Join Maria Santoferraro, E-RYT 500 of the Daily Downward Dog for seven nights and eight joyous days of Italian countryside yoga, meditation, sunshine, scrumptious food, and sightseeing in some of the most beautiful Italian cities. Your home base for this Italian yoga retreat is Villa Monte. With the lovely Lucca countryside as its backdrop this villa is its own gem among olive groves and vineyards. Villa Monte features a private fenced swimming pool, extensive grounds, and wonderful views. Add a little touch of history to the mix, as this self-catering accommodation near Lucca was once part of an old convent, and it is just a short walk into the village of Segromigno in Monte.

We’ll start each day with joy-infused yoga practice overlooking the Italian countryside and spend the afternoons immersed in Italian culture, history, food, adventure, and as the schedule permits there will be late afternoon restorative yoga sessions.

What is Included:

  • Twice daily yoga & meditation with Maria with breathtaking views of the Italian Countryside
  • Round-trip transportation from Florence airport to Villa
  • 7 nights Villa accommodations in double or triple occupancy ensuite bedrooms – please inquire about limited single occupancy availability
  • Breakfast each morning
  • Arrival at Villa. Welcome dinner
  • Lucca Guided Tour accompanied with a tasting of typical food and beverage from Lucca
  • Cinque Terre Guided Tour and evening dinner
  • Cooking class held at the Villa where retreat guests will learn how to prepare typical Tuscany dishes and tricks from the Chef and wine tastings – lunch and dinner included on this day of the retreat
  • Siena/San Gimignano Guided Tour
  • Guided tour of the Chianti region and a castle tour including a wine and food experience tour with a local guide in the castle.
  • A pizza party dinner celebration with musicians

All tours include transportation.



Cinque Terre

Cinque terre is a string of centuries-old seaside villages on the rugged Italian Riviera coastline. Hiking trails link each of the 5 towns offering un-parralled views of the cities and the sea.

On Monday we will have a guided tour of this must see destination in Italy.

Chianti Region

The Chianti region is located in Tuscany, that romantic area of central Italy known for its sweeping landscapes, burning hot sun and its wealth of art and food history. It is from this region that we also get delicious olive oil and Michelangelo’s David.

On Thursday we will have a guided tour of Chianti and a Castel guided tour with wine tasting and lunch.


Lucca, the city of one hundred churches, is a beautiful city rich with history. Visit the famous Torre Guinigi, the roof garden is a popular attraction and was built when the Guinigi family sought to create a garden as symbol of the town’s rebirth while under their control. A great way to explore Lucca is to start with a walk along the old city walls which offers panoramic views of the city.
On Sunday we will have a guided tour of Lucca.


Siena, a city in central Italy’s Tuscany region, is distinguished by its medieval brick buildings. The fan-shaped central square, Piazza del Campo, is the site of the Palazzo Pubblico, the Gothic town hall, and Torre del Mangia, a slender 14th-century tower with sweeping views from its distinctive white crown.

On Wednesday we will have a guided tour of Siena and San Gimignano.

San Gimignano

San Gimignano is an Italian hill town in Tuscany, southwest of Florence. Encircled by 13th-century walls, its old town centers on Piazza della Cisterna, a triangular square lined with medieval houses. It has a skyline of medieval towers, including the stone Torre Grossa. The Duomo di San Gimignano is a 12th-century church with frescoes by Ghirlandaio in its Santa Fina Chapel.

On Wednesday we will have a guided tour of Siena and San Gimignano.

Villa Monte


The villa has 11 bedrooms, which are frescoed and luxuriously furnished with period pieces. The rooms are large and airy and overlook the Italian garden. Each room has heating and air conditioning which can be regulated individually, a safe, free wireless Internet connection, some rooms have a small refrigerator, TV with CD player and satellite channel reception. A hairdryer is provided in every bathroom. A practical towel kit including a soft toweling robe, swimming towel and terry towel slippers is available for all guests. All the rooms can be reached both by a comfortable lift and by easy stairs.

Available Room Types & Pricing

Deluxe Two Level Suite (SOLD OUT): 1 King Bed (can be split to do twin beds), 2 ensuite bathrooms; the first with sink, toilet and shower/second with a sink, toilet and tub, living area with sofa bed, small refrigerator, television and cd player. The sofa bed is most comfortable for one but can fit two. These suites are available as: Double Occupancy $ 2,675 per person   ||   Triple Occupancy $2,275per person  ||   Inquire about Quad Occupancy pricing

Deluxe Two Level Suite (SOLD OUT): 1 Double Bed, 1 Twin Bed,  2 ensuite bathrooms; the first with sink, toilet and shower/second with a sink, toilet, and tub, living area with sofa bed, small refrigerator, television and cd player. The sofa bed is most comfortable for one but can fit two. This suite is available as:  Double Occupancy $ 2,675 per person   ||   Triple Occupancy $2,275 per person  ||   Inquire about Quad Occupancy pricing

Deluxe Room (ONLY 1 AVAILABLE): 1 King Bed (can be split into two twin beds), ensuite bathroom  || Double Occupancy $2,575 per person

Standard Room (ONLY 1 AVAILABLE): 1 King Bed (can be split into two twin beds), shared bath | Double occupancy $2,275 per person   ||  Single occupancy $2,675

If you are traveling alone and would like to be paired up with another retreat guest for double/triple/quad occupancy, please let us know and we will do our best to pair you with matching participants. Prices include taxes and fees. 

Not included:


  • Airfare to Italy. Pisa International Airport Galileo Galilei and Florence Airport Amerigo Vespucci are the two international airports in the region.
  • Travel insurance (highly recommended)
  • Optional activities
  • Snacks and additional meals
  • Wine and alcohol (except where noted above for the 2 villa dinners and cooking class)

Deposit and Final Payment Policy

Step 1) A $500 deposit is required per person to reserve your retreat space and is non-refundable. Click the PayPal button below to make your payment, or contact Maria about paying via check. Please review the Terms & Conditions before making your reservation. 

Step 2) Once we’ve received your deposit, you will be contacted to confirm room selection, dietary restrictions, and with travel arrival/departure logistics.

Step 3) Final payment is due on June 15, 2018.  You will be invoiced and can pay by check or online with PayPal. For new reservations made after June 15, the entire balance is due when reservation is made.

All payments are non-refundable. In the event of cancellation on our side, your entire payment will be refunded.

Need additional information or have questions, please email Maria at [email protected]

Select Deposit Type

Your Yoga and Meditation Guide

Maria Santoferraro, joy spreader, E-RYT 500 yoga teacher, storyteller, and always a practicing yoga student lives near the beautiful shores of Lake Erie, Ohio. After spending over 25 years as a stressed-out corporate executive she needed a detox from an unhealthy Blackberry addiction, lack of sleep, and an aching back caused by scoliosis. She sought out a healthier lifestyle and is grateful to have found her physical and spiritual release through the practice of yoga. Today she is living a balanced and blissful life, teaching beach yoga, leading international yoga retreats and yoga teacher trainings, providing inspiration on her blog the Daily Downward Dog, creating meditation videos for Hang 10 Meditation, and contributing her writing to Elephant Journal, Daily Cup of Yoga, and MindBodyGreen. Her playful, heart-opening teaching combines meditation, breath, alignment, and asana in slow-flowing vinyasa yoga classes that incorporate inspirational class themes, music, chanting, laughter, and the spiritual teachings of yoga to create a peaceful environment where students can quiet their minds, let go of fear and stress, and experience a deep sense of healing, relaxation, and joy.

Florence a City to Explore

Either before or after the retreat, plan to spend a few days on your own visiting Florence. With its abundance of timeless art, rustic Tuscan cuisine, incredible boutique shopping, and mesmerizing views at every turn, the city of Florence is nothing short of spectacular. Known worldwide as the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence embodies the spirit of ancient Italy and has managed to preserve it for nearly 700 years. Top places to visit include the Uffizi Gallery, Ponte Vecchio, Boboli gardens, and the Duomo di Firenze.

Countdown to Italy!