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Sunflower Retreats' yoga holidays have been delighting their visitors since 1998. Each of their yoga holidays will be an unforgettable and joyful experience. A team of qualified yoga teachers from all over the world teach in a variety of yoga styles and provide the very best in yoga classes and there are Ayurvedic holistic treatments and lots of social activities too. The guests get personal attention from the teachers and build great bonds with other guests. Enjoy daily yoga classes, excursion to the sulfur water Terme and wild hot springs, wine and olive tasting experience, delicious locally-sourced organic cuisine, and comfortable lodging.
Each of the accommodation options in which Sunflower Retreats guests stay is within a couple of minutes walk from the others and from the yoga studios and treatment room area. Your walk will take you through the winding cobbled streets of Casperia where the unspoiled and historic structure and atmosphere of the village gives you a unique feeling of being in a historic place in time-gone-by.
Sunflower Retreats offers you the choice of two types of accommodation in Casperia, a two-minute walk from each other and from the yoga, breakfast, and treatment facilities. All of Sunflower Retreats' accommodation is in comfortable twin rooms, with a single option; you won't find yourself crowded into bunks, triple rooms or yurts!
Casa Latini is a lovingly renovated 13th-century building for the exclusive use of Sunflower Retreats Holidays' guests and is elegantly furnished in boutique style with Latin and Eastern influence. One level boasts a thousand-year-old cave which we have converted into an unusual bathroom.
A spiral staircase on each level leads to the terrace area, where you can enjoy the spectacular panoramic views of the rolling valleys and mountains of Sabina, and experience the wonderful sunset each evening over Casperia. There are a communal lounge, kitchen, and dining area which opens onto a terrace with fab views.
This beautiful historic property, the original home of the Count and Countess of Casperia, is a restored Italian palazzo set in its own grounds and gardens. It is furnished in the classic 'Italianate' style with the antiques and decor of a noble family home. Rooms in The Forani Palace become available only when Village House and Casa Latini rooms are fully booked. The accommodation has a kitchen for self-catering. There are six twin bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms. Rooms can also be booked for single occupancy.
Sunflower Retreats Holidays yoga classes are suitable for beginners as well as more practiced yogis and are held in English. Your four-night retreat includes three morning and one afternoon yoga and meditation class. The 90-minute morning classes take place before breakfast. There is also a one-hour Yin and Restorative yoga and meditation class in the afternoon within your stay. You practice in a stunning location on a hilltop surrounded by nature, provided the weather is fine, or in a studio at other times.
The yoga style is non-competitive with a down-to-earth approach, created by Sunflower Retreats' founders and followed by all guest yoga instructors. The teachers teach a variety of yoga methods such as Hatha yoga and Hatha yoga methods such as Iyengar, Kundalini, Satyananda, Sivananda, Vinyasa Flow, Anusara, Astanga, Yin yoga and Divine Feminine yoga.
Outdoor yoga classes take place on a platform that is located in an oasis of green inside the village walls. It's a beautiful and serene environment, with dappled sunlight and the sound of birdsong all around. When choosing to practice yoga indoors, they use their own professionally designed and restored 40 square-meter studio which has a wooden floor, a freshwater spring, and an ancient cave as a bathroom. For larger groups, there is also a 50 square-meter professional yoga studio that has panoramic views, coconut carpeting, and central heating for the winter months. The yoga classes are attended only by Sunflower Retreats' guests as part of a retreat experience; they don't include visitors unless there is space.
The classes taught cover the physical teachings of Hatha yoga and different Hatha yoga methods with emphasis on the spiritual aspects of the yoga tradition. Sunflower Retreats emphasizes that yoga is not a sport and that it's important to not be competitive with yourself or others. Each yoga class is a holistic practice - a time to connect to your body, mind, and inner self.
Your yoga class includes:
Each of Sunflower Retreats' teachers is required to have undertaken no less than two years training so that they do not rely on 'fast-track' yoga certification. They also take particular care to engage teachers who are humble, genuine, and spiritual in their approach to their teaching, as all true yogis should be.
Yoga and holistic treatments are at the heart of what Sunflower Retrats does, but if you're into yoga, the chances are that you like the active life too. They offer a range of activities on their holiday package to suit all budgets from freecycling and trekking to a visit to the Healing Sulfur water Terme and hot springs and an unforgettable olive oil and wine tasting experience.
Included in your retreat booking is a visit to the open-air pool in Viterbo Terme Dei Papi (The Terme of the popes) within the excursion you will also visit the nearby wild hot sulfur water springs, where you can bathe in sulfur-rich water and mud. Viterbo's hot sulfurous spring water has been used since Roman times and helps to draw impurities out of the skin, stimulate skin cells and to increase natural collagen, and secrete natural oils, it also helps to reduce blood pressure and rheumatism, and inflammation. The huge pool has sun-loungers, palm trees, and a restaurant and bar and the water of the pool has different depths and temperature zones. Combining sulfur-water bathing with yoga practice is extremely healing to the whole body and mind.
Included in your stay is a delicious olive oil and wine tasting experience at the enoteca Osteria La Vigna in the village of Casperia and there are olive oil tours run by Johnny Madge these are usually available late season.
For each retreat's stay, there is a guided walk included. The Sabina mountains (1,200 meters) surrounding Casperia, rich in flora and fauna, are rarely visited by walkers and offer astonishing trekking and scenery. If you'd like to organize trips of your own, Sunflower Retreats can give you recommended walking routes and maps. Climbing is very popular in the Sabina mountains too, but you'll need to bring your own equipment.
Lucy has been a holistic practitioner in the UK and worldwide since 1988. She specializes in a wide range of bodywork, therapies and energy, and spiritual balancing treatments such as chakra balancing and Reiki. Lucy was drawn to the practice of Hatha yoga and the yoga philosophy while studying holistic therapies professionally in London in 1989. She is a gentle teacher, encouraging and supportive in her teaching and holistic therapy work. A mother of two children born by natural childbirth methods, she also teaches pregnancy yoga and preparation for natural birth.
Sandra started her spiritual journey around 20 years ago in different ashrams in India. Trained as an energy-healer, bodyworker and psychologist, in her yoga classes, Sandra shares an energetic practice focused on opening, activating, and balancing the subtle energies. A combination of Hatha yoga postures, breathing - pranayama, meditation, and chakra balance exercises create the space for effortless meditative states to arise. She is paying attention to each individual in her classes, respecting their own uniqueness, and encouraging them to love and celebrate who they are.
Rosi specializes in promoting wellness through yoga, art, and nature. She has studied and practiced traditional Kung Fu, Tai Chi, and Qi gong for twelve years and has been a trainer facilitating a range of classes such as yoga and bodywork, movement and voice improvisation, and themed art classes. Rosi currently teaches yoga, Partner yoga, Thai yoga and Chair yoga in Sabina, Italy and has been teaching yoga integrated with Thai massage in a way intended to merge, in a harmonizing dance, the individual’s body, mind and spirit.
Fascinated by the yogic universe since she was a teenager, Paola started to study Hatha yoga in Rome, at the same time developing her interest in meditation techniques. Upon moving to Brussels, she continued her studies in yoga with Willy Van Lysebeth and later she attended the yoga teacher training course under the guidance of André Van Lysebeth, internationally well appreciated. She travelled several times to India to deepen her knowledge in the yogic discipline following the Sivananda and Satyanada tradition, also attending specialized courses mainly focused on Yoga Therapy and relaxation.
Cesare started practicing yoga assiduously in 2010, after realizing that he could play a key role in treating disorders of the bodies and the minds of people weary from years of intercontinental travel. His job as a flight attendant made him aware of the negative consequences of nights spent on shift work and of jet lag. After making several trips to Asia, he started the discipline of Hatha yoga through a method created by Supreme Master Gabriella Cella; the first woman to bring the ancient teachings of the Sivananda to Italy.
Yoga came to Antonella about 20 years ago when her dance career came to an end and she needed something in her life that helped her with the daily stresses of life. Yoga practice has played an essential role in her life helping her discover her inner self and help to maintain her flexibility and fitness. Her classes are usually very dynamic, the student will benefit from an intense class of yoga that, over time, is bound to strengthen and increase flexibility to anyone who embarks on a course with her.
The picture-perfect Italian village of Casperia, Sunflower Retreats' base since 1998, is situated in the heart of the Sabina mountains just north of Rome. It is totally car-free, with fewer than 350 inhabitants. The fortified medieval village which likens to a castle has amazing panoramic views of the Sabina olive-covered hills and mountain landscape from every angle.
Casperia also has a large community spirit with cafes and enoteca’s where you can stop and have a refreshment and soak up the experience of ‘the real Italy’ meeting local people and making new friendships along the way. Casperia and the surrounding countryside area is truly a place of natural beauty surrounded by olive groves, vineyards, and forest-covered mountains where you can watch the changing scenery and starry night sky.
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Eating in Casperia and the Sabina area will leave you with many amazing Gastronomical experiences and memories. The area of Sabina and Casperia have a wide range of delicious cuisine and local organic products such as:
Delicious dinners are served three evenings of the retreat stay, with locally sourced and organic ingredients including gluten-free and vegetarian options, mineral water, and wine is offered with all evening meals.
A vegetarian breakfast using local organic products including organic eggs and local cheeses with fresh fruit, cereals, and yogurts. The staff will be there each morning to help you plan your day and book activities. On departure days, breakfast is Italian continental.
Guests usually prepare their own meals at home or can take lunch in one of Casperia's restaurants. Each of the accommodation options has a kitchen and a terrace or balcony and the village shops have a range of local food and drinks so you can enjoy a delicious lunch of Italian food in the sunshine and fresh air.
Sunflower Retreats may be able to help cater for special diets with advance notice, but please bear in mind that in a small Italian village some specialist ingredients are not readily available.
Individual tuition is available, with one-to-one yoga lessons in asana, pranayama, meditation and relaxation. These private classes, with the yoga teacher of the week, are great for people who would like to deepen their yoga practice or work on a yoga routine for their individual requirements.
The holidays include free use of a countryside swimming pool surrounded by olive groves and rolling hills. It is exclusive to Sunflower Retreats' guests and is open from late May to the end of the season, subject to the weather. Guests can walk to the pool, cycle or use our free shuttle service. You may also use the swimming pool at the tennis club, for which a charge is made. It is also possible to visit wild streams which run through mountains and valleys, where you can immerse yourself in the nature of the Sabina area.
Doing some cycling is highly recommended during your holiday in Sabina. Sunflower Retreats offers free use of bikes, modern and classic, including racers, explorers, mountain bikes and even a tandem! - It's a great way to see the location; it gives you time to take in the views and discover the countryside, breathe in the fresh air and taste the scents. Detailed maps of the area, as well as advice on interesting natural and historic sites to visit, will be provided. There is a choice of routes, across quiet and low-traffic, hilly or mountain roads with spectacular scenery.
There is also a wide range of other sport and learning opportunities such as watercolor painting classes and traditional Italian cooking classes to experience if you choose, In this way, you can add to your experience or stick to your budget and still have a fantastic holiday with all that’s included in your stay.
Holistic treatments are a major feature of Sunflower Retreats' path to wellness and complement the yoga practice. There is a wide range of treatments, as in a spa, but they differ in that they use only natural, organic products and take a holistic approach.
A brochure describing these relaxing, healing and rejuvenating therapies will be given to you when you arrive and you can book them with our holistic practitioner each day at breakfast-time. They are available to discuss each treatment and help you to choose the perfect one for your own requirements.
Therapies are available at an additional cost. Most of these treatments are available each week throughout the season. Treatment prices range from 30 EUR to 100 EUR per session, depending on your choice of treatment and duration. The range of holistic therapies includes:
Treatments are conducted in a warm, safe, healing environment within the historic village. The rooms are cleansed by “saging” regularly, invoking the four major elements of earth, air, fire and water, to create a warm, safe, healing environment with special energy - earthy, rustic, and bohemian with a touch of chic.
The treatment area has very grounding energy amplified by crystals, aromatherapy oils, eagle, buzzard and peacock feathers, books on healing and spiritual knowledge, and jewelry from India and Asia. Other healing objects complement the energy flow of light and healing.
Over the 18 years that they have used their treatment rooms, they've acquired tangible healing energy, deeply connected to Sunflower Retreats’ philosophy of mind, body, and soul wellness.
Adjoining the accommodation in Casa Latini is an original Finnish 'sweat room' sauna, where you can body-brush, warm and relax your muscles and cleanse and revitalize your body and self. Sauna sessions cost 10 EUR.
Ciampino–G. B. Pastine International Airport
Transfer not provided
Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport
Transfer not provided
Trains run frequently from Fiumicino Airport to Orte. Alight at Poggio Mirteto Scalo and take the bus to Casperia. If you fly to Ciampino airport (used by the low-cost airlines), take a bus to Termini station in the center of Rome and connect to Tiburtina station by Metro, then take the Orte train, getting off at Poggio Mirteto Scalo, as before.
You can either travel to Casperia by coach and train or arrange to be collected. Travel by coach and train is in 4 steps:
If you would like to be picked up at Poggio Mirteto, please contact Sunflower Retreats. For this service, please inform Sunflower Retreats of your flight arrival date and time and the number of passengers one week before your departure. Having a mobile phone which works abroad is helpful so that if the driver is delayed our Italy office can contact you to let you know.
Casperia is located about two hours from Rome's airports by public transport. The cheapest and easiest way to reach us from Fiumicino Airport is by the frequent train service to Poggio Mirteto Scalo station. You can take trains that terminate at either Poggio Mirteto Scalo or Orte. The journey time is 97 minutes and the train fare is approximately 11 EUR. Remember to frank your ticket before you board your train. Full train timetables are available on www.trenitalia.com, selecting English and using and ‘Fiumicino Aeroporto’ and ‘Poggio Mirteto’ as your stations.
Once you arrive at Poggio Mirteto Scalo station, take the bus to Casperia which runs at 31 minutes past every hour from 12.31 to 20.31. Check with the bus driver that the waiting bus is for Casperia and then buy your ticket (1.50 EUR) at the station bar. The driver will wait for you. Please be quick as you leave the train, to avoid missing the bus.
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