SICILY | YOGA + ASTROLOGY ESCAPE | SEPTEMBER 2018
Imagine a maze of crumbling grandeur where you can abandon yourself to the mysterious charm of winding vicolos and medieval markets, gothic palazzos and ancient ruins --- a place where the salty air leads you like a siren past eternal crossroads of fallen empires and faded frescos?
This September we set out on our Sicilian adventure! La Vita in Equilibrio takes us to this fabled southern Italian island in the Mediterranean sea. Our Escape begins in the vibrant and flamboyant city of Palermo. Famed for its storied past and street food culture --- this is a city at the edge of Europe, at the center of the ancient world, a place where Arabesque mercati rub shoulders with baroque churches, a place where centuries of art and history collide in an inviting display of bedlam and beauty.
Staying in the heart of the old Souk markets, our luxury boutique hotel Porta di Castro and its serene sister Il Giardino di Ballaro are in the lively and joyful area of centro storico known as Ballaro. We greet each morning with a guided meditation, followed by a yoga class focusing on the chakras to recharge the body’s energy centres. Weather permitting, our morning practice will take place either seaside or mountain top, or in the gardens of our gorgeous Palazzo Hotel. Following this, we indulge in a café breakfast Sicilian-style, before heading back to the hotel for riposare - the lovely Italian word for relaxation.
The rest of our days we spend in the ancient heart of Palermo, wandering the colourful markets with fruit stalls piled high resembling works of art, breathing in the dazzling aroma of spices, and savoring street food delights. We take you on a tour, exploring the aphrodisiac properties of Sicilian spezzi and enjoy a cooking class with local chef, who will share culinary secrets passed down from generations. We lunch and dine at carefully selected restaurants discovering local specialties sure to captivate the senses. In Sicilian cuisine we find a tradition of flavorful simplicity --- and like an artist’s palette, it is a delicious testimony to the intricate tapestry of cultures that settled here.
The architectural splendour of Palermo will leave you in awe as we search the labyrinthine streets for stories left behind by Norman Kings and Arab dynasties, the glittering gold of Byzantine mosaics and the particularities of Sicilian Baroque. Prepare to be enchanted by walking tours that will both inform and mesmerize! This old world charm sets a backdrop for a city that is abuzz with modern art and fashion. Our Escape provides time for some shopping along the glamorous Via Liberta, as well as scoping out upcoming designers, as we uncover the secrets of Sicilian style. Here at La Vita in Equilibrio we adore mixing things up a little and have included a special stop to Palermo’s most notable vintage haven: Mercurio Vintage. Of course no shopping day is complete without a trip to the Spa, so our day unwinds with a relaxing afternoon at the luxurious Il Bagno Turco --- the local Hammam. Here we escape the vibrant rhythm of the city and enter a space and time that speaks of ancient language and a civilization a thousand years old.
Mid-week we journey to the seaside oasis of Marsala --- famed for its picturesque salt-pans, sweet wine and amber sunsets. We find repose at the beautifully appointed and luxurious Hotel Carmine. During this part of our Escape we slow down and focus on renewal and restoration. Our activities include a private wine tour, a playful afternoon in the gardens of Villa Favorita, a charming sunset aperitivo, and fun afternoon delving into the art of the ‘perfect panini’. Our daily yoga practice takes us from the cool fragrant cellars and oak barrels of Florio Cantina to the serene convent-turned-art-space of the ancient Carmelite order.
Notwithstanding the magic of wine and art, the yoga highlight of our trip is a sacred ceremony in Selinunte. Here in ancient Phoenicia we breathe in the air of lost civilizations and meditate amongst the ruins --- an invitation bestowed upon the lucky few. An auspicious moment indeed, for on this evening the shining and luminous planet Venus enters Taurus. Filled with earthly delight, we celebrate this celestial homecoming with our personal star map in hand as we consult the planets, focusing on where Venus falls in our own chart. Taking cues from the Goddess of beauty, we discover the significance she holds in our lives and the ways in which we can manifest the creative spirit within us.
Our Escape culminates hilltop gazing over the picturesque vineyards of Fina Cantina, as we sip on local varietals with the maverick owner and winemaker, storytell with the stars, and watch the sunset over the Egadi Islands. In true Sicilian style, we wine and dine together one last evening, creating a memorable tavola of stories and flavors to remain with us per sempre.
On the final morning of our Sicilian Escape, we complete our time together with a light yoga practice, followed by breakfast, before we transfer you back to your life with a restored mind and body, a deep sense of friendship, self-discovery and transformation.
When: 7th - 14th September 2018
Where: Palermo & Marsala, Sicily
Hosts: Lisa Dunn & Jacqueline Vukman
For Who: This escape is open to singles and couples of all levels of yoga, and every walk of life. For anyone interested in the mind-opening experiences inspired by yoga, meditation and travel, as well as a love of Italy and it’s food and culture, then this is the retreat for you!
How Much: All prices are given in EURO
€ 2590 for a Shared Room - twin or double bed available
€ 3095 for a Private Room
Can be paid in two payments using the code SICILYAPR2018
25% Deposit to secure your place
The balance to be paid 42 days before the start of your Yoga Escape
· Welcome aperitivo upon arrival
· Daily morning meditation and yoga instruction
· All meals during your time with us
· Accommodation in Palermo and Marsala
· Group transportation to and from airport
· All sightseeing and activities
· Transportation to and from activities
· Exploring the Secrets of Sicilian Spice and Street Food Walking Tour
· A night of La Vita in the Vucciria of Palermo
· Cooking class with local chef
· Shopping Sicilian-style tour
· Spa day
· Tour of Palermo’s famous palazzos and UNESCO heritage sites
· Transformative astrology workshops
· Yoga in the Ruins: a visit to Selinunte
· Exploring Myth and Phoenician history at Mozia
· Sunset aperitivo at the saltpans of Marsala
· Private tour of Fina Cantina with winemaker
Not Included: Airfares and extra spa treatments.
Arrival: Guests will be greeted upon arrival at the hotel in Palermo for check-in commencing at 3pm.
Departure: A group airport transfer from 11AM on the final day. Alternative transfers are available at an additional cost.
A note on getting there: You can fly to Palermo or Trapani and we will have a group transfer organized to bring you to your hotel.
Suggested Packing - Alongside your usual luggage
Bathing suit (spa & beach day)
Personal yoga props if preferred (mat, blocks, straps, blanket)
Smart phone with camera and/or digital camera
Plug adaptors / converters
Cancellation Policy: Due to the bespoke nature of our Escapes, we are unable to offer cancellations or refunds unless a replacement is found. We strongly encourage you to have travel insurance to cover the retreat in the event of strikes, natural disasters, health problems, and other unforeseen events.