Commenda di San Calogero, Sicily, Italy
In a nod to the serene surfaces overlooking 110 acres of lush green fields, this spring join Balance Holidays on a specially curated retreat to energise, ground and heal the body, mind and soul at the country home of Commenda di San Calogero. Dating back to the 17th century, sitting humbly beside the San Calogero River on the outskirts of the Iblean plateau, the inescapable first impression of this Sicilian country home is lost to the captivating floral garden landscapes, serving as the backdrop for daily outdoor activities beginning with morning yoga to evening sessions of restorative Jiriki.
Greet the rising Sicilian sun as you kick-start each day outside with guided meditation and energising yoga practice with Vittoria, mixing both dynamic and slow-flow Vinyasa, elements of functional movement and conditional exercises to improve body strength all the while challenging the mind. Vittoria’s classes are centred on the relationship between feeling, support and trust, encouraging students to learn and understand that only when we truly and fully support our body will we be able to let go and relax.
Activities to further explore the soul of this region of Italy is included as part of this exclusive programme. From historical-archaeological treasure hike, the visit of Syracuse and the island of Ortigia to ending with a guided tour of the San Calegero garden, tasting homegrown produce such as vegetable marmalade, honey and extra virgin olive oil. This programme also includes a cooking workshop of traditional plant-based Sicilian recipes as well as a workshop on Yoga Philosophy.
Each day will end with a session of Jiriki by the luminous setting sun led by Marie, daughter of the founder of the practice, Yu Yagami. Jiriki, the Japanese Buddhist term for self-power, is movement therapy aimed at preventing and curing chronic disorder and pain. The practice of jiriki reinstates the free-flowing of Chi through the body and learning to listen to the body to find pains, imbalance, misalignments and tension, to improve the body’s natural power of healing. Relax the mind and help the body heal in each Jiriki class before retreating to a luxurious suite for a replenishing sound night’s sleep.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are inclusive and will be prepared daily using organic ingredients grown in the estate’s gardens, meticulously prepared by resident chefs implementing traditional Sicilian culinary concepts to offer a plate of pure delight.
Enjoy me-time, where the only distraction during the course of the stay will be the alluring of this ancient Sicilian white-limestone property and its cultural landscapes overlooking valleys and mountains. With plenty of opportunities to indulge in relaxation, deepen your practise and stick your feet in the air, this retreat with Commenda di San Calogero will be a truly unforgettable trip, surpassing all expectations.
With a playful character and relaxed demeanour, each of Vittoria’s classes are focused on teaching students the benefits yoga can provide for the mind and the body to achieve spiritual and mental release. Ensuring her students enjoy and learn to enjoy yoga to test limits on the mat without being too serious about the practice is also one of Vittoria’s goals. Vittoria specialises in Vinyasa Flow Yoga after having completed her RYS 250hr Vinyasa Flow YTT at Stretch London, led by two inspirational teachers, Calli Popham and Carl Faure. Through their classes, Vittoria has developed her knowledge on philosophy, anatomy, pranayama and meditation. Get ready to be challenged and enjoy a bouncy cheeriness during the exploration of personal limits.
As the daughter to the founder of the Japanese self-healing body movement, Jiriki Seitai, Marie Yagami is an expert of the practice and determined to introduce this practice in Europe as part of her mission. Combining elements of Yoga, Shiatsu Massage and Chiropractic treatment, the main objective of the Jiriki practice is to help students reconnect and heal their bodies in the absence of a therapist or medical professional by learning to listen to the body to identify chronic pains, imbalance, misalignments and tension. Having completed an RYS 250hr Vinyasa Flow YTT at Stretch London, Marie has extensive knowledge of philosophy, anatomy, pranayama and mediation, all of which has been applied into her Jiriki teaching. With her attentive and caring approach, each of Marie’s classes will be eye opening and refreshing bringing the practice straight from the roots of Japan.
Furnished to reflect the historic pastime, guests will be staying in an intimate space at the Commenda di San Calogero. To display unique character, each room is in a distinctive colour, adorned with hand-selected vintage pieces of décor to complement as well as wide glass windows and glass panelled doors looking out towards freshly manicured lawns and a courtyard of fresh blooms. To offer a complete experience, each room carries valuable antiques to offer guests a truly authentic experience of an ancient Sicilian dwelling. Every room has a private bathroom with an elegant bathtub and shower, satellite television, mini fridge and a safe to secure all your personal belongings.
Enjoy the company of others in a range of luxurious facilities open to guests during their stay with Commenda di San Calogero. After a day of exploring on a bike trail or an archaeological hike, relax and unwind in the saltwater swimming pool or at the Jacuzzi to let the stress bubble away. A spa and sauna room made from Istanbul marble is also available to guests to offer ultimate relaxation and rejuvenation in an oasis within an oasis. Massages are available upon request.
Get the full Sicilian experience for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as each meal is meticulously prepared daily using organic ingredients grown in the estate’s gardens. Implementing traditional Sicilian culinary concepts, each dish is a true taste of Sicily to help re-energise the body and to take away home to maintain a healthy and happy psychophysical balance.
Tucked away in a cosy corner of Sicily, wake up gently in a luxurious and traditional countryside suite to the soothing whistles of the wind passing through the pristine gardens, awakening the fresh blooms and surrounding wildlife in their natural habitats. The ancient yet ample spaces are footsteps away from organic citrus groves and medicinal herb gardens, infused together into a unique and aromatic experience of ultimate wellbeing and relaxation.
Situated in southern Italy, enjoy the warm Mediterranean Sea at your feet at Commenda di San Calogero this spring and soak up on Sicilian sunshine during your stay at the captivating country home grounds imbued in rustic beauty and charm. A short driving distance from Le Saie, an exquisite golf club and Siracusa for a tour of Port of Ortigia, Commenda di San Calogero is one of the oldest and renowned farms in Sicily, producing aromatic jams, honey and olive oils.
Commenda di San Calogero is a short drive from Catania International Airport, Sicily, Italy. The estate is happy to organise a transfer for you through their preferred local company. Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org quoting “Transfer” in the subject line. This transfer service will entail a separate fee, not included as part of the cost of this programme.
If instead, you wish to rent a car or book a taxi from the airport, quote the below address or driving directions and GPS indications to bring you straight to the farm estate. If local traffic conditions permit, the total journey time should last approximately 30 minutes.
Commenda di San Calogero
Contrada S. Calogero,
Directions: from Catania airport, take the Catania-Siracusa highway, exit at Lentini/Carlentini and continue towards Ss.114; Ss.194 Catania/Siracusa to the right for Siracusa; drive 5km on the Ss.114; turn right at the Lentini/Carlentini/Brucoli fork; at the Stop sign toward Carlentini and after 50m to the right you will find signs leading you to the San Calogero Farm.
GPS Coordinates: 37.292927 – 15.112864
For those wishing to access the swimming pool and Jacuzzi facilities, it would be advisable to bring a bathing suit as well as comfortable work-out clothes for yoga classes, hikes and treks.
Our Grounding Retreat at Sicilian Historical Manor Farm begins on 10th April 2019. An arrival and initiation ceremony takes place at 6.30pm, therefore, we suggest booking tickets with an arrival time that allows sufficient time for travel from the airport/train station to the estate. As a general rule, guests will be allowed to check-in from 1 pm on the day of arrival. On the day of departure, as part of our programme, there will be a morning yoga session followed by breakfast and a visit to the gardens with a dedicated guide however, you are welcome to depart earlier to suit your personal agenda. Please contact us if you have any enquiries regarding check-in and check-out.
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