Spring Revival at Sicilian Manor Retreat

Commenda di San Calogero, Sicily, Italy



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, 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.

Balance Holidays is the very first wellbeing retreats company to offer Jiriki Seitai in Europe. This unique practice will be led by Marie, daughter of the founder, Yu Yagami, each day besides the luminous setting sun. Jiriki, the Japanese Buddhist term for ‘self-power’, is movement therapy aimed at preventing and curing chronic disorder and pain. The practice 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.

Greet the rising Sicilian sun as you kick-start the day outside with guided meditation and energising yoga with Roberto, who will expertly guide you through fluid, precise and grounding Vinyasa Flow. Roberto is the first international Jiriki instructor certified by Marie’s father in 2019 and makes a great addition co-teaching with Marie. Together, their skills and knowledge of Jiriki with guide guests onto a rejuvenating and worthwhile experience. They will modify the practice according to the guest’s needs to continue exploring wellbeing and health at home. At the end of each class, expect to continue the day with an inner-glow and radiating smile!

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.

*To learn more about how a typical day on a retreat looks like, please see sample here and for more information about food and cuisine, please see here.

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
  • Field-to-Fork Gourmet Meals
  • Accommodation and Toiletries

The Experts

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.

Roberto Rubalcava

Roberto was born in Mexico City surrounded by light and colour. In 1999, he made London his home and discovered his love for yoga. Since then his practice has spanned 21 years, teaching for the past five. Roberto’s extensive experience is also varied by influences, which will be displayed and explored in each of his classes. Whether you are upside down in a fast-paced dynamic flow or completely still in a restorative class, you will be in attentive and caring hands. His training includes 200-hour YTT with Frog Lotus Yoga International, a Vajrasati 500-hour advanced training on Modern Postural Yoga and a 150-hour advanced training with Stretch and he still continues his studies. In 2019 he qualified in Japan directly from Yu Yagami creator of Jiriki Seitai making him the first non Japanese navigator to teach in Europe. Roberto loves creating a fun environment while focusing on body alignment, breath, mind, heart and energy with challenging and original sequences.


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.

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.

Health, Safety and Hygiene

Your health and safety have and will continue to take central priority in everything we do. For this retreat, Balance Holidays and Commenda di San Calogero have worked together to introduce and adopt heightened levels of health and safety vigilance and measures guided by local health authorities, WHO (World Health Organisation) and CDC (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention) above their existing stringent standards. The objective is to provide a safe, comfortable and high-quality experience as expected from us. We also have an individual Spring Revival at Sicilian Manor Retreat determined Health & Safety protocol in place. If you wish to learn more, please contact us and we will be happy to assist you. Otherwise, please refer to our Terms and Conditions or Covid-19 Update.

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.

For Private Groups

This programme is also available on-demand for private groups of up to 6 or more on dates preferred by you and your group. Please contact us for more information.


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.