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For trail-blazers and freedom-seekers, Soulfit Adventures specializes in active holidays that send you on the path to discovery of the mind, body and soul. Unlike other active holidays, we fuse our love of cycling, yoga and retreat-style luxury and take you on a journey to exotic destinations around the world, where together we will escape routine, embrace new experiences, and go on an adventure to explore a new world.
The Dependence, which is part of the exclusive Villa Boccella estate is our Tuscan home for the week, and offers us a luxurious retreat where authentic Tuscan charm is coupled with opulence and exclusivity. The Dependence was historically the principle support building for Villa Boccella and all it’s agricultural activities. Set in the heart of a vast estate of rolling hills, vineyards and olive groves, recently renovated. The Dependence has everything we need including own 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 it's vineyards and olive groves, it still produces it own wine and oil and over the past few years, the whole estate and it buildings have been sympathetically renovated to provide accommodation that is comfortable and luxurious, combined with classic elegant Tuscan style.
D.H. Lawrence says "For us 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 us, 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. 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 being guided through yoga to prepare you for the bike, or a restorative yoga sequence late in the day. Fresh, authentic local foods prepared lovingly to nourish and delight you. 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.
Our Tuscan active holiday retreat combined with adventure offers you the chance to reconnect with your self and let go. Nestled in boutique luxury accommodation on a private estate, setting the backdrop for morning and evening yoga as we cycle the days into bliss. You will relish in cuisine of fresh local produce and wine, absorbing the sights – a pure delight for the senses - Tuscan style! Soulfit Adventures believes flow is the secret to fun. It occurs when we are so engaged in something that we lose all track of time. We don’t notice anything at all because we are so immersed in a task that is at once optimally challenging and absorbing. Some of our most immersive, flow experiences occur on the bike and our yoga mats. Worried that the cycling and/or yoga might be too difficult? Don’t be. The cycling is moderate but designed to challenge you (it’s all part of the fun!), and the yoga is suitable for all levels. If you are more experienced on the bike, we can definitely challenge you! Non riding and non yoga partners are welcome to share the adventure with you. We take a very holistic approach to our 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. We know you deserve a remarkable life in magical places… Adventure awaits!
Please note that the cycling routes listed above and below are examples only. The actual cycling routes 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.
Cycling: 30 kilometers
Duration: 2 hours
Terrain: Mostly flat
Duration: 3 to 4 hours
Grade: Easy to Moderate
Terrain: Mostly flat, some gentle grades
08:30 - Morning yoga
09:30 - Breakfast
After a sleep in, morning yoga and breakfast this morning, today is your day, where you can 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 be feeling more adventurous and decide to take advantage of your location and explore the surrounding areas. Or maybe you fancy a day trip to the Cinque Terra or Florence or a venture into Lucca and explore the local shops
Lunch will be provided at the estate for those who choose to stay
Cycling: 60 kilometers
Duration: 3 to 4 hours
Grade: Easy to moderate
Terrain: Gentle grades, some rolling hills
07:30 - Breakfast
08:30 - Today’s cycling takes us towards the sea on a very picturesque route and we up the intensity a little. From Lucca, we head towards Balbano and commence a 2 to 3 kilometers climb with shade most of the way towards the Lake of Massacciuccoli (also known as lake of Giacomo Puccini). We 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, we descend back into the town of Massacciuccoli and the cycle towards the seaside resort of Viareggio, where we stop for a break and grab some lunch. On the way back, we have another 1 kilometers climb to Piazzano before heading back to Lucca.
We arrive back at the estate during the afternoon and have some time to relax before for our dinner out.
08:30 - Morning yoga
09:30 - Breakfast
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
Cycling: 60 kilometers
Duration: 4 to 5 hours
Grade: Moderate to challenging
Terrain: Rolling hills a few long climbs but not steep
07:30 - Breakfast
08:30 - Our last ride for the week is our 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 4 to 5 kilometers of climbing but the scenery is stunning and we are rewarded at the end when we arrive at Montecarlo, a hilltop town with fabulous views of the surrounding districts.
We then hop back on our bikes and head to a favorite winery for a wine tasting and a Tuscan lunch. By the time, we arrive back at the villa during the afternoon, we will have worked up an appetite and a thirst for our celebratory dinner at the estate.
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.
The retreats are held at Villa Boccella, a beautiful 17th Century Tuscan holiday estate. The estate is very well situated 10 Kilometers from Lucca, one hour from the international airport of Pisa. Just an hour from Florence, and near to the many beaches on the Versiglia coast.
The estate is only 10 minutes by car to the beautiful city of Lucca or a little longer by bicycle along the river path. In Lucca it is fun to explore the small streets, full of interesting shops, and restaurants. Wander around the various food, plant and antique shows held on top of the ancient walls that surround Lucca.
If you are flying into Italy, the closest international airports are Pisa & Florence. Pisa International Airport (Galileo Galilei) is 35 minutes away by car (www.pisa-airport.com).
Easyjet, Ryanair and British Airways serve the UK. Delta flies direct to NYC and there are numerous flights to Germany, France, Switzerland and the rest of Europe.
Florence International Airport (www.aeroporto.firenze.it) is approximately 1 hour by car and has many flights to connect hubs within Europe.
The buses which serve all the main towns and cities in Tuscany depart from Piazzale Verdi in Lucca (www.lazzibus.it).
All airports are connected via the Italian railway system. Lucca train station is the closest station to Villa Boccella. Check out www.trenitalia.it for more information.