We seek to raise the act of savoring to an art form through the practice yoga in breathtaking surroundings. We take you on sojourns to stunning sites and show you beautiful vistas in lands less traversed. We nourish you with authentic, mouth-watering cuisine and wine. Sarah and Stefano are Sensi e Diletti and will be your expert escorts through Northern Italy, immersing you in ‘La Dolce Vita.’
The Spring Yoga & Wine Retreat in Verona, Italy - May 8 through May 14, 2016
Our five-day, six-night yoga and wine retreat is an opportunity to delight all of one’s senses.
Villa Cordevigo Wine Relais, is an 18th century Venetian Villa which has recently been entirely refurbished as a five-star hotel with its highly-lauded Ristorante Oseleta. The property boasts a magnificent entrance, along a driveway flanked with stately cypress leading up the relais with your finely appointed rooms, replete with rich fabrics, period furnishings, wooden ceilings and Italian marble. Embracing formal gardens and an age-old park, amongst olive groves and woods, this exquisite estate rests on the hills of Cavaion Veronese, above Lake Garda, and just a short distance from the famous city of Verona--awarded World Heritage Site status for its urban structure and architecture.
Listen & Feel
Breakfast is served every morning from 7:30-10:30am. Meanwhile, a conscious vinyasa yoga session will be taught by Sarah from 9:00-10:30am amidst the lush greenery of the Villa’s perfectly manicured Italian garden--or in the “worst case” scenario, within one of the estate’s elegant rooms. These 90 minute, all-levels, asana and meditation sessions are designed to awaken and heighten your senses for the day’s delights ahead.
If you are decidedly not a yogi, (like Stefano) there are plenty of other ways to spend the morning--lingering over breakfast, or walking the splendid grounds. If you are feeling more active, there is a pool, a gym and a great number of amazing cycling routes throughout the Adige Valley and reaching out to Lake Garda. There are also eight gorgeous golf courses within a short drive. Or you can indulge in a healing treatment, the Turkish bath, infra-red sauna or hydromassage tub at Cordevido’s Essentia Spa.
Taste, Smell & See
We will greet you at Verona Airport (VRN) on Sunday, May 8th and whisk you to the relais, where we’ll commence our week with dinner at the Michelin-starred, Ristorante Oseleta for a delectable tasting menu prepared in our honor.
Each day, just before noon, we'll depart for the daily delights!
Our first sojourn is to another noble and prestigious villa in the hills of Valpolicella for a savory Italian lunch. Here we’ll taste the fruits of the labors of some of the region’s smaller, artisanal wine producers giving you an exclusive opportunity to sample some wines not easily found at home. In the late afternoon, and in time for a gorgeous sunset, we'll head into Verona for an orientational walking tour, followed, of course, by aperitivo--the daily Italian tradition of a pre-meal drink and light bite to stimulate the appetite--in the piazza. You may feel free to roam on your own and duck into some of the city’s shops containing haute Italian fashion and fineries. We'll meet for dinner at a traditional trattoria, celebrating the flavors of genuine Veronese cuisine. Then back to Villa Cordevigo for a good night’s rest and sogni d’oro (dreams of gold).
For the second day we’ll be visiting a world-famous winery in Valpolicella, whose Amarone wine was ranked in the Top 10 Best of the Year for 2015, in Wine Spectator. There we'll have a tour of the vineyard and wine cellar, a tasting of their wines and a specially prepared lunch. Next we'll stroll to a neighboring vineyard and winery, belonging to the direct descendants of Dante Alighieri, where we’ll be guided on a tour of their vineyards and treated to another tasting. Finally, we’ll head, once again, into Verona, to tour you past some Roman structures built in the 1st century (or as Stefano would put it, “we’ll show you some more old ‘stuff’.”) all on the way to the requisite aperitivo. On this evening, we’ll dine at a stylish Veronese restaurant boasting 35 different types of cold cuts and approximately 100 classifications of Italian cheese. According to Stefano, the Amarone Risotto is an unparalleled specialty.
The focus of this day is on the art of Italian gastronomy. First, we’ll take you to a beautiful, trattoria designed with a light and airy atmosphere--fitting for its dramatic views over Valpolicella. Next, onto another elegant Villa situated on a sprawling estate with vineyards, gardens, and a gently wooded pond. There we will receive a tour of the grounds and vineyard followed by a tasting of their wines. After a coffee break we’ll be rolling up our sleeves for a hands-on cooking course in the villa’s “Antica Cucina”--a 16th century kitchen--where we will be taught some authentic Northern Italian recipes. To conclude this day, we’ll settle in to enjoy a full-course dinner, of our own creation, with wine pairing. Wait until you see this kitchen’s imposing and impressive fireplace in person!
After three days of wine tasting and touring we'll take a break to rejuvenate ourselves with the mineral-rich waters at the base of Lake Garda. There exists the charming peninsula of Sirimione, with a castle and a fortress and history dating back to the Stone Age. We'll spend the afternoon at a spa with healing thermal baths, the result of a hot-water spring, whirlpools, effervescent beds, aroma-chromatic showers and vascular paths, saunas, steam rooms and holistic treatments. After we’ve been revitalized, we'll head to Valeggio sul Mincio, for the most tender and translucent, hand-crafted tortellini you'll ever savor. After dinner we’ll take you down to a beautiful little mill town (with another old castle--these structures abound!) overlooking the picturesque Mincio River where we'll enjoy digestivi and dolci (after-dinner drinks and dessert). With it’s warmly lit windows reflecting off the water, words, and even pictures, cannot do justice to the sight of this pretty town at night.
On our final day we'll travel to the Soave region, home of the world-renowned Soave wine. We’ll start with lunch at a local enoteca, whose byline reads “because no great story ever started with someone eating salad.” The owners Lisa and Paolo serve seasonal dishes connected to regional traditions and a special “fast good food” menu--a play on some American standards. Next we’ll tour and taste a two of the best producers of Soave wine makers in the region. Before leaving this region we will take a stroll through the medieval Castle of Soave near sundown for some breathtaking photos. We’ll culminate our week in Verona for aperitivi at one of oldest wine bars in the world, a renowned osteria boasting over 3,000 wines. And, finally, meet for dinner at Sarah’s favorite Veronese restaurant by Michelin-star winning Chef Giancarlo Perbellini. According to her, the millefoglie is a “must!”
On Saturday, May 14th after breakfast, we’ll make sure to get you to Verona Airport in plenty of time for your flight or we’ll be happy to send you off in the right direction if you’ve chosen to extend your stay in Bella Italia!
The price includes a six night stay at a five-star villa, all meals from Sunday evening through Saturday morning, wine with the lunches and dinners, all transportation, all tastings and tours, the cooking course, the entrance to the spa on Lake Garda--really everything except for your airfare, any additional transportation to sights or activities not scheduled, and any additional spa services or food/room service at Villa Cordevigo. The cost is $2875 per person, for a "Classic" Room, $2950 for a "Tradition" Room, or $3100 per person, for an "Elegance" Room with whirlpool bath; both based on double occupancy. So if you can bring a friend or significant other...fantastic! If you prefer a room all to yourself, the cost is $3845 for a "Classic" Room, $3995 for a "Tradition," or $4295 for an "Elegance" Room. Special suites may be available upon request. Please note, this is an introductory price for an extraordinary week with Sensi e Diletti. We’ll be offering more of these retreats but never again at this price!
To join us, contact Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-290-5605.