Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Come on a Yoga & Vegan Food Retreat in Puglia, Italy with Me!!!

Yoga and Vegan Food Retreat 
in Puglia, Italy
with Amey!

September 18-24, 2016

cherry tomatoes, chocolate & strawberry gelato, ordering bread at the bakery, 
little olive oil & vinegar packets to go, PIZZA, arugula & white beans

I am so, so, so excited to announce that I will be co-leading a Yoga & Vegan Food Retreat in Southern Italy this September. The retreat will be in Puglia (which is the "heel" of the boot). Long time readers may remember that I went to Puglia with my husband and my parents a few years ago (that's where all the pictures in this post are from), and it is such a quiet, gorgeous part of Italy... ocean, orchards, ancient history, modern comforts, quiet towns, friendly locals, delicious produce, lovely weather... it will be great!

If you have always wanted to go to Italy, this will be a really wonderful week of eating and exploring, with the guarantee that all the food (and all the wine!) will be pre-approved vegan! No stress or hassles on your part. Plus, there will always be some good translators around (I speak passable Italian, and my co-organizer is an American who is fully fluent in Italian) - to help you ask questions and get to know the people and places you're interacting with. The woman who invited me to participate in this tour is just wonderful - her name is Catherine and she's one of the proprietors of Pascarosa Olive Oil -- in addition to making absolutely wonderful olive oil, they also organize tours (like this one) of Puglia. Catherine and her husband Brian live part-time in America and part-time in Puglia and are absolutely passionate about showing off their adopted home -- I can feel their love for the place, the people, and the cuisine every time I talk to them. I'm super jazzed and honored to be working with them!

i've busted out my old text books to help me freshen up my Italian skills again!
my once-great Italian is pretty darned rusty these days! 

headstand on a boat, a comfy seat, and "god is vegetarian" graffiti spotted from the car (of course we stopped!)

This whole trip is pretty much a dream come true for me... so many of my very favorite things all at once: Italy! Veganism! Food! Travel! Yoga! Figs! People! What fun!! Italy, yoga, and veganism are three of the longest and most enduring loves of my life (next to dogs, of course).  I am so over the moon about the opportunity to share so many of my deepest and most-beloved passions. 

sunny streets, a carved detail, Vatican beach towel out on the line

All the details and the sign-ups for the retreat can be found over here at my yoga website. The retreat will be small (12-14 people), and the price includes all the food and wine, all the local transport (except tips for drivers, if you choose), all the yoga classes, lodging, and any admission fees to local attractions that we visit. And of course, everything will be vegan for sure! You can munch and munch without any worries! 

a few local dishes from Puglia

There will be cooking classes from locals (making homemade pasta!), a visit to a fig orchard full of different varieties of figs (!!!), farmers markets, a bread oven which has been baking bread continuously since the 1400's, and more more more. Every day will start with a yoga class (taught by me!). The yoga classes are open to all levels of students - from beginners to experienced practitioners. I have been teaching for over 16 years, and I have a lot of experience with lots of different levels in the same class. You are also welcome to skip yoga class altogether and swim in the pool, or go for a walk, or sleep in, or draw in your sketchbook, or do your thing.

i love yoga!

beautiful and abundant fruit stand, more pizza (ha ha!), perfect plate of pasta

The lodging where we'll be staying is really special and beautiful. Two intimate villas, each with their own pool and accommodations, located within walking distance of one another on a quiet little country road. The buildings are traditional buildings of the region, but modernized so they are super lovely and comfortable. The setting is so beautiful - quiet and rural and peaceful. 

scenes from Matera

One of the super special places we'll visit is a UNESCO World Heritage Site called Matera - I went here with my family on our trip a few years ago and it is unlike any other place I've ever been. Matera is an ancient city with cave housing carved into the rocks where people lived in these more-or-less ancient conditions right on up until the 1960's. The transition to the modern era was abrupt and not without strain... but today the ancient part of the city has been loving and respectfully protected. It is such a fascinating and beautiful place.

produce glorious produce!, oranges, one happy and hungry vegan!, delicious pasta

I sure hope you'll consider joining me on this adventure, or even if you could just help me spread the word by sharing this page with your vegan pals. I know that for a lot of vegans, international travel can be off-putting -- it can feel difficult to care so much about ensuring your food is vegan while struggling with the language barriers and trying to be a gracious visitor, all at the same time. None of that will be an issue on this trip, so you can just relax and eat and be merry! 


  1. Oh, how I wish I could join you for that retreat in Puglia: it sounds amazing! I won't be able to participate this year, but I'm keeping it in mind, and maybe one day I'll be able to treat myself to another retreat you'll lead... In the meantime, I'll send the info to a friend who might be interested too.
    I have no doubt you'll assemble the most lovely group, and it'll be a wonderful week for everyone. I'm already looking forward to your blog posts about it once you're back!

  2. I wish!!!! This sounds like an amazing time!!!!

  3. Oh please post pics of those figs and that bread oven! That trip sounds amazing! Wish I could join but have fun so we can live vicariously through you :)

  4. Oh Amey, this looks so, so, so wonderful!! Italy, yoga and food!!! *Sigh* I have been to Northern and Central Italy, but not to Puglia. It looks beautiful. I wish I could come!

  5. Oh this sounds amazing! I just wish I could go! I totally would, but I'm in Haiti for 2016 (which on it's own is an incredible experience)! Will you host more of these?

  6. Oh my goodness, I got butterflies in my stomach reading about this -- it's like my dream trip! I <3 Italy, wine, vegans, and yoga! Alas, my budget can't make room for it, but it sounds amazing. What an opportunity!

  7. This sounds amazing. Indeed, a dream come true for you. I am so happy. :)
    I only wish I could attend!

  8. If only ... The trip sounds like an amazingly beautiful and tasty adventure. I've never been to Puglia — it looks like a gorgeous place.

  9. oh my goodness, I can't go but I WANT TO. It looks fanfreakingtastic!!!

  10. Sounds amazing, but my travel plans/dollars are already accounted for this year. If this is something that could possibly become a yearly event, I would be interested in next year. :)

  11. Amey this is amazing! I love that it combines tourism - and it doesn't get better than exploring with people who know the region - and yoga (and vegan food!).
    And it's such a coincidence, Ben and I are organising our first retreat with our yoga teacher this year too! Ours is in the south of France, and funnily, also housed in an estate with an olive grove (and all vegan, obvs)! I'm pretty excited to try the oil...! May 2016 be a good year for fitness/yoga retreats ;)
    Having said that, I'd absolutely love to come on this one! It's been a long time since I've been on a real holiday, and I know Italy very little, and I'd *love* to learn yoga from you! At the moment we've had a few family issues come up so I can't afford it, but if you still have places when things have settled and I've saved up I would really be interested. In the meantime, I'll make sure I point clients of mine who are interested in your direction, and if I get back to blogging before then (which, uh, I hope I do!) I'll give you a shout-out for sure. I think this is going to be great and I'm so excited for you! xx

  12. This sounds amazing! Does the price listed include air fair?

    1. Hi Monica! <3 No, the price includes everything except the airfare. The retreat sold out super quickly, so I never even got around to answering your question. I'm sorry about that. I'm really hoping that the trip is a great success and that I can offer it again! I would love love love to have more vegans come!


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