hammocks invite you to long naps in the afternoon hours.
You can go out for a walk with the dogs among hazelnut trees and blackberry bushes, on dirt trails just beaten by a pack of wolves or a herd of deer, you can see dogs basking in the sun or diving in the snow. Often, more simply, you can enjoy the comforts of home: the fire from the large stone fireplace, food, friends, and good wine.
For those looking for something more dynamic, there are many possibilities for a stay full of sports and adventure:
Those who intend to engage in more active and less “contemplative” pursuits will have a lot to do and you can bet that, at the end of the day, all you want is a comfortable bed in which to let go until dawn of the following day.
It’s also a must to relax in the indoor spa, equipped with a large sauna, colored sofas, and a small natural resin pool with hot 38 degrees Celsius water, hydromassage, and cervical waterfall.
From the picture window, you can admire the colorful sight offered by the alternating seasons, a fascinating and ever-changing show: the deep green summer, autumn pastels, the snow-covered peaks.
Masseuse on request
Please book your flight to arrive at Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport (FCO) or at Naples International Airport (NAP). From the airport, you could hire a car or take a bus ride to get to the retreat venue.
Valcocchiara Retreat highly recommends that you take a bus ride to get to the retreat venue. It's easy, fast, and comfortable. In order to reach Castel di Sangro, there is a daily bus service with mixed schedules, “round trip” for Naples, Rome, or Pescara. From the bus station, Valcocchiara Retreat offers free guest pick up and transport.
From Rome, take a train service and arrive in Isernia. Valcocchiara Retreat will pick you up from the train station.