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8 Days Excursions, Art, and Meditation Retreat in Sicily, Italy

Sicilian Spirit, Masseria Sgadari, San Giovanni, Italy

A Week of Art and Mindfulness Meditation in Sicily

Come to the magical island of Sicily for a week-long journey of personal discovery, connection, and transformation through contemplative arts and meditation. Join Art of Being for a week of creative expression, stillness, and discovery at the 17th century Masseria (farmhouse) of San Giovani Sgadari in the heart of Sicily, a working organic farm where olive oil, wheat, wine, fruit, and vegetables are still produced today.

Meet the instructors

Michael & Teresa
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Highlights

  • 7 days of practice
  • Visits to various attractions
  • Guided meditation sessions and art activities
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Tranquil landscapes

Skill level

  • Beginner

Styles


7 days with instruction in English
The organizer also speaks: German, Italian, Spanish
Group size: Maximum of 12 participants
Airport transfer available:
Catania–Fontanarossa Airport (US$55 per person)
Airport transfer available:
Falcone–Borsellino Airport (US$55 per person)
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
17:00
Check-out Time:
10:00

Facilities

  • Swimming pool (outdoor)
  • Air-conditioned public areas
  • Air-conditioned rooms
  • Garden
  • Labyrinth
  • Meditation garden
  • Multilingual staff
  • Terrace
  • Yoga deck
  • Yoga studio
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi

Two rooms (around 25 square meters each) with private bathrooms are located in the main building, a restored 17th-century farmhouse. The remaining rooms are located in five cottages beside the garden, each equipped with a private or shared bathroom, a patio, and traditional Sicilian furnishings.

Program

You will savor the sights, sounds, aromas, and flavors of this gentle and timeless landscape, be nourished by the simple and healthy Sicilian dishes prepared for you by the farm’s kitchen staff using the best natural, local ingredients, and end each day beneath a vast summer night sky. Your journey will take you through the Masseria’s 17th-century labyrinth gardens and surrounding countryside to the Valley of Temples in the ruins of the ancient Greek city of Akragas and the picturesque seaside town of Cefalù.

You will experience the many layers of Sicily’s history as you explore your own unfolding story and unique place in the world. Each day, you will be guided through mindfulness meditation practices you can take back into your daily life. These practices will be woven together with contemplative arts experiences intended to cultivate your innate capacity for artistic expression. No experience in meditation or art is required.

Daily itinerary

Day 1 - Welcome dinner and opening session

The guided introduction to meditation and the week ahead is waiting for you. You will settle in for a week of creative expression and discovery.

Day 2 - Finding your line and walking the labyrinth

You will give wings to the inner artist and let go of the inner critic through an introductory exploration of line and mark-making. A guided labyrinth walk will form a beginning and ending ritual to your week’s journey.

Day 3 - Harnessing the elements

The elements of earth, water, air, and fire surround you and flow through you. A variety of meditation and art practices will allow you to tap into each of these elements and give visual expression to your experience of them.

Day 4 - The hero’s journey in the Valley of Temples

You will travel to the Valley of Temples, the ancient Greek city of Akragas in modern-day Agrigento. The temples here are some of the best-preserved in all of the ancient Greek worlds. You will explore Greek myth and the archetype of the hero’s journey through theater and visual arts.

Day 5 - Your life is the artwork: charting a map of curiosities

You will explore the questions that captivate your curiosity and wonder brings insight into what makes you come alive as a unique human being. You will use the art of map-making to chart these curiosities and continue your exploration of the hero’s journey.

Day 6 - Cefalù: snapshots of reality

What does it mean to see the world as it is with fresh eyes? The beautiful seaside town of Cefalù, with its towering Norman cathedral housing some of the world’s finest Byzantine mosaics, will be the setting for an exploration of contemplative photography and poetry, as you seek to capture the essential qualities and true nature of the world around you.

Day 7 - Looking back and forward

In your last full day, you will walk the labyrinth one last time as you reflect back on your journey and integrate your experiences into your life’s path forward. You will celebrate the end of your journey together with a festive meal beneath the stars.

Day 8

You will enjoy your breakfast and depart.

Sample daily schedule

  • 07:30 Optional morning practice (30 minutes)
  • 08:30 Breakfast
  • 10:00 Morning session (two and a half hours)
  • 12:30 Lunch
  • 14:00 Afternoon session (two and a half hours)
  • 16:30 Free time
  • 19:00 Dinner
  • 20:00 Evening soiree

Included excursions

Cefalù

You will visit the picturesque seaside town of Cefalù on day six of your program, focusing on contemplative photography and poetry. You will spend the major part of the day in the town, including the time to explore on your own and enjoy lunch at a typical Sicilian café. The town's Norman cathedral, dating from 1131, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, housing exquisite Byzantine mosaics. Transportation and lunch are included in the retreat package price. You will return in time for dinner.

Valley of the Temples, Agrigento

You will visit the Greek temple ruins at Agrigento, the ancient Greek city of Akgras on day four of your program, focusing on the hero's journey. Dating from 580 B.C., these are some of the best-preserved temples in all the ancient Greek lands. You will spend the majority of your day in Agrigento and return in time for dinner. Transportation and lunch are included in the retreat package price.

Instructors

Michael Anderson

Teresa Hernández

Location

Nestled in the heart of the Madonie mountain park, a few miles from Gangi - the most beautiful village in Italy, the prize winner, and about 40 kilometers from the enchanting fishermen village of Cefalù, Sicilian Spirit hosts yoga and meditation retreats in a 17th-century Masseria, wonderfully restored respecting her ancient feudal structure.

Surrounded by the silence offered by its enclosed 25 hectares park, at 650 meters above the sea level, you will be able to walk for hours in the secret inner paths and in the hidden centuries-old oak forest, get lost in the labyrinth garden of the 18th century, explore the banks of the private river, meditate, or practice yoga at sunrise or sunset in the terrace overlooking the mountains and the valley or just sunbathing and swimming in the infinity pool.

Distances

  • Cefalù village, 40 kilometers

Features

Activities

  • Swimming
  • Swimming pool (outdoor)

General

  • Air-conditioned public areas
  • Air-conditioned rooms
  • Garden
  • Labyrinth
  • Meditation garden
  • Multilingual staff
  • Special menu request
  • Terrace
  • Yoga deck
  • Yoga studio

Services

  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi

Food

You will be nurtured by the simple, healthy meals provided by the local chef. Many of the natural ingredients come from the farm itself and the surrounding region. Meals are vegetarian with vegan and gluten-free options available. Please let Art of Being know of any other dietary restrictions you may have. Rest assured, they will accommodate your needs to ensure your comfort, health, and well-being throughout your stay with them in Sicily.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Snacks
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Gluten Free
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • Guided meditation and art activities each day
  • Excursions to Agrigento and Cefalù
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • 3 fresh Sicilian meals each day
  • Non-alcoholic beverages (juice, tea, coffee) and snacks each day
  • Basic art materials, including dry and wet media, paper, and brushes (please bring any specific materials you wish to work with, as well as a journal or sketchbook)
  • Towel, sheets, and one room cleaning per week
  • Meditation cushions and mats

What's not included

  • Airfare
  • Airport transfer from Catania–Fontanarossa Airport (CTA) or Falcone–Borsellino Airport (PMO) (may be booked with your reservation for additional 50 EUR each way)

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Catania–Fontanarossa Airport (CTA) or Falcone–Borsellino Airport (PMO). The Masseria / Sicilian Spirit is located approximately two hours from both these airports. Catania is recommended as flights are often cheaper and more direct, and ground access to the retreat is more direct. Airport transfers from Cantania (CTA) or Palermo (PMO) can be arranged for an additional cost of 50 EUR each way on arrival or departure days for flights arriving no later than 3:00 p.m. on June 27 and departing no earlier than 1:00 p.m. on July 4, 2020. Please indicate on your registration form.

Airport: Catania–Fontanarossa Airport Airport transfer available: Catania–Fontanarossa Airport (US$55 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.
Airport: Falcone–Borsellino Airport Airport transfer available: Falcone–Borsellino Airport (US$55 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 35% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
8 days / 7 nights
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Availability

Arrival: Saturday April 17, 2021
Departure: Saturday April 24, 2021

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