Spring Revival at Sicilian Manor Retreat

Commenda di San Calogero, Sicily, Italy


from £2160pp
Available dates:

We love it for

Jiriki Seitai, Traditional Sicilian cuisine, Archaeological river trekking


In a nod to the serene surfaces overlooking 110 acres of lush green fields, this spring join Balance Holidays on a specially curated retreat at the country home of Commenda di San Calogero. Dating back to the 16th century, sitting humbly beside the San Calogero River on the outskirts of the Iblean plateau, let the heart and mind wander and seek inspiration in the captivating floral gardens, which will serve as the backdrop for daily outdoor activities.

Greet the rising Sicilian sun as you kick-start each day outside with guided meditation and energising yoga with Vittoria, who will mix 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.

As the very first wellbeing retreats company to offer this unique practice in Europe, end each day with an elevating 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 pain, imbalance, misalignments and tension, to improve the body’s natural power of healing. Foster harmony with the body and mind in each session with Marie before retreating to the authentic suites for a sound night’s sleep.

For a complete and authentic Sicilian experience, engage in a historical archaeological river trek, visit the city of Syracuse and the island of Ortigia, which concludes with lunch at a typical Sicilian trattoria. A classic cooking class and demonstration of traditional plant-based Sicilian recipes as well as two mindfulness workshops will be part of this programme.

Throughout this retreat, meals will be prepared daily using locally sourced organic ingredients from a menu, meticulously designed by Balance Holidays and the resident chefs. They will follow traditional Sicilian culinary concepts to present dishes of pure delight.

What's included

  • Morning Vinyasa Flow Yoga
  • Evening Jiriki Classes
  • X2 Mindfulness Workshops
  • Archaeological River Trek
  • Visit of Syracuse and Island of Ortigia including lunch
  • Traditional Sicilian Healthy Cooking Class
  • Turkish bath and Sauna access
  • Daily Field-to-Fork meals
  • Essential Bathroom Toiletries
  • Wi-Fi

The Experts

Vittoria Recchi

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.

Marie Yagami

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.


Located in a beautiful region of Italy, come and explore a former feudal estate circled by lush greenery, blooming meadows and peaceful lakes and rivers at Commenda di San Calogero. To offer invaluable insight into its pastime, each room is furnished with precious antiques to portray unique character and rustic charm that has been preserved to provide a tranquil setting to relax and unwind. The property is the best-preserved traditional Sicilian country estate home with a history dating back to the 16th century, looking out towards mount Etna.

Room Types


Furnished to reflect the historic pastime, guests will be staying in an intimate space at the estate. 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 panelled doors. The private bathroom is decorated with traditional Sicilian tiles.

Shared spaces

After a day of activities, relax in the communal areas of the estate. A spa with Turkish Bath and sauna is also available to offer ultimate relaxation. Massages are available upon request.

Food and cuisine

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 that can be taken away home to integrate into everyday life. *Please notify us of any dietary requirements.

The ambience

Tucked away in a cosy corner of Sicily, wake up gently in a traditional countryside suite to the soothing whistles of the wind passing through the gardens, awakening the fresh blooms and surrounding wildlife in their natural habitats. The ancient yet ample spaces are footsteps away from organic citrus groves.


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. Commenda di San Calogero is one of the oldest and renowned farms in Sicily, producing aromatic jams, honey and olive oils. 

Practical Info

How to get there

Commenda di San Calogero is a short 25 minute taxi journey from Catania International Airport, Sicily, Italy. If instead you prefer to rent a car, you may do so at the airport. Simply quote the below address to bring you directly to the estate.

Alternatively, the estate is happy to organise a transfer for you through their preferred local company. Please email: info@commendadisancalogero.com quoting “Transfer” in the subject line. This transfer service will entail a separate fee, not included as part of the cost of this programme.

Commenda di San Calogero

Contrada S. Calogero,
SR, Italy

Check-in/ check-out

An arrival and initiation ceremony takes place at 6pm, therefore, we suggest booking tickets with an arrival time that allows sufficient time for travel from the airport to the estate. As a general rule, guests will be allowed to check-in from 1pm 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 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.

What to pack

For those wishing to access the swimming pool or spa facilities with Turkish Bath and sauna, it would be advisable to bring a bathing suit as well as comfortable work-out clothes for yoga classes, hikes and treks. We would also recommend bringing sunscreen and insect repellent.