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7 Day Art and Mindfulness Retreat with Excursions in Sicily, Italy

Sicilian Spirit, Masseria Sgadari, San Giovanni, Italy

A Mindful Art Retreat in the Heart of Sicily

Come to the magical island of Sicily for a journey of personal discovery, connection, and transformation through contemplative arts and meditation. Join Art of Being for a program of creative expression, stillness, and discovery at the historic 17th century Masseria (farmhouse) of San Giovanni Sgadari in the heart of Sicily.

Meet the instructors

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

Skill level

  • Beginner


6 days with instruction in English
The organizer also speaks: German, Italian, Spanish
Group size: 6-12 participants
Airport transfer available:
Catania–Fontanarossa Airport (US$60 per person)
Airport transfer available:
Falcone–Borsellino Airport (US$60 per person)
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  • 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.


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

You will give wings to the inner artist and let go of the inner critic through an introductory exploration of line and mark-making.

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 - A Larger Tapestry

You will explore how your life is woven into a larger human tapestry as we travel to the Valley of Temples, the ancient Greek city of Akragas in modern-day Agrigento.

Day 5 - 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 6 -Being in the World

In your last full day, you will explore your "Way of Being" in the world and reflect on what you will carry forward in your life. Your week will end with a festive meal beneath the stars (weather permitting).

Day 7

You will enjoy a farewell 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


You will visit the picturesque seaside town of Cefalù on day four of your program. 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 five of your program. 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.


Michael Anderson


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.


  • Cefalù village, 40 kilometers



  • Swimming
  • Swimming pool (outdoor)


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


  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi


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

Things to do (optional)

Sicily provides a wealth of historic, cultural, and natural destinations to add on before or after your retreat, along with very reasonable rates. Excursions outside the Masseria can be booked before or during your stay and paid directly to the drivers of Autoservizi Nasello and their partners.

The prices of the excursions run by Madonie Outdoor (Gole di Tiberio, Pollina River for Rafting and High Madonie for Mountain trekking) do not include transportation, whose prices are per vehicle, to be divided among the passengers.

Mountain biking, Nordic walking, and regular trekking need no transportation as they can start directly from the Masseria.

Excursions to Cefalù, Piazza Armerina, Valle dei Templi, Etna, Gangi, and Sperlinga include only transportation costs as visits can be done individually.

Spa treatments

Art of Being offers heart full Ayurvedic Abhyangam treatments with warm organic almond oil and medicated oils hand made with wild herbs from the Sicilian mountains. Abhyangam treatments are beneficial to balance the body-mind-spirit complex.

In particular, their therapist, Elisa offers a combination of general and MuriAbhyangam, a special Vata balancing treatment to release toxins and tensions stored in your joints, particularly in the spine and hips where you tend to store also emotional distress and body memories.

At the same time, the treatment helps to energize and to eliminate the blockages of energy and body fluids strengthening your immune system as well. Elisa, Ayurveda scholar and practitioner found her home in Sicily after years spent between Nepal and India where she met the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda.

Her background is in Euro-Asiatic Studies with particular dedication and call towards Vedic philosophy. She had the blessing to spend a long time with tribal communities and local farmers in Nepal, expanding her knowledge of medicinal herbs, Ayurveda, and exploring the relationship with Bhumi Devi, the oneness with nature, and all that is.

Elisa cultivates and collects wild and medical plants, used to prepare medicated oils for Ayurvedic massage, ointments, and herbal teas. The treatment has a duration of about 1 hour. After, you will be offered an herbal tea made with local herbs, cultivated or collected with care and love. The treatment costs 75 EUR.

What's included

  • Guided meditation and art activities each day
  • Excursions to Agrigento and Cefalù
  • 6 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)

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 60 USD each way on arrival or departure days for flights arriving no later than 2:00 p.m. on April 18, 2021, and departing no earlier than 2:00 p.m. on April 24, 2021.

Please indicate on your registration form.

Airport: Catania–Fontanarossa Airport Airport transfer available: Catania–Fontanarossa Airport (US$60 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$60 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.
7 days / 6 nights
from --
Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 6 participants


Arrival: Sunday April 18, 2021
Departure: Saturday April 24, 2021

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