I have something exciting to share! I have been working on a retreat to offer you… in Italy! It’s been in the works for a while now and I am so excited to share it!
Savor, Stich & Flow is a wellness retreat, designed for stitchers. Not only will we be taking in some breathtaking views in one of the most picturesque areas of Italy, we will be nurturing our creativity, our minds, and our bodies.
Italy – October 1-7, 2023Mark your calendar!
I want to share the story of how this retreat came to be… First, a little about me… you already know I love to sew… and a while back, on a whim, a friend asked me to join an intro to yoga course, and I started practicing yoga at a local studio, fast forward (through a pandemic) it became apparent that my mind and body needed this outlet. In the Fall of 2021, my sister asked me to join her on a yoga retreat in Tuscany…
I remember considering her invite, unsure if I’d go… I laugh now thinking about how I labored over this decision. I really didn’t know how much I needed it, until I was immersed in it. Now I have the travel bug. When possible, I try my best to prioritize my life, and my experiences. I find that I am at a unique place in my life… where my kids are settled, and I have a little more time for myself. I have learned the delicate act of traveling alone, and finding joy in being present and mindful. It is both humbling and empowering.
Hosting a retreat has been something I have wanted to do for some time now. I wanted to offer you something a little different, an experience combining culture, creativity and wellness… I wanted to rethink what a sewing or quilting retreat looks like… what I would want, and what I want to offer you, as a creative.
My hope is that some of you are like-minded and would savor everything this retreat has to offer. It is a chance to step away from your sewing machine and work on a small mindful hand-stitching project in one of the most picturesque areas of Italy. The project I have planned is stress-free and we will have some dedicated time to do some slow-stitching… but we will be in Italy (!!!) and we will certainly enjoy being present and connecting with the culture that this beautiful country has to offer.
Think of stretching your creativity and your body, savoring some Italian cuisine, making new friends, exploring some of the villages of Tuscany and Umbria, stitching a mindful project and flowing through some restorative yoga… or a quiet guided meditation. It will be relaxing and restorative, so please don’t concern yourself with thoughts that you can’t do this… if I can do it, you can too. You don’t need any experience to fully enjoy this retreat.
Earlier this month, I went to Italy and stayed at Porsenna Resort and Spa. I called it a ‘research’ trip, (smile). It’s hard to capture in photos, but I hope you enjoy some of the ones I’m sharing here. It was coincidence that I was there (this year) the same week the retreat is planned for next year. During the first week of October. The weather was amazing! Beautiful and warm, but not hot… perfect!!
When it came time for planning, I knew I would need some help with making this vision a reality. I enlisted the help of Erin Lewis, founder of Eat Pray Move to help curate this retreat.
Erin now calls Italy home. She loves to share this area with guests and finds that there is a yogic spirit of connection (to oneself, others, and the present moment) by traveling and experiencing new things. Besides carrying this practice throughout the week and allowing our senses to be heightening with our activities, meals, and time together, Erin will also offer a daily meditation and yoga class to help us relax and restore and reconnect. Classes are open to all levels, beginner to practiced.
* Participation in classes and activities is optional throughout the retreat. All levels welcome!
Get to know Erin and what Eat Pray Move is all about in this video.
We have carefully curated this retreat to be almost entirely inclusive. When Erin and I began talking, I told her that if I had to describe in one word what I was looking for… the word would be nurture. If you need a little time to care for yourself, reconnect, reset, be present, unplug, nurture yourself… Then this is the retreat I hope to deliver to you.
Here are some FAQ’s
What will the stitching project be?
We will be working on a small hand-work project that I will share with retreaters closer to the retreat date. No sewing machines, just needle and thread with a little fabric. All instructions and supplies will be provided and we will have some time set aside daily to meet together, but you are welcome to work at your own pace… there are no requirements of finishing during the trip, and no experience necessary.
Can I retreat with a friend?
I welcome you to come alone and enjoy the retreat yourself, but of course you are also welcome to bring a fellow creative girlfriend! (please note, although I know some men who love to sew, this is a retreat for women… sorry guys!)
Located on the border of the regions of Tuscany and Umbria, Porsenna Hotel & Spa is a grand country house resort hotel amid the fields and rolling hills of the countryside and a short distance from Lake Chiusi and Lake Trasimeno. Our group will enjoy an exclusive stay and private book-out of the hotel during our week together.
The hotel boasts spacious and salubrious guest rooms, the newly opened on-site Restaurant and an outdoor pool as well as an appointed spa. Beautiful gardens surround the buildings with various areas for us to meet, conduct our creative “stitch” workshops, as well as stretch out in our daily yoga classes which will be offered to guests. Here, we are surrounded by historic and ancient Etruscan towns, hilltop villages, and storybook scenery. It gives us a perfect home base to explore the area on our day trips and see what this green heart of Italy has to offer.
Surrounding Area and Activities
Our day trips will allow us to experience the many unique landscapes and activities that this area has to offer. We will begin our week with a visit to the nearby Etruscan hilltop town of Chiusi where we’ll enjoy a walking tour and a stop for lunch. Later that day we’ll head to another beautiful village to a award-winning design hotel for an olive oil tasting, learning from an olive oil sommelier about the nuances and profiles of this elixir. And perhaps (as this will fall near harvest season) get to taste some of the brand new oil for the year. The next day we’ll venture a little further afield towards the Val d’orcia with the iconic rolling Sienese hills to a cheese farm in the area of Pienza where the famed pecorino cheese is made. Then we’ll pass by the hill town of Montepulciano and enjoy an Italian coffee tasting in one of the historic cafes. By the middle of the week we will recharge with spa treatments on site and some down time before heading out that evening to explore a beautiful Umbrian town and have a cozy dinner out.
We will also fit in a visit to the town of Cortona, famed from Under the Tuscan Sun, and find an artisan workshop in the area to learn from and see how some of the quality products and crafts in this area are produced. We’ll have time to enjoy some time in the town for shopping as well and a lunch. Then we’ll round out the week with a wine tasting visit and lunch – how can we be in this part of Italy without partaking in its sacred potion! Finally we’ll partake in a cooking class to prepare our final dinner together.
Healthful food is part of the retreat, drawing on the in-season harvests from the local area. Daily breakfast is prepared on-site and the itinerary includes most dinner and lunches as well, many incorporating a visit or experience in the nearby area. We’ve carefully chosen delicious and fresh meals from renowned restaurants and chefs that will give guests an expansive experience of the cuisine. Throughout the week we will get to sample several of the regional specialties like olive oil, coffee, wine, pecorino cheese, maybe some truffle or porcini if we are lucky! We’ll relish in a range of local eateries, like cantinas, family osterias, and award-winning chefs and have hands-on experiences with an Italian cooking class.
The pricing is for a single room (with private bathroom). If you choose to share a room, there is a discount and there is also an early bird discount if you sign up by November 30th!
Shared room discount of $150 and Early bird discount of $100!sign up by November 30th and receive $100 discount! :)
I HOPE YOU WILL CONSIDER JOINING ME FOR THIS AMAZING EXPERIENCE! IF YOU HAVE ANY COMMENTS OR QUESTIONS PLEASE Email me: rebeccamaedesigns (at) gmail (dot) com
Enjoy these photos from Porsenna Resort, and also from my Italy trip!